Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tell me how you feel

There are many reasons that we read romance novels. The sexy, strong heroes. The independent, resourceful heroines. The sexual tension. The intrigue. The romance. For me it is a combination of all these elements, with the romance taking the lead. When two people (who often start out at odds with one another) come together at a deep emotional level, my romantic heart is soothed. The first moment they meet is electrifying. The HEA is satisfying. There is one moment, though, that stands out above all others: the romantic declaration. More than any other scene in a book, this one stands out for me. The raw emotion, the heartfelt need, suddenly put into words. In this moment the hero does more than tell the heroine that he loves her, he lays himself bare. He allows himself to be vulnerable. The stronger and more stoic the hero, the more I love his romantic declaration.

This must be handled correctly. Too often the build up leaves you wanting more than the author delivers. Then there are those times when the words, emotion, and story all come together to deliver a perfectly magical moment. It is these times that I sit back and say, “This! This is why I read!”

I think the Queen of Romantic Declarations would have to be Jane Austen. The woman had a gift. How could you not melt at these words?

"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight and a half years ago. Dare not say that a man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant."  ~ Persuasion

"In vain have I struggled, it will not do. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." ~Pride and Prejudice

Recently published authors aren’t letting us down either!

“All the fire of hell could burn for a thousand years and it wouldn’t equal what I feel for you in one minute of the day. I love you so much there is no pleasure in it. Nothing but torment. Because if I could dilute what I feel for you to the millionth part, it would still be enough to kill you. And even if it drives me mad, I would rather see you live in the arms of the cold, soulless bastard than die in mine.” ~ Merripen, Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
Our own Katie delivered this gorgeous gem:

“You want me to spell it out for you, Jade? I want you. Plain and simple. To clarify, I want to make love to you until we can’t walk. I want to spend every second possible inside of you. I want everything. I want you to take my last name. For the rest of my life, I want to wake up every morning and see your face. I want you to have my children, and I want to grow old with you.” ~ David, City of Secrets by Katie Reus
Sometimes real life even gives us these moments.

“You are enthralling.”
“I feel like I have been waiting for you for a long time. I tend to think I’m very lucky these days.”
Even the movies can provide a perfect moment of romantic declaration.

"I love that you get cold when it's 71 degrees out. I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich. I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts. I love that after I spend the day with you, I can still smell your perfume on my clothes. And I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." ~When Harry Met Sally

There are so many great moments out there. Please share with me your favorite ones.  Help to keep my romantic heart beating.


Jenre said...

Love Darcy's heartfelt declaration. It's a shame he goes on to list all the reasons why he shouldn't love or marry Elizabeth!

My favourite declaration from a book, isn't in word form. It's in a scene near the end of "Slightly Dangerous" by Mary Balogh. Stony-faced Wulfric, who never cracks a smile, looks over at his love Christine and smiles at her, showing all his love for her in that smile. Everyone else in the ballroom stops talking and looks at him in amazement, but he is so caught up in looking at her and smiling, that he doesn't even notice.

It makes me sigh every time. Lovely.

KT Grant said...

Isn't Darcy's declaration of love one of the best you have ever read?I think Catherine's speech from Wuthering Heights on why Heathcliffe completes her hits you straight in the gut.

Shannon said...

Jenre- Oh damn, now I need to read "Slightly Dangerous". le sigh

KB- Jane Austen just has such a fabulous way for writing the declaration. It gets me every time.

Kris said...

I keep on reading about Mr Darcy, which is making me feel like watching Colin Firth again.*sigh* Always such a chore. LOL.

One of my fave declarations is from Stephanie Laurens' 'A Secret Love' where Gabriel sends his love a come-out posy (she had never had one) with a note saying "You have my heart - don't break it". When they meet later at the ball and he sees her wearing his flowers... *sniffle*... he goes on to ask her if she found the note:

"Just as long as you understood it... Just don't forget it. Even if you never hear or see the words again, they'll always be true. Don't forget."

Aww, you gotta love those aloof, but deep, Brits.

Bridget Locke said...

I agree with you on Jane Austen. I actually just read her books last year, but the movies based on her books are some of my all-time favorites.

I think one of my favorites, which isn't an actual declaration, but a proposal is from Years by LaVyrle Spencer.

Theodore is learning to read (long story) and there's all this other stuff going on. I won't spoil it if you've never read it, but it made me smile and made me laugh and just about broke my heart.

As for a movie. Hmmm...I'd have to say 13 Going On 30. It's the black moment, but it's when he tells her "Jenna, I've always loved you." Oh, my goodness! Made me cry. *sniffle*

I'm such a romantic. Why am I still single????? :)

The Bookworm said...

great romantic moments! you quoted my fav lines from Pride & Prejudice and Persuasion. And you quoted my fav line from When Harry Met Sally!

Another great romantic moment is when Allie and Noah get back together in The Notebook:

Allie: Why didn't you write me? Why? It wasn't over for me, I waited for you for seven years. But now it's too late.

Noah: I wrote you 365 letters. I wrote you everyday for a year.

Allie: You wrote me?
Noah: Yes... it wasn't over, it still isn't over!

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