February 14, 2013 by Heidi
Over the past year of reading I have fallen in love over and over again along with so many wonderful characters. Each year on Valentine’s Day, my blogging buddy Chachic lists her favorite literary couples from her reading of the year past. Unable to stop myself from mentally filing my own couples into a beloved stack, I thought that this year I would begin to do the same! All of my favorites have something in common. They may be slow burn, or their love may sneak up on them completely, but either way none of these couples have had an easy go of it. They’ve had to come to terms with being who they are as individuals and reconcile that with allowing themselves to be part of a pair.
Kate and Curran from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews
Kate and Curran are one of my favorite couples because throughout the course of their series we get to see them evolve in ways that we often don’t with other couples. It takes ages for them to stop being pigheaded and stubborn in regards toward their feelings, but even before they come to terms with their relationship they have each other’s backs 100%. I love that they don’t change once they are a couple–they’re still at one another’s throats with snippy comments and regular hand to hand combat–but what could look like two people who hate one another from the outside is in fact an incredibly loving and supportive relationship. We don’t just get to see Kate and Curran have their HEA, we get to see them live past it. We know that their relationship isn’t easy or foolproof, but we also don’t get bogged down in petty drama–quite frankly they have bigger things to worry about.
Taylor Markham and Jonah Griggs from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
I suppose the fact that this book rates among my absolute favorite reads, and yet, I was absolutely unable to formulate my love for it into words in order to review it on this blog should indicate to you how much I love Taylor and Jonah. I love that Jonah never pushes Taylor and that he’s willing to fight with her if that means being near her, but also will do anything to support her. He doesn’t stop her from getting hurt or doing what needs to be done, but he’s there beside her the whole time. When Jonah looks at Taylor, he doesn’t just see a broken mess of a girl, he sees a reflection of his soul in good ways and in bad. Ultimately, they’re very strong people who respect one another even before they realize what they mean to one another.
Howl and Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
I adore Howl and Sophie whose romance is so incredibly subtle that a reader could hardly know it was there until the characters acknowledge it themselves. Howl and Sophie are one of the greatest examples of falling for someone for who they really are, and not for who they appear to be on the surface. Sophie wins Howl’s heart by not being one of the many willing to grovel at his feet, but one who is willing to call him on his crap. I always love those couples who drive each other nuts on the surface but really love one another underneath and Sophie and Howl are one of the best.
Katsa and Po from Graceling by Kristin Cashore
So if you’ve been sensing a theme of mutual respect in couples I love, it shouldn’t surprise you to see that I completely fell for Katsa and Po. Both of these characters recognize their own limitations as well as one another’s. They don’t stop the other from doing what needs done because they might get hurt, they take care of priorities without mooning, but will always fight for one another in the end. Again, Po doesn’t push Katsa for anything she isn’t ready for or willing to give. I think the fact that this couple makes a point of living their own lives and doing their own things while still being 100% confident in their love for one another makes them a fantastic model of how non-traditional relationships can be completely functional.
Sorcha and Red from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier
If, like me, you are a fan of delayed gratification, Daughter of the Forest is possibly the most torturous practice of it I have yet to witness. Guys, I love Sorcha and Red. To ridiculous levels. Red has to overcome a mountain of history when encountering Sorcha, and does so with an astounding patience. They learn to speak to one another without the use of words, and somehow this creates a direct link between their hearts. Sorcha and Red show that even if you get the one you want, you may have to give up large parts of yourself to have them. It is up to you to decide if it’s worth it.
Those five easily mark my favorites for the past year, but since it’s really hard to list just 5, here’s a few others I came to love:
Scarlet and Wolf from Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Roar and Liv from Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi
Ismae and Duval from Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
William and Cerise from Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
Bran and Liadan from Son of the Shadows by Juliet Marillier
A big thanks to Chachic for letting me ride her coattails on this one, make sure to go check out her faves as well, and let me know who your favorite literary couples have been. Happy Valentine’s Day!