May 22 2014 8:30am

Melting, Branding, Toe-Curling: The Top 10 Kisses in Contemporary Romance Novels

Unexpectedly Family by Molly O'KeefeKisses—kisses that make your toes curl, and your body hum. They can turn your bones turn to water, and make your heart rejoice. Sometimes they are the appetizer and sometimes they are the dessert. Sometimes they speak of emotion and other times of need, but no matter what, there is a wealth of feeling in a kiss, from passion to caring to love.

Here are the Top 10 Kisses in Contemporary Romances:

10. Unexpected Family by Molly O’Keefe

But then her arms wrapped around his neck and she was kissing him again and it was sweet. It was warm and tender. Caring. It wasn’t a kiss between strangers acting on their casual attraction. It was the kiss of friends, acting on their feelings.

9. Back to You by Jessica Scott

“Believe this,” he growled. He held nothing back in this kiss. The kisses they’d shared in the coffee shop had been a tender question. This was violence and pain, hurt and hell all wrapped into one intense embrace. It was an outlet, a release valve that he’d never allowed because he had been afraid of hurting her. He kissed her then, pouring everything he had into that single moment, telling her without words how badly everything inside him was hurting.

This kiss was a branding. A violation of the boundaries she’d set between them. He tore them down and marked her soul, refused to let her breathe or think or protest.

Somebody Like You by Candis Terry8. Somebody Like You by Candis Terry

When he lowered his head and kissed her, hope and happiness swelled in her heart. Everything he put into that kiss verified he was a man she could count on. He may not always have the right words, but he was a man who would protect her. A man who would love her through thick and thin. In that kiss Kelly discovered that they could make magic- do anything—as long as they did it together.

7. Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl

Grace would’ve claimed that she didn’t care about kissing, she didn’t need that, but she suddenly felt desperate. Hungry. For the taste of him. For his mouth on hers. But she didn’t want to ask. She didn’t like to ask for anything. If he didn’t want to kiss her, she wouldn’t beg for it. Not out loud anyway. But in her mind, she said Please, please, please over and over again. Turning to him she put her mouth to his neck. She closed her lips over his earlobe and sucked. Now he was the one who moaned. And when he turned to catch her mouth with his, triumph surged through her like a wave. Yes. Finally. Finally, his mouth was her. His lips opening so she could taste him. His tongue hot against hers.

Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips6. Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

His head dipped, their mouths meshed, and the sound of birds and breeze faded away. Her lips parted on their own. He touched her with his tongue. Silky threads of pleasure unwound inside her. The kiss deepened, and dazzling colors began swirling in her head.

5. Romeo Romeo by Robin Kaye

The word kiss didn’t describe what he did to her, with her. It was too tame to express the possessive, carnal dance of mouths, tongues, teeth and breath. It bespoke intimacy and need and vibrated with barely controlled passion. He explored her mouth with a diligence so complete, it was almost a religious experience.

The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins5. The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

Ethan kisses my neck, then lifts his head to kiss me on the mouth, and God, it feels so right and so perfect that my heart nearly bursts with joy. . . “I love you so much,” I say, my own tears slipping down my cheeks.

4. Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson

I’ll show you what I want,” he said, and watched her eyes widen as he slowly lowered his head. His mouth brushed against hers, giving her time to pull away. “I want this.”

Her lips parted on a deep, shuddering breath, and her eyes fluttered closed. She was soft and sweet and her lipstick tasted like cherries. He wanted her. He wanted to burn. Plowing his fingers into the side of her hair, he tilted her head and dove into a soul-deep kiss. The kiss was reckless and wild. He fed off her mouth, off her desire and his.

Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas3. Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas

He kissed her, slow and insatiable, the taste of him sweet and edged with lemonade tartness. She opened eagerly to the flavor and rolled to press closer to him . . . more of those dizzying wholemouthed kisses , a little deeper, rougher.

2. Red Lily by Nora Roberts

He looked at her, into her it seemed, so deep she thought he must see everything she was. And his mouth took hers in a kiss that made her heart tremble.

So this was love, she thought. This utter trust and surrender of self. This complete gift of heart that left you open, defenseless. And full of joy.

Carolina Girl by Virginia Kantra1. Carolina Girl by Virginia Kantra

His hand cupped her jaw with infinite care. His lips pressed hers. He tasted of salt and faintly of beer, heady, rich, masculine flavors. She caught a graze of beard, a hint of moisture before he withdrew.

Okay. She released her pent breath. Kiss survived. Point made.
And then his hands tightened and his mouth came down hard on hers.
She jolted at his heat, his urgency. She knew better than to kiss him back. She did. But every time she tried to ease away, to end the kiss, he was there, coaxing and relentless. Pleasure rippled darkly through her. He tasted her, deep and slow, taking over her mouth, commanding her response, until her resolution eroded like a sandcastle swamped by the tide and she sank into some hot, dark, liquid place.

Who's written your favorite contemporary kisses?

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Learn more about the books mentioned in this post:

Unexpected Family by Molly O’Keefe  
Back to You by Jessica Scott  
Somebody Like You by Candis Terry  
Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl  
Natural Born Charmer by Susan Elizabeth Phillips  
Romeo Romeo by Robin Kaye  
The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins  
Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson  
Dream Lake by Lisa Kleypas  
Red Lily by Nora Roberts  
Carolina Girl by Virginia Kantra  












Leigh Davis, blogger

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
What a fun post! I just finished Carolina Girl so that kiss is still fresh in my memory.
2. Scarlettleigh
Thanks Kareni - There are some great kisses out there, but as you can see, Carolina Girl is one of my favorites
3. janet elizabeth henderson
Great idea for a post! Really enjoyed it. :)
4. Scarlettleigh
@janet elizabeth henderson - Thanks! I had a great time reading all the kisses descriptions in most of books.
Jonetta Allen
5. Jonetta/Ejaygirl
Oh, my. Eve Dallas and Roarke's first kiss in Naked in Death brought me back to the romance genre after a long, long hiatus. Thanks for the memory lane jogger!!
Linda Talamo
6. eLTe
Oh Yes ... Just like the song says "It's in his kiss".

Sorry to put a damper on things, but I just have to point out the scene from Romeo Romeo, because its driving me crazy - "It bespoke intimacy" Bespoke means - Made to Order. Is that what the author intended to say? Does that make sense?
7. lauralee1912
Am reading Back to You by Jessica Scott. Reading about that kiss in its place in the story. Wow.
8. Scarlettleigh
@lauralee1912 -- I have no first hand knowledge of returning soliders, but I think Jessica Scott really highlighted realistic issues that probably do occur in marriages of those that have served - especially ones that ship out over and over again.

I'm glad that this list gave you some reading suggestions!
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