Stuart’s Coat, Sara’s Spectacles, and Jessica’s Glove

glovesI’ve been thinking lately about what is it about some writers that make their books magical for readers in ways that others aren’t.

First, a confession: I read contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and paranormals, but historical romance was my first love and remains my absolute favorite.  So, with my bias fully admitted and setting aside the continuing gush of wallpaper historicals in which you can’t even tell the time period a book is supposedly set in unless the author tells you, there are some talented writers out there I’ve come to admire and who have become auto-buys for me.  Still, the ones I’m watching have yet to come up with one of those scenes.

I’m talking about those hit-you-in-the-heart scenes. The kind you remember. The kind you share with other readers who very often respond “Yes!” The kind that make you feel what the characters are feeling.

I love the scene in which Bobby Tom realizes that Gracie made an “X” over his heart in Heaven, Texas.  Equally, the “you are my Egypt” scene from Connie Brockway’s As You Desire has to rank as one of the greatest declarations of love in all of romance. And I’ve sighed since I was 14 over the scene in Devil’s Cub in which Mary attempts to break up hotheaded Vidal’s sword fight by stepping in the middle of the action. Vidal’s reaction makes Mary realize for the very first time that her spoiled and haughty Devil’s Cub really loves her.  I felt it too and I will never forget the first time I read it.

But, for me, three scenes stand out that perfectly exemplify just what I’m talking about.

Stuart’s Coat from Judith Ivory’s Untie My Heart: When heroine Emma first sees hero Stuart, the former con artist is dazzled by the hero who is on every level “more” than an Englishman. He enters the bank where she is posing as a stenographer with an outsized retinue of servants and a coat that fascinates her. The author’s description of the coat is deceptively simple: Vicuna wool fully lined in silver white chinchilla.  Ah, but those words don’t do justice to the romance of the coat. It ripples.  It flows.  It swirls around his ankles in dramatic fashion. And it makes a most wonderful display as Stuart drapes it over his chair and sits nonchalantly on the fur throughout the business meeting. Through the author’s masterly description of that coat through Emma’s eyes, the great Ms. Ivory makes the reader understand just how exotic—and appealing—a creature he is, an extravagant peacock perched for a moment in Emma’s Spartan world.  Emma is captivated and as readers we are, too.

Sara’s Spectacles in Dreaming of You By Lisa Kleypas: There are many reasons this book is beloved by so many, not the least of which is hero Derek Craven. Crusading heroine Sara comes to London from her quiet village life to research the lives of prostitutes for a novel she plans to write. She lands in Derek’s gaming club that, indeed, employs “house wenches” and soon enough attracts the attention of jaded Derek himself. The love story between the almost too good Sara and a hero who is anything but remains one of my all time favorites. While there are many heart-stopping moments in this wonderful book, there is a scene in the last third only a few paragraphs long that has always been special to me. In it, after a separation from Derek, Sara discovers that the man who very much wants her to believe has no feelings for her is carrying next to his heart a pair of spectacles she had long believed were lost. It is but a brief moment in a lovely book, but it shows the reader—and Sara—that Derek is, indeed, hopelessly in love with a woman he believes he could never have.  It is a scene I’ve never forgotten.

Jessica’s Glove from Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase: The AAR readers who keep voting this book their favorite romance of all time know the glove scene. In it, the incredible Marquess of Dane removes a glove from heroine Jessica’s wrist and hand. And, oh, my how the words “removes a glove” don’t even begin to cover the erotic longing that the scene conveys.  As he undoes each little pearl button, Dain is overpowered by his desire for a woman he’s not even sure he likes.

“He had relieved whores beyond counting of frocks, stays, chemises, garters, and stockings. He’d never before in his life unbuttoned a gently bred maiden’s glove. He had committed salacious acts beyond number. He’d never once felt so depraved as he did now, as the last pearl came free and he drew the soft kid down, baring her wrist, and his dark fingers grazed the delicate skin he’d exposed.

“He was too busy searching Dain’s Dictionary for a definition of his state—and too confused by what he read there—to realize that Miss Jessica Trent’s grey eyes had taken on the drunkenly bewildered expression of a respectable spinster being seduced in spite of herself.”

