As you may have figured out by now, in addition to fantasy, I love stories with a strong thread of romance. I was one of those girls who had my Barbies and Kens paired into couples at a young age, and even now that I'm happily married, reading stories of other couples falling in love and finding happiness together never gets old. So after a fun, challenging deliberation, here are my top 3 couples from books:
3. Kate & Marek from The Hollow Kingdom by Clare B. Dunkle
Sparks fly every time these two interact, which made their characters so fun to read as individuals and as a couple. While I can't say I approved of Marek's attempts to steal Kate to be his wife (if you haven't read it, as the goblin king, Marek must find himself a human bride in order to produce an heir), I enjoyed seeing their relationship develop from adversaries to true partners. I loved Marek's ability to rile Kate combined with his fierce admiration for her, and his ghastly appearance made for an interesting dynamic as Kate overcomes her repulsion and learns to appreciate his mind and heart. Unlike most YA books, The Hollow Kingdom continues beyond Kate and Marek's wedding, which added depth to their relationship as they navigate day-to-day life together - though day-to-day life in a goblin kingdom looks a little different from what we're used to :) I would've never guessed a hideous goblin would rank among my favorite romantic leads, but such is the genius of Clare B. Dunkle!
2. Kit & Nat from The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
The Witch of Blackbird Pond is a classic for so many reasons, including the excellent writing and historical setting. What's drawn me back to it time and time again is the pairing of Kit and Nat. They get off to a rocky start, with Nat teasing Kit and Kit resenting him for it. But as they each continue to visit and aid Hannah Tupper, they begin to discover each other's good qualities. It broke my heart when Kit realized her feelings for Nat when she thought it was too late, and their uncertainty as they finally reveal their love for each other was so sweet. In addition to Kit and Nat, I just loved the way all of the different budding romances came to such a satisfactory conclusion in the last chapter - let's just say I've read it more than a few times :)
1. Rose & Mac from Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
I have read this book so many times because I absolutely love the slow evolution of the relationship between Rose and Mac. For the majority of the book, Mac is practically the only eligible bachelor who isn't interested in Rose's beauty and fortune, and acts as her steady source of comfort and logic as she experiences the turmoil of courtship and trying to find her vocation. When Mac finally falls for Rose, his method of courting is honest and blunt, adding palpable tension into their friendship as Rose struggles to decipher her own feelings. The separation and uncertainty that follows makes the final resolution touching and so beautiful. This is another final chapter I still read every once in a while just for that happy sigh :)
Because it was so hard to narrow my choices down, I of course need a few honorable mentions: Mr. Knightley and Emma in Jane Austen's Emma, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and Mr. Rochester and Jane in Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre - all such spectacular pairings in their own ways, but I can't let myself comment further or this post could go on forever :)
Now I want to hear from you! What are your thoughts on my choices? Who are your favorite literary couples?
Thanks for reading!