Oh, dear. She let her head fall back to the pillow. There it went. I've fallen in love with you now.Just now? Chuckling, he came to a sitting position, resting his forearm on one bent knee. Well, thank God for belated blessings. He ran a handthrough his hair. It's been coming on rather longer than that for me.What? She sat bolt upright. What can you mean? Since when?From the first, Amelia. From the very first.
I was afraid. Of getting hurt in other ways. To be truthful, I still am.His thumb stroked her cheek. I would never hurt you.I don't think you can promise me that. She squeezed his bruised fingers. But it makes things a bit more equal, to know that I can hurt you, too.His gaze fell to her lips. He said simply, without any trace of irony, You are killing me.
I'm infatuated with you, I cannot deny it. Physically speaking, you're a very attractive man. But I don't like you, the vast majority of the time. So far as I can gather, you behave abominably in public and are only marginally better in private. I only find you remotely tolerable when you're kissing me.
Clearly the sight of a well-muscled forearm incited a woman to utter depravity. How else to explain the invention of cuffs?
You don't want me to feel obligated? Well, I'm sorry, Lily. I am herebecause I feel obligated. He brought her hand to his chest, pressing herpalm flat against his rapidly thumping pulse. I'm obligated by my heart. It'sdecided you're essential to my existence, you see. And it's threatening to go out on labor strike if I don't make you mine this very day. So yes. I am here on bended knee, acting from a deep, undeniable sense of obligation. I am, quite simply, yours. He swallowed hard. If you'll have me.
No, Susanna, he said. I cannot love you just a little. If that's what you want, you must find a different man. His green eyes were breathtaking in their intensity. His thumb brushed her bottom lip. Because I can only love you entirely. With everything I am, and everything I ever will be. Body, mind, heart, soul.
A hint of sensual frustration roughened his voice.“And I will curse the gods along with them, Min. Some wild monsoon raged through me as I looked at you just now. It’s left me rearranged inside, and I don’t have a map.
You’re my home, Susanna. My home, my heart, my dearest love. Wherever you are, that’s where I belong. Always.” - Victor Bramwell, Earl of Rycliff
I will insist you be man enough to take it. I won’t have you making light of my feelings, or making light of yourself—as if you’re not worthy of them. Because you are worthy, Colin. You’re a generous, good-hearted person, and you deserve to be loved. Deeply, truly, well, and often.”He looked utterly bewildered. Well, what did he expect, after the power he’d given her? He couldn’t compare a woman to a torrentially beautiful monsoon, and then look surprised that he’d gotten wet. “You reckless man.” She laid a touch to his cheek. “You really should be more careful with those compliments.
Her chin lifted. Very well. Here is my best offer. Half of my nakedness for all of yours.He pretended to think on it. It's a bargain.
Squabbling over too little is just human nature. But it says a great deal about a person, what they do with abundance.
No, no. Don't make that face. Every time I propose to you, you make that twisty, unhappy face. It wears on a man's confidence.
The love of books was an instant connection, and a true boon for a girl who tended toward shyness, because it was a source of endless conversation.
He rubbed his hands up and down, warming her. “Then that’s all you need to know. I have you. If there are beasties in the dark, they have to get through me.
I love you, Jeremy.”He still felt it, that wince of doubt. The urge to push her away. She said it so simply. As though there was nothing easier, more natural in the world. The words themselves hung in the air, so tiny, so bare.Jeremy felt as though she’d thrust a frail, delicate, birdlike thing into his big, clumsy hands, charging him to keep it safe. And God forgive him, his first impulse was to shove it away. He would destroy it, surely. In his desperation, he would grasp it so tightly it would break into a thousand pieces—and his own heart would break along with it.
It was only a matter of time. She would love him before the week was out and it would be gloriously terrible, wonderfully hopeless.
It's never been my desire to conquer you, Amelia. If you leave this room with me, it must be at my side. As my wife, my lover, my partner ...” His thumb brushed her lip. “My dearest friend.
It's a fine, warm day,” Henry replied. “I thought a spot of fishing?”“Just the thing!” said Felix. “Will you join us, Lucy?” Lucy felt Kitty and Sophia staring at her. Well-bred ladies, evidently, did not fish. “Oh, no! I assure you, Mr. Crowley-Cumberbatch, I have given up those hoyden pursuits of my youth.” She turned to Toby. “I haven't been fishing in ages. I can't remember the last time.”“Really, Luce?” Toby sounded incredulous. “Henry—is it true?”Henry sawed away at a slice of ham. “If you count six days as ages, then I suppose it's true. But if you can't remember six days back, Lucy, and you've forgotten Felix's Christian name, I'm concerned for you. Perhaps you've been spending too much time with Aunt Matilda.
