Favorite Literary Couples VII

I’m aliiiiiive! Some of you might be wondering why I haven’t been posting lately but real life has been taking up most of my time, and honestly whenever I have some free time, all I want to do is read (or take a nap). I have been on Litsy A LOT (username: Chachic) because that’s easier to update on my phone than WordPress. But I wouldn’t want to miss this yearly post! I’m here to present a list that has become one of my blog traditions. Every year on Valentine’s Day, I post a list of fictional couples I’ve loved from books that I’ve read in the previous year. You can check out posts from years past through these links: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016. Whoa, how awesome is it that this is the eighth edition of this post? I’m so glad I’ve been able to keep it up.

I will be inserting some of my bookstagrams below, and the captions are automatically displayed… some of them aren’t applicable anymore (e.g. I posted a pic before I read the book) so please feel free to ignore them.

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Lily and Luc from Pretty Face by Lucy Parker – I’m cheating a bit with this one because it hasn’t been released yet but I’m grateful I was approved for an early copy. Lucy Parker was in my list last year so I knew I would enjoy her latest romance, and I wasn’t disappointed. I loved how she was able to portray such a strong connection between Lily and Luc in spite of their age gap and the obstacles in their way. They just understood each other, they have the kind of relationship that you’d want for yourself. It was just so much fun reading about them. The West End setting was another aspect that I enjoyed, and of course I loved that Lily is a reader as shown by this passage:

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Malorie and Tristan from A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand – All of the books in Laura’s La vie en Roses have been a delight to read and A Crown of Bitter Orange is no exception. Aside from the strong sense of place, Laura just makes scents and textures leap off the page. Malorie and Tristan were both secretly infatuated with each other while growing up and it was funny that they both had no idea. I liked the contrast between their personalities, their work/passion and the way they think… and also how well they knew each other even though they’re so different. They admired each other not because they don’t recognize the other person’s flaws, but because they could see past those to what makes them the person they are. I’m not sure I’m making any sense here but they really just saw each other clearly. As always, I enjoyed the Rosier family dynamics and absolutely can’t wait for the next installment in this series.

A new Laura Florand is always something to be happy about. She's one of my favorite romance authors. I've loved all of the other titles in her La vie en Roses series set in Grasse, France, featuring a family in the perfume business. I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy this one too. I couldn't resist taking a pic of A Crown of Bitter Orange with this bottle of orange blossom EDT (I bought the cologne version). Maybe I should have done this for Once Upon a Rose and A Wish Upon Jasmine too? πŸ“–πŸŒΉ FYI, Once Upon a Rose is on sale for just 0.99usd now. Such a good bargain! . . . #LauraFlorand #ACrownofBitterOrange #LavieenRoses #romance #bookblogger #reviewcopy #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #IGreads #IGbooks #booksPH #Litsy #ChristineLhuillierParfumerie #fragrance #perfume

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Iris and Gio from Iris After the Incident by Mina V. Esguerra – Filipino romance (#romanceclass) at its finest! I have been reading and actively promoting Mina’s books ever since I discovered her writing way back in 2010. I think it’s amazing how she’s been exploring and growing in her writing. I think this one has such a unique and intriguing premise, with a plot that I thought was a brave choice for a Philippine setting. Iris and Gio both have painful experiences that have shaped and scarred them, and I felt that their romance and their issues were handled thoughtfully. I’m purposefully being vague because I don’t want to share any spoilers!

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Lila and Kell from A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab – These books are awesome and the romance(s) are not the central part of the story but of course, I enjoyed reading about them! I loved Lila and Kell’s interactions right from start, from trying to one-up each other to slowly realizing that maybeee what they feel for the other person goes beyond friendship (or unwilling partnership?). Some of the best scenes in the books were the ones where they were together (even better when Rhy and Alucard were also there). I’m so glad the third book will be out soon because I need to know what happens next! These two seriously deserve all the happiness they can get so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for them.

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Jess and Mitch from Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar – I’m basically just going to quote my own review: “I seriously could not get enough of Jess and Mitch! I loved all of their interactions, and I kept waiting for scenes that had the two of them together. I’m normally not a fan of drama in a romance but everything that Jess and Mitch went through felt necessary. They needed to experience all of it to grow and develop both individually and as a couple. I wouldn’t call their romance slow burn because sparks fly the moment they meet and they do act on it, but the depth in their relationship is earned the hard way. Also, I thought it was really cute that their family and friends were invested in their relationship.”

