How to write a kiss

There was a question on the writer’s Discord server that I’m on where someone asked how to write a kiss. They weren’t specifically asking me, but I was able to give a short answer for how I write kisses. I write and read traditional romances, so my kiss scenes tend to be heavily influenced by the genre and by how my editors critiqued my manuscripts.

You basically want to focus on the emotion of the kiss and how the kiss makes the point of view character feel, as opposed to going deep into physical detail. Ideally, the description will show that the kiss is something special and not just them macking.

For example the kiss made her feel ___. Or the kiss was ___ which made it seem that he felt ___ for her.

“The kiss made her feel as if she were incredibly precious to him.”

“His lips were gentle and almost tentative, as if he were afraid of frightening her.”

“The kiss surprised her and yet felt as familiar as if they’d kissed a thousand times before. The kiss felt like home.”

Ideally, it should also not be just a kiss, but mark some change in the relationship, or have some consequences for the characters. It doesn’t have to be super serious, but there definitely should be something important about it.

Usually in traditional romance, there’s some compelling reason why the hero and heroine can’t be together, and that keeps them apart from each other emotionally. But then something happens to cause them to kiss, drawing them together despite the conflicts that had kept them apart.

After the kiss (or sometimes during the kiss), there’s often a change in one or both characters, and they either a) decide they can’t stay away and are willing to face the romantic conflict keeping them apart and/or the conflict has finally been resolved and they can now act on their feelings, or b) they decide they can’t be doing this because the romantic conflict keeping them apart is too big, too important, too awful.

If it’s (a), then often something has changed inside of them to make them no longer afraid of whatever has kept them apart, and they are willing to face the conflict and suffer if it means being with the other person.

If it’s (b), then there’s a drawing apart of the two characters. However, even though they are again keeping apart from each other, something has shifted emotionally in both of them so that the reasons why they’re apart no longer seem so compelling.

Sometimes, one character will feel (a) and one character will feel (b), which adds to the conflict between them.

A friend on that writer’s Discord server made the observation that the kisses have a beginning, middle, and end (which I hadn’t consciously realized about my own writing, because I’m a moron). So when writing the kiss, keep pacing and flow in mind and let the emotion and mood of the scene guide you, too.

I thought it might be fun to see kiss scenes from as many of my books as I could list, so here you go! It might be helpful for writers who don’t write romance but who have a romantic subplot in their book that has a kiss, and they want to write it in a way that isn’t too stiff or too torrid.

You’ll notice my writing style heavily favors strong sensory description during an emotional and physical moment like a kiss. You don’t have to do the same—this is just the way I do a kiss. But I think that some aptly chosen description can enhance the emotional impact of the kiss for the two characters and the reader.

Another trend I have is that I will usually write the majority of the kiss from the point of view of the female character. This is purely a personal preference. Writing kisses from the male point of view tends to feel awkward to me, so I don’t do it very often.

Since I write romance, my kiss scenes take up at least a page or two. In other genres, kiss scenes can be a lot shorter, like a few sentences. Just go with whatever matches the flow of your book.

From Deadly Intent:

His hands slid upwards. Paused at the pulse in her neck. Fingered her jawbone. Cupped her face.

And then his head descended, and his lips were on hers.

Cool. She had expected him to be warm. Hot. Burning. But he was sweet—gentle, almost tentative. Asking forgiveness with his kiss as well as his words. It curled in her stomach, made her reach out to him, try to convey the feelings she had for him that she couldn’t voice. Couldn’t ever voice.

He rested his forehead against hers. “Naomi.”

She breathed him in, sandalwood and musk. And roses.

“I don’t know where this is going. And after my divorce …”

He didn’t need to say it. She could feel his fear as if it were shackles around his body. “It’s too soon.” Too soon for him. Too soon for them both to figure out what was happening between them.

Here, the kiss is almost an apology, and it’s also bittersweet because there’s too much keeping them apart at this point in the story.

This is from Formula for Danger:

She held Edward close until her heart’s racing had slowed, breathing in his musk and pine, feeling the thud of his own heart.