Can I hear an amen?

So, what scenes do you remember?  When you think about books you love, which moments will you always remember?

—Sandy AAR

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50 Responses to Stuart’s Coat, Sara’s Spectacles, and Jessica’s Glove

  1. The Anvil scene in Dorothy Dunnett’s Checkmate. We’ve waited 6 books for this, and it doesn’t disappoint. Can’t go into details because of spoilers, but this is one of the very few times we get a scene from Francis’s point of view; and like the thudding of a hammer on an anvil, he realizes what he has and what he can’t have.

    Not from a romance, but “Daddy, my Daddy” from “The Railway Children.” OMG

    “Flowers From The Storm” when Jervaulx stands up in front of a hostile audience to declare his love for Maddy.

    Georgette Heyer’s “Black Sheep” when Miles arrives unexpectedly and Abby flies into his arms before thinking that she perhaps shouldn’t, and he calls her his “Bright, particular star.”

    I’ve been trying really hard to come up with one of those moments in a recent read, but I can’t.

  2. Leigh AAR says:

    Two come to mind:

    Dark Moon Defender- when Justin gives Ellynor a gift in front her family

    A Duke of Her Own the scene where Leopold dresses down, takes Eleanor to the park to feed the swans, even providing bread. Then the ring that he buys her.

  3. Oh! When The Shadow and The Star – the scene with the cranes in the bedroom. Dream a Little Dream – when she gets taken to jail and he has to come get her and he tosses her shoes out the window? The Third JR Ward book – with Zsadist – when she comes to tell him she’s pregnant and he’s learning how to read and he tells her that he was trying to be a better man just so he could see her because he knows she wouldn’t want him that way — I’m going to be thinking about this all day…. fun!

  4. Sue says:

    Eve’s button …

  5. AARPat says:

    Okay, here are a very few of mine:
    Jane Eyre – Jane teases Rochester at the end
    Slightly Dangerous – Wolf and Christina in the converted dovecot and he confesses to who he is
    The Temporary Wife – Anthony’s panic when he realizes how little he knows about Charity
    Suddenly You – Jack and Amanda after the miscarriage
    The More I See You – Jessica and Richard on the beach
    The Older Woman – Bugs tirade to Kate about why he loves her
    The Raven Prince – Edward explaining why he had to fight to Ann

    Oh, the memories! In each of these books, I was so far away from my physical present, lost in a completely made-up time and place. Then like you said, Sandy, these scenes truly hit me in the heart.

  6. xina says:

    Sandy, What fun to remember scenes. The Coat Scene…I just looked at that particular scene the other day. Ivory writes Stuart so clearly in that scene. The coat, the way he moves in it. Very visual and so beautifully written where just the description of a man’s coat and the man in it sets up Stuart for the entire book.
    More…Morning Glory by Lavyrle Spencer. Will has just gotten out of jail and has gotten a job. He doesn’t have food to eat and finds a discarded sandwich. Before he can eat it a few men he works with stomp it under their feet leaving him with nothing to eat.
    One Fine Day by Theresa Weir…Molly reluctantly returns home after a year after her divorce from Austin. She goes to the house while he is in the hospital and sees last year’s calendar still turned to the month she left. The handle of the refrigerator is sticky and dirty. I’ve always rememebered that scene and where it shows how he just gave up when she left.
    Keeper Of The Dream by Penelope Williamson…Arianna and Raine started the book hating each other. By mid book they are falling in love. He leaves to go to war and she watches him ride away. She hasn’t told him she loves him. She calls to him and runs to him. He stops and waves him men on and gets off his horse to catch her in his arms. Much kissing…then he rides away on his horse not looking back. She watches him until his figure is smaller and smaller. He then whirls his horse around and lifts his arm to her. She then runs back to the castle, runs up the steps to the tower and watches him from the catwalk until she can’t see him. So lovely.

    One more…my favorite…The Bronze Horseman. Tatiana spots Alexander from across the street. He is looking at her and she cannot look away. A bus stops in front of her blocking her view. When the bus pulls away, he is there. The first meeting. I have read that scene many, many times. **sigh**

  7. oh my gosh – so many of those moments in the bronze horseman, and in the sequel – when she sees him at the hospital and has to pretend not to know him — oh my poor heart could barely stand it.

