Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, each week there is a specific theme for the list. This week is our favorite love stories found in books, here is my list (in no particular order):
1. Creidhe and Keeper in Foxmask by Juliet Marillier. I am a sucker for Marillier romances, it doesn't matter that they are all somewhat similar-I love them every time. I think I might like Paula and Stoyan from Cybele's Secret even more...now that I am thinking about it.
2. Jane and Silver in The Silver Metal Lover, which I kind of discussed briefly here. According to Amazon.com it is a tale of transforming love, a tearjerker, about a robot who seems to fall in love with a human girl who loves him passionately-but is it really just his programming? Naturally, it ends tragically.
3. Lucy Snowe and M. Paul Emanuel from Charlotte Bronte's Villette. Although I hesitate to add onto this list what I think of as a semi-unhealthy relationship with vastly unequal status being accorded to the female half, it is certainly a passionate and "natural" romance that builds slowly, and unexpectedly under Lucy's feet throughout the whole novel.
4. Fiona and Reed in The Safe-Keeper's Secret by Sharon Shinn. I think I really like the dynamic of "growing up together," even though it does come a smidgen close to incest in most contexts. I liked the romance and the twist in this novel however, and only felt slightly awkward when brother and sister became something more romantically involved. That's a good storyteller I suppose.
5. Mirasol and The Master from Chalice by Robin McKinley. This is a Young Adult book, I found it to be overly simple, and most pages were expanding on world building and inner dialogue-not any sort of plot development. However, the imagery surrounding the two love birds was wonderful. The Master is, not only the Master of the feudal territory, but also death and flame incarnate-he sears people to the bone with the softest touch. Mirasol is a barefooted (hippie-type) bee keeper who is suddenly called upon to act out a ritualized part as Chalice. I was tempted to include Beauty and the Beast from Beauty, also by Robin McKinley, but felt that this version of the Beauty and the Beast tale was more stylized and fun.
6. Unnamed protagonist and Hatta in Biting the Sun by Tanith Lee.
I admit it's been several years since I've read this particular novel. However, I do recall Hatta being quite a sweet and romantic being, far more into emotional connection than sexual attraction (as evidenced by his tendency to adopt monstrous bodies). The protagonist continually rejects him as anything but a friend, but when she is exiled he follows her in a new body which she does not recognize, and finally wins her over. He probably deserved better, but he was such a sweet character.
7. Jena and Gogu in Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier
I only meant for one Marillier book to be included here, as the romances do tend to blend together in her novels, but really...I'm weak willed and want to include a second one. This romance is derived from "The Princess and the Frog" and occurs within a whirlwind of activity, including fairies, vampires, forbidden love, crumbling households, and hostile takeovers of the family home by a relative.
8. Charlotte and Randall in A Curse As Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce
This retelling of Rumpelstiltskin has a host of problems as far as plot development and historical accuracy (well, at least I had issues with) but the romance between Charlotte and Randall was quite sweet. Charlotte is a rather cliched strong willed woman trying to make it in a man's world and take care of her community, and Randall is a city banker who goes above and beyond to help her and win her heart.
9. Lizzy and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I really have nothing to add.
10. Shahrazad and the King in The Storyteller's Daughter by Cameron Dokey
While the basic premise of this romance is rather sickening (it is a retelling of a Thousand and One Nights/Arabian Nights, which is based around a murderous king and a selfless women who tries to stay his killing of girls by stringing him along with wonderful stories) it comes off as rather sweet and enlightening in this young adult novel.