The First Kiss: Welcome Amanda Forester, Author of A Wedding In Springtime!

The First Kiss
by Amanda Forester

The first kiss.  There is nothing else like it.  It is the moment when intentions are made clear and two people move from friends or acquaintances toward becoming something entirely different.  It can be a powerful attraction, or it can be an alert you've made a terrible mistake.  Either way, that first kiss will always be memorable.

In my new release, A Wedding in Springtime, Eugenia Talbot has every reason to be wary of Mr. Grant. Five minutes into her presentation at court, the notorious rogue, William Grant, makes her laugh before the queen, ruining her debut. To hush up the scandal, Genie needs to make a brilliant marriage, and fast.  Genie's aunt hires a matchmaker to find a suitor—anyone except the infamous William Grant—but amiable Genie shows a disturbing tendency to follow her heart.  When a traitor creeps closer, threatening to ruin more than just her reputation, Genie and Grant are drawn into a dangerous world of deceit and intrigue, where losing their hearts could mean their ultimate undoing.

Here is an excerpt from the moment when everything changed for them, their first kiss.

The weather was indeed unstable, and the few raindrops were soon joined by others, until throngs of raindrops plagued them from above. The rain turned into a deluge, and Grant found it necessary to seek shelter or face death by drowning. He took Genie’s hand, and they both ran along the path. He expected complaint, as he would get from any finely bred London female, but Genie had been raised in the country and was made of sterner stuff. She merely smiled and ran along with him.
Finding a large willow tree, he ducked under the branches, pulling Genie next to him. The space was crowded with multiple branches, forcing Grant to pull her close. This was a disaster, stuck with a debutante under a tree in the torrential rain with his boots surely ruined.
Far from seeing the horror of the situation, Genie’s eyes were dancing. She screwed up her mouth, trying not to smile.
“My boots are ruined,” said Grant, stating his most pressing concern.
Genie began to laugh.
“I see you have no regard for my boots!”
“I do apologize!” said Genie between giggles. “But here we are stuck under a tree and all you can think of is your boots?”
“You would too if you knew how much they cost.”
“Yes, indeed. I did not realize they were so dear. I am sure my bonnet is quite ruined too.”
It was no great loss, but Grant said nothing. Despite the chill, he was suddenly quite warm. Genie stood next to him, close, inches away. He could touch her merely by shifting his feet. He would not, of course, but he wanted to. When was the last time he had been so attracted to a debutante of all things? When had he last been attracted to anyone this way?
Genie started to shiver, standing still in the cold. He guessed her long pelisse was borrowed from Louisa, since it was fashionable in style, but it was also made of muslin and not intended for inclement weather.
Grant put his hands on her delicate shoulders and gave them a gentle rub. “You are soaked, poor thing. Here, take my coat.”
“No, no, I couldn’t. You would be too cold.”
No, he wouldn’t. He was not cold at all. He was practically sweating he was so hot. He unbuttoned his coat, but Genie shook her head.
“Here, we can both be warm.” He opened his coat and wrapped it around her, drawing her to him.
“I do not think… is this proper?” Genie put her hands against his chest but leaned close to allow him to wrap his coat around her.
“No, not proper I fear,” confessed Grant. He was truthful, even if he was a cad. Genie felt delicious. He wrapped his arms around her and drew her closer, reveling in her small frame, her gentle curves. She laid her cheek on his chest and he had to stifle a sigh. This was what he wanted. He wished he could stay under the tree forever, boots be damned.
His arms around her rubbed her back. He wished to reach further down but dared not; he could not let this get out of control. Yet in plain truth, it was already out of control. Genie sighed and melted into him. There was no other word for it. She fit with him—warm, soft, perfect.
Genie looked up at him, her blue eyes deep and inviting. “I am quite warm now, thank you.”
Grant was beyond warm. He prided himself on his ability to avoid complications with the gentler sex, but with Genie, he was a stupid schoolboy.
“I think it is letting up a bit. Perhaps we should try again to make it to the carriage?” Her voice was airy, her breathing fast, and he could feel every time she inhaled, pressing her bosom against him.
“Perhaps,” murmured Grant. He did not care about the carriage or his reputation or anything except the blue of her eyes and the rose pink of her lips. He leaned down closer, slowly. This was the time she should pull away, but instead, she tipped her head up to him. This could not happen; it must not. He stopped moving and yet still drew closer. As if moving of their own accord, their lips met. For one beautiful moment, he pressed his lips to hers and a tingling shock coursed through his body, energizing, waking parts of him, stinging him to life.
He pulled back slowly, taking a gulp of cool, moist air. What was he thinking?

I hope you have as much fun reading A WEDDING IN SPRINGTIME as I had writing it! I love to hear from readers so come visit me at my website, facebook, or twitter.

What was your most memorable first kiss!