  8. This Rough Magic, by Mary Stewart. The scene where Lucy and Max save the Dolphin. I still love that.

    Message from Absalom, by Anne Armstrong Thompson. Can’t go into too many details without giving away a huge chunk of the plot, but in the last two pages of Chapter 19 the heroine, Susannah, is encountering the hero, Alexsei Azarov, for what she thinks will be the final time. She’s seen him as an adversary up till now, and since they’re working on opposite sides he is someone she rightfully mistrusts and fears, and they’ve just had a Very Intense Encounter, but at the end of it she realizes something about him she hadn’t before, and it catches her off guard. Here’s how she leaves:

    “At the corner, she paused to look back.
    He still stood beside the car, head up, looking after her. At his feet, the dog [a Doberman] whimpered and reached with his paw to comfort his master. But Azarov’s gaze was on Susannah. Their eyes met and held. Slowly, the Russian’s hand opened. He reached out and brought the dog’s head to his side and held it close.”

    And my heart cracks a little for him, every time…

    And oh, Lynne, the Railway Children! YES! I still can’t read that scene aloud to my own kids. My voice just deserts me.

    • renee says:

      Susanna Kearsley: This Rough Magic, by Mary Stewart. The scene where Lucy and Max save the Dolphin. I still love that.
      Message from Absalom, by Anne Armstrong Thompson. Can’t go into too many details without giving away a huge chunk of the plot, but in the last two pages of Chapter 19 the heroine, Susannah, is encountering the hero, Alexsei Azarov, for what she thinks will be the final time.

      Thank you for remembering those two moments. Those books are two of my all time favorites. I also love the moment in The Grand Sophy when Sophy first arrives in her carriage with the pet monkey and all the relatives who were expecting a small, retiring miss realize that Sophy is far from what they were expecting.

  9. Janet S says:

    Since it was among my first romances I have to second Eve’s button. The tender moments in the In Death series stand out all the more as part of the violent, gritty environment. And Roarke….sigh.

  10. wenmc says:

    Some more humorous ones from

    “This Heart of Mine” when Keven throws Molly in the lake, so he can “rescue” her, like Dan did with Phoebe. Molly shrieks, “yes, but he didn’t try to kill her first”.

    “Lord Perfect” when Bathsheba locks Benedict out of the office when she is meeting with his father. She says she’ll take 20 pounds bribe to leave, then Benedict comes thru the window to foil her plan.

  11. xina says:

    One more, and then I will stop. :) Outlaw by Susan Johnson. Johnnie Carre steals Elizabeth from her wedding to another man was astounding to me the first time I read it. “Whipping his horse, Johnnie raced down the hill, the thunder of hoofbeats behind him. Those men below were going to have to move out of his way or fall before him, he grimly thought, his black hair streaming behind him, his eyes half-shut against the rushing wind, his fingers loosely curled around his pistol grip…because he was coming through.

    And when Johnnie is in the cathedral walking to collect her at the altar the scene is written so that the reader can almost hear the clang of his sword and the jangle of his spurs while the guests looked on. Amazing scene.

  12. Victoria S says:

    Yes!Eve’s button, definitely Eve’s button.
    Linda Howard’s Cry No More when Milla gives up the rights to her little boy after she’s spent her whole life looking for him because she realizes he’s just not hers anymore:
    ” I want to grab him and never let him go. But it’s too it’s been too late for years. We aren’t his family now. If we ever know him, it’ll have to be his choice. Otherwise the damage to him will be terrible, and I haven’t fought so hard and so long to find him just so I would be happy. I had to know if he was safe, if he was loved. He is”.
    And from the same book, when James takes her to the house by the beach and waits on her, literally hand and foot, while she heals her heart.

    Joanna Bourne’s The Forbidden Rose when Maggie waits all night down in the tunnels underneath Paris while the rest of her team goes to get things and people to rescue Guillaume from the Parisian jail before he goes to the guillotine:

    “She kept a vigil, as if she had lit candles in a church and waited beside them the night through.Guillaume was a hundred feet away. She sat on his doorstep, with leagues of dark around her, keeping him company”. Baby….that’s love!!

