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A Reader of Fictions: Top Ten Favorite Bookish Romances

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Bookish Romances



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
I debated with doing another vlog, but I'm not convinced most people who actually participate in TTT have any interest. I don't want to force them on an unwilling public, so here's the more standard list-y variety.

Now, there are many ways to interpret this, but I'm going for books that feature couples that have a great romantic arc that really moves me, not my favorite authors of romantic books or even favorite romance novels. Now, this list only scratches the surface, of course, but here are ten of my very favorite bookish romances.

1. Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen

The Couple: Fitzwilliam Darcy & Elizabeth Bennet

Why? Listen, I know it's popular to love Darcy, and I do, but P&P isn't on my list because of just Darcy or just Elizabeth, but because of how they are together. They both have fabulous character arcs, and their love for one another grows slowly and believably, changing them naturally. There's this scene at the very end that just gets me every time where she makes a joke and he's not quite ready for it, but it highlights that he will be and that he has more of a sense of humor than he used to. I think these kids will fight a lot, but be seriously happy.

2. Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare (my review)

The Couple: Beatrice & Benedick

Why? These two have the best banter. I've always been a sucker for some great banter. Another awesome romance that does this well is Valkyrie Rising. Undoubtedly Beatrice and Benedick will fight constantly, but I hope their passion can pull them through, even if Branagh and Thompson couldn't make it last. *weeps* I'm not over that yet.

3. Second Helpings - Megan McCafferty (my review)

The Couple: Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie

Why? It may seem odd that I listed the second book of the series specifically, but I wasn't totally sold on shipping them as a couple in the first book, but in Sloppy Firsts, I wanted them together so badly. They have such a great, unique connection. The make each other better people as they interact and they come of age together. It's beautiful, but also SUPER stressful, because I know they're going to mess it up in the next book, so I'm kind of afraid to read it. Ahhhh!

4. After the Golden Age - Carrie Vaughn

The Couple: Can't tell you because it's vaguely spoilery

Why? I can't really say anything, but I was swooning for them so hard. Oh, another one that had me swooning but that comes later so I can't spoil it is Love Walked In. I'm listing more than ten, you say? SHUSH.

5. Graceling; Fire - Kristin Cashore

The Couples: Katsa & Po; Fire & Brigan

Why? Kristin Cashore's romances are the kind I love. Sassy heroine with a sex drive who chooses what/who she does with those urges and feels no shame. Both of her heroes are delightful, in different ways. I really did try to choose which couple I prefer, but I love both of their romances equally.

6. Enchanted, Inc. - Shanna Swendson

The Couple: Katie & Owen

Why? OMG, Owen is the most freaking adorable and everyone who has not read this needs to go read it, at least anyone who likes urban fantasy and chick lit at all. Owen's not the typical sexy hero; he's adorable, sweet, and incredibly shy. If you do not want him when you read this, you are crazy. Also, he and Katie have great chemistry, but they do the slow burn so slowly that you are rooting for them with all of your heart.

7. Trickster's Choice - Tamora Pierce

The Couple: Nawat & Aly

Why? I know that hardcore Tamora Pierce fans generally don't like this series, but I read it first, and I like it best. The fact that Nawat is a crow (though one that can shift to human form) is a wee bit awkward, but he's great and I love these two together.

8. A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

The Couple: Lucy Honeychurch & George Emerson

Why? Again, this is a tale of a couple growing together, of finding life better together than apart. Together they can be independent spririts in love, rather than the staid couple of the age. They're quirky, passionate people and only together can they fully indulge their natures. Oh, how I love them. Of course, the movie doesn't hurt. ;)

9. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery

The Couple: Anne and Gilbert

Why? Because they engaged in some classic awkward flirting, went through a bunch of misundersandings, and were completely perfect for one another all along. I only mean the Anne and Gilbert of the early books. I like them in the time when their constant competition to be the best encouraged them both to grow, rather than when he becomes a doctor and she a housewife, even though they're equally as smart. Hold on, ignore the rant. Focus on this: "carrots."

10. The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare

The Couple: Kit & Nat

Why? The Witch of Blackbird Pond has long been one of my favorite books. As much as I hate American history from the Puritan era, I love this book. The ending with Nat and Kit always makes me squee, and has since I was a little kid. That's some staying power.

Labels:

59 Comments:

Blogger Christina (Christinareadsya) said...

