Welcome back, darling deviants! Valentine’s Day is behind us, but love is still in the air. It’s not my favorite holiday (Halloween, anyone?!), but I never pass up on an excuse to drink wine, eat chocolates, and indulge my more sensitive side. I’m an ice queen. But that never stops me from falling for fictional couples with unrealistic (okay, and maybe slightly unhealthy) love stories. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here are ten of my favorite fictional romances.
Mr. Darcy and Jane
I’m obligated to kick this list off with a classic. It’s one of the unwritten laws of literature. And none of the classic love stories move me quite like Pride & Prejudice. Between the snarky tongue-in-cheek voice Austen writes in and the slow-burn romance between Mr. Darcy and Jane, I come back to this book time and time again. Darcy and Jane are both proud to a fault, and it’s fun watching them tiptoe around their growing interest in each other while fighting to keep their egos intact. It’s clean, wholesome, and sassy, and worth reading at LEAST once.
Jude and Cardan
Let’s jump over to YA fantasy for a moment to look at another “unlikable” couple. Jude and Cardan are both proud, manipulative, and cutthroat in their ambitions. Every time you think the two of them are finally going to give in to temptation and love each other, one stabs the other in the back. This is one of the few YA book series I’ll happily read more than once.
Tris and Four
While we’re talking YA, let’s throw Tris and Four into the mix. I HATE how their story ends, but the first two books in the series hit me right in the feels. There’s a scene in the second book where Tris is high on Amity truth drugs and reflects on how neither she nor Four are “nice” people. Personally, I think it just makes them more loveable.
Kaz and Inej
I’m an absolute sucker for these two. It KILLED me to watch these two dance around the obvious sparks of chemistry between them. Kaz is a “bad boy” in the best of ways, but Inej is not innocent either. This series somehow left my heart both empty and full at the same time, and the tender moments between Kaz and Inej filled me with emotions I haven’t felt in years. If you’re in the mood for action, adventure, and an angsty slow-burn romance subplot, Six of Crows is an amazing read.
Ambrose and Prudence
I usually limit these lists to books, but I’m going to cheat a little this time. I love the Netflix adaptation of Sabrina’s story, but (as usual) I love some of the side characters even more than Sabrina. Ambrose is one of my favorites, and I adored everything to do with his relationship with Prudence. They support and complement each other’s strengths in a refreshingly healthy wholesome way, considering the content of the show.
Marco and Celia
I don’t know if these two count as “enemies-to-lovers,” but they DO begin on opposing sides of a life-and-death competition. The romance in The Night Circus is as subtle as the magic, blending in seamlessly to the plot and characters to create one of the best books I’ve come across in years. If you don’t mind a little tenderness, but you don’t like romance subplots that consume the main story, The Night Circus is a perfect choice.
Joe and Love (TV version)
Don’t hate me, but I haven’t made it around to reading Hidden Bodies yet. It’s on my TBR-pile, but that stack of books is taller than I am. I did, however, binge watch both seasons of You on Netflix. Unpopular opinion, but I like Joe and Love together (and HATED the last episode of season two). I loved the idea of Joe finding someone as devoted and psychotic as he is. Someone not afraid of his dark side and not worried about getting her own hands dirty. Match made in heaven, right? Fingers crossed Joe realizes how perfect she is for him in season three.
Malachiasz and Nadya
It’s a stretch to call what these two shared a “romance.” Their relationship reminds me of Jude and Cardan’s with one important distinction: Cardan can’t lie, where Malachaiasz and Nadya deceive each other in every scene. There’s no “happy ever after” to their story (yet!), but with the next book in the series releasing in April of 2020, I can’t wait to see where Duncan takes the story. Will Malachiasz find a way to redeem himself? Is this a twisted love story, or a cautionary tale about being careful who you love? Either way, I’m here for it.
Eleanor and Chidi
For something less fantastical and a little more light-hearted, flip on Hulu and give Eleanor and Chidi a try. Eleanor and Chidi are one of my favorite TV couples of all-time for one simple reason: they make each other better. Both characters have baggage and hangups, but they balance each other out in a funny way that leaves you sad when they aren’t on the screen together.
Princess Buttercup and Westley
It’s a movie and a book, so pick your poison! I fell in love with Princess Buttercup and Westley’s story as a child, and I grew to love it even more as an adult. The last person I gave my heart to had a cute little habit of answering requests with, ‘as you wish,’ and it made my heart smile every time. The Princess Bride is easily the sweetest and most wholesome addition to this list.
What are your favorite love stories? Tell me all about your favorite couples! Even dark little hearts like mine love a good love story. 😉