  13. AAR Sandy says:

    Love these! Please keep them coming. I’ve been thinking this morning of Slightly Dangerous. Pat has already mentioned a scene that spoke to her and another favorite of mine is the scene in which Wulf climbs a tree and his sister says to Christine, “if this is what you have done for him, I will love you forever.”

  14. Corie says:

    Wenmc – yes, on the “Lord Perfect” scene where Bathsheba bargains with the Earl of Hargate to leave Rathboune for twenty pounds. Hilarious!

    THE LAST HELLION – the scene where Ainsworth finds Lydia’s pencil and keeps it in his pocket. We later find out that he keeps other things that she leaves behind as well in a special box that he takes with him wherever he goes.

    The “I’ll give you Paradise” speech by Matt to Meredith in PARADISE.

    A 14-year old Leo Marsden running after 18-year old Briony’s carriage to give her flowers and wish her well on her way to med school in NOT QUITE A HUSBAND.

    In TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, Cal surprising Grace by taking her to a small, obscure theater to watch “Gone With The Wind.” You see this is her favorite book of all time and she has a DVD of it that’s never been open because she believes it ought to be scene in a big screen the way the filmmakers intended it to be, so she never bothered watching it, until Cal took her to see it for the first time and they had to travel more than an hour to get to
    it. The surprise and wonder was evident on Grace’s face when she saw the marquee sign.

  15. Pamela M says:

    Kleypas does these moments so well. Eveie finding her wedding ring on a chain around Sebastian’s neck when he was ill in The Devil in Winter.

  16. Pamela M says:

    Beast-Judith Ivory, I wasn’t entirely convinced that Louise really loved Charles until the end. At the end when Charles falls into the foyer and he is on his back and he and Louise are talking to each other at the same time, with that brisk volley of conversation back and forth about things they have never told each other and…

    “Louise stopped. She blinked then said, “My parents do this.”
    “Do what?”
    “Talk at the same, while no one else can make heads or tails of their conversation.” She laughed, “I always thought it was — sweet. I was jealous.” Louise fell onto her bottom, then let herself fall straight back, sprawled out beside him. “It’s awful!” Awful or not, she laughed.

  17. Sandy, those sighworthy scenes are truly the best part of romance, aren’t they? That’s what we’re reading for, not the sex or anything else we’re often accused of loving as romance readers, but that moment of true, specific connection that shows that of all the men and all the women in the world, these two are meant to be together.

    As a writer, I don’t think that sort of scene can be contrived. You get a feeling in your gut when magic happens on the page and you just hope readers will see that magic, too.

    One of my favorites is when Jessica gives Dain the Madonna in Lord of Scoundrels. And in Devil’s Cub when Vidal says “She is mine! She was always mine!” Sigh!

  18. Pamela M says:

    Sorry, the last paragraph above should start “Talk at the same time, while…

  19. xina says:

    Molly, Yes, there are so many moments in The Bronze Horseman. The scene where she is in the hospital and he comes with Dasha, but comes back later by himself.

  20. Corie says:

    Thought of more stuff…most of them Lisa Kleypas books…

    Cam’s observation of the nature of Kev and Win’s relationship in SEDUCE ME AT SUNRISE…”They couldn’t have been more opposite, the pale blond invalid and the huge Rom. One so refined and otherworldly, the other brown
    and rough-hewn and barely civilized. But the connection was there, like the path of a hawk that always returned to the same forest, following the invisible map that was etched in its very nature.”

    The “perfect day” description in SMOOTH TALKING STRANGER.

    The baby-soothing scene in SCANDAL IN SPRING.

    The bear purchasing scene in THEN CAME YOU.

    Sebastian tucking warm bricks under Evie’s feet during their elopement in DEVIL IN WINTER.

    And this is one’s not a romance novel but the first meeting of Santiago and Fatima in THE ALCHEMIST. It goes like this…”When he looked into her dark eyes, and saw that her lips were poised between a laugh and silence, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke–the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love. Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. Something that exerted the same force whenever two pairs of eyes met, as had theirs here at the well…he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing…the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.”

