SNIPPET Sunday ~ To Love and To Cherish #SnippetSunday

Today is “Kiss Me Day,” so it seem’s appropriate to share a kissing scene right? Because why not? And coincidentally, it’s also “Just Because Day.” So there!

This is a “first kiss” scene from the beginning of Chapter 6 of To Love and To Cherish, which is a fun story where the tropes “Marriage of Convenience” and “Memory Loss/Amnesia” collide.

Emmitt’s line of sight dropped to Nash’s mouth. Nash swallowed and lowered his own view to Emmitt’s parted lips. After all that talking—a conversation that should have been awkward but weirdly hadn’t been—uncertainty finally washed through him. Attraction didn’t necessarily equate to chemistry.

“Yes,” Nash said.

Emmitt lifted an eyebrow as well as his gaze.

“We should…you know…make sure,” Nash clarified.

“That I’m gay? I assure you, just because I haven’t acted on it doesn’t mean I don’t know my own mind.”

Nash blinked. “Oh. No, that’s not what I meant. Hell, I knew before I acted on it, too. No, I mean…shit…uh, make sure we’re compatible before taking such a serious step.”

“Oh. You’re right, of course. I guess I don’t even know anything about what you like or don’t like.”

“I’m pretty versatile, though I prefer a more passive role.” Typically, Nash would wait and just see where the cards fell, but frank talk was working well for them thus far, so he might as well continue the trend.

Emmitt nodded, and the corners of his mouth hinted at a smile.

Nash waited, hoping Emmitt would make a move since he’d just spelled out his preference. He held his breath as Emmitt’s gaze dropped back to his mouth. A warm hand cupped his cheek, and Nash sighed and parted his lips as Emmitt leaned down.

The kiss started uncertainly, a feathery tease. Nash relaxed into it and moved his hands to Emmitt’s sides, tentatively caressing as the kiss went on.

After a minute, Emmitt pulled his face back and stared into Nash’s eyes. Assessing signs of involuntary response perhaps? Dilated eyes? No doubt his pupils were blown. Flushed skin? Possibly…definitely heading in that direction. Emmitt’s Adam’s apple bobbed, then he shifted his other hand to cup the back of Nash’s neck.

Fingers splayed through Nash’s short hair as Emmitt firmly, yet tenderly, drew him forward. There was nothing soft about their second kiss. Nash’s hands wound around to Emmitt’s back. Taut muscles shifted beneath his palms as his hands journeyed upward.

A faint noise escaped Emmitt’s throat, and Nash opened his mouth to a querying tongue. Nash’s hands tightened on Emmitt’s shoulders as he melted against the man’s wonderfully firm chest.

Emmitt’s lean frame was solid and strong. Tremors coursed through Nash’s body as they pressed close. One of Emmitt’s hands remained at the back of Nash’s head, holding it in place as he explored Nash’s mouth.

The other hand traced down to rest on Nash’s ass, then unyielding pressure pulled them together. Yeah, there was no doubt Emmitt was interested in men, and there was no denying the…hard evidence that he was attracted to Nash in particular. Nash might not have thought of Emmitt—Dr. Burlingham—in this way before, but damn, now that the self-imposed mental barrier against it was down, clearly the attraction was mutual.

Nash pushed his hips forward and immersed himself in the sensations bombarding his body, closing his eyes to focus on the other four senses. The touch of Emmitt’s unyielding and forceful, yet somehow gentle hands guiding him, the aroma of natural musk mixed with a touch of a citrus- and jasmine-infused cologne. The flavor of lingering pastries and coffee fused with a fresh, pure masculine zest, and the sounds of desire and encouragement emanating from Emmitt’s throat. These things combined to an overwhelming awareness that Nash did not want to stop.

With his arms wrapped around Emmitt’s back, Nash gripped whatever he found—shirt, shoulders, hair. The harmony of their moans merged together—surely this broadcast his own agreement. When Emmitt broke the kiss to stare, breathless, into his eyes, Nash gasped, “So, you wanna?”

Because, fuck, it had been four goddamned months, and after that kiss he didn’t have the strength to face another day of that seemingly endless dry spell. Besides, he’d just agreed to marry the man, so why the hell not?

A slow smile spread across Emmitt’s face, and he raised a satirical eyebrow. “You can’t tell?”

Nash laughed. The man actually had a sense of humor when he let down his professional armor.

Crinkles appeared at the corners of Emmitt’s eyes as his smile widened. “Maybe it’s time you got a tour of the upstairs.”

Nash nodded, maintaining eye contact, then stepped back and let his hands drop.

“Unless…” Emmitt’s eyes narrowed. “How adventurous are you?”

Jilted by his fiancé two weeks before their wedding, Nash Marino’s outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. After months of couch-surfing, Nash is fed up. He’s sick and tired of his living conditions, worn out by the demands of his nursing job, and despairs of ever finding love again. In fact, he doesn’t think he’s capable of true love. Monogamy, commitment, companionship, and regular sex…that’s all he wants, and the sooner, the better.

When Nash crosses paths with a like-minded man who’s also in need of a live-in nurse for a beloved relative, Nash figures all his problems are solved. Matters are complicated by a freak accident and amnesia. When Nash’s marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after his memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nash’s new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?

Available in Kindle Unlimited, but not exclusively. It’s also in Kobo Plus and at distributors everywhere! Also available in paperback and audiobook.

NOTE: While it is the final book in the Vows series, the earlier books feature a different couple, and they don’t need to be read before enjoying To Love and To Cherish. While it wasn’t written as a standalone (drama in the earlier books drive Nash’s choices in this book), it was written to be able to stand alone (everything the reader needs to know is covered in this book).

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