Welcome to another great segment of Historical Romance 101. Here we have also participating Jennifer @ Feminist Fairy Tales, Amanda @ On A Book Bender, and Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook. Today might be my favorite segment from the whole month, where I get the opportunity to share my favorite moments. Now these moments can be witty and full of laughs, or they be tender and poignant. Below I have some small quotes, or just explanations of a scene I can still recall very clearly, or even a bit of a excerpt when I love a scene enough. Have you read these books and did you enjoy these moments as I did?
1. A Loving Scoundrel by Johanna Lindsey There are many moments I love in this story but one of my favorites is when Jeremy (the hero) sets out to seduce his maid (Danny–The heroine and who has been acting and dressed as a boy as most of her life, and Jeremy drags her into a situation that causes her to lose her job and so she demands that he has her working a respectable job) But Jeremy here is determined to bed Danny no matter what. So he comes in acting drunk (he is a malory….and they don’t EVER get drunk but Danny doesn’t know it) and acting like he needs her help to his bed, and here is an excerpt of what happens next.
Danny’s suspicions returned, particularly when he got clumsy right next to his bed and fell onto it, dragging her down with him. That she ended up beneath him didn’t help her to extricate herself quickly. Jeremy at a dead weight was quite heave. She still shoved and bucked to push him off her, but it was a wasted effort.
“You better not have fallen asleep, mate,” she growled “Let me up now or–“
“Be still,” he admonished with a groan. “I think I’m going to puke.”
Danny went still. She’d forgotten for a moment that he was drunk. She felt bad no, for her suspicions, for all of five seconds. He’d turned his head toward her when he’d spoken, lifted it slightly now, and put his lips right on top of hers. Danny tuned her head aside. she was going to give him the benefit of the doubt, that he hadn’t meant to do that. but his lips grazed her neck now, sending shivers up her spine, and she heard “You must know that I want you. I’ve made no pretense about it. There is such pleasure awaiting us, luv. Don’t fight it anymore.”
Before she succumbed to it–desperately now, because his words had such a weakening effect on her, she’d always wondered what it would be like. Lucy had told her about sloppy kisses, wet ones, drunk ones, and the right ones, those rare instances when a kiss could stimulate her sexual urges. Danny knew well the latter was happening to her. She even knew why. This was Malory, after all, and she was already attracted to him more than she’d ever been to any man before. And he might be drunk, but his kiss didn’t reflect that at all, far from it. In fact she wouldn’t be a bit surprised if this first kiss of hers was the most fantastic kiss she’d ever get, that she’d never find one as powerful or sensual again. And she had the odd thought that if this was how he kissed when he was drunk, heaven help her when he wasn’t.
“God, you taste good!”
She’d been thinking the same thing. his lips were so velvety soft. His breath wasn’t fumed with alcohol at all, was rather heady in scene. His taste was exotic, beyond her ability to describe. And she was feeling things other than the kiss, delightful sensations, all new to her, all highly pleasant. One of his legs slipped between hers. the pressure there was exquisite because he wasn’t keeping his leg still; he was moving it again her loins in the most erotic way. And he’d gathered her so close, holding her to him as if he weren’t already pressed fully into her, one hand behind her back, the other cupping her bottom, actually pressing her even harder against his thigh. Heat was swirling madly there, about to explode…
“Hell and tarnation, Jeremy,” Drew complained out in the hall, his tone as disgruntled as his words. “You could at least close the blasted door.”
Drew’s door slammed shut. And Danny had no trouble getting off the bed now. She didn’t just shove this time, she balled her fingers into a fist and knocked it hard against Jeremy’s ear. He howled and moved off her right quickly. She shot off the bed and didn’t bother to look back, just hissed on her way out the door,,
“Ye’ll be getting no ‘elp from me the next time yer foxed, mate. Ye can bleedin’ well sleep on the floor.”
