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Memorable Romance Book Moments

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There are passages in books that are so memorable that you need only say a few descriptive words and the reader knows exactly what book you are talking about. These are scenes that I don’t think could be duplicated by the same author or even other authors without invoking the original.

Here are a few that I can remember.

What I think makes these scenes iconic is how intricately they are tied into the storyline.   In the first instance, the heroine’s selfless behavior makes her captor rethink his preconcieved viewpoint.   In the third instance, the drugging of the heroine is done twice, first by the hero’s servants and then by the hero himself later in the book which   was evidence of his crazy addiction to to the heroine.

In the “bear” story, the hero tells the heroine a love story involving a woman named Julie Ann and throughout the story, refers to her as “Julie Ann” from time to time, referencing that important scene.   The “horse” book uses the loss of the horse as a catalyst to bring the hero and heroine closer together.   The shooting scene referenced in the second example is a peak point in the relationship between the hero and heroine, a kind of point of no return.

Too often you find books filled with scenes that are fillers or bridges from one scene to another.   One thing that I found so impressive about Meredith Duran’s Bound by Your Touch is how each scene played an important part in the overall construction of either the plot or the characterization.   It was not simply there to provide entertaining dross about the characters.

I was reading a novel the other day and the characters were traveling from a party to the hotel where they would have sex for the very first time.   The two characters exchange a bit of banter, but overall the scene had absolutely nothing of value other than to get us from Point A to Point B.   I thought at least it could be used to heighten the sexual tension between the couple if the scene had to be included, but alas, it was like hearing the painful beginning of a blind date.

Robin has a great article planned for next week about book length and how the length of the book isn’t as important as what is included in the book.

I think, too, that these memorable scenes lacked kitschiness.   One of the things that I really am starting to despise more and more is gimmicky setups for stories whether it be the four governesses from the governess finishing school to the fantasy island partnerswapping adventure story.

Memorable scenes can be contrived. I’ll never forget Nicholas by Elizabeth Amber with the hero and his sentient snake like appendage (which is not the same as his two dicks).   And “time traveling urinal” rings many a bell for a reader.   Scene stickiness can be based on how horrific you make something for a reader.   The snake scene from A Maiden’s Grave by Jeffrey Deaver and the chainsaw/rat scene in American Psycho by Brett Eason Ellis are two that are burned in my memory, much to my dismay.

It’s not possible, given the scope of books being published today, for memorable scenes to exist in each and every book, but certainly that has to be the aim of the author – to make one’s book memorable, even 20 years beyond its original publication?   When I go back and read those favorite, memorable scenes, I’m often immediately sucked into the story

I know there are other noteworthy scenes I haven’t mentioned because I simply can’t recall them as I sit here today. Authors Shannon Stacey and Jaci Burton shared with me one of the most memorable scenes in a romance book. It is a shower scene in the Harlequin Blaze, The Sweetest Taboo by Alison Kent.   It made an impression on those two and fulfills my criteria for a memorable scene in that it impacts the story arc:

He just compromised the entire reason he’d had this shower built.   Solitude, personal safety, peace of mind.   He’d never step inside again without thinking of Erin in his arms.

And he wasn’t at all sure he was comfortable with that.

What are some scenes in books that have stuck in your mind?   Are all the scenes from books you loved?   What makes a   memorable scene for you?

The key:

  • Honor’s Splendor by Julie Garwood
  • Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
  • Secret Fire by Johanna Lindsey (this is one of my all time favorite romances. ALL TIME)
  • Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
  • Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Twitted by dearauthor
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 04:06:13

    […] This post was Twitted by dearauthor […]

  2. medumb
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 04:25:48

    I wonder if I have a copy of Secret Fire around here somewhere, loved that book as a youngster. Remember being fascinated by the drugging scene, and the whole book.
    Never got into the scoundrel book, and haven’t read any of the others.

  3. Laura Vivanco
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 04:36:12

    Georgette Heyer had the heroine shoot the hero before Chase did (in Devil’s Cub), but the circumstances were rather different.

  4. Angela James
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 05:35:03

    I can’t believe you didn’t mention the condom scene from Kill and Tell by Linda Howard after the recent conversations about it.

    My other memorable scene is from Naked in Death by JD Robb, when Roarke reaches into his pocket to rub the button that’s fallen off Eve’s jacket. It’s the first real sign the reader gets that he’s a sentimental guy and that moment resonates through the rest of the book. The rest of the series, actually.

