Top Ten OTPs
For a hopeless romantic who loves to read Romantic Suspense and the occasional Contemporary Romance, and who also indulges in the FEELS of any kind of YA romance found in any and all YA books, I'm actually not very interested in the whole Valentine's Day hooplah. In fact, during my adolescent years, I've always been the one who openly hangs my disclaimers on exaggeratedly avoiding any and all things Valentine's.
There are reasons for my reasons, but we won't get into that.
Nonetheless, I DO have a love for all things fictional romance, and with an endless list of favorites in the Romantic Suspense genre, as well as few in the Contemporary Romance genre, and also few in several YA books with a dash of romance, it isn't hard to come up with ten OTPs (One True Pairings, for those who aren't familiar with the shorthand) that are my favorite.
Several come to mind much too easily, of course... And the rest I had to do a little bit of the good ol' fashion process of elimination on. Which then lead to that multi-purpose "Honorable Mentions" listings--this time in two different uses!
~~ The Top Ten ~~
Johnny Duane Reed and Crystal Debrowski
Whisper No Lies (Black Ops, Inc. #3) by Cindy Gerard
Mike Brown and Eva Salinas
Killing Time (One-Eyed Jacks #1) by Cindy Gerard
When you read a favorite romance series, I can guarantee that there may be at least more than one favorite OTP/love story/couple, within all those books. Especially if it's a series of several books that are able to stand on their own, with lots of great characters to choose from.
For me, the whole of Cindy Gerard's romantic suspense world--spanning from Bodyguards to Black Ops, Inc. to One-Eyed Jacks, is most certainly one of my most favorite romantic suspense worlds. And the above two couples are my favorite of all the couples in this world. There are others I love as well, but probably not to the swoony point as I do these two OTPs.
Honorable Mentions: Eve and Mac from To the Limit (Bodyguards #2); Jason and Janey from Over the Line (Bodyguards #4)
Brooke Parker and Cade Morgan
Love Irresistibly (FBI/U.S. Attorney #4) by Julie James
I love all the romantic pairings in Julie James' contemporary romance books, whether or not they are part of her FBI/U.S. Attorney series, and whether or not they are my utmost favorite. In fact, one of my other favorite pairings happens to be part of a stand-alone in one of her earlier works. But as far as OTPs go, my utmost favorite is the bantering and chemistry between sassy Brooke Parker and charming Cade Morgan.
Of course, all of her OTPs could be described the same way, really...
A very close second place: Payton and J.D. from Practice Makes Perfect
Other Julie James Romance Pairings I Like: Jordan and Nick from A Lot Like Love, Cameron and Jack from Something About You, Victoria and Ford from Suddenly One Summer
Chloe Traeger and Sawyer Thompson
Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor #3) by Jill Shalvis
I just recently started reading Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series, and while I love the banter and the three sisters and their bonding projects, I'm not quite certain I'm enamored with the other two couples in the three books I've read so far. But Chloe and Sawyer DID indeed stand out and have become one of my more favorite couples in a romance.
Here's a link to my review of Head Over Heels, which does have some explanation of why I love them so much.
Other books I've read by Jill Shalvis don't quite shine yet, and I've recently gone through a trilogy that was a bit on the meh side.
Jill Shalvis Works Honorable Mention: Dani and Shayne from Strong and Sexy (Sky High Air #2)
Melody Tanner and Nick Walker
She's Got the Look (Walker Brothers #2) by Leslie Kelly
I don't recall the last time I had had so much fun reading a contemporary romance when I'd been reading reading She's Got the Look. I found myself getting all sorts of giddy for this couple, the likes of I've not been since Anime OTPs and K-drama OTPs. So Melody and Nick have a special place in my heart.
Of course, I've come across a lot of other "makes me all giddy inside" romances in different forms since. They were just the first pairing in a long time to make me all smileys and whatnot. :P
Titus and Iolanthe
The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas
Two words: THE FEELS. That is all.
Neryn and Flint
Shadowfell trilogy by Juliet Marillier
Shadowfell is a series that got progressively better as the adventure continued. By the end of the last book, I was absolutely in love with the world, the characters, Neryn and Flint individually, and Neryn and Flint as a couple.
I've yet to read too many other Juliet Marillier books, but I'm hoping that I'll find myself loving them and hopefully finding more couples to fall in love with as well.
