Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lovely Books // couples

Welcome to the second edition of Lovely Books! Last week, we gloried in the beauty of cover art and snappy titles. Today, the eve of Valentine's Day, is the perfect time to pull out the warm, fuzzy feelings and discuss lovely bookish couples.

This is a linkup hosted by yours truly. I'd love for you to join in! You can participate in as many or as few of the four editions of Lovely Books as you like, in whatever order you like. (Meaning you could write a post on couples today, and then decide to go back and do covers/titles tomorrow if you so wished. There are practically no rules.) Two more editions of Lovely Books are scheduled to come out on February 20th and 27th.

All I ask is that you use the Lovely Books picture provided in each edition, and then be sure to use the linky thingamabob so that others can find your bookwormy ramblings.

If you have any questions, ask in the comments! And if you don't have a blog, but can't resist participating anyway, feel free to comment with some of your favorite fictional couples.

Onwards! What follows are just ten of the character pairings that make me swoon.

Billy and Bonnie
(the Dragons in Our Midst story world by Bryan Davis)

Yes sirree, we're kicking off the list with my beloved anthrozils! (For those who've never read the books: firstly, anthrozils are half human, half dragon. Secondly, GET THEE TO A BOOKSTORE.) Billy and Bonnie grow so much over the course of the first twelve books. And a bit in the last four as well, though they're not as much in the spotlight. Anyway, their romance is so sweet and chaste and strong . . . I just love them. I love all of Bryan Davis's character couples, come to think of it. Billy and Bonnie are kind of the classic pair, though. They go through terrible circumstances side by side, standing up for each other, forgiving each other, and trusting each other.


Mr. Bingley and Jane Bennett
(Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

Admittedly, my brain latches onto the 2005 movie version of these two, not the book version--but still. They are completely adorable together. Jane is the sweetest thing, so quiet and reserved and eager to believe the absolute best about everyone. And Mr. Bingley gets socially awkward around her, in a very sweet way, just grinning in her presence. (See, I can't even remember how much of that is actually from the novel. Oops.)

The Dragon and Rose
(of Burning Thorns by Christine Smith; unpublished--for now, mwaha)
(click here to meet the cast, and over here to read some snippets)

It's no secret that I love Beauty and the Beast. Christine's retelling, originally a novella penned for the Rooglewood Press contest last year, has since grown into a full out novel (which I have the immense pleasure of reading now), and its protagonists are so. very. shippable. Sweet and sunny Rose comes traipsing into the life of the gruff, tortured soul dubbed 'The Dragon,' and, well . . . you can guess where that goes. A food fight scene from the novella remains one of my favorites of ever. After all the cold standoffishness on the Dragon's part, seeing him drop his guard long enough to get into a food fight is hilarious and heartwarming.

Eanrin and Imraldera
(Tales of Goldstone Wood series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl)

There's no way on this green earth that this couple wasn't getting a spot on this list. No way. Because theirs is perhaps the most amusing, most lovable, most infuriating relationship I've had the pleasure of reading. Eanrin, a self-absorbed Fae bard who spends much of his time in cat form . . . Imraldera, a--no wait, I shouldn't mention that--or that--ack, spoilers! Suffice it to say, she's a wonderfully deep character. Selfless and brave and somehow gentle and strong all at once. She and Eanrin take just a few days short of forever to even come close to realizing there might be some romantic possibility between them. Anyone who's read Shadow Hand can now join me in howling our fierce fangirly agony at the moon. (Though really, I wouldn't have this subplot any other way. Slow and layered and delightful is just right.)

Jonah and Felicity
(A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd)

I just finished this adorable Middle Grade novel this week. Yes, they're only eleven years old. But give them half a decade or more, and I will smoosh them together with great enthusiasm. Felicity Juniper Pickle is a downright spindiddly character, brimming with imagination and heart. And Jonah Pickett, her new, wheelchair-bound best friend? Well, he's like a spiky-haired bottle of sunshine, he is. He spends his time planning secret good deeds for the townsfolk. He's also an amazing encourager, always telling Felicity exactly what she needs to hear, exactly when she needs to hear it. I'm not ashamed to admit that they elicited more than a few happy squeals from this reader.

