Tuesday, May 30, 2017

First Kiss #13

TITLE: Warmaker
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

Jennica (an assassin) isn't entirely sure she can trust Wesley (a king), but she's not above leading him on if it means getting what she wants. Wesley, on the other hand is sincere in both his attempt to help her and in his attraction to her.  

Her attention shifted back to Wesley. He watched her patiently, waiting for her to direct the course of their conversation. Slowly, his final words solidified. She had pushed them aside, intent on finding malice where there was none. Shaking off the lingering tendrils of the past, Jennica allowed the possibility that had been haunting her to take root.

His quiet fortitude was what she needed. He was willing to help her. Dropping her hand to her side, Jennica slowly advanced toward him. Halting close to Wesley, her heart reverberated in her chest. She reached forward, her fingertips grazing his cheek, mirroring what he had attempted to do the other day. His eyes widened but he remained still.

Edging closer, Jennica leaned forward. “Thank you,” she whispered, brushing a kiss against his cheek. Blocking out the pounding of her heart, she’d barely started to turn when Wesley caught her hand and pulled her back to him, his fingers gently clasping hers. Only a hand's breadth apart, she found herself staring into his hazel eyes.

“You’re welcome.” He smiled. Lifting her hand, he pressed a chaste kiss to her fingers,  his eyes never leaving hers.

Her breath hitched at the courtly gesture and heat burned across her skin, settling in her stomach. Straightening her shoulders, she pulled her fingers from his and took a step backward, fear and longing coursing through her. This was her game to play, not his, and she wasn’t ready to relinquish control.


  1. In general, I like this and think there's an appropriate amount of heat. In the first paragraph, though, there are two different points of view, which I found distracting. There's also some repetition of words/actions (eg: "strong", then heart reverberates & later pounds) and I'd like to see a bit more creativity in the word selection.

    But overall, I like the way the scene's been set. Nicely done.

  2. Amazing that you put so much heat into the smallest gestures. I like the character development you show in the last paragraph. I'm swooning and they did not even properly kiss yet!

  3. I think you really hit your stride in the last 3 paragraphs. I felt the rest was a bit disjointed.

  4. General writing: I think you need to tighten up the PoV in the first paragraph. The line "He watched her patiently, waiting for her to direct the course of their conversation." is not her PoV so it through me off a bit. Otherwise I like your writing, I got a good sense of Jennica. She seems sharp, and like someone used to being in control.

    I liked that this was not the typical passionate kiss. It makes me want to continue reading to see who will "win" the game.

  5. I liked the way Jennica and Wesley connected with each other and I can sense chemistry between them, even those that you mentioned in the description above this passage that Jennica is only leading Wesley on. If I had this book in front of me, I'd be desperate to read on to find out when or if they kiss again. I'm rooting for them to get together and I only read this short passage. I agree with the comments above about how it was a little jarring to switch to Wesley's POV and I also noticed the word "forward" was repeated twice in the middle section but overall this was well done.

  6. You managed to infuse this scene with a lot of heat without letting the characters get very physical. There is definitely chemistry between the two characters, and you leave the reader eager to get to their next kiss.

    Take a look at your sentence structure. Quite a few sentences start with an 'ing' verb phrase, and it doesn't always flow well with the rest of the sentence. "Blocking out the pounding of her heart, she'd barely started to turn..." for example.

    I would keep reading this. You left me wanting more, which is great.

  7. I could feel the sexual tension between these two, so that worked for me. I did think it was overwritten. There seemed a bit of the flowery romance novel here. Perhaps cut the adverbs and turn the passive sentences into active sentences. If a sentence starts with a preposition, it's generally passive. And rephrase sentences with ing words so they become ed words. All it needs is some tightening.

  8. Thank you everyone for your feedback! I totally missed that POV slip and will go back in and tighten my wording and structure. I appreciate everyone taking a look at it :)

  9. Late to the party, but one thing stood out about this and that's the monotone sentence structure.

    You use, I think they're called "gerundive phrases" or something, a lot. "Verbing the something, subject did this." Now, there's nothing wrong with that type of sentence, but if a lot of your sentences are like that or similar to it, the text starts to drag down. Change the structure from sentence to sentence to liven up the scene. Instead of forcing a lot into one sentence with commas and subordinate clauses, use a short sentence here and there, or reduce a clause to a single adjective.

    Also, and I am guilty of this, lots of adverbs. May we both banish the adverb beast!

    The chemistry is great and I'm definitely grabbed by the context!