    I’m stopping now…so many books…so little time…*sighs*

  21. DabneyAAR says:

    Wow! This thread just makes me want to read all these books again. Thanks for reminding me of all this wonder!

  22. Jen X says:

    I love, love, love Harry’s “you are my Egypt” speech in AS YOU DESIRE. And Sara’s spectacles…*sigh*

    The plum pudding exchange in Laura Kinsale’s, The DREAM HUNTER is a favorite.

  23. Diana says:

    Outlander. I wasn’t sure about Claire until she went alone into Black Jack’s prison to rescue Jamie. And the scene where she reconstructs his hand. Sigh.

  24. Tracy Grant says:

    Such a great topic, Sandy! I too love that scene from “Devil Cub.” For other Heyer books, also the scene in “The Grand Sophy” where Charles looks at Sophy across Amabel’s sickbed and realizes he love her (though through Heyer’s skillful used of POV what he’s thinking remains tantalizingly elusive. And the scene in “Venetia” where Venetia returns to Damerel and he seizes her in his arms, scruples over come by emotion (well, and he’s drunk :-).

    Also the riverbank scene and the proposal in Sayers’s “Gaudy Night.” And the final scene in “Busman’s Honeymoon.”

    The dock scene in Laurie King’s “A Monstrous Regiment of Women.”

    The church scene in “Much Ado About Nothing.”

    And the scene between Mary and the wounded Lord Vaughn in his bed (not what you’d think) in Lauren Willig’s “The Seduction of the Crimson Rose.”

  25. willaful says:

    Gigi desperately following Camden across the length of the boat in Private Arangements.

    Susanna finding Gaaron at the window and discovering that she spoke her former lover’s name in her sleep in Angelica.

    The entire first sex scene in The Shadow and the Star, one of the most incredible, evocative pieces of writing ever.

  26. Cam says:

    what about “To Sir Phillip, with love” when he sees Eloise in their wedding night with her hair loose he just loves it. The scene is beautiful

  27. Judy says:

    Sandy, thanks for allowing us reading fans to share our favorite scenes.
    One favorite of mine is in Lisa Valdez “Passion” when Mark meets with Passion to tell her he will love only her forever and then says he has promised to marry another..very touching scene.
    I have not read L.K. “The Shadow and the Star” but will do so because of the posts and reading AAR’s review.

  28. annaR says:

    The globe scene in WRITTEN ON YOUR SKIN (also the scene where they trace each others scars) by Meredith Duran

    The garden scene in LIKE NO OTHER LOVER by Julie Anne Long

    The chasing the train scene in THE DREAM HUNTER by Laura Kinsale

    I also love the scene where the speech impaired Jervaulx dares to embarass himself on the podium in FLOWERS FROM THE STORM also by Kinsale and also where he describes Maddy to her blind father.

    These are just the ones off the top of my head. I’m sure I could think of many more if I just ran through all my keeper books in my head.


  29. AAR Sandy says:

    Some great memories of great scenes, here. I loved everything about Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase and am trying to decide what would be the quintessential scene in that book. Any ideas?

  30. Britta says:

    annaR, that scene when they are on the bench holding hands and talking (but not looking at one another) in Like No Other Lover by JAL is one of my favorites too. Everything about that book worked for me, but I loved that scene the most. Breaks my heart every time I read it, even though I know how the book ends. : )

  31. Nat says:

    Love, love, love the scene in Connie Brockway’s Promise Me Heaven when Thomas is proposing to Cat using the enticement of raising sheep and producing the “most prime merino wool,” because he’s too scared she’ll reject his love. Always makes me smile.

  32. Ludmilla says:

    So many good ones already mentioned. I also love Emma’s thought process in Untie My Heart as she’s readjusting her plans for conning Stuart–esp when she sees just how elaborate his signature is (a true match to that memorable coat, and let’s not forget the coach and eight). Another stunning Kinsale moment is the letter from My Sweet Folly. Those who’ve read it will understand immediately the letter I mean.

