I love Top Ten Tuesday and rarely post for it–but this seemed like a perfect topic for Valentine’s Day! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, with a new topic each Tuesday. This week, it’s romance.
I wandered through my bookshelves, and pulled out a stack with my favorite romances in them–with a few bonus bromances and womances. In no particular order…
1) The Mischief of the Mistletoe by Lauren Willig
Arabella and Turnip – I’ve written at length about these delightfully unconventional romantic leads, who are overlooked by everyone but each other.
2) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane and Mr. Rochester – I know he has some serious problems…but Bronte punishes him so thoroughly and humbles him so completely that by the end of the book I really believe their romance. And the last section is rather adorable.
3) Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Catherine Morland and Mr. Tilney – Mr. Darcy is the famous Austen hero, but I ❤ Mr. Tilney instead. A smiling man who reads Gothic novels and knows his muslins–what’s not to love?
4) Enchantress from the Stars by Silvia Louise Engdahl
Elana and Georyn – The only bittersweet ending on my list, a beautiful love story about two people from, literally, different worlds, who change each other forever but can’t ever be together.
5) The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer:
Well, everyone – This quartet has four wonderful, engrossing love stories. Cinder and Prince Kai were a hair behind the others; Scarlet and Wolf were as marvelous as Winter and Jacin; and my favorites were Cress and Thorne. I have a soft spot for charming rogues with good hearts.
6) The Crystal Gryphon Trilogy by Andre Norton:
Kerovan and Joisan – Another couple who are undervalued by the people around them and find out how powerful they are together. I’m a sucker for romantic couples who are awesome partners too.
7) The Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce:
Alanna and George Cooper – Two of my favorite characters in books, I have a distant memory that when I first read this long, long ago, I was always rooting for them while other suitors came and went. Because they’re just right.
8) The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery:
Valancy and Barney – My favorite book by my favorite author, and not just because it’s my favorite style of romance too. I always love a good slow-burn romance, and one with a deft mix of the people involved thinking the other one doesn’t care? It can be done badly, but here it’s done very well.
9) Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen and Bahija Lovejoy
Buran and Mahmud – Buran thinks she has to bury who she really is, but everything changes when she embraces her true self instead, and I love that Mahmud loves her for exactly that.
10) The Thrawn Trilogy by Timothy Zahn
Han and Leia Solo – I love how awesome Leia is in the Expanded Universe books, and how much Han loves her for it. We won’t talk about things that may have gone off the rails in the later movies…in the Expanded Universe version, these two are perfection. It’s also fun to see a couple who are already married and still totally in love. That shouldn’t be as rare in fiction as it is!
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson – These two are great in the original Arthur Conan Doyle stories, and of course in the BBC’s Sherlock. Other places tend to be hit and miss.
Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy – With respect to everybody else on this list, these three are still my favorite relationship in fiction. They balance each other so perfectly in an awesome way. And though I’ve made this point before, all three count equally–Kirk and Spock are out of balance without McCoy. They started in TV, but their friendship sometimes comes out most clearly in Star Trek books.
The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint:
Imogene and Maxine – This book had me at “You remind me of my imaginary friend.” That starts this cool friendship between two opposite but staunch friends.
The Discworld Witch subseries by Terry Pratchett:
Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg – Somewhere in the Tiffany Aching books is the remark that Nanny Ogg must be incredibly powerful, because she’s been Granny Weatherwax’s best friend her whole life. And survived! Another pair of opposites, these two are awesome and so much fun together. Although only Nanny would admit they have fun!
Whew, that got lengthy! And since I’m on the hunt for more romantic books to read this year–I’d especially love to know, what are some of your favorites?