Lord Langdon’s Kiss
Lord Langdon returns from war to find his family in debt and his brother courting Nell Ashley, a country miss he suspects of social climbing. He tries to expose her scheme by luring her to pursue him instead. His kiss incenses Nell, who’s already angry with him for neglecting his people. As they learn from their mistakes, they create a tangle of hearts that only true love can unravel.
He kissed her lightly, as if tasting her lips. Then, like a hungry man at a feast, he demanded entrance to her mouth and explored it with fiery thoroughness. She’d never imagined anything like this: the heat of his kiss, his strong arms around her, molding her against him so that she felt every breath. For an instant, she yielded to the overwhelming flood of sensations his kiss set loose inside her.
But it was now abundantly clear what he thought of her. All because she had so innocently welcomed his brother’s kiss!
She twisted her head away and struggled to free herself, afraid he might not release her.
An instant later, he did.
She backed away, legs trembling, and held up a warning hand. “Do not touch me again!”
He looked stunned.
“Did you think I would welcome your advances?” she asked.
He stared at her for a moment, then glanced back toward the doorway. All was silent now. His expression darkened.
“I thought you might,” he said. “I assure you I have no intention of repeating myself.”
Now his face was an impenetrable mask, pierced with icy blue eyes. He would not look so indifferent, had he truly desired her. So she was safe for the moment, but why had he kissed her?
With a sinking heart, she realized his motive. Idiot, for being too naive to realize what he was doing. For being too surprised to rebuff him right away.
“You planned this!” she exclaimed. “You thought you could seduce me with your title and your wealth and cause me to betray myself in front of Darcy. That is why you were looking at the clock, isn’t it? He was supposed to meet you here, wasn’t he?”
He said nothing, but his guilty expression spoke volumes. It had been a trap.
“You were mistaken. I warn you, there is nothing you can do to prevent Darcy from marrying me, in time. You will be the loser if you persist in this contest!”
She was surprised her voice didn’t shake. Anger surged through her, but hot tears of disappointment were not far behind.
“Miss Ashley, we must discuss—”
“There is nothing to discuss. Good day, my lord!”
She fled the room.
“Readers will appreciate the fiery interplay and increasing depth of characterization that mark this talented writer as someone special to watch.” — RT Book Reviews
“Elena Greene is a Regency star of the future! Her characters are vibrant, and her prose shows signs of brilliance.” (Four Stars) — Affaire de Coeur
“If you like watching a hero and heroine overcome their own mistakes to become right for each other, you will enjoy Lord Langdon’s Kiss.” — Under the Covers
“Lord Langdon’s Kiss is a fine Regency romp that will satisfy lovers of the genre like ice-cold lemonade on a hot afternoon. This is what Regency romance is all about.” (Four hearts) — The Romance Reader
For my first Regency, I chose to use the English setting with which I was most familiar — the South Downs of Sussex, where I lived for three years while on international assignment. I wanted to write about a heroine who loved this area and so I came up with Nell, a vicar’s daughter, immersed in the life of the people who work this land and deeply committed to their wellbeing.
As a counterpoint, I wanted a hero who starts out the story feeling disconnected from his land and people. Estranged from his family, Lord Langdon has spent years fighting in Wellington’s army in the Peninsula. I wanted him to be a horseman and in a regiment that saw a great deal of action. I ended up choosing the 4th Dragoons, who served in the Peninsula between 1809 until the end of the war in 1814, and who took part of Le Marchant’s famous charge in the battle of Salamanca. I also decided he would ride a big, good-natured chestnut horse, inspired by a Jack, a friend’s horse I used to ride while I was living in England.
As I continued my research, I found the following picture in British Cavalryman 1792-1815 by Philip Haythornthwaite and Richard Hook. I was immediately struck by the resemblance of the officer to the right of the picture to my hero! It felt like a sign that I was on the right track with the story.
While the village of Smallbourne is fictional, other settings within the story are real, and well worth visiting, should you get the chance. They include Chichester Cathedral, built in the 11th century (see right), and the picturesque seaside village of Bosham (see below).
Portrait by Oakdale Images
Elena Greene is a a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Copyright © 2015, Elena Greene. All rights reserved.