There are always those certain couples in novels that live in your head rent-free. Sometimes it sneaks out of nowhere, the warm fuzzy feeling of your favorite scenes you read a while ago. Other times you just finished a book and can’t find what to do with your life anymore. Perhaps there is a hole in your heart, an emptiness from the space you made for these two, and must now let go.
The right kind of romance novel can have us kicking, crying, laughing, and throwing our book at the wall after every little bump in the road for our destined-to-be-forever couple… if done right, of course. I simply would like to say there are other books out there. Fun exciting couples are waiting to be read. So, I would like to share some of my top perfect pairings that live in my head on repeat.
These are my top five favorite couples to root for:
1. Divine Rivals By Rebecca Ross – Iris and Roman
Iris Winnow is a fighting journalist who starts writing letters to her brother after he is brought into the Gods’ war… But soon enough… someone writes back. And it’s not her brother… The writer is no one other than her rival journalist—Roman Kitt.
These two rivals eventually start to develop an adorable head-butting relationship. And since they are mostly writing letters to each other, there are so many elements in this story that are utterly heartwarming.
You get the banter. Rivalry. Slow-burn romance compelling you to keep turning the pages and never glance up. As this couple pours their hearts onto the letters, the words take on a life of their own, weaving a narrative with a depth and beauty that’s utterly captivating. Their bond evolves with each page, creating a connection that’s as profound as it is heartwarming. It’s not just a romance; it’s a journey.
This book has such a whimsicalness and enchantment to the magic system. It is so soft and minuscule while still binding these two rivals together.
I am convinced the magical wardrobe is their biggest shipper.
2. The Love Hypothesis By Ali Hazelwood – Olive and Adam
Our story of Olive, an academic researcher, starts in the middle of her kissing a random guy she snatched from the hallway. Little did she know it was a professor… Dr. Adam J. Carlsen. Excuse me, Dr. Adam “Jerkass” Carlsen. But then again, he has many names due to his “antagonistic and unapproachable” personality.
To be fair, she only did it to show her best friend Ahn that she had moved on from her ex so Ahn could in turn feel comfortable dating him. So, yeah, kissing a professor isn’t ideal… but fake dating? Now that could solve both of their problems.
When I say I had a fun time reading this book. It was a FUN TIME!
Their banter? Exquisite. The pace? Riveting. Every line and subtle glance? Glorious.
Not to mention that Olive’s internal thoughts officially deems her as the most quirky and hilarious person you will ever read.
They are so freaking adorable! Each interaction and smile somehow makes your heart melt. And don’t get me started on Olive when she rambles on and on, all the while Adam simply admires her with his stupidly cute dimples. When he interrupts her, it’s only ever to reassure her that he validates every emotion and thought in her chaotic mind. Sure, they have some bumps, and parts they hold back. But there is no denying that these two are golden!
3. A Court of Mist and Fury By Sarah J. Maas – Feyre and Rhysand
I believe it is mandatory to talk about this couple. They are the epitome of fated mates.
Rhys shows her the power she holds, the support she needs, the choices she has, and how to find her place in the aftermath of book one (A Court of Thorns and Roses). He takes her compassion and ideas with deep consideration. Even though Feyre has always been strong, Rhysand grants her safety in her vulnerabilities. He gives her a home. A family of friends. A life worth painting.
This couple is all about seeing each other as equals. When trouble inevitably comes their way, which is quite frequent, they fight each battle hand-in-hand. They are each other’s rock amid the raging storms.
4. Love, Theoretically By Ali Hazelwood – Elsie and Jack
If you are questioning if I did, in fact, place another Ali Hazelwood book on this list. You would be correct. But how can I not!? This couple is too lovable!
You fall in love with these characters on page one. She hates him. He’s constantly amused. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a little fun romance.
The longing is palpable. You can feel it rip through the page and clench your heart. Elsie’s internal monologues, the things she would keep to herself before saying something else out loud, had me laughing out loud. And what would Jack do when she did this? Call her out on her bullshit!
Jack’s straightforward attitude in telling her exactly what he thinks and desires is done in the most sincere and almost heart-melting way. All the while she slowly starts to realize he is the one person who loves her just as she is… the “real” Elsie Hannaway.
They are hilarious, possibly ridiculous, but perfect for each other all the same.
5. Once Upon a Broken Heart By Stephanie Garber – Evangeline and Jacks
In this series, you will feel every emotion you didn’t even know existed.
Evangeline and Jacks are not exactly besties at the beginning. She believes in fairytales and the magical idea of true love. Jacks believes… well, she doesn’t quite know what Jacks wants from her other than three kisses. Yet, time and time again Evangeline is forced to rely on him. And over that time Jacks is either telling her exactly what she needs to hear, deceiving her, or following her to the ends of the earth… or maybe all of the above?
They are a beautifully done couple, changing and forming into each other’s other half. Their exchanges of playful bickering and banter only conceal the genuine emotions simmering beneath the surface. They fight about how much they “hate” each other, only to shield their true hearts. They are somehow always there when the other is in need, finding a way back to each other with burning friction and tension.
Is Jacks a villain? Not exactly. Is he good? Maybe not entirely.
What that we know is Jacks will do anything in the world to protect his Little Fox from danger. All the while, our Evangeline grows to understand the true meaning of heartbreak and love because of her Prince of Hearts.
Plus, the nickname!? Little Fox!? I was kicking my feet at 3 am. It is a slow-burn enemies-to-lovers-to-friends-to-enemies-to-allies-to-enemies-to-lovers… and it is worth every page!
All in all, romance books make the world better off with than without them. So what if they keep you well past your bedtime, kicking your feet, squealing in giggles, and creasing those stupidly wide grins? It is so worth it!
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