Happy (late) Valentine’s Day, everybody! Whether you shared your day with a romantic partner, your best pals or family (relatives/blended/chosen) I hope you had a wonderful time filled with love. If you didn’t celebrate with anyone, then I’m sending some hugs and kisses and imaginary chocolates your way and I hope you know you’re loved!
In honour of (late) Valentine’s Day, here is a bonus post about my favourite couples from novels I love!
Lily Evans & James Potter – Harry Potter Series
I recently binged the Potterless podcast and it reignited my love for all things Potter! I like all the canon couples and feel like everybody ended up with the right person in the end (I’m counting the movies and including Neville and Luna in that – sorry Scamander Jr) but my favourite was always Lily and James.
Maybe it was because the details of their relationship were scattered throughout the books, so a lot of it is filled in with fan theory, but I love the idea of a sort of vintage 70s Hogwarts as the backdrop to their romance.
I love couples who bicker and we can see that they did their fair share of that! Harry inherited a fiery temper, quick wit and penchant for sarcasm from somewhere, so it’s generally assumed they’re traits of one or both of his parents so I can imagine their relationship was far from quiet.
I also find it fascinating that they went from Lily despising James to having a love so strong that James was willing to sacrifice himself to Voldemort in order to give Lily time to try get away, as well as Lily loving her son, half of James, so deeply that it created a magic that saved him from the most powerful dark wizard in the world. That’s a pretty big turnaround in a relatively short amount of time (which they also spent in the Order being BADASSES) and I shall continue to pray for the Marauders Netflix series we deserve.
“Oh, well, he always made a fool of himself whenever Lily was around, he couldn’t stop himself showing off whenever he got near her.”
Lizzie Bennet & Fitzwilliam Darcy – Pride and Prejudice
The couple that launched a thousand romcoms! I’m two for two on couples where the woman initially dislikes the man and then comes round in the end… I think that officially makes it a trope.
Lizzie and Darcy initially seem like chalk and cheese; they are from different social classes, have different opinions on frivolous activities like dancing and don’t see eye to eye on anything, including their opinions on Jane and Bingley’s relationship and George Wickham’s reputation. In fact, the only thing they have in common is their disdain for each other.
Despite his better judgement, Darcy ends up falling for Lizzie, expressing his feelings in a sadly comical scene where she basically tells him to swivel. Thinking that is that, Lizzie ends up finding they have a lot more in common than they first thought and that under his snooty exterior, Mr Darcy is a pretty sound guy with a big heart and a lot of social awkwardness.
They both love to meddle and constantly think they’re in the right – ie, Darcy pulling Bingley from Jane because he thinks she’s a golddigger, which is actually a sign of his loyalty to his pal – so I imagine their marriage to be full of all sorts of well-meaning hijinks that they muddle through together.
“You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.”
Charlotte Holmes & Jamie Watson – Charlotte Holmes Series
I’ve expressed my love for these two all over book twitter and recently in my review of The Case For Jamie but it is worth mentioning again because I love the exploration of mental health through their relationship as well as the maturity they both have to step away when they need to.
These are two seriously stressed out kids, each coming with a list of triggers and mental health warnings. Charlotte had a seriously fucked up childhood as well as being a rape survivor, while Jamie has PTSD from all the violence his friendship with Charlotte has brought onto him. They also have the added pressure of being the descendants of one of the most famous duos of all time and a history of passionate family drama.
They’re obsessed with each other, but in an intensely unhealthy way as they rely on each other in ways they’re not emotionally equipped to deal with. Jamie idolises Charlotte and is frustrated she cannot open up and return his feelings; Charlotte wants Jamie as more than a partner, but is so focused on her detective work that she often leaves him in the dark and makes him feel stupid.
Spending time apart is the best thing they can do, as well as individually seeking help for their own traumas. Their relationship shows that you need to love yourself before you can deal with intense emotions for someone else, but also that the other person will be there on those days when even liking yourself feels a bit too hard.
The final book in the Charlotte Holmes series comes out later this year and I honestly am so excited to see what happens to these kids now that they have worked through a lot of their issues, both together and separately.
“The two of us, we’re the best kind of disaster. Apples and oranges. Well, more like apples and machetes.”
Percy Jackson & Annabeth Chase – Percy Jackson & The Olympians/The Heroes of Olympus
I’m sensing a theme here that my favourite kind of relationship is a smart, tough, badass woman being with a guy is fairly in awe of her with a lot of bickering and tension thrown into the mix. Percy and Annabeth definitely tick these boxes!
One of my favourite parts of this relationship is how we see is span years – they initially meet at age twelve so obviously nothing romantic is going on there. They don’t even especially like each other that much to start with, but their friendship soon blossoms and you notice little hints from around the third novel that they are beginning to become interested in each other as more than friends (I say ‘little’ hints – like the plot of The Titan’s Curse isn’t Percy going on a massive quest purely to rescue Annabeth, who he is constantly thinking about, dreaming about and generally battling on for).
It’s a sweet slow burn, but the wonderful thing is we get to see more! So many book series end on their protagonists finally getting together and for a hot second it looked like this one would too – then Rick Riordan, blessing that he is, announced a new set of novels based in the same world that ended up incorporating Percy and Annabeth and, as a result, their relationship into.
After seeing them side by side as friends, going on quests and messing about at camp, it was lovely to see that same dynamic but with bonus material – kisses, declarations of love, talks about their future. Even better, their dynamic didn’t change just because they were dating; they still respected and trusted each other above all else, while teasing and prodding and duelling as they always had.
Annabeth’s voice caught on the word friend. Percy was a lot more than that. Even boyfriend really didn’t cover it. They’d been through so much together, at this point Percy was part of her–a sometimes annoying part, sure, but definitely a part she could not live without.
This is a super hetero post in retrospect which I think is just a sign we need (and I need to read) more rep across mainstream media! There are books I love with a variety of couples across all sexualities – Simon Vs, Gentleman’s Guide, Ramona Blue, to name a few – however, I wouldn’t consider them to be ships that I actively pursue as a fandom.
Hopefully this year I’ll read more diversely (which I’m actively trying to do!!) and find some more forever favourites when it comes to romantic couples that have a broader range of sexuality.
In the meantime I hope you enjoy this post and if you do have some recs for non-hetero couples for me to get crazy invested in, absolutely hit me up!
Who are your favourite couples from books? Do you agree with mine, or do you think they should have ended up with different people? And again, do you have any LGBT+ couples you love? Let me know in the comments!
ALSO, if you enjoyed this post please check out The Book Rec Lottery! A new feature on my blog where you can recommend your favourite books based around a theme; this month we want to know books you’d recommend to someone who doesn’t like reading!