New Release: Meant To Be By Terri Osburn

Meant to Be is the first novel in the Anchor Island Series by debut author Terri Osburn. It's a contemporary romance that I was happy to get an early look at and it was fantastic! Here's the blurb:

Sometimes the next best thing is what you’ve been looking for all along…

Beth Chandler has spent her whole life pleasing others. She went to law school to make her grandparents happy. She agreed to marry her workaholic boyfriend, Lucas, to make him happy. And, despite her fear of boats, she took a ferry to see Lucas’s parents just to make them happy.
While suffering through a panic attack on the ferry, Beth meets a tall, sexy stranger who talks her down from her fear—and makes her heart flutter in the process.

Soon, she has a new reason to panic: her gorgeous, blue-eyed rescuer is Lucas’s brother, Joe. But could she ever leave her fiancé for his own brother…even if Lucas is more focused on making partner than on making their relationship work…and even if Joe turns out to be everything she never knew she wanted?

Filled with excitement and delight, Meant to Be is the story of a young woman torn between urban pressures and small-town pleasures.

Meant to Be is on sale today! Go check it out!

Happy Reading - Cheeky Girl Sabrina

Bare It All Blog Tour! A Review of The New Lori Foster Romance

Bare It All by Lori Foster - Book 2 in the Men Who Walk The Edge Of Honor Series
3 Heart Review
Harlequin HQN

A cop’s craving to know more about the woman next door could prove fatal.
As the person responsible for taking down a brutal human trafficker, Alice Appleton fears retaliation at every turn. No one knows about her past, which is exactly how she prefers it…until the sexy cop next door comes knocking. Detective Reese Bareden thinks he knows what makes women tick, but his ever-elusive neighbor keeps him guessing like no other. Is his goal to unmask Alice’s secrets? Or protect her from a dangerous new threat? One thing is certain: their chemistry is a time bomb waiting to explode. And with no one to trust but each other, Reese and Alice are soon drawn into a deadly maze of corruption, intrigue and desire—and into the line of fire…
While the book is very interesting and I adored the side characters, I had mixed feelings about this book for a few reasons. The first is that the heroine Alice was very hard for me to get attached to. I felt she fell a little flat and too easily got over things upon sudden realizations. The second was that I found it too coincidental that the hero Reese is a cop who investigates human trafficking and Alice is a former victim who just happens to live next door.
One of the most important part of a plot for me is that even if it's the most way out there story idea ever, a writer has to be able to get the reader to suspend their disbelief and come along for the ride. That didn't totally work for me with this book. I just kept coming back to this being way too much of a coincidence and it kept me from really getting into the story. 
It is otherwise an engaging book and I really enjoyed the side characters most of all! I cannot wait for Rowdy's book and to learn more about Lieutenant Peterson. I think her story might even be one of the most interesting.
I will most definitely be picking up the next books in this series because again, I like the other characters but Alice just didn't speak to me and I couldn't get over how everything just fell into place at the beginning.
Happy Reading!
Cheeky Girl Sabrina

Exclusive Interview With Aphrodite From The Pool of Souls Series by Krystal Shannan - Book 1 Now FREE at most retailers!

Aphrodite walks into the interview room. She twirls a finger through her long curly auburn tresses. Twinkling ice blue eyes and a friendly smile meet the gaze of Krystal Shannan and Sabrina.

Copper beads dangle from her ears and wide bands of engraved copper clink on her wrists. White denim leggings, brown leather high-heeled stiletto boots, and a sparkling champagne colored tunic finish off the Vogue worthy ensemble.

She sits down in the chair opposite the two ladies.

Aphrodite: Thank you for having us here today, Sabrina. It’s so nice of you to help out my author, Krystal Shannan.

OPEN HOUSE is the first story I shared with Krystal and kicks off the Pool of Souls Series. It’s about a young human couple, Rebecca and Robert. They are soul mates and it takes some intervention on my part to get them where they are supposed to be. I don’t usually like to interfere on the mortal realm, but Ares left me no choice.

K. Shannan: The next book is out now too. Can you tell us a little about FINDING HOPE.

Aphrodite: Hmmm…without spoiling the story? Let's just say things are heating up on Olympus and Ares and I have come to an understanding. *wink* Oh, and those pesky goth lackey's of his get locked up in his palace this time!

K. Shannan: Tell us a little about Ares. I know you and he have a history.

Ares, the God of War, is a complicated situation. We had a relationship and then he ruined it and now... I think he is trying to piece it back together. He’s certainly making a valiant effort, but we’ll just see. I’d rather not get into details at this time.