Then she pulled away slightly. He reluctantly loosened his hold on her.

She reached up, drew his head down, and kissed him.

He gasped against her mouth. But then his arms pulled her tighter and he sank into the kiss. It seemed as if he poured into her all his relief and care, while she tried to give him all her sweetness.

And love. Yes, she had loved him for a long time.

Here, she realizes she loves him, which she hadn’t been able to admit to herself before, so it’s a pretty significant change inside of her as a result of the kiss.

This is from Stalker in the Shadows:

Something about his blue gaze became less businesslike and more intense. Her breathing quickened, and she could smell his musk, the scent of a pine forest after the rain. His eyes flickered to her mouth, staring for a long moment, and then he lowered his head and kissed her.

His lips were softer than she would have expected from such a tough, masculine guy. His hand stroked the hair wisping out from her temple, his touch gentle. He kissed her with the kind of wonder and carefulness as if he were holding a butterfly in his cupped hands. She felt cherished and honored.

Reason filtered through her mind slowly, but when it made itself known, she remembered that she couldn’t be doing this. Shaun was a cop. He’d always be in careers where he could protect people, putting himself in harm’s way to save them, like he was doing with her.

She couldn’t bear loving a man and sending him out to danger every single day, wondering if today was the day he wouldn’t come home. She’d seen those women in the Emergency Room, she’d comforted them and been devastated by just the thought of their pain. She had vowed she wouldn’t be one of them.

She planted her feet and thrust up hard with her entire torso, bucking him off of her so she could roll away and jump to her feet. He had tumbled to his side with a look of surprise on his face, but now he took his time standing up, and he didn’t look at her.

You can clearly see the hero and heroine coming closer emotionally and romantically, and then (rather suddenly) coming apart.

This is from Narrow Escape:

He went around the car. “Here, let me carry her.” He stepped close to take the sleeping little girl from Arissa’s arms.

Time stopped. All he saw were Arissa’s eyes, dark and shining up at him. He smelled rain and roses mingled with cherry blossoms, freshly overturned dirt, and honeysuckle from a vine climbing near the duplex window.

The moonlight gilded her face with pearl dust. She was like a vision he expected to melt away. She should step away from him—why didn’t she? Then he realized he trapped her against the car.

So he took advantage of that and leaned in and kissed her.

Her lips were soft and warm rather than cold, and he suddenly heard the crickets in the bushes, the faint hoot of an owl, all circling them in together. He was with Arissa, he was holding Charity in his arms, and it was as if the three of them belonged together, fitted together like puzzle pieces. This was where he wanted to be, kissing Arissa and holding her child and being a part of their family.

The sagging lightbulb over the front door suddenly flickered to life, and he broke away from her. Her face was now bathed in the sickly yellow from the bulb, but she looked at him with eyes both dazed and also longing.

Yes, he felt that way, too.

No, he shouldn’t. This was the last woman in the world he could feel this way with. She knew too much about him. She knew who he had been, and could compare it with who he was now.

He is struck by how they fit together, when his own insecurity has kept them apart until now, and that insecurity makes him feel unworthy of her. In this case, the kiss only deepened his reasons for staying away from her.

This is from the end of Necessary Proof:
She turned her head, rested her brow in the curve of his neck. His skin was warm. “Derek hadn’t really loved me, and my father had showed how little he regarded me. This past year, I felt unloveable. And very alone.”

“Derek is scum. And your father shouldn’t have made you feel that way.”

“I’m starting to realize that maybe he did. Because otherwise, I’d still be striving after his approval rather than discovering what God’s love really is. I didn’t understand God’s love, because I’d thought it was like my father’s love. But the way God loves me is different. It’s real, and it’s nonjudgmental, and it’s unfailing.”

There was a heartbeat of silence, then he whispered, “I love you, too.”

She smiled.

He dipped his head and kissed her. His lips were cold, but his kiss was fervent. His hand tilted her face up, then caressed her cheek, her jaw, her neck. He kissed her as if there was nothing else in the world he wanted more, and yet there was also a tenderness as if she was more precious to him than breath.

