Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke & The Bookish.
Sure, it's a made up holiday (and my husband reminds me every year about how much he hates made up holidays), but HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY ANYWAY.
And I get it. If you don't have someone to celebrate with, it's lousy. You feel like everyone else has someone but you. If you do, you feel pressure to come up with some great idea but end up fighting a million other couples trying to get into the some restaurant with what's supposed to be a special menu but is NEVER that special. If Facebook weren't already miserable enough right now, here's another reason.
But still and all, it's a Tuesday, and it's Valentine's Day. Of course we have to write about romance.
I've missed the past few Top Ten Tuesdays, I hope you can forgive me (you can see my last one though, on Polarizing Novels). One topic was too tough and the other I just forgot to do. (I also did Top 5 Wednesdays, instead, on Other Things That Bring Us Joy and Book Trends That Need To GTFO.)
I love romance books and stories and movies. I love getting lost in them. True, I've read some truly terrible ones that embarrass me to own up to. But, obviously, there are some great romances out there or we wouldn't bother. Here's to those!
Top Hate-To-Love Romances
One of the most used and most loved and hated of the romance tropes is the hate-to-love. They start out bitter enemies and then swoooooooon, they're mad for each other. This is probably one of my favorite tropes for sure, and here are a few standouts:
I mean, duh. If someone can't get behind the intense hatred and passion of the Darcy-Bennet love affair, then I just don't know what to say. And, for the record, I will also throw my hat into the Joe Wright/Kiera Knightley/Matthew Macfadyen ring every time.
I'm not trying to spoil anything for anyone, and it also isn't like all of the Throne of Glass books aren't full of hate-to-love relationships (or all of SJM for that matter). I could have added almost any one of them (and don't think I'm not dying to officially add Elide and Lorcan to this list). But the slow burn of this book (no pun intended) is so great, and the relationship between Aelin and Rowan has such a fierce foundation. I can't get enough.
These covers are definitely pretty silly, but I loved this trilogy about fallen angels and bad influences and reluctant party girls. And I definitely love Kaidan and Anna's tortuous romance. The Christian undertones are not always so much undertones, but what can you do with an angel tale?
I actually didn't make it all the way through this series (I think I have just the last one to read!), but Jace and Clary definitely kept me coming back for a long time.
If you can do a list of your favorite hate-to-love romances and not include Buffy & Spike, then get outta here!
Favorite Forbidden Romances
Ahh, the forbidden love trope. When done well, not much can beat it. Whether it's a professor, the attending at the hospital where you work, a friend's older/younger sister/brother, the long-estranged step-sibling, what's not to love about love that gets a little weird and defies all odds?!?
I've written about this book before and, honestly, I think it's time for a reread of Unteachable by Leah Raeder/Elliot Wake. This is more than just a teacher/student forbidden romance. It's gorgeously written, steamy as hell, and utterly engrossing. I never actually wrote a for-real review of it, so I'll reread and write that up for you guys stat.
Here's another one I've written about before. I just can't get over this series and how completely perfect it is. Honestly, the romance between Karou and Akiva is a suuuuuuuper slow burn, but it's also a gorgeous star-crossed love.
Ugh this story. It's so beautiful and tragic and hot and awful. For this one, try either the book or the movie--both will break your heart in the best way.
Just Cute Romantic Favorites
Sure, it's a made-up holiday, but here are a few more of my romantic favorites.
I just recently read Grin & Beard It (what a name!) by Penny Reid. It was my first by her, and it was so silly and fun I read it in a single afternoon. The others in the series have equally goofy names, and I'm sure I'll be reading more.
Anna & The French Kiss was almost too cute. I held off reading it for a long while because it seemed like it might be too cheesy. It was such a fun, breezy, sweet contemporary though, and it sucked me right in.
I love Elle Kennedy's New Adult romances so much. I don't even know quite how it happened--these Off-Campus books are about hockey. WTF do I know, or care, about hockey? Nothing, as it turns out, but that doesn't matter! Just sit back and enjoy the ride!
Today's Top 10 post included a bit more than ten books, but I hope you saw some old favorites or found what may become new ones. Have some thoughts about my list? Let me know what you think by tweeting at me or shooting me an email at whatshesread @ gmail dot com.
Thanks again to The Broke & The Bookish for another Top Ten Tuesd ay.