Amy Sandas Quotes
“Lily Chadwick knew there was something different about the fiercely scowling gentleman the first moment she saw him.
She could feel it.
The instant their gazes met, caught, held, something skittered across her skin like a rain of white sparks. It entered her bloodstream, heating her from the inside until her breath became stilted and her knees went alarmingly weak.
He stared at her from beneath a brow drawn low in a forbidding expression. His eyes were so dark, even the light of the glittering ballroom could not be reflected there. The angles of his face were hard, his jaw sharply defined, and he held his mouth in a harsh line that attempted to harden the full curve of his lower lip but didn't quite manage it.
Lily tried to glance away demurely, but she couldn't seem to manage. She felt a flutter that became a tightening in her belly. Her heart stopped, skipped a few beats, then started up again in a frantic rhythm as he just kept watching her.
Despite his severe, aloof appearance, something about him reached out to her, touching her with an intrinsic sort of recognition. It left her feeling as though she stood in the heart of a firestorm. She sensed with a certainty beyond rational explanation that his unyielding manner was a facade, as if he were a hero in some gothic novel. There was passion in him. She felt it in every quickened, prey-like breath she took while frozen under his intent stare.
The silent interaction between them was becoming more inappropriate by the minute, yet she could not compel herself to break away. As though caught in an invisible trap, she stared back at him while her hands began to sweat and her stomach trembled.”
“I love the quiet beauty of the night sky," she continued thoughtfully, "filled with mystery and starlight, but there is something magical about the dawn. It is strange, When the sky begins to lighten and soft colors first appear, the transition is so gentle you hardly notice it. But if you are aware enough to observe, if you take the time to really be a part of the transformation, it feels..."
Her explanation trailed off. She found it difficult to find the words to properly describe the wonder she felt as she experienced the very common daily occurrence.
"It feels like it possesses all the possibilities of life," Avenell offered quietly.
Lily turned in place. She slipped her arms around his naked torso and tipped her head back to look into his face. Her smile was so wide her cheeks ached, but she did not hold back. Her joy in the past few months had grown by leaps and bounds, and only because of how much she had seen her happiness reflected in the man she loved.
Love flowed freely between them as he lowered his head to take her mouth in a kiss that was slow and deep.”
“Inside, on a bed of black velvet, lay an exquisite perfume bottle designed from rose-colored glass caged in a silver overlay that twined about the glass like living vines. In the very center of the oval shaped bottle, the silver was formed into the image of a lily in full bloom.
It was likely the most precious and expensive gift Lily had ever been given. She ran her fingertips over the delicate silver work before lifting the bottle from its velvet bed to allow the candlelight to shine through the rose-colored glass.
She noticed then a folded slip of paper still in the box. Setting the perfume bottle in the valley of her lap, she lifted the paper and broke the tiny wax seal.
In his precise, slanted script, Lord Harte had written:
I was unforgivably remiss in not having a gift for you the other night. I chose the elements for this blend myself. It made me think of you.
Lily brushed her thumb over the ink before setting the note back into the box. Then she shifted the bottle and removed the glass stopper. The scent wafting from the bottle was light, but heady. She noticed first the rich notes of clove and honey before her senses were claimed by the smooth, velvety scent of jasmine. Lily closed her eyes, allowing the aromatic infusion to settle into her awareness. There was another element hidden deep within the perfume. A layer of earthiness that warmed her blood. Sandalwood.
Lily was enthralled. It was a complex and lovely scent. Floral and exotic, light and dark. Impossibly sensual.
And it made him think of her.
Something deep and fundamental spread through her core, and she understood why young ladies were warned so often not to accept gifts from gentlemen. It was a personal and intimate thing to acknowledge how he had wanted her to have something he chose himself.”
“Tell me you did not spend all those nights with her and never spread her thighs to claim your prize.”
A growl of fury rumbled from his chest at the crudity in her words, but the sound did not seem to bother Pendragon one bit.
She actually laughed at his response. “Of course you did, my lord, as I knew you would. It was the final barrier you had yet to cross in your search for pleasure.”
“It signifies nothing.”
Her green eyes glittered. “It means everything.”
The woman turned away from him and strode toward the chair he had recently vacated. With a swish of her skirts, she turned and lowered herself gracefully. Tipping her head, she looked at him with a superior little half smile.
“What did you feel when you took possession of your gentle maiden?”
