Today on First Kiss Friday, we welcome romance author, Kris Bock, and an excerpt from her Contemporary Romantic Adventure novel, “The Mad Monk’s Treasure.”
When a quiet history professor uncovers a clue to the legendary lost Victorio Peak treasure, she prepares for adventure. But she’s not the only one interested. Is the handsome pilot who rescued her a hero or the enemy?
In this excerpt, Drew gives Erin a ride home from the country bar, where they shared a romantic dance. She's interested… But does she have the nerve to let him know?
First Kiss Excerpt
He pulled into her driveway and turned off the ignition. Good. He wasn’t simply going to drop her off and drive away. Should she turn to him in the car or wait for the porch? As she hesitated, he opened his door. The porch, then.
What if he expected to come in? What if he expected – oh boy. She fumbled for the seatbelt with trembling hands. By the time she’d freed herself, he had her door open. She slid out of the big truck and smiled, glad this back street had no streetlights. Maybe he wouldn’t see her nerves. “Thank you.”
“My pleasure.” He turned and started up the walk beside her.
Should she invite him in? No, she didn’t think she could stand the stress. She’d turn to him on the porch, tell him she had a wonderful evening. She’d stretch up and kiss him – lightly, no expectations, simply a friendly invitation. Her mind raced over the plan as her heart pounded. She took a deep breath. She could do this.
She put her foot up on the first porch step. Something moved low in the shadows.
Erin hesitated. Tiger stalked forward into the dim glow of the porch light, yowling complaints.
Erin went cold. She was quite certain she’d left him inside, with all the doors and windows closed.
Drew crouched and ran a hand over Tiger’s back. “Well hey there, fellow.” Tiger gave a rumbling purr and head-butted Drew’s knee. Drew chuckled and glanced up at Erin. He shot to his feet and grabbed her arm. “What’s wrong?”
“He shouldn’t be out,” she whispered. “I left him inside.”
Drew glanced at Tiger and then the house. “A window, maybe?”
“No, everything was closed and locked. Since the break-in – ”
His hand tightened on her arm. “What break-in? When?”
“The night I was in the hospital. The police said probably someone found out I was gone, but – ” She shook her head. She didn’t have to get into all that. But she remembered the officer’s warning. “They said sometimes burglars come back. I haven’t had any expensive electronics delivered or anything, but what if they came back?”
“Give me your key and go wait in the truck. Lock the doors.”
“No, we can call the police! Let them search.” She was trembling, too panicked even to feel foolish about the waves of anxiety that rolled over her. They had come back. They might have found the book this time. They might still be inside. They might hurt Drew. They might come after her, hurt her again. She didn’t know what scared her most, but she was not going to sit in the truck waiting while Drew went in.
“Erin – ” Drew sighed, the sound of a man impatient with a woman’s foolish fears. But he gathered her close and stroked her back. “We can do that if you want. But it will mean waiting a while – maybe hours. How do you think the police will react if you tell them you’re worried because your cat got out?”
“But he couldn’t have! Not unless someone has been here.”
“I know.” His arms tightened around her. “I believe you.”
She let herself lean against him and felt her heart slow. Finally she said, “But the police wouldn’t.” She hadn’t had much contact with the police before. She didn’t know how busy they would be in a town this size or how they prioritized their calls. But on a Friday night they’d have drunk drivers, accidents, fights. A hysterical woman with no evidence of a break-in except a large orange cat probably wouldn’t make the top of their list. And what if they went in and found everything normal? She’d be like the boy who cried wolf and they might not take her seriously when she really needed them.
Drew waited, gently stroking her back. Erin smiled a little. She recognized that a man could easily resent a woman holding him back when he wanted to play the hero. Drew didn’t brush her off or get huffy and storm away because she’d insulted his manhood according to some mysterious man-logic. He was waiting for her to come to terms with the situation. She had to admit he was right about the police. But she didn’t want him hurt.
Tiger wove around their ankles, purring. Would he be more anxious if someone were still there? No sound came from the house. Any thief should have heard them drive up, maybe heard their voices. They’d had plenty of time to sneak out the back by now.
Erin took a deep breath and straightened. “All right, we’ll go in. Together.” She wondered if he’d refuse. She met his gaze, determined not to back down. No way was she going to sit in the truck worrying while he searched the house.
His lips parted in a slow smile. He rubbed a thumb over her cheek. “You’re one hell of a woman.” He gave her a quick, hard kiss and turned toward the door.
“The Mad Monk’s Treasure” is free through:
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