My Book Boyfriends and Girlfriends

In another Valentine’s themed post, I am here to tell you all about my favorite book significant others. Now, I know the term is usually Book Boyfriends, but I am not going to exclude the ladies here, since they make my heart skip a beat from time to time as well. So, without further ado, I am proud to introduce you to my literary harem.

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“To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.”

I also mentioned Rhysand and Feyre in my post about my favorite YA Ships. One of them was bound to be featured here. And, if I am being honest, it was hard to choose which one. But, I told myself that I could only feature two Sarah J Maas characters. That way the list wouldn’t be comprised of all of the ACOTAR and ToG characters. I had to choose. Rhysand won out in the end. I think because I identify more with Feyre and see myself in her. I admire her, but I don’t really have a crush on her. I’d love to be her best friend, though. Plus, Rhysand is just a dream boat. The way he supports her when Tamlin can’t (or won’t, depending on how you look at it) was just the first step toward loving him. Add in the teasing flirting, steamy sex scenes, and genuine love for his friends, and well… I wouldn’t kick him out of bed. That doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that he is drop dead gorgeous.

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“War is sanctioned murder, no matter what side you’re on.”

Rowan Whitethorn is the obvious choice here, and I will not lie and say that he doesn’t make the butterflies in my tummy do back flips, but I wasn’t sold on him until Queen of Shadows. Manon Blackbeak, on the other hand, had my heart from the moment she showed up in Heir of Fire. She is fierce, dangerous, brutal… and all together intoxicating. There is something about her strength combined with her struggle to accept that compassion is not a weakness that makes me love her oh so very much. That, and she has absolutely no issue telling you exactly what she thinks. Is she a bit terrifying? Absolutely, but I feel like that the danger is worth it in this case. Plus, the scenes with her and Dorian in Empire of Storms are hot! I don’t believe they are soulmates or anything. Far from it, but the power struggle dynamic is really well done. I love it, and I love Manon.

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“The prince’s strength was often touted as being physical. But Vhalla was beginning to learn that the man known for breaking hearts seemed to have a rather large one of his own.”

It is no secret that Aldrik Ci’Dan Solaris makes me uncomfortable. He’s supposed to be the dream boat of this series, but after what he did to Vhalla in Air Awakens, I couldn’t get on board. I read five books that focused on their love and never felt one little thing for him. Baldair, on the other hand, is wonderful. The baby brother to brooding Aldrik, is in every way his opposite. He is light where Aldrik is dark. We meet him as the womanizing Heartbreaker Prince known for bedding (and forgetting) many a woman. Sure he’s been spoiled by being the spare heir. There is nothing he can’t do. But, the further you get into the books the more you see him grow into a compassionate, loyal, and funny man who wants nothing more than to protect the people around him. I was absolutely devastated by the events of Water’s Wrath and am so excited that Elise Kova decided to write a prequel series starring Baldair and his Golden Guard. If you don’t believe me when I say he’s book boyfriend material, I suggest picking up The Prince’s Rogue and reading about how he and Raylynn met. It will melt your heart far more than Aldrik’s fire ever did.

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“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

There are plenty of swoon worthy characters in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha-Verse. None of them hold a candle to Kaz Brekker. He’s not a hero. He’s a thief, a rogue, a criminal. And yet, that doesn’t make him a villain. He’s not dream boat gorgeous and he comes with his fair share of baggage. That said, all I want to do is hold his (if he’ll let me) and tell him that the world dealt him a bad hand, but he made the most of it. He’s brilliant, brutal, and strength incarnate. If I had gone through half of what he had in his short life, I’d be a blubbering mess on the floor. The fact that he has managed to find a way to keep going is inspirational. And the way he loves Inej is just sweet. It’s not steamy like some of the romances mentioned above. It’s not destined or written in the stars. It’s hard, but he tries and when he finally holds her hand… I kinda lost it there, guys. I get the struggle. I’m a sucker for characters that have realistic reactions to trauma and I am also smitten by genius. Kaz is both. Kaz is love.

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“I enjoyed the meetings, too. It was like having friends.”

Adorable, quirky, and totally weird, Luna Lovegood was my first Harry Potter crush. I didn’t go for Harry or Ron. They were just too… Harry and Ron. Hermione had potential, but was just too bossy for my taste. While all are solid character none of them are as awkwardly perfect as Luna. From our first encounters with her I wanted nothing more than to give her a hug. I was glad that she didn’t turn out to be only comic relief and was, instead, a bit of a nerdy hero. Those of us who knew what it was like to really be an outcast rallied around her. It was awesome. I wish she had gotten more of a romance in the books. That said, I understand why she didn’t. That’s ok. More cuddles for me!

Who is in your literary harem? Or are you monogamous with your one true literary love? Let us know in the comments! 

 

 

 

- The Butcher (1)

Our Favorite YA Ships!