    I knew exactly what you meant when you said “she warms his feet” but despite being a huge Johanna Lindsay fan, I don’t remember Secret Fire. Now I’m going to have to go look.

  5. Carrie Lofty
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 05:38:05

    A memorable scene for me is in Elizabeth Lowell’s Fire and Rain. Carla and Luke haven’t been lovers yet. They’ve been working all day on his ranch. They’re bone tired. And when they share a cup of coffee, handing it back and forward as they talk, they turn the cup each time so that their mouths drink from the same spot. Symbolic kissing. So hot. It’s fresh in my mind even 17 years after reading it for the first time.

  6. katiebabs
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 05:49:16

    The scene in A Rose at Midnight where Ghislaine is very sick on a boat. She is alone and scared and thinks Nicolas, the hero wants to rape her. That is the scene that changes their relationship forever. He stays with her the whole time, taking care of her and making sure she is comfortable. In her sick daze she hears him say he loves her.

  7. Susanna Kearsley
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 07:09:53

    Mary Stewart’s This Rough Magic: Lucy finds the dolphin beached and dying in the dark, and the only person she can find to help is Max. I’ve always loved this scene. And Max.

    And one I’ve read just recently that I’m sure I’ll remember for long time is in Kelley Armstrong’s No Humans Involved: Jaime. Jeremy. Balcony. Wow.

  8. RStewie
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 07:10:38

    I always think about the scene in The Shadow and the Star, where Samuel and Leda “sleep” together, and I love how innocent and amazed she is when she wakes up. It shows just how different their relative positions are concerning sex, and how sweet that he stopped, and then held her. It was a turning point in the book to me, and then the subsequent scene where they really sleep together was just great storytelling. –Off the subject a little, though…I always thought Leda was the Shadow and Samuel was the Star in that book. Even though he has the whole secret ninja thing going on, it just seemed his character was more “shiny” while hers was so much more ordinary.–

  9. Rosemary
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 07:11:57

    I might be the only person on earth who thinks that Mary Stewart’s Touch Not the Cat is the sexiest book ever written.

    For the unitiated, Bryony Granger has had a telepathic love with an unknown cousin her whole life. (Stay with me here). He has a reason for not revealing himself to her, but when he finally does, and they finally connect, it’s sublime.

    No spoilers, but all I’ll say is it’s the scene under the blossoming pear tree. And the morning that follows. And the references to Romeo and Juliet. Insert sighs here.

    Now that I think of it, this is also my “cracktastic” book. . .

  10. joanne
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 07:27:14

    In My Beloved by Karen Ranney the hero quotes — er, one of the Greeks, my memory fails, it’s an older book — and asks the heroine to be part of his soul. I probably will never re-read the story just in case it ruins that feeling that I had when I read that scene that took a Medieval Romance and turned it into an ahhhhhhhhhhh moment.

    Another is in one of the Julia Quinn Bridgerton books where the mother, Violet, explains to her daughter what it felt like to be pregnant and alone after her much-loved husband died so suddenly. For me that scene defined the family she raised .

    And most recently in The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, Jennifer Ashley has the hero, Ian, at the heroine’s deathbed and he asks her ‘is this what love feels like?’ … ‘I don’t like it much, my Beth.’

  11. Lorelie
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 07:27:32

    So I’m sitting here, thinking of my most remembered scenes….and they’re either sexual, or so funny that I giggle even when I reread them. Huh. Wonder what that says about me.

  12. Sandy James
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 07:40:44

    I think Karyn Monk is a highly underrated author who always delivers. In Once A Warrior, I got goosebumps when the hero says, “I came for the money. But I stayed for you.” A sublime moment in romance.

  13. Moth
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 07:52:01

    I love the scene in the Unknown Ajax by Heyer where Claude is pretending to be shot.

    Oh gawd, and the scene from Talisman Ring with the broken perfume bottle.

    And the whole vignette in Faking It by Crusie that culminates with Davy thinking “I married well.”

    I think my memorable scenes tend to be ones that make me bust up laughing…

    @Susanna Kearsley I love that part in This Rough Magic too!

  14. Susanna Kearsley
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 08:11:24

    @Rosemary: God, yes, Touch Not the Cat. And the pear tree scene. “I was thinking about the Ninety Mile Beach.” *swoon*

    But for me, the most beautiful scene in that book (and the one that I find the most memorable) is in Chapter 14. Pretty much the whole chapter, actually. That scene, for me, defines Romance.

