Hi, my name is Vivi and I’m a single romance writer. This is not, sadly, nearly as much fun as it sounds like it should be. Dating as a romance writer can have a few awkward moments (like the guys who read your books and think they are a manual for dating you… completely ignoring the fact that my heroines are shape-shifting lionesses who might have different preferences in their mates than I do). The good news is whenever something excruciatingly awkward happens, I can always shrug it off as “maybe that’ll be funny in a book someday” – there is no shortage of good material coming at me in my Quest for Lurve.
One thing that I’ve noticed in my romantic misadventures that definitely carries over into my books is that you can learn a lot from a first kiss. There’s no faking chemistry. Either you’ve got it or you don’t. Not saying that it can’t grow or change over time – I believe it absolutely can! – but sometimes you just can’t tell until that first lip lock if it’s gonna be amazing or lackluster to start with.
Recently I’d been seeing a long time friend in a sort of not-sure-if-this-is-platonic-or-not dating limbo. I didn’t know whether he was someone I wanted to be really dating or not – until we sort of accidentally kissed (don’t ask how this happens, I later described it to a friend as feeling as if I tripped and landed on his mouth). At that moment everything became clear. I knew. With absolutely certainty. Whammo. We were Just Friends. There was no magic. No spark. Just a sort of bewildered how did that happen hanging in the air.
Luckily, it isn’t always like that… and luckily that isn’t what happens in my new release. My heroine Lila doesn’t know what she wants before she kisses her completely unsuitable suitor Santiago – but as soon as she does she has that instant moment of clarity. She knows. And boy, does the chemistry ignite. Here’s a little peek at how one Jaguar’s Kiss can shake Lila’s world:
“So you don’t think you’re giving anything up, is that it?”
That was it. No sacrifice. How helpful he was. “Exactly. What would I be giving up?”
“A thousand opportunities.” He spun to face her, dark eyes flashing in the night, all that contained ferocity suddenly erupting with startling intensity. “The chance to be something more than what others would make you.”
“So I can be what you would make me instead?” She turned to face him head on, throwing her chin back to growl up at him. “Everyone wants me to be their version of what I should be. Even you.”
“Then what do you want? Who do you want to be?”
“I don’t know! Don’t you see? If I wanted something more than this life, maybe I would go after it, maybe I would be brave, by your definition of the word, but I don’t. I never have. So what’s so terrible about what I’m doing? What am I giving up, Santiago Flores? What is supposed to stop me from doing what I’ve always known I would when the time came? What is it you think I’m supposed to want?”
He gripped the nape of her neck, his fingers tangling in her hair as he pulled her toward him, his other hand cupping her jaw, tipping her face up to meet him as his lips closed over hers, firm and fierce and demanding and—oh my God, so exquisitely perfect.
She’d been kissed before. Of course she’d been kissed before. In twenty-three years as the pride’s resident flirt, she’d kissed dozens of guys in a sort of playful almost-platonic way that was all the other shifters would dare. She’d even gone a bit further with a few humans who didn’t know Roman to be afraid of him—until her instincts had reared up and put a stop to it.
She knew perfectly well what lips were for, thank you very much. But all those kisses. All those affectionate busses and eager lip locks. They had never been this.
The rest of the world simply melted away until there was only Santiago. He nibbled, sucked, coaxed and teased until she opened for him and his tongue stroked into her mouth, a question she answered with her own, angling her head for more. She’d ceased to exist outside this kiss. There was only his heat, his strength, the pull of his body, and her need. God, her fierce, impossible need for more of him.
She wrapped an arm around his waist, pulling herself against him so their bodies aligned, a gasp escaping her mouth at the feel of all that delicious heat. Her other hand slid up his chest and around to palm the back of his neck, holding him there in case he had any rogue thoughts about pulling away. Away wasn’t allowed. Only closer, harder, deeper and more.
And he was very good at those words.
Sometimes a kiss can change everything. Have you ever had a paradigm-shifting kiss? Do you love to read about those whammy moments in books?
Thanks so much for having me today, Delilah!
To get what he wants, he’ll have to rattle her cage…
Lila Fallon, the Lone Pine Pride Alpha’s only daughter, has been betrothed since childhood to marry her father’s chosen successor. The match is designed to maintain peace by shoring up any cracks in pride solidarity.
She’s always known she would do her duty—she just never expected to meet a man who would tempt her to throw it all away.
As a black panther, Santiago Flores couldn’t be a less suitable mate for the Alpha’s purebred lioness daughter. But that doesn’t change the fact that for every one of the five years he’s been with the Lone Pine Pride, he’s been head-over-heels in love with her. And when the Alpha announces that Lila’s indefinite engagement is about to end in a very definite marriage, Santiago is through holding his peace.
From their very first kiss, Santiago rattles Lila’s neatly ordered world. But can a lioness who’s always lived to please everyone else risk everything to please herself?
Warning: This book contains tempting lone-wolf jaguars, lionesses who long for fairy tale endings, arranged marriages, tangled emotions and a pride full of trouble.
Vivi Andrews is an award-winning paranormal romance novelist with a travel addiction. Born and raised in Alaska, she currently lives in Manhattan when she isn’t bouncing around the globe. Whether at home or on the road, she’s always at work on her next happily-ever-after. For more about her books or the exploits of a nomadic author, please visit her website at www.ViviAndrews.com, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.