Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels #1)

All it takes is six cuts,” he said near her ear. She nodded, relaxing against him as he guided her hands with precision. One deep stroke of the blade neatly removed an angled section of wood. They rotated the pencil and made another cut, and then a third, creating a precise triangular prism. “Now trim the sharp edges.” They concentrated on the task with his hands still bracketed over hers, using the blade to chamfer each corner of wood until they had created a clean, satisfying point. Done.

Although she was not conventionally beautiful, she was so original that it rendered the question of beauty inconsequential.

Do you think a commoner should dare to dress like a blue blood?” Rhys asked as Quincy pulled the hem of the robe over his legs. “I believe every man ought to dress as well as he is able.” Rhys’s eyes narrowed. “Do you think it’s right for people to judge a man for what he wears?” “It is not for me to decide whether it is right, sir. The fact is, they do.

Hard work often produces better results than talent.

Has anyone been corrupted or defiled?"
"Since the age of twelve," West said.
"I wasn't asking you, I was asking the girls."
"Not yet," Cassandra replied cheerfully.

Helen spent three days in Rhys Winterbournes's room babbling incessantly while he lay there feverish and mostly silent. She became heartily tired of the sound of her own voice, and said something to that effect near the end of the second day.
"I'm not," he said shortly. "Keep talking.

He seemed exactly like the kind of man that Lady Berwick, who had raised Kathleen, had warned her about. “You will encounter men who will have designs on you, my dear. Men without scruple, who will employ charm, lies, and seductive skills to ruin innocent young women for their own impure gratification. When you find yourself in the company of such a scoundrel, flee without hesitation.” “But how will I know if a man is a scoundrel?” Kathleen had asked. “By the unwholesome glint in his eye and the ease of his charm. His presence may excite rather lurid sensations. Such a man has a certain something in his physical presence . . . a quality of ‘animal spirits,’ as my mama used to call it.

How careful she always was with books: they had been her companions, her entertainment, and her only window to the outside world.

I die,” he continued, “you’re next in line.” “Do you actually believe I’ll outlive you?” West asked. “With all my vices?” “I have just as many.” “Yes, but I’m far more enthusiastic about mine.

I know many scientific facts about the human heart- not the least of which is that it's far easier to make a heart stop beating entirely than to keep it from loving the wrong person.

I suppose you'd have ten wives if you could."

"I'd be sufficiently miserable with one. The other nine would be redundant.

It's a sin."
"How do you know?"
"Because it feels like one," she managed to say.
He laughed quietly and pulled her hips farther toward him with a decisiveness that drew a little yelp from her.
"In that case...I never sin by half measures.

it’s far easier to make a heart stop beating entirely than to keep it from loving the wrong person.

It’s nothing for you to worry about.”
“Whenever someone says that,” Pandora said, “it always means the opposite. Along with ‘It’s only a scratch’ or ‘Worse things happen at sea.’ ”
“Or,” Clara added glumly, ‘I’m only going out for a pint.

I’ve always enjoyed a comfortable life without having to perform a single day of honest labor. Now I have responsibilities.

i've had enough of this. if you'll excuse me, i'm going to find a tavern where i can pay an underdressed woman to sit it my lap and look very pleased with me while i drink heavily

I’ve heard that hat making drives people mad,” Pandora remarked. “Which I don’t understand, because it doesn’t seem tedious enough to do that.” “It isn’t the job that drives them mad,” West said. “It’s the mercury solution they use to smooth the felt. After repeated exposure, it addles the brain. Hence the term ‘mad as a hatter.

Just because you don’t understand or agree with something doesn’t mean that it lacks merit.

Never apologize to women. It only confirms that you were wrong, and incenses them further.

No, he keeps the schedule of a cat. Long hours of slumber interrupted by brief periods of self-grooming.

Pandora, you promised to abide by the rules.”
“I do,” Pandora protested, looking chagrined. “I follow all the rules that I can remember.

The purpose of society is to prevent natural behavior.

The right words can bind someone more effectively than chains.

Those aren't my favorite," Helen admitted. "But I hope to love them someday. Sometimes one must love something before it becomes lovable.

Time is what I'm giving you," he said, staring down at her. His hand curved beneath her chin, compelling her to look at him. "There's only one way for me to prove that I will love you and be faithful to you for the rest of my life. And that's by loving you and being faithful to you for the rest of my life. Even if you don't want me. Even if you choose not to be with me. I'm giving you all the time I have left. I vow to you that from this moment on, I will never touch another woman, or give my heart to anyone but you. If I have to wait sixty years, not a minute will have been wasted- because I'll have spent all of them loving you.

West stood and strode to the door. “Is this what it’s like to have a family?” he asked irritably. “Endless arguing, and talking about feelings from dawn to dusk? When the devil can I do as I please and not have to account to a half-dozen people for it?” “When you live alone on an island with a single palm tree and a coconut,” Kathleen snapped. “And even then, I’m sure you would find the coconut far too demanding.

What are you going to say if she tells you that she had a row with Winterborne?” Cassandra asked. “I’ll tell her to have more of them,” Kathleen said. “One can’t allow a man to have his way all the time.” She paused reflectively. “Once Lord Berwick told me that when a horse pulls at the reins, one should never pull back. Instead, loosen them. But never more than an inch.

What do ladies wear beneath their riding trousers?"
"I would think an infamous rake would already know."
"I was never infamous. In fact, I'm fairly standard as far as rakes go."
"The ones who deny it are the worst.

When I die," he continued, "you're next in line."
"Do you actually believe I'll outlive you?" West asked. "With my vices?"
"I have just as many."
"Yes, but I'm far more enthusiastic about mine.

You took Theo's title and his home," West continued in appalled disbelief, "and now you want his wife."
"His widow," Devon muttered.
"Have you seduced her?"
"Not yet."
West clapped his hand to his forehead. "Christ. Don't you think she's suffered enough?