2. From This Moment On by Lynn Kurland This is quite a story that will give you barrels of laughs. It is set in Medieval England, Back in the time when a man wooed and courted a woman. In this one the heroine has dressed as a page, and has recently been revealed to Colin as a woman whom she has fought with in the lists with for hours and hours. They have already fallen a bit in love here. Colin proposes marriage. But this is what our heroine offers next
“Alienore?” She looked up quickly, a brief smile on her face
“Something else troubles you?”
She shifted “Well…”
“Spew it forth in your most manly fashion.”
“Well, don’t you think we should perhaps…”
He hesitated. That tone…those words…It wasn’t a tone he’d ever heard used in connection with his own poor name, but he’d heard it quick a bit when applied to the exploits and courting practices of Jason of Artane. And that could only mean one thing. “What?” he asked, with a goodly amount of dread.
“Well, this is a bit sudden. The wedding and such. Do you think we should perhaps, well…” He steeled himself for the worst.
“Well…first…” He put his hand on his sword hild to reassure himself. He was a man unafraid, a warrior unvowed, a lord of unparalleled reputation. He was not frightened of a word that could strike fear into the hearts of lesser men, not being a lesser man himself.
“Aye?” he asked, through gritted teeth.
“Well, “Alienore said, looking unsettled “perhaps we should…woo.”
The saints preserve him, the word gave him all the chills he’d suspected it would.
“Woo?” he said grimly.
“Aye” He suspected that she didn’t mean by wooing merely by passing a few healthy hours in the lists.
“Well,” he said, “I suppose so.”
“Unless, of course, you don’t want to,” she added “And I could understand that, of course. Given what I have put you through already.”
Who deserved wooing more than this woman? After all, she had passed countless hours in the lists with him. How could he refused her this simple request? But how was he to woo without some Artane lad at his elbow, giving him suggestions? Nay, he needed no aid. After all, how hard could it possibly be? Jason seemed to do it without a second thought, Women seemed to fall at his feet because of it, something Colin couldn’t understand in the least. Surely he, with more astute sense of the appropriate and sensible could invent a better style of wooing.
“Very well, ” he said gruffly, taking Alienore by the hand again, and starting toward the hall “We’ll woo. Just realize that it won’t be any of that vacuos, empty-headed business those Artane lad engage in. this will be…umm…manly wooing” “I’m merely flattered, you think me worth the effort.” He stopped suddenly, turned her toward him, and put his hands onto her shoulders. He looked down into her face, past the shorn hair and the dirt, into those fathomless green eyes, and marveled that she didn’t just demand wooing as her right. It certainly should have been. she deserved that, and more, he would give it to her. In his most manly fashion, of course. “You are worth more effort than you know,” he said. “I could do nothing less for a woman who has shown your courage and wit.”
3. Texas Glory by Lorraine Heath There are so many moments I loved in this story, and it has such a highly romantic tone to it. But the one favorite moment I have in this one still brings tears to my eyes. Let’s see if you like it too. But first let me give a bit of a background but warning it might spoil something so be ware. . Something has scarred both Dallas and Delia, and Delia can’t give Dallas what he wants anymore and she knows its his dream and knows she must leave so he can be happy and have what he wants most.
“Stay” The strangled word, spoken in anguish, tore at her heart, ripped through her resolve. She swiped at the tears raining over her cheeks and slowly turned, forcing the painful truth past her lips.
“I can’t stay.. I can no longer give you what you want. I can’t give you a son.” Dallas stepped off the veranda and extend a bouquet of wildflowers toward her
“Then stay and give me what I need.”
Her heart lurched at the abundance of flowers wilting within his smothering grasp. She shook her head vigorously. “You don’t need me. there are a dozen eligible women in Leighton who would happily give you a son and within the month there will be at least a dozen more–“
“I’ll never love any of them as much as I love you. I know that as surely as I know the sun will come up in the morning.” Her breath caught, her trembling increased, words lodged in her throat. He loved her? She watched as he swallowed. “I know I’m not an easy man. I don’t expect you to ever love me, but if you’ll tolerate me, I give you my word that I’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy–“
Quickly stepping forward, she pressed her shaking fingers against his warm lips. “My God, don’t you know that I love you? Why do you think I’m leaving? I’m leaving because I do love you–so much. Dallas, I want you to have your dream, I want you to have your son.”
