"...stop skinny dipping in the scandal broth."
"Tread lightly." Vulnerability softened Bron's voice, as if he'd told her he loved her.
“You know the legend, lady, but you don’t know the man. And damn if I’m not tempted to introduce you to the man.”
“I dread going home, too, though,” St. Just said, apropos of nothing save perhaps his drink, the lateness of the hour, and the battered suit of armor standing guard in a corner.
“You do,” Christian said, “because you think the effort of holding the war inside you, and your family outside you, will defeat your reason. When you were campaigning, it was exactly the opposite. You carried your family in your heart, and the fighting went on around you. It’s…difficult, being a soldier, and also somebody’s son, somebody’s dear older brother.”
I'm sorry, she wanted to say. I'm sorry I acted that way. I'm sorry I don't know how to be sexual and human and kind all at the same time. I am sorry my father ruined me and my mother couldn't quite save me and all I have left for people are these broken pieces.
“How can you want me knowing all you know about me?” she asked.
“How can I not?”
“How can you love me knowing what you know of me?” he asked.
Tears stung her eyes as she smiled. “How can I not?”
"Just to be clear." He spoke quietly but with an air of authority that had her listening carefully. "When I say something, I mean it. No question. I said I remembered you because I did." Waves of testosterone practically pulsated from him as his gaze lazily traced her mouth. "I rarely feel the need to explain myself, sweetheart." Up came his eyes again as he added grimly, "To anyone."
Message received. He was arrogant. Direct but not rude. And clearly used to having his way. And, despite what he'd said, he'd explained himself just now. To her.
Heroes, all of them. Heroes and murderers.
They each had blood on their hands. Scars in their hearts.
“You call your earlier strategies wooing? You’ll have to rethink your entire shtick.”
She waved to indicate the whole of him, head to toe. “The tattoos and the swearing, and the drinking, and the tactless come-ons. And the bike.” That final one wiped the shadowy smile from his lips.
He cast it a backward glance. “Hey now. Don’t be getting personal.”
“I have long wanted to kiss you just like this, in a bed of flowers under the stars,” he said in a husky whisper. “I’ve wanted it ever since I saw you dancing barefoot in the park. Even when we argued, when we were angry and not speaking , I couldn’t get that picture from my mind.”
It was surprisingly sexy, a man in an apron. Like a man in a kilt, only with promise of dinner afterward.
“Oh, but this gift isn’t the same as an ermine. This is property. Don’t you understand how rare that is for a woman? Property always belongs to our fathers, brothers, husbands, sons. We never get to own anything.”
“Don’t tell me you’re one of those women with radical ideas.”
“No,” she returned. “I’m one of those women with nothing. There are a great many of us.”
This doesn't come out until March 2015
It Started With a Scandal by Julie Anne Long
He regarded her thoughtfully, and something about that look traveled up her spine like a trailed finger.
Sigh. This quote to me is pure romance. It has it all, desire, longing, and love. The way he talks about still wanting her even when they are fighting and done in such a poetic way. Lovely.
Next time, Best Heroine and Best Hero