Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This week’s topic, in honor of Valentine’s Day I’m assuming, is a Love Freebie. I actually used to read quite a bit of romance, and I’ve already done a favorite couple’s post in the past. You’ll probably see a few of the same couple’s here, but hopefully there are a couple new ones also. I’m going with favorite love stories- so not everything here falls strictly into the romance category.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – I’ll go ahead and get the easy one out of the way. Elizabeth Bennett and Fitzwilliam Darcy don’t have quite an enemies to lovers romance, but it was probably a prototype for that. It certainly doesn’t start out with googly eyes.
The Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning – So it’s paranormal fantasy, but it’s also primarily a romance. This has a “love is the path to redemption” trope, which feels a little outdated now, but Moning made it work in the best way. Adam is an immortal Fae cast out from Faery. Gabrielle is just a simple law student, and the only person who can see Adam.
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett – This is probably the only tragic romance I’ll ever read (knowingly anyway). The relationship between Roxane Coss and Katsumi Hosokawa is devastating, and I was blubbering like a baby whale by the end of it.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – A historical fantasy romance. Jamie and Claire’s relationship isn’t perfect, and sometimes it’s downright traumatizing, but these two just had some great chemistry on the page. I’d keep reading these books, but they’re all like 800 pages long, and I’m not entirely confident the story is headed where I want it to since some future parts have been spoiled for me. Either way- this was a great book.
The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky – What I loved so much about this story was the obstacles each person had to overcome within themselves to be able to go on to love the other person. That they accepted each other in the end as they were was just so uplifting to me. Omat and Brandr quickly went on to be one of my favorite couples of all time. (Review here)
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys – This was another surprise favorite from last year. It’s historical fiction more than it is even romance, but the romance between Ana and Daniel was one of my favorite parts. Their story follows a “lovers from opposite sides of the tracks” trope. (Review here)
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal – Including this is probably cheating, since it’s not even remotely a love story, and Elma and Nathaniel York are already very much in love when we “meet” them. But they are still one of the cutest and most romantic couples in fiction. I’m including a link to The Lady Astronaut of Mars because to me, it’s so important to their story, and made their romance in TCS that much sweeter. (Review here)
The White Queen by Philippa Gregory – I’m not actually the biggest fan of Philippa Gregory, but I did love this book. I loved not ever knowing if Edward IV would return to Elizabeth or be turned against her by his family. Their’s is definitely a tumultuous relationship.
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley – This is another historical romance. I keep meaning to read more of Kearsley because this one is such a favorite but other books keep taking precedence. This is probably one of the sweeter relationships portrayed, and it’s a slow burn sort of romance.
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning – Mac and Barrons are probably my favorite romantic couple of all time. Their story follows an enemies to lovers trope for sure. I kind of gave up reading these, because I think the author needed to end it after book five and lost her way, but the Fever novels are some of the few I’ve reread.
And that’s it! What are your favorite love stories?