He pulled back, but his face was still close enough that she could feel the warmth coming off his skin.

“I’ve never been kissed before,” she said.

His smile was bright white, his dimples dark against his tanned cheeks. He kissed her again.

Since this is from the last chapter, it’s a kiss that acts as the climax of their romantic arc. The conflict keeping them apart has been resolved, and so they’re finally free to act on their feelings and choose to draw closer to each other.

This is from Unshakeable Pursuit:
Then suddenly, she felt the warmth of his hand covering hers where it rested on the rug before the fire. “I’m sorry that happened to you,” he said.

“Thank you.” She wasn’t sure what else to say.

But then his other hand reached up, cupped her cheek, turned her head toward him. And then he leaned in and was kissing her.

She was lost in a forest scented with eucalyptus, fir, and Geoffrey. His mouth was firm and yet gentle at the same time. It was as if he wanted to impart both strength and comfort to her. The touch of his lips sent a fiery tingle throughout her body, filling her with warmth, and a yearning, and a connection.

No, what connection? It was just a kiss and she was being stupid. Geoffrey Whelan would never want her in normal circumstances. She pulled away. “We shouldn’t.”

He started as if waking from a dream.

And it had been a dream, hadn’t it? This wasn’t something she needed. Geoffrey wasn’t what she needed. She wanted someone less … confident.

Maylin got to her feet. “You should go to bed.” She almost ran toward the bedroom door. “I should go to bed. Goodnight.” She closed the door behind her and leaned against it.

She stood there for a long time, listening to Olivia’s even breathing and letting the tears fall down her face. She never heard Geoffrey return to his bedroom before she finally crept, cold as a block of ice, back into bed.

Maylin has just confessed some of her deepest wounds, and his compassion is a balm that heals her. But she’s not confident enough to be able to believe him, and so she pulls away.

This is from Treacherous Intent. The kiss shifts to the heroine’s point of view at the scene break:

Then Elisabeth was crouching next to him. “Oh my, your face…” She was close enough that he could smell oranges and tuberoses.

“I’m fine.” He looked into her eyes. Their gazes held a long moment.

Then she leaned forward and softly pressed her lips to his.


Elisabeth didn’t know exactly why she kissed him. She’d been so relieved to see him safe, she hadn’t thought about her actions. She’d simply wanted to be close to him.

When her lips touched his, something clicked. It was as if she’d been completed. It wasn’t just how to felt to be kissing him, it was how he was always looking out for her, how he valued her abilities, how he made her feel special. When he looked at her, in his eyes were both admiration and honor.

No man had ever looked at her like that.

But look at how the other men in her life had treated her. Hadn’t she chosen to be alone because she couldn’t pick up the pieces of her life again a third time? She wouldn’t be able to.

And certainly not after Liam.

She leaned back. She met his eyes a brief moment, then looked away. She wouldn’t be mesmerized by his eyes again.

By now you should be able to see the trend of a kiss drawing my characters together, then something that forces one or both characters to pull apart. A lot of the time it’s a serious emotional issue for at least one of the characters—it’s a strong enough issue that it kept them apart for much of the book, so it’s usually not something trifling. Here, the kiss only reinforces her resolve to stay away from him, so she moves even farther away from the hero than before the kiss.

This is from Gone Missing:

She smelled cedar and lemon zest and his deep, soothing musk just before she heard him come up behind her. Without turning around, she asked him, “Are we making a mistake?”

“Would you have been able to wait around, hoping the FBI would act in time, willing to put Fiona’s safety in other people’s hands, when you could do something about this whole situation right now?”

“It’s just that it’s so risky.”

“Sometimes you have to take risks.” Then, as if to put action to his words, he moved to stand in front of her. He cupped her face in his hands and bent to kiss her.

His kiss was like walking in a forest, the wind in her hair, sunlight on her face. The world spinning around her, full of possibilities, excitement, adventure. He was the kind of strength who would help her to be strong, to be able to believe even harder in a strong, sovereign God.

When he lifted his head, his hands caressed her cheeks. His eyes had darkened to deep blue like a tropical sea, and she felt she could drown in them.

