Monday, August 1, 2011

That First Romantic Kiss - Annie West

I have a new book out this month. PRINCE OF SCANDAL is a twist on the Cinderella theme. A long lost princess holds the key to inheriting a kingdom. A handsome, ruthless prince is determined to secure his birthright, and the safety of his subjects - by marrying a stranger.

Raul, my prince with a past, is determined to get his own way and can't understand why his chosen bride would object to a marriage that brings her wealth, status, security and all the luxuries of life, not to mention a handsome, charismatic prince into the bargain! But Luisa has other ideas and they don't include tying herself for life to an arrogant if gorgeous aristocrat who's far too used to getting his own way.

As I wrote I began to wonder what sort of first kiss this pair would have. Would it be a chaste salute in front of a huge congregation and the world's cameras on their wedding day? Would it be a tentative caress? Would Raul decide to seduce his bride in order to make her more amendable to his plans? Would Luisa kiss him to prove the point that there was no attraction between them and marriage would be a mistake? Romance writers can spend a lot of time mulling over a kiss. On the left is one of my favourites, from the TV adaptation of 'North and South'. That Richard Armitage definitely knows how to kiss! That kiss was so long coming, so slow in the build up, and full of delicious anticipation. Here's another sort of kiss entirely, not quite so chaste, but with definite possibilities!

In the end Raul and Luisa's first kiss happens in a gorgeous, romantic place: aboard a private boat cruising through Paris at night. Their conflicts haven't been resolved and disagreement rather than romance leads to that first kiss. Luisa takes Raul to task for his high-handed ways, telling him in no uncertain terms that he's not a man she wants to marry. She wants a man she can respect and love. A man who makes her heart race...which is when Raul decides to show her he's exactly to the man to make her heart race and more. But instead of that being a victory for him, it becomes a turning point as he realises what he feels for her is more complex that he suspected.

Raul's mouth claimed Luisa's, pressing, demanding, till on a gasp her lips parted and he took possession.
Too late he realised his mistake.
The spark of indignation that had urged him to silence her grievances flared higher. Hotter. Brighter. He tasted her and heat shimmered, molten in his blood. He delved into her sweet lush mouth and discovered something unexpected.
Something unique.

If you want to read more about PRINCE OF SCANDAL, including background on how I came to write it, reviews and a longer excerpt, visit my website at Or you could buy it at Harlequin, Amazon or the Book Depository.

Is there a screen kiss or a romance book one that stands out for you? Alternatively, do you have a romantic kiss story of your own you'd like to share? Even a suggestion on the perfect location for a romantic first kiss.

Annie will choose at random one person from those who leave a comment to receive a copy of PROTECTED TO THE PRINCE - a linked story to PRINCE OF SCANDAL, or if they already have that book, a surprise gift.

Excerpt from the title: Prince of Scandal by Annie West. The excerpt is posted by arrangement with Harlequin Books SA. ISBN: 9780373130108 Copyright ©: 2011 by Annie West.


  1. Ooh, Annie, I was kinda with you when you were talking about first kisses. And then I got distracted by that kiss from North and South. That is a seriously wonderful kiss! Sigh! Never happens to me when I catch the train! Congratulations on the release of Prince of Scandal. This is such a great story and I love the chemistry and the conflict between Raul and Luisa. Fantastic stuff. That first kiss is wonderful too! Lots of wonderful first kisses to think about - the one that's springing to mind are two by Loretta Chase. The first one is from Mr. Impossible when a shooting lesson turns into another sort of lesson and the other is the wonderful kiss in the rain in Lord of Scoundrels. She surely knows how to write a great first kiss - and so do you, my friend!

  2. Annie

    Congrats on the release I soo loved this book and that first kiss between Luisa and Raul was so special I loved it.

    Have Fun

  3. Anna, maybe I should have posted a warning for the Richard A fans about that pic. Too distracting! That really was a terrific screen moment wasn't it?

    Thanks for the very kind words about Raul and Luisa. I agree, I think the first kiss in Mr Impossible is such fun, as well as being terrific. As for Lord of Scoundrels, I was just rereading that recently and it truly is wonderful. I love the characterisation in that scene.

  4. Hi Helen,

    Ooh, thank you - I'm pleased to hear you found Luisa and Raul's kiss so special!

  5. Congrats again on the wonderfull release! For me there is one on screen kiss that stands out and that is the one from Pretty Woman in the end when they get together and a stand out kiss from a book would have to be the first kiss between Jasper and Haley in the book my Melanie Milburne Willingly Bedded Forcibly Wedded it is full of passion and electricity!

    I have not yet had to opporunity to read Luisa and Raul's kiss yet but I am sure it will be brilliant !!!

    All the best

  6. Congratulations on the release of The Prince of Scandal, Annie! Oh, what a fabulous location for Raul and Luisa's first kiss--I'm kind of jealous!

