Top Ten Tuesday | My recent OTPs

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week’s theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!

This week’s theme is a character freebie! Back in February one of the themes was to talk about our OTPs, which I didn’t end up doing because as much I love reading or watching a really well done romance, it’s only the really special relationships that stay with me for a long time. For example, back in the day I loved (and still love) Lauren Oliver’s Delirium and I really liked Lena and Alex’s relationship, but would I call them an OTP today? No.

But I feel like I’ve read a lot more books throughout 2018 and 2019 so far that have warmed my cold, shipping heart, so today I’m here to talk about my most recent OTPs!

Kaz and Inej from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

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© LimetownStudios

“I can hear the change in Kaz’s breathing when he looks at you.”

“You… you can?”

“It catches every time, like he’s never seen you before.”

I’m still not over these two. They have each other’s backs, no matter what, and it’s that fierce loyalty they have to each other that I love. Like a lot of the romances I love, they’ve become really good friends first and they make my heart hurt.

Sorcha and Red from Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier

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© IngvildSchageArt

“I see you in the light of the water, in the swaying of the young trees in the spring wind. I see you in the shadows of the great oaks, I hear your voice in the cry of the owl at night. You are the blood in my veins, and the beating of my heart. You are my first waking thought, and my last sigh before sleeping.”

This book is so beautiful, and if you’re a fan of slow-burn romance then it’s one you need to check out. Marillier makes you wait for this relationship to come to fruition which makes it all the more satisfying when  it does, and Red is a true gentleman. He’s a lovely character.

Isabella and Suhail from The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

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“To travel like that, with a woman who is neither my kin nor my wife…”

“Then what if we were married?”

I couldn’t find ANY fanart of these two and that’s just not good enough. This is a series that gets better and better with each book (take it from someone who DNF’d the first book the first time I tried it!) and if you’re going to pick it up I’d recommend the audiobooks narrated by the brilliant Kate Reading. Isabella and Suhail are essentially two nerds in love and they give me the warm fuzzies, and I love how Suhail isn’t at all intimidated by Isabella’s intelligence or her passion for the field she’s trying to make a name for herself in.

Jude and Cardan from The Wicked King by Holly Black

judecardan
© rosiethorns88

“For a moment,” he says, “I wondered if it wasn’t you shooting bolts at me.”

I make a face at him. “And what made you decide it wasn’t?”

He grins up at me. “They missed.”

I don’t know why this couple works for me, they just do. I’m usually the one person who hates the YA series with the broody love interest, but Cardan’s written really well and he’s not your typical broody love interest, either – Jude’s actually a lot more violent than he is, which I also love to be honest. Their chemistry is fantastic and I’m so excited for The Queen of Nothing.

Alexia and Conall from the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger

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“He has been mad for you these many months, ever since you prodded him in the nether regions with a hedgehog.”

I finally finished this series in 2018. It’s one of my favourites, and I love Alexia and Conall so much. They drive each other mad, and that’s why they fit so perfectly together. Whenever I read scenes of the two of them together I always find myself smiling – they’re just so much fun!

Simon and Baz from Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

simonbaz
© Gibslythe

“It’s like being a fairy named Mary,” he goes on.

“Or a vampire named Gampire,” I say.

“Gampire isn’t even a proper name, Snow. You’re terrible at this game.”

These two are absolutely adorable. I had no idea what I’d think of Carry On, but I ended up really enjoying it and I can’t wait to see more of these two in Wayward Son!

Nikolai and Zoya from King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

nikolaizoya
© Sartagos

“Why do you never kiss me sweetly in the morning, Zoya?”

“I do nothing sweetly, Your Highness.”

THESE NERDS. I swear if these two don’t become an item in the second book in this duology, I’m going to sue. I love couples with good banter, something Bardugo excels at, and these two were one of my favourite things about this book. One of my favourite romance tropes is the princess and the bodyguard, and I loved how this book gave us a gender-reversed version of it.

Louvaen and Ballard from Entreat Me by Grace Draven

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“What kind of piss is this?” he said when he caught a breath.

Louvaen frowned. “Probably something he made with the venom and scales of the world’s most evil viper.”

“Oh, you have a twin?”

Like I said, I love a couple with good banter and that’s why I loved Louvaen and Ballard so much. Louvaen’s not afraid to challenge Ballard or answer him back, and the two of them become friends before anything else develops.

