Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a Valentine’s Day-themed freebie. I chose to do Favorite Series Couples.
I love a good romance, but even in series romance, each couple only stars in one book. So I decided to pick my favorite couples who star in a series — in other words, they’re the main characters, or at least significant characters, in at least three books. To make it harder, I decided they have to spend at least one of those books together as a committed couple — the series can’t end with the moment they get together, or get their initial problems worked out. I wanted series where I get to see them building their relationship over time.
My guidelines for choosing these couples tended to rule out most YA series and many fantasy series, because they tend not to focus on a pairing once they achieve committed couplehood. (I know there are some long-term relationships and marriages in the urban-fantasy subgenre, but I haven’t read them.) That left mystery as the biggest contributor.
So here they are, in genre groupings:
- Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe. I love the dynamic between these two, as they evolve from enemies (on Anne’s side, at least) to friends, fall in love, marry, and have children. They are the epitome of a strong, loving relationship. (L. M. Montgomery: the Anne of Green Gables series)
- Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes. Russell is the only woman I can imagine Holmes with. She’s a match for him intellectually, and under his tutelage becomes his equal in disguise, detection, and a number of skills pertaining to both. It’s a May-December relationship, but it works exceedingly well — for them, and for the reader. (Laurie R. King: the Mary Russell & Sherlock Holmes series.)
- Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. Intelligent, sensitive, and erudite, these two are perfect for each other. (Dorothy Sayers: the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries)
- Roderick Alleyne and Agatha Troy. Another intelligent, sensitive couple, both slightly more ascetic than Peter and Harriet. One thing I love about these books is that while most have Rory as the POV character, a few feature Troy instead. She’s not significant in all the books, but when she is, she’s wonderful. (Ngaio Marsh: the Inspector Alleyne mysteries)
- Tommy and Tuppence Beresford share an affinity for excitement and danger, along with a flair for solving crimes. . . which they go on doing right from their 20s, after WWI, right into their old age. (Agatha Christie: the Tommy & Tuppence mysteries)
- Lori Shepard and Bill Willis. I love this couple, because they are relatively ordinary people with a relatively normal happy marriage. It’s refreshing and somehow reassuring. (Nancy Atherton: the Aunt Dimity mysteries.)
- Diana Bishop and Matthew Clairmont. The forbidden relationship of this witch and vampire is complex and often surprising. . . and addictive reading. (Deborah Harkness: the All Souls trilogy) (I stretched one of my rules with this one — it’s a romance. It’s just so much more besides.)
- Elspeth and Darkwind. Unlike some of the couples in Mercedes Lackey’s books, these two aren’t fated “lifebonded” mates, and their cultural differences mean they have to work harder at their relationship. They star in one trilogy, and are significant characters in another, broader, more “ensemble” trilogy, so we get to see a fair bit of them. (Mercedes Lackey: the Mage Winds trilogy and the Storm Winds trilogy)
- Marguerida (Margaret) Alton and Mikhail Lanart-Hastur. Marguerida and Mikhail are perfect for each other — stronger together, because each supports and brings out the best in the other, and (eventually) both the bearers of powerful laran matrices. Too bad that family and politics both stand in the way, at least for a while. They star in the first two books in which they appear, are important characters in the third and fourth, and appear peripherally in another which I haven’t read yet. (published under the name Marion Zimmer Bradley: Darkover novels #24-28. Note that #24-26 were actually written by Adrienne Martine-Barnes; Deborah Ross wrote #27 and #28.)
- Will Laurence and Temeraire. OK, I’m really cheating here, because there’s nothing romantic or sexual about this partnership between a dragon and his captain. But there are all the other elements of a truly epic relationship: a deep if largely unspoken love, commitment and unshakable loyalty, self-sacrifice, and a sincere respect for one another. All that plus humor, honor, and integrity. (Naomi Novik: the Temeraire novels)
So who are your favorite series couples?
