This week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is to reveal my “Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who _________.” I’ll admit this one was hard. You mean I get to fill in the blank? What topic should I choose? UGH! The possibilities were endless. So after giving it some thought, I decided to choose books which feature characters who found love where least expected. I don’t mean found love with the boy (girl) next door that used to be a geek, but now is super hot. I mean found love across different dimensions, in an opposing faction or species, with a supposed enemy, an angel, or at a group therapy session. A love that was not being looked for, or even necessarily wanted. Though once these people found each other, they never could imagine someone else who would be a better fit for them. Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this weekly meme. Hopefully it goes without saying that the list below may contain spoilers, so be warned! And without further ado, here’s my list of the “Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who Found Love Where Least Expected!”
1.) Jamie & Claire Fraser – Outlander Series
Jamie and Claire meet after Claire finds herself 200 years back in the past following a freak accident. An English woman wandering around the Scottish Highlands, Claire was mistaken for an English spy, and captured by a group of clansmen. Among the group was Jamie. The two grow to like each other as friends, and eventually (through a series of events) get forced into marriage. A situation born of necessity turns into something more that neither expected. Claire, a 20th century woman, learns to navigate the 18th century, and must decide whether she should remain with her new love, or try to return home to her time and the husband waiting for her there. This couple’s love story spans 8 books to date, and is about two people who desperately love each other. After reading about them, how can you settle for less?
“I want him.” I had not said that to Jamie at our marriage; I had not wanted him, then. But I had said it since, three times; in two moments of choice at Craigh na Dun, and once again at Lallybroch. “I want him.” I wanted him still, and nothing whatever could stand between us.” ― Diana Gabaldon, Voyager
Adrian and Sydney fell in love against their better judgement. They’re nothing alike. Adrian Ivashkov is a Moroi (vampire), royalty, alcoholic, manic-depressive who spent his time with women and booze. Sydney Sage, however, is a type-A, studious human whose chemical of choice is caffeine. As an Alchemist it was Sydney’s job to clean up the messes Moroi left behind, and the number one rule was to never, ever get close to them. That all changed when the two were forced to work together, and had to pretend to be siblings on their assignment. Once they got to know each other, they shrugged off all conventions and were willing to give up everything (family, friends, possibly the crown) for love. They didn’t just complete each other, but made one another better, and proved that bigotry operates in ignorance, that you must fight for what you want, and love can conquer all.
“Being with you is the best thing that’s ever happened to me, the one perfect decision I’ve made in a lifetime of fumbling and poor judgment. I’d go through it all again to be by your side. Never doubt that. Never doubt how I feel about you.” ― Richelle Mead, The Ruby Circle
Like Adrian and Sydney, Magnus and Alec fell in love despite being “enemies.” Magnus is a warlock who is considered to be evil because of his parentage, and not his actions, while Alec is a Shadowhunter. A race of beings defended from angels who hunt vampires, demons, and yes, warlocks. At first their relationship was secret due to their age differences (Magnus may be 200 years old), and Alec just learning to accept his sexuality. Later, forced do deal with the various skeletons in their respective closets, the two decide that nothing is worth being apart. Since they aren’t the typical love at first sight YA romance, Magnus & Alec’s relationship supersedes Cary & Jace’s in my heart, as their struggle to be together seem more realistic.
“Even if it were just days, I want to spend them all with you. Does that mean anything?”
“Yes,” Magnus said. “It means that from now on we make every day matter.”
― Cassandra Clare, City of Heavenly Fire
4.) Sam & Grace – The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy
Another cross-species romance on the list is Sam & Grace from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. Sam is a werewolf who falls in love with a human girl. Stealing glances at her as a wolf in the winter, Sam longs to forge a relationship with Grace in the summers when he’s in human form, but it seems futile. Suffice it to say, these two finally do come together, and must figure out a way to be together. It’s a touching story about love, and what family truly means.
