What are your favourite lines from romance books?

What are your favourite lines from romance books?

We’re looking for three standout quotes from romance books for a secret project, and we need your help!

Abandoned book
Photo: Abandoned book by Dennis Tai (via Flickr)

When Gabby wrote her open letter to the Sydney Writers’ Festival, we were overwhelmed with the level of support her post received from you, our fellow readers. And talk—well, tweets—turned into ideas on how we can bring attention to the lack of romance in literary festivals.

Well, Gabby, Jen and I have been working on it! (Well, mostly Jen, but we’ve been cheering her on and helping when we can.) At this point, we can’t reveal what we’re doing, yet—it’s still a secret project. (Let’s call it Operation LitRom!)

But we need your help. We’re looking for three quotes from romance books that fit the following criteria:

1. It is one sentence long. Maximum three if they are super short sentences.

2. It resembles the kind of quote you’d see in a literary book. That is, the words are beautiful, and the idea or image is also beautiful. (Or ugly in a beautiful way, if you know what I mean.)

3. The book it comes from is in the romance genre. At this stage, we’re not considering books with romantic elements or classics. (You’ll see why when we reveal all!)

4. The book it comes from is an excellent book—a book you’d recommend to a non-romance reader as an example of the best the genre has to offer.

We’re open to quotes from any romance subgenre and author. Please post the quote in the comments and include the book title and author.

We had originally planned to do this on a smaller scale, but there are so many books we haven’t read, and I’m not a person who keeps a quotes diary, so we desperately need recommendations from other readers.

So over to you, fellow readers (and that includes authors, editors, publishers—anyone who reads and loves romance fiction). What are you favourite romance book quotes?

Kat Mayo is a freelance writer, podcaster, Twitter tragic, and compulsive reader. Her reviews have appeared in Books+Publishing, and she was the winner of the 2014 RWA Romance Media Award. She believes in happy endings, and kills fairies with glee.


  1. Aiislie Paton says:

    Eleanor and Park: Rainbow Rowell

    Some mornings if Park got to school early, he sat in the parking lot with his head on the steering wheel and let whatever was left of Eleanor wash over him until he ran out of air.

  2. Aiislie Paton says:

    Cara McKenna Hard Time

    I refolded the page and set it before me, pulse pounding everywhere. In my feet and temples and throat, heart thumping against my ris and echoing betweeen my legs. All the places that tell your body run all the places that tell your body fuck.

  3. Aiislie Paton says:

    Beyond Repair – Charlotte Stein

    “This is disappointingly fragrant.”
    “Like sipping a flower.”
    “With a hint of old man in it.”

  4. Aiislie Paton says:

    Scrap Metal – Harper Fox

    Maybe I was being stupid, but an old faith was stirring inside me, a willingness to lean on the tides of the universe instead of swimming against them.

  5. Aiislie Paton says:

    A Basic Renovation – Sandra Antonelli

    Lesley felt about as sticky as the phosphorescent bug guts on the front window but nowhere near as luminescent.

  6. Jodi says:

    I love, love, LOVE this line from Anna Cowan’s Untamed:

    “My God,” he said. “I cannot wait to watch you live.”

    There are a lot of lines in that book I love, actually!

  7. Ainslie Paton says:

    The Place I belong – Inez Kelley

    Eighteen years of pain faded away like a toothache. His mother hadn’t let him go as much as she’d let him escape.

  8. Ainslie Paton says:

    Making Faces – Amy Harmon

    “True beauty, the kind that doesn’t fade or wash, off takes time. It takes pressure. It takes incredible endurance. It’s the slow drip that makes stalactite, the shaking of the earth that creates mountains, the constant pounding of the waves that breaks up the rocks and smooths the rough edges. And from the violence, the furor, the raging of the winds, the roaring of the waters, something better emerges, something that would otherwise never exist.”

  9. Kat says:

    Rachael — That might be a little too in-your-face! lol

    Jodi — That’s also my favourite line from Untamed & it’s definitely in the running.

    Ainslie — Those won’t fit! lol We can really only use a sentence or two.

  10. Roz @ MWR says:

    This is a favourite of mine from Robin Covington’s “A Night of Southern Comfort”:

    Her Junior League membership was toast.

    They’d kick her out for what she planned on doing to that man tonight.