Closing his eyes, he laid his roughened hand over hers where it quivered against his lips and pressed a kiss against the heart of her palm. “I can’t promise that I won’t have days when I’ll look toward the horizon and feel the aching emptiness that comes from knowing we’ll never have a child to pass our legacy on to.”
Opening his eyes, he captured her gaze. “But I know the emptiness you’ll leave behind will eat away at me every minute of every day. When I was a boy, I went to war searching for glory. I didn’t find it. I came here, thinking i’d find glory if I built a ranching empire or a thriving town.” He trailed his thumb over her lips. “Instead I discovered that I didn’t even know what glory was, not until you smiled at me for the first time with no fear in your eyes. A hundred years from now, everything I’ve worked so hard to build will be nothing more than dust blowing in the wind, but if I can spend my life loving you, I’ll die a wealthy man, a contented man,” Tears overflowed and spilled onto her cheeks.
“Stay with me.” he said She nodded. His mouth swooped down to cover hers, kissing her deeply, warmly. He had kissed her before, so many times before, but never like this…as though her mouth were the only one he’d ever known, as though her lips were the only ones he’d ever teased, as though her kiss were the only one that would ever satisfy him. She braced her palms on either side of his face and held his unwavering gaze.
“Dallas, are you sure you can give up your dream without coming to hate me?”
“You were my dream, Dee. I just didn’t know it. the part of me that I was always searching for.”
He twirled one coppery lock around his finger, and that seemed to rouse her from her stunned silence. “Stop that,” she whispered, a troubled expression crossing her face. “Why?” he smoothed her hair down over one shoulder, thinking that she had the creamiest skin he’d ever seen, skin that was just begging to be touched. She gasped when he stroked one finger up along the curved contours of her neck. “It’s not..proper,” she said. That made him smile. “Proper? We crossed the line from proper to improper right after you left the Chastity. You’re on a pirate ship, remember? You’re alone in a cabin with a notorious pirate captain..you’ve lost your proper little cap..and I’m about to kiss you.” As soon as he’d said the words, he knew they were a mistake-and not because of the outrage that filled her face. It would be dangerous to kiss her. She wasn’t the woman for him. But he had to taste her once, just a little taste. So before a protest could even leave her lips, he brought his mouth down to hers.
“How dare you give the poor woman trouble over those nasty biscuits! If you made biscuits worth eating, sir, perhaps she wouldn’t throw them to the fish!” He blinked his eyes in astonishment. “Biscuits worth eating? I’ll have you know, madam, that I bake the best biscuit on the high seas!” “That’s not saying much, considering that ship’s biscuits are notoriously awful!” “It’s alright, Louisa, you needn’t defend me—“ Sara began. Louisa just ignored her. “Those biscuits were so hard, I could scarcely choke them down. As for that stew—” “Look here, you disrespectful harpy,” the cook said, punctuating his words with loud taps of his cane. “There ain’t nothin’ wrong with Silas Drummond’s stew, and I defy any man—or woman—to make a better one!”
“Must the women keep curtseying to me as if I were some deity?” he grumbled. “Yes. It’s due you because of your rank.” An impish smile crossed her face. “You didn’t even have to brandish your saber in front of them to get it. Fancy that. It must be a new experience for you.” He cast her a sidelong glance. “If you don’t show me some respect, my dear wife, I’ll have to brandish my . . . er . . . saber in front of you later when we’re alone.”
5. Tempt Me At Twilight by Lisa Kleypas
There are so many good books written by this author, but I will say that this story holds a close place to my heart and below are some moments to share so you can see why I love it so.
The chef turned back to the housekeeper. “Why is there doubt about the relations between Monsieur and Madame Rutledge?”
The sheets,” she said succinctly.
Jake nearly choked on his pastry. “You have the housemaids spying on them?” he asked around a mouthful of custard and cream.
