Dear Reader:


I've been wondering, what makes a great fictional couple? Well,  let’s see… some times it’s the chemistry, and sometimes it’s the bantering that leads to misunderstandings or hurt feelings which leads to  fighting, which can often lead to making up, which leads to… more chemistry.


There are also those moments of will-they-or-won’t-they mixed in with moments of revelation, understanding, tenderness, and romance. Oftentimes it’s that moment of realization that they’re meant to be together that cements them as a great couple. It’s hard to define exactly what makes a great couple, but one thing I do know is that in order to be a great couple the two fictional characters have to grab hold of both our emotions as well as our intellect. When they grab hold of our intellect, whether it's through humor or drama they inevitably find a way to carve a place in our memories for a long time.


There are so many fictional couples that I just can’t imagine the world with out. In television I couldn’t imagine a Lucy without a Ricky or a Meredith without a McDreamy or a Rachel without a Ross.


In movies the very thought of Harry without Sally, Ronny without Loretta,  President Andrew Shepherd without Sydney Ellen Wade, or heaven forbid Lady without the Tramp, leaves me disturbed.


In romance novels I just can’t fathom a Jamie sans Claire, or Eve still single with Roarke dating every NY socialite in town. If Zsadist had not found Bella  he might very well be dead right now; Sam would be a shell of his former self without Alyssa and Jessica without Sebastian is unthinkable.


Now a new pairing comes to light that I just can’t imagine the fictional world without—that would be Catherine Marks (Cat) and Lord Ramsey (Leo) in Lisa Kleypas’ Married by Morning, the fourth book in her Hathaway series.  Both Cat and Leo captured not only my emotions but sparked my intellect. 


When Leo finds out that he must marry in order to save his family fortune and literally the roof over his head his first thought is of Catherine; the only woman who despises him. Ah, you may think, now the hijinks can commence, but you'd be wrong. Miss Kleypas is an exceptionally talented author and her building of character traits, story arcs and sub plots is meticulous and finely tuned. In the previous Hathaway books, Mine Till Midnight, Seduce Me at Sunrise, and Tempt Me at Twilight, we were introduced to the delightful Hathaway family and with each successive book she has made this family come alive for us and fall in love with all their eccentricities, peccadilloes, and foibles. In fact Cat, a paid companion and not a family member, has also fallen in love with them, all except for Leo that is. It’s up to Leo to persuade this contrary woman of the charms that everyone else can see he possesses.


So, dear reader, you may be asking, what makes Leo and Cat a great fictional couple? Well to put it plainly, Cat is a strong, determined woman who has made it in the world almost on her own, she is spirited and can hold her own with the best of them. She has faced great adversity in her life and has secrets that have made her the woman she is. Leo is also extremely intelligent and determined. He too has faced hardships but has come out the other end stronger for it. He has a passion for life, learning, and love. Together they begin as chalk and cheese and end up as a glove to a hand; they fit perfectly. All thanks to Lisa Kleypas, who has exquisitely fashioned these two characters by putting pen to paper with her ability to write dialogue and prose that is pleasurable, poignant, and poetic. Cat and Leo will stay in my memory for a long, long time.


Until next Monday, remember, there’s a book waiting to be read.


Who are your favorite fictional couples? And what makes a fictional couple great?


Don’t forget to stop by and visit with Eloisa James today; she’s talking about innocent heroines in Reading Romance.




Marisa O’Neill is an avid reader and television producer.

0 Kudos
by Cheyenne_Catina on ‎06-07-2010 10:00 PM

ian mcgregor and naomi brightstone

by Blogger Marisa-ONeill on ‎06-08-2010 05:12 AM

Cheyenne - you couldn't be more right - Nora always gives us great couples!

by KatiebabsKG on ‎06-08-2010 03:12 PM

Eve and Roarke, best romantic couple ever!

by Blogger Maria_Lokken on ‎06-08-2010 05:16 PM

Jaime and Claire - you can't beat them for a great couple.

What makes a great fictional couple you ask?  For me it's the chemistry.  It's the little things they do for each other throughout the story.  It's the trials they get through together. 

by Blogger Marisa-ONeill on ‎06-08-2010 09:48 PM

Katiebabs - Eve and Roarke had me at the grey button! Their relationship just keeps getting more and more refined and real. I'm going to stay with them as long as La Nora keeps writing them!


Maria - Jamie and Claire - when he sees her (in the second book) Dragon Fly in Amber, after being apart for 20 years.... well, be still my heart. Now there's a couple who grabbed me both emotionally and intellectually.


Is it a wonder that Eve, Roarke, Jamie and Claire stay in our hearts and memories. 

by KatiebabsKG on ‎06-09-2010 03:20 PM

I ditto Jamie and Claire. Best baby boomer romantic couple ever written. Also Dain and Jessica from Chase's Lord of Scoundrels.

by Blogger Maria_Lokken on ‎06-09-2010 03:47 PM

Heads up Katiebabs - I know many, many 20 year-olds that are discovering the Outlander Series.  Jamie and Claire live on!

by Cheyenne_Catina on ‎06-09-2010 08:05 PM

i also think od caroline and tucker longstreet...

nora is a great author

o, but theres also johann and gabriel, Madelyne and duncan, brenna and connor...all from julie garwood...

ok, and the mckettricks

by lisadh on ‎06-15-2010 02:05 PM

Whitney Stone and Clayton Westmoreland, Elizabeth Cameron & Ian Thornton, and Sara Fielding & Derek Craven are the couples that I keep returning to.  Just gets me every time. 




by kerrysbabydoll on ‎06-21-2010 10:03 PM

Without a doubt.........Jamie and Claire are my favorite. 


Who are Eve and Roarke?  Always looking for another go to couple



by Blogger Marisa-ONeill on ‎06-23-2010 07:14 AM

Hi Kerrysbabydoll! 


Eve and Roarke are the hero and heroine of J.D. Robb's on going IN DEATH series.  J.D. Robb is Nora Roberts' alter-ego and only writes the IN DEATH series.  I believe there are 30 books in the series and it's one of my absolute favorites. So if you're looking for a new book to read definitely check it out. The first book is Naked In Death.



hi lisadh! Yes, Sara and Derek are two of my all time favorites. Then again, they were brought to life by Lisa Kleypas - enough said.

by njoireading on ‎07-02-2010 04:52 PM

Jaime and Claire are favorites; also Leo and Byrony.


Since 1997, you’ve been coming to to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.