The Editor’s Kisses
She’s a suffragette with plans. He’s the editor with a kiss that could make headlines…
Constance Forrester has no intention of getting married. She is a suffragette and determined to change society. When Stephen Dawson, her school chum, starts a newspaper in their sleepy little town, Constance discovers an opportunity. With confidence and an unflinching will, she asks Stephen to take a risk and employ her as a journalist.
Stephen is stunned by Constance’s impossible proposal and immediately turns her down. But the small moments he’s spent with Constance have piqued someone’s curiosity, and Stephen finds himself sought after by the town princess, Madeline Talbut. Stephen has loved Madeline for years, and when the young lady finally shows an interest in him, he concocts a plan: enter into a fake courtship with Constance in order to make Madeline love him, and in return, Constance can be a journalist for his newspaper. Anonymously, of course.
It’s a chance Constance can’t pass up. So what if she has to attend parties and withstand Stephen’s heart-melting kisses? A suffragette must forge through barriers, break down walls and risk all for the sake of freedom. But Stephen changes the game, and Constance finds herself the object of the editor’s desire…
“Constance,” he uttered. “I’m gonna kiss you.”
She flinched again.
“I won’t hurt you, I swear it. But if I don’t kiss you…they’ll all question us and our…attachment.” He was an ass. He was using their agreement to coax her into acquiescence, and while he knew it, and was ashamed of it, he continued. “It will only be for a second. I’ll just brush my lips with yours.”
In the darkness, he felt her slight nod against his chin. His heart pounded at her quiet surrender.
When she pulled back as far as the space would allow, and lifted her head to his, heat slashed through him. He’d never needed a kiss as much as he needed hers.
Madeline had kissed him. Once. Behind the schoolhouse when they were sixteen. And that moment hadn’t caused near the anticipation this one was.
He lowered his head and swallowed her gasp. It wasn’t a brush even though he only set his lips on hers. It was a fire. A shot of whiskey that whipped through him and pooled in his gut. He deepened the connection, and she let him, sighing and sinking into him despite already being as close to him as he could get her.
But there was a melting. A need to move to the ground and cover her, press her down and make her his. He used his tongue, tasting her. She capitulated instantly and opened her mouth under his. He took what she allowed without hesitation as his free hand came up to grip her waist.
The damn closet was too small. His left hand was wedged between her side and the slender door. But though he couldn’t get his arms around her, he didn’t stop the kiss. It went on and on, stealing his breath, tightening his chest, and making him doubt everything he’d ever known about his heart.
Rapid footsteps had him surging backward and he knocked his head on the wall.
The door was flung open and cool air blasted his cheeks. He and Constance fell out of the space, their limbs tangling as they tried to right themselves.
Peals of laughter rung around them as Stephen reached out a hand to balance her. She latched on like she didn’t want to let go, and his muscles vibrated with hope she had enjoyed the moment as he had.
It had taken less than a few seconds for him to realize kissing her had been the wrong thing to do. But also the most right, most perfect, most sound judgement he’d ever made in his life.
As those who’d crowded around the entrance to the kitchen went roaring with laughter back into the parlor, he gazed at Constance. And his world tilted.
Her flushed cheeks and bright eyes made his heart constrict with an emotion he was too afraid to name at the moment. But he knew what it was. He knew.
How in the devil had it happened? Was he a fool? A fickle man?
He swallowed. “Do you want to leave?”
And before his eyes he witnessed a transformation that set his blood on fire. Determination changed her expression, and she lifted her chin.
“Certainly not. I’m quite all right, I assure you.” She gave a shake to her skirts. “We’ve a job to do, Stephen Dawson, and I’ll not let you down.”
She exited the kitchen with a swirl of satin, and he followed with less sure steps. She wouldn’t let him down, he was positive. But he was afraid he might disappoint her, for if she knew the direction of his thoughts, she would never forgive him. Constance Forrester had no time for any man. She had plans. Plans that didn’t include caring for the heart of the newspaper editor.