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I mean to make you sigh as though your heart would break, and scream with the wanting, and at last cry out in my arms, and I shall know that I've served ye well.
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.
I wept bitterly, surrendering momentarily to my fear and heartbroken confusion, but slowly I began to quiet a bit, as Jaimie stroked my neck and back, offering me the comfort of his broad, warm chest. My sobs lessened and I began to calm myself, leaning tiredly into the curve of his shoulder. No wonder he was so good with horses, I thought blearily, feeling his fingers rubbing gently behind my ears, listening to the soothing, incomprehensible speech. If I were a horse, I'd let him ride me anywhere.
"You are my courage, as I am your conscience," he whispered. "You are my heart - and I your compassion. We are neither of us whole, alone."
"Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own."
"D' ye think I don't know?" he asked softly. "It's me that has the easy part now. For if ye feel for me as I do for you - then I'm asking you to tear your heart out and live without it."
"I do not know if the wound is mortal, but Claire - I do feel my heart's blood leave me when I look at you."
Did you ever want to date your brother's best friend? Did he make you shiver with a look across the room.... or make you gasp for breath as he whispered a secret in your ear... or make you tingle all over as his fingers accidentally brushed your skin? If he is as hot and roguish as Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, you definitely would want to make him yours!
Simon is a tortured hero, a man who overcame a great obstacle at a very early age. But not without its costs. Although he lives a carefree life as a Duke, his life is really just an empty shell filled with hate. Simon doesn't even realize how much the hatred inside of him is eating away at his soul, his future, his happiness. That is, until he meets Daphne Bridgerton, his best friend's sister.
Daphne is a member of the Bridgertons, a boisterous, funny, drama-filled family full of love for each other. Simon and Daphne devise a plan. They PRETEND to be courting. This will keep all of the ton's conniving mothers away from Simon and it will give Daphne many suitors just clamouring for the girl that the Duke supposedly wants to make his own. But in true romantic style, this friendship becomes more, for Daphne becomes the one woman who can save Simon from his bitter, angry existence and give him a life filled with laughter, family and love, three things he didn't feel he even wanted or deserved.
I truly enjoyed this book. The Bridgerton family is one you cannot help but enjoy, from Anthony, the over-protective older brother, to Colin, the fun-spirited, young rogue, to Violet, the matriarch of the family. There is great use of dialogue with descriptions of family interactions that were very amusing. The author has managed to reveal that true love can break down barriers, even walls of hatred around one's heart. Daphne was a ray of hope shining into Simon's dark-filled soul, revealing the truth....for all Simon truly wanted was to be loved for who he was. Isn't this what we all want?