It’s February and Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday, so I thought I’d share my favorite fictional couples. Usually, I avoid romance novels, but I do have a soft spot for romance in other genres. Specifically, I enjoy the romance as long as it doesn’t overtake the story. Initially, I thought to write about some of my favorite romantic moments in books, but then I realized that would involve far too many spoilers. Instead, I’ll share my favorite couples in non-romance novels.
Lan and Nynaeve (The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan)
These two have been my absolute favorite couple for about 20 years. I don’t even quite know why anymore, but everything about their relationship, both when they’re together and when they’re apart, just makes my heart melt. They endure so much even while the world is going up in flames around them, but their loyalty to each other gets me every time.
Clare and Mike (The Coffeehouse Mystery series by Cleo Coyle)
I’ve loved these two from the very first moment they shared a page together. Both divorced, they’ve gone through a lot. It colors their relationship, but also makes them stronger together. They’re both so stubborn, but so appreciative of each other. There’s no idiocy of youth, but instead a beautiful maturity that stems from the hurts of the past and the hopes of the future.
Merry and Kalik (Merry Arlan: Breaking The Curse by Will Soulsby-McCreath)
Merry and Kalik are my newest favorite couple and to say I adore them would be an understatement. Their relationship is rocky and realistic and definitely a slow burn. At the same time, I never wanted to just throw them together. The beauty of them was watching their relationship unfold in all its messy ways, with beautiful moments and awkward moments and everything in between. Their romance was one of my favorite things in this book, but it never, ever upstaged the main story.
Kylie and Grant (The Terra Haven Chronicles by Rebecca Chastain)
I have to admit this romance is one of the things that kept me reading this trilogy. I love Kylie and Grant so much, and they remind me a lot of Clare and Mike. Theirs is almost a tug of war, with them leaning close and pulling away at different times. There are definitely times I want to throw them together, but also times where I think their emotions just need to simmer down. They’re almost explosive, but they also seem to really need each other. The pull between them is so strong and the amount they care for each other is just astronomical, and the third book really, really does them justice.
Kit and Rian (Captain Kit Brightling series by Chloe Neill)
Kit and Rian are my regency-style couple. Theirs is a Napoleonic-era fantasy story where their romance blooms while impending war with the Napoleon character looming over their heads. There’s so much at stake in the world, but they still manage to find time together. Even though Kit is a captain in the Queen’s Own, this couple still screams Jane Austen’s couples at me. I love the modern twist to them and how neither is dependent on the other, but they really want to be together.
Lark and Rosethorn (The Magic Circle quartet by Tamora Pierce)
When I first read this children’s series, I thought Lark and Rosethorn were overly close for friends, especially when I came to the last book (which makes sense since I was about 12 and definitely had no clue about romance). But I loved them so much. A few years later it dawned on me they were at least lovers, and I’ve loved them even more ever since, especially since I don’t think I came across many, or any, LGBTQ relationships for the next too many years. I wish they’d been more open about their relationship, but the focus was always the children in their care. So I look for the small moments between them, the ones that tell me they care because, for me, relationships are about the small things instead of the big gestures.
Emmy and Talia (Payback’s a Witch by Lana Harper)
I might be skirting around my imposed rule of basically no couples from romance novels as this is probably more accurately a paranormal romance, but this book has strong fantasy elements that have me thinking “fantasy” instead of “romance novel”. As a revenge novel, it completely fell flat for me, but I absolutely loved the romance between Emmy and Talia. It was gorgeous and intense and just so lovely and sweet at times. I always felt passion sizzling right under the surface, and it was a pure delight to read.
What are some of your favorite couples in non-romance books?