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At First Kiss (Harlequin Kimani Romance) Mass Market Paperback – March 22, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: Harlequin Kimani Romance (Book 231)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin Kimani (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373862067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373862061
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,497,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gwyneth Bolton is a native of New Jersey who currently resides in Central New York with her husband. The oldest of five girls, she has earned her BA, MA and Ph.D. She is currently an Associate Professor at a local university and teaches courses in women's studies, writing and rhetoric. She has been nominated for numerous awards and has won 10 Emma Awards and the Romance in Color Reviewer's Choice Award for New Author of the Year. For more information please visit www.gwynethbolton.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

So the Kappa Alpha Psi pretty boy is late. Go figure…I should have expected that from a Nupe!

Jasmine "Jazz" Stewart alternated between walking up and down the inside of the airport, checking and rechecking each luggage pickup location, and braving the cold Detroit weather outside. It had been over an hour since she had landed, and her ride was nowhere to be found. She was going to be late for her best friend's wedding rehearsal, all because some cane-swinging Kappa pretty boy—whom she had never met, but she had seen pictures of and had to admit he was too handsome for words—had no concept of time.

Her best friend, roommate and sorority sister was marrying the no-show's best friend and fraternity brother. She and Alicia were both members of Delta Sigma Theta and had pledged the Pi Iota city-wide chapter when they were sophomores in college. They were now seniors at Mount Holyoke College. From what she'd heard, Alicia's fiance, Darren, her cousin Kendrick and the tardy Troy had all pledged Kappa at Howard several years ago, Xi chapter.

Jazz knew that her friend Alicia probably had some hopes of her and Troy hitting it off and Jazz finally becoming serious about one guy instead of dating them and dropping them, as she was prone to do. But if Troy was always this late, he wouldn't stand a chance with her. She liked her conquests to be prompt.

She glanced at the Coach watch she'd gotten a good bargain on back home at Filene's Basement in Boston. An hour and twenty-five minutes late! She had never met Mr. Troy Singleton, but from what she'd heard, he thought he was some kind of God's gift to women. He was probably used to making women wait for him. After making the mad dash to catch her flight from Boston, suffering through the two-hour turbulence-filled flight and trekking through the unreasonably long Detroit airport to get to the luggage claim spot in a timely manner so that she wouldn't keep her ride waiting, she knew for sure she wouldn't be one of the many women to fall for his charms.

She walked outside again just as a humongous gas-guzzling bright red SUV pulled up. When she saw the tall, muscular frame stepping out and walking leisurely toward the entrance to the airport, she just watched him go. The jeans and thick leather jacket he wore gave him a rugged and almost dangerous appearance. If it weren't for the air of suaveness that seemed to radiate off of him like whatever the male equivalent to a siren's call would be, he would read bad-boy-all-the-way.

She decided she hated him on sight, every six-feet-plus muscle-bound caramel-hued bit of him.

She took her luggage and rolled it over to the SUV and patiently waited for him to come back outside when he saw she wasn't in the airport waiting like a dutiful twit with nothing better to do. The brittle Detroit air almost made her want to go inside and find him, but she braved it.

Oh, the things one would endure to prove a point…

Twenty minutes later he came out talking on his cell phone. She leaned against his car with her arms crossed in front of her. He stared at her for a moment and walked over. His expression was a mixture of perplexed and inquisitive with a slight bit of interest.

"Jasmine?" His mouth tilted slightly in a soft, sexy half smile that would probably knock the average girl off her feet.

Jazz wasn't anybody's average.

"It's Jazz. Can you open the trunk and let me put my suitcase in? We're running late. Or should I say, you're incredibly late and we're going to miss the rehearsal."

He reared his head back as if offended before narrowing his eyes. "How did you know this was my car?"

The sexy little smile was gone and she kind of missed it.

Oh. Well.

"I watched you get out of it. Can you open the trunk? And can we get in? It's cold out here." She realized that she really was starting to freeze her very ample behind off.

The cream dress slacks she wore with a cute little sweater and lightweight leather jacket, both of which were more for style than warmth, were no match for Detroit's weather. It might have been close to spring in the rest of the world, but Detroit hadn't gotten the memo yet.

"Wait a minute, you saw me get out and go inside to look for you and it didn't occur to you to try and stop me? I wasted damn near twenty minutes in there looking for you." He just stood in front of her not opening the trunk with expectation written all over his face.

He was starting to work her nerves, and the Bajan always came out in her whenever someone worked her nerves. Even though she'd left the island when she was a toddler, she was her mother's child. And Carlyne Stewart had never lost her Barbadian dialect.

She narrowed her eyes and gave her teeth a slow, lyrical suck. "C'dear…wha 'bout muh time, nuh? I wait and walk and wait and walk back and forth roun' dis godforsaken airport for I ain' no how long for yuh ta reach. We nowhere near even, yuh, but I ain' got time to waste belaboring the topic…" She gave him a disgusted look. "Trunk? Door?"

