Returning guest poster, who also happens to be one of my favorite writing buddies who I haven’t yet met in person, Kai Strand is here today with a really fun post and a look at her YA romantic suspense FINDING THOR. Welcome, Kai!
When it comes to book couples, if your romance reading experiences are anything like mine, you will often like one of the characters more than the other. I find I’m pretty hard on the heroines and almost always drawn to the bad boy. (Thank goodness not in real life…oh wait, maybe he sort of was then. Dang it!)
Anyway, today I want to share with you five of my favorite books where I actually liked BOTH the hero and the heroine. Plus I wanted to add the little caveat that in their stories they are facing a lot of strife. Whether it be an epic journey, a seemingly insurmountable task, or unbeatable bad guy, whatever the strife, it is a real enough part of their relationship to be able to muck it up.
Here we go:
Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson– I can’t even tell you how much I loved this series. The culture Carson made up is fabulous. The journey, the strife, it’s all biblical proportions. But, I truly enjoyed Elisa and Hector’s relationship (though it doesn’t really develop until the 2nd book), as well as liked them individually. Oh Hector!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor– While Karou and Akiva can both be frustrating it made them more real and believable in such an extraordinary setting. Plus the writing and the story line are delicious.
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles– The only contemporary on my list (interesting!) and their strife is a very real and relatable one. Prejudice. Brittany and Alex really force each other to grow and they really sizzle.
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare– Tessa is a kick butt character and Will is her equal, plus he’s swoony. For the record, imho, they make a way better couple than Clary and Jace, though I love The Mortal Instruments too.
Angelfall by Susan Ee– Penryn is another kick butt character. From the get go. And Raffe jumps right out of the pages and makes you want to help him – even though he’s so capable.
For more book recommendations, friend me on Goodreads. I’d recommend any of the books I’ve rated four and five stars!
Bonus Rec: I’d also recommend my very own YA romantic suspense, Finding Thor. Neither Cara nor Nik are looking for, or even want, a relationship. But when Cara asks, “Why me?” Nik replies:
I don’t understand why you either.” His palm brushed gently against her cheek, his fingers twined under her hair. In a low, growling voice he whispered, “But I can’t help myself.”
Here’s more about the book:
Tragedy has left Cara Cassidy broken and the only thing keeping her from giving in completely is her guilt. Until Nik Rock.
Nik stirs up feelings in degrees she has never experienced, and causes her to do things that most assuredly give him the wrong impression – like kiss him before their first date. Somehow, he breaks down the walls around her emotions until she has no choice but to forgive herself and feel again.
But a mysterious, troubled past follows Nik, and Cara may prove to be his weakest link.
When a royal princess shows up looking for Nik, and an international gang arrives looking for missing jewels, Cara lands in mortal danger. Will she be able to save herself? What will happen to her newly repaired psyche if she loses Nik?
Romance, mystery, and high stakes – just another day in high school.
When her children were young and the electricity winked out, Kai Strand gathered her family around the fireplace and they told stories, one sentence at a time. Her boys were rather fond of the ending, “And then everybody died. The end.” Now an award winning children’s author, Kai crafts fiction for kids and teens to provide an escape hatch from their reality. With a selection of novels for young adult and middle grade readers and a short story blog, Lightning Quick Reads, Kai entertains children of all ages, and their adults. Learn more about Kai and her books on her website, www.kaistrand.com.