  33. Lynda X says:

    I love the “morning after” scene with Devon and Merry in Tom and Sharon Curtis “Windflower.” Clearly, Merry didn’t think much of her first time and Devon is sympathetic, and tells her that he’s willing to never have sex with her again, if that’s what the results of the drawn card indicate, or if she “loses,” they will. Of course, we discover that he is cheating. His sympathy and ruefulness are so lovely, and you just KNOW that they’ll be fine.

    I adore so many scenes in SEP’s “Heaven, Texas.” It opens with a great one where Gracie, who looks like the stereotype of a librarian, arrives at the great football player’s house and the men think she’s a disguised stripper. She is secretly tantalized and flattered by this. It’s a very funny scene. Bobby Tom’s grovel scene, after he’s been so arrogant with Gracie and finally realizes it, as well as realizing how much he truly loves her is fabulous, but the final “football” quiz and Gracie’s answer STILL makes me laugh, nearly twenty years after I have read it. All I have to do is think of it, and I smile. IMO, this is the best of all SEP.

  34. Susan/DC says:

    I love the scene in Diane Farr’s historical “Under the Wishing Star” where Natalie and Malcolm, recently wed, make love. Natalie was somewhat stiff and frightened when they consummated their marriage. This scene takes place a few days later:

    “‘Natalie,’ he whispered. His voice was husky with desire and promise. ‘Don’t think about you, sweetheart. Think about me.’

    She tilted her head, puzzled. Then he shrugged his dressing gown off, let it drop to the floor, and reached for her bath sponge — and, in a flash, she understood. He was right. When she thought about herself — her fears, her nakedness, what he must be thinking of her, whether or not she pleased him — she froze up like an overwound clock. But when she thought of him — the play of his muscles, the texture of his hair, the feel of his mouth when he kissed her — there was no room in her reeling brain for petty anxieties.”

    I love how that scene is realistic in terms of how an inexperienced young bride 200 years ago would react at first to sex, and romantic in how Malcolm soothes her fears and releases her from self-consciousness. Diane Farr makes me see Malcolm in this scene, his warmth, his understanding, and his glorious physicality — I miss Diane Farr’s heroes, and I miss her writing.

  35. Susan/DC says:

    Thought of another one: the first time James and Susan make love in Steven Brust and Emma Bull’s “Freedom & Necessity”. They have known each other forever (they are second cousins) but have now become aware of each other as potential lovers. When she comes to his room one night, he warns that she will not leave a virgin. She comes to his arms, willing and unafraid. This novel is layered and complex and also extremely romantic (not one but two great couples). I won’t quote this time, but I do love when Susan thinks about “the joinery of his back”, as she is introduced to the intimacy of a man’s body for the first time (as James notes in this scene, a live man is a very different thing from a marble statue).

  36. Tracy Grant says:

    Such a great scene, Susan! I should have mentioned that one as well. I also love the last letter James writes to Susan (“Freedom & Necessity” is an epistolary novel).

  37. Laura says:

    For the commenters who mentioned “Message from Absalom”, do you recommend it? I’m eying a second-hand copy at the moment. Is there a strong romantic element to it?

    • Laura: For the commenters who mentioned “Message from Absalom”, do you recommend it? I’m eying a second-hand copy at the moment. Is there a strong romantic element to it?

      Oh, yes! No sex, but heaps of smouldering romantic tension. And Aleksei is a hero to die for.

  38. Barb in Maryland says:

    OMG yes! Message From Absalom is very, very romantic–BUT-there is no sex. So if you are looking for steamy love scenes, you will have to go elsewhere. It is fantastic romantic suspense, if somewhat dated.
    Anyhoo-one of my favorites. Tissues will be needed(at least, I always cry), but the ending is so wonderful.

  39. msaggie says:

    This whole article has triggered a re-read of some of my favourite romances – and yes, I agree about Message from Absalom – it’s ages since I read that.

    I was re-reading The Shadow and the Star yesterday – and apart from the other scenes mentioned by other posters, I love the scenes of Leda making the cherry brandy, and when she is asked by Samuel to try on that Tiffany necklace for Kai. Kinsale was so good in showing her characters fall in love, and yet not knowing it.

