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"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me that I am not too late.”

These are, unarguably, the most romantic lines in literature. I know most people think of Lizzie and Darcy and PRIDE AND PREJUDICE when it comes to Jane Austen, but my heart has always been with Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliot in PERSUASION.

When Captain Wentworth writes the letter to Anne that contains the above lines, and the reader starts to believe that there is hope, that Anne will not lose her beloved for the second time in her life, it’s a defining moment. It’s the kind of moment that still has as much power on the dozenth re-read as it did the first time my eyes were lucky enough to fall upon those words.

From Sad Tears to Happy Tears

Staying with the classics for a minute, there is no romance more swoon-worthy than that of Jane Eyre and Rochester in Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece, JANE EYRE. I’m pretty sure I went through a whole box of tissues when Jane arrived at the church only to find that Rochester was already married to the madwoman in the attic, which is still, I think, the most potent midpoint reversal that’s ever been written.

So when Jane finally returns to Rochester at the end of the book and tells him that her heart belongs to him, it’s impossible to do anything other than cry all over again—although they’re happy tears that time!

The Kiss I Was Waiting (and Waiting!) For

Onto something more obscure. Once upon a time, back in the 1960s and 1970s, a lady called Dorothy Dunnett wrote a series of historical novels about a man called Francis Crawford. I embarked on the first book little knowing what was in store for me.

Through six long—we’re talking 600 pages—books, I watched Francis Crawford fall in love with Philippa Somerville. I watched Philippa finally fall in love with Francis, but then spend almost an entire book pretending she wasn’t. Finally, they both worked out that they shared the same feelings—but then something happened (no spoilers!)—and they decided they couldn’t be together. It’s only on page 572 of the sixth book that they, at long last, kiss for the very first time and boy was that kiss worth waiting for!

Just goes to show that unresolved sexual tension is the lifeblood of the truly swoon-worthy moment!

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    HER MOTHER'S SECRET is the story of a brave young woman chasing a dream in the face of society's disapproval. IN STORE: March 28

Sarah Holmes

Sarah Holmes

On the marketing team. Contemporary romances with illustrated covers are my forte. Eating ice cream is also my forte. These two interests usually combine.

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