Top Ten Tuesday's going all squishy and romantic on Valentine's week, and asking us: what are our favourite romances from books? As I'll be doing a post on 'Romances That Melt The Ice' on March 1st for the Fire and Ice blog hop, some of these will be explored in more detail later... with prizes and goodies! :-D Be sure to stop back then.
(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Brookish. It's a lot of fun, so why not come join in!)
Top Ten Romances:
1) Sophie and Howl - from Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. Yep, you probably all know by now that I'm obsessed with this book, but the romance really is one of the best! Howl and Sophie are so perfect together, and very funny together too which makes for great reading. They're also both quite unusual characters, meaning that even though you can see the romance coming a mile off, it still plays out in fun, slightly unexpected ways.
2) Darcy and Lizzie - from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I wonder if anyone's list won't include these two! It's one of the most famous romances, and one of the best.
3) Westley and Buttercup - from The Princess Bride by William Goldman. If you haven't read this, you must! Or watch the movie - both are excellent. It's such a wonderful story, and very romantic alongside all the action and adventure.
4) Angua and Carrot - from the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Werewolf joins City Watch, meets guard, werewolf and guard fall in love, guard finds out her secret, guard may or may not be the secret heir to the throne, werewolf already has a hard enough time dealing with fleas and doggy breath thank you very much... your classic love story really! This is comic fantasy, but the love story is actually very sweet, and Angua and Carrot are always fantastic characters.
5) Jane and Bingley - from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Another Jane Austen, and from the same book too! It sometimes feels like Lizzie and Darcy get all the attention, naturally so, as their relationship is more dramatic and Lizzie is the main character, but I think this book contains another really great romance. Jane and Bingley are one of the most adorable couples ever!
6) Ai and Estraven - from The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula le Guin. This is probably the one where most people will ask 'whaaaaat?' It's not traditionally seen as a romantic book. It's feminist, it's science fiction, it deals with important themes and heavy ideas, and this is what people tend to focus on. But, at its heart, it is a very romantic book and a great story. Whether you see the two main characters as just good friends or becoming something more (I'm firmly in the latter camp), it's heart-aching and breathtakingly told. For me, it's the best tragic love story I have ever read.
7) Dash and Lily - from Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. This is a recent read for me, and I just loved it! Dash and Lily both form completely the wrong impression of the other, then gradually get to know each other before ever having met. Although it almost seems like fate is against them at points, they keep getting drawn back to each other. And although they initially seem too different, it becomes clear just how perfect for each other they really are.
8) Hermione and Ron - from the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling. It's not exactly the most swoon-worthy of romances... in fact, it's pretty awkward most of the time, but it built up slowly from the very first book, and it always felt so real and honest. And we were waiting for it for such a long time!
9) Clary and Jace - from the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. This is an interesting one to include, because I haven't read the whole story yet. But I love these characters: they're sharp and funny, and both give as good as they get. This also isn't a case of insta-love (which I'm not overly fond of) - we can really see the attachment and trust building between them. So, because I like them so much, I'm warily including them. Now don't do anything to let me down, Clary and Jace!
10) Fairytales - Fairytales in general. Not all include a romance, though many do, but I wanted to put this on the list because they're such romantic stories. Not necessarily the characters or their relationship, but the magic, the way the story is told, the ideas within them, true love... (I realise that slightly contradicts the previous point, but I actually don't mind insta-love in a fairytale). Good fairytales include the scary and the nasty with the pure and the wonderful - some show good winning out in the end, some end more tragically - but almost all of them are romantic.