Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Favorite literary couples? Challenge accepted

The couple that sprang immediately to mind is Wrath and Beth from JR Ward's Dark Lover. (Yes, I am a dude, and I have read paranormal romance. Molon Labe.) The attraction between the Blind King and his shellan is at once tender and terrifying, and is so well-written by Ms Ward that her subsequent stories suffer from comparison.

For absolute devotion, Popeye the Sailor Man is one in a million. He doesn't care that Olive Oyl is sort of plain and constantly in danger of losing her virtue to men with smooth ways and glib lines - Popeye loves her without reservation. And once her Sailor Man has rescued her from the disaster of the day, she invariably covers him with kisses and forgives him for his fighting and muttering. It's a good relationship.

But then, the books that I read do not focus on relationships. If any sort of romance exists at all, it is secondary to the tale. Wilbur Smith's novels often have a strong romantic subplot, but those typically end in disaster. W.E.B. Griffin introduces great female characters, but they are unrealistically subservient when they are not unrealistically strong.

But a good balance is struck by Rissa Kerguelen and Bran Tregare in F.M. Busby's YA books. Tregare starts out as a complete ass and rapist, but eventually mellows to make a real partnership with Rissa. And after all, partnership is what it's all about!

Note from Gypsi: He's ratted us out! Our guilty pleasure is J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Shh! Don't tell anybody!

Second note from Gypsi: This was in response to my challenge for him to do a Top Ten Tuesday favorite couples, too.


  1. +JMJ+

    I agree that the BDB Romances went downhill after the first one, but I always thought it was because Ward relied too much on whatever weird gimmick the hero of the book was suffering from.

  2. The romance angle may not be the best as the novels go on, but that has never bothered me, since for me (and for Bryan too :P ) it's the story and the world that is so worth reading.

    I think my favorite couple from that series is Butch and Marissa. Or maybe Rhage and Mary. Either one just adores his lady, and that reminds me of how Bryan treats me. =D

    I do think that (with the exception of John Micheal's story) these books get better and better as they go on. We've got the new one on pre-order. :P

  3. I agree with both of you. =P

    I guess what I was trying to say was that the Wrath and Beth story was just so damn good she couldn't capture that magic again no matter what she did. How many times can you tell the boy meets girl, they fall in love, and feed on each other's blood for a few centuries story, anyway?

    Frankly, I skim 90 per cent of the 'shipping in these tales. It's the world of the Vampires that Ms Ward has created that keeps me exercising this guilty pleasure.