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Runners-up for the past year are:
Jess and Blake from Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Daniel and Rex from In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish
Cat and Griffin from A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Martise and Silhara from Master of Crows by Grace Draven
Catherine and Andrew from Ruined by Sarah Vaughn and Sarah Searle in the Fresh Romance graphic novel anthology (is there any news about the next volume??)

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I feel like I read a lot of romance and even the fantasy novels I’m usually into have some sort of love story in them, but when the time comes for me to round up my list like this, I keep thinking I WANT MORE. πŸ˜€ What about you, who are your favorite fictional couples from books that you’ve read within the previous year? Are you planning to do anything special for Valentine’s Day? It’s going to be a regular work day for me but I’m hoping I’ll have time to read a good romance after work. πŸ™‚ Also hoping I won’t be too sleepy in the office because I stayed up late to work on this post. Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! ❀

Weekends are for drinking tea and reading

I have been such a slow reader lately because real life keeps getting in the way of reading and blogging time. I’ve been reading V.E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic books for the past few weeks and I thought I’d finish A Gathering of Shadows this weekend but now it’s almost over and nope, I’m nowhere near the end. I did notice that I’ve visited TWG cafe for three weekends straight, and I brought the two books with me to read. So I thought I’d share some of the pictures that I took.

TWG cafe - group

It all started with this Hobbit-like brunch spread with my ex-flatmates

I’m actually a bit surprised that I’ve never talked about TWG on the blog before. TWG is a Singaporean premium tea brand and I fell in love with their teas when I first moved to Singapore. I was heavily influenced by one of my flatmates who is also a huge fan. My appreciation for TWG tapered off a bit and was recently renewed when I discovered that their all of their food items are infused with tea. I’ve always tried just their pastries and macarons, but now I’ve become a fan of their savory dishes and their scones served with cream and tea jelly.

TWG cafe - brunch

I went back the next weekend to have brunch there again. The tea book has the full list of teas that they serve, including descriptions for each.

TWG cafe - flower tea, scones and macarons

The brunch set included tea, macarons and scones.

TWG cafe - A Darker Shade of Magic

Reading A Darker Shade of Magic with tea in the background.

The picture above was actually regrammed by TWG in their official Instagram account. I thought that was pretty cool.

TWG cafe - A Gathering of Shadows

Scones with two kinds of tea jelly: 1837 Black and Red of Africa. Plus my current read: A Gathering of Shadows.

TWG cafe - A Gathering of Shadows chapter illustration

Chapter illustrations of the UK edition of A Gathering of Shadows.

As always, the resolution is better over at my Instagram account if you guys want to check that out. How about you, how was your weekend? Also, do you enjoy drinking tea as much as I do? Even though I didn’t get to read like I originally wanted to, I had a restful Saturday (woohoo nap time) and was able to visit a new-to-me place on Sunday. So still a pretty good weekend overall… which I need to remind myself as I face the dreaded Monday.

V.E. Schwab Book Haul

I survived my first week at the new job! To reward myself, I went to the bookstore and bought two books from this shelf… can you guess which ones they are? πŸ™‚

Kinokuniya bookshelf - taken with Samsung S7

If you guessed A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab then you’re absolutely right! I keep hearing good things about both books from friends so I’ve been wanting to check them out. I know I keep saying I need to buy books in ebook format to save space, but the Kindle editions for these are still pretty pricey, and the UK paperback editions cost just a few more dollars so might as well get physical copies for the prettiness.

V.E. Schwab books

I hope I get to read these soon. Although I’ve heard that the second book ends on a cliffhanger. Maybe I should have waited for all three books to be released before getting the series? Oh well, too late now. πŸ˜›

As an aside, I finally switched from a Samsung S3 to an S7 Edge. The bookshelf pic above was the first one I posted on Instagram using the new phone. I got my old phone when I first moved to Singapore and had it for almost 4 years. I’m loving the upgrade, including having a way better phone camera. So expect nicer shots from me!