Happy Valentines Day bookworms!
In celebration of world date-night, I thought it might be fun to go through some of my favorite romantic moments in literature, especially since they’re probably pretty different from most people’s! I am a hopeless romantic, but what makes my heart flutter in a book is pretty unique.
These are in no particular order.
1. Jane Eyre
“‘Good Night, my ——–.’ He stopped, bit his lip, and abruptly left me.”
The first time I ever read Jane Eyre I swear my heart stopped right here. I dog eared it, something I never do, and at this point the crease is so deep I’m afraid it may fall off.
This right here is the moment that the reader realizes that Mr. Rochester cares as deeply for Jane as she does for him. He nearly calls her “my dear” or “my love” or something equally sweet and adorable, catches himself, and runs away in embarrassment. *swoon* Best end of a chapter ever.
2. The Night Circus
“Celia reaches out her hand to him and he takes it to help her up. It is the first time he has touched her bare skin.
The reaction is immediate. A sudden charge ripples through the room, crisp and bright. The chandelier begins to shake.”
In this chapter in The Night Circus Marco and Celia are alone together for the first time, on something rather resembling a date. They talk and chat, and Marco is clearly desperate to take Celia in his arms, but she coyly avoids his touch all night long. When they finally do touch, things get a little electric. This whole chapter gives me goosebumps. It really builds the tension until later in the book when they finally kiss.
This passage really appeals to me personally because it reminds me so much of the beginning of my relationship with my husband. One day in particular comes to mind when he was guiding me through a door and his hand touched my back. His fingers sent a tingle, almost a shock where they touched my bare skin. So I so strongly identify with Celia and Marco here. Plus, this is just the most romantic book of all time.
3. The Scarlet Pimpernell
“A curious look of intense passion seemed to glow from beneath his drooping lids, the mouth was tightly closed, the lips compressed, as if the will alone held that surging passion in check.”
This is the moment the reader realizes that Percy is passionately in love with his wife. After barely speaking for months, Marguerite turns to her husband in desperation for help. We realize as we read this passage that Percy still cares for her, and she discovers that she is passionately in love with him.
“Suddenly it seemed to her that the only happiness life could ever hold for her again would be in feeling that man’s kiss once more upon her lips.”
Be still my heart!
If you have no idea what The Scarlet Pimpernell is about, I can only recommend that you read it immediately. I will never not recommend this book. It’s kind of a James Bond book set during the French Revolution, but with such a beautiful romance included. It’s hard to say more without giving too much away, but it’s one of my all-time favorite books.
4. Catching Fire
“I feel that thing again. The thing I only felt once before. In the cave last year, when I was trying to get Haymitch to send us food. I kissed Peeta about a thousand times during those games and after. But there was only one kiss that made me feel something stir deep inside. Only one that made me want more.”
This is probably the only kissing scene that will ever make a romance list for me. Usually kissing isn’t what makes my heart flutter, it’s subtler moments, like a look or a touch. But Katniss is so unromatic, and in this moment she feels something. And it made me feel something.
I was reading on twitter this week a fan-theory that Katniss is actually asexual, and they were a little annoyed that the author “forced” her to end up with Peeta. All I have to say about that is that those folks clearly forgot about this passage.
5. The Lord of the Rings
“‘Here is the heart of elvendom on earth,’ he said, ‘and here my heart dwells ever, unless there be a light beyond the dark roads that we still must tread, you and I.'”
I think what makes this moment so romantic is that the reader doesn’t really understand what is going on yet. Frodo finds Aragorn standing alone in the forest with a smile on his lips, and this is all Aragorn gives as an explanation.
Aragorn and Arwen’s story is such an old-fashioned romance. Perfect for a hopeless romantic like me. I’ve read their Appendix so many times. When I don’t have time to read the entire book, I go back and read their four pages. And this is such a nice moment. The Fellowship has come out of a long journey of blood, gore, and Gandalf’s death, yet Aragorn can still take a few moments to remember the presence of his true love. *sigh*