Tuesday, May 7, 2013

First Kiss #36

TITLE: All That Remains
GENRE: YA Fantasy

MC, Lea (who’s an assassin), has just escaped from jail. Her hands are shackled and her new love interest, Les, is picking the locks. Before the jail break she was confronted by her ex-boyfriend, Val, who wants her back.

They were so different, Val and Les. How had I once thought they were the same? Val’s arrogance came from believing he was better than everyone. That everyone was below him. Les’s arrogance came from knowing no one could make him a bigger fool than himself. Val tried so hard to be the person he was, with his appearance and his manner. Les didn’t try at all, and it came through in a way that made my heart stutter, my breath catch in my throat.

He glanced at me then back at the shackles. “What are you smiling about?”

My eyes widened. Had I been smiling? “Nothing.”

“Hmm.” He twisted his wrist and the shackles popped open, tumbling to the ground. “And just like that, you’re a free woman.”

He grabbed my wrists with his callused hands and rubbed the feeling back into them. He leaned closer to whisper in my ear.

“This was my first jailbreak. I think you’re a bad influence on me, Miss Oleander Saldana.” His warm breath slid across the back of my neck. I shivered. We were so close I could almost hear his heart beating. His hands slipped down to mine and he stroked the skin of my knuckles with his thumb. I looked up at him.

He stilled and watched me, all trace of humor gone. Then his lips were pressing against mine. He clasped my hands. I tightened my grip around him and for that moment everything else ceased to matter. All that mattered was Les and how his beard scraped my skin and how his lips tightened in a smile against mine until he laughed and pulled away.

He pointed at me. “Best jailbreak ever.”


  1. This was great! Loved your comparisons of the two guys...it was fresh and different. This kiss was sweet and perfect for what it was: an I-just-realized-how-I-feel kiss.

  2. Despite this being a scene where there is some level of danger (being a jailbreak and all), the humor and levity kept it very fresh. The comparison of the two guys worked very well, though I think I'd change the end of the last sentence to read, "...in a way that made my heart stutter and my breath catch in my throat." The comma/fragment at the end tripped me up as a reader.

    Overall, I love this scene, and was excited to find out what future was in store for your characters!

  3. I like how she compares the two boys, not just that she compares them, but the actual differences she sees--esp. the line "no one could make him a bigger fool than himself." LOVE. Tells me a lot about him.

    I thought the dialogue was great! Loved the humor. I already like Les, and I've only just met him!

    I was a little confused by the line "I could ALMOST hear his heart beating." I would either make her hear it or use some other physical response.

    Also, I had a little trouble picturing their physical movements during the kiss. If he's clasping her hands, how can she tighten her grip around him?

    I really liked this! Makes me want to read the rest!

  4. Very nice! This had a good mix of humor and tension. Great punch line at the end.

    The only thing that tripped me up was this line: "Les’s arrogance came from knowing no one could make him a bigger fool than himself." I've read that several times and I'm still not sure exactly what it means. Apparently I'm the only person who stumbled over it, though, so take that for what it's worth.

  5. Ha! Loved his dialogue. This is really cute. :)

  6. I really like how he smiles into the kiss and laughs. it makes him more interesting that he isn't gunning for more or something or isn't proclaiming his undying love.

  7. "My eyes widened. Had I been smiling?" *Snort*
    Really liked the writing style here and would read more. That being said, with the talent you possess I really think you could have written the actual kiss slightly better. For me, there's a big jump between the first sentence of the last paragraph and the second. Lea must have noticed him making a move. How did she feel about that? And how did Les go from clasping her hands to Lea tightening her grip around him in the next sentence?
    Other than that I loved it! Keep up the good work.

  8. This scene has a lot of great elements. I loved the ending, his reaction to the kiss, it shows his personality and gives him an endearing sheepishness. I also had a little trouble with the line "Les’s arrogance came from knowing no one could make him a bigger fool than himself", but when I thought about it realized I've known lots of guys with that attitude, especially in high school. As long as it's consistent with his personality throughout the book the reader will know what you mean.

    I feel like the actions in the scene are confusing. Go through the scene in your mind and work through all the movements, instead of focusing on what would sound good at a given moment. Other people pointed out tightening her grip around him when he was holding her hands. Earlier when you say "his hands slipped down to mine" I would say specifically from my wrists to my hands because it sounds like he wasn't already holding her hands and we know he was. Also, when he's whispering in her ear and his breath slid across the back of her neck I'm picturing him too close to look up at, so maybe pull him away before she looks up at him. And then, once they're kissing, he's already holding her hands, but "clasped" suggests grabbing them for the first time. I would say "tightened" there.

    And then, of course, "best jailbreak ever" is just brilliant.

  9. This was great! Humor, romance, danger all rolled into one. I also didn't quite understand the bigger fool line, but I rolled with it.

    Like the comment above, I thought there could be another sentence or two just before the kiss. If suddenly he's kissing her, then what distracted her enough that she was caught unawares? His touch, his eyes, her shivers, etc? I agree that you write really well and I'm sure you can pull this off. :)

    Love the smiling into the kiss and "Best.Jailbreak.Ever." Awesome!

  10. You did a great job comparing the two guys. The story flowed really well until the last paragraph. It seemed a little abrupt to me. Over all I liked the concept and the characters. I'd read on!

  11. Best jailbreak kissing scene ever!

    Loved the comparison between the two guys! Like others have mentioned, I found the action during the kiss awkward and hard to follow with the hand clasp[ng and her tightening her grip around him while he held her hands.

    Otherwise, this was a great scene, Your characters really shine.

    One pesky point: as a reader, I would find it hard to read a novel with two similarly named characters (Lea and Les); you might want to change one of their names to make things easier to follow.

  12. I liked this from the very start. The comparison of the two men was fantastic. The characteristic of 'arrogance' being the same, but their reasoning for it very different. Loved it.

    This flowed well, and I for some reason already like the MC. Her smile as she thought about it made me smile.

    The kiss felt a little abrupt but the ending line saved it for me. good job.

  13. Agree with all the good comments above, so I won't repeat.

    I admit to not liking the line "Then his lips were pressing against mine." It's passive, and the line feels trite, like a holdover from days when women weren't supposed to even suspect, much less respond to, a kiss. Just my two cents.

  14. Yes, love it! Great build up and nice sense of humor too in this. I like how she realizes something important about him just before the kiss--it gives it more depth. The kissing didn't seem awkward to me at all. Just fix the thing with the clasped hands and you're good!

  15. I love the contrast between Val and Les. The dialogue is spot on.

    My only comment is maybe change this line "We were so close I could almost hear his heart beating" to maybe having her see his heartbeat pulsing on his neck, wanting to bury her face in it. Maybe see a sweat bead...something visceral.

    Otherwise, spot on spot on. Hot, sexy, and fun!

  16. Some of the sentences felt too short, leaving me with a staccato feeling that made me want to rush through the scene. I love the jailbreak, though! Great scene.