Charlie and Beth
(The Homelanders series by Andrew Klavan)

I'm a little fuzzy on the plot these two are involved in, being as I haven't read the books in a while. But I remember them. Charlie is a patriotic, selfless, brave guy; kind of like a young Captain America. Down to earth. Just wants to do the right thing. That kind of person. And Beth is an incredibly kind girl. I distinctly remember that when she talks with anyone, she focuses so intently on what they have to say that they feel like the only other person in the world; they feel like they truly matter. And I remember thinking, "Wow, I wish I was more like her." So. Throw in some amnesia on Charlie's part, and some terrorists out to get him and those he loves, and you're up for a fabulously exciting romantic subplot.

Paul Falcon and Ann Silver
(Full Disclosure by Dee Henderson)

If I remembered more of the O'Malley series, I might have picked one of those couples instead. Maybe? But seeing as this is the latest Dee Henderson books I've read, I'm going with Ann and Paul. They're 30-something, both involved in secret FBI sorts of things. Their romance is mature and level-headed, which is a gulp of fresh air after a smog of insta-love and "oh my goodness, I'm going to run away with that bad boy because he's hot and has anger issues!" (Yes, that's primarily a YA problem, and Full Disclosure is an adult novel, so I'm not really comparing apples to apples. But still.) Anyway. Paul is incredibly thoughtful. And Ann is a really introverted writer. I like 'em both rather a lot.

Luca and Lia
(River of Time series by Lisa T. Bergren)

While I love Gabriella and Marcello, the main duo, I really love Luca and Lia. In case you haven't heard of this series, the basic premise is that sisters Gabi and Lia time travel to medieval Italy through a magical Etruscan tomb. Adventure and romance and even some historical/political intrigue ensues. Luca's fabulous personality--all charm and laidback humor--meshes adorably with Lia's feisty-yet-tender soul. Their banter is all kinds of wonderful. Once again, it's been some time since reading it, so I don't remember specifics, but this quote on Goodreads jogged my memory:

Lia aimed, shifted, and waited, watching one man peek out time and time again. She let her arrow fly, anticipating his next peek at us, and it pierced his eye.

“Okay, that’s just going to make ’em mad,” I said.

“Three hundred and ninety-two,” she said to Luca, tossing her braid over her shoulder and taking aim again.

“Saints in heaven,” he said to me, rolling his eyes, “how much deeper in love can I yet fall?”

Told ya.

Cat and Anne Ross

(Isle of Swords duology by Wayne Thomas Batson)


Cat: a young man with amnesia (I seem to fall for the guys who can't remember their past . . .) and a dark history and plenty of internal struggles. Anne Ross: the firebrand daughter of a pirate, a girl who wants nothing more than to captain her own ship someday. (Anytime now, Dad, thank you.) How can I not ship two lovable pirates? Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Cat joins the crew. Anywhozens, these two are another one of those adorable pairs. A certain father does not approve of the relationship, by the way. (Bother. I need to stop picking couples from books I read long ago. I'm questioning every other sentence here. Correct me if I mess up the details!) Much delightfulness here. If any of you read the ending of Isle of Fire, you know how perfect that was!

Cor (a.k.a. Shasta) and Aravis
(The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis)

I wasn't intending to put them on this list. But I wanted an even ten couples, and as I was scanning my shelves in search of another romantic duo, Cor and Aravis came to mind. The main reason is this section of the book's final paragraph:
Aravis also had many quarrels (and, I'm afraid, even fights) with Cor, but they always made it up again: so that years later, when they were grown up, they were so used to quarreling and making it up again that they got married so as to go on doing it more conveniently. And after King Lune's death they made a good King and Queen of Archenland, and Ram the Great, the most famous of all the kings of Archenland, was their son.
Not that I think healthy marriages are founded on quarreling (heavens, no!--although disagreements are inevitable and should definitely be worked through), but something about this snippet strikes me as drily charming. And the fact that their relationship is strong enough to weather so many quarrels does speak volumes!