He pressed the automatic lock, walked over to the driver's side, got in and started up the car. She lifted her suitcase as she cursed him out in her mind and then got in the SUV.

"Woulda killed yuh to be a gentleman after havin' muh here waiting all this time, huh?" It irritated her to no end that this fool had triggered her anger so quickly and had her channeling her mother's tongue. She took a deep breath and counted to ten.

He turned up his music to some loud hip-hop and started driving, effectively ignoring her.

That was all right with Jazz. He might have been the finest guy she had ever laid eyes on, but he was also an arrogant-late-no-manners-having jerk.

Jasmine. Man what an evil—!

Troy shook his head as he made haste driving them to the small chapel where Alicia and Darren were having their wedding rehearsal. The sooner he got Ms. Jasmine Stewart out of his ride the better.

And what is with the Miss Cleo routine?

She hadn't sounded like she was from the islands at first, but then all of a sudden she went full-blown come-back-to-Jamaica on him. He didn't have the time or the patience for this crap. Not after just finding out that his parents were going to end their almost thirty-year marriage because they had supposedly "grown apart."

He chanced a glance at Jasmine. She was as pretty as her picture, even though her hair was different. Instead of the wild and free natural style from the picture, it looked like her auburn hair had been straightened somehow and it was in one of those fancy pinned-up styles with rings of curls placed strategically. She must've gotten it done like that for the wedding.

Yeah, she was gorgeous. Too bad she was such a ball buster.

And to think, he had even planned to let her be the woman he kicked it with this weekend. Everyone knew that weddings were the perfect venues for hit-it-and-quit-it hookups. He'd seen Jasmine's picture when Alicia asked him to pick up her up from the airport and he hadn't been able to get her out of his mind. He had all kinds of lines ready to woo her.

Yeah, he'd been a little late picking her up. So what? He'd gotten there. And after getting the news he'd just received, news that totally messed with his mind in ways he wasn't ready to address, she was lucky he even showed up at all.

And she played him by watching him go in the airport looking for her like a fool. Well, her loss, there would be plenty of women at the wedding looking for Mr. Right. He might not be Mr. Right, but he was for damn sure Mr. Right Now, and he wasn't going to let Jasmine ruin his plans.

Jasmine.

He never remembered women's names. But he couldn't seem to forget hers, or anything about her, from her pretty cinnamon face to her fierce auburn natural. And her body.

Voluptuous came to mind… Her body was definitely a throwback to the Marilyn Monroe days, when real women had curves.

He turned, looked at her and frowned.

"Keep your eyes on the road, Stud. Get us there in one piece, it's bad enough we're going to be late."

"Stud?" He couldn't help the smile that came over his face. Maybe this weekend wasn't a total loss after all.

"Yeah, if you won't call me Jazz, as I prefer, I'll just call you Stud, you know because you think you're such hot stuff, but you're really not all that. It's like a play on words… Instead of 'dud,' I'll call you 'stud.'"

He gritted his teeth. If she wasn't so fine and if he had a little less respect for women he would call her a long list of names. But instead he called her the one thing he knew she would hate.

"Cute, Jasmine. You made that up all by yourself?" He chuckled in a sarcastic manner and he could feel her bristling beside him.

The rehearsal dinner had been interesting, to say the least. Alicia must have been really trying to do the matchmaking thing because she even sat Jazz by Troy at dinner and they were paired together as bridesmaid and groomsman. If it weren't for the buffer that Troy's sister and brother-in-law provided, things wouldn't have gone well.

"So, Troy picked you up from the airport? How did that go?" Sonya asked. "I'm not supposed to be saying anything… But Alicia was kind of hoping that the two of you would hit it off."

"Nice way not to say anything, babe," Kendrick said with a shake of his head.

Jazz let out an exaggerated laugh. "Alicia can just forget about that…" She looked at Troy and shook her head. "It'll never happen. Never."

Troy offered a sarcastic chuckle. "Yeah, I like my women a little less high-maintenance and a lot less crazy."

Crazy? High-maintenance?

She could feel the heat rising in her neck and covering her cheeks. She did not need a repeat of her episode with Troy earlier. It was a nice upscale restaurant, and if she started cussing him out in her Bajan dialect, it probably wouldn't look good. So she smiled at him instead, a smile that probably appeared just shy of crazed.

He offered that lazy half smile, half smirk of his that she quickly came to realize worked her last good nerve and made her want to smack him. She wasn't used to these kinds of things. Guys usually didn't faze her at all. She could take them or leave them, and nine times out of ten she was leaving them. And none had never ever gotten under her skin so intensely and so quickly.

"Excuse me." She stood up and walked away from the table. She needed to go to the restroom to compose herself before she did or said something she would regret later.

After some breathing exercises and telling herself repeatedly that he was not all that, Jazz exited the restroom a newly composed woman. Until she saw Troy standing there.

"Look, before you blow up and start acting all psycho again, I just thought I'd check on you and apologize. I have no idea what I'm apologizing for, but whatever has your panties in a bunch that you perceive I am at fault for, I'm sorry."