    I’m sure you’ll know why.

  15. Danielle
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 08:16:57

    One of my most memorable scenes is from Wicked Angel by Julia London — when Lauren tells Alex that she wants her heart back — that he has her heart. I can reread that chapter over and over.

  16. Terry Odell
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 08:19:52

    My other memorable scene is from Naked in Death by JD Robb, when Roarke reaches into his pocket to rub the button that's fallen off Eve's jacket. It's the first real sign the reader gets that he's a sentimental guy and that moment resonates through the rest of the book. The rest of the series, actually.


    Another one that sticks with me isn’t from a romance at all, but from one of Sue Grafton’s alphabet series. Kinsey and the guy she’s been seeing are finally going out, and she’s got a feeling this will be ‘the night’. They’re at dinner, and he suggests leaving before eating. She agrees, but says, “Please don’t tell me you were so confident that you put clean sheets on the bed.”

    He says. “No. For you I bought new.”

  17. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 08:20:43

    These are scenes that I don't think could be duplicated by the same author or even other authors without invoking the original.

    She shoots him.

    Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

    I've always thought that Chase's LoS shooting scene was a tip of the hat to Heyer's Mary shooting Dominic in Devil's Cub.

  18. Kaye
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 08:21:30

    In Julie Garwood’s Mercy, Theo meets Dr. Mike at a fancy function and throws up on her. He has a good reason- his appendix is in danger of rupturing.

    I thought this was a great twist on a first meeting.

  19. Daisy
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 09:00:52

    I smiled and had sweet thoughts when I read “she warms his feet” and “she steals his horse” and “he drugs her” – those are some of my favorite books. Though I have to confess I didn’t know that Katherine is drugged with beetle dust, and my favorite scene from “A Kingdom of Dreams” comes later in the book, when the hero refuses to fight her family because he knows it will hurt her. To me that showed his love for her more than anything else he could have ever done.

  20. Maili
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 09:55:24

    A casual mention of that shag in the ladies at a court house will have quite a few readers recognising it from Linda Howard’s After the Night. It has a touch of humour, which is probably why it stood out.

    Linda Howard’s really good at providing memorable scenes. The (insane) condom scene in Kill and Tell. The stone floor shag in Son of the Morning. The opening scene in … I’m blanking the title of the first Mackenzie book.

    I remember quite a few from Karen Robards’s romantic suspense books, especially the crazy cat as well as the dead hero coming alive on a slab.

  21. Jennifer Spiller
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 10:34:51

    Okay, two of my all-time favorite scenes are from Diana Gabaldon. The scene in the print shop, when she walks through the door up through and including her showing him the pictures, and not a romantic scene, but when Bree and Jamie meet for the first time.

    There are so many in those books that will stick with me forever. Not a traditional romance, though it has the main elements, but David Payne’s Early From the Dance has a scene where Jane comes out of the shower, and years later sees a painting of herself at that exact moment. The protagonist , Adam painted it from memory. One of the most powerful images, ever, for me.

    In romances, just recently in Eloisa James’s A Duke of Her Own, there’s a scene that I know I will never forget, ever.

    Jo Beverly has a scene in Rothgar’s book, where he gives Diana a foot massage. That scene was so erotic. I haven’t read it in a few years, but that scene sticks with me. There’s something about how she weaves the dialogue with the action that creates pace and tension.

  22. Michelle
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 10:49:09

    Some of the scenes that came to mind immediately were:

    First proposal scene between Darcy and Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice
    Scene in Anne of Green Gables when Gilbert calls her carrots and she breaks her slate over his head
    Scene in Slightly Dangerous when Bedwyn dives off the tree

  23. MaryK
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 10:54:28

    I think it’s time for me to have a Mary Stewart re-read (or re-listen, I have most of her books on audio cassette.) :D

    And it’s been some time since I read Son of the Morning.

  24. MaryK
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 11:05:54

    Lightning That Lingers, an old, short category romance, is full of memorable scenes. The stripper hero on stage trying to coax the heroine into coming out from behind her napkin. The heroine dressed as Abe Lincoln bumping into the hero on the street the next day. The owl with the underwear on its head.