Eril-Fane and Azareen from Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

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It made her want to be worthy—of the sacred legacy of the Tizerkane, of being alive, and of him, whom she loved from the moment he grinned at her, handed her a sword and said, blushing, “I hoped it would be you.”

Again, I couldn’t find any fanart of these two and I’m not happy about it. I like Lazlo and Sarai together, but Eril-Fane and Azareen are the couple I fell in love with. Their story is such a punch to the gut.

Irina and Mirnatius from Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

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It made me jump, an involuntary shiver, and my cheeks went painfully red and hot. Then I said too loudly, “Oh beloved,” and put my hands on his chest and shoved him back from me, as hard as I could.

Romance isn’t the point of Spinning Silver at all, so if you haven’t read it please don’t go into it expecting an epic love story, but I love Irina and Mirnatius’s chemistry. I love how she leaves him having absolutely no idea what to do and, even though he might be the tsar and there’s something fairly sinister going on, she’s never frightened of him. Irina holds her own and demands respect. The heroines in this book are so good.

What did you talk about this week?

42 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | My recent OTPs

  1. Rissi says:

    EVERY TIME I see a novel by Leigh Bardugo on a list, I’m reminded that I have “Six of Crows” and still must read it. *sigh* Someday… !! 🙂 Thanks so much for the visit to Finding Wonderland last week.

    Like

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      I must admit I never used to be a big romance reader myself, although it’s a genre I’m exploring more now, but I have always enjoyed a well-written romance in my fantasy and historical fiction. I love a couple I can root for!

      Like

  2. Jaime says:

    I definitely didn’t expect to love Zoya and Nikolai together but I DO! I hope they become something more, but I think I’ll be okay if they don’t too. It’s such a difficult decision. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      I love their dynamic so much. I kind of love those ‘will they, won’t they’ relationships, so I wouldn’t mind if the series had a fairly open end in terms of their relationship, but I’d be pretty gutted if one of them ended up with someone else. I know a lot of people ship Nikolai with Alina but I don’t think they have any chemistry at ALL, whereas Zoya and Nikolai have the kind of banter I love.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jaime says:

        Oooh! Good point. I definitely wouldn’t want them with someone else, and I think it would benefit Ravka (and the Grisha) if Zoya is queen. But I’d also want them to marry because they actually care about each other? Not just a political alliance.

        THEIR BANTER IS EVERYTHING!

        Like

  3. Lisa says:

    I love Alexia and Connal. What a great couple! I should probably reread the series (again!) — it’s been a few years. I haven’t read most of the others, but I’m really enjoying all the art!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mir (TBR and Beyond) says:

    Ok I may have to scream about a lot of these. I have so many feels about Kaz and Inej. I just want to know what is happening to them. Is she at sea? Did he follow her? what is happening!!!!! Also. I live for Baz and Simon. OMG, how excited am I for Wayward Son? I can barely contain my joy at that book. I may have already bought 4 copies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      I can completely understand why people don’t like them together, but I love them because Jude gives as good as she gets. Unlike other popular YA ships – particularly Alina and the Darkling – Jude isn’t the kind of heroine who gets walked all over, and her and Cardan are essentially two sides of the same coin.

      Like

  5. Caitlin @ Caitlin Althea says:

    I LOVE THIS LIST AHH. And you make me want to read Lady Trent so bad!! I agree about Kaz and Inej and that quote!! Also, I’m so excited to revisit Eril-Fane and Azareen in Muse of Nightmares! I love their dynamic because it’s way more mature than what we usually see in YA but they are also so cute together despite their hardships 💖💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      I highly recommend the Lady Trent books, they get better and better, and the audiobooks are brilliant if you’re an audiobook fan. 😀 I love Kaz and Inej so much, and Eril-Fane and Azareen made my heart hurt in Muse of Nightmares; their relationship is so lovely.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. acquadimore says:

    What you said about the Memoirs of Lady Trent is really encouraging, it’s one I’m considering but I hadn’t heard a lot about it. And I agree so much about Irina and Mirnatius, they were one of my favorite couples of last year.
    I’m surprised that there’s no Eril-Fane and Azareen fanart! They were the most developed and interesting romance in Strange the Dreamer to me, even though they didn’t get that much space.
    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jess @ Jessticulates says:

      I agree, I loved Eril-Fane and Azareen’s relationship so much but I feel like I don’t see many other people talking about them.

      The Lady Trent books are so rewarding if you stick through the whole series. 🙂 Brennan does such a good job of writing a woman who learns to check her own internalised misogyny and stand up for other women and it’s brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

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