Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!
Thanks so much for joining us on our week-long celebration of literary swoon with some of your favorite YA authors. It’s been a pleasure to revisit some beautiful book moments, as well as to add to our ever-teetering TBR lists.
We’re concluding our series today with a few more romantic book scenes, this time chosen by The Midnight Garden Bloggers. As always, enjoy! And beware spoilers if you haven’t read the book yet.
K.’s Favorite Romantic Book Scene
One of my favorite romantic scenes is from Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. It comes near the end of the book, and it’s a beautiful moment between young Cathy and Hareton. It is so sweet and delicate it makes you want to aww until your heart breaks. For me, it stands out so fiercely mainly because everything else around it so dark – a little flicker of light fighting to stay alive in a storm. There’s really no better way to prove it but to let you read it for yourself.
So without further ado, in Emily’s eternal words…
That was a great advance for the lad. She didn’t thank him; still, he felt gratified that she had accepted his assistance, and ventured to stand behind as she examined them, and even to stoop and point out what struck his fancy … he contented himself with going a bit further back, and looking at her instead of the book. She continued reading … His attention became, by degrees, quite centered in the study of her thick, silky curls: her face he couldn’t see, and she couldn’t see him. And, perhaps, not quite awake to what he did, but attracted like a child to a candle, at last he proceeded from staring to touching; he put out his hand and stroked one curl, as gently as if it were a bird.
Reynje’s Favorite Romantic Book Scene
From On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta:
“I take deep breaths, looking at the town stretched in front of me. When I turn around he cups my face in his hands and kisses me so deeply that I don’t know who is breathing for who, but his mouth and tongue taste like warm honey. I don’t know how long it lasts, but when I let go of him, I miss it instantly.”
This is definitely one of my favourite kisses in fiction. In just three lines, Marchetta packs so much emotion into this moment between Taylor and Jonah – it’s romantic and sad and abrupt and full of longing. No matter how many times I read this passage I still experience the same need for these characters to find happiness, a connection to their story and their relationship. I love how Marchetta writes romance between flawed people that is realistic, and yet still so compelling and swoon-worthy.
Wendy’s Favorite Romantic Book Scene
I enjoy romance in many forms, but I have a special affinity for stories that have some element of sadness or self-sacrifice. There is a great deal of tragedy in L.M. Montgomery’s unabashedly romantic Emily of New Moon series, which features a young orphan who must start a new life after her father passes away.
Emily harbors a secret hankering for Teddy Kent as soon as they meet in a small Canadian village, but over many years of friendship, their relationship is estranged after a series of misunderstandings. In fact, she has even promised to marry another man…until one night, Emily has a dream in which she goes to see Teddy at a London station just as he’s embarking on his journey home on a boat-train.
She was in that strange, great room–she was among those throngs of people–she was standing by the man who was waiting impatiently before a ticket-window. As he turned his face and their eyes met she saw it was Teddy–she saw the amazed recognition in his eyes. And she knew, indisputably, that he was in some terrible danger–and that she must save him.
She wakes up the next morning, shaken by her dream. She isn’t surprised to find that Teddy’s ship collided with an iceberg at sea, presumably killing everyone on board. But Teddy never got on that ship, because just before he boarded, he was quite sure he saw an impossible sight–Emily, beckoning him to follow her until she was lost in a crowd and it was too late for him to board. Later, Emily explains:
“You see,” she concluded miserably, “when I can call like that to him across space–I belong to him. He doesn’t love me–he never will–but I belong to him.”
It’s bewitching to think of a love so powerful that you can reach across time and distance to your soul mate, isn’t it? That scene from Emily’s Quest makes me clutch my chest every time I read it.
Tell Us Your Favorite Romantic Book Scene!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this series. And now that we’ve shared a bundle of swoon-worthy moments with you…we’d love to hear what makes your heart go pitter-patter! Tell us YOUR favorite romantic book scene in the comments below.
Check out the rest of the Literary Swoon series!
Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls
Gail Carriger, author of Soulless
Rebecca Lim, author of Mercy
Deborah Cooke, author of Flying Blind
Cynthia Hand, author of Unearthly
Shirley Marr, author of Fury
Lauren Oliver, author of Delirium
Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood
The Midnight Garden Bloggers