Here's the linkup form, if you care to join me in gushing over make-believe people in make-believe relationships. Feel free to mention only three couples. Or five. Or ten dozen. Whatever floats your boat! As I said, there are practically zero rules for this thing. Just have fun discussing whatever topic we're on! Oh, and if you're participating in more than one edition, please put your link in each time! I don't want to miss anyone's posts.

(Shout-out to Squeaks and Mary Horton for being my first-ever linkers for my first-ever linkup! Woot!)


  1. Billy and Bonnie, YES. I love that series so much :). My sister and I read some of those books so many times that the book cover wouldn't close anymore :D.

    The Dragon and Rose! I haven't read Burning Thorns, but from what I've seen on Christine's blog, I already LOVE them. So very much :D.

    Eanrin and Imraldera. Eanrin and Imraldera! *squeals* Oh, these two are some of my ultimate. Favorites. Ever. Plus, ya know, it's Eanrin, and he just so happens to one of my top-favorite characters, so ...

    I've been thinking about reading River Of Time and Isle Of Swords (especially Isle of Swords, I'm liking pirate books right now), and after reading this, I am convinced that I must :D.

    Great post, Tracey, I loved reading it!

    1. ME TOO! They were basically my teenagerhood. That's awesome that you and your sister read them so often. I think I'm due for a reread of all 12 books this year. :)

      They are so perfect! It really says something that you love them without having read Burning Thorns. ;D

      EANRIN FOREVER. He's just one of the best characters ever to exist.

      Yes, read both series! Isle of Swords/Isle of Fire are awesome books and some of my favorites of Batson's work. River of Time is also excellent, as long as you're cool with romance.

      Thanks so much, Savannah! Who are some of your favorite literary couples?

    2. It would be hard NOT to love Dragon and Rose!

      YES. Oh yes, Eanrin forever! He's so awesome, Anne Elisabeth should write another book about him and Imraldera :D.

      Favorite literary couples, hmm ... well, I really like Makilien and Sirion from Molly Evangeline's 'Makilien Trilogy', and of course, as aforementioned, Eanrin and Imraldera. And then there's Bet and Corwin from Savannah Jezowski's novella. Oh! and Pepin and Cecilia from Kaycee Browning's 'Esprit De La Rose' (I don't know if you would quite call them a couple but ...). I could go on :D.

    3. Totally agree!

      I would love books upon books about those two. But of course, I adore basically ALL her characters, and every book seems to equal or even outshine the last.

      I haven't read about any of those, sadly (except for Eanrin and Imraldera, of course), but I've been meaning to buy Five Enchanted Roses. I hear some of the couples in there are splendiferous. :D

  2. I am going to try to do this today, we'll see what happens.
    Dragon and Rose, Yes, these two are so cute.
    All great picks actually.

    1. *squeal* Oooh, I can't wait!
      They are just adorable. I love Beauty and the Beast types.
      Thanks for reading!

  3. AAAAHHHHH!!!! *squeals and throws confetti in the air and devours cake* Seeing this post made. my. day. I may or may not have squealed with delight because, ya know. COUPLES.

    Hehe, it's funny because I just did that movie couples post a couple weeks ago. Not I have an excuse to fangirl some more! ^_^

    Oh. My. GOODNESS. I love love love the couples you included! Billy and Bonnie are ADORBZ. (Though I must say, Walter and Ashley are my favorite couple Bryan Davis created :)) AND JANE AND BINGLEY. Oh my heart, I love them so much <333

    Ohhh, Dragon and Rose! I haven't read Christine's lovely novel yet, but from all the posts I've seen on her blog, they sound fantabulous.

    Eanrin and Imraldera look so adorable! I'm actually thinking about buying some of the Goldstone Wood books because you guys love them so much. Plus, my library doesn't have them (what's wrong with them?), and some of the books are on sale for 99 cents at (My bookish heart rejoiced exceedingly at seeing all the beautimous books on sale.)

    Luca and Lia are the cutest things! I love the River of Time series, and they're my favorite couple. SO. CUTE.

    OH MY GOSH, CAT AND ANNE! They are one of my favorite couples EVER. I may or may not have squealed when I saw that you included them. And can we talk about the ending to Isle of Fire?? Um, adorable much?? *flails in all the feels*

    JUST ASDGDJSLAH. I can't even handle all the cuteness.