  25. Caty
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 11:23:30

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who read ‘She shoots him’ and immediately though Devil’s Cub. One of my favourite scenes ever. Like Kalen, I thought the Lord of Scoundrels scene was a hat-tip to Heyer.

    And speaking of Georgette Heyer, I also loved the blackberry-picking scene at the start of Venetia and the scene in False Colours where Cressy lets Kit know that she knows who he really is.

    And it’s a bit more obscure, but I love the part in Marianne Stillings’ Sighs Matter where the heroine is quizzing the hero over how many women he’s practised on to perfect his technique.

  26. Ros
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 11:28:44

    Yes, ‘She shoots him’ is absolutely Mary shooting Dominic. The scene in Devil’s Cub is much more emotionally charged than the equivalent in Lord of Scoundrels and the consequences are more significant. Though the scene that I completely adore in that book is when he stabs her with his sword. *sigh*

  27. Lori
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 11:44:04

    Not a romance but

    Hey Boo

    makes me cry everytime I read it.

  28. Carin
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 11:45:58

    I have two scenes that come to mind…

    In Start Me Up, by Victoria Dahl, the “sex ninja” comment that ends an afterglow discussion still makes me grin every time I think of it!

    Then, not a romantic scene, but a TOTALLY funny one… in Nobody’s Baby But Mine, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, the Lucky Charms scene… I laughed and laughed! I listened to it on audio book where there’s no peaking ahead to see, did she really? Was it her? Just rode the scene out and it was SO FUNNY.

  29. Donna Kowalczyk
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 12:21:42

    Daisy, that’s the most memorable scene for me, too, from A Kingdom Of Dreams, which is my #1 all-time favorite book (Honor’s Splendour is a close second…sigh…LOL). I forget the exact words but something like, “He’s out there dying for you!” I really need to reread that book, it’s been such a long time.

    The only author listed who I haven’t read is Loretta Chase, so I think I’ll have to try her soon. I loved Secret Fire, though it’s been so long since I read it, I can’t even remember what it’s about. LOL I’ll have to rectify that soon as well.

    Most books by Linda Howard are memorable to me. One of her historicals (read like 15 or so years ago, so I can’t remember which) has the hero chasing/stalking the heroine. She says, “You leave me alone!” and he says, “Like hell I will.” I thought that scene was so sexy (especially once he catches her *g*) that I still remember it. :-) Also, the ending of A Fire In the Heart by Katherine Sutcliffe, where the hero swings the heroine around, just like her father used to swing her mother. I’m sure I could keep thinking of memorable moments, but if I don’t get back to writing my CP is going to kill me. LOL

  30. ShellBell
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 12:27:05

    Honor’s Splendour, Secret Fire and Kingdom of Dreams are all firm favourites of mine – if only they were available as eBooks!

    One memorable scene for me is in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s novella Phantom Lover when Erin visits V’Aidan in the Underworld. It is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

  31. Donna Kowalczyk
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 12:27:14

    Ooh, one more that just popped into my mind is from an old book called Touch the Wind by…crap, can’t remember. But it’s the scene where the hero (Rafaga, I think his name was) has to whip her for trying to run away. Never forgot that.

  32. RStewie
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 12:47:34

    Ohh, I forgot the stone floor shag scene in Son of the Morning. That’s one of my all-time favorite Linda Howard books. And I HATE Time Travel novels, generally. But my favorite scene from that one is the first time she sees him in her dream (vision?). SO HOT.

    I need to get that book and re-read it.

    Another one I thought was great was Judith McNaught’s Remember When when the heroine (breaking ALL the rules I had come to expect of a McNaught novel) actually sees through the hero and stands by his side. I loved that she didn’t do what I had come to expect from McNaught’s heroines: misinterpreted the situation and handle it wrong. I was all “Yay!” when I read it, and actually had to re-read the book after finishing it, just because I was so excited about the storyline.

    And I know they’re all crack-tastic, but I loved in Rhage’s story when he turned into the “beast” over Mary getting hurt. That was SO SWEET, and such a great scene to me because he did it for her. If you’re going to have paranormals that turn into monsters, I want that monster’s whole focus to be the heroine.

