AS YOU DESIRE by Connie Brockway
We have a new feature on the website!
I read so many wonderful books and I want to share them with you, so every few weeks, I’ll post a book I’ve enjoyed. There’ll be lots of romance and suspense, of course, but there’ll also be non-fiction and young adult—something for everybody!
My first selection is a wonderful historical romance by Connie Brockway. AS YOU DESIRE is one of my favorites, funny, sexy and my dears, so incredibly romantic. Connie has a lyrical style that lends itself to creating a love story. Here our hero is challenged to describe our heroine in a way so unique that when asked, I always point to this as one of the pinnacles of seduction:
“Why, look,” Harry said in a hushed voice, something surprised and painful and pleased in his tone, “even Ra himself cannot resist you. Only see how he lathes your cheeks and brow with his heated tongue”—he reached out, brushing his fingers overDesdemona’s tanned cheek—“marking you with his golden kiss?”
His words were too graphic, too carnal, and she was too aware of his fingers skating along her cheekbone and over her jaw line. He’d never spoken to her this way before. Her heartbeat quickened, thrumming in her throat and in her wrists. She shivered. He smiled. His hand retreated.
“How can a mere mortal man stand a chance if even the gods are so enamored?” he whispered. “And how can one single image describe you? You are a country, a country of unexplored sensation and whim, veiled in dawn, shining, shedding light. See how the long fluid line of your throat flows to your breasts?” If he heard the intake of her breath, he ignored it. “Or how their blue-shadowed curves ripen above the smooth plain of your belly?”
She should stop him, he went too far, but his voice mesmerized her, like sweet, honeyed wine, warm and languorous.
“Your mouth.” He paused, and her lips felt suddenly sensitized, tingling as his gaze fixed on them. “Your mouth is a sweet well sealed against me, keeping me thirsting for the clarity of your kiss. Your flesh is like the desert sand, warmth and shifting strength beneath its golden color. Your palms open, fingers flexed, are minarets, delicate and elegant. And your body…it is the Nile itself—the camber of your back slipping so easily by the narrows of your waist and jettied hips to the lush delta below.”
He stopped. She heard the intake of his breath. “You are my country, Desdemona.” Yearning, harsh and poignant, and she felt herself swaying toward him. “My Egypt. My hot, harrowing desert and my cool, verdant Nile, infinitely lovely and unfathomable and sustaining.”
When I’m writing a description and searching around for a unique way to describe someone’s eyes, I remember that passage and am inspired. Or maybe intimidated. But certainly challenged to seek create a visual that moves my reader to love, laughter or tears.
Full disclosure; Connie is a dear friend, but I am allowed to love my friends’ books! I hope you enjoy AS YOU DESIRE.
ExcerptDesdemona looked around and found the one unfamiliar figure in the camp. Her heart started racing. Her breath caught in her throat. Without doubt, without reason, unequivocally and absolutely, she knew this man would own her.
He hovered on the periphery of the darkness, licked by shadows, studying her. When he came forward, it was with the soft-sure footfall of the panther. He approached at an oblique angle, his head cocked as he considered her. Somehow she contrived to remain erect beneath that keen and heartless perusal.
He flung back the inky cape suspended from a jeweled clasp on his shoulder and set his gloved fist on his hip. Only his eyes were visible; his expression was obscured by an indigo burkos tucked beneath the edge of his khafiya.
Another Tuarek tribesman, Desdemona thought breathlessly. The most savage of the lawless desert nomads.
Above his veil his eyes narrowed and glittered in the uncertain firelight. Dangerous, sleek, and arrogant, he stalked toward her. She swallowed hard and, her self-possession breaking with his predatory approach, scuttled back from his advance.
He laughed, a cruel, barbaric sound. It stopped her retreat. Generations of British pride steeled her backbone, and she met his gaze defiantly, even courageously. His hand shot out with the deadly speed of a striking cobra and he grabbed her wrist, dragging her to him. She fought fiercely, knowing the slavers would do nothing to intercede, fear replacing her former defiance.
He held her easily, her strength a negligible thing, and called over her head to the muttering slavers in hoarse, guttural Arabic. Why, oh why, she asked herself, could she never learn to speak the dratted language, only read it? One of the men, a dirty individual in a lopsided turban, flapped his hand toward the tent where she slept. With another low laugh, the stranger snatched her forward and hauled her into its dim interior.
The sudden severity of her situation exploded in upon her, erasing some of the torpor from her drink-befuddled mind. This was no romantic prince of the desert, this was a hard savage, a man who would use her body as casually as an Englishman would soil a napkin and just as casually discard her when he was done.
She screamed. His big hand clamped over her mouth and he spun her about, dragging her against the unyielding wall of his chest. He hissed something in her ear, but she couldn’t make out the words. Her stifled screams reverberated too loudly in her skull. She struggled, kicking and flailing.
“Would you bloody well stop it?” he thundered in her ear.
She froze, her surprise at hearing not only an English accent but that English accent so great she couldn’t have moved. He unclamped his hand from her mouth and wheeled her about. In their struggle his burkos had fallen, uncovering his face.
She stared at him, disbelief turning to amazement turning to fury. “Harry Braxton, if you bought me, I’ll kill you.”