Hello everyone! I hope you’re having a great start to your week. I wanted to do a romance orientated top ten whilst it was still February. The Top Ten series is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, so don’t forget to check out their blog to participate in future topics!
I definitely have a slight hierarchy of my favourite couples, but I really do love all of these jellybeans and I’d read every book on this list again in a heartbeat because of them.
Auden and Delphine
A Lesson in Thorns by Sierra Simone
Auden and Delphine are on this list because I love them in theory and this book doesn’t really give you a great romance between them. I understand its about exploring polyamory, but Auden’s stony and protective temperament and Delphine’s cheery nature speak to all the things I like in romance books. Also it’s so rare to to get amazing plus size rep in romance and it makes me wish these two were at the centre of it.
“I bloom like a rose when I’m handled like a weed.”
Quinn and Lacey
Casting Lacey by Elle Spencer
I really love a fauxmance and this sapphic slow burn between actresses was no exception. These 30 somethings act like 20 year olds, so it really appeals to the immature b**ch in me.
Addison and Elijah
Getaway Girl by Tessa Bailey
Getaway Girl is possibly the only friends to lovers contemporary romance on my list. This small town romance is between Addison, who is somewhat a pariah in town because of her families past. And Elijah, who is from a powerful family and future mayor of the town. Watching these two navigate the small town quarrels and family drama, whilst becoming best friends and falling in love was so rewarding.
Riden and Alosa
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
I could read 10 more books about Riden and Alosa’s enemies to lovers pirate romance. The setting isn’t innovative, but it’s so much fun! Their romance mostly relies on banter, but the second book in the duology is waaay steamier and I was here for it.
Emma and Julian
The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare
Emma and Julian are my favourite couple in all of Cassandra Clare’s series set in Shadowhunter world. I love their fierce protectiveness of each other and their familial bond between them is so strong. The normal gender roles also feel a little reversed too, Julian is the unrelenting caretaker of his family, whilst Emma is the next Jace Herondale and great Shadowhunter warrior. These two compliment each other so well and Cassandra Clare puts them through so much over the trilogy, she literally breaks your heart (a few times…) only to put it back together. And it is SO worth it.
“You are all that exists on the earth and under the sky that I do love.”
Summer and Fitz
The Chase by Elle Kennedy
The bubbly woke blonde and the tattoo-covered, hockey-playing nerd-jock? Yes. Please. I’m being really superficial about this, because this book is about than a fun filled romance with a healthy amount of angst, it touches on sexual assault, slut shaming and girl on girl hate. This book and the characterization of its characters make it such a gem in the NA genre.
Rhys and Feyre
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
I know I’m late to the hype of this series, I only got around to reading and reviewing this year. I loved these two idiots and their enemies to friends to lovers romance. Sarah J. Maas just had me eating out of the palm of her hands, and she god damn well knows it.
Lou and Reid
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin
I’ve raved enough about Serpent & Dove since I read it a month ago, so I won’t annoy you guys anymore. But this book is everything I love about fantasy romances and it made me so reminiscent of Nina and Matthias’ dynamic in Six of Crows.
“Now move, or I swear to God, I will strip naked right here and dance the bourree!”
I thrust my hands on my hips and looked at him expectantly.
He didn’t even glance at the people around us.
Instead, he kept his eyes trained on mine, a slow smirk spreading across his face.
Misha and Ryen
Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
Punk 57 is still one of the most unique romances I’ve ever read. Misha and Ryen’s enemies to lovers romance is also one of the nastiest romances I’ve ever read, like they are literally downright mean to one another. (I try to explain my reasoning for why I like them in my review, but really I’m just trash). The crazy tension, with just the right amount of sweet and tender moments helps.
Asher and Olivia
Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd
My favourite dynamic in romance at the moment is the grumpy bum and the cheery cherub. Which is literally this book… Asher is Olivia’s grumpy boss, whilst Olivia spends majority of this book drunk on Christmas cheer. It’s fluffin’ adorable. This book is rife with hilarious banter and dialogue, which is Ashley Shepherd’s speciality.
‘It’s hardly unethical for two consenting adults to be involved.’
‘I don’t recall consenting to being involved with you.’
‘I don’t recall consenting to being your personal bagel delivery girl and yet, here we are.’