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376 pages, Paperback
First published August 24, 2014
“Why are heroines in romantic novels—despite their cleanliness and enviable lifestyles—so unlikeable? It’s like they’ve been hit with a vanilla ninny stick, devoid of personality and blind to the gift before them. They’re doomed to wander in ignorance until the last thirty pages of the book. By then I’m usually actively rooting against a happy ending, because the fantastical fictional men deserve better.”
“I finally figured out what kind of handsome he was. He was fiction-handsome. Like, romance novel handsome. But not the clean cut (billionaire) alpha male or even the tattooed (billionaire) bad boy archetype.
He was the bodice ripper, Scottish highlander or Viking conqueror, historical romance kind; an unshaven, lion wrestling, mountain man recluse, toss you over his shoulder and plunder your goodies kind of handsome. He was both scary and swoony. I wanted to braid his beard. I also wanted to run away.”
“I don’t care which of you hillbilly, disease infested, flea bitten, cattywampus-heads are in here making this ruckus, but you will stop right this instant!”
“Gray-blue eyes, almost silver, held mine in a vice grip of anger and surprise. I felt an electric bolt, like I’d been tazered in the stomach. Other than a very slight shadow of wonder, he wore an expression that would have made a thunderstorm proud.
As well, he was so ruggedly sexy I’m sure my mouth fell open to protest the unfairness of his existence. Luckily, no sound emerged. I was too busy oscillating between stunned, mortified, and turned on.
This man was definitely not one of my brothers.”
My hands flew to my face.
I heard a thud and I turned away. I was now fully, and mortifyingly, awake.
“Shit, Ash. What the hell are you doing here?”
“Sorry, sorry, sorry—I should have knocked.”
“Nah… I should have locked the door. It’s just that everyone knows Tuesday mornings are my slot.”
I shook my head, my hands over my face, my back to my younger brother. “Your slot? What do you mean, your slot?”
“It’s my private time in the tub, you know, to get my rub on
“What I wanted to do was hide in my room with my latest novel and escape into a world without bearded, masturbating hillbillies.”
[image error]“You’re off your rocker and Janie is nuts. You’re both cracked nuts.”
“I would have brought a life-sized cut-out of Charlie Hunnam, but this one,” Sandra indicated to Elizabeth with her head, “thought it would be awkward.”
Your sheets, still a white pile on the table, know that envy keeps me from washing them. You left an impression, deep creases where you lay your head, where they cradled your body. It was only three days, but they memorized your scent, they carry it even in their stillness.
Were they too gentle? Was their touch too light? Do you remember how it felt when they held you? Or did you never commit it to memory?
Was I too gentle? Was my touch too light? Do you remember how it felt when I held you? Or did you never commit it to memory?
“We are most awake to the world and to our own longings and desires when we suffer.”
“He was the bodice ripper, Scottish highlander or Viking conqueror, historical romance kind; an unshaven, lion wrestling, mountain man recluse, toss you over his shoulder and plunder your goodies kind of handsome. He was both scary and swoony. I wanted to braid his beard. I also wanted to run away.”
“You underestimate how deeply you cut when your intentions carry no knives.”
Fire burns blue and hot.
Its fair light blinds me not.
Smell of smoke is satisfying, tastes nourishing to my tongue.
I think fire ageless; never old, and yet no longer young.
Morning coals are cool, daylight leaves me blind.
I love the fire most because of what it leaves behind.
“I’m glad you know my heart, because you are my heart.”
Ashley Austen Winston,
You don’t know how deeply you cut when your intentions carry no knives.
"Roses are red, violets are blue, rhyming is hard. Wine.” - Sandra
“Drew melted my butter. He melted it standing, sitting, crouching, leaning, reading, smiling, hugging, laughing, frowning, writing, changing a light bulb, milking a cow – basically, if it was a verb and he was doing it, my butter was going to be melted.”
You are loveliness personified; you are grace and fascination. I think of you and I stop breathing. I worry that any movement will steal the image of you from my mind’s eye. But the memory is a pale, hollow specter to luminous reality.
Words are clumsy things. Raw, wild, hunger, need, desperation, fascination do not adequately define how I long for her complete capitulation. I want her to weep. I want to quietly tear her apart and lovingly watch her bleed. I crave knowing that I can inspire one tenth of the torment she inspires in me. How can I speak such things out loud?
'Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.' - Dr. Seuss
Her body is slick, yielding softness, sweetness replete. I want to worship, yet need to possess. I suffer because she is forever anticipation, even when I hold her, fill her, taste her, dominate her, consume her. I need her.
With you there are only two distances that matter: Here. Not here. You are not here. - Drew
“When you cried, I learned what helplessness tastes like. Because all I could do was swallow.”
“In that moment, I finally figured out what kind of handsome he was. He was fiction-handsome. Romance novel handsome; but not the clean-cut (billionaire) alpha male or even the tattooed (billionaire) bad boy archetype. He was the Scottish highlander, Viking conqueror, bodice-ripper historical romance kind of handsome; an unshaven, lion wrestling, mountain man recluse, toss you over his shoulder and plunder your goodies kind of handsome. He was both scary and swoony. I wanted to braid his beard. I also wanted to run away.”
Reading for me was like breathing. It was probably akin to masturbation for my brain
”My mind went to double the ginger, double the fun."
“I heard some commotion coming from the speakers of my laptop and glanced at the screen.
Everyone in my knitting group was huddled together, obviously in front of the screen on their side. At some point, one of them must have made popcorn, because all seven of them were eating it, their eyes glued to the action going on in Tennessee.”