  33. Tammy
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 13:45:50

    Some very different stories come to mind: 1) Sweet: Roarke pocketing Eve’s ugly gray blazer button, a private talisman throughout the “In Death” series. 2) Gut-busting humor: SEP’s “Natural Born Charmer,” a tie between Blue meeting the hero, Dean, wearing a beaver suit, and Blue telling metrosexual Dean that he’s wearing the gayest boots she’s ever seen. 3) Heartbreaking: In Kresley Cole’s “No Rest for the Wicked” – that moment of silence, that shared glance that said it all, just before Kaderin leapt into the fire, trusting that Sebastian would use at least one of the two turns of the key he was about to win to bring her back to life. Devastating.

  34. Diana
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 13:54:43

    It’s nice to see some other Julie Garwood fans! Honor’s Splendor is still a favorite, as is Mercy. And I believe it was in The Secret that the heroine listens to a couple of Scots making a joke about the English – and dumps a big tub of water on them from an upper window.

  35. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 14:01:23

    Though the scene that I completely adore in that book is when he stabs her with his sword. *sigh*

    @Ros: What does it say about us that our favorite romance involves the heroine shooting the hero and the hero stabbing the heroine? Whatever it says, you’re my kind of reader, LOL!

  36. Moth
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 14:44:16

    @Kalen Hughes (#17)

    I've always thought that Chase's LoS shooting scene was a tip of the hat to Heyer's Mary shooting Dominic in Devil's Cub.

    I was curious about this, so I wrote Ms. Chase a note and she said that no, the scene from LoS is NOT an homage or hat tip to Devil’s Cub. Just FYI.

    I’m surprised there aren’t more people mentioning Crusie moments. Here. I’ll do some…
    Sweet: Cal handing Min the buttered roll and telling her to eat up.
    Funny: The whole dinner scene in Strange Bedpersons.

  37. Dagny
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 14:51:27


    I just read Strange Bedpersons for the first time, finished it last night, and that scene will stay with me for the foreseeable future.

    She’s Italian, they invented wine. (paraphrased)

  38. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 15:00:28

    @Kalen Hughes (#17)

    I've always thought that Chase's LoS shooting scene was a tip of the hat to Heyer's Mary shooting Dominic in Devil's Cub.

    I was curious about this, so I wrote Ms. Chase a note and she said that no, the scene from LoS is NOT an homage or hat tip to Devil's Cub. Just FYI.

    Interesting. There are certain things that I just don’t think you can put in a romance without acknowledging that they reach back to the deep well of the genre that is Georgette Heyer’s body of work. Heroine shooting Hero is one of them IMO. *shrug* If Chase says it wasn't meant to bring Heyer's use to mind, I believe her, but it makes LoS less interesting, intertexturally speaking. Maybe I'm just too damn academic for my own good, as I clearly see relationships that supposedly don't exist, LOL!

  39. Moth
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 15:15:29

    @Kalen Hughes

    Well, if you think about the tones of the scenes they are very different. Jess is a righteous lady in red giving Dain his comeuppance. Mary is (if I remember correctly) rather frightened and the bullet is more of a cold-water dousing to snap Dominic out of it.

  40. Susan/DC
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 15:44:06

    I love the following from Eva Ibbotson’s A Company of Swans, because it’s such a wonderful example of her voice — clear, poetic, extraordinarily romantic:
    ‘I am ruined’ said Harriet, waking in the great white-netted bed. The word seemed to her so beautiful that she spoke it again to herself, very softly: ‘Ruined. I am a fallen woman.’ She turned her head on the pillow. Rom’s dark head was half-buried in the sheet, with one arm thrown out in sleep. The problem now was what to do with so much happiness; how to contain it and not let it spill out and disturb him. . . .A new world lay before her — a world whose existence she had not even guessed. The mystics knew it, and perhaps God Himself (and possibly Johann Sebastian Bach in places) . . . But none of them had been ruined by Rom, so they could not know it as she knew it.”

    I also very much like the following from Diane Farr’s Under the Wishing Star (Farr is one of those authors who’s fallen off the edge of the Earth and I miss her). The heroine is nervous about her body and her sexual naivete, but the hero understands and tells her to think of him instead and “in a flash she understood. He was right. When she thought about herself — her fears, her nakedness, what he must think of her, whether or not she pleased him — she froze. But when she thought of him — the play of his muscles, the texture of his hair, the feel of his mouth when he kissed her — she was free of petty anxiety.”

    I know I’ve got more quotes in my reading journal, but these are two of my favorites. I definitely recognized the scenes from Chase, Crusie, and Garwood — they are among the first romances I read when I started reading romance about 8 years ago, and they’ve stayed with me (to my delight) ever since.