K. Shannan: Do you want to share a little about your soul mates?

Aphrodite: Of course. You know your soul is immortal, right? Well, now you do. Most humans refuse to believe such nonsense, no scientific proof and all. Well, they are wrong. Your souls live lifetime after lifetime, always looking for their mate. Once two souls have joined as mates, they are together for the rest of eternity. When one dies, it will wait until it’s mate dies and then they will reincarnate together in the same decade so they can be together again. Joined souls are drawn to each other like magnets, once joined it would take an act of a god to separate them. Souls that are looking for their mate, but haven’t found them yet, are also drawn to each other, but the pull is not nearly as strong.

That is where I come in. I assist with that little extra push to make sure the soul mating is complete. Of course that assistance only happens when I have physically meet the person the soul resides in. I must touch the soul to be able to track it. Needless to say, you might meet me at a local wine festival and not even know it. *wink* I love wine festivals. Dionysus and I have a long-standing partnership.

K. Shannan: Why are the souls so important to you?

Aphrodite: I’m connected to them and them to me. When souls ache, I ache. When souls are joined I am refreshed. It is a symbiotic relationship. One cannot exist without the other.

Mother Gaia gave me a gift no other Titan received. I am linked to humanity in a way that can never be broken and the Olympian gods have never been pleased by that fact. It keeps me stronger than any of them. All the other Titans were banished or killed, but they cannot get rid of me without getting rid of the human race. And that would just be stupid. The Olympians are not stupid. Petty and vindictive, yes, stupid…. No.

K. Shannan: Several people have asked why you say you are a Titan. Most people think of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love, as an Olympian.

Aphrodite: There is an Olympian named Aphrodite, but she is not the Goddess of Love. Zeus named his daughter after me to irritate me. *hiss* Which it did. That sniveling little cheerleader called a goddess deals in physical lusts and instant attractions. Superficial passions, I suppose you could call it. She has nothing to do with actual love and true human passion.

K. Shannan: What do you like to do when you aren’t helping souls?

Aphrodite: *Huge grin* I love fashion. I subscribe to every human fashion magazine I can find. Dionysus teases me, but I love clothes. We may be gods, but we can definitely appreciate many human conveniences –coffee, clothing, chocolate. I just joined social media, too. I was tired of being told I needed to join the twenty-first century. You can visit me at my FaceBook fan page, Aphrodite – Pool of Souls Series, for all kinds of updates and musings.

K. Shannan: Thank you, Sabrina, for having us here today. Aphrodite has graciously offered to answer questions from the readers. So please ask away.
The Pool Of Souls Paranormal Romance Series
OPEN HOUSE | Pool of Souls Book 1
Intrinsically woven into the fabric of human existence, Aphrodite, Titan Goddess of Love and Passion, dedicates herself to matching soul mates.

Rebecca Carol and Robert Corvin missed their original chance to bond when Ares, God of War, took control of Robert's career ten years ago. Their souls have naturally pulled them back together for a second chance at love, but...How far will the gods go to get their own way?

Will divine influence create another perfect match or will it tear them apart forever?
 Free at most eRetailers! AMAZON | B&N | ARe | Smashwords
FINDING HOPE | Pool of Souls Book 2
Warning: The plot thickens with a passel of pissed off Olympians. Ares and Aphrodite are in for a double dose of trouble! More Olympians join the mix in Finding Hope: Pool of Souls Book 2. A jewel addict, a kick-ass possibly-virgin huntress, and an insatiable ancient oracle are just a few. But don’t worry; Ares and Aphrodite are still front and center.

Addison Connelly has given up on men. She is disappointed yet again when her best friend tries to play matchmaker, and the match falls flat…or does it? Her friend knows all Addison needs is a chance, a little hope, and maybe a dropkick in the right direction. With an extra push from Aphrodite, will this lonely soul learn to trust again? Or will she run from the only man who could make her happy?

Adrian Colter, Nashville Police Detective and certifiable bachelor, puts his foot in his mouth in a big way when his roommate’s fiancé tries to match him up with her best friend. After making a horrible first impression, can he earn the trust of a woman who won’t speak a civil word to him?

Adrian isn’t the only one trying to earn the trust of a beautiful woman. While Ares fights to rebuild the trust he lost thousands of years ago with the Goddess of Love, his parents do what they do best —show off their greed and selfishness. Will he find the hope and forgiveness he so desperate seeks or will his parents destroy his chance at happiness?
Amazon | B&N | ARe | Smashwords
Connect With Author Krystal Shannan:
Who has some questions for Aphrodite? Don't forget to go download book 1 of the series for FREE from most retailers!  


Welcome Guest Author Ana Blaze & Her Latest Release The Best Man & Enter to Win!!!!

Six smoldering…Beta heroes?
Yup, I’m here to show some love for the good guys. Hi. I’m Ana Blaze and I was lucky enough to get a coveted invite to introduce myself and my new release, The Best Man, here at Cheeky Reads. Thank you, Sabrina and, may I say, that’s a super cute blog name you’re wearing.