    The garden scene in Like No Other Lover is very like another garden scene in Eva Ibbotson’s Countess Below Stairs (republished recently as The Secret Countess), and both are very emotive.

  40. Daz says:

    There is a scene in Laura Lee Guhrke’s Secret Desires of a Gentleman where Maria discovers that her hair ribbon which she’s lost for years and years has been secretly kept by Phillip which I just love. I love the thought that Phillip had loved her for all those years, never admitted it and had just this one simple keepsake of her all this time. Very *sigh* worthy.

  41. renee says:


    I would definitely recommend Message from Absalom. It is a little dated but a truly wonderful read.

  42. mirole says:

    For me one of such scenes is also from Venetia but a different one mentioned above: it’s when Venetia desperately goes to Damerel breaking all the conventions of the expected behaviour after learning she had to leave for London with her uncle.

    This is such a poignant and heart-breaking scene that for the first time in my romance-reading experience I was almost crying.

    I agree this is a great topic. I am interested in reading some of the books scenes from which were mentioned and definitely Message from Absalom, it sounds very interesting.

  43. Kami says:

    The Shadow and the Star by Kinsale is so romantic. I love the part where Samuel tries the necklace on Leda and then cradles her face in his hands. “He felt carried by tides, blown before a rising storm”.

    Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne in Jane Austen’s Persuasion is swoon-worthy. “You pierce my soul…I have loved none but you.”

    • Cam says:

      Kami: The Shadow and the Star by Kinsale is so romantic.I love the part where Samuel tries the necklace on Leda and then cradles her face in his hands.“He felt carried by tides, blown before a rising storm”.Captain Wentworth’s letter to Anne in Jane Austen’s Persuasion is swoon-worthy.“You pierce my soul…I have loved none but you.”

      Captian Wentworth letter is the best ever. I just can read again and again. I don’t get tired

  44. Wendy says:

    I’ve enjoyed remembering a lot of the scenes mentioned here, and am looking forward to reading some new ones! Thank you.

    Some that I remember that may not have been mentioned

    Outlander – When Claire sees The Vaccine Scar – still gives me chills.

    Shadow and the Star – When the plucky heroine finally loses it and raises her voice “I don’t WISH to be dangled over a shark!” (or something to that effect)

    Black Silk – When the hero stands at the foot of the stairs and finishes dressing while his silk scarf, dropped over the landing rail by his valet, falls in ripples and waves as the heroine watches. It’s so beautifully described you can see every second of the action. When the hero is done pulling on his gloves or buttoning his coat the scarf is just there and he nonchalantly catches it and drapes it around his neck.

    When Rachel Morgan in one of Kim Harrison’s “Witch” books goes to the vampires only club with her vamp boyfriend and finds that the vampires have a line dance they do to Rob Zombie’s Living Dead Girl.

  45. Ell Ashley says:

    Can’t wait to check out the books mentioned. What a great topic! Here’s my two cents worth:

    Lydia Joyce’s Veil of Night – I am afraid to add much detail because of spoilers, but this one always rocks me.
    He: You will be consigning yourself to a life of darkness.
    She: No, she said cupping his still tender cheek in one hand…”Thick curtains can be opened as well as drawn shut. But even if what you said was true, I wouldn’t care. You are all the sun I need”

    And this one, from Carol Snow’s Been There, Done That.
    Finally, I spoke. “Are you seeing anyone?” Who said that?
    A pause. The quickened pulse had morphed into a pounding thud.
    “No. You?”
    I could lie, I thought. But no……”Yes. But only on Saturdays. And alternate Tuesdays.”……
    “Oh” he said. And he was disappointed, I could tell – or maybe I just wanted him to be.
    “But today’s Friday”, I said quietly.
    I could hear him breathing. Maybe his heart was thudding too. “And tomorrow?”
    “Tomorrow’s Friday too.”

  46. Jeanne Pickering says:

    In Julie Anne Long’s The Perils of Pleasure, when Colin hands Madeleine his gun and says, “Decide.”

  47. Jen Spiegel says:

    Jamie and Claire’s wedding night in Outlander. Jamie Fraser is one big *sigh*.

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