The hero of my historical romance is an autistic savant and a Crimean soldier with severe PTSD. Think Rain Man with "X-Men" Wolverine's attitude in Jude Law's body.* On a good day, Wilhelm Montegue composes music and fiddles with calculus equations. His bad days are the reason he lives sequestered in the country.
His story isn't all bleeding hearts and sad violin music, though there's plenty of drama. I had way too much fun creating a socially awkward character. He's a disaster, really, especially when he tries to impress Sophia Duncombe, a jaded socialite.
Who at Coffee Time Romance likes male virgin stories? You do? Well, Wilhelm has never even been kissed. Or at least, that's what he says. In this excerpt, Wilhelm has just won a bet with Sophia, and the collateral is a kiss.
“I want to kiss you, but I don’t know how,” Lord Devon muttered.
Was this some game? Was he mocking her?
“No need to look so disturbed. I only want a kiss. But you will have to teach me if I am to be any good at it.” He flashed his debonair grin, the one with dimples that made her heart kick in double time.
She decided to play along. “Well, you have it set up properly; romantic scenery, a participating party . . . So get on with it, my lord.”
“I told you, I am anxious. Come a little closer, will you?” He reached around her shoulders to slide her hat off, then unraveled her chignon.
“I think you are merely stalling, Wilhelm.”
He traced her lips with the tip of his finger. “Is it so obvious? I was hoping you would lead the way, being that I am in uncharted territory.”
Sophia was already giddy with the pleasant buzz of mild arousal, from only his touch. “Very well. Then I will stare at your mouth and bite my lip, which in turn will make you stare at my mouth.”
His breath quickened and his lips parted as he stared. “An effective manipulation. I cannot look away, and now I have this embarrassing urge to lick you.” His voice sounded low and smooth with a hint of flirtation, like chocolate liqueur.
She did it first. She slid her hand behind his neck and drew his face to hers then ghosted the tip of her tongue across his bottom lip.
He rumbled with a quiet growl then broke into an absurd smile. “Do that again, woman, and I might drop dead.”
Sophia lowered her mouth to his and painstakingly closed her lips over his. He was slow to respond, as though he truly had no idea how to kiss. She gave him another short kiss. “Do it back, Wilhelm.”
He tried, puckering too much. Boyish. A bit limp. She took control, showing him again, rolling her lips over his, then again but harder. “Tilt your head to the left, and I will go the other way, so we don’t bump noses.”
Either he was a quick study or a hustler. He cupped her face and kissed her back, tenderly at first then aggressively like sparring, like the way they argued. Intoxicating how his pine-leather-mint-cognac scent became a flavor. She hummed in her throat, he hummed back, a mutual agreement of pleasure. He was thorough, patient, as though he would be content to kiss all day and do nothing else.
Is Wilhelm truly an amateur, or is it a ploy to get Sophia where he wants her? Check out Song for Sophia, a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, published by Crimson Romance.
Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. Moriah lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children.
* Visual Inspiration for "Song for Sophia" via Pinterest . . . including Jude Law and James Penfold.