Fiction Blog, Musings & Bookish Things

Ten of My Favorite Literary Couples

10 Favorite Literary Couples

In honor of Valentine’s Day and all the gushy feelings it brings, I thought I’d share some of my favorite literary couples. As always when I write one of these lists, this is by no means exhaustive. Honestly, if I tried to remember and rank every bookish couple I love (from romance novels and beyond), I don’t think I’d ever finish!

Some of these will be classic pairings that I’m sure you give you the warm-fuzzies, too. I’ve also tried to include a few lesser-known lovers, which I hope will encourage you to dive into a brand new romance. Fear not — I’ll keep it short and sweet, so you can get back to your own sweetheart (or your cat/wine/half-eaten box of chocolates — no judgment here!).

Inman and Ada MonroeCold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Beyond the fact that it is a beautiful classic about the Civil War, Cold Mountain sets off my long-distance romance waterworks. (My husband and I did long distance between Australia and the U.S. for two years, so I’m sucker for anything with lovers torn apart.) Despite the distance, Ada and Inman stay loyal to each other and persevere through personal hardships, all on the faith that they’ll one day reunite. Their love is truly admirable.

Daisy and Gatsby
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Jay Gatsby and Daisy BuchananThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Let me be clear: Gatsby and Daisy are horrible together, and that is exactly why I love their ill-fated romance. Gatsby is in love with the idea of Daisy (or at least who she used to be), so much so that he reinvents himself to earn her love. Daisy is in love with the idea of Gatsby, the charming boy he was and the mysterious man he’s become. But neither can love the real other. Their romance a great statement on what love should be, and makes for a dreamy ride while it lasts.

Josephine Grant and Elias Addison | A Man Above Reproach by Evelyn Pryce

In this saucy historical romance, the Duke of Lennox falls for the “Bawdy Bluestocking,” the mysterious piano player at the Sleeping Dove brothel. What I love about this book (besides the gorgeous 1830s London backdrop) is the interplay between the characters. Between witty banter, steamy scenes, and the rush of hiding from society, it’s quite the titillating tale!

Clarissa Dalloway and Sally Seton Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

A haunting tale that was ahead of its time. With a title like Mrs. Dalloway, you’d think the romance would be between a husband and wife, but the real love story lies in the past. Thirty years ago, Clarissa Dalloway shared a kiss with her friend Sally Seton, and she still considers it the happiest moment of her life. While unable to recognize the truth behind her feelings, Clarissa provides a meaningful look into the fluid nature of sexuality and what matters most about the people we love.

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Allie Nelson and Noah CalhounThe Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

Speaking of guilty pleasures, I’m ashamed to say that I own almost every Nicholas Sparks novel. But I will never be ashamed to own The Notebook. The best part of Allie and Noah’s romance is how it evolves over time. They experience the throes of young summer love, the ache of distance, the thrill of reuniting, and the depth of a lifelong partnership.

Anne Edmond and Mike EverettStart Me Up by Nicole Michaels

This is one of my guilty pleasure contemporary romances that really speaks to my Midwestern heart. A crafty single mom and a rough-around-the-edges mechanic fall in love. Will Anne be the one to finally get Mike to commit? I bet you can guess the answer, but there’s only one to find out for sure!

Martin and John | Martin and John by Dale Peck

Okay, so this one isn’t exactly a romance. In nearly every chapter, the characters of Martin and John are reimagined as different people in different scenarios. However, they are almost always shown as lovers. The entire novel works to paint a captivating and heartbreaking image of how love strengthens and collapses under the pressure of the 1980s-90s AIDS epidemic.

Dellwyn Rutt and Lord CollingwoodThe Courtesan’s Avenger by Kate M. Colby

I know, lame, but I couldn’t resist including my favorite couple to write! What I enjoy about Dellwyn and Lord Collingwood’s romance is that they try so hard to fight their chemistry, and yet they can’t help but be drawn to each other. Their relationship is clear-cut behind the Rudder’s walls, but outside, they struggle to agree on what it should be. I’m glad I was able to give them a little closer in this book.

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Buffy Summers and William “Spike” Pratt | Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Joss Whedon

Spoilers ahead, because this requires self-defense. A little unconventional and complete sacrilege to those on Team Angel, but hear me out. Spike loves Buffy even as a vampire without a soul, so much so, that he’s willing to go through hell to get his soul back and be the man she deserves. When Buffy is desperate in the comics, she turns to Spike (over Angel and her friends) time and time again. I could go on (trust me, I have), but suffice to say this is the No. 1 Vampire-Human romance. You can fight me in the comments, but you’re wrong.

Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

We were all waiting for this one, right? Since I probably don’t need to say anything about why Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy make for a wonderful couple, I’ll tell you a little secret. Though I admire Elizabeth’s fiery wit and headstrong nature, I’ve actually always identified more with Darcy. I do not have the talent of conversing easily with others, and my good opinion once lost is lost forever. As silly as it sounds, seeing him open himself up to love gave me hope that I could one day do the same … and hey, it worked out!

And there you have it! Now, I’m off to spend the rest of the day devouring chocolate roses (thanks, honey!), putting lovey-dovey puns into wine copy, and writing Aya Cogsmith and her Willem into swoon-worthy scenes. Feel free to share your thoughts on my list or add your own favorite couples in the comments!

Fiction Blog, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Geeky Things

Five Female Science Fiction Characters I Love

As a female Science Fiction fan (and author), I always adore seeing strong leading (and supporting) ladies represented in my genre. Some of them I admire and try to emulate in my personal life, and others provide a source of inspiration for my own characters. While I could name several fictional women I adore, I thought I’d start with a list of five.


1. Faith Lehane from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I’ve recently been brought into the Buffy fandom (I have to give my husband credit, or he’ll tease me.). Now, the obvious choice for a bad ass chick from Buffy would be Buffy herself, or even Willow — but let me tell you why I like Faith. For better or worse, Faith stays true to who she is, and refuses to change for anyone or anything. Despite the horrible things she’s experienced and done, she still maintains her spunk and works for redemption. Her flaws — lack of trust, ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ attitude — manage to play into her strengths — self-reliance, survival instinct — which makes her fabulously complex.

2. Juliette Nelson from the Silo trilogy

As many of you know, I’m working my way through Hugh Howey’s Silo trilogy, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite Science Fiction series. And my favorite character? Juliette Nelson. When the reader first meets Juliette, she is one of the silo’s most skilled mechanics (as my readers will know, I’m a sucker for females in mechanical fields). Without providing too many spoilers, I’ll say that Juliette has her world turned upside down. She is thrown into a life-threatening situation — and not only does she manage to survive, but she bypasses limits anyone thought possible and emerges as an incredible leader. Between her ingenuity, determination, and compassion for others, Juliette is admirable indeed.


3. Katherine ‘Kate’ Kane (aka Batwoman) from Batwoman (The New 52)

No — my love for Kate Kane isn’t just about her name (though, it is intensely satisfying that we share a nickname). What do I like about Kate? You mean besides the fact that she’s Batwoman? Well, she didn’t settle for being the damsel in distress. When Batman saved her, she took the inspiration and became a hero in her own right. She knows marshal arts, defends the innocent, and still embraces her feminine side. Another thing I like? The writer/artist behind Kate’s new incarnation (J.H. Williams III) chose to make her a lesbian — without making her a stereotype or a token. Yay for diversity!


4. Hadley Fenice from the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series

What kind of steampunk-writing indie would I be if I didn’t give a nod to one of my fellow author’s strong female characters? In Victorian-era England, Hadley Fenice knowingly (and successfully!) subverts gender norms. She makes a living by crafting automatons and prostheses (there’s that mechanic theme again), is generally unskilled at ‘feminine’ activities, and stands up for the education and reproductive rights of her fellow women. More personally, Hadley is deeply loyal to those she loves and never flinches in the face of danger — both traits anyone can admire.


5. Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road

As I’ve said before, I think writers have a lot to learn from the newest Mad Max film — not least of which how to include feminist themes within your work. If you’ve seen the movie, I probably don’t need to explain why Furiosa is bad ass. But, for the rest of you, let me share. In a society where women are reduced to being wives of an evil overload, providing milk for an army, or acting as slaves, Furiosa has worked her way into a respected, leadership position. Instead of turning against her fellow women, Furiosa uses her advantage to organize the rescue of the enslaved wives, and other than a few moments of assistance from Max, she does so pretty much on her own. She’s a hell of a driver, an equally talented shot, and does it all with a mechanical prosthetic arm. Another kudos for diversity!

Who are your favorite female Science Fiction characters? What qualities of theirs do you admire? Share your thoughts in the comments!