With Valentines Day fast approaching, I thought I’d take some time to celebrate my favorite relationships in Yong Adult Fiction. Now, not all of the ships we cheer for are based in reality and some have already sunk, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate them, right? So, sit back and relax as I tell you who I want to have a happily ever after and why.

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I feel a bit like I am cheating here, since I know very few people who don’t adore this relationship. Who can ignore those steamy chapters? But, for me it’s less about the sexy times and more about how supportive Feyre and Rhysand are of each other. They are both suffering in the wake of Amarantha and instead of struggling alone they look to each other for encouragement. Plus, how can you ignore the way he says “Feyre Darling.” Someone should really talk to me that way.

“Did you enjoy the sight of me kneeling before you?”

Yes. So much yes!

I should also point out that I was neither a Tamlin or Rhysand fan going into A Court of Mist and Fury. I was firmly on Team Lucien. That ship has sailed, however. And I reserve judgement on Lucien + Elain until after I have read A Court of Wings and Ruin.

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I am sorry to all of you Celaena + Dorian / Celaena + Chaol shippers, but Aelin + Rowan reigns supreme. Celaena’s character progression requires her to outgrow both of her previous lovers. That is not to say that I don’t love them as individual characters, because I do. But when Rowan showed up, I just knew. The fact that he is a sexy Fae Prince doesn’t hurt matters, but what I loved most about him was his desire to push Aelin. She has always needed someone to challenge her to become the woman she could be and he did a remarkable job of that. He also needed her to help him stop living in the past and punishing himself for something that was not his fault. As a pair they just work extremely well together. More so than Aelin and any of her other partners. Dorian was too young and untested, but was able to remind her what it feels like to be happy. Chaol was stability she needed. Safety, but when it came time to push her to become Aelin, he fell short. Props to Sarah J Maas for showing us a realistic representation of how relationships develop!   Now give me more Rowaelin!

He shifted his arm so he could brush her hair back. His fingers lingered along her jaw. “You make me want to live, too, Aelin Galathynius,” he said. “Not exist—but live.”

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Unlike the relationships mentioned above, Kaz + Inej are not outwardly affectionate. It is clear early on in Six of crows that they have feelings for each other, and those feelings develop into Crooked Kingdom. So, if you are looking for sexy times, pick up A Court of Thorns and Roses and have a blast. If you are looking for a well developed, slow building romance paired with amazing character development, Kaz + Inej are for you. Similar to Feyre and Rhysand, Kaz and Inej have both suffered through horrible traumas in this lives and have mended themselves as best they can. Throughout the books they both come to realize how they feel for the other and struggles to find the right way to address it or if they will address it at all. This is a slow burn relationship where the smallest touch will give you butterflies in your tummy. Well, at least it did for me. If you are looking for something a bit more forward, Nina and Matthias (from the same series) may be more your speed. But I just adored this pair!

“I will have you without armor, Kaz Brekker. Or I will not have you at all.”

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Pete and Gemma are my only ship that comes from a Contemporary novel. Everything else is Fantasy or Historical Fiction (which is most of what I read) and therefor the relationships, while extremely romantic, are not very realistic. Replica, on the other hand, takes places in present day. Sure, it deals with clones, but it also addresses the ups and downs of being a teenager. And that is what I love about this relationship. Pete and Gemma are just normal teenage kids. It feels real, and it is just downright adorable from the start. Gemma calls Pete “Perv” because the mean kids spread rumors about him. It’s awkward, adorable, and just downright perfect. The same can’t be said for the romance mirrored in Lyra’s half of the book. 72 doesn’t feel like a fully fleshed out character and and was my least favorite part of the novel. But, I won’t get into that. Instead I will think about Pete and him riding to the rescue in his mom’s purple minivan.

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And I Darken has an odd love triangle of sorts. Lada, the main character, is infatuated with her childhood friend (and Sultan) Mehmed. The hitch in this is that her younger brother Radu is in love Mehmed. The book focuses more on Lada’s relationship with the young Sultan than Radu’s. Which makes sense as Lada is the main character. That said, I am Team Radu. Lada likes the idea of Mehmed but cannot allow herself to truly love him because of what it would cost her. Radu, on the other hand, would be executed if anyone found out about his feelings and he is still all in. Mehmed, is of course, in love with Lada and not Radu. So, this ship is likely all in my head and probably won’t every come true on paper. Which is sad because I think social schemer Radu is a way better match for Mehmed than hot headed and out of control Lada. All we can do now is wait and see. The book ended with Lada leaving Mehmed with Radu. So, maybe I will get what I want. But, more than likely my ship will sink to bottom of the ocean with all of the Chaol + Celeana ships.

“We cannot always have what we want, no matter how much we want it.”

Which ships are your favorites? Who are you cheering for? Did your favorite character end up with the wrong person? We want to hear all about your ships in the comments!

- The Butcher (1)