  41. Suze
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 15:58:55

    Speaking of Linda Howard, I’ve bought her old (80’s) category “All That Glitters” probably 5 times just because of the scenes where the heroine brushes off the Greek Tycoon hero.

    “I can’t talk to you now! My dog is having puppies!”

    All his attempts to intimidate her end up going poorly for him. Of course, it was the 80’s, and it was Linda Howard, so the big bad he-man wins out in the end, but still. “My dog is having puppies!” Take that, Greek Tycoon!

  42. Jane
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 16:12:08

    You guys are wreaking havoc on my to read list. I am very interested in picking up that Mary Stewart book. I also don’t know how I could have forgot the courthouse scene. That is very memorable as was condom scene in Open Season. I don’t remember the stone floor shag or the puppy birthing scene. Will have to dig out my old Linda Howard books (like that is any hardship).

  43. Moth
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 16:19:21

    Re: Mary Stewart

    I also love the part in Nine Coaches Waiting where the heroine goes running down the rickety outdoor staircase to catch the hero- thinking he doesn’t love her anymore and she’s going to lose him forever. Then, after he nearly hits her, (bad paraphrase) he’s like, “I thought you left. I thought I was chasing after you.”

    And I think in This Rough Magic I think I fell almost as hard for Max’s father as I did for Max. I also loved Athoni at the end, “You wanted to eat his heart, little sister. I have cooked it for you.” Bloodthirsty. But awesome.

    Oooh, and the Moonspinners! When the hero hauls Nicola out of the water and calls her “his girl”. So sweet.

  44. Kalen Hughes
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 16:28:28

    @Kalen Hughes

    Well, if you think about the tones of the scenes they are very different. Jess is a righteous lady in red giving Dain his comeuppance. Mary is (if I remember correctly) rather frightened and the bullet is more of a cold-water dousing to snap Dominic out of it.


  45. Jessica
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 16:43:48


    You guys are wreaking havoc on my to read list.

    I second this. Great, if potentially bank breaking, thread.

  46. Miki
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 17:11:56


    I’m sure I thought the button thing with Roarke was sweet, but the two scenes from the JD Robb series that affect me more were:

    1) when Eve goes back to interrogate Roarke after they broke up, and he locks her in at the same time she finally turns and admits she misses him

    2) the scene where Eve is teasing Roarke by pretending she’d promised Mavis he’d do a duet with her at a big party – his reaction when she said her first unsolicted “I love you” took my breath away the first time I read it!

    And for all those mentioning the condom scene in Howard’s Kiss and Tell, what about that scene in All the Queen’s Men when they think they’re going to get caught ransacking the bad guy’s office?!

  47. Greta
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 17:22:22

    Carrie Lofty mentioned one of my favorites – Fire and Rain by Elizabeth Howell. I love that book and I re-read that particular scene over and over.

  48. katiebabs
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 17:50:02

    How can we forget the party pak condom buying scene in Howard’s Open Season and then the scene where they pick the blue condom. Hee.

  49. Jennie
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 18:07:47

    Aw, Susan/DC, I love that passage from A Company of Swans! Ibbotson’s heroines can verge on being too sweet and innocent for words, but they are redeemed by, among other things, not being total prudish ninnies about physical love.

    The first memorable scene that comes to mind is the one in Checkmate where Lymond reveals his love. It’s electrifying.

  50. DeeCee
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 18:22:11

    The scene in Bad Moon Rising (Kenyon) with the locket inscription or the fight at the end. It seems like all of her claiming scenes can make me cry too.

    One not so happy memorable scene is in one of Suz Brockmann’s older books with Gina trapped on the plane as a hostage and the rape scene with Max on the other side of the phone. It kinda stuck with me and in their HEA story when he’s having to deal with what he heard.

  51. Jennifer Spiller
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 18:42:53

    Hmm. My favorite J.D. Robb is I think in Visions in Death???? Roarke is back in Ireland and he’s gone to meet his family, and Eve flies in to be with him. The plane sets down in a field. Alll the things that go through his mind as he sees her coming towards him are the reason I just love Roarke, even if I want to whap him at least once a book.

