Thoughtful Thursday: Valentine’s Day 2021

Valentine’s Day is around the corner!

Love is in the air and everyone’s thoughts turn to romance.

Five years ago we asked readers about their favorite fantasy and science fiction romances. We thought we’d check in again to see if there are any updates to your lists.

Who are your new (and all-time) favorite SFF couples, and why?

And, are there any SFF couples that you really despise? If so, why?

As usual, one random commenter picks a book from the stacks.

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  1. Noneofyourbusiness /

    I like Buffy with Angel. But I prefer Buffy with Spike and Angel with Cordelia, because those relationships seemed more mature.

  2. The “Books of Ambha” Duology by Tasha Suri is a beautiful blend of fantasy, history and romance. The books are based on the history of the Mughal Empire. And yes, there is romance in both books.

    Each book follows one sister, Mehr in “Empire of Sand” and Arwa in “Realm of Ash,” as they deal with their mixed heritage and the men who assist them with it as they fall in love with each other. Their heritage comes with a brutal past, and each sister must learn how to overcome the history so that they can have a better future.

    This is one of my favorite fantasy series yet, and I’m looking forward to the author’s upcoming one!

  3. Sunny Jackson /

    I really like Nick and Henrietta from Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken. It’s a 2 book series involving time-travel, and the romance is part but not all of the plot.

  4. John Smith /

    The alien / human couples in: (1) “Holy Crap! The World is Ending!: How a Trip to the Bookstore Led To Sex With an Alien and the Destruction of Earth” by Anna-Marie Abell, and (2) “The Darkest Star” by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

    Both of these books were exciting sci-fi adventures, as well as having delightful romances.

  5. Cordelia and Aral from the Vorkosigan Saga (though I didn’t like Bujold’s retconning of their relationship in Gentleman Jole, so I’m going to pretend that didn’t happen).

  6. Right at this instance? Kiem and Jainan from Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell.

    Over time? Val Con and Miri, Aelliana and Daav from the Liaden series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

  7. Lady Morar /

    The first romance that’s coming to mind is the Doctor and Rose Tyler in “Doctor Who”. They had very believable chemistry and a bittersweet ending.

  8. Laura Stanmore /

    Phedre and jocelin from the Kushiel saga hold a very special place in my heart.
    Though, if it counts then keyleth and Vax’ildan, and Vex’halia and Percy from Critical role both take top spot in joint first.

    Id say there are none i really hate. Though if the crit role counts, perhaps the briarwoods? The couple i love to hate.


    • I like a sex-posituve attitude in my romance, so…

      Yes, yes, yes to Phèdre and Joscelin! But also Imriel and Sidonie.

      I also really love the dynamic between Rachel and Kisten in the Hollows series by Kim Harrison… more than Rachel and Trent (but I haven’t read the new book yet, so that might change).

      While I’m an adult woman who enjoys a good sex scene and a fleshed out romantic arc as much as the next person, I also have a soft spot for romance in YA fantasy. But I like responsible writers in that regard, so I’ll throw Tamora Pierce into the mix. Most of her Tortall couples are great. I particularly love Alanna and George, the guy who’s man enough to wait and let her to figure out for herself what she wants. Too often YA confronts us with one character being really pushy and I just don’t like that. Also, George’s mom is really caringly involved in Alanna’s sexual awakening, which sounds strange if I put it like that (nothing nefarious going on, I just don’t want to spoil anything if someone hasn’t read it yet). But Alanna grows up without a mother and her chosen path doesn’t give her much helpful female input and I just think it’s really great that George’s mom makes sure that she knows the facts of life and that that is an actual scene and topic in the books (add to that that it was written in the 80s and it’s even more impressive!)

      • I can never spell his name right!
        I loved Hyacinth too. He needed a series of his own I think personally. He intrigued me from the start. :)

        • I think Barquiel (he’s my favorite character in all the Kushiel books) deserves a series of his own. I want to know ALL about his time in Khebbel-im-Akkad. Rolande and Delauny deserve a real book, too. Nicola is super intriguing, so are Maslin, Valère, and Melisande of course… there are just sooo many great characters in those books that would be great to explore further. But as I said, the story I really want to read is Barquiel’s.
          I read a while ago that Carey is currently writing a book from the perspective of Joscelin.

  9. The Distinguished Professor /

    I can’t wait for Jon and Daenerys to meet in the books of A Song of Ice and Fire and absolutely destroy that horrible Game of Thrones ending. They have so many parallels it’s not even funny, but the showrunners never understood their characters.

  10. Gen and Irene, aka the King and Queen of Attolia – Megan Whalen Turner. “If you have met your match, so has he.”

    I own the final book in the series, but haven’t dared read it yet – afraid of disappointment, I think.

    • I just read all of these for the first time and totally agree! I would definitely recommend the fifth one!

  11. Jillian /

    I’m only in Words of Radiance, but is it too out there to say that I hope my new favorite romance will be Shallan and Adolin? Fingers crossed. Other than that, the romances in Cassandra Clare books are always good.

  12. The Wheel of time had some good pairings, my favorites were Lan and Nyneave, and Matt and Tuon.

  13. Eve,if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading!

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