Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Ten Recent Romances

I've already done a top ten list on my favorite love stories here (Beauty and the Beast, The Time Traveler's Wife, and LadyHawke are on that list), so this list is going to be a little different. 

Top Ten Tuesday is  an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish blog with a different top ten list theme (all related to books) every Tuesday (see the full list here). 

I have this odd obsession with categorizing love stories. I started out with thirteen categories of love stories here, and the following year expanded that to eighteen different types of love stories

But every year I discover more variations on all the different ways love can be found and lost. So here are ten more categories from some recent fictional romances that have come out in the past year or so. 

1. Crown of Embers by Rae Carson. Afraid love can't be returned. Hector is in love with his Queen (who he can't hope to marry) and charged with the role of protecting her life. And Elisa is all, oh I love this guy but there's no way he could love me back, he's just here because it's his duty.

2. The Archived, by Victoria Schwab.  "Working together dangerously" romance. Mackenzie and Wesley both do the same job, and its a very dangerous job (involving the "contents" of a creepy supernatural library). They have to keep their job a secret, too, from practically everyone else in their lives. So naturally they are drawn to each other, and naturally their job forces complications into their relationship. 

3. Stormdancer, by Jay Kristoff.  In love with the enemy's man. Yukiko has the misfortune of falling in love with one of the Shogun's samurai (personal guard to the Japanese king) - and the Shogun ends up being the bad guy. So when it comes down to it, she doesn't know if Hiro is going to be true to her, or to his king. 

4. Grave Mercy, by Robin LaFevers. Forced to pretend to be lovers. Ismae is assigned the most insulting job ever: forced to pose as a mistress to a noble, where she has to pretend to be romantically involved in a dishonorable situation. Duval isn't very keen on this set-up either.  Not to mention they're in a political situation where they don't know if they can trust each other.  

5.  Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo. Tempted from true love by a powerful man.  Alina is in love with boy she grew up with, but knows she's just a friend to him. When she is forced to join the Grisha (an army of magicians) she is courted by the Darkling, the powerful and mysterious leader of the Grisha. Should she hold out hope for the friend she's really in love with, or give into this new temptation?

6. Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman. In love with a guy who is promised to your best friend. At least Seraphina has his friendship, though. Except for this: if he (or her friend, who is also the princess) discover her horrible secret, kiss everything goodbye.

7. For Darkness Shows the Stars, by Diana Peterfreund.  Love wrecked by obligations, but forced to continue to be friends.  In this futuristic re-telling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, Kai won't forgive Elliot for turning him down to meet her family obligations. Now he's flaunting his attentions on her friends and it's tearing her apart (and making him miserable too).

8. Scarlet, by A.C. Gaughn.  I'm too tough to fall in love.  A re-telling of Robin Hood, where one of Robin's gang is actually a girl in disguise. Robin knows Scarlet's secret, but she refuses to let him get under her skin. Turns out her toughness is a desperate attempt to cover up something else.

9. The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.  Competitors pitted against each other fall in love.  Marco and Celia serve different masters, who are involved in some mysterious competition, with unclear but dangerous stakes. Marco and Celia are chess pieces in their games... until they overturn the board. 

10. Opposite of Hallelujah, by Anna Jarzab. I had the perfect love until I totally messed it up. Caro really lucks out with the neatest guy, who's crazy about her, fun to be around, doesn't even have any dark, destructive secrets. Nope, the secrets are what Caro has. So she lies. But then she gets found out. And Mr. Perfect is freaked out by it (turns out he's not so perfect after all). 

Which one of these categories most intrigued you? (or share a romantic category of your own). 


  1. Afraid I'm hooked on regency romance by Georgette Heyer, the themes are always the same!

  2. Brilliant. And true.

    Here's ♥♥♥Love Stories I Love♥♥♥
    . I'd love to have you stop by and share your thoughts.

  3. I always love your Top Ten lists, Margo! All of these books sound so fantastic... I've only read the NIGHT CIRCUS, which I loved loved loved.

  4. Hm, many of these are in my TBR as we speak. I wonder if the high altitude thing improves them? If so, I have one up on sea level folks as well!

  5. What about "R" the zombie and Julie from Isaac Marion's "Warm Bodies!" It's so romantic! At least that's what gay boys tell me.

  6. Love this list because most of these are unique. Not just your typical love triangle or human girl with brooding supernatural type. :D

  7. I love how you came up with this list, Margo. I'm going to have to try that.

    The only book on your list I've read is The Night Circus, and I didn't actually finish it. I didn't realize there was going to be a romance in it at some point.

  8. YOU HAVE SUCH AMAZING PICKS! Seriously, it's like a love letter to my bookshelf. Sigh.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, Ms. Margo. :)

    Shelver @ Bookshelvers Anon

  9. Thank goodness for all these different types of love stories or we readers would get bored. And then if you categorize according to Blake Snyder's version of love stories (which include all buddy stories), can you imagine how many different categories you'd have? Fun!

  10. I've read some of those. I like all those different romantic set ups, as long as it's done well!

  11. The Archived sounds fascinating to me...there's just something cool about creepy libraries. (On a related note, my favorite Dr. Who episode is the two-parter about the planet-sized library with the spooky shadows.)


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