Welcome to A Simply Enchanted Life’s top five list of favorite literary couples. These are in no particular order because how could I ever be forced to choose? I’m sure some of my choices may be surprising to some of you but I really enjoy the romances that do not come easy. I like the angst. It seems like the couples that face the most challenges usually end up having the strongest relationship. So, in honor of Valentine’s Day let’s discuss our favorites! Be sure to leave your favorite couples in the comments below!
1: Richard Rahl & Kahlan Amnell
This book and series is a lot different from most of the family friendly novels that are typically shared on A Simply Enchanted Life.
While this fantasy novel is filled with the atrocities of war, there’s also a beautiful bond between a man and woman that has forever shaped how I view love and life.
What I love most about this love story is that Kahlan and Richard simply love one another. Both are powerful and more than capable of taking care of themselves and yet they find they’re their best version of themselves when they are together. I love that Richard is attracted to Kahlan’s intelligence and not just her body.
In her eyes he saw something that attracted him more than anything else. Intelligence. He saw it flaring there, burning in her, and through it all he felt an overriding sense of her integrity. Richard felt safe.
2: Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe
I don’t really care that modern feminists tout Anne and Gilbert’s relationship as “abusive” just because he yanked her pigtail and called her “Carrots.” Coming from the generation that enjoys Many Shades of Grey, no less.
First published in 1908, Anne and Gilbert have a classic love that has enthralled generations of readers. The best part about their love is that it proved that a couple can overcome their differences, swallow their pride and truly learn to love and trust one another.
For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come into one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it revealed itself in seeming prose, until some sudden shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps. . . perhaps. . .love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose slipping from its green sheath.
Written by L.M. Montgomery, the books of Anne’s life start with her adoption by siblings Marilla and Matthew Cutbert at the tender age of 11 and continues through her adult years over an eight book series Start at the beginning with Anne of Green Gables. Let it carry you back to a simpler time and place.
3. Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark
It’s so hard to imagine finding love while in the situation that Katniss and Peeta were in. I can’t imagine the heartbreak, fear and emotional trauma that these two-faced. What is so endearing to me about Katniss and Peeta is that he was willing to die for her from the start. While Katniss carried much emotional trauma and took longer to know her heart—in the end she found the one person who could understand her and still love her.
No one else could have related to Katniss or known the depths of her sorrow as much as someone who had experienced the same. I know there are many that really rooted for Katniss to end up with Gale but they were on two entirely different pages. While both were participants in the revolution, Katniss was an unwilling participant and Gale was not. The trauma that soldiers face during the casualties of war are hard enough but think about being forced into the role. The emotional trauma would be all the more great for someone forced to kill or be killed.
Katniss found what she needed in Peeta, the one peron who was meek and had kept a firm hold on his soul and his morals despite being forced into the Arena. He knew her, her struggles and how to temper her fear and guilt with his desire to simply live his own life and to protect the woman he loved.
What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.
The Hunger Games is book one in the popular 2008 Young Adult dystopian series written by Suzanne Collins. Subsequently, The Hunger Games was released as a four-part movie series starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson as Katniss and Peeta.
4. Jo March and Professor Bhaer
This is a coupling that people either love or hate. Josephine March seemed to be girl who had her life together but ultimately her maternal caring for her sisters (and everyone else) left her social life in a state of disarray. Jo was lonely and yet when a chance for love finally came, she fled out of fear. It was a confusing time for Jo because while she adored Laurie, she never quite fit in his world. True, he had been such a sweet friend but he also seemed much too shallow for my sweet Jo. In the professor she found someone who was so much more her intellectual equal. I felt that he treated her as such and that he respected her intellect enough that he could be very direct with her.
Jo was a no-nonsense kind of girl and the sensible yet endearing professor was just a better choice for her. Sure, one might argue that perhaps Jo wasn’t so no-nonsense with her silly short stories, but I think that the professor saw her ability and truly wanted her to live up to her potential.
Love or hate them, no one can argue that the proposal, though simple was one of the sweetest. For years I secretly hoped some poor fool would walk to my house in the rain and get down on one knee and propose.
“Ah! Thou gifest me such hope and courage, and I haf nothing to gif back but a full heart and these empty hands,” cried the Professor, quite overcome.
Jo never, never would learn to be proper, for when he said that as they stood upon the steps, she just put both hands into his, whispering tenderly, “Not empty now,” and stooping down, kissed her Friedrich under the umbrella.
Little Women is the first title in a series about life in post-civil war America and follows the lives of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy. Penned by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is a classic that has delighted audiences since 1862.
5. Juliana Wessex and Collin Goodrich
I am a total sucker for a good Robin Hood story and what I loved so much about this retelling is that a girl got to be the Robin-figure.
Driven from her home, the Lady Wessex has turned into a cloaked bandit. Like Robin, she robs nobility to feed the poor and oppressed families living under the thumb of her tyrannical uncle.
As fate would have it, Juliana happens to rob a certain Collin Goodrich—a young man that she knew from her past life as the Lady Juliana.
Collin recognizes Juliana and wants to win her trust and help her in her cause. The reason this couple makes it into my top five is that it shows that you make sacrifices for the person you love and put their well-being above your own.
In a world filled with so much darkness this book is a clean and lighthearted romance that will whisk you back to the days of knights in shining armor and damsels in distress.
Tell me what you want me to do, and I’ll do it, he whispered again. I’ll do anything for you.
I closed my eyes at the comfort that came from his words. I’d had to be strong for so long. I’d had to fight and scrap and struggle to stay alive. Everyone else depended upon me. And it felt so good to lean on someone else for a change and to know I wasn’t alone.