I’m not going to say that I don’t love a good Alpha man. I am romance writer after all. Alphas are, by definition, hot and steamy and their testosterone-driven antics can certainly be charming.
But at the end of the day, it’s the Beta boys that stick with me. They shyly and cleverly worm their way deep into my heart, curl up all cute and cuddly and stubbornly refuse to leave. They are the guys every woman really wants to marry.

I’ve narrowed down my favorite beta romantic heroes to a svelte list of Six Sexy Sweeties. They will appear in no particular order because Beta guys just aren’t very competitive.

Edward Ferrars Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Edward. Some of the girls may not think much of shy and often tongue-tied Edward, but he is a good man. He is studious, unfailingly kind and honorable. He is a man who will sacrifice his own happiness to keep a promise. Edward Ferrars might not be as flashy or witty as Mr. Darcy, but he is decent and loving from his first appearance until his last.

Carter Maguire Vision in White by Nora Roberts (Book 1 of the Bride Quartet)
Carter. He’s a quiet, klutzy, tweed-wearing, English teacher, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t got any moves. Carter is patient, persistent and has a delightful and often self-deprecating sense of humor. He has a three legged cat! Oh, and when he gets embarrassed, the tips of his ears turn red. Now, tell me you wouldn’t want to kiss this guy…every day for the rest of your life.

Peeta Mellark Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
Okay, let’s talk about Peeta. He’s not a wimp. At sixteen he can toss a hundred pound bag of flour with ease. But the boy with the bread is most certainly a Beta. He bakes. He paints. He decorates cakes (with pretty flowers!). He can’t walk quietly through the woods even when his life literally depends upon it. Peeta is a classic good guy. He’s the boy next door that girls overlook during their teen years only to realize he’s a catch later on. He’s too shy to talk to the girl he loves, but he’ll take a beating to help her.  In the face of almost certain death, Peeta Mellark maintains his deep-rooted sense of right and wrong and that, my friends, is sexy.

Ford Sawyer Tribute by Nora Roberts
Ford is living the geek boy dream as a successful graphic novelist. Yup, like comic books but longer. He’s quirky and full of nerdy references. He’s got a dog named Spock. He does not pick up power tools and instead he leaves those and the sledge hammer to the heroine. That’s right. He is absolutely comfortable with himself. He knows his strengths and his weaknesses. His girl doesn’t have to hide her strength to make him feel manly. He wants her to pose with that hammer and be his new superhero. Hot? Oh yeah.

Lucas Cortez Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong (He reappears in several other books in her Otherworld series)
Lucas may be a powerful sorcerer, but he is also a rather nerdy lawyer. He was born into a powerful family (of crime and magic), but chooses to set out on his own and do good. He actively fights against the wrongs committed by his own family. When Lucas first appears, the heroine thinks that the most remarkable thing about him is his utter lack of any remarkable quality. He changes her mind, of course, and is undoubtedly the only sorcerer in the world with enough inner goodness to convince her to ignore the long and hostile history between their races (she’s a witch) and trust him.

Colin Pratt The Best Man by Ana Blaze
I can’t leave without introducing my Colin. He’s shy; if I don’t say something he might spend the whole evening with his handsome face buried in a book. Colin is a British Literature professor who dabbles in a little sci-fi writing on the side. All that time spent reading has given him a sharp wit and a clever tongue but he hasn’t had much luck with women in the past. Losing his fiancée to his brother didn’t help his confidence; but when he finds the right woman, Colin isn’t too proud to chase her.

The Best Man Blurb: 
Beth Chase is too busy planning perfect weddings to worry about the lack of action in her own love life. But if she was looking for a man, she wouldn’t be looking at Colin Pratt. Her boss swears that Best Man Colin is a quiet scholar and science fiction writer who couldn’t possibly cause a fuss at his own brother’s wedding. He’s clearly never met the man in question. Snarky, sexy and more than a little inebriated, Colin is the final obstacle between Beth and the last perfect wedding she needs to make partner. Of course, when she helps him into a taxi at the end of the night she has no idea that he’s only just begun to poke holes in her professional exterior. Colin might have the skills to seduce a romance professional, but can he convince her that he’s the best man to share her happy ever after?

About Ana: 
Ana lives just outside Washington DC with her very supportive husband and three rather demanding cats. She loves the ocean, Indian food, IKEA, and cooking. Ana admits to watching too much television and she swears that someday she’s going to learn how to play the guitar resting on the bookshelf in her office.

Twitter: @ana_blaze

Thanks Ana! 
One lucky US reader will win The Best Man ebook and a goodie pack to share with the best man or woman in their life. The pack contains candles, Godiva chocolate, Tuscan lavender soap, Sensual Massage Oil from The Body Shop and two lip treatments from The Body Shop. It will come packaged in a pretty photo box - Click Here to Enter to Win! 

I'd love to hear what you think about beta heroes. Have any favorites we should get to know?