  11. Kaetrin says:

    The sky curved like hammered gold above, and across it flew, cawing like crows, a flight of birds so blue they looked like little machines of enamel and brass, too vivid for life.

    Alex Beecroft – Blessed Isle

    or this line from the same book

    I thought I saw a different me in them, a man I liked better than I had liked myself hitherto.

  12. Kaetrin says:

    The problem was, I wasn’t a little girl anymore. And this wasn’t about me not believing that our back yard was too small for a pony.

    Kylie Scott

  13. Kaetrin says:

    I looked at all my A reviews for a few years and had a look at the quotes I used but most of them are pretty romance-y. If I read the post right, you are looking for something which will not scream “romance novel” in the text so the ones above are the only suitable from the blog. If I come across anything or am inspired to look through some of my favourite paperbacks later, I will be back again. :)

  14. Jo says:

    “For who of us has not fallen short of the mark” Mrs Drew Plays Her Hand – Carla Kelly

    “A complete set is whatever you need….” Agnes and the Hitman- Jennifer Crusie

    “You know every alley in my mind, every broken bottle and rat scuttling in there” The Black Hawk – Joanna Bourne

  15. Kat says:

    Kaetrin, it can be lovey-dovey, and romance novelly is fine, but the sentence itself must be magnificent on its own. Anything that requires context to appreciate won’t really work.

  16. Kat says:

    Kaetrin, is the Alex Beecroft book firmly romance genre, and is the entire book as great as the quotes? I really like that second quote.

  17. Ros says:

    “When storms and rockslides threaten, I am looking for someone who will hold on to me and not let go.”
    Courtney Milan, Unveiled

    “A well-read woman is a dangerous creature.”
    Lisa Kleypas, A Wallflower Christmas

    “Even two people who are no more than friends by daylight can fall prey to the influence of a secret dark room.”
    Cecilia Grant, A Woman Entangled

    “This is, of course, the privilege of love, to bear witness to a strong man’s grief.”
    Mary Ann Rivers, The Story Guy

    “My mind keeps conjuring this false perception of your presence. I think it means I miss you.”
    Delphine Dryden, The Theory of Attraction

  18. Zof says:

    I know that it’s controversial, but it’s my weakness. So here goes:

    “You are the most important thing to me now. The most important thing to me ever.” – Edward Cullen, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

  19. A bit more than one sentence, but so Charles.

    “But when Anna leaned away from him, just a little, he dropped his arms and hooked his thumb in his jeans and made his shoulders relax.

    And his voice was gentler than he’d meant it to be.”

    Patricia Briggs, Hunting Ground, p.9

  20. Future says:

    Two of my favourites from What I Did For A Duke by Julie Anne Long.

    “Silence of the howling sort ensued.”

    “He recognised his irritation as guilt’s more tolerable cousin.”

  21. Jo says:

    Here’s another one. I love the whole paragraph but obviously that’s too long so I’ll just go with two lines :-)
    “The air smelled of life, greenery and magic. It filled Rose’s lungs and carried away worry.” On The Edge – Ilona Andrews

  22. infogenium says:

    “Are you saying you’d give it all up for me”
    “Something like that”

    Stella Rile ‘The Black Maddona’

  23. infogenium says:

    “Darling Dominga, I wouldn’t have missed knowing you for the world”
    Rosina Pyatt ‘To Catch an Earl’

  24. infogenium says:

    “I love you Sebastian,’ she said
    “I’m rather fond of you, too,” he said
    “Immensely fond” she corrected

    Loretta Chase ‘Lord of Scoundrels’

  25. infogenium says:

    He let it fall to the table, and took her small, cool, white hand in his great, warm one. She gave a tiny gasp. That was all.

    Loretta Chase ‘Lord of Scoundrels’

  26. Kaetrin says:

    This might be too long:

    You’re going to love me when I forget to be considerate, and I’m going to love you when you forget to trust me and that’s for always.

    Ainslie Paton

  27. Kaetrin says:

    “I’ve changed since I’ve known you. Not because you made me into someone else—but because you showed me a path I’d never paid attention to, and I chose to follow it.”

    Good for You
    Tammara Webber

  28. Kaetrin says:

    I could walk down his street and be like everyone else. I could have a lover. This is Paris, after all. Having a lover is like having a pancreas.

    Cara McKenna

    (Possibly too long.)

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