Then he grinned, that irrepressible grin that never failed to lift her spirits. He suddenly bent down and picked a flower from the manicured flower beds lining the walkway leading up to the front door.

“Don’t pick their flowers,” she said weakly.

He handed her a bachelor’s button, the same flower he’d picked for her outside the car rental office.

“What’s this for?” she asked.

“A promise.” He tucked it into her hair, like he’d done before. “We’ll talk later about taking risks.”

He turned and walked back inside.

Joslyn wanted that talk. But she couldn’t suppress a shiver of foreboding that the risks they were taking now would turn their plans upside down.

In this instance, the physical danger to the two of them keeps them from acting on their emotions (I would think danger of being shot would put a damper on some sizzling attraction). Their relationship subtly changes, because while they’re still apart, there’s a link formed between them with the kiss and the promise.

This is from Protection for Hire. Right before this excerpt, Tessa had been attacked by a woman, but she fought back and the woman retreated. Also, the excerpt runs across a chapter break and a scene break so you can also see Charles’s reaction to the kiss.

“Tessa!” Charles was stumbling toward her.

She rose shakily to her feet. “Are you all right?”

“I’m fine. Are you—?”

She didn’t give him a chance to finish. She grabbed the lapels of his suit jacket and pulled his head down to kiss him.

Chapter Eighteen

She felt like she was floating in a bathtub of sage soap bubbles, melded with that male musk that was distinctly Charles. His expensive cologne was only a spicy thread, like a scent that had wafted into a room from another room in the house.

Charles’s lips were warm and firm despite the fact she’d surprised him. After a second, his arm snaked around her waist and pulled her closer to him. He kissed her back, deeply, almost reverently, as if he’d been dreaming of this for a hundred years. His kiss was delicious and decadent, like the sweet, rich cannolis he’d ordered for them at that restaurant for lunch.

But he wasn’t from her world and she’d never belong to his. She shouldn’t do this. What was she doing?

She pulled away from him, reluctantly. But his arms wouldn’t let go and still held her tight.

She met his eyes. It was like diving into a warm Jamaican sea. The current was his arms, tightening around her. He dipped his head to kiss her again …

She grit her teeth, squeezed her eyes shut, and pushed away from him until she had the safety of two feet of space between them.

Then she turned and walked away.


She’d kissed him.

He hadn’t wanted to let her go.

He was dumber than a duck.

He watched her walk toward Elizabeth and the other man in the car, when suddenly police lights colored the walls with red and blue. Two cars entered the parking garage and shone bright spotlights on the four of them.

Here again, there’s the instance of the kiss drawing them together despite the conflicts that had kept them apart up until this point, and at the end there’s the drawing apart from each other again. You also see Charles’s reaction to the kiss as soon as I switched point of view at the scene break.

This is from A Dangerous Stage. Charles is trying to sneak into his own house without waking his family.

He opened the door slowly, listening for any telltale squeak, but the hinges were still smooth from when, a few months ago, he’d had to oil them because the door had been sticking as it swung open. He only opened the door enough so that he could slip inside—

Wham! Something like a baseball bat jammed under his chin, knocking sharply into his throat and taking away his breath with the pain. He fell back against the closed door, his keys, shoes, and briefcase dropping. However, his shoes only made a dull thud against the tile, and since they fell just before his briefcase, they softened the sound of its fall. His keys tinkled as they dropped and skidded over the floor.

Suddenly the bat—no, it was a forearm pressing against his Adam’s apple stiffened and withdrew. “Charles?” whispered a sharp voice.

Rain and cherry blossoms. And a hint of yarn.

He didn’t think. He just felt the tide of something surging up from deep in his belly that made his hands reach up and cup her face and kiss her.

The kiss was like a long, sweet breath, a deep, hungry gasp after being underwater for too long. He kissed her hard, driven by the frustrations of the evening, fueled by the longing that had been building in him for months. Years. His entire life.

She gasped, but didn’t move away. She wouldn’t have been able to—nothing could have torn him from her in that moment. This kiss was the focus point of everything he’d ever wanted, of every risk he’d never taken, of every hope he’d been afraid to hope.

