In honor of Valentine’s Day, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is favorite couples in books. I’m a sucker for a good romance, so the hardest thing for me was narrowing my list down! But here are 10 of my favorite romances in books:
1. Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice) — Obviously these two are my absolute top OTP. The greatest thing about their romance is that love makes both of them better people. Darcy learns that he needs to get over himself and be a kinder, more generous person, while Lizzy realizes that she needs to be less judgmental.
2. Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley (Emma) — I don’t want to fill this entire list with Austen couples (although I could!), but I had to include Emma and Mr. Knightley. My favorite thing about their friends-to-lovers romance is that Emma subconsciously reveals her feelings for Mr. Knightley long before she actually recognizes them herself.
3. Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables series) — Looking back, I’m pretty sure this was my first OTP; I shipped them before shipping was even a thing! Gilbert is the perfect “boy next door” type, and I love that he and Anne are both so smart and competitive (especially with each other!).
4. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series) — These two are just so adorable together! I know some people think Ron’s not good enough for Hermione, but I think he’s exactly the right person to balance out all her type-A neuroticism. She’s obviously going to be the alpha in their relationship, so it’s a good thing that Ron is excellent at taking a backseat and supporting her.
5. Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane (Lord Peter Wimsey series) — I adore watching these two banter and bicker their way into true love. I also love how Sayers examines some of the difficulties facing women of her era through Harriet’s eyes; though Harriet is attracted to Peter, she really struggles with the idea of giving up her independence and autonomy as a single woman with a career.
6. Beatrice and Benedick (Much Ado about Nothing) — Speaking of banter, this couple is the quintessential example of the hate-to-love trope, wrapped in an incredibly fun and witty package. When Benedick says, “Thou and I are too wise to woo peaceably,” that really says it all!
7. Anna and Rupert (A Countess below Stairs) — If there were an award for Sweetest Book Ever, I’m pretty sure I’d give it to this one. The story contains elements of forbidden love — Anna is a maid, while Rupert is an earl (and an engaged one, at that) — and it’s just a delight to watch them struggle to suppress their feelings. I let out the happiest sigh every time I finish this book.
8. Gen and [spoilers] (Queen’s Thief series) — Sadly I can’t talk too much about this couple without revealing spoilers. But I will say that Gen is a wonderful hero: he’s a thief (and I love a good thief hero!) who is super smart and witty and always a step ahead. And his love interest is more than a match for him. Their relationship starts in a pretty dark place, so it’s amazing to see how their complex feelings for one another grow.
9. Sean and Puck (The Scorpio Races) — This is one of my favorite books, and I love Maggie Stiefvater’s subtle, magical writing style. This romance is so delightfully understated; it’s all about what isn’t said.
10. Lincoln and Beth (Attachments) — This book has such an adorable rom-com plot: Lincoln’s job is to monitor workplace email, and he ends up falling in love with Beth through reading her correspondence with her friend Jennifer. I can absolutely see why this storyline doesn’t work for some people, but Lincoln is such a sweet and likable character that I was totally along for the ride. And I adored Beth’s snarky voice . . . I really believed that she and Lincoln were well matched.
What are your favorite literary love stories? Please share your recs, because I’m in the mood for all the romance!