Literary Love: Urban Fantasy Couples

Today Literary Love will turn it's microscopic eye to the couples of Urban Fantasy. Long known for their kick-butt heroines and fast-paced action sequences, Urban Fantasy books are steadily gaining a reputation in the romantic department as well. More of often than not, since most UF novels are written as a series, relationships are not resolved or even remotely cemented in the first book. Or the second. Sometimes onto the fourth or fifth book, the reader is still left wondering if those two will ever stop butting heads and just admit they are completely over the moon about each other already. Although the author usually does throw in some nice make-out scenes along the way that go far in keeping the masses happy. But why the long, drawn-out courtship you ask? Well, I'll give you a couple of reasons:

1. UF heroines are usually out saving the world (or at least their city) on a daily basis. They don't have time for all that flowers and dating stuff. Sometimes they don't even have time for a shower - which can be a downer in any budding relationship.

2. UF heroines also tend to be classified as 'smart alecks;' women who have trouble keeping their mouth shut even in the face of extreme I-am-going-to-die-horribly-if-I-say-anything-else situations. This doesn't often go over too well with the macho man who is currently pursuing them. The two end up butting heads and much snarky dialogue ensues (my personal favorite).

3. People want to kill UF heroines. Usually because they are in possession of a secret/skill set that makes world domination for said evil doers impossible. Or because they trash talk too much. It's a toss up but either way it can put a mighty strain on the night-life.

Frankly, I am a huge fan of this long courtship trend. It generates lots of sexual tension, plenty of snark, and ample opportunities for the heroine to show off her wicked fighting abilities so that the man in question can properly appreciate her Skillz. So by the time they do finally hook up, the reader is practically on pins and needles from all the building tension and the result is usually nothing short of a Fourth of July fireworks display.

I bet you're wondering who my favorite UF couple is by now aren't you?

Although there are many such series floating about, my top UF couple has to be Kate and Curran from Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series (Magic Bites, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, Magic Bleeds).
photos courtesy of author's website

What began as a promising UF set in a magic-ravaged Atlanta has turned into one of my favorite series to date. Kate is a knight who fights bad magic with some serious sword skills and Curran is the Beast Lord himself (be very afraid). Kate is good at talking trash and annoying Curran to no end and Curran particularly enjoys sneaking up on Kate and breaking into her apartment. For a prime example of their working relationship, let me direct you to a scene between Kate and Curran from Magic Strikes:
“Can I fetch you your food, Your Majesty? Can I tell you how strong and mighty you are, Your Majesty? Can I pick out your fleas, Your Majesty? Can I kiss your ass, Your Majesty? Can I . . .”

“Technically it should be ‘may I,’ since you’re asking permission. To answer your question, yes, you may kiss my ass. Normally I prefer to maintain my personal space, but you’re a Friend of the Pack and your services have proven useful once or twice. I strive to accommodate the wishes of persons friendly to my people. My only question is, would your kissing my ass be obeisance, grooming, or foreplay?”
These two practically have 'Happily Ever After' in sparkly ink written all over them, don't they? All fun and games aside, these two really are the perfect match. And although they haven't quite agreed to a long walk down the aisle together, Kate and Curran have gone through several intense encounters which have only brought them closer. So far, Kate and Curran have enjoyed some very nice scenes together but their sexual tension level basically skyrocketed to code red in Magic Strikes - leaving me on tender-hooks waiting for the upcoming sequel Magic Bleeds. I just know it's gonna be a kicker.

Who is your favorite Urban Fantasy duo? Nominate your favorite Literary Love couple here or in the comments.


Holly said...

You've hit the nail on the head here Michelle - love me some Kate and Curran!

Abigail said...

For UF, I have to add Bella & Edward, and also Mercy & Adam

Liviania said...

I recently finished MAGIC BITES, so it's nice to see that I'll fall even more in love with this couple.

My favorite UF couple might be Delilah and Cal from Rob Thurman's novels. I think I like them because they're a change of pace from the urban fantasy mold. They aren't in love, but they're both satisfied by what they get out of the relationship. Plus, they obviously care for each other a little more than they'd admit.

Angiegirl said...

Okay, I just finished re-reading the Kate books and I am just sitting here shaking my head at how freaking entertaining they are. I absolutely LOVE them. And so much of it is exactly what you describe, Michelle. I am, and forever will be, an enormous fan of the long, drawn-out courtship. With the sexy scenes sprinkled throughout to keep me going. ;)

As far as favorite UF couples go it probably comes down to a tie for me between Kate/Curran and Mercy/Adam. I'm also a big fan of Ciara/Shane from Jeri Smith-Ready's WVMP Radio series.

Michelle said...

Holly - Yay!! I'm so glad you joined the Kate and Curran fan club.

Abigail - Both very good choices. Thanks!

Liviania - Goodness. I've never read any of Rob Thurman's novels. Sounds like I need to put some books on my TBR list. Thanks for the heads-up.

Angie - Don't you love re-reads? I need to read them all again before MB comes out. And you like Ciara and Shane that much huh? I read the first book but wasn't over the moon about them. Should I keep going?

Angiegirl said...

Well, they are not in the same league as Kate/Curran and Mercy/Adam. But I am fond of them all the same.

Michelle said...