If you’re a regular on Romance Twitter, you’re probably aware that there’s a certain Lisa Kleypas histrom that is constantly evoked by the most feral of its fans by four simple words.
“Not five fucking minutes.”
These four words are iconic and have made Rhys Winterborne, the character who utters them, equally iconic in the pantheon of Lisa Kleypas heroes. St. Vincent may have his charm and Derek Craven may have his beloved’s spectacles but Rhys Winterbourne’s entire personality can be summed up by these four words. He really needs no other.
With these four words, he has made abundantly clear to Lady Helen Ravenel, that she owns him completely. That he would crawl over broken glass, walk through fire, climb every mountain, and swim any ocean to get to her.
The words are uttered in a fit of rage when Helen makes it known she is breaking off their engagement and fleeing to France with her newly revealed half sister to avoid scandal.
And his response makes it clear, she could flee to the moon and Rhys would still chase after her because there is nothing in the world that could ever keep him from being at her side.
“Not five fucking minutes” on their own, could deliver a knock out punch.
But Lisa Kleypas delivers a one-two punch here with the following bit of dialogue that completely decimates the reader into a weeping pile of melted gooey mess.
“Try to leave me, and see what happens. Go to France, go anywhere, and see how long it takes for me to reach you. Not five fucking minutes.” He took a few vehement breaths, his gaze locked on hers. “I love you. I don’t give a damn if your father is the devil himself. I’d let you stab a knife in my heart if it pleased you, and I’d lie there loving you until my last breath.”
And then, when Helen argues that how could he possibly love her when she has just announced that she is really the daughter of Albion Vance, who Rhys absolutely loathes for good reason, he takes it a step further.
“You s-said any child of his is demon spawn.”
His head jerked up, his eyes fierce. “I didn’t mean you. Whatever damned evil thing I might say, it never means you.”
“Every time you look at me, you’ll remember that I’m half his.”
“No.” His hand came to the side of her face, his thumb wiping her tears. “You’re all mine.” His voice was deep and shaken. “Every hair on your head. Every part of you was made to be loved by me.”
CALM DOWN RHYS, I am having heart palpitations. I was a long-time St. Vincent stan but Rhys now tops the list of Lisa Kleypas heroes in my heart. (Sorry Sebastian).
That this gruff, surly Welshman, a self-made millionaire, rough and crusty in manner, being laid so completely low by love would tell his beloved, his cariad, you can literally kill me if it pleases you and I would still love you – I mean, how do you even respond to that with anything other than absolute heart eyes?
I love this book and though I don’t really reread books, I reread favorite passages all the time and this one makes my heart race every time I read it.