So odd. Most women of his acquaintance relied on physical beauty and charm to mask their less-pleasant traits. This girl did the opposite, hiding everything interesting about herself behind a prim, plain facade.What other surprises was she concealing?
She sketched songbirds when she was supposed to be minding her lessons, and she sketched church mice when she was meant to be at prayer. When she had time to ramble out of doors, anything in Nature was fair game- from the shoots of clover between her toes to any cloud that meandered overhead.
The pain of an injury is over in seconds. Everything that comes after is the pain of getting well. He gave her a heartfelt look, full of apology. I'd forgotten that you see. Coming back to life ... It hurts.
Izzy was utterly convinced. Never mind Arabian horses, African cheetahs. No creature in the world could bolt so quickly as a rake confronted with the word marriage. They ought to shout it out at footraces rather than using starting pi
There's a very generous donation in the parish's future if you make this fast. Ten minutes, at the most.Frowning, the man fumbled open his liturgy. There's an established rite, Your Grace. Marriage must be entered into with solemnity and consideration. I don't know that I can rush--Ten minutes. One thousand guineas.The liturgy snapped closed. Then again, what do a few extra minutes signify to an eternal God? He beckoned Amelia with a fluttering, papery hand. Make haste, child. You're about to be married.
He had to feel those lips on him again. Had. To. This wasn’t a mild expression of preference. This was an imperative. His body was insistent. To continue hisexistence on this earth, he now needed the following: food, water, shelter, clothing, and Minerva Highwood’s lips.
You’re hurt.”“No. No, I’m fine. It’s not blood. The militiamen were adjusting Sir Lewis’s trebuchet, and there was a mishap. You took a melon for me.” She smiled, even though her lips trembled.
You’re a grown woman, and a clever one. I believe you understand the situation. And I’m going to trust that you know your own mind.
I'm going to build that house with my own hands, from the foundation to the roof. I'm going to do it for us, and I'm going to do it right, so it lasts forever. Can't go raising walls on a shaky foundation. Can't go slapping thatch over rafters so thin, they'll topple with the first winter storm. Do you know?She nodded. I know.He reached for her hand. It's the same with us. I mean to build something with you. Something that will last. Much as I want you, I don't want to rush and bollocks it up.
Proper handling of a horse like this is no simple matter. He was trained to race, from birth. Not only to race, but to be the best. Once a champion, he was spoiled with attention and permissive handling. Add to that, he's an ungelded male, with a strong natural mating drive. It all adds up to a horse with a mile-wide streak of arrogance, bloody bored out of his mind. Without proper exercise and opportunities to mate, all that aggressive energy festers. He becomes moody, intractable, withdrawn, destructive.Ashworth raised an eyebrow at Bellamy. Is it just me, or is this conversation becoming uncomfortably personal?Spencer fumed. I'm not referring to myself, you ass.
Logan's sleep was much as it always was.Dark. Cold. Empty.Seemingly endless.Then, out of nowhere, a face appeared to him in the darkness. A pale, pretty face with dark eyes.She called to him in a sweet, husky voice. Logan.Well, Logan thought. If he was going to develop the talent for dreaming, these were the kinds of dreams he could enjoy.
And she was well-enough acquainted with loneliness to understand that the worst part wasn't having nobody caring for you - it was having nobody to care for.
I know how mirrors work. They're all in league with the cosmetics trade. They tell a woman lies. Drawing her gaze from one imagined flaw to another, until all she sees is a constellation of imperfections. If you could get outside yourself, borrow my eyes for just an instant... There is only beauty.
Izzy felt as though she’d wandered into the third act of a play. She had no idea what was going on, but it was unbearably dramatic.
A better man wouldn’t play this ‘sweethearts’ game with her when he knew very well it couldn’t lead to more.But he wasn’t a better man. He was Colin Sandhurst, reckless, incorrigible rogue—and damn it, he couldn’t resist. He wanted to amuse her, spoil her, feed her sweets and delicacies. Steal a kiss or two, when she wasn’t expecting it. He wanted to be a besotted young buck squiring his girl around the fair.In other words, he wanted to live honestly. Just for the day.
Damn, she just kept on surprising him. First with her beauty. Then with the illustrations. He'd been forced to accept that there was more to her character than he'd gleaned from her letters, but none of it fell too far outside the borders of his carefully mapped mental territory labeled Madeline. She was privileged, sheltered, intelligent, curious, and far too crafty.But this...This was different. As he watched her with the tenants' children, his conception of her pushed against its established boundaries. He was forced to add new descriptors to his list. Ones like generous and responsible and protective.
It seemed any young woman at odds with her place in life--be she a genteel lady or a serving girl--might find a happier home within the pages of a book.