Why? Kristin Cashore's romances are the kind I love. Sassy heroine with a sex drive who chooses what/who she does with those urges and feels no shame. Both of her heroes are delightful, in different ways. I really did try to choose which couple I prefer, but I love both of their romances equally.

YES. ALL THE WAY. I also kind of like Sal / Bitterblue, but they don't fit together as well as Brigan and Fire do... And Katsa and Po, though I think I would choose Brigan/Fire over them. I love how Kristin Cashore creates women who aren't afraid to express themselves; who are both strong and vulnerable and can match their love interest in a variety of ways.

And what you said about Lizzie & Darcy. Haven't read the other books that you mention, so can't attest to those couples, but since we agree on other things... :D AND AHHH time to read the Jessica Darling series! I said that the last time, but gah! So many books, so little time...

(Also I like how you chose a variety of books that weren't necessarily published recently).

February 12, 2013 at 12:28 AM  
Blogger Christina (Christinareadsya) said...

***Not Sal. Why did I say Sal? I guess getting his name wrong shows how much less I appreciated their romance. Sapphire / Saf. ><

February 12, 2013 at 12:30 AM  
OpenID justcaffeinated said...

Great list! I love how you broke it down and everything...I don't know why I didn't put Lucy and George from A Room with a View, I absolutely loved that book

Here's my TTT for this week =)

February 12, 2013 at 12:30 AM  
Blogger Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews said...

Ha I didn't do a TTT this week because my heart is cold and bleak and I don't care for romance. At least not enough so that it sticks in my head and I can list favorites.

I do love Katsa and Po though. Eventually I will read Fire and Bitterblue. The thing I love most about Katsa is that she is sexually active, remains a whole person, and there is no shame in it, like you said. There needs to be more of this in YA.

February 12, 2013 at 12:34 AM  
OpenID alexandrasscribblings said...

But isn't wife-and-mother-and-friend what Anne wanted? I mean, I know she stops writing, and that upsets me, and I wish she'd continued with that. And I know that she enjoyed teaching, in Anne of Avonlea and Anne of Windy Willows. But I never got the impression that that was something she wanted to do her whole life.
And obviously, I could be reading it wrong - or through the lens of my own maybe slightly conservative upbringing - but I feel like she does seem to find fulfillment in relationship, not just with Gilbert, but with Leslie and Miss Cornelia and Captain Jim and the children and the various other characters. The way I read Anne is that she's very bright, and a dreamer, but her actual ambitions aren't of save-the-world proportions. Do you think she should have stuck with teaching, after she was married?

February 12, 2013 at 12:43 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, Anne was happy enough, I suppose, but I couldn't get through the books with her kids. I had a similar issue with the later books in The Time Quartet by Madeleine L'Engle. Just because they're happy with what their life became, I'm not necessarily happy about it, you know?

I really didn't like the books once they moved to the island. They got so boring, and Anne lost her magic, or at least I thought so. If she'd just done something, like continuing writing, that would have made a big difference. She was such a creative, imaginative person, and she becomes so...ordinary.

I know lots of people love the later books but they're definitely not for me.

February 12, 2013 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I haven't actually read Bitterblue yet, so their relationship couldn't be on this list. I hope I like it as much, but it's hard to say.

Read all of the books right now! :-p

February 12, 2013 at 12:46 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Thanks! Anyone who loves A Room with a View is awesome!

February 12, 2013 at 12:47 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Bahaha, it was harder to find ten than I was expecting. There aren't that many that I remember clearly and want to swoon all over.

You should read more, because Fire's like that too. Actually, she's more unashamedly sexual and it's awesome.

February 12, 2013 at 12:47 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Room With a View has been on my TBR list for awhile- I love your reasoning there. And I think the idea of love aging along with the people involved in fascinating- it changes with the people.

February 12, 2013 at 1:22 AM  
Blogger Flannery Anderson said...

I have never even heard of that Enchanted, Inc. book but I guess I have to find a copy. I will always love Lizzie and Darcy, like everyone else in the world, and I love Anne & Gil...well early Anne & Gil. I still need to read the Trickster series but I've heard the same about the series as you--that TP fans don't like it as much as her other ones. I kind of love everything she writes so I'm excited regardless. I am glad I finished Bitterblue but I didn't like it as much as Graceling and Fire and it kind of made me feel meh about the series overall. I should reread the first two to remember how much I loved them. (and the couples in them!)