Agniezka and Dragon
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Agniezka and Dragon have one of those relationships that start all rough and strange, but as soon as the tables turn and Agniezka finds her power over Dragon, things start getting REAL GOOD. I have to admit that I DO love Agniezka more individually separate from Dragon, and that Dragon by himself really holds no appeal for me. But together, these two are quite a powerful pair.
Seraphina and Kiggs
Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
This pairing and partnership is a couple you wish a lot of other YA couples could have. (Not to discount the above mentioned YA couples, because they are also YA couples with ideal relationships.) Seraphina and Kiggs have a remarkable partnership and bond that leads to a potentially wonderful relationship.
Ismae Rienne and Gavriel Duval
Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers
This book was one of my first few forays into historical fiction--but it also had a high fantasy twist to it, so I very easily and very readily fell into it. And I loved it. Ismae may not be the kickass assassin that a lot of people had been hoping for, and there might not have been as much bloodshed as many people were expecting. But I feel like she's an excellent use of a level-minded heroine with potential for greatness.
Together with Gavriel, the couple shines. And Gavriel doesn't fall short either.
Again, why haven't I finished this trilogy yet?
~~ A Few More Honorable Mentions ~~
Aza and Prince Ijori // Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
Winter and Jacin // Winter by Marissa Meyer
Scarlet and Wolf // Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
Addie and Trevor // Pivot Point by Kasie West
Caymen and Xander // The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
Marc and Sophie // Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare
Zach and Natalie // Breaking Point by Pamela Clare
Avery and John Paul // Killjoy by Julie Garwood
-- A Few Non-Romance Pairings / Best Friendships --
(Because I can.)
Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronin, Noah
The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
I have not read The Raven King yet, but I'm sure their friendship still holds strong until the very end. /makes mooney eyes
Cinder and Thorne / Cinder and Iko / Cinder and Wolf / Scarlet and Winter / Thorne and Iko
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyers
In an interesting twist, I actually found that I loved the non-romance friendships in this series so much more than I loved the romantic pairings. Sure, Cinder and Kai had a bittersweet, ongoing romance that was pretty great, but it just doesn't compare with the love/hate insulting banter she throws around with Carswell Thorne on a regular basis or even the close kinship she holds with Iko... or even that strange friendship bond formed between Scarlet and Winter.
Harry, Ron, Hermione / The Weasley Twins / Sirius and Remus / Harry and Luna
(and probably a bunch of others I can't recall)
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Not much to say about the characters in these books, actually. All were great.
The BOIs crew and extended family
Black Ops, Inc. by Cindy Gerard
I loved the interactions between all the BOIs and I loved the continued interaction between the BOIs and their extended significant others and etc., etc....
Mike, Coop, Tag
One-Eyed Jacks by Cindy Gerard
This friendship is in best display in Killing Time so far. I have yet to read Taking Fire and the friendship between these three men didn't seem so in focus in The Way Home or Running Blind. But it's cute as heck by the time Killing Time comes to an end.
Julian and Marc
I-Team by Pamela Clare
Marc is introduced in the third book, Unlawful Contact. From that moment on, there were no scenes in which Julian and Marc were together and didn't rib on each other. And that is so awesome.
Tara, Maddie, Chloe / Jax, Ford, Sawyer
Lucky Harbor by Jill Shalvis
The three half-sisters have this strange bond and a potentially excellent relationship development in the works that I would have loved to explore a whole lot more in these first three Lucky Harbor books. You see more of it in Head Over Heels, but I still feel like we could use some more of Tara, Maddie, and Chloe.
Also in Head Over Heels, and for a little bit in The Sweetest Thing, you see more of the extent of the friendship between Jax, Ford, and Sawyer, and I loved that as well.
If I spend any more time listing all of my favorite relationships in books, romantic and non-romantic, this list will probably never end. I love books that have great character relationships and great character bonding.
As an aside, this is one of the things that a lot of YA books and K-drama lack that always irked me: the lack of positive female friendships (because apparently, if you isolate your main female character into a pariah or outcast mold, people are more sympathetic... and she becomes more speshul?). However, positive male friendships tend to be seen everywhere.
Just be thankful that I subconsciously decided that this Top Ten would be restricted to bookish pairings and characters only. If I delved into my OTPs and favorite non-romance OTPs from back when I was obsessed with anime, K-drama, and live-action television series, in general, this post could have been a whole lot longer than it already is.