Like No Other Lover (Pennyroyal Green #2)

A few deep breaths would take care of that. She studied the horse and took deep breaths.

Ah, Lyon: the Achilles’ heel of this family. She had forgotten about Lyon, and about disappearing Redmonds.

And as she looked back at him, she felt the serrated edges of her heart in her chest. But also a sort of dizzying vastness: she could face anything now.

Because “Platitude” was a language everyone spoke

Be kind to the spider. It’s simply working hard to be itself. And don’t tell the maids,

Charm, my dear, Cynthia wanted to tell her, is not learned, it is innate. And it is honed by desperation and need and sharpened by application. If you want the truth, that is.

confidence. He contained worlds.

Cynthia wondered how anyone could withstand this sort of happiness.
But no doubt no one had ever before been as happy as she was at this moment, so there couldn't possibly be any precedent. She would have to show them all how to do it by surviving it and marrying Miles Redmond and living to a ripe old age.

Did he mean for her to look at something she loved and think of him?
How dare he.
He had no right to give her gifts. No right to remind her she was alone by ensuring that she was not. No right to test whether she had a heart. No right to court her, to please her, or to do whatever he bloody well might be doing by giving her a kitten.

He’d meant to take her apart with a kiss. How, then, did he wind up in pieces?

He was close enough now to see that her profile was designed to do dramatic things to hearts: stop them, steal them, break them.

I know what you think of me, Miles. I know what you--have thought of me. But I have a heart. I do have a heart. I just cannot afford to use it. Don't you see? Why can't you see this? Whereas you--may play at all of this as much as you like. There will always be someone for you. And that is the difference. I cannot afford to use my heart. And you--you choose not to use yours.' - Cynthia Brightley to Miles Redmond

It’s just a part of her life. Sewing her world back together again, sometimes even daily.

You are my dream, Cynthia.

MEEEEE!” it bellowed.
She jumped back again, dropping the basket lid. What the devil?
She opened it again, and looked down at the wee thing.
“Good heavens, you are loud,” she told it. “I thought cats were supposed to say ‘meow.’ There are two syllables in meow.”
“MEEEEEE!” It corrected vehemently and with great singularity.

Murmured to him nonsense, which is the language of love,

Nonchalance, she could have told Argosy, does not pay.

Perhaps that’s its strength. The flexibility. The fragility. Appearances…” He paused. “…are often deceiving.

Such a fragile way to sustain a whole life: on a web one weaves for oneself.

Why?" He sounded bemused. He'd whispered the word.
She supposed he meant: why are you here? Because her mind answered with: Because I love you, and damn you for it. You have both made my life worth living and utterly ruined it, and I'm grateful that you did.
She smiled faintly. She would never say it.

Your happiness, quite simply, is my happiness."
Cynthia slowly closed her eyes against the look in his.
Cannot bear.