Not at all,” the housekeeper said defensively. “It’s only that we have vigilant maids who tell me everything. And even if they didn’t, one hardly needs great powers of observation to see that they do not behave like a married couple.”
The chef looked deeply concerned. “You think there’s a problem with his carrot?”
Watercress, carrot—is everything food to you?” Jake demanded.
The chef shrugged. “Oui.”
Well,” Jake said testily, “there is a string of Rutledge’s past mistresses who would undoubtedly testify there is nothing wrong with his carrot.”
Alors, he is a virile man . . . she is a beautiful woman . . . why are they not making salad together?”
“I don’t want to be a widow, I don’t want Michael Bayning, and I don’t want you to joke about such things, you tactless clodpole!”
As all three of them stared at her openmouthed, Poppy leapt up and stalked away, her hands drawn into fists.
Bewildered by the immediate force of her fury—it was like being stung by a butterfly—Harry stared after her dumbly. After a moment, he asked the first coherent thought that came to him. “Did she just say she doesn’t want Bayning?”
“Yes,” Win said, a smile hovering on her lips. “That’s what she said. Go after her, Harry.”
Every cell in Harry’s body longed to comply. Except that he had the feeling of standing on the edge of a cliff, with one ill-chosen word likely to send him over. He gave Poppy’s sister a desperate glance. “What should I say?”
“Be honest with her about your feelings,” Win suggested.
A frown settled on Harry’s face as he considered that. “What’s my second option?”
“I never want to be apart from you,” he said. “I’m going to buy an island and take you there. A ship will come once a month with supplies. The rest of the time it will be just the two of us, wearing leaves and eating exotic fruit and making love on the beach . . .”
You’d start a produce export business and organize a local economy within a month,” she said flatly.
Harry groaned as he recognized the truth of it. “God. Why do you tolerate me?”
Poppy grinned and slid her arms around his neck. “I like the side benefits,” she told him. “And really, it’s only fair since you tolerate me.”
“You fascinate me in every way,” Harry whispered, his hand playing gently in her hair . “There are mysteries in your soul that will take a lifetime to uncover…and I want to know every one of them.” No one had ever called her mysterious before. While Poppy didn’t think of herself that way, she rather liked it. “I’m not all that mysterious, am I?” “Of course you are.” Smiling, he lifted her hand and pressed a kiss into the tender cup of her palm. “You’re a woman.”
6. The Secret by Julie Garwood
This is one of my favorite books from this author, but in truth all of her historical’s are just amazing!! There isn’t a author to match. And Ian and Judith are just great together, have wonderful chemistry and this book is guaranteed to make you laugh when you least expect it to….Garwood style.
“Can we get on with this?” Father Laggan cried out. “In the name of the Father…”
“I’m inviting my aunt Millicent and uncle Herbert to come for a visit, Iain, and I’m not going through the council to get permission first.”
“… and of the Son,” the priest continued in a much louder voice.
“She’ll be wanting King John next,” Duncan predicted.
“We can’t allow that, lass,” Owen muttered.
“Please join hands now and concentrate on this ceremony,” Father Laggan shouted, trying to gain everyone’s attention.
“I don’t want King John to come here,” Judith argued. She turned to frown at Owen for making such a shameful suggestion. “I want my aunt and uncle. I’m getting them, too.” She turned and had to peek around Graham in order to look up at Iain. “Yes or no, Iain.”
“We’ll see. Graham, I’m marrying Judith, not you. Let go of her hand. Judith, move over here.”
Father Laggan gave up trying to maintain order. He continued on with the ceremony. Iain was paying some attention. He immediately agreed to take Judith for his wife.She wasn’t as cooperative. He felt a little sorry for the sweet woman. She looked thoroughly
“Judith, do you take Iain for your husband?”
She looked up at Iain before giving her answer. “We’ll see.”
“That won’t do, lass. You’ve got to say I do,” he advised.
Iain smiled. “Your aunt and uncle will be welcomed here.”
She smiled back.
Judith tried not to laugh. She turned her attention back to Father Laggan. “I will say I do,”
she told him. “Shouldn’t we begin now?”