At one point the kiss softened. He knew this because her lips had softened under his, her hands were at his waist, as light and tentative as butterfly wings. His hands had slid down to her throat, where her racing pulse beat under his fingertips. He filled one hand with her hair, silky and smooth, flowing over her shoulders and not held tight by pins or product.

And she smelled divine. Like clean spring rain. Like spicy cherry blossoms. Like a warm blanket in front of a fireplace.

She smelled like Tessa.

And she was exactly what he wanted.

The moment he realized it, he tried to pull her closer to him, but she suddenly stiffened and jerked away. His waist felt cool where her hands had been. His body felt empty.

He could just see her eyes gleaming in the glow from a nightlight in the hallway. He heard her fast breathing, which matched his own.

“Tessa …” he whispered.

She took a few more quick breaths. Then she said, “I … I can’t.”

And she turned and hurried up the stairs, leaving him feeling like his soul had been ripped in two.

Charles is coming to a key point of emotional crisis in the book, and he’s finally starting to realize what’s important to him and what’s not. He and Tessa have been at odds with each other, but at this point he’s realized he just can’t live without her. Too bad she doesn’t feel the same.

Here’s one from Single Sashimi. Venus has just had a heated confrontation with Drake’s sister, who has just left.

Venus lifted her chin as she faced him, meeting his eyes directly even though her heart had started to pound like taiko drums in a fast, complex rhythm. “Drake—”

He took a long stride toward her, pulled her into his arms, and kissed her.

Chapter Nine

She thought she saw stars.

Firm and pliable, his lips pressed into hers. Strong. He was strong. His mouth was strong, and yet seemed to give strength rather than take it.

He wore the same scent. Something expensive. A thread of musk, a shimmering ribbon that reminded her of showering gold, a woodsy hint like a bamboo forest. She remembered whiffs of it as they passed each other in hallways, or easing around each other in bustling meeting rooms.

His arms around her pulled her close, holding her lower back with firmness but not captivity. Warm. His hands were warm. Burning, almost.

She felt every brush of his fine wool suit, the fold of her silk blouse crushed into her shoulder, the soft touch of his lip at the corner of her mouth. She wanted to reach her arms around him, fold him into herself.

This is Drake Yu.

She shoved him away.

The air shuddered through her throat as if her lungs had forgotten how to breathe. His scent lingered around her face, warm where it whispered against her cheek. Her heels wavered on the narrow stilettos.

He was looking at her, but she couldn’t raise her eyes from the blue and gray carpet, her breathing low and hard. She didn’t want to face him yet.

A bolt of lightning had blasted through her and fried her circuit board. She could almost smell the smoke from burned wires. Everything that had happened since she walked through those doors had culminated in a huge electrical explosion.

No, stop thinking like that. You have to forget about it.

“Venus, I’m sorry.”

Her fried circuit board started sizzling. She raised her head. “What am I supposed to say in response to that?” she snapped.

His eyes were too calm. Shouldn’t they be more animated—er, agitated that that? His placid expression made it seem as if he grabbed and kissed women in his office every day of the week.

This one’s a bit more physical description than my other books, partly because this is chick-lit and not traditional romance, but also partly because Venus tends to deny anything she feels in her body—she’s usually very uncomfortable with her figure and with physical sensations, so I emphasized the physicality of the kiss when I wrote this.

This is from Weddings and Wasabi:

“You are so selfish,” Aunty said. “You should care about pleasing your family. You should try to be a good Japanese daughter.” And here she gave a rather sneering look at Edward.

That prejudiced look fired her blood. No one talked like that to her anymore, and no one talked like that about her friends.

She’d been a people pleaser and a “good Japanese girl” for most of her life, and yet her family didn’t appreciate her or respect her. Moreover, she was grossly insulting Edward just because he wasn’t Asian.

So Aunty didn’t like her friend? Jenn would show her how “Japanese” she was.

She turned, grabbed Edward a bit awkwardly around the neck, and kissed him.