  52. Helen
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 19:11:33

    I have a terrible memory for specific scenes in books, but this is one I read yesterday so I’m sure (almost…) I have it right! The book is Meridian by Amber Kizer. Meridian has been sent to live with her aunt. They are both beings who help people’s souls cross over and the aunt explains that death is a gift that is for both the dying as they cross over into the light and for them because they take part in it. Sounds strange here, she says it much better but I’ve loaned the book out already so I can’t quote directly! This scene sets up what happens later in the book and is an integral part of the story.

    For those of you who like young adult novels this one was very good.

  53. AnneH
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 20:55:02


    Well, if you think about the tones of the scenes they are very different. Jess is a righteous lady in red giving Dain his comeuppance. Mary is (if I remember correctly) rather frightened and the bullet is more of a cold-water dousing to snap Dominic out of it.

    True. And while I love both the Devil's Cub and Lord of Scoundrels, I can't even remember the shooting scene in the Devil's Cub until it was mentioned here. Mainly because Mary's action was more natural due to fright. On the other hand, Jessica shooting Dain is something that always stands out in my memory. Very calculating and cleverly done.

    The J D Robb books has lots of very memorable scenes IMO. My particular favourite was in Conspiracy In Death when Roarke arrives home and he was thinking about all the treasures he has accumulated by fair means or foul and how Eve does not fully understand the reason behind his delight in acquiring them. Then he comes across Eve and we get this wonderful description of how he felt. “He stepped to the doorway where the most precious of treasures was curled, fully dressed, weapon still strapped to her side, in the chair.”

  54. Lydia
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 21:19:16

    While I was reading the posts, a scene from Death Takes a Holiday came to mind. At the end, when Death reveals himself, she says, But that is how I have always seen you.

    And in Heyer’s Frederica, when they are talking about being in love, that it’s being not quite happy when you are away.

  55. Moth
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 21:49:18

    My sister reminded me I forgot to mention to mob hit in Agnes and the Hitman.

    So sexy in such a bad, wrong way.

    This is not a romance but I know the part where Laurie finally puts together who her father is in Watchmen stayed with me for a LONG time, it was so beautifully drawn, you could hear the thoughts spinning in her head.

  56. MaryK
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 22:44:46

    @Moth: Mary Stewart is the best. It’s impossible for me to pick a favorite of her novels.

  57. Kerry D.
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 23:17:47

    Oh no, now I want to reread all my Mary Stewart novels, all 30-however-many In Death books and Eva Ibbotson as well.

    What have you done to me?

  58. AnneH
    Aug 11, 2009 @ 23:26:57


    Aw, Susan/DC, I love that passage from A Company of Swans! Ibbotson's heroines can verge on being too sweet and innocent for words, but they are redeemed by, among other things, not being total prudish ninnies about physical love.

    The first memorable scene that comes to mind is the one in Checkmate where Lymond reveals his love. It's electrifying.

    I really need to start reading Ibbotson’s Company of Swans. It has been in my TBR list for a month now.

    As for Checkmate, ohhhhh, marvelous book and series. There are lots of really memorable scenes in that book which is suppose to be historical fiction and not a romance. The library scene was indeed electrifying and I will always remember what Lymond’s says –

    “Gould bydeth ever bright… It would be a pity to cloud it. That is one blasphemy I cannot bring myself to commit. I love you, Philippa, in every way known to man.”


    “But you know the difference between that and conscience. Every other woman since Eve has asked to be loved more than honour. But not you.”

    Then there's also that scene in Lymond's bedroom after the ball when he said,

    “But the songs were for her daughter. And the passion, for ever. That is why we are parting.”

    or when he was saying goodbye to Catherine –

    “But I shall never marry again, nor I think will she. I hope you will find one day what we had. Even if it lasts only an hour, it is worth it.”

    Love, just love this series as a whole!

  59. Jewell
    Aug 12, 2009 @ 01:49:40

    Yay…I was hoping there’d be some Lymond love. :) Surprised there isn’t more of it…

  60. Nora Roberts
    Aug 12, 2009 @ 04:59:11

    Loved reading this thread–and it’s delightful to see so many fellow Mary Stewart fans.

  61. Susan/DC
    Aug 12, 2009 @ 11:44:03

    This is a dangerous topic because I keep thinking of other memorable scenes. Mary Stewart is good for so many reasons, not least that her settings are almost characters in themselves. Madam, Will You Talk takes place in the South of France, where Charity Selbourne, a young widow, is on vacation with a friend. While there she meets young David Byron, on the run with his stepmother from a father recently acquited of murder. Charity tries to protect David from discovery, but Richard Byron is too wily and tracks them down. One of the best ever H/H meetings is Richard’s first line to Charity: “All right you beautiful bitch, where’s David?”