February 12, 2013 at 1:23 AM  
Blogger Leela said...

I have the same feeling with Anna and Gilbert. I really love when they're competing. I don't know why :O

February 12, 2013 at 4:22 AM  
Blogger Dina @ DinaRuns said...

I love so much that you have Kit and Nat from The Witch Of Blackbird Pond on your list. I've loved that book since I was a little girl and felt so connected to it because I grew up in the area where it takes place. It's a book I reread yearly and the love story is a huge reason why.

February 12, 2013 at 6:56 AM  
Blogger Divergent Gryffindor said...

Yehess, Anne of Green Gables! It was really cute how they teased each other when they were younger :D I also liked them a lot better when they were younger. Frankly, I only got to the 5th book and stopped.

My Top Ten Favorite Romances
The Watcher Giveaway
The Boys of Summer Giveaway

February 12, 2013 at 7:55 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awww, yay! I love making people try the books I love. The movie's even better. Oh so brilliant.

February 12, 2013 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh, I am so happy. I know you read some romance-y stuff, so you should be able to appreciate it. The books are so cute and funny. More people should read them.

YAY! You agree with me that early Anne and Gil are superior to later Anne and Gil.

I really don't know why TP fans don't like Trickster's. I suspect it might be because, unlike all TP's other MCs, at least the ones I've read, Aly doesn't have any powers or want to be a soldier. But she's still awesome.

Oh dear, I fear Bitterblue! I waited SO long, and it might not be good. Wahhhh!

February 12, 2013 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I think because Anne is an equal to him. It starts off with a sort of feminist bent to it, but then she uses all of her mental powers and education on motherhood alone, which, don't get me wrong, takes a lot of work, but I would have liked to see her continue her mental pursuits. She just doesn't feel like the same Anne to me without them.

February 12, 2013 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awwww! I'm so glad. Every time I pick it up, I fear the magic will be gone and it never has been. The romance isn't super in your face but it gets me every single time.

February 12, 2013 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I think that's where I stopped too, both when I was a kid and when I tried to reread them a couple years ago. :/

February 12, 2013 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

LOL OMG I am so lame, I have not read a single book on this list. bahahaha. I fail. But I really want to read the Jessica Darling series. I keep forgetting to look for them when I am at the bookstore! I may be heading there today and I'll take a peek!

February 12, 2013 at 9:19 AM  
Blogger Jessica (Peace Love Books) said...

You can never go wrong with Pride and Prejudice :) Great list!

Here's my Top Ten!

February 12, 2013 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Becky LeJeune said...

I am intrigued by seeing AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE here. I've had that one in my TBR for a while but haven't had the chance to crack it open, now I'm wondering what makes it one your top romance-y books!

February 12, 2013 at 9:55 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

So glad to see a Tamora Pierce book make the list. I never understand when people don't like the Trickster books. They are some of my favorites in the Tortall universe, and Aly and Nawat are so sweet!

Also, Marcus Flutie. Swoon.

February 12, 2013 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Not a single one? How have you not read Anne of Green Gables? You're freaking Canadian! Anne is a Canadian national treasure.

February 12, 2013 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Never ever!

February 12, 2013 at 10:04 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

It's one of those slow burn things that suddenly explodes that don't happen often enough in fiction. Love it!

February 12, 2013 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

THANK YOU! I am not alone in the universe. I really do not get it! Maybe because Aly isn't as flashy as the other heroines, isn't trying to fill a traditionally male role? I don't know.

February 12, 2013 at 10:11 AM  
Blogger Tiff @ Mostly YA Lit said...

Your first three and number nine are definitely on my lists of all-time faves, but I couldn't include everyone on my top ten. How frustrating! =P

Speaking of Much Ado...if you haven't seen the new Joss Whedon version, you MUST. You'll die. It has ALL THE LOVE for Beatrice and Benedick, as you can tell by my review =)

New follower, btw! Thanks for commenting on my TTT!

February 12, 2013 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awwww, yay! I'm sure I missed so many. In fact, I've seen a few, like Ron and Hermione. Oops! Well, the topic will probably come around again on TTT someday, and I can pick up ones I missed or new ones I find.

THE JOSS WHEDON VERSION IS OUT??!?!!?!?! I didn't know that and I need it IMMEDIATELY.

