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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."
Review for "How To Marry a Duke" by Vicky Dreiling
Picture it. Twenty four women in one room all gathered for a single purpose. All twenty four dressed in their finest attire. All twenty four fanning themselves as they coquettishly peer at their prize. All twenty four vying for the attention of Tristan, the sexy Duke of Shelbourne.
Tristan needs to get married, but he is tired of the little chits he meets time after time, ball after ball, each a giggling little female without the outstanding qualities he is seeking in a duchess. At one such ball he happens upon Tessa Mansfield and is instantly drawn to her. Tristan is surprised to realize that she is Society's notorious matchmaker...the "mantrapper". Tristan decides to enlist Tessa's help in finding a wife. Little does he know what Ms. Mansfield has in store for him....a Regency style bachelor show.
Tristan must choose his bride from the 24 candidates that Tessa has hand-picked for him. He has made it clear that he is not looking for love, only a dutiful wife that will elicit some passion in the bedroom. Tessa, a romantic at heart, is determined to find Tristan not only a suitable wife, but also a love match. The two spend a great deal of time together, and before she realizes what is happening, Tessa finds herself falling for the Duke. Of course, this is unacceptable. She is the matchmaker, and he is her client. But the attraction is undeniable. What will happen if Tessa gives in to her emotions? What if Tristan gives in to the burning desire he feels for Tessa?
This is a thoroughly enjoyable, light-hearted historical romance with a wonderful mix of humour and emotion. I enjoyed the witty banter between the Duke and Tessa. Their desire for one another was palpable and the fire that consumed each of them when their lips met was all-consuming. Vicky Dreiling does a fabulous job of bringing her hero and heroine to life, but I also became engrossed with the secondary characters, especially Tristan's best friend, Hawk, whose story will be coming soon. I cannot wait! The Duchess, Tristan's mother, a sly, witty, tell-it-like-it-is kind of gal, was another character whom I came to enjoy and adore. Even some of the girls Tessa chose to vie for Tristan's hand were well developed and endearing characters. Overall, this is a fun read that will make you laugh out loud and sigh with envy as our hero and heroine find their true love match. I received this book free from the publisher through the Goodreads "First Reads" contest.
HOW TO MARRY A DUKE is book number 3 in the 2011 Historical Romance Challenge.