    Also, I just realized I forgot to include the Lovely Books picture in my post. I'm already breaking one of the few rules you had, hehe. Oops :P

    1. Oh goodness, really? Such happiness!

      When I saw your film couples post, I was like, "Oh, that's almost like what I have planned." XD I'm glad you see it as an excuse for more fangirling, rather than as something redundant.

      I love Walter and Ashley too! Like I said, I could've made a list of just Bryan Davis characters. Elam and Sapphira, Nathan and Kelly, Adrian and Marcella... the list goes on.
      It was actually your post that reminded me how much I love Jane and Bingley, so thank you!

      THEY ARRRRE. <3

      *gasp* You mean you haven't read any Goldstone Wood books?? MARY HORTON, THIS SITUATION MUST BE FIXED. 99 cents--that's incredible.

      Yay, I'm not the only one who's read River of Time! Have you read those novellas that come after the trilogy? I haven't gotten my hands on those yet...

      "Adorable much," indeed! That's got to be one of my favorite endings. ^_^

      Hey, no problem at all! It's not really a 'rule.' I just like the idea of people using the same pictures, for whatever reason. Don't even feel bad. :) I'm just glad you linked up, darlin'!

    2. Gracious, I'm so late at responding. >.<

      Hehe, I'm ALWAYS happy to rave about my favorite couples!

      Yup, Bryan Davis always churns up the most delicious couples! Walter and Ashley and Adrian and Marcelle are my two favorites, but I love them all. ^_^
      Oh really? Haha, well you're welcome!

      I know, isn't it horrible?? I JUST received the books in the mail like 15 minutes ago, and I've been drooling over them because they look SO PWETTY.

      You're not alone! I've read all of the books (including the novellas) except the newest one, Deluge, which I just received for Christmas. (Oh, that was two months ago, wasn't it? Boy, does time fly >.>)

      Agreed! I re-read the ending to that book yesterday because I like it so much. XD

      Okay, good. I'm hoping to publish my couples edition sometime this weekend, although we'll see how that works out what with my cold and loads of geometry homework. THIS time I WILL use the picture, though! I'm not always a rebel ;)

    3. Not to worry! ^_^

      Walter and Ashley are hilarious and so lovable. And oops, I realized I misspelled Marcelle's name by putting an A instead of an E at the end. :P

      O.O YOU DID? That's awesome! Which ones did you order?

      Cool. :) I need to read those yet.

      D'awww. Yet another series I'd love to reread one day. (I hardly ever reread books. There are just so many good new ones... But I miss all my old favorites.)

      Fun, fun! Looking forward to that! But oh, my Mary has a cold? Feel better soon! *sends you tea* Geometry homework is bad enough without the sniffles.
      Heheh, rebel all you want. XD

    4. Don't even give it a second thought! I make typos like that all the time. (Like in my original comment on this post, I wrote "not" instead of "now." :P)

      I ordered all the ones that were on sale for 99 cents (2, 4, 5, 6) and book #1 because I wanted to be able to actually start reading them. I wish I could have gotten book 3 because I know once I start reading them that I'll be hooked. But ya know, I don't want to be TOTALLY broke so...

      I run into the same problem. I always want to reread books, but I have like a million new books that I want to read so it takes me forever to get back to my favorites. But I've read Isle of Swords three times and Isle of Fire twice because I love them so much. :)

      Aww, thanks, dearie! I'm feeling a little bit better now so that should hopefully make it easier to finish my homework.

    5. True, we all do it from time to time. :)

      That is an AMAZING deal. o.o I just went to the website now. With shipping, it would cost me $7.50 for one book. Phooey. That's still a better price than in a bookstore, but still. Anyway, I'm thrilled that you got so many of the books for such a great price! :D You'll have to tell me what you think of them!

      Too many books, not enough time. :)

      Aw, that's good. May your homework go well!

