You're carrying on as if I am being chased by hordes of men, when that is obviously not the case. At Stony Cross Park, men went out of their way to avoid my company— and you were one of them!

I found it when I was getting the crushed bees for Merripen's poultice. I brought it back for you. He looked vaguely apologetic. I meant to tell you about it earlier, but it slipped my mind.

Christopher entered the room, having to bend his head to pass through the small medieval doorway. Straightening, he surveyed their surroundings briefly before his piercing gaze found Beatrix. He stared at her with the barely suppressed wrath of a man to whom entirely too much had happened.

Friends are the support bras of life.

Despite his size and broad-shouldered build, there was a feline quality about him…he was like a lazy but potentially deadly tiger.

Christopher came up behind her. As Beatrix turned to face him, he searched her face with a gently quizzical gaze. If you like, we can spend our first night together here, he said. But if this doesn't suit you, we'll go to Phelan House.

She blinked up at him in confusion. What happened?

After a universal silence, Leo was the first to speak. Did anyone else notice?

As it turned out, Welcome was where I lost everything, and gained everything. Welcome was the place where my life was guided from one track to another, ending me to places I'd never thought of going.

A miscue, Sebastian remarked, deftly catching the cue ball in his hand and repositioning it. Whenever that happens, reach for more chalk, and apply it to the tip of the cue stick while looking thoughtful. Always imply that your equipment is to blame, rather than your skills.

Do you like that? he whispered.

Westcliff looks for any excuse to demonstrate his superiority, doesn't he? Was that what he was doing? It looked rather like he was trying to find an excuse to put his arms around you.

My love is upon you.

Lottie strode to the center of the study and stared at Gentry expectantly. She made her manner brisk. When shall we leave?

My son . . . guilt, in proper measure, can be a useful emotion. However, when indulged to excess it becomes self-defeating, and even worse, tedious.

What happened? Lillian asked as Daisy walked into the Marsden parlor. She was reclining on the settee with a periodical. You look as if you've been run over by a carriage.

I fell in love with you by words alone…but I have to admit…I prefer this way of communicating.

There is nothing on earth more beautiful to me than your smile…no sound sweeter than your laughter…no pleasure greater than holding you in my arms. I realized today that I could never live without you, stubborn little hellion that you are. In this life and the next, you're my only hope of happiness.

Perhaps you're not aware of it, Mrs. Phelan, but according to Rifle Brigade wedding tradition, every man on the groom's honor guard gets to kiss the bride on her wedding night.

Simon, she whispered, vaguely surprised that she had just used his first name, for she had never used it even in the privacy of her thoughts. Moistening her dry lips, she tried once more, and to her astonishment, she did it again. Simon...

This is how we court girls in America. We grab them and kiss them. And if they don't like it, we do it again, harder and longer, until they surrender. It saves us hours of witty repartee.

Perhaps only those who had loved and lost could appreciate this magic.

It was crazy, how much I loved his voice. The baritone drawl seemed to reach inside and linger in impossible-to-reach places. I wanted to sit on the floor beside him and run my hand over the thick, efficiently short layers of his hair and let my fingers rest against the hard nape of his neck. Tell me everything, I would say.

Liberty shook her head, her smile widening. I'm going to start my own salon. I've been thinking about it for a while . . . and I thought before we had another child, I'd like to do this. I'm going to keep it small and exclusive, just hire a couple of people.

I hope it hurts, she said vehemently. Perhaps that will teach you not to be running about on rooftops! What possessed you to do such a thing?

Dying in her arms … cradled against her as he relinquished his scarred soul to the darkness … Win would be the last thing he would ever feel, see, hear. Had there been any tears in him, he would have wept in gratitude.

He knows the rules, Kathleen said darkly. And he enjoys breaking them. My.

Bloody hell, Kev thought, realizing that something had changed in him, something that could never be put back. All his defenses had been reduced to the uncertain strength of one small woman.

You really should discard your inhibitions,' he said. 'They could get in the way of yielding to temptation.

So you actually need spectacles, Leo finally said.

A rush of love and agonized worry filled her at the sight of her brother. He was filthy, battered, and grinning unrepentantly.

My ultimate crush may be Judith McNaught - I met her once more than 20 years ago, and she was incredibly kind and encouraging to me. I adore that woman. But I also fangirl over aspiring or beginning authors, because every time I talk with them, I'm so energized and inspired.

You and Beatrix haven't known each other long enough to consider matrimony. A matter of weeks, to my knowledge. And what about Prudence Mercer? You're practically betrothed, aren't you?

Would you mind if I left you again momentarily? No, you're only going to yell at the staff again, and they're already doing their best. Stay with me. She reached for his hand. That mystifying feeling again . . . the sense of puzzle pieces fitting together. Such an innocent connection, one hand in another, and yet it was enormously satisfying.

Evie stiffened nervously when she felt his hands moving along the line of fasteners on the back of her brown wool. What are you doing?

I hate the phrase ‘No pun intended.' It's pointless.

Mama said if I didn't stop reading helpful quotes, she was going to come after me with a switch. I said I'd have to help her up from the sofa first.

Rather than argue, Amanda smiled at him. And then what will you do while your son or daughter is in charge of your store and your companies?

Although she was not conventionally beautiful, she was so original that it rendered the question of beauty inconsequential.

After I calmed down a little and had a chance to think, I figured . . . I love you enough to try and deserve you. I would do anything, be anything, for you. Last night I went to your apartment to beg you to give me another chance. I was shaking in my boots, thinking you might not forgive me for Friday night.

He loved the colors of her, pink and mauve and ivory, all washed in light. The glistening tumble of her hair held the colors of autumn: chestnut, maple, russet, umber.

The princess rescues the villain, he whispered. It's a nice variation on the story.

Do you think he would have wanted you to commit suttee?

I wish you were a mind-reader. I want you to know everything but I don't want to have to tell you. Because there are some things I don't want to say out loud.

Leo knew next to nothing about governesses, save for the drab creatures in novels, who tended to fall in love with the lord of the manor, always with bad results.

You'll have to be careful, then, he said softly, smiling. It would be a shame for some intelligent comment to slip out at the wrong moment.

I can't go back to who I was before the war, he eventually said. And I can't be who I was during the war. And if I'm not either of those men, I'm not sure what I'm left with.

I'm used to wild creatures who don't like to be approached from behind.

She glanced up with a cheerful grin. We'll be like a Rounders team.