Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Favorite Couples: the High Heels and Suits edition

Contemporary romance, or the genre that's just like everyday life, except there may be a tad too many rich attractive businessmen and fancy global empires to accurately reflect the demographic. Nevertheless, a girl can dream, can't she? Here are our favorite couples that make us wish, once in a while, that we have our own attractive dreamboat who'd sweep us off our feet:


I'm not sure if I really have a type when it comes to fictional men, although I will admit I find certain kinds of moments in books attractive, like when one half is on their knees for the other (and not in that way I swear.) I'm always satisfied as long as I can firmly believe the two characters are on equal ground at the end and wholeheartedly do deserve each other.

Lucy and Josh are the classic hate to love trope. They're coworkers who spend an intense amount of time together alone and scorn each other for everything the other stands for, courtesy of a merger between their two respective old companies. What makes this book special to me is that neither party does anything outright malicious to the other, which is something I sadly see in many hate to love books, and the slow burn love is so worth every delightful word. I was smiling and gushing all throughout this book, and honestly robins-egg blue will never mean the same to me again.

When characters (mostly heroes and men) try to be noble idiots it always frustrates me in books, but surprise surprise Laura Florand won me over completely in this one. Joss is a frustrating hero but you can never doubt his love for Celie and I loved the bittersweet and complex emotions that Laura writes between them. They both have flaws, and watching them reconcile the very true love they have for each other with their own personalities is just so great to read. Bonus: you get to see glimpses of how adorable one of Lisa's fave couples Dom and Jaime are together in this too.

Lisa and I raved about this book in our review last month, but yay you get to hear me rave again. Tristan is an utter sweetheart and I loved seeing him fall all over himself to help Malorie who is so much less open than him. They grew up together so they know each other so well, but their families are also old old enemies, so there's an instinctive wariness on Malorie's part. She's tough and reserved, but she's a perfect match to Tristan's open and charming self, and they see each other's virtues so clearly it makes me quite sappy.

Throwing in an old but good one in here, because these two characters hold a very dear place in my heart. Anne is such a lovely heroine, with the most creative ideas and sharpest wits and watching her go from an orphan to the brilliant young woman is truly a marvel. Gilbert is her steadfast academic rival and local golden boy, and it's so endearing to see them fall in love with each other. Sunbursts and moonlit walks and all the romantic trimmings guys. It's considered a literary gem for a reason and it's a definite must-read.

 This is probably one of the most high-key angst-filled couples by far. Lily is the cutest comic geek introvert and Lo is a dry sharp-tongued asshole with cheekbones that cut like ice. They're as adorable and cuddly as their signature piggy back rides are but their journey to recovery (due to the separate addictions they both have) is just sob-worthy and gut-wrenching to the max. 


It's a known fact among my friends that when it comes to men in fiction, I have a type. Specifically speaking, I have a thing for broody alpha men, and I more than adore the great women who bring them to their knees. Without further ado, these are my favourite romance couples and why I love them:

People have layers, is what I get from this book. Damien longs for somebody who sees him not as the cold, ruthless assassin of a businessman that he portrays himself, and Jess tries so hard to break away from the ditzy stereotype that comes with releasing her perfume. There is so much angst and hurt at the start of the book because they didn't part ways amicably the first time, and I love all the emotions that come with it. Damien and Jess both are the stubborn sort, and it's wonderful seeing them overcome their trust issues and open up to each other. Also, I can never look at figs the same way again.

A thing worth mentioning about Laura Florand's male characters is that they are so emotional. Like Dominique is described as this rough-looking type who came from the wrong side of town and swears too much but he is truly a teddy bear who freaks out and loses his cool at the sight of his crush. It is so adorable watching him trying to woo Jaime who's been through a lot, and he tries to be all soft for her oh my god I can't stand it-

I screamed when I got approved for the ARC (book comes out Feb 20th!); I love Lucy Parker's Act Like It so much, and Pretty Face truly tops it. I screamed even more going in when I found that it has one of my favourite tropes in it: the age gap trope. Luc is a grumpy 40 year old theatre director while Lily is a twenty-something TV actress with West End dreams, and I adore their romance because of how they developed from mutual dislike to eh, I guess you're ok? to admiration to oh my god, what is this feeling in my chest?. I love their little touches (they can't stop touching each other!) and banter. It's never too early to say that this book is one of my favourite romance reads this year.

It's always the quiet ones... Okay so what does a health nut professor and a baker have in common? Nothing, it seems. Like Gracie, I thought I had James pegged but nope, he's totally different than what I expected him to be before I started reading his book. I love seeing James losing bit of his control when it comes to Gracie. Their health food vs cupcakes battle is always so entertaining. The reason why I love them so much is the way Gracie mellows James a bit and how James slowly convinces Gracie that she's the big picture girl.

Hashtag relationship goals, period. They're the Dream Team, the people everyone turn to for guidance, the ones with their shit together, the King and Queen of an 8-kid empire... Will I ever stop swooning at Connor's "You're not a pit stop. You're my finish line." line?

Disclaimer: We've both realized, in hindsight, that this list is sorely lacking in diversity and while we both read more diversely than this list reflects, contemporary romance is a genre that requires more effort and branching out on our part, unfortunately. We're hoping to focus more on diverse romance books this coming year and beyond, thanks for reading!

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