“I didn’t think I belonged here in her world, a boy stuck between two lives, dragging the dangers of the wolves with me, but when she said my name, waiting for me to follow, I knew I’d do anything to stay with her.” ― Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver
Forced into marriage to secure a political alliance, Khal Drogo and Daenerys Targaryen were not a love match at first. However, Dany soon discovered the ways of the tribe she married into, and learned how to assimilate into their culture. In the process, Dany also learned how to win Drogo’s heart. Their love was so strong, that Dany travelled the ends of the earth for Drogo, and he was willing to do the same.
“When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east,” she said sadly. “When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When my womb quickens again, and I bear a living child. Then you will return, my sun-and-stars, and not before.” – George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
Jennifer L. Armentrout’s LUX series is a fun read for fans of the old WB series, Roswell. Daemon Black is an alien who is secretly living among humans with his family. Katy Swartz is the girl next door who discovers his identity and gets sucked into a bunch of crazy alien stuff. It’s instant attraction for these two, but Daemon’s acerbic wit and seemingly douchbaggery initially puts these lovebirds at odds. Watching them grow from two people never meant to be together, to two people willing to battle anything and everyone to stay together is what makes them a duo to root for.
“Kat.” He uttered my name like it was some kind of prayer, and then he pressed a kiss against the skin behind my ear. “I broke every rule of my kind to heal you and keep you with me. I … burned down an entire city to keep you safe. I’ve killed for you. Did you think I’d forget what you mean to me? That anything in this world— in any world— would be stronger than my love for you?”
― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Opposition
7.) Blay & Qhuinn – Black Dagger Brotherhood series
Blay and Qhuinn first make an appearance in the 3rd (?) book of J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This vampire series has it all: romance, fight scenes, sex scenes, comedy, drama, suspense, and occasionally tears. These two are childhood best friends who we watch become men trying to figure out who they are and where they belong. Along the way romantic feelings develop, and waiting for them to hook up is excruciating. When they do, it’s definitely worth it. Making them two of my favorite couples in the series.
“Because I was, and I remain, utterly and completely and totally…in love with you.”
― J.R. Ward, Lover at Last
Paul and Chani’s romance carried on in the background of this science fiction classic. Frank Herbert’s Dune saga is filled with political intrigue, philosophy, leadership skills, war strategy, and murder, but Paul and Chani’s romance helped make Paul “Maud’Dib” Atreides a complex character. A messiah worth rooting for. These two met after Paul moved to Dune with his father, who was sent by the Emperor to govern this profitable planet. Born noble, Paul was Chani’s opposite, but her quiet beauty captivated him from the very first moment of their meeting, and you just knew they were meant to be.
“I see us giving love to each other in a time of quiet between storms. It’s what we were meant to do.”
― Frank Herbert, Dune
A fallen angel and a girl are the epitome of star-crossed lovers, yet Patch and Nora somehow find their way to each other. Of course as these things go, the going isn’t easy. The angels aren’t happy. Patch has enemies. High school. There’s always something, or someone, trying to get in between these two, yet they hang tough.
“I want to wake up with you every morning and fall asleep beside you each night,” Patch told me gravely. “I want to take care of you, cherish you, and love you in a way no other man ever could. I want to spoil you — every kiss, every touch, every thought, they all belong to you. I’ll make you happy. Every day, I’ll make you happy.”
― Becca Fitzpatrick, Finale
Never has a book wrecked me like The Fault in Our Stars. So much so, that I have two John Green novels just sitting in my bookcase waiting to be read. I’m afraid. Very afraid. Augustus and Hazel’s love story is as tragic as it is uplifting. While they were perfect for each other, they make this list because of where they first meet. At a group counseling session for teens battling cancer. Not quite the place you expect romance to bloom, but for these two it did.
“You say you’re not special because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me. I know about you.” ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars
So there you have it folks! My “Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who Found Love Where Least Expected.” Did some of your favorites make the list? If not, who would you have picked? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments below! In the meantime, keep reading!