    Another H/H first meeting that I love is from Heyer’s Black Sheep. Abigail Wendover has never met Stacy Calverleigh but she knows that he is a fortune hunter after her niece’s wealth. When she hears someone addressed as Mr. Calverleigh, she mistakes Stacy’s uncle Miles for Stacy. The entire scene is funny and presents both characters so fully that you understand exactly who they are and why they fall in love. Definitely one of my favorite of her books.

  62. MB
    Aug 12, 2009 @ 12:19:38

    Everyone has mentioned all my favorites already. :-(

    But I do love the overheard conversation between the twins jumping on the bed in ‘Cover of Night’ by Linda Howard.

    The party scene where Sugar Beth meets her nadir in ‘Ain’t She Sweet’ by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is hard to forget.

    And I love the park bench conversation in ‘Bet Me’ by Jennifer Crusie.

  63. Nifty
    Aug 12, 2009 @ 12:19:53

    Memorable book moments:
    1) The Secret Pearl by Mary Balogh: Adam and Fleur in the coach, only their pinkie fingers touching.

    2) Some Susan Johnston book (???) in which the heroine is kidnapped by a sheik or some such and she’s drugged and offered up for sale to the highest bidder. The Sheik is displaying her “wares” and inserts a plum into the opening of her hoo-ha, coating it with her juice, then takesit out and takes a bite of the plum. The hero buys her and has to have sex with her right there in front of all the others.

    3) The scene from the end of The Fiery Cross (Diana Gabaldon) when Jamie tells Claire that if his last words to her [before dying] are not “I love you,” she’ll know it’s only because he didn’t have the time to say them.

    4) Voyager by Diana Gabaldon: Claire finds Jamie at the print-shop; he turns around and sees her, thinks she’s a ghost/vision/hallucination…until she touches him, that is, and he passes out from the shock.

    5) One of the In Death books…can’t remember which. Roarke and Eve are at home and Eve is going to “make dinner.” Roarke knows this means pizza, so he orders up a bottle of red wine and opens it to “breathe” on the counter. Except Eve turns around carrying plates with some kind of herbed fish and pasta, and Roarke is completely gobsmacked and floundering. I love that she caught him by surprise.

    6) Voyager by Diana Gabaldon: Claire shows Jamie pictures of their daughter, and Jamie goes to pieces and starts to cry.

    7) Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts: Luke has returned to discover that Max has Alzheimers and can’t really speak. Luke kneels down next to him and tells Max that he loves him and that he was the only father Luke ever knew, and when Luke leaves a tear rolls down Max’s cheek, letting the reader know that he heard and understood, even if he couldn’t respond.

    8) Key of Valor by Nora Roberts: 10-year-old Simon tells his mother’s boyfriend Brad that Brad can’t have “the sex” with Simon’s mom unless he wears a condom and protects her. Brad’s shock is priceless, but so too is the fact that his reaction to Simon’s confrontation is a feeling of incredible pride in and love for the boy.

  64. ldb
    Aug 15, 2009 @ 13:58:18

    For me I LOVE books that are all about scenes. Gentle Rogue by JL is the best book and as far as I remember it is one scene after another. I love the scene where they firs t sleep together, James has George read him a pornographic novel to get him to go to sleep and he basicly just jumps her, while she still assumes he thinks she’s a boy. Also when she tells him that he makes her sick. But the best scene, by far is wen he goes to CT to get her back and tells her brothers they slept together, causing her to be mad at him, him to fight her brothers, and when they beat him up and Georgie faints he goes from being mad at her to worried, then when she wakes and sees him she’s yelling at him even as she’s tending his wounds. My favorite scene though is when she goes to his house in London, and Tony walks in on them and assumes she’s his mistress. And when… you get hte picture.

    Also love Jane Eyre, after the fire and when Jane flees Thornwood and “hears” him calling out to her.

  65. ldb
    Aug 15, 2009 @ 13:59:33

    And I saw someone mentioned the bathreoom in After teh Night, but I think the best scene is “the night” it’s so well writen and powerful, Faith running around her dumpy home trying to salvage everything she can while the cops watch her.

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