Is my eye twitching? My eye is twitching. This— She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and willed him to be gone when she opened them.

She opened her eyes. The left one twitched. No such luck.

"Go away, Stud. No need to apologize. Clearly you can't help being just what you are, a jerk."

"I'm not going away. We need to find a way to call a truce or something. Like it or not, our best friends are about to get married and that means we are going to be seeing a lot of each other through the years. Unless of course you and Alicia grow apart after college… One can only hope…" He let his words trail off and gave her a cocky grin. "I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Lighten up, will you?"

"Alicia and I will always be close. And as for you and me running into each other in the future…"

More About the Author

Gwyneth Bolton was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. She currently lives in Syracuse, New York with her husband Cedric. When she was 12-years-old, she became an avid reader of romance by sneaking her mother's stash of Harlequin and Silhouette novels. In the 90s, she was introduced to African American and multicultural romance novels and her life hasn't been the same since. While she had always been a reader of romance, she didn't feel inspired to write them until the genre opened up to include other voices. And even then, it took finishing graduate school, several non-fiction publications, and a six-week course at the Loft Literary Center titled Writing the Romance Novel; before she gathered the courage to start writing her first romance novel. Gwyneth has a BA and an MA in English/Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in English/Composition and Rhetoric. She teaches classes in writing and women's studies at the college level. She has won several awards for her romance novels, including four Emma Awards and the Romance In Color Reviewer's Choice award for new author of the year. When she is not teaching or working on her own African American romance novels, she is curled up with a cup of herbal tea, a warm quilt, and a good book.For more information, visit her website: http://www.gwynethbolton.com

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
26
4 star
6
3 star
0
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0
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See all 32 customer reviews
This book was funny, hot and entertaining!
Carol Cook
From the beginning of the book until the end, I eagerly turned each page to see whether Troy's plan would be a success.
Priscilla C. Johnson (Cilla)
Despite all the obstacles they face, they let their guard down and fall in love.
D. Lee

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Childers on March 19, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Troy and Jazz have this love hate relationship, but underneath they have the hots for each other. These two are so competitive and hate to lose any battle. Their relationship is complicated, but it sure keeps you reading this book until the very end. You cant get loves scenes any better than this. I couldn't help but hope they could make it work. I highly recommend buying this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carol Cook on March 19, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I love the story of Troy and Jaz....these 2 couldnt stand each other, or were they trying to mask what was beneath the surface? This book was funny, hot and entertaining! We also caught up with Alicia and Darren and Sonya and Kenneth. Ms. Bolton wrote another wonderful story......
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By kslmbuggie on May 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just loved this story from the beginning to end. The humor between Troy and Jazz had me laughing and smiling throughout the entire book. Them getting together didn't happen the way I expected it to, which was a very welcomed surprise. Troy and Jazz were like the male and female versions of each other, so they were a match made in heaven. Kudos to Gwyneth Bolton.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Loretta R Watson on January 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Just One Kiss...

Having a cocky attitude, being fine as wine and a reputation for the ladies suited Troy Singleton just fine.

Until he laid eyes on a woman that wouldn't let him have his way: Jasmine "Jazz" Stewart.

Jazz, an up and coming reporter out of Boston, had been marked a serial dater due to her upbringing. She had no intention of allowing a man to break her heart, much less, enter it. What she didn't know was that Troy, a playboy of sorts, was about to do that and more.

At First Kiss is my first read by the talented and well-known Gwyneth Bolton. I had the pleasure of meeting her in November of 2011 at the Third Annual Author's Literary Festival held in Richmond, Virginia. She's a very warm and knowledgable lady. Also, possessing an autographed copy enticed me to read her novel before a pile of others. What can I say? I LOVE personalized service!

Ms. Bolton did a wonderful job at weaving Jazz and Troy's storylines. She has a knack for intertwining sensuality with humor in a very smooth way. The ending made me smile as I learned about how the two main characters' lives were blended.

To learn more about this talented author, visit: [...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LadyAmelia on August 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a pleasant surprise! Troy and Jazz had me cracking up throughout this book. They were truly made for each other.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Queena on October 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Who hasn't read a love story where the main characters were arch rivals but fall in love? What makes this one so different is the modern take on an old tale. Loved the chemistry between the characters and the plot flowed easily as well. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dimitri L Pierce on August 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book. I read this book twice and the love story is realistic. Two people not getting along then fall madly in love is so romantic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. Richardson on October 23, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Troy & Jazz...Where do I start? This was a really good book...This was the first book I read by Gwyneth Bolton. Kudos to her on this one. It was definitely a page turner...I read this book in one day. Troy & Jazz reminded me of some of my friends...Their relationship was just so comical....I found my self laughing at a lot of their remarks to one another in this book. That's something I never really do when I'm reading. Their relationship blossomed beautifully... I think they had just the right amount of chemistry and it flowed perfectly.
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