February 12, 2013 at 12:01 PM  
OpenID rabbitsfortea said...

I'm appalled to say that I've yet to read most of the books on your list.
/crawls into a corner and hides there in shame

But well, I think it's safe to say that as long as your list has Pride and Prejudice, people (like me) will have something to comment on your post for :P
I have not heard of Enchanted, Inc. but it sounds awfully fun!

Elaine

February 12, 2013 at 12:02 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

There are just so many books to read! We can't read them all, no matter how hard we try.

Hahaha, my list will ALWAYS have Pride and Prejudice. I love it so much.

yay! I want more people to read it.

February 12, 2013 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Wendy Darling said...

Anne + Gilbert forever!!! Love that choice. And I love Po and Katsa together, too. I didn't really like FIRE all that much, and I still haven't finished BITTERBLUE, so it's unusual that I do like GRACELING'S couple so much.

This reminds me that I've been meaning to reread WITCH OF BLACKBIRD POND as well. I haven't read it since high school

Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

February 12, 2013 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh no! I'm sad that you did not like Fire. It's a bit more of the typical fantasy romance than Graceling, so I see it, but I still love them.

We should do a readalong of The Witch of Blackbird. It's so short I could swing it, surely.

February 12, 2013 at 1:01 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

OMG I WANT TO PUNCH MYSELF REPEATEDLY IN THE FACE!!!! How could I forget Anne and Gilbert???? WHAT!! Great choice!

Obviously you know I love JD and Marcus Flutie. <333

But to be honest...you have so many on here I haven't read and I am so excited to read them now!I've had Graceling on my shelf for FOREVER. Also really intrigued about After the Golden Age! Never heard of it and I'm intrigued you can't tell us who the couple is. :P

February 12, 2013 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Jenni! Please read Anne of Green Gables and JD series ASAP! (Also, those were the only two I read. I'm right with you hahah)

February 12, 2013 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger Karis Jacobstein said...

Gilbert Blythe was my very first book boyfriend, and the standard to whom all other men since have been held (and not come even close to the mark). Love him!

Check out my TOP TEN!

February 12, 2013 at 2:00 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Bahahha, do not punch yourself in your beautiful face. Ten is not enough books to do bookish romance justice! It's a crime!

Wahhhhh, you need to read all of these books. I will wait. *taps foot*

February 12, 2013 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Awww, Gilbert! I'm not sure who my first book boyfriend was now that I think about it. My first movie crush was Westley from The Princess Bride!

February 12, 2013 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

I couldn't agree more with Anne of Green Gables and Pride and Prejudice!! I really need to read the Jessica Darling series!! The sad thing is, I have the entire set and still haven't read a single one. Lol!! Awesome list!!

February 12, 2013 at 2:44 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay for the classics love. You really do. It's painful but amazing! You will get there and you will be so happy when you do! (My shelves are like that too.)

February 12, 2013 at 2:50 PM  
Blogger SarahO said...

I had no idea TP fans generally don't like the Trickster series. Oddly, I didn't like Trickster's Choice the first time I read it but after rereading years later I came to the conclusion that I was an idiot. It's right up there with my favourites from her. I don't really like the circle series though. I don't know of that's typical? I'm clearly not immersed enough in the TP Internet fandom!

Also, YES for Jessica and Marcus. THOSE BOOKS. UGH. YES. LOVE. Apparently coherence goes out the window when I try and talk about them.

It's really interesting reading about Anne and Gilbert because I think I only read the first 4, maybe 5 books. I wonder if that's why I stopped? Maybe I subconsciously lost interest when the books weren't about Anne fighting her way anymore. I do love the story of them getting together though.

Okay last! Totally agree with Graceling and Fire. I wasn't a fan of Bitterblue at all but I still love those first two.

February 12, 2013 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger YA Vixens said...

My blogmate Kait will be SO thrilled that you did Second Helpings! I think that's probably her favorite book series. She actually just won a signed copy of the 5th one, from Megan!
Beth @ YA Vixens
Vixen's Top Ten!

February 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I'm not immersed in it either, but anyone I know who's been a fan of her for ages doesn't like the Trickster's series much. No real idea why. Her circle series is awful. I was trying to read through all of her stuff in publication order after I loved Trickster's so much, but I stalled after the first circle book and there were SEVEN more. Ick.

