Sunday, February 10, 2013

Favorite romantic scenes

As Valentine's Day approaches, here are some of my favorite romantic scenes from the OUTLANDER books.  It was very hard to choose just one per book!

OUTLANDER

I love this scene.  It's one of my favorites in OUTLANDER.
"Go ahead,” he said, a moment later. “Open it. It’s yours.”

The outlines of the little package blurred under my fingers. I blinked and sniffed, but made no move to open it. “I’m sorry,” I said.

“Well, so ye should be, Sassenach,” he said, but his voice was no longer angry. Reaching, he took the package from my lap and tore away the wrapping, revealing a wide silver band, decorated in the Highland interlace style, a small and delicate Jacobean thistle bloom carved in the center of each link.

So much I saw, and then my eyes blurred again.

I found a handkerchief thrust into my hand, and did my best to stanch the flow with it. “It’s…beautiful,” I said, clearing my throat and dabbling at my eyes.

“Will ye wear it, Claire?” His voice was gentle now, and his use of my name, mostly reserved for occasions of formality or tenderness, nearly made me break down again

(From OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 23, "Return to Leoch". Copyright© 1991 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
DRAGONFLY IN AMBER

This might seem an odd choice for "most romantic scene" (there's nothing romantic about tragedy, heartbreak, and separation) but Jamie's words speak so eloquently of his love for Claire that I simply had to include it.
"I will find you,” he whispered in my ear. “I promise. If I must endure two hundred years of purgatory, two hundred years without you--then that is my punishment, which I have earned for my crimes. For I have lied, and killed, and stolen; betrayed and broken trust. But there is the one thing that shall lie in the balance. When I shall stand before God, I shall have one thing to say, to weigh against the rest.”

His voice dropped, nearly to a whisper, and his arms tightened around me.

“Lord, ye gave me a rare woman, and God! I loved her well."

(From DRAGONFLY IN AMBER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 46, "Timor Mortis Conturbat Me". Copyright© 1992 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
VOYAGER

Of course I had to include a bit from the reunion:
"I have burned for you for twenty years, Sassenach,” he said softly. “Do ye not know that? Jesus!” The breeze stirred the loose wisps of hair around his face, and he brushed them back impatiently.

“But I’m no the man ye knew, twenty years past, am I?” He turned away, with a gesture of frustration. “We know each other now less than we did when we wed.”

“Do you want me to go?” The blood was pounding thickly in my ears.

“No!” He swung quickly toward me, and gripped my shoulder tightly, making me pull back involuntarily. “No,” he said, more quietly. “I dinna want ye to go. I told ye so, and I meant it. But…I must know.” He bent his head toward me, his face alive with troubled question.

“Do ye want me?” he whispered. “Sassenach, will ye take me--and risk the man that I am, for the sake of the man ye knew?”

(From VOYAGER by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 25, "House of Joy". Copyright© 1994 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
DRUMS OF AUTUMN

This is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. It still brings tears to my eyes, every time.
"I was dead, my Sassenach--and yet all that time, I loved you.”

I closed my eyes, feeling the tickle of the grass on my lips, light as the touch of sun and air.

“I loved you, too,” I whispered. “I always will.”

The grass fell away. Eyes still closed, I felt him lean toward me, and his mouth on mine, warm as sun, light as air.

“So long as my body lives, and yours--we are one flesh,” he whispered. His fingers touched me, hair and chin and neck and breast, and I breathed his breath and felt him solid under my hand. Then I lay with my head on his shoulder, the strength of him supporting me, the words deep and soft in his chest.

"And when my body shall cease, my soul will still be yours. Claire--I swear by my hope of heaven, I will not be parted from you."