Chapter Ten

The kiss stunned him, dazzled him. The Milky Way exploded in front of his eyes. He felt a hundred feet tall (or at least taller than his normal five foot nine).

And she’d missed his mouth slightly and her hands around his neck kind of pulled his head at an awkward angle.

But she was only doing this to shock her relatives, who, granted, needed a bit of shocking. Still, this wasn’t right, not if he ever wanted a real relationship with Jenn. He grasped her waist to gently push her away.

Makiko’s voice grated on his ears. “Yuki! Your daughter is kissing that Hispanic migrant worker!”

His neck tightened. He was actually a Heinz 57 of old world Spanish, Italian, Russian, German, and a little Latvian. But the woman’s insulting tone made him grab Jenn’s waist and pull her closer instead of pushing her away from him.

Her body melted against him, and an inferno engulfed his head. Holy smokes, she was like his Aunt Lorena’s elote picoso chiles and corn dish.

Receding footsteps. The shush as Makiko yanked open the back door and then a whoosh! Thump, thump! as she slammed it shut.

Jenn didn’t immediately pull away. That was a good thing, right?

“She’s gone, guys,” Mimi said.

Jenn backed away, avoiding his eye, her cheeks purple like a plum. “Er … sorry. I kind of … lost my temper.”

She had pretty good provocation, and he didn’t want to make her uncomfortable with him, so he put a light spin on the incident. “You can lose your temper with me anytime.”

She flickered a glance up at him, bit her lip, then reluctantly smiled.

This is one of the least romantic kisses I’ve written. The kiss is more of an angry reaction to Jenn’s relatives, and they both know it, but it emphasizes Jenn’s struggle against the expectations and prejudice in her family. Edward doesn’t have as many hangups as she does, so he’s a little more logical in his thoughts.

This is from my Regency romance, Prelude for a Lord. They’re just about to start a public performance, but Alethea overheard a woman denigrate her ability, which is making her panic.

He took her hands and drew her back along the side corridor, away from the prying eyes of guests entering the drawing room down the hallway. “What is it?”

“I can’t do this,” she whispered.

“Yes you can.”

She gasped in a few more breaths. “I need . . . a moment . . .” But it seemed the more she breathed, the more lightheaded she became.

He drew closer and grabbed her shoulders. “You can do this. I believe in you.”

Her entire body trembled. She wanted to explain about the women’s words, about the fear and pain, about feeling so alone with no one to understand her now that Calandra was gone. But she couldn’t speak. Her mouth was dry, her heart rate faster than a galloping horse.

His hands tightened on her shoulders. And then his head blocked out the light as he swooped in to kiss her.

She had never been kissed before, and he was not simply touching her, she could feel him all around her. She could somehow feel his heart beating with hers, she could hear it in her ears. His lips were warm, and firm, and the knot inside her slowly unwound. Her hands touched the silk of his waistcoat, and he was solid and dependable. His very presence was sheltering like an oak tree.

He ended the kiss and looked into her eyes. She could breathe again, and she filled her lungs with the tang of lime, the woody scent of oak, the sharp, warm musk scent that rose from his skin.

In his eyes was something avid and yet wishful. She caught a glimpse of the vulnerable part of him that he seemed never to show.

And then he retreated behind an invisible wall. He took a deep breath, which seemed to wipe the yearning from his eyes, and he straightened, although his hands remained on her shoulders.

She should not have lost control. Not in front of anyone, not in front of a man, and not in front of this man. Especially because of how he made her feel so alive.

The kiss is significant because it’s the first time the two of them each realize how the other makes them feel emotionally complete. They go from two people feeling terribly alone to two people surprised to find that they are not alone. Yet their personal demons drive them apart almost immediately.

This is from The Spinster’s Christmas. Gerard is having difficulty adjusting to home life after being discharged from the Navy, which makes him emotionally vulnerable.
“I feel as though I am still at sea and need a war to fight,” he said.

“You are already helping me. I shall leave Wintrell Hall with you and your parents, and then I shall go to Cousin Laura’s home.” She did not tell him that she would try to find a position. She did not wish to be dependent even upon Cousin Laura. “I am not your war, Gerard.”