  4. *Bows and presents you with an award for naming off the most unique couples I've seen in any of this list*
    Seriously, I've hardly heard of any of them, and that's rare :) (The first two and the last two - that's all I'm familiar with)

    This sentence: "Their romance is mature and level-headed, which is a gulp of fresh air after a smog of insta-love and "oh my goodness, I'm going to run away with that bad boy because he's hot and has anger issues!" Snorted on my coffee. I can sadly inform you that this is no longer reserved for just YA. I've encountered it several times in adult novels recently. Whatever happened to relationships that took time and effort to develop, I wonder. *Sigh*

    I just saw your link-up post (great idea, btw!), and I am thinking about joining up if I have the time :)

    Great post!!

    1. It's that unique? Wow, thank you! I wasn't particularly trying to go for unique couples, just ones that I loved exceedingly much, but I like that I accomplished originality at the same time. XD

      *chokes* XD Wellll, it's kinda true in a lot of romances these days! Blegh, apparently not just YA. Seriously, authors, couldn't you take some page-time to develop those relationships realistically? That's why I love Ann and Paul so much. Paul actually takes the time to find out more about Ann before pursuing her. He talks to people who know her, he finds out what she's like, etc., to decide if this is someone he could see himself marrying. Thank you, Dee Henderson!

      Oh, that'd be wonderful! I'd love to see your post(s)! :D

  5. Would it be anathematic to say that when I read that infamous Shadowhand scene I threw back my head and howled- with wicked laughter?
    I tip my hat to Anne Elisabeth Stengl for really knowing how to keep readers hooked!

    Thanks for adding Shasta and Aravis, those two don't get enough credit. True, that paragraph about the arguing is a tad strange. But I like the growth in their characters.

    1. Not at all! When I read that scene, I was torn between my reader self and my writer self--agony and admiration. XD She really does know how to play with our hearts!

      I know, right? I never appreciated them until rereading The Chronicles of Narnia last winter. They're pretty great. :)

  6. This is uncanny. You are a mind reader!! I am not even sort of kidding when I say literally just a couple days ago I was thinking it'd be cool to make a list of my favorite book couples for a blog post. O_____O THIS IS PERFECT. It gets weirder though. As I was wondering who were my favorite couples, Cor and Aravis immediately came to mind, and I thought I should share the very snippet you did from the book. That's my favorite part of the entire Narnia series. It's just so hilarious and great. XD Best couple ever! Lol.
    But anyways, our brain twin level is getting SCARY. (I love it.)

    This post is just the best. I could gush over fictional couples for days.

    So much yes to Billy and Bonnie! You gotta love those precious babies.
    Mr. Bingley and Jane are ADORBZ. I feel like their romance is always shadowed by Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth's. But I mean, COME ON. Look at them! Mr. Bingley's smiley persona is too adorable, and Jane is just so NICE. Gah! Love 'em!

    Is that...that...?
    *falls over and dies*
    *dies again*
    I FEEL SO HONORED I JUST CAN'T. THANK YOOOUUUU!!!!! I'm thrilled you loved the food fight scene! Even after writing an entire novel, it's still to this day my favorite part between those two.

    Eanrin and Imraldera!!! YES. I haven't even read Shadow Hand and I adore those two. I NEED to read the rest of the series. I just love them so much!

    I'm ashamed to say I haven't read (or even heard of some) of the rest of the books on your list. But these all sound like such great couples! And I've been eyeing the River of Time series for a while now. Is it any good? I've seen mixed reviews, so I can never decide if to give it a shot or not, but that adorable snippet is piquing my interest very much! Did you like the books?

    Obviously I will HAVE to participate in this! I love it so much. (And I'm totally doing the cover/title one as well!) Except, again, it'll be so similar to your list. XD

    These linkups are just the BEST.

    1. ARE YOU FOR SERIOUS? This is just getting curiouser and curiouser, these brain twin/mindreading things! I love it too!

      Billy and Bonnie are very near to my heart. ^_^

      As much as I love Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, I love Jane and Bingley just as much! They're such a cute pair.

      That's them alright; they're on my list!! Because how could I NOT include the gruffest, saddest Dragon and his unflaggingly bright and magical Rose? <33333 So much love for those too! They deserve to be broadcasted to the world.

      Oh my goodness, Christine, Shadow Hand is possibly my favorite book of the series so far! You've read the first four, right...up to Starflower?