Her words might have been mocking if not for her expression, which had settled into one of patient nonjudgemnet. It was the same way she had looked at him the first time he had gone to her.
“Think carefully. What did you feel?”
Avenell’s gut tensed as he involuntarily recalled the sensations of being burned within Lily’s warmth and softness. He relived in his mind the way their naked bodies moved together, heard her endless gasps and moans echo, felt the overwhelming heat, the pervading pleasure. Every time they came together it was intense and consuming, obliterating everything else in existence.
That was the problem. He always felt too much with her.
And despite that, he had never been able to shake his yearning for more.”
“He saw the fear in Miss Chadwick's unfocused eyes and the bright spark of rebellion.
In the next moment, Miss Chadwick's wavering gray gaze found him in the far reaches of the room. And when her eyes locked with his, she refused to let go. He could no more look away from her than he could unleash the moon from its orbit.
There was only one thing he could do.
Speaking in a loud, clear tone, he entered the fray with a firmly stated offer that nearly tripled the last bid.
His competition turned to glare at him for how suddenly he had brought an end to the entertainment. No one was willing to top such an exorbitant price.
Avenell ignored them all.
He was far too busy battling an intense internal war between disgust at what she had been subjected to and an alarming thread of triumph.
Because no matter how they had both ended up here, no matter how wrong this all was... the woman who had been tormenting him for weeks now belonged to him.”
“He watched in amazement as her gaze darkened to smoke, swirling with depth and mystery. The quiet calm of her nature reached into his soul, exploring with gentle insistence, soothing long-buried wounds. She was all that was steady and true. Sensual, generous, and lovely. She was his, as he was hers.”
“At least now he finally had her to himself. He slid an intent gaze over the vision she presented.
The pure white of her gown was cinched tightly beneath her breasts before falling gently past the generous curves of her waist and hips. Her bodice was overlaid with lace and fitted securely over her bosom, suggesting the lushness there but revealing only a modest expanse of bare skin.
Her slim neck was arched proudly as she endured his perusal. Her gloved hands were clasped in front of her, and her lips, a perfect rosy pink, were shaped into a gentle bow as her gray eyes stared back at him. There was caution in her gaze.
She was the epitome of the sweet and modest maiden.
And she had agreed to be his.
Deep disquiet rolled through him. He had begun something that went way beyond his capabilities. He knew it, but he couldn't stop his forward progression.
He wanted her.”
“Where am I?"
He did not answer immediately.
Since entering the room, he had kept his focus locked on her face. But Lily watched as the direction of his gaze slid down her body. His perusal was slow and comprehensive, sliding over her breasts and continuing past the curve of her hips and down her bare legs beyond the short hem of her shift.
Though he revealed nothing in his stony expression, there was something in the gleam of his blue-black eyes that brought a delicate quiver to Lily's belly.
She glanced at his hands where they fell at his sides. He held them tensely extended, his long fingers spreading wide, before he clenched them into tight fists as he finished his slow review of her body. By the time the path of his perusal made its way back to her face, Lily was breathless and hot with a different kind of fear and... something else.
"You are in my bedroom."
The intimate depth of his voice struck Lily with an acute force. Her head spun, and her legs collapsed. As she tensed for a collision with the floor, she was swept up in strong arms.
The fire raging beneath her skin flared with bright intensity as Lord Harte scooped his arms beneath her legs and around her back to lift her high against his chest. It took only a few short moments for him to set her back on the bed.
He released her abruptly to flip the bedcovers over her, then turned and strode away.
Lily was left with the striking impressions of his body's warmth, the strength of his arms around her, the woodsy scent of his skin, the brush of his embroidered waistcoat felt through the muslin of her shift, and then the sight of his broad back as he walked away, putting the entire distance of the room between them.”
“The truth is that I have long been... curious about the more passionate aspects of human existence. I do not want to live my entire life huddled beneath my bedcovers, imagining what desire must feel like. I want to experience it. I do experience it with you."
Her words stole his breath.
"From the first moment I saw you, my lord, I felt something ignite inside me. Something powerful. It is important to me that you know I would never have considered becoming the mistress of anyone but you."
Avenell's heart stopped.”
“It is rather warm in here anyway."
The heat that spread through Avenell's chest had nothing to do with the room and everything to do with the woman who stood patiently waiting for his response to her casual suggestion.
With a rueful curve of his lips, he walked toward her, enjoying the way her gaze flickered over his bared torso with admiration. The desire that never quite went away when he was in her presence flared bright in response.”