(From DRUMS OF AUTUMN by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 16, "The First Law of Thermodynamics". Copyright© 1997 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
THE FIERY CROSS

There are many, many wonderful Jamie/Claire moments in this book, but I chose to focus instead on Roger and Brianna, on their wedding night.  Knowing what's going to come later, this is so poignant, it breaks my heart.
It was cold tonight, quite different from that first night together, that hot, gorgeous night that had ended in anger and betrayal. Months of other nights lay between that one and this--months of loneliness, months of joy. And yet his heart beat as fast now as it had on their first wedding night.

“I always sing for you, hen.” He came behind her, drew her back against him, so that her head rested on his shoulder, her hair cool and live against his face. His arm curled round her waist, holding her secure. He bent his head, nuzzling for the curve of her ear.

“No matter what,” he whispered, “no matter where. No matter whether you’re there to hear or not--I’ll always sing for you."

(From THE FIERY CROSS by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 16, "On the Night That Our Wedding is On Us". Copyright© 2001 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES

This is one of my favorite scenes in ABOSAA.  The combination of humor and sensuality is just irresistible.
"You are squashing me,” I said with dignity. “Kindly get off.”

“No?” he repeated, not moving.

“Yes! All right! Yes! Will you bloody get off?!”

He didn’t get off, but bent his head and kissed me. I was close-lipped, determined not to give in, but he was determined, too, and if one came right down to it...the skin of his face was warm, the plush of his beard stubble softly scratchy, and his wide sweet mouth...My legs were open in abandon and he was solid between them, bare chest smelling of musk and sweat and sawdust caught in the wiry auburn hair....I was still hot with struggling, but the grass was damp and cool around us....Well, all right; another minute, and he could have me right there, if he cared to.

He felt me yield, and sighed, letting his own body slacken; he no longer held me prisoner, but simply held me. He lifted his head then, and cupped my face with one hand.

“D’ye want to know what it is, really?” he asked, and I could see from the dark blue of his eyes that he meant it. I nodded, mute.

“Above all creatures on this earth,” he whispered, “you are faithful."

(From A BREATH OF SNOW AND ASHES by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 20, "Dangerous Gifts". Copyright© 2005 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
AN ECHO IN THE BONE

Ian and Rachel, together at last.  What a sweet, romantic note on which to end the book!
"Thee is a wolf, too, and I know it. But thee is my wolf, and best thee know that.”

He’d started to burn when she spoke, an ignition swift and fierce as the lighting of one of his cousin’s matches. He put out his hand, palm forward, to her, still cautious lest she, too, burst into flame.

“What I said to ye, before...that I kent ye loved me--”

She stepped forward and pressed her palm to his, her small, cool fingers linking tight.

“What I say to thee now is that I do love thee. And if thee hunts at night, thee will come home.”

Under the sycamore, the dog yawned and laid his muzzle on his paws.

“And sleep at thy feet,” Ian whispered, and gathered her in with his one good arm, both of them blazing bright as day.

(From AN ECHO IN THE BONE by Diana Gabaldon, chapter 103, "The Hour of the Wolf". Copyright© 2009 by Diana Gabaldon. All rights reserved.)
Hope you enjoyed these!  There are many more that I like, of course; there just wasn't room enough to list all the good ones.

What are some of your own favorite romantic scenes from Diana Gabaldon's books?

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Karen,
Thank you. What a wonderful collection for Valentines Day.

Anonymous said...

Love them all-- makes me want to begin reading the series again. I miss my old friends.

Meilssa said...

Beautifully done. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Excellent choices all, Karen.

JustHeather said...

*sigh* I need to read the series, yet again!! Thank you for picking these out. You are correct, it is so hard to choose just one scene from each book, but if you didn't limit it, I fear you'd still be writing this post and we'd still be waiting. hehehe

Genevieve said...

Sigh! Excellent choices. I'm doing my re-read before the new book comes out, and I just started Drums of Autumn. I'm loving the books all over again.

jeannine said...

These are wonderful, and I agree -- makes me want to pick up the books again (which I know I will!).Love revisiting these moments.

Thanks, Karen, for putting so much time and effort into these posts. It must take quite a while to pull these together and your efforts are certainly appreciated! :)