      Pshh, that's because some of them are rather obscure. XD But I won't hesitate to throw all those books onto your TBR pile!
      Ohhh, if you enjoy time travel and romance, you would DEFINITELY like River of Time! It's been a while since I read it, but they are fantastic. I loved them!

      Gahhh, that makes me a happeh dragon! XD I'm so glad you're enjoying them and planning to participate!

  7. Ooh, this was neat! I went and wrote my own blog post for it right away. :)

    All these books look really interesting. I was familiar with the first two and the last one, but all the others are unexplored territory to of yet. :)

    1. I saw it--splendid list! :)

      Oh, then I must send you trotting off to the Tales of Goldstone Wood series. *evil chuckle* Those are some of my absolute favorites. Rich worldbuilding, intensely lovable characters, and beautiful allegory (not the kind that jumps around yelling, "Look at me, look at me, can you guess what I mean?" but the really GOOD kind).

  8. Meep! They're all fantastic :D And I applaud the inclusion of Eanrin and Imraldera <3 they're amazing; I really wish Stengl would write more about them (like several books more - I can't get enough of Eanrin).

    1. I could go on and on about some of them, especially Eanrin and Imraldera. ^_^ I've heard that we'll eventually get more of them--it's just a matter of time. Yes, several more books about them would be glorious!

  9. I love Shasta and Aravis and their friendship-cum-relationship. The Horse and His boy is one of those books that just makes me all happy inside. :)

    1. Me too. :) Oddly, I didn't like THaHB very much as a child. I got tired of all the "Great Tashban, may he live forever" stuff. And perhaps I wasn't used to the Arabian-esque setting? But I enjoyed it MUCH more when I reread it!

  10. Good picks! I love Shasta and Aravis. ^ ^ I need to reread the Horse and His Boy. It's one of my favorite of the series. And Billy and Bonnie, and Jane and Mr. Bingley. Yes! Such good couples. ^ ^ Some of my favorite couples not listed are Peeta and Katniss, and Aragorn and Arwen. ^ ^

    1. Thanks, Tori! The Horse and His Boy is wonderful, isn't it? (As are all the Narnia books, of course.) Hooray for DIOM and P&P!

      I really debated including Katniss and Peeta, but because I'm a *little* bit torn in regards to Gale, I didn't. XD I know Peeta's gentleness brings out the best in her, but I always felt sorry for how Gale ended up. Aragorn and Arwen--ah, they are amazing. ^_^

      Thanks for commenting, and sorry for my late response. :)


    I really need to reread Narnia, it is well overdue!

    1. Isn't it splendid? I just adore The Chronicles of Narnia. I reread them last winter for the first time in yeeeaars, and was blown away all over again. ^_^

  12. Tracey! Hi! I feel awful I never joined up with this DELIGHTFUL linkup series of yours, or remembered to comment, but I did enjoy reading them! :D So much fuuuun. ^_^

    And I am mostly popping over here because did you know that there's another sequel to Isle of Swords and Isle of Fire??? I read Isle of Swords forever ago and oddly am having a difficult time remembering it myself (so you're not alone!) and I'm still dying to get my hands on Isle of Fire, buuut I saw some friends today adding a book on Goodreads which is a short sequel thingamy to the first two books and is called Isle of Stars and it JUST came out, so on the off chance that you didn't know about it yet, I just needed to tell you about it, especially as it is free on Kindle! :D *shares link*

    Anyways, loverly post, loverly couples, and BEAST AND ROSEEEEE!!!! <3 *loves them so much*

    1. Hi! *waves* Don't feel awful! In fact, if you did still want to join up (not that you have to at ALL, it's only IF)--you could totally put up a late post and just leave your link in a comment. I wouldn't mind in the least. :) But I'm really glad you enjoyed them all! :D

      I just read Wayne Thomas Batson's post about that yesterday! I had no idea he'd even been planning to write a sequel. O.O But it's about Cat and Anne so OBVIOUSLY I need to read it. Thanks so much for thinking about me, girl! <3

      *cries happy tears over Beast and Rose* (And I belatedly realized that Teague and Meridian completely deserve a spot on this list too. Just so ya know. Because they're awesome and I adore their banter. <3)