Bahahah, I just commented on someone else's blog about Marcus and Jessica and used the word love about 80 times, so no judgment from this quarter. Marcus does that to a girl. ;)

See, that is exactly what I said when I remembered that I never read all of the Anne series. Then I decided to go back through and stalled out at the exact same place I had before. If you reread, it will be interesting to see how you feel about it!

I keep hearing that about Bitterblue, which is why I've been putting it off.

February 12, 2013 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Oh wow! A signed copy! That's awesome. Megan McCafferty is a goddess. She even made me like a series with pregnancy as a main plot point, which is pretty much impossible.

February 12, 2013 at 3:02 PM  
OpenID alexandrasscribblings said...

Fair enough!

February 12, 2013 at 5:13 PM  
Blogger KatOfDiamonds said...

I love that you explained the Why because for the ones I've read I knew I agreed and the ones I haven't... well my to-read list might grow a few books...

February 12, 2013 at 6:20 PM  
Blogger Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books said...

OMG! The Witch of Blackbird Pond!!! I loved that book soooooo much! Part of me wants to reread it, but the other part of me is afraid because sometimes books don't live up to what you remember.

Don't shoot me for this, but I didn't like P&P and I'm probably the only person on the planet who could care less about Elizabeth and Darcy.

February 12, 2013 at 6:24 PM  
Blogger Shelver 506 said...

AUGH!! I forgot Nawat and Aly. HOW could I have forgotten Nawat and Aly? He's so sweet, she's so fiery. Ugh. I am filled with self-loathing.

Oh, and great list. ;-)

Shelver @ Bookshelvers Anon

February 12, 2013 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Heather Roddenberry said...

You went much more classic than I but I LIKE IT:)

And I have to say that I am immensely curious about both When Love Walked In and After the Golden Age. (Opens another window to Goodreads..)

And why have I not heard of either of these yet?? Superheroes? Yes, please! So the blurbs don't really scream SWOON to me, BUT, I trust your judgement on matters a such as these, Christina. They have been added to the TBR list. Thanks, chica:)

February 12, 2013 at 8:13 PM  
Blogger SarahO said...

Didn't she announce last week she's writing MORE circle books? My reaction: NOOOOOO (insert mental image of a gif) I just realized I only own maybe 6 books of hers even though I've read everything but most of the circle ones. Clearly this must be rectified.

Ugh I feel bad telling you bad things about Bitterblue but I was just SO BORED. I was actually bored when I read Graceling for the third or fourth time though, but maybe that's normal?

Has anyone mentioned the Lizzie Bennet diaries here? Or have you seen them? I have no idea because I think twitter unfollowed you without my consent and I'm going to go fix that now.

February 12, 2013 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Ugh, yeah, I'm pretty sure there was an announcement to that affect some time fairly recently. I can't decide whether I should skip them entirely or force my way through. I heard the second Circle series is better than the first because they're a bit older, but the one I read was SO corny and the characters were obnoxious. Ugh.

I was totally not bored with Graceling, but I've only read it once. Then again, I have a terrible memory, so I could probably read it multiple times without a problem. Not sure what's normal.

I've seen about half of them. I need to get through the others!

February 13, 2013 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Yay! I love making peoples piles larger!

February 13, 2013 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Wendy and I are thinking about doing a readalong for that later this year. You should join!

I wish you were the only one who didn't like P&P.

February 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

You got so many good ones though! It's impossible to get them all!

February 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Hahahaha! I like them both a lot! They're the kind that sneaks up on you and the real love interest doesn't really come in until the end. :)

February 13, 2013 at 9:01 AM  
Blogger fakesteph said...

Okay, I am for sure going to read P&P soon. And when I think of Jessica and Marcus, it has to be book two. You, yes, you.

February 15, 2013 at 9:19 PM  
Blogger Lynn K. said...

AHAH! So this was where I saw Enchanted, Inc. I remember getting it after seeing it on someone's TT list. Thanks for introducing me to the series Christina! I'm loving it so much! I can't remember the last time I've been so excited about a series. Owen is so cute and I seriously love Katie.

February 17, 2013 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

That makes me SO happy to hear. I seriously love that series, so I try to sell it whenever I can. :-D

February 18, 2013 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

Best moment ever.

February 18, 2013 at 9:47 AM  

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