Teresa Medeiros' The Pleasure of Your Kiss is our January Top Pick in Romance. It heats up the desert with the tale of a notorious adventurer sent to rescue his brother's fiancée—who happens to be his first love from long ago—from a sultan's harem.
Naturally, it's spicy, with lots of sun-kissed skin and burning glances.
Enjoy an excerpt from The Pleasure of Your Kiss:
He had come for her, Clarinda thought, her treacherous heart leaping with hope as she met Ashton Burke's gaze for the first time in nearly ten years.
In those dark hours after he had first left her behind while he went off to chase his dreams, her spiteful imagination had supplied her with hours of entertainment by conjuring up countless scenarios during which they might once again come face to face.
There was the one where she alighted from a gilded carriage drawn by six snowy white horses only to find his wasted figure huddled in the gutter outside her father's Mayfair town house. Favoring him with a pitying smile, she would pluck a farthing from her purse and toss it to him before blithely stepping over his rag-wrapped form and proceeding into the house. (If she were in a particularly mean-spirited mood, it would be snowing outside and she would accidentally stomp on his fingers as she swept past him.)
Those vengeful fantasies had been the product of a young girl's bruised heart, hardly befitting the mature woman Clarinda had become. A woman who had spent years mastering her more petty emotions.
Which didn't explain the malicious twinge of satisfaction she felt as she came face to face with Ashton Burke while she was cradled in the muscular arms of a devastatingly handsome Moroccan sultan and wearing little more than an enticing collection of veils. Even her bountiful imagination hadn't been able to whip up such an unlikely—or delicious—scenario.
As their gazes locked in the shadows beneath the brim of his hat, Ash's familiar gold-flecked eyes narrowed without betraying so much as a trace of regret or yearning. On the contrary, he looked more inclined to step over her body as she lay gasping her last in some filthy gutter. Or to give her the cut direct in a crowded ballroom before a throng of gawking onlookers.
She had to blink more than once to dispel the image of the beautiful boy she remembered from her youth. The jaded stranger who stood before her now was every inch a man. A man who looked as if he'd be more at home in a seedy saloon than an elegant salon. Wind, sand, and time had polished away all traces of youth and vulnerability, leaving him lean and hard and infinitely more dangerous than the boy who had walked out of her life all those years ago. Flecks of sand clung to his sun-baked skin, catching like powdered gold dust in the rakish hint of beard stubble shadowing his jaw and upper lip.
(Read more on Medeiros' website.)
Medeiros certainly has a knack for creating sizzling moments . . . but as proven by our 7 questions interview, she also has a great sense of humor! We chatted about hot guys, some of her favorite characters from The Lord of the Rings movies and much more!
What is your favorite setting for a historical romance?