“But I promise, I will not allow my limitations to lessen the pleasure you experience during our association."
A blush pinked her cheeks. But she did not look away.
"And what of your pleasure, my lord?" Her voice was soft and low. Smoky, like her eyes.
It weaved through Avenell's senses and hit him hard in the gut. Heat scored through his insides on a direct path to his loins. He had suspected from the start that her gentle manner had lured him so strongly. But the unexpected boldness in her query had an intense effect on him.
His arousal roughened his tone as he answered, "My pleasure is assured. Do not doubt that."
The pink in her cheeks spread down across her chest and the upper swell of her breasts, but still she held his gaze. He wondered what she might be thinking. Her stillness was disconcerting when he sensed so much going on inside her.”
“Her smoky gaze held his intently, as though silently demanding something of him. Stopping at the side of the bed, he studied the stretch of her body. She so eloquently displayed both shameless sensuality and innocent anticipation. She was maiden and courtesan together. Bold and modest.
So many sumptuous curves and mysterious shadows.
Beautiful and all his.”
“You amaze me." He spoke the words on a low, shuddering breath. Lily was certain she misunderstood. "Even now I can sense the peace within you- your quiet acceptance of whatever may come. Does nothing disturb you, Lily?"
"Only the thought that you might send me away."
Her answer drew a ragged sigh from his chest, and he bowed his head for a moment. "I could no more do that than I could stop my own breath.”
“You have chosen to give yourself to me, Miss Chadwick." The words were low and clear. "I do not take it lightly, this gift you've bestowed. But as I said, it will take far more than one night to make you mine."
Lily released her breath on a soft sigh.
Something flickered in his impenetrable stare, and he added in a murmur, "There will be no going back."
The sentiment echoed her own from earlier, and Lily experienced a sense of rightness in that moment that overcame any lingering question or concern. They would be lovers.
As they stood facing each other in silence, barely an inch separating them yet not touching at all, she wanted so badly to lift her hand and press it to the side of his face. She wanted to feel the hard angle of his jaw against her palm and the roughness of his skin where the shadowed start of a beard darkened his cheeks.
Something held her back.
She touched him with her studied gaze instead, observing the harsh lines of his face as a frown hardened his visage. She slid her attention briefly to the pulse beating at his temple, then across his oppressive eyebrows, down the slope of his strong nose. His mouth was pressed into a stern, unforgiving line, but it could not disguise the elegant upper arches or the generous lower curve of his bottom lip.
His mouth was beautiful, she thought.
Lifting her gaze again to meet his eyes, she was struck by the raw need she saw there.”
“It amazes me that you can read those torrid novels yet still take issue with a few crude words."
Lily blushed. Portia was the only person in the world who knew of her secret obsession with the kind of novels no pure, innocent young lady should ever get her hands on. She lowered her gaze even as she defended her private little hobby.
"Any... explicit language in my novels is set in a grander context, not simply blurted out for shock and effect. If you would deign to read one, you might understand that."
"No, thank you. I prefer to live my adventures out here in the real world rather than between the pages of a book you can only read beneath the privacy of your bedcovers."
So would I, Lily thought ruefully.”
“She took a long drink and then another before lowering the glass.
She thought she heard him give a sound of approval before he turned and claimed a seat in one of the chairs. Her courage strengthened, Lily lifted her chin to look at him only a few feet away and swallowed hard past the knot of doubt lodged in her throat.
Dressed in elegant evening wear, he sat with his back stiff and straight despite the plush cushion of the chair. His knees were spread and his feet braced squarely on the floor. His hands, with his long masculine fingers, splayed on the surface of strong thighs. He was the epitome of masculine sophistication and mystery.
Dark, enigmatic, handsome, and intense.”
“As if he knew what she had experience, he dipped his chin and continued to stare at her from beneath heavy brows. "Your breasts are very sensitive."
Lily knew it must be so, because his very mention of them made her nipples tighten even more, her breasts heavy and aching. She loved the way his rich, masculine voice made her body melt and her thoughts go languid.
"I promise to discover just how sensitive they can be," he added thickly. "You are very beautiful."
Something squeezed tight in her chest. "I am... quite ordinary."
A new darkness shadowed his features, and it was unlike the hunger with which she was becoming familiar. "You are far from ordinary.”
