I’m thrilled to share that One Last Kiss, the second book in my It’s in His Kiss series, is now available for pre-order:
Their love transcended time
London, 1812. Captain Mikhail Abromovich would rather single-handedly face the entire French army than follow orders to deceive Anna, the woman of his heart, by feigning a courtship to hide his covert activities.
Ever since a gossip sheet revealed the details of her extensive dowry, Princess Anna Tarasova has been overrun by fortune-hunting lords. When her childhood sweetheart mysteriously appears in London and asks to court her, it seems too good to be true.
For Mikhail, who is both soldier and spy, being chosen to represent Russia in secret negotiations with Britain should be the assignment of a lifetime. But once his deception is revealed, he’s certain Anna won’t believe his love is real.
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“Shall we?” He held his hand out to Anna, indicating that she should choose a place for them to sit.
Sunny days were rare in London this time of year, so she chose to sit in the light. Enjoying the warmth, she tilted her head back so her bonnet didn’t block the sun from her face. She opened her eyes moments later and found Misha’s keen gaze focused on her. Her heart fluttered. “What?”
Anna was fairly certain she hadn’t blushed in more than a decade, but heat rushed to her face at his words, his nearness. She busied herself choosing food to put on her plate and preventing Lev from stealing it.
“I’m certain Her Grace has assembled an amazing feast for us, but if it had been possible, I would have requested some of Cook’s honeybread for you.”
Warmth that had nothing to do with the sunlight spread through her. He hadn’t forgotten. “If only you had asked. I begged Cook to send me the recipe, and she finally capitulated. I received the letter from Papa just yesterday. Despite having had the recipe for some time, my aunt’s cook has not been able to duplicate the flavor. It’s close, but not quite right, and until now, Cook had adamantly refused to reveal the secret.”
Misha leaned back on his hands in a more relaxed position. “I can’t be of help with that. She certainly never shared her secrets with me. In fact, I was the only one she ever swatted when we stole the cookies straight from the kitchens.”
Anna bit back a grin. “She always did like you more.”
He lifted a brow. “That sure is a strange way to show affection.”
“I imagine she thought she was doing her part to shape you into a proper man. I, on the other hand, was a lost cause so there was no point in reprimanding me.”
He turned his intense gaze on her. “That is where you are wrong. Surely that had more to do with you being the princess than with her having given up on you.”
“Then why did she refuse to help me with the recipe?” She paused for a moment but he had no ready response. “Cook sent a hint in Papa’s letter that it might have something to do with the balance of spices, but that doesn’t help much. There was also something about the flavor of the honey, but that’s something only the bees can control.”
He leaned closer to her and her breath caught. His fingers caressed her head briefly, then he drew his hand back and showed her a leaf. She focused on keeping her breathing steady. Lev inched closer to Misha, but she suspected it had more to do with his unguarded plate of food than making friends.
“Anna, I wanted to apologize again for my behavior when you offered to replace my boots. I know you would have extended the same offer to anyone of your acquaintance and my outburst was uncalled for.” He took her hand in his.
“Will you forgive me?”
“It’s already forgotten.” Their eyes met, and she lost herself in him for a few moments. “I’m still the same Anna I’ve always been. I can’t bear you being formal with me.”
He lifted her hand to his mouth and kissed it, the heat of his lips sending a jolt of pleasure through her. Without thought, she lifted her other hand to touch his cheek. Misha leaned closer, and heedless of propriety, Anna closed her eyes, anticipating his kiss, but the grating voice of Lady Castleford brought an abrupt end to the moment.
Still, something infinitesimal had changed between them that gave her hope that, despite all of the obstacles in their way, they might be able to find a way to be together.
For a glimpse into Anna and Misha’s past, read the deleted scenes on my website.
If you haven’t read it yet, don’t miss Just a Kiss, It’s in His Kiss, Book One, available for $.99