*Clicking on title of book brings you to my review or clicking on couple's names for Amazon page if I didn't write one
Lt. Charles Dance and Jane Burke – A Scandal to Remember by Elizabeth Essex
Their courtship is slower moving with the outer story details moving the story along but when they are together, they are felt. With a gentle and sweet romance between Dance and Jane, they swept me along with the story.Their back and forth teasing and charmingly realness make Jane and Dance such a heart melting pleasure to read about.
Drea and Cam - Make Me Up by Avery Flynn
Boiling heat between our couple; they really shine when they are together, luckily for 90% of it they're stuck like glue to one another. Each obstacle they face is figured out by Cam with Drea rising up to the challenge for whatever he needs her to do. These two have a wicked playfulness between each other that make them pretty fun to read about.
Xhex and John Matthew – Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
I'm a little late to the party on this one but Xhex and John Matthew were such a painfully beautiful couple. They both have a painful past and it takes quite the journey for them to eventually get together. Their sexual tension, pain, lashing out, eventual breaking down, and coming together was hard and oh so heartwrenching, their story will stick with you.
Earl of Blackstone and Emily Mirren – The Miss Mirren Mission by Jenny Holiday
The subtle humor by and between the hero and heroine was delightful; Blackstone and Emily interacted so appealingly together. Both characters were tangible and their feelings and thoughts had such realness to them. Blackstone and Emily don't have one glance at each other and declare their ever dying love but talk, grow, and bond. There was playfulness but also challenging and testing between one another that I loved and drew me into their story. I believed in this couple and eagerly anticipated each tete a tete. There is a line in the story that states "uncomplicated but profound" which I find to describe our couple perfectly.
Michael and Francey – Now You See Him by Anne Stuart
Our hero gets the job done and each time he falls a little bit more for Francey through her quick verbal retorts, vulnerability, strength, and calmness, you'll fall a little bit more for this couple. In the calmer moments when the focus is on Francey and Michael, there are some truly heartbreaking scenes. Michael is there for Francey, sometimes behind the scenes but always working to keep her safe and never quite managing to keep himself away from her. When Francey is rescued from a jail, Michael holds her while she is in a drug induced state and Francey wakes up thinking it was all a dream; they have their moments of being star-crossed lovers.
Zelda and Hugo – Beneath the Mask by Carolyn Crane
Zelda and Hugo's relationship is what makes this book so much more and more in a way that won't always make you feel comfortable. Their meet cute involves Zelda in skimpy lingerie tied to a jeep while Hugo slaughters a battlefield of men, their first sexual encounter features opium, and the term hate sex has never been truer (or hotter). Hugo thinks Zelda is truly Liza, a former druggie and current high priced prostitute. Zelda spent a lot of her time hunting Kabakas while in the CIA and has to find out if Hugo is an imposter or the real deal. Their relationship is incredibly raw in action and emotion; this is not for the faint of heart. Zelda is tough, competent, and hurting, Hugo is very emotionally damaged from his childhood, a warrior, and has a heart just waiting to be freed from its encasement; this is Anne Stuart for the 21st century. Their journey from mistrust, wariness, shyly reaching out, connection, back to mistrust, to full blazing loving will reach out and grab you by the throat.
Lilias and Alistair – In Bed With a Spy by Alyssa Alexander
Emotion between our leads was extremely on point; the romance and sexual tension was amazing and written in such a way I went to go check this author's backlist.
The amazing emotional depth the author was able to infuse her characters with and the molten hot heat between this couple have made them unforgettable.
Mary and Wolf – Mackenzie’s Mountain by Linda Howard
Another book I've kind of been late to the party to. Our main couple, Mary and Wolf, had an incredibly sweet relationship and I definitely see what all the fuss was about with them. I would recommend this book solely on the emotions between the two. And that rainy storm sex scene, because, yeah...
Dorian and Farah – The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne
Dorian and Farah have a certain spark between them that was at turns playful, light, deep, emotional, burning, and heavy. Their contentment to be around one another colors their dialogue at times with a lightheartedness that makes their growing love believable and investing to read. The author didn't come out and tell us they wanted each, instead it's felt by the reader in every glance Dorian gives Farah that isn't seen and every touch Farah reaches out to give that is never felt by Dorian. There's anger, desire, hurt, hunger, lies, and love all swirling between Farah and Dorian; together they're believable.
Clara and Raven – Dukes Prefer Blondes by Lorretta Chase
It is when they are together that our couple really shines and keep the reader wanting more. Their chemistry can't be denied, instead of numerous heavy bedroom scenes (there are a couple of these too, just not the center piece) aggressively trying to show us how in love our couple is, we get amusing and quick-witted conversations that stimulates Clara and Raven's minds and bodies. Through this verbal fencing they learn one another as they reveal their true selves. With Raven's "I don't suffer fools" attitude and Clara's blinding beauty, they weren't set-up to be the most sympathetic couple but through the author's writing, we got a look into their heartfelt souls.
Zeke and Mimi - That Man of Mine by Maria Geraci
A married very young, have drifted apart, strong extremely stoic waters run deep husband, and feeling lost wanting more wife, couple. The trust between these two was the strongest I'd ever read between a couple and they had little moments that simply cracked my heart. Zeke and Mimi were a great couple to read about, no forced angst and the trust between the two was a thing of beauty.
Lilias and Alistair
They stimulated my mind and body ;)
Will and Holly
What couple was your favorite from the year?
Next time, the final installment, Best Contemporary, Best Historical,
and Best book of 2015