Chachic's Book Nook


13 Comments

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.

.

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:

.

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? 📖🌹 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

A post shared by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

.

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!

.

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.

.

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.”

.

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??)

.

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. 😀 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. 🙂 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! ❤


12 Comments

Favorite Literary Couples VII

A few days ago, I posted a list of some of my favorite couples from non-romance books. Today, I’m back 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. I’m a bit surprised that this is the seventh version of this list, it doesn’t feel like I’ve been blogging that long! Well, that’s a good thing, right? That means it still hasn’t gotten old for me and I’m having fun. 😀


Image from We Heart It

Steph and Grayson from Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra – Filipino romance represent! How can I not love #TeamStayson? Book blogger heroine who’s also an artist but is clueless about what she wants to do with her life, of course I can totally relate to her. Add in a hot rugby player as her hero and I’m one happy reader. This has also been one of my favorite titles to give as a gift to blogging buddies because 1) it’s written by a Filipino author and 2) it has a book blogger (on hiatus) MC.

Lainie and Richard from Act Like It by Lucy Parker – I’m a fan of certain tropes in romance if they’re done well, and Act Like It has two of them which I really enjoyed: a pretend relationship and a brooding, arrogant, Darcy-esque male lead. Plus it has a theater setting and I’m a big fan of musicals. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one, and I couldn’t wait to see what Lucy Parker would write next.

Jess and Damien from A Wish Upon Jasmine by Laura Florand – I am huge Laura Florand fangirl and I love her La vie en Roses series a tiny bit more than her Amour et Chocolat books. I don’t know how Laura does it but she achieves the perfect balance between strength and vulnerability in her characters. I love how Jess and Damien present a tough persona to the rest of the world, but they let their guard down around each other. As always, I also loved the Provence setting of the book and hints of a fairy tale within the story.

Agnieszka and Sarkan from Uprooted by Naomi Novik – I was blown away by the amazing storytelling in Uprooted and it reminded me of some of my favorite authors like Robin McKinley, Juliet Marillier and Diana Wynne Jones. I really enjoyed the development of Agnieszka and Sarkan’s relationship. Sarkan started as a reluctant mentor, and through their various adventures together, he gradually respects and admires Agnieszka. I’m delighted to have discovered another fictional couple in a non-romance book to love. I need to find more of those!

Petey and Finn from Bone Gap by Laura Ruby – Bone Gap was one of my favorite reads last year and while I haven’t written a review for it, I would enthusiastically recommend it to any fantasy or fairy tale retelling fan. I don’t think I’ve read anything like it. Laura Ruby’s writing is definitely unique. I loved the slow burn romance between two complex characters, Petey and Finn, who deserved all the love that they could get.

Runners-up for the past year are:
Skylar and Josh from I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
Hannah and Garrett from The Deal by Elle Kennedy
Ellie and Knox from Sacked by Jen Frederick
Amy and Dax from Sleeping with Her Enemy by Jenny Holiday
The couple featured in Soppy by Philippa Rice

Who are your favorite fictional couples from books that you’ve read within the previous year? Did you do anything special this Valentine’s weekend? I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, it was just a usual Sunday for me but I did grab some nice chocolates as a treat. And I’ve been reading romance novels. 🙂 Happy Hearts Day, everyone!


4 Comments

Favorite Literary Couples VI

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. I can’t believe this is the sixth time I’ve created a list like this!


Image from We Heart It

Medair and her love interest from Medair by Andrea K. Host – I’m being purposely vague to avoid spoilers but I just wanted to say that I really loved the slow burn and unexpected romance in this duology. More readers need to pick up Andrea K. Host’s books (one of my fave couples from last year was from her Touchstone trilogy).

Layla and Matt from Once Upon a Rose by Laura Florand – I’m a huge Laura Florand fangirl (see Amour et Florand) and she’s one of my go-to contemporary romance authors. Loved this sweet and tentative romance set in the beautiful region of Provence, the first full-length novel in what is sure to be a lovely series.

Nevada and Mad Rogan from Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews – Ilona and Gordon’s books are auto-read for me and they gave me another couple to love in Nevada and Rogan. Love-hate romance filled with banter that will span a whole trilogy? Yes, please!

Rikker and Graham from The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen – I believe this is the first time I’ve read a male-male romance and I adored it. I loved the whole Ivy Series by Sarina Bowen but Rikker and Graham’s bittersweet story lingered with me days after I finished reading the book. These two just went through so much together.

Sidney and Vaughn from It Happened One Wedding by Julie James – It’s always fun to read a Julie James novel because it’s like a chick flick in book form. Really enjoyed the banter in this one and I liked that Sidney is a bit older than the heroines in Julie’s earlier books (and therefore has a different set of problems).