    One screen kiss that's etched into my memory is the one between Keira Knightly and James McEvoy in 'Atonement'. Not only is it a passionate scene, it sets the rest of the story in motion.

  7. Hi Desere,

    Thanks very much. It's great having Raul and Luisa's story out now. I hope you enjoy it when you get it.

    Ah, "Pretty Woman" - you know, I can't remember that kiss. I'll have to watch it again, obviously. Great choice with Jasper and Haley!

  8. Hi Vanessa,

    It is a great location for a kiss, isn't it?

    Hm, now I'm feeling very inadequate. "Atonement" is one of those films I've been meaning to see for ages. Actually I seem to recall something about KN saying JM is a great kisser! Definitely a film to research. Thanks for the suggestion.

  9. Hi Annie, what a romantic collection of kisses! That first kiss is so important, isn't it? No matter the circumstances, things can never be the same again between that man and that woman--in real life and in fiction.

    My teenage daughter and I have a habit of calling out Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! when we desperately want a screen couple to share their first kiss. It's so important for us as viewers for them to seal that relationship.

    Congratulations on the release of THE PRINCE OF SCANDAL. Sounds like it is full of the passionate, romantic kisses you write so well!

  10. Hi Annie

    Congratulations on the new release. The excerpt from the Prince of Scandal is amazing. I can't wait to read it.

    I loved the first kiss between Edward and Bella from the Twilight movie. The reluctance on Edwards part as well the overpowering need to be close to Bella gave the made the kiss absolutely sizzling.

    Congrats once again on the release and wishing u all the best.

  11. Hi Kandy,

    It sounds like you and your daughter have a lovely time watching films together. It's good to share a great romantic movie, isn't it?

    You hit the nail on the head with your comment about the first kiss - it can never be the same again between a man and a woman - it's so significant, whether it's delicious or not!

  12. Hi Sonali,

    Thanks for the good wishes. Great suggestion - that kiss in "Twilight". It's been a while since I saw the film but I remember the tension in Edward and the need to be with Bella even though he was potentially such a danger to her. I thougth that added such a powerful tension to the plot.

  13. Tsk, tsk, tsk, Annie!
    You didn't catch your typo??? I did!
    You said a person could win PROTECTED TO THE PRINCE. Methinks you meant BY the prince. You sure made me think, though, about how a person could be protected TO anything, LOL!
    I hope you're having a great week so far! It was a holiday here in Canada today, so back to work tomorrow!

  14. First kisses! What a lovely topic, Annie!
    The Richard Armitage kiss in North and South is gorgeous, isn't it! And there's another kiss scene that I love but I can't remember what the movie is called... but it's with James Purefoy. Actually speaking of which there's this lovely You-tube link for an enjoyable JP viewing - plenty of kisses too!

    I know Raul and Luisa's story is going to be a big hit for you! It's a keeper!

  15. Hi Laney,

    Enjoy your holiday. Sounds terrific.

    As for the typo - sorry. I'm on restricted computer hours and if I proof read everything I won't get very far.

    Thanks for popping by.

  16. Hi Sharon,

    I'm a James Purefoy fan. Isn't her great? Off now to watch that youtube clip.

    Thanks for the kind works about Raul and Luisa's story - and for the link!

  17. Congrats on your release! This sounds great! I love harlequin presents. They were the first books i read and got hooked on! Your book sounds great! Looking forward to reading this. Thank you for sharing and the chance to win!

  18. Hi Annie, popping by a bit late to say this is a great post. Enjoy that James Purefoy clip, won't you - it says everything about kisses, and a whole lot more besides! I have it bookmarked...

  19. Hi Shadow Kohler,

    I'm glad you like to sound of my book. I got hooked on Presents myself years ago and I'm very happy right now as I've just snaffled a couple more and am looking forward to some great reading.

  20. Hi Christina,

    Good to see you here. Oh, I DID enjoy that James Purefoy clip - don't you worry! I might just have to blog about him sometime. Now I want to see 'Rome' which I somehow missed! Great idea to bookmark the clip - just the thing to kick start the writing on a slow day.

  21. Hello Annie!
    Congratulations on the new release. My all-time favorite movie kiss is from The Quiet Man. It is the John Wayne/Maureen O'hara movie set in Ireland. There is a famous scene where John Wayne grabs Maureen O'hara and gives her an intense kiss. Swoon worthy for sure.

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  22. Hi Stacie,

    Now there's a blast from the past! I saw 'The Quiet Man' years ago but don't really remember it. Another film to search out. thanks for the recommendation.

  23. OK, it's getting late in the week so I thought I'd better do that random draw for a prize. So here goes: the winner of a signed copy of PROTECTED BY THE PRINCE is STACIE - CONGRATULATIONS! If you email me at with your postal address I'll get the book in the maiil to you.

    Thanks everyone for stopping by. It's great to chat with other Presents readers.