It is a truth universally acknowledged that picking favorites is difficult. So for this Valentine's Day, we have decided to do not one, not two, but three posts on our favorite romantic pairings, categorized by genre. The first of these posts is historical romance, where we share the lords and ladies that have made us fall in love. Consequently, we ended up choosing books from 4 specific authors that we both enjoy, though you'll see where our biases and favorites lie.
When we made our top 5 lists, we both ended up choosing this couple:
Evie and Sebastian from Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas
Eri: Devil in winter was one of my first historical romances I've probably read, it definitely has a cult status in the world of romance readers I think and it's probably the one book I freely rec to all of my friends. Watching Sebastian come to care for Evie and how sweet they are together is a delight and I pick this book up all the time, I dare say I've practically memorized all the scenes (this isn't an exaggeration.)
Lisa: I'm a big Sebastian St. Vincent fan; he's my top favourite historical romance hero. The reason why I love this couple so much is the way Sebastian, a true rake, fell for his wife more and more as their story progressed. He was so hopelessly in love by the end of the book it's just so entertaining to watch (and reread all over again).
Most of my favorite couples share a defining characteristics of angst, intense chemistry, and just being the sweetest and most gush-worthy but to add a few more details:
- Penelope and Bourne from Sarah MacLean's A Rogue By Any Other Name
If you've noticed, I have quite a few books by Sarah MacLean in here. I may have the slightest obsession with her books, especially A Rogue By Any Other Name, because it's both utterly romantic and devastating. Penelope and Bourne are childhood friends and when they reunite you get all the bittersweet flashbacks and emotions but also the angst because of who Bourne is now. "You always liked him best" and all the other variations of this sentiment/quote make me weepy and I just have a lot of feelings about this couple.
- Bea and Christopher from Lisa Kleypas' Love in the Afternoon
The Hathaways series is my favorite series from Lisa Kleypas, which is saying a lot since I've read all of her historicals, even her super early ones (they're quite...interesting.) Beatrix is possibly the sweetest heroine in the world and the family dynamics in this series are top-notch + the romance is delightful. Also Bea loves animals and she has the most adorable pets like a hedgehog, it's just great.
- King and Sophie from Sarah MacLean's The Rogue Not Taken
King is an utter asshole actually, even by regency standards, but I loved hate-love banter betwen Sophie and him. It wouldn't be a Sarah MacLean without the angst and mythological references and this book just took devastating to a whole new level. Also, the Talbot sisters were modeled after the Kardashian sisters, and it is so fun to read about them.
- Pippa and Cross from Sarah MacLean's One Good Earl Deserves a Lover
Pippa and Cross are just the cutest and sweetest, they're paired up so well and I felt so much for bluestocking Pippa. There's one scene where Pippa names Cross' bones to relax herself and it's just great. Anyway, you should read Sarah's books because they're awesome.
- Jane and Oliver from Courtney Milan's The Heiress Effect
I'm a little late on the Courtney Milan train, I'm sure Lisa will go into more detail, but Jane is such a wonderful heroine, so strong and such a queen, and seeing Oliver completely fall for her was the best. Courtney always has such incredibly complex characters and the slow-burn romance in this just breaks you.
I think what my favourite ships all have in common are great character banter, off the charts chemistry, and intense sexual tension, but let me say a few words on why I love them:
- Miranda and Smite from Courtney Milan's Unraveled
Miranda and Smite are my favourite female and male characters by Courtney Milan. I love that Smite, who has a boatload of issues and copes by limiting his feelings to a daily quota, become so emotionally unraveled when Miranda "comma" Darling enters his life. I love how they are together because they work; Miranda doesn't try to change him, and he learns that opening himself to caring and loving other people does not weaken him.
- Minerva and Robert from Courtney Milan's The Duchess War
One thing I really love about Courtney Milan's writing is the character banter. Minerva and Robert have that in spades. Also, two words: wedding night.
- Charlotte and Piers from Tessa Dare's Do You Want to Start a Scandal
Charlotte is probably my favourite Tessa Dare female. She is so full of life and fun she gives Piers a headache. She is also very smart and knows what she wants, and it's fun to read the exact point where Piers realizes that he can't contain her, and he's surprisingly fine with that. Did I mention that Piers is a secret agent?
- Pauline and Griffin from Tessa Dare's Any Duchess Will Do
Pauline is also another favourite of mine. She's a foul-mouth book-loving barmaid who is totally wrong for Griffin on paper, but is exactly what he needs otherwise. He hires her to sabotage his mother's matchmaking plans, and falls in love with her instead. Also, two words: role play. I love kinky couples, lol.
- Poppy and Harry from Lisa Kleypas' Tempt Me at Twilight
Harry is a type of an anti-hero that I love; he plays dirty to get what he wants, he is a straight-up shark and even he is helpless under the Hathaway charm. Poppy is no weakling either; I love that she gives back as good as she gets and never makes it easy for Harry to woo her.