Runners-up for the past year are:
The couples from Virginia Kantra’s Dare Island series because I couldn’t choose just one
Anna and Lincoln from Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer
Reagan and Matt from Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Mili and Samir from A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
Sarah and Patrick from The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand

Who are your favorite fictional couples from books that you’ve read within the previous year? Are you planning to do anything special this Valentine’s weekend? I don’t have anything planned but will definitely try my best to curl up with a romantic book sometime this weekend. Happy Hearts Day, everyone!


15 Comments

Favorite Literary Couples V

Okay, this post is really late. Every Valentine’s Day, I usually publish a list of my favorite fictional couples from the books that I’ve read in the past year. Unfortunately, the past week has been insanely busy and I wasn’t able to work on my list. During the work week, I was in Kuala Lumpur for a training program and then Saturday is moving day for me. Frankly, I’m exhausted and I’ve barely started unpacking. However, I wanted to put up this post before the end of the weekend. You can check out posts from years past through these links: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. Isn’t it awesome that I’ve been doing this for five years? 🙂


Image from We Heart It

I’m so happy I discovered Laura Florand’s books early last year (I will be eternally grateful to my friend Michelle for the recommendation) because I adore her romances. They’re sweet, funny and absolutely delectable. Perfect for any reader who enjoys both love stories AND desserts. It’s SO hard for me to choose a favorite couple out of all the books that she’s written because I love them all. But I’ll narrow it down to two couples, one from each of her series: Jaime and Dominique from The Chocolate Touch (Amour et Chocolat) and Allegra and Raoul from A Rose in Winter (La Vie en Roses)

May and Ben from Truly by Ruthie Knox – I had so much fun reading this serial online. Really enjoyed the tension between May and Ben. I loved that eating good food is something that they both enjoy doing. My favorite scenes in the book were whenever Ben wanted to have May try a restaurant with dishes that she’s never had before.

Lily and Rule in the World of the Lupi series by Eileen Wilks – While these two got together fairly early in the series, what I love is how their relationship continued to grow as they learned more about each other. I also enjoyed getting little details about their lives like who prefers cleaning their place vs. doing laundry because of certain personality quirks. I also love that their families are such a huge part of their relationship.

Cassandra and Kaoren in the Touchstone trilogy by Andrea K. Host – Amazing slow burn romance. I’m a sucker for stoic and unreadable characters because you never know what’s going on under the surface. I’m excited to reread this trilogy and dive back into this world. Also looking forward to reading more of Andrea’s books – and hoping that they will also have love stories that I could root for.

Natividad and Ezekiel from Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier – This is a tentative and understated romance, they haven’t gotten together during the course of the book but I’m being hopeful that things will develop in the sequel. I can’t wait to read it! It would be interesting to find out more about Ezekiel.

Because I can never stick to just five, here are the runners-up:
Carrie and Brian from The Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers
Story and Daniel from Officer off Limits by Tessa Bailey
Nyx and Ignifex from Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Cath and Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Tiger Lily and Peter Pan from Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

That’s it for the romances that I fell in love with in the past months. Have you read some of the books mentioned here? Who would make it to your list of favorite couples if you had one? Hope you all had a great Valentine’s weekend. I’m off to read a few more chapters of The Chocolate Temptation by Laura Florand before going to sleep. Good thing I have some good chocolates on hand.


33 Comments

Favorite Literary Couples IV

It has become my tradition to celebrate Valentine’s Day here on the blog by posting my favorite literary couples in books I’ve read in the past year. I can’t believe this is already the fourth installment of this post! Kind of amazing to think that I’ve been doing this for that long. I always enjoy doing this because I love literary love stories and I even have fictional crushes (if you’re a fellow book lover, I’m sure you completely understand). So it’s nice to go through books that I’ve read and try to pick the couples that stood out for me. You can check out posts from years past through these links: 2010, 2011, 2012


Image from We Heart It

Mia and Adam from If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman – I was pleasantly surprised by how invested I was in Mia and Adam’s love story. I liked that they’re so different from each other – Mia is a classical music girl who plays the cello while Adam has his rock band – and yet they work so well together. Another aspect of their relationship that I love is how Mia’s parents are so supportive of it that Adam learns to care about them like he’s part of the family. It was so easy to fall into their story and I wanted to bang my head on a wall for waiting so long to read Gayle Forman’s books – although it was a good thing that I didn’t have to wait for a sequel and I got to read these two novels together (not like after I finished Just One Day and couldn’t wait to get my hands on Just One Year). I need to thank one of my favorite authors for pointing me in the direction of these books.

Leah and Grayson from Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols – I found out that Jennifer Echols can write a great slow burn romance when I was introduced to her writing through Going Too Far. Ever since I finished reading that book, I’ve been waiting for her books to live up to how much I enjoyed the love story in Going Too Far. That finally happened with Such A Rush with all the tension between Leah and Grayson. It took them years to finally realize that they’re attracted to each other and I had such a good time watching them circling each other, trying to decide what the next move should be. It was an added bonus that both of them are pilots because I think pilots are cool.