“The lass has trouble following along,” Vincent remarked.
Father Laggan gave the final blessing while Judith argued with the elder about his rude comment. Her concentration was just fine, she told him quite vehemently.
She nagged an apology out of Vincent before giving the priest her attention again. “Patrick, would you go and get Frances Catherine? I would like her to stand by my side during the ceremony.”
“You may kiss the bride,” Father Laggan announced.”
“I’ll stay away from you and you’ll stay away from me. I’m already over this insignificant, puny, inconsequential attraction. I don’t even remember kissing you.”
They had reached the cluster of trees in front of the courtyard leading to Frances Catherine’s cottage when she told him that outrageous lie.
“The hell you have forgotten,” he muttered. He grabbed hold of her shoulders and forced her to turn around. Then he took hold of her chin and pushed her face up.
“What do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.
He shrugged. “I was…thinking.”
“The fires of purgatory.”
She had to sit down. He wasn’t making any sense now. “What does that mean?” she asked.
“Patrick told me he would walk through the fires of purgatory if he had to in order to please his wife.”
She went over to the bed and sat down on the side. “And?” she prodded when he didn’t continue.
He stripped out of his clothing and walked over to her. He pulled her to her feet and stared down to her.
“And I have only just realized I would do the same for you.”
7. The Madness Of Lord Ian MacKenzie by Jennifer Ashley
Who doesn’t love Jennifer Ashley, and this was one of the first books I read from this author and I still adore it each time I re read it. Ian and Beth are wonderful characters and very unique and their story is just a must read.
“We don’t fit in, you and me,” he said. “We’re both oddities no one knows what to do with. But we fit together.” He took her hand, pressed her palm to his, then laced their fingers through each other’s. “We fit.
Beth stared at the bowl, a fragile piece of the past, such a delicate object in Ian’s large, blunt fingers. “Are you certain?”
“Of course I’m certain.” His frown returned. “Do you not want it?”
“I do want it,” Beth said hastily. She held her hands out for it. “I’m honored.” The frown faded, to be replaced by a slight quirk of his lips.
“Is it better than a new carriage and horses and a dozen frocks?”
“What are you talking about? It’s a hundred times better.”
“It’s only a bowl.”
“It’s special to you, and you gave it to me.” Beth took it carefully and smiled at the dragons chasing one another in eternal determination. “It’s the best gift in the world.”
Ian took it gently back from her and replaced it in its slot. That made sense; in here it would stay safe and unbroken.
But the kiss Ian gave her after that was anything but sensible. It was wicked and bruising, and she had no idea why he smiled so triumphantly.
“When you love, especially with your heart, it comes upon you so fast, you don’t have time to resist.”
8. One Night With The Prince by Sabrina Jeffries
There is a moment in this story where we learn more about why Byrne does what he does. Christabel and Gavin have drawn very close and she becomes the one person he trusts with his secret…and she meets his mother…and this meeting is so tender and sweet and can still make me cry.
9. Secrets of a Summer Night by Lisa Kleypas
At the end of the story where there is a moment between Simon and Annabelle. Simon ends up trapped and in a position where he will die. And Annabelle refuses to leave his side and later Simon is furious with her for not obeying him when he told her to leave him. And this is what she tells him
I would rather have died in your arms, Simon, than face a lifetime without you. All those endless years..all those winters, summers, a hundred seasons of wanting you and never having you. Growing old, while you stayed eternally young in my memories. I was wrong when I told you that I didn’t know where I belonged. I Do. With you, Simon. Nothing matters except being with you. You’re stuck with me forever, and I’ll never listen when you tell me to go.”
10. This Is All I Ask by Lynn Kurland
Gillian has only known fear and abuse and pain most of her life. She has just married and is starting to trust and learning ot love her new husband. But then his mentor and one of his closest friends is coming for a visit. And she finds herself sparring with one of his sons, and beats him, and then sees that her husband and his friend Robin of Artane saw it all. I love this moment because you see her face her fears once again and its a monumental moment between Gillian and Christopher.