Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a Valentines’ Day freebie. So, I’m going with my favorite couples from novels.
Howl and Sophie from Howl’s Moving Castle
Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle. To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.
Yelena and Valek from Poison Study
About to be executed for murder, Yelena is offered an extraordinary reprieve. She’ll eat the best meals, have rooms in the palace—and risk assassination by anyone trying to kill the Commander of Ixia.
And so Yelena chooses to become a food taster. But the chief of security, leaving nothing to chance, deliberately feeds her Butterfly’s Dust—and only by appearing for her daily antidote will she delay an agonizing death from the poison.
Colin Ames-Beaumont and Savitri Murray from Demon Moon
No one would call vampire Colin Ames-Beaumont kind, but one would call him unnaturally beautiful. For two centuries his tainted blood has kept him isolated from other vampires, sustained only by his beauty and vanity — bitter comforts. since a curse erased his mirror reflection, replacing it with a terrifying glimpse of Chaos.
Savitri Murray’s insatiable curiosity has gotten her into trouble before but she’s always escaped unscathed. Then Colin comes along. In the midst of Heaven, he gives her a taste of ecstasy — and of Chaos, Deadly creatures from that realm herald the return of an imprisoned Nosferatu horde, and Colin and Savi’s bond is their only protection — and their only passion.
Jeremy and Jamie from No Humans Involved
Jaime, who knows a thing or two about showbiz, is on a television shoot in Los Angeles when weird things start to happen. As a woman whose special talent is raising the dead, her threshold for weirdness is pretty high: she’s used to not only seeing dead people but hearing them speak to her in very emphatic terms. But for the first time in her life – as invisible hands brush her skin, unintelligible fragments of words are whispered into her ears, and beings move just at the corner of her eye–she knows what humans mean when they talk about being haunted.
Jim and Dali from Magic Dreams
Alpha Pack leader Jim Shrapshire has always been the strong, silent type. But something has come over him–a magic force currently residing in one of the Pack’s headquarters. Were-tigress Dali Harimau has always wished she could get Jim’s attention–but now he needs her help.
Stricken with a magic-sickness, Jim needs Dali’s flair for magic. And to save him, she must challenge a powerful, dark being to a battle of wits.
Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes from Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell Series
A Monstrous Regiment of Women continues Mary Russell’s adventures as a worthy student of the famous detective Sherlock Holmes and as an ever more skilled sleuth in her own right. Looking for respite in London after a stupefying visit from relatives, Mary encounters a friend from Oxford. The young woman introduces Mary to her current enthusiasm, a strange and enigmatic woman named Margery Childe, who leads something called “The New Temple of God.” It seems to be a charismatic sect involved in the post-World War I suffrage movement, with a feminist slant on Christianity. Mary is curious about the woman, and intrigued. Is the New Temple a front for something more sinister? When a series of murders claims members of the movement’s wealthy young female volunteers and principal contributors, Mary, with Holmes in the background, begins to investigate. Things become more desperate than either of them expected as Mary’s search plunges her into the worst danger she has yet faced.
Doctor Rikki Kinn and Amiri from The Last Twilight
Doctor Rikki Kinn is one of the world’s best virus hunters. It’s for that reason she’s in the Congo, working for the CDC. But when mercenaries attempt to take her life to prevent her from investigating a new and deadly plague, her boss calls in a favor from an old friend- the only one who can help.
Africa- a land of lush veldts and roaring falls, untamed splendor and primal fury: Amiri’s home, where he was raised to race as a cheetah, to wake with the sun. It is also a land of lingering nightmare, where he was kidnapped and experimented upon by the evil group named the Consortium. Now, against his better judgement, Amiri has been asked to return to his homeland by his colleagues in Dirk & Steele- men who are friends and brothers, who like himself are more than human. He must protect a woman who is the target of murderers, who has unwittingly involved herself in a conflict that threatens not only the lives of millions, but Amiri’s own soul… and his heart.
Daisy and Ian from Moonglow
Finally free of her suffocating marriage, widow Daisy Ellis Craigmore is ready to embrace the pleasures of life that have long been denied her. Yet her new-found freedom is short lived. A string of unexplained murders has brought danger to Daisy’s door, forcing her to turn to the most unlikely of saviors . . .
Ian Ranulf, the Marquis of Northrup, has spent lifetimes hiding his primal nature from London society. But now a vicious killer threatens to expose his secrets. Ian must step out of the shadows and protect the beautiful, fearless Daisy, who awakens in him desires he thought long dead. As their quest to unmask the villain draws them closer together, Daisy has no choice but to reveal her own startling secret, and Ian must face the undeniable truth: Losing his heart to Daisy may be the only way to save his soul.
Taylor and Jason from Just the Sexiest Man Alive
Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan. In the courtroom she never lets the opposition see her sweat. In her personal life, she never lets any man rattle her—not even her cheating ex-fiancé. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in his next big legal thriller, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.
Jason Andrews is used to having women fall at his feet. When Taylor Donovan gives him the cold shoulder, he’s thrown for a loop. She’s unlike any other woman he’s ever met: uninterested in the limelight, seemingly immune to his advances, and shockingly capable of saying no to him. She’s the perfect challenge. And the more she rejects him, the more he begins to realize she may just be his perfect match.
Brishen and Ildiko from Radiance
Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.
Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light. Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.