Beth and Lincoln from Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – Such a fun premise and a sweet romance! Even though the book was set in the 90s, I could relate to the story because of Beth using her work mail to chat with her best friend. I also found Lincoln to be a really nice guy and I thought his geekiness was cute. I loved that these two characters are close to my own age and all the characters in the book felt like they were just trying to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives, trying to make big decisions to take a step in the direction that they want to go. Seriously can’t wait to read Eleanor and Park, they sound like another couple that I could root for.

Jacqueline and Lucas from Easy – I think Easy’s love story appealed to me because of the college setting. And also because Lucas seemed like a typical bad boy when he’s really not. I’m a sucker for characters like that. Plus this relationship took time to form, both characters had to work through their own issues before they could be together. I think it’s pretty obvious by now that I’m not a fan of instalove.

Kami and Jared from Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan – Okay, so this might be considered cheating because Kami and Jared aren’t exactly a couple but what they have is even more intimate. I can’t imagine what it must be like to have someone in your head all of the time. I think that bond makes Kami and Jared unique and in tune to each other like no other couple could be (unless they could also read each other’s minds). So even if they’re technically not together as a couple, I’m including them in my list. Looking forward to the sequel (also known as the make out book)!

Oh wow, quite surprising that most of the couples in the list above are from contemporary novels. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been reading mostly contemps but it seems like I need to discover more fantasy couples in the coming year (feel free to give suggestions). And because I always have a hard time narrowing down my choices, here are the runners-up:

Harper and Travis from Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
Seraphina and Lucian from Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Violet and Martin from Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry
Richard and Charlotte from Steel’s Edge by Ilona Andrews
Jasmine and Sean from Amplified by Tara Kelly

But wait, there’s more! The special mention award goes to:

Lizzie and Darcy from the Lizzie Bennet Diaries – I couldn’t talk about my favorite couples without mentioning these two. So these are characters from a web series instead of a book but they’re based on Pride and Prejudice characters so I think that still counts. In case I haven’t been talking enough about the LBD here (and in both Twitter and Tumblr), I just wanted to say that I like how they modernized the love story. It’s a slow burn romance and every episode with the two of them together is scrutinized in detail by fans all over the world. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. I refrained from posting a picture of the two of them together because I don’t want to spoil the Darcy reveal for those who haven’t reached that part yet.

Those are my favorite literary couples from books that I’ve read starting mid-February last year. Who are some of your favorite fictional couples? ♥ Would love to hear about them! One sure way of convincing me to pick up a book is by letting me know that there’s a well-written romance in there.

Linkage:
My friend Heidi of Bunbury in the Stacks also talked about her fave couples


32 Comments

Favorite Literary Couples III

Image from We Heart It

Listing down my favorite fictional couples has become a yearly tradition that I do it every Valentine’s Day. You can see my choices in 2010 and 2011 by clicking on the links. I highlight five favorite couples from books that I’ve read starting mid-February of last year until today. It’s always hard to narrow down my choices because I’m a big fan of romances when they’re done well.

Harper and Jake from Saving June by Hannah Harrington – Harper and Jake’s love story is the most swoon-worthy out of all the contemporary YA novels that I read last year. It’s the perfect kind of slow burn romance that develops through a road trip, both of them trying to handle the pain of losing a loved one.

Grace and Vaughn from Unsticky by Sarra Manning – From contemporary YA, we shift to contemporary adult with these two broken individuals. A relationship based on convenience between two people riddled with imperfections could go wrong in so many ways and yet it works for Grace and Vaughn.

Sean and Puck from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – Sean Kendrick is a quiet young man but when he chooses to speak his mind? Oh how he slays you with those perfect lines. Sean and Puck’s relationship starts with a friendship based on mutual interests and subtly develops the more time they spend together.

Karou and Akiva from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor – Karou and Akiva’s romance might seem like instant love at first glance but as you go through this lyrical novel, it becomes obvious that there’s so much more to it than initial attraction. It was the back story that I loved, finding out more about their past and what made them who they are when they meet again. I cannot wait to read more about them in Days of Blood and Starlight.

Kate and Curran from Magic Slays and Magic Gifts by Ilona Andrews – I may be cheating a bit here because I already listed Kate and Curran as a favorite couple last year but I can’t help it. I love how their relationship develops and it’s not the least bit boring even though they’re an established couple. Both of them still have issues that they need to work out and they go through all of that together.

I love that these couples are from books that fall under different genres (contemporary YA, contemporary adult, YA fantasy, adult urban fantasy). Yay for varied reading choices! I also listed down five runners-up in the previous years so I’d do the same here:

Hazel and Augustus from The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Claire and Venturo from Silver Shark by Ilona Andrews
Julie and Finn from Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Willa and Colin, Paxton and Sebastian from The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
Carly and Ryan from Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Who are some of your favorite fictional couples from the novels that you’ve read the past year? Any recent romantic reads?