[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to welcome author Naima Simone to the site today. She’s sharing her favorite literary kisses with us. Take it away, Naima!]
With Valentine’s Day upon us, of course my mind drifts to the man nearest and dearest to my heart. No, no, not Jason Momoa, although I can see why you would make that assumption. I’m talking about my husband. Twenty years we’ve been married, and even after all this time I can tell you the moment I knew he was “the one.”
No, not when we were in the club and the first time I saw him shake what his mama gave him then drop it like it was hot. Like burning hot.
No, not that New Year’s Eve we were all a little too, uh, happy on cranberry and vodka and he announced to the whole house party that he loved me. Nope, not even then.
The moment I knew my husband was “the one” came with a kiss. One utterly perfect first kiss on a dark, couch-less living room floor. Yes, couch-less. We were college students, after all.
And I put it in all caps because it is all important. Think about it. In Pretty Woman, we waited with abated breath for that moment when Vivian would finally be vulnerable enough to break her “no kissing” rule with Edward and let him in—literally. Or how many of us hold out for those last two minutes in Hallmark movies when we know our hero and heroine will finally, finally—after two hours of near misses and emotional, romantic tension—kiss?
Oh yes, no matter where the The Kiss falls in the book or a movie, it is instrumental. Chaotic. Explosive. Soft. Turbulent. Passionate. A revelation. Confusing. A blessing. An utter shitfest.
When I think of The Perfect Kiss in romance books, three come to mind. Don’t get me wrong, there are so many books and wonderful kisses to choose from. *sigh* So many. But these three immediately pop in my head, so I’m rolling with ‘em! Here we go…
Once a Princess by Johanna Lindsey
A scarred and bitter prince is forced to travel across an ocean to locate and bring home the exiled princess rumored to be a great beauty—and his future wife. He’s horrified to find her in a rundown Mississippi bar dancing for its patrons, even as his body hardens for her. Yet, he’s utterly relieved to find that she’s not the beauty he expected to find. Beat in the face she might be, but oh, is she feisty. And she’s not willing to just give up her life and accept this cockamamie story of her being a princess that he and his friends are trying to peddle. Life isn’t some fairy tale, after all! There’s a way to prove her identity, though. It’s a birth mark on her bum. And with a flip of her skirts, he has his proof. But as he lowers her to the ground, their mouths meet. And whew boy! As he grasps her face…the fury! The outrage! The possession! And for just a moment, she gives into the onslaught—before she bites him. Hard. Drawing first blood. Lisseeen. It was hot! He storms off. But what’s this? With a “What the hell is this?” he barrels back into her room. Because there’s make up all over his hands! The jig is up! That kiss is the unraveling of her grand deception, the explosion of life as she knows it and the arrival of his greatest fear. For she’s beautiful. And beautiful women don’t want him. All hell is about to break loose. From. One. Kiss. Oh the draaamaaaa! It’s the catalyst for their battle of wills, his internal wrestling with his deepest insecurities and her most painful wound of being unloved and unwanted. And did I mention it’s hot? Just…throwing that…out there…
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Okay, who doesn’t know this series? No, seriously, I’m asking. I’ll wait… Right, so book one of this super amazing series by THE Nalini Singh where three races live in this world: the cerebral, emotionless Psy who possess phenomenal mental abilities; the changelings, both animal and human, they can change into either form and are physically powerful and dangerously intelligent, and; the humans, seemingly the weaker of the races, but appearances can be deceiving. In Slave to Sensation, cardinal Psy Sascha Duncan is in the crosshairs of a serial killer…and alpha changeling Lucas Hunter. Only the sensual leopard is fascinated by the Silent Psy who isn’t everything that she seems. He toys with her. And when she inadvertently invites him into her dreams, he lets the cat out to play and takes her mouth in a savage kiss that wrecks her. It’s her first kiss ever because Psy don’t believe in passion, and to give into it means a breach of Silence… It also means a brain wipe. But she’s willing to risk it. And again when she’s awake. This kiss. It’s not just a gamechanger. It literally alters her world. She can no longer return to the woman she was—there are cracks in her shield. She can’t hold back emotion. She’s becoming. And all from a kiss.
Hook Shot by Kennedy Ryan
In book three of Kennedy Ryan’s wonderful HOOPS series, Lotus DuPree is an up and coming fashion designer who is fierce, fabulous and totally free of romantic entanglements. She is focused on her career and definitely doesn’t have time for the messiness of relationships—especially not with recently divorced, single dad, basketball star Kenan Ross. Kenan is of the same mindset. Just out of a bad marriage, his sole focus is getting his daughter through the transition of her parents splitting and adapting to his recent trade to a losing team. But he is irresistibly drawn to Lotus, and even though she might claim to not want him, oh but how she craves this man who smells like her next delicious Bad Mistake. When he’s courted to be the spokesperson for a line of her boss’ watches, they’re brought together at a yacht party. And an adult spin-the-bottle-ish game aptly called “hook shot,” sets up their sizzling hot first kiss. And yes, good Lawd, it is hot. But more importantly, there’s consent here. Just before this kiss, there’s a scene where Lotus’ ex-lover touches her without her permission, and moments later, this erotic meeting of the mouths is the exact contradiction of that and it’s absolutely lovely. There’s a gentle question there, and he grants her the opportunity to pull back, to say no. Given Lotus’ history, which the reader discovers later, this scene becomes even more important and vital. And then there’s the description of this kiss that slays me every. Single. Time. It’s beauty. It’s sex. It’s poetry. *sigh* This kiss sets the tone for Kenan and Lotus’ love story. And it changes the trajectory of their journey.
So there you have it. Three perfect kisses that devastated and rocked my romance book world. Of course there are so many more. So you know what that means. I must continue my search. I’m completely dedicated to my research. No, no, please don’t try and dissuade me. I’m up to the task…
About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling author Naima Simone’s love of romance was first stirred by Johanna Lindsey and Nora Roberts years ago. Well not that many. She is only eighteen…ish. Published since 2009, she spends her days writing sizzling romances with heart, a touch of humor and snark. She is wife to Superman–or his non-Kryptonian equivalent–and mother to the most awesome kids ever. They live in perfect, sometimes domestically-challenged bliss in the southern US.
Connect with Naima:
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