The heart of a good love story showcases itself in how realistically the chemistry and attraction between the protagonist and her love interest unfolds.
From Elizabeth and Mr Darcy, to Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester, and Scarlett and Rhett from Gone with the Wind… These romantic reads (regardless of whether or not they're contemporary or classics) have proven that it's all about the characters, not just the story.
We share some of our (obvious and not so obvious) favourites. Abovementioned couples don’t get a mention – it goes without saying that they're included on our list of favourite fictional couples.
Like Water for Chocolate: Tita & Pedro
Where do I begin? One of my favourite stories of all time, the romance between Tita and Pedro is just so incredible. Kept apart by Tita's mother, the mating dance between the two of them over the next 20 years is an unbelievably fantastic sensory experience. The angst is palpable when Pedro marries Tita's sister in order to remain closer to Tita because she is forbidden by tradition to get married.
The sensual earthiness, the devastating attraction, the forbidden aspect of their romance and the wonderful way in which Tita expresses all of her love, heartbreak and passion through her magical cooking definitely makes Tita and Pedro one of my favourite fictional couples ever.
The Scarlet Pimpernell: Marguerite St. Just and Sir Percy Blakeney
This novel is peppered with mystery, love, beauty, grand masque parties, painted faces and a race against time to save lives.
A couple that shows you no one is perfect – I love this couple because it isn’t until the last page that you realise the love and devotion Percy has for Marguerite. You just have to read the book to know what I mean... A classic must for any book lover.
Lord of the Rings: Arwen and Aragorn
So beautifully romantic but also so tragic.
She gave up the Grey Havens and immortality to stay with him. Eventually he died and she remained alone and with the light quenched in her eyes until she finally died with no ship to bear her forth.
A Serving of Scandal: Kate McKinnon and Oliver Stapler
I read the book earlier this year and it’s fascinating to read the story of a woman who is relatively down-to-earth and realistic.
Her relationship with Oliver, the Secretary of State – and her boss – is not marked by instant passion or chemistry but rather by the genuine blossoming of a friendship and two people who actually have something in common. Considering the fact that he’s married, it’s also wonderfully forbidden.
Twilight: Edward & Bella
(Oh come on, you didn't expect us to exclude this one did you?)
I am a Twilight junkie so it’s got to be Edward and Bella. I think it’s more to do with their chemistry, they have minimum intimacy but they are still very loyal to each other.
What amazes me is also how willing they are to risk their lives for their love and how far they would go just to be together… I’m a sucker for romance.
Rebecca: Maxim de Winter and the narrator of Rebecca
Take a haunted man, a smitten girl and one crazy housewife; pepper some secrets and, boy, you get a story that will leave you gasping and ripping up the book in angst!
This couple hold themselves together with a love so deep that it even overcomes memories of a wife long gone...
One Day: Emma and Dexter
I'd be the first to admit that this couple is what you'd consider an acquired taste as both of them have characteristics that are really, really irksome. Ironically enough, it's these flaws (Emma is preachy and judgemental, Dexter is gobsmackingly arrogant) that somehow make their love story which spans across 20 years so incredibly realistic and well done.
The best thing about their love story? David Nicholls writes in such a way that at the end of the day, whether or not you love or loathe them, you can't help but root for them anyway. And that is where the power of their love story lies.
Cathy and Heathcliffe? Rose and Dimitri? Ron and Hermione? Share your favourite fictional couples with us below.