"It was all rubbish, of course, everything he said: kindly meant and terrifyingly sweet to hear. Olympia feared for how vulnerable she was to such nonsense, how often she'd tried to excise aristocratic vanities such as a concern for her personal appearance from her soul. She was glad she wasn't beautiful; she was proud that her governess cared more for Olympia's wardrobe than she did herself. But sometimes, when she looked in the mirror at her round cheeks, her heavy brows and small mouth and ridiculously large eyes, all monstrously out of classical proportion, she longed with a shameful fierceness to have Julia's slender neck and perfect face.
In the silence that roared in her ears he moved closer. He put his hands on her imperfect throat and lifted her imperfect chin and bent his head to her flawed and trembling lips.
He kissed her.
And she fell in love. Helplessly; hopelessly -- a consummate disaster. She felt it happen while he mouth came against hers and his gloved fingers pressed into the tender skin behind her earlobes. It was something physical, a tangible wound, a terrible rent in the fabric of her life, as if her whole self had been torn from her body and replaced by something else entirely. Something that belond not to her but to him."
I love Laura Kinsale's writing for its lyrical quality.