“From the moment Lord Harte had entered the bedroom, she had begun to experience everything differently. Her thoughts, feelings, and reactions originated from a deeper source. Her fear and confusion had made way for other, more urgent sensations. The longer she sat under the earl's harsh and heady regard, the further she slipped into a state of expectancy.
She felt on the verge of something, but she had no idea what.
As the weakness in her mind and limbs continued to dissipate, she acknowledged that she could not blame her odd reactions on the aftereffects of the drug.
He was the cause of her heightened responses.
It was more than the wealth of secrets and mystery contained behind his midnight eyes. It was how he made her feel. Intrinsically. Viscerally. When he looked at her with his hooded gaze, she experienced something in the marrow of her bones, in the blood flowing through her veins, in the ether of her mind.”
“I never could have expected the path of my life would lead to a brothel," she said softly, "and more than once." She brought her gaze back to meet his, and a curious little smile curled the corners of her lips. "It is interesting how a single event can so dramatically alter one's existence."
She astounded him. He wondered at the nature of someone who could face such a dramatic alteration in circumstances with the sort of serenity and gentle acceptance this young woman possessed.”
“Keeping his arms wrapped around her, Avenell stood and lifted her. He crossed to the bed in long strides and carefully settled them beneath the covers.
He drew her against his side. She laid her hand gently over his belly, and he covered it with his own, keeping her there. Though the sensitivity of his nerves was returning by slow but inexorable degrees, it could not disrupt his desire to hold her. To feel her heartbeat against his rib cage and the waft of her breath over his skin.
"I love you, Lily." His low-spoken words blended seamlessly with the rhythm of their breathing, but he knew she had heard him when she pressed her lips to his skin.”
“His decision to attend had been based solely on his desire to be near Lily. Though they'd arranged to meet later in the night, he found it difficult to go so many hours without seeing her smile and feeling her presence.
He'd noticed her the moment he stepped into the ballroom.
She had told him once how she had grown accustomed to blending in and going unnoticed beside her sisters or in a crowd. He did not know how it was possible for anyone not to see the treasure that was Lily. Her unique and subtle brand of grace and charm accented her every movement and filled her expression with warmth. Men should be falling at her feet in hopes of gaining her favor.”
“Avenell was immediately reminded of how young and inexperienced she was. For all of her quiet self-assurance, she was a maiden still.
The sense of possession that followed that thought added fuel to the steady blaze growing within him. She had chosen him.
He would do everything in his power to prove himself worthy.”
“She refused to feel guilty for not talking to Portia about the Earl of Harte. She couldn't discuss what she didn't understand, and she had no idea what to think of the man with the forbidding gaze.
Lily snuggled deeper beneath her blankets.
She loved the way his name felt moving through her mind. It was sharp and smooth at the same time. Dark and light.
Lily knew she was no great beauty. She did not have Portia's dramatic dark hair or flashing eyes. Nor did she have Emma's commanding presence. She did her best to be content with her place among her exceptional sisters.
But now, after experiencing Lord Harte's painful slight, she found herself wishing she stood out more, that she was somehow more attractive, more striking.
She should forget him. Put him completely from her mind. He had made it infinitely clear he did not welcome her interest.
Yet, she wanted to know him. It was that simple and that impossible.
A hollowness spread from Lily's center. It was a sensation she had experienced more than once since she had begun her foray into the marriage market. It was the fear that what she sought might never be found- that the kind of deep passion she yearned for existed only in sordid novels.
As thoughts of Lord Harte continued to agitate her mind and created a growing restlessness in her body, Lily imagined an often-read scene from one of her favorite stories. It was frighteningly easy to cast the enigmatic Lord Harte in the role of dark seducer, but she struggled to envision herself as the intrepid heroine.
Lily did not possess a bold bone in her body. By nature, she had always been rather shy and had never been able to cultivate the kind of self-confidence her sisters possessed. Though she may crave the passionate experiences she read about, she did not possess the courage to explore such things beyond the privacy of her mind.”
- Description: Amy's love of romance began one summer when she was thirteen and complained of boredom. She ended up with one of her mother's Barbara Cartland books and an obsessive interest that expanded from there. Her affinity for writing began with sappy pre-teen poems and led to a Bachelor's degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota--Twin Cities.
She writes in the early mornings while her young kids are still asleep and dreams of a future when she can write all day instead of going to her "other" job. In the evenings, Amy is a full-time wife and mother who enjoys pizza, wine and dark brooding heroes...namely, her husband.