Lianne @ eclectictales.com
Ooh, challenging topic you chose this week! I think I’d have difficulty coming up with ten couples in a series…but yeah, Diana and Matthew would definitely make it on that list (did you hear the news that they’re planning on making it into a television series? I’m excited but also hesitant because I want it to be good! *fingers crossed*) <3 Hero & Sebastian from C.S. Harris' St. Cyr mysteries would be another one 🙂 *ponders further*
Lianne @ eclectictales.com recently posted…Top Ten Tuesdays
I am over the moon about the TV adaptation! I’m a little sad that it fell through at BBC, but I have hopes for the Bad Wolf production team.
I haven’t read the St. Cyr mysteries but they have crossed my radar and I think they’re on my Goodreads “someday” list somewhere.
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
Fabulous topic! I wholeheartedly agree with Anne and Gilbert. They’re just wonderful. Troy and Alleyne are also wonderful and I’m very much looking forward to getting to know Harriet Vane. I love Tommy and Tuppence as well though I watched a TV production of By the Pricking of My Thumb and it was dreadful what they did to them. They turned Tuppence into a silly woman with a drinking problem and made it seem like Tommy was thinking about a divorce. It was awful.
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Signs in You’re in a Contemporary Romance
I haven’t been happy with some of the recent TV productions; they’ve done things like change who the murderer is, put Miss Marple in stories that weren’t hers, and (as you say), taken liberties with the characters generally. David Suchet’s Poirot and Joan Hickson’s Miss Marple are the definitive ones in my opinion. But other people seem to love the new Marple mysteries despite the changes (or they haven’t read the books, maybe.) There is a new Tommy and Tuppence series in the works, and I’m hoping they stick closer to the books than they did with the new Marple series.
Quinn @ Quinn's Book Nook
You know, I’m really only familiar with Anne and Gilbert, but I definitely ship those two so much.
Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Top Ten Fictional Guys I Would Marry
What a great idea! And I love your choices. Diana and Matthew made my list too. I just love them. 🙂 And Elspeth and Darwind! Two of my favorite characters from Lackey’s series.
Literary Feline recently posted…Where Is Your Bookmark? (02/09/2016)
Thank you! I like Elspeth and Darkwind because they are two strong and not always like-minded people who learn to respect and then to love each other. It’s a really mature relationship, once they work past a few issues. Come to think of it, I love Diana and Matthew for much the same reason.
Temeraire! That was a bit of a surprise, but I can see it. Love, just not romantic love. Great list!
Thanks! I knew Temeraire and Laurence would surprise people, because as you say, it’s not romantic love at all. But it’s love all the same, and they are more connected and committed and caring than some married couples, but in a platonic way. I think their relationship is the only deep attachment either of them will ever have.
What a great topic for a top ten list. I haven’t read any of these books and series you listed here, but I have heard of some of them. Some of my favourite couples are Elena and Clay from Kelley Armstrong her Otherworld series and SJ Pajonas her couples are great too. I like couples who fit each other well and feel like they really care and are there for another.
Lola recently posted…Review: The Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum by Kirsten Weiss
I don’t think I’ve heard of SJ Pajonas, but I know of Kelly Armstrong. Thanks for the recommendation!
Tiffany @ I Was Angelized_1st
I haven’t read any of these books, but the couples sound interesting.
Tiffany @ I Was Angelized_1st recently posted…Book Review: The Millionaire Makeover (A Bachelor Auction Novel) by Naima Simone
I hope you’ll give one or two of these a try!
These are great..so many wonderful couples. Gads yes to Matthew and Diana!
kimbacaffeinate recently posted…24 hour Take Control TBR Pile Read-A-Thon
Glad you like the list! And there was no way I could leave Diana and Matthew off.
Anne & Gilbert forever! 🙂 My TTT
Carrie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: KissingBooks 101 Lesson Two (plus a HUGE Giveaway!)
Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings
There are a lot of great couples in literature, I like Eve Dallas and Rourke in JD Robb’s In Death series but I do love Tommy and Tuppence!
Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings recently posted…REVIEW – The Cherry Blossom Murder by Fran Pickering
I really need to read Robb’s In Death series. I like her books as Nora Roberts! And I have a real soft spot for Tommy and Tuppence.