I know, I know. It’s actually fantasy, but it is also a romance in the oldest sense of the term. It is the story of a hero and his quest; a quest that carries both personal and universal significance.
I’m talking about Merchant of Alyss, the second book in Thomas Locke’s Legends of the Realm series. The Kindle version will release on 29th December 2015 and the paperback version releases on 5th January 2016.
I will have a review of the book up later this week, but I just had to share this scene between Hyam and Joelle. It almost seized the air in my lungs when I read it (in a totally good way, of course!) and has made it onto my shortlist of all time favourite romantic scenes. Hyam and Joelle married in the first book in this series, Emissary, and while neither novel spends much time describing romantic interactions between the couple, this particular scene is very deliberate in both its inclusion and placement:
Hyam stood there for a time, studying Joelle’s silhouette in the vague pale light. Her dark honeyed hair was pulled back from her neck, revealing a tattoo she had inked herself, in the darkest hours of her own hard nights. Hyam would never confess the thought that rose then, not even to the windless dawn. But in such moments as this, when he marveled over the fact that such an amazing woman had gifted him her heart, he knew a vague gratitude over her imprisonment. For Hyam knew that Joelle’s love was an unspoken thanks for his rescue. He had freed her, and she had imprisoned herself again. She had chained herself with a love so fierce it scalded his very soul. Joelle was born to fly, to soar, to hunt upon the winds. He saw this too, when she opened herself to him and revealed the hawk’s fierce intent emblazoned far deeper than the ink embedded in her skin. At such times he felt almost consumed by her love. He had no way of thanking Joelle for the gift, except to do what he did now. Stand amazed and filled to overflowing by the gift of her wings.
He knelt beside Joelle, stroked her face, and kissed the delicate point where her neck met her hairline. She stirred and murmured, “Is it time?”
“Sleep, my love. Sleep.”
“Oh good. I thought it was…” Then she drifted away.
He pressed his lips to her ear and breathed, soft as the first hint of breeze on the dawn, “I love you, Joelle. With my heart and my days. I cherish you for all you are and all you are helping me become.”
Wow! Talk about turning my bones to mush! And the scene doesn’t end there, but you’ll have to get the book for more 🙂
How does it compare to your favourite romantic scenes?
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