Welcome to my stop on the review tour for Kissed by Tanya Anne Crosby, hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.
I have an excerpt, my review, and a giveaway for a $50 Amazon/B&N gift card!
Author: Tanya Anne Crosby
Format: Paperback & E-book (288 pages)
Publisher: Oliver-Heber Books
Publish Date: 21 January 2013
Swept from the aristocracy of England to The Colonies on the eve of war, Jessamine Stone vows to wed no man but her onetime fiancé, Christian Haukinge. She sets out to win back Christian's affections, unaware that her brother has already offered him a bribe to break her heart.
Driven by something dark, Christian agrees to the devil’s bargain, but soon finds Jessie’s innocent passion, trust, and faith undermine his resolve for vengeance. Now only the woman he has betrayed can heal his deep and scarring wounds. But these are dangerous times and love alone cannot mend all wounds.
ExcerptWith a very unladylike snort, she lifted her goblet and quaffed down the rest of her wine, then set the crystal gently down upon a small table beside the looking glass. With a sigh, she unbuttoned the topmost button of her gown, and then the next, and the next, sighing wistfully.
She stared at her image, trying to see herself as he might, and then irritably turned from the mirror. She wandered to the drapery-covered window with the intent of drawing it open to the fading daylight, and then it dawned on her suddenly that she’d forgotten to procure flints with which to light the lanterns tonight. She sincerely hoped she could find some within the cabin itself, for she had no desire to remain in total darkness. Shuddering at the thought, she tugged open the blasphemously dark window coverings, and gasped aloud at what lay beneath.
The most beautiful stained-glass window she had ever beheld stood in all its grandeur before her—three full-length panels! The left and right were wholly painted in colorful biblical scenes, but it was the double-wide center pane that caught her attention and held it fast.
There in the middle of the depiction stood a grand apple tree, its limbs outstretched, forming a beautiful green shelter. Beneath it lay the figure of Eve, her dark hair unbound and spread gloriously beneath her like a carpet of black silk. In her proffered hand, she held a shining ruby apple, offering it up to... Adam?
The resemblance between the figure of Adam in the depiction and Christian was striking—and good Lord, he was nude as the day he was born! So was Eve for that matter, beckoning to Adam with the apple like some seductress straight from a preacher’s fire- and-brimstone sermon. Her green eyes were brilliant, haunting in their intensity.
Her gaze was drawn upward. The sky of the depiction was clear glass, a masterpiece, utilizing the blue of the true sky as its color—if it was dark outside, the painting would be as somber as midnight; if it was bright and sunny, Adam and Eve’s world would be as blue as sapphires; and if the weather was foul, then it would draw them both into the stormy tempest. This moment, it was faded a blue-gray, with orange and pink hues streaking as far as the eye could behold. The sun in the horizon was rapidly sinking from view, plummeting into the murky darkness of the sea.
Jessie’s gaze reverted to the nude form of Adam, and she swallowed convulsively as her eyes settled upon that very male part of his anatomy. Such an odd, odd member... and so very, very... erect! She scrunched her nose. And then suddenly, her eyes widened as she recalled a certain something she’d said to Christian.
It boggles the mind to consider why men were not born with horns or other weapons on their person. Do you not agree, my lord? Her heart leapt at the recollection.
Are you quite certain of that fact? he’d asked her.
She couldn’t have known. Her eyes narrowed in outrage and her lips trembled with misery. The cad, he’d been mocking her, even then... How he must have laughed at her naïveté—how he must have rejoiced in her stupidity!
She was a fool.
She was still a fool.
Unable to keep herself from it, she reached out for him, her breath becoming labored and her body stirring wickedly, heating with the Madeira... and something else; as she smoothed her fingers over Adam’s full body. She stopped abruptly at his groin—couldn’t help herself, brazen as it was—feeling with wonder the almost indiscernible raised lines where one color met another. She was awestruck by the artfulness of the glass, by the beauty of the man depicted. Shuddering with the desire that burst to life within her, she caressed the cold glass before her... her heart thundering...
Her eyes closed, and her head fell back, remembering...
Oh I do love a tortured hero. I'm not exactly sure why, but I do. And Christian is a shining example of the dark and tortured hero. He's been put through so much, courtesy of his own brother. He used to have the world at his feet, and it was all ripped away from him. Of course he's angry and bitter.
So when the Duke of Westmoor offers him money to break his own sister's heart, who just happens to be Christian's ex-fiancee, Christian jumps at the chance for vengeance.
Christian's plans are scuppered when he meets Jessamine, her innocence and pure heart reach through his defences and he can't hurt her. I loved the time when Christian was 'courting' Jessie, before she find out why he's actually there. They have a very sweet romance developing, it's light with moments of humour, but all the while Christian is battling himself.
Of course, it can't last. Semi-truths, lies and circumstances thrust them apart. A hurt and ruined Jessie is sent to Charlestown, to stay with her Uncle.
It's not long before Jessie and Christian are thrust back together and emotions are high.
They both have rather negative views of the other, but the sexual chemistry between them is as explosive as ever.
I felt Jessie's pain so much, she still loves Christian despite his betrayal. She doesn't want him to know though, and makes sure she uses every opportunity to assure him of her indifference.
I'll try not to give too much away, but events occur that means that Christian and Jessie are in close proximity for an extended period of time. There's danger, and intrigue and the stakes are raised when a jealous rival seeks to ruin Christian.
I loved how Jessie's steadfast love and eventually, her renewed trust had the ability to bring Christian out of his darkness. There were so many obstacles between them, and so many misunderstandings that it was a HEA that was hard fought for. You'll find yourself crying with Jessie, and urging them to their wonderfully rewarding happy ending.
I'm looking forward to reading more from Tanya Anne Crosby!
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author
Tanya Anne Crosby has written seventeen novels, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including the New York Times and USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor, and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and reviews and she’s a five-time nominee for a RT Career Achievement Award. She lives with her husband, two dogs and two cats in North Michigan and grew up in Charleston, SC.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest
Tanya will be giving away a $50 gift card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, to one lucky commenter from both this tour and the Speak No Evil tour.
To enter, just leave a comment with your e-mail address. To increase your chances of winning, be sure to comment on blogs throughout the tour, you can find a list of participating blogs here.