“I know that, but …” His fingertips touched her face. In the light from the torch, he looked confused.

She didn’t want him to be confused, because it only made her feel more confused. She closed her eyes and turned her cheek away. “Gerard—”

He took her chin, angling it back toward him, and then he was kissing her.

It was everything she had always dreamed it would be, and even better. His mouth was firm, and his hand snaked around her waist to the small of her back, pulling her closer to him. He kissed her as though she were precious to him, as though she meant something to him.

It was the first time she had been kissed. In all her girlhood, she had not been inclined to allow any boy such liberties while she yet pined for the young man away at sea, and as she grew older, the number of boys who wanted to kiss her had dwindled.

But those had been girlish fantasies, and she was now older and wiser. And no matter how she might wish it, this was no longer that idealized young man.

She pulled away just as he did. “Gerard.”

“I beg your pardon, Miranda.” He looked shocked at his own behaviour. “I ought not to have … I respect you a great deal …”

She drew upon all her strength, her deepest calm. “It was a mistake, easily forgotten.” She shivered. “We must go inside. I am cold.”

Until this moment when I copied and pasted that here, I had no idea I’d reused that phrase about never been kissed. Sheesh! Well, I’ve written quite a few kisses so I guess it’s not surprising there would be some inadvertent similarities.

Gerard’s kiss actually hurts Miranda, because it doesn’t mean the same for him that it does for her. The kiss only serves to make her push him away more firmly.

Lastly, this is from The Gentleman’s Quest:

He squeezed her hand. “I vow I will protect you from whoever may try to harm you.”

She smiled and touched his cheek. “Your respect for me is worth more than a thousand treasures.”

He could not help himself. He framed her face with his hands and kissed her.


His kiss was both unexpected and overwhelming for Honoria. As a girl, she had dreamed of Christopher kissing her, but with no idea of what a kiss from a man was like. She had not allowed any boy the liberty while her heart belonged to her brother’s friend. And then had been Aubrey, who turned kisses and touches into something violating and repulsive.

Christopher’s kiss was beautiful.

She was surrounded by the scent of sandalwood and a deeper musk that was Christopher’s. His hands were tender on her face, but his mouth pressed in harder, as if to convince her that this was not the kiss of a cousin, or a friend, but a man who desires a woman. His lips moved over hers, tasting and touching.

She ought to stop this. As the future Lord Heathcliffe, he had so much ahead of him whereas she had become a shell of who she once was. She was no longer the carefree girl he had known, but a woman whose soul felt beaten and tired. She had nothing to offer him except a temporary means to assuage his guilt.

But this was Christopher. His touch made her feel like she was floating. She trusted him to always strive to do what was best for others. He would not blindly obey her every whim, but he would always listen to her.

And he was kissing her as if she were the only woman he cared for. As if she were a woman he could love.

His hands had moved to her waist, pulling her against him. Her hand had drifted to his neck, bare because he had not replaced his cravat, and she felt his heartbeat fast and strong under her fingers.

A thudding sound outside the closed door made them break apart—someone coming down the staircase. They stared at each other as the footsteps passed by the breakfast room and out the front door.

“Honoria,” Christopher breathed. He bent his head to kiss her again.

She drowned in his kiss for a long moment, but then steeled her resolve and pushed him away. He released her reluctantly.

“We must go on as if this didn’t happen,” she said, her heart breaking. “I meant everything I said to you before.”

He frowned. “The Honoria I knew wouldn’t run away.”

“The Honoria you knew is gone.”

She turned and fumbled with the door latch before leaving him in the breakfast room.

This is an example of a kiss that makes the heroine feel better about herself, even if it’s only for a few moments before her internal conflict kicks in again. The kiss is a little more physical than my romantic suspenses, but more than that, it’s a glimpse into a healthy relationship for a woman who only thinks of herself as emotionally ill.

That’s it! Those are the majority of the kiss scenes I’ve written. I hope the examples have helped you understand a little better about how to write kisses in traditional romance genres. If you have questions, just leave them in the comments.


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