In honor of Valentine’s Day next week, I thought I’d do a list of some of my favorite romantic couples in books. The funny thing is, many of my favorite books have a romance somewhere in them, but that’s not really what it’s about for me. And I almost never read Romances. However, I do enjoy a sweet romantic story. I went strolling past my bookshelves (they’re big, it requires strolling) and seized on more than enough couples whose romances I’m very fond of.
I don’t think any of these are big surprises within their books, but if you’re really particular about spoilers, this post will give away everything about who ends up with who. I warned you.
Tan Hadron and Tavia, A Fighting Man of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
I like stories about heroes who are chasing after the wrong girl, only to finally realize that the girl Friday was the right one for them all along–especially if the wrong girl is annoying and beautiful, and the right girl is smart and capable. I don’t know if I like this book because I like that kind of story, or if I like that kind of story because of this book. Either way, it’s wonderful. Burroughs is great at writing heroes who will go the ends of the Earth (or whatever planet is relevant) for the woman they love, but this was one of the few times that dedication was actually based on something real and compelling.
Arabella and Turnip, The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig
This is the most Romancey book in the group, but it has spies and Jane Austen to add adventure. And it has a really sweet romance between two people who don’t, at a glance, seem like the types to be romantic leads, but turn out to both be much more than other people realize.
Jena and Costi, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
Just adorable. Predictable, but adorable. I’ve read the book once, but I’ve read the final romantic scene three times, because it’s just that cute.
Thursey and Gillie, Silver Woven in My Hair by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
There’s a lovely gossamer magic to this story, and I just love it so much. It has all that Cinderella magic about the person who matters most seeing the heroine for how special she really is, and it has a heroine who falls in love with a person, not a handsome man in a crown who can dance. This Cinderella isn’t interested in some mythical prince, she’s in love with a very real goatherd, and then…well, it does all work out in fairy tale fashion.
Valancy and Barney, The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
Most of this book is about Valancy’s growth, and her relationship with Barney is only one aspect to that. But the last couple of chapters are romantic. I think my very favorite Montgomery romance, though, is Esme and Francis in “Fancy’s Fool,” a short story in The Road to Yesterday. As a girl, Esme meets Francis in a mysterious, ghost-filled garden, and then wonders if he really–or ever–existed.
Beauty and the Beast, Beauty by Robin McKinley
I think this is my favorite romance in McKinley’s books. Maybe it’s that I really like both characters–or because they bond over books!
Your turn–what romantic stories do you like? Any suggestions on ones I should read?