Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Most Romantic Line Ever

Mona Karel

            I’m going to limit this to books.  Whenever I discuss most romantic lines in a movie, my friend Michelle brings up “Last of the Mohicans,” and “I will come for you.”  Yeah, that one’s pretty romantic but my mind always goes to “Yours, Mine, and Ours.”  The original one with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball.  Yeah, long time ago, in a time when movies were about people more than position.  Henry Fonda was a mid level (non commissioned) officer, and Lucille Ball was the widow of the same.  No officers, no fancy houses, just amazing acting.  There is a marvelous piece of dialogue between Fonda and a teenage boy about the reality of romance being far more than a quickie in the back seat of a car.
            But this is about books.

            My early favorite authors were Mary Stewart, Helen MacInnes, and Elswyth Thane.  Thane wrote historical fiction with romantic elements, following a Williamsbug Va family from before the Revolution to the beginning of World War II.  Amazing books, wonderful complex characters and romance infused on every page.  But my most romantic line came from Mary Stewart’s “My Brother Michael.” 
            In this, Englishwoman Camilla has recently broken off her engagement to an overbearing male and is in Greece in an attempt to learn to live her own life. She meets American Simon, in England to learn more about his brother’s death while working undercover during WWII. As an aside, “My Brother Michael” has the classic first line for a Romantic Suspense book: “Nothing ever happens to me...”  What a perfect set up for an adventure!
            As the book progresses, Camilla and Simon spend more time together, eventually both staying at an archaeological base.  In separate rooms which would probably not be tolerated today, but is a large part of the book.  There is the obligatory “other woman,” a licentious French woman who tries very hard to make a play for Simon.  During a late night encounter in the hallway, the French woman asks Simon to come fix the tap in her shower since the dripping is driving her nuts and she just can’t sleep.  Camilla asks Simon later if he plans to help out the French woman, and he answers: “Taps bore me.”
            Oh, my.  What a perfect line, and how I wish I written something like that.  “Taps bore me.”  Without any extra verbiage, no descriptions of the expression on his face, or the relief in her mind, Mary Stewart made it overwhelmingly obvious that the sexy French woman has no appeal to Simon.  At the end of the book, they have solved the mystery of Simon’s brother, Michael, and are at an ancient statue, offering homage.  Simon places an ancient coin at the base of the statue, and Camilla mentions she has nothing to offer.  So Simon says: “We can share.”  There is no sex in this book, not even a kiss, yet you have no doubt they will be sharing more than that coin. 
            I remain in awe of Mary Stewart’s subtlety, and wish I could come up with such a wonderfully romantic phrase.  Lacking that, I can offer a brief bit from “Teach Me To Forget,” coming out from Black Opal Books on May 12.

            "Did you mother teach you how to bake?" As a conversational gambit, it covered many areas. It brought in the opportunity of discussing his early life, which would be a good starting point for the interview. It also reminded him he had a mother who had instilled respect for floundering females along with the ability to cut shortening into flour.
            He nodded.
            She felt her temper-that distant, barely known part of her she kept segregated from her daily life-pull at its chains, demanding some time out in the world. She repressed it automatically.
            "You must be excessively hungry, Mr. Merritt," she said graciously. Mademoiselle would have been so proud of her. "Perhaps you are not a morning person?"
            He smiled, finally bringing his devastating sky blue morning gaze fully upon her face.
            "I thought perhaps if I filled my mouth with biscuits, I might keep my foot out of it for a while."                                                 
Bravo Mona! I love this post and have never considered one liners, beyond a bad pick up. But alas I have educated in most delightful way. What do ya'll think? Got any of your own favorite lines?


  1. Hi Mona. Nice post and good excerpt. That's a great one liner at the end. We can all relate since we all put our foot in out mouth once in awhile.

    I agree "Taps bore me" says it all :) Good luck with Teach Me To Forget.


  2. Hi Bri, thanks for finding space for Jonathan and Bethany and my reading memories! Hey, Debbie is over at Mona's now--what a crazy world we're in.

  3. I really loved your post and thank you a ton for coming!