Bookish Love: My favorite couples from the past year.


February 14, 2013 by Heidi

P&P heart confetti

Lovin’ this Pride and Prejudice literary rose and confetti which you can buy from Bookish at Not on the High Street.

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

Kate and Curran image via the authors’ website.

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

Sophie and Howl from Miyazaki's Howl's Moving Castle

Sophie and Howl from Miyazaki’s film adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle

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.

Everything Will Be All Right by Elvira

Everything Will Be All Right by Elvira
fan art via the author’s website.

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!

Fictional Characters


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  1. Chachic says:

    Thanks for linking back to my blog, Heidi! It was so nice of you to check with me before posting. Of course, I said yes. I’m always curious about other book lovers’ choices when it comes to favorite fictional couples. I want to hug this post because your five choices are AWESOME. All of those couples have made it to my own list. Sigh, just being reminded of them through this post makes me want to reread the books. I wish I had my copies here with me (and that I had enough free time to reread as much as I wanted). Great post, would love for you to make this into a yearly thing as well.

    • Heidi says:

      Of course, Chachic! I thought it was a fun idea–I love seeing who other people glom onto. I had SUCH an amazing reading year last year, I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to top it (but I’m certainly going to try). Having lots more Marillier and Marchetta left to read is going to help quite a bit! I had a lot of fun with this post, honestly, so thanks for the inspiration!

  2. […] My friend Heidi of Bunbury in the Stacks also talked about her fave […]

  3. Haha. I like that card at the end. My friend and I call today Happy Singles Awareness Day.

    I haven’t read most of the books you mentioned. But I am all for Wolf and Scarlet.

    • Heidi says:

      Hehe, yeah, I’m a fan. I was never huge on Valentine’s Day, even when dating people. Today’s actually my boyfriend’s birthday, which works out nicely–we get to celebrate but it doesn’t have to be about romance.

  4. You know what I’m going to say in response to your love of Katsa & Po, right? (Spoiler Alert: READ FIRE! You read Fire, and I’ll read Jellicoe Road, because somehow, I’ve yet to get to any non-Lumatere Marchetta.)

    • Heidi says:

      Hahaha…I KNOW. I fully predict that I will be listing Fire and Brigand (or whatever his name is) as one of my favorite couples NEXT year. But YES–please please please read Jellicoe Road. It is mind blowing good. Seriously. And I don’t really even like contemp that much.

  5. Michelle says:

    Lovely list. Kate & Curran, Howl & Sophie, Sorcha & Red… *le sigh* you can never go wrong with those guys. Happy Valentines Day!

  6. YES! Kate and Curran are, of course, so utterly perfect for one another. I just can’t get enough of them and they’re right next to Chess and Terrible from the Downside Ghosts Series on my list of UF Couples. Taylor and Jonah are just…incredible. I found their romance to be so subtle, yet so deep and poignant. I always get chills when I read Jellicoe Road. I have yet to read Howl’s Moving Castle (I KNOW!), but Katsa and Po are just lovely, although Brigan and Fire are my favorite Cashore pairing. Sorcha and Red, though, I just adore. Wolf and Scarlet have become a new favorite romantic pairing of mine as well, along with Seraphina and Lucian from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Mia and Adam from If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Sean and Puck, and, of course, Gen and Irene whose romance I can never get enough of. Wonderful list, Heidi! :)

    • Heidi says:

      I fully intend to get to Downside Ghosts! Actually, it may be soon because I think I’m going to do Mercedes Thompson on audio instead of print (IF I like the narrator when I try that is), and I’m all caught up on October Daye (and OMG so excited about the couple in that one after SIX FREAKING BOOKS–no Kate and Curran though). I’ll probably have Fire and Brigan on next year’s list, lol. I also am a huge Seraphina and Lucian fan! And Sean and Puck, of course…and Gen and Irene (and Sophos and Helen for that matter). 😀

  7. Angie says:

    You have had a good year, my friend. Fictionally speaking.

  8. Reynje says:

    Loving all these posts! I’m honestly not sure if I could narrow my own list down to five, though :) Taylor and Jonah are definitely one of my favourites. Actually, I really like Marchetta’s romances in general, they always feel so authentic and romantic without being completely over the top, if that makes sense.

    I’m also going to side with Anna and tell you to read Fire :) I feel as if the romance is more subtle in that novel, in a way, but no less well handled. I really love how Cashore creates relationships with so much mutual respect. (also, her ability to write swoony guys that aren’t total asshats!)

    • Heidi says:

      It IS hard–though keeping it to books I’d read in the past year certainly helped (I could not even contemplate making an all-time list like this). I’m actually reading my second Marchetta right now (the Lumatere Chonicles), so I’m totally on board for more of her style of romance…though currently not in love with Evanjalin, so we’ll see how that goes. Also I’m now so excited for Fire, it’s ridiculous–yay for swoony non-asshats!

  9. Is Curran actually a lion? *raises eyebrows*

    Oooh, Jellicoe Road. I need to read that one!

    HOWL AND SOPHIE AND THE MOST APPROPRIATE GIF. I love them. And I love that book. And that movie. Ahhhhh!

    Katsa and Po, hells yeah!

    Daughter of the Forest is another one I need to read.

    I’m with you on Scarlet & Wolf and Ismae & Duval too. :) Pretty sure I need to read all of the others since you’re so on point with the ones I have read. :)

    • Heidi says:

      He’s a shapeshifter who changes into a lion, yes! Makes for lots of good “here kitty, kitty” jokes. 😛

      And YES, you need to read Daughter of the Forest and Jellicoe Road–two of my all time favorite books.

  10. Drive-by comment to say: you mentioned Daughter of the Forest, which is a book I’ve been debating on picking up. Red/Sorcha sounds fantabulous, and I must therefore move this series up on my TBR. *drives off*

    • Heidi says:

      YES–you should, Renae. This is one of my absolute all time favorite books, I love Sorcha and Red to ridiculous levels, and that whole book just…there are no words.

  11. […] Bookish Love: My Favorite Couples from the Past Year // Bunbury in the […]

  12. Um I’m sorry….is Curran…a lion?? Must I read this series ASAP? Because WOW. Also must read Howl’s Moving Castle (just bought it on the ipad last night!) and EVERYONE listed Katsa and Po and I have yet to read it!! (ALSO bought that on the ipad…I might have a problem..) SO glad (relieved) that you had a JM couple on here…I listed Bran and Liadan as my favorite, I’m sure you aren’t surprised, though I love ALLLLLL THE COUPLES written by her!! I also had Isma and Duval on mine :] SIIGHH SLOW BURN ROMANCES FTW!! <333

  13. Nafiza says:

    Oh Jonah Griggs. So beautiful in such beautiful ways! Kate and Curran, yes. Which reminds me, I have yet to read the latest one. Sophie and Howl! Have you read the other ones in the trilogy? They make special appearances!

    • Heidi says:

      I have read the other books in the trilogy! I really liked both, an especially enjoyed Sophie and Howl in House of Many Ways. Nothing beats the first book though.

  14. Wow, there are several on your list I really need to read, like the Kate Daniels and Daughter of the Forest series (no surprise there, both have been on my TBR for too long:)

    Totally agree on Katsa & Po, Taylor & Jonah (Swoon:), and Scarlet & Wolf:) I just read the novella Roar & Liv, but have not gotten to Through the Ever Night (yet) so I don’t have enough info on those two at this time. But as far as secondary characters go, I’m already in love with Roar:)

    Great list and topic!

  15. I am SO GLAD you included Jonah and Taylor! Jellicoe Road was absolutely one of my favorite reads last year, and they were definitely one of the best couples. There is just so much to love about the book and about Melina Marchetta. I am continually impressed by her writing, her stories and her characters.

    • Heidi says:

      YES, Jellicoe Road was one of my absolute favorites too, Hannah! MASSIVE book hangover, I don’t honestly even know how to handle it–it’s one of the reasons I’m just now reading Lumatere, I wasn’t ready for the feels before this. 😛

  16. Oh I love this post! Is the banner an actual picture you took? So beautiful! I want some of those literary roses. I HAVE to read the Kate Daniels series. I keep hearing amazing things about her and Curran. I AGREE about Taylor and Jonah. I just cannot talk about how much I love them, and how well the author shows how well they work together. Love Sorcha and Red as well as Bram and Liadan, Scarlet and Wolf and Roar and Liv. Basically all of these that I’ve read. I haven’t read Howel’s Moving Castle but after seeing all your other couples, I need to pick it up!

    • Heidi says:

      Thanks, Lauren! No, the banner pic is from the people I linked in the caption–I love it! Hehe, I hope you do check out some of the other couples I mentioned since you love so many of the ones you have read. Kate Daniels is Urban Fantasy, which I have no idea if you’ll like, but it’s also the UF series that non-UF fans tend to get into. :)

  17. Allison L says:

    Sorcha and Red! How could I have forgotten those two? LOVE them.

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While the source for each book I review is posted within its review, please assume unless otherwise stated that books reviewed on Bunbury in the Stacks were received free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.