More Than Words (Historical Romance/Fantasy) Released August 4, 2008 from ResplendencePublishing.com
Kylie Dobson is a romance author with a problem. As a seat-of-the-pants writer, she depends on the strength of the characters to drive her plot. But when her hero, Milo, Lord Gafton refuses to chase after the prescribed heroine, everything goes wonky. Kylie is inexplicably sucked into her work of fiction, transported from a contemporary venue to a fictional Regency setting. What's worse is, nothing she does is affecting the plot and she can't get out.
Set into motion by her own creative process is a winter storm which seals the Regency party goers in on a country estate. If that wasn't bad enough, a murderer is on the loose and he's picking off one guest at a time. The more time she spends with Milo the more she comes to depend on him. She's convinced that his character sketch will kick in at any moment and he'll fall for her heroine. But will it happen before she loses her heart to him? And what happens when the plot draws to the end? Will the killer have his way and will Kylie solve the case only to be returned to her reality without the man she's fallen for?
The next morning, Kylie sat in front of her laptop trying to recreate the solarium scene in her mind. A soft flutter tickled along the side of her neck. Her eyes sealed shut, Kylie batted it away. Seconds later, the wispy flutter returned. She swiped at it, returning her fingers to rub clumsily over the spot which insisted on distracting her from her visualization exercise. Determined to work through the problem with her novel, she wasn’t about to let the irritation of a mosquito pull her from the scene she needed to write.
The problem was with Milo, she decided. Miss Sutterfield was blameless. Kylie had made Milo too demanding. She’d have to go back and rework his character. Maybe make him weak-kneed for Miss Sutterfield. But try as she might, she couldn’t play the image of Milo being anything less than he was for the lovely Miss Sutterfield.
Kylie grunted her irritation. A low throaty chuckle drifted to her moments before something flitted over her earlobe. Leaping to her feet, she grabbed madly for her laptop only to find it missing. “What the—?”
“Were you quite finished? I would have allowed you more time but your furrowed brow proved too fetching to resist.” Milo sat on the settee, arms draped along the back and legs crossed, his negligent pose was at odds with the light dancing in his dark brown eyes. He twirled a feather between his fingers closest to where she had been sitting.
She blinked, rubbed a knuckle over her tired eye and blinked again. “Great, I’m seeing things.”
Milo cocked an eyebrow. His smile broadened. “Are you?”
“Yes, I are,” she snapped. “Get back in my head. We have work to do. You nearly messed up the plot by refusing to compromise Miss Sutterfield.” Kylie muttered to herself. She went through the solarium scene in her mind. She had actually managed to talk herself through the initial door opening, where Milo first saw Miss Sutterfield nervously standing across the room, when Kylie froze.
Milo hadn’t faded. She could still see his booted foot in her line of vision where she stared at the floor, trying to reason out the hang up. Her gaze traveled up his boot to the form fitting buff breeches, over his crossed knees. The muscular flex of his thighs was not hidden by the clinging material, nor was the line of his lean hips, visible through his parted coat. Her face heated and she had the distinct urge to fan herself. If a man were standing and had something going on in those pants, it would be really difficult to hide. She’d have to keep that in mind for a future scene.
Kylie studied the deep navy coat with its large brass buttons, the black piped edging and the way his lapels only seemed to widen his already broad shoulders. Milo’s cravat, a cascade of folded, tucked, and knotted fabric should have seemed frilly, effeminate, but it had the completely opposite effect. The abundance of white deepened the warm tones of his skin, framed his jaw and made the visible tendons steely by comparison.
Her mouth went dry. “You’re still here,” she croaked.
“As are you.”
Her gaze lingered over the cut line of jaw, the prominent chin with a small indent perfectly centered below full, smooth lips. Kissing lips. She remembered thinking that when she created his character, imagining lips which had pouty thickness without losing the fine hard line of formation. His nose was long and straight, his dark eyes engaging and seductive beneath the straight, dark slash of his brows. Chestnut locks waved back from his high forehead and skimmed the back of his cravat. “Damn, I did a great job on you.”
His mouth curled, taking on a lopsided tilt. “So glad you approve.”
Wheeling her around, he backed her to the wall where he had been standing. His mouth crashed down on hers. Where before she had dominated the exchange, now Milo seared her lips with his. He commanded her, held her captive under the seductive onslaught of his kiss. Kylie clutched his shoulders, hanging on when her body wanted nothing more than to dissolve within the sensations he crafted. Her head spun, her insides did summersaults, her ears rang happily. Through it all, her body awoke with a long, shuddering sigh, blissful and no longer willing to remain complacent.
Kylie rocked her hips to his, rejoicing in his obvious arousal. Milo’s hands clinched repeatedly on her waist, clearly wanting to touch her but not allowing himself to take the liberty. Deciding to show her Regency man a little real world experience, she reached between them, stroking over his length. He muttered something into her mouth which sounded like a half-crazed oath. Her sentiments exactly. The man was huge. She’d written that part of him well, too.
The realization poured over her like a bucket of ice water. What the hell was she doing? Feeling up her fictitious hero? Hello, Kylie, get a grip. Oh, she’d love to get a grip. Oh wait, no, she shouldn’t. Kylie shoved him, then shoved him again when she wasn’t immediately successful in pushing him away. “Quit doing that.”
Milo’s breath rasped with the same harsh grating as hers. He swore viciously under his breath. It sounded nothing like the previous one meant to call upon the power of God. No, this oath was pissed.
“I admit I got carried away the first time, but you can’t just grab me and kiss me.”
“The first time, Kylie? What of the second time? And if the second was my doing, why did you grasp the front of my breeches?”
“Fine. I got carried away both times. It can’t happen again.”
“It will happen again.”
“No, it won’t. You’ll go on your merry way lusting after Miss Sutterfield and I will work out the bugs in my plot. We’ll all live happily ever after. End of story,” she snapped.
“Is that the promise of a novelist? Hmm? Happily ever after? Because you are correct about it being the end of the story in such circumstances. But it would be your happily ever, not mine. I may have been formed by your mind and creative effort, but I choose my own direction.”
“That’s not what I meant. In real time, end of story is a figure of speech. Though, I want to figure out the ending and get back to some semblance of normalcy.”
“You’re meant for me, Kylie. You don’t see it yet, but you are as drawn to me as I am to you.”
“You’re drawn for Miss Sutterfield. At some point your true nature will come out, you’ll realize your mistake and make a bee-line for her. Then I’m left in the dust. No thanks. I’m not about to get burned by the embodiment of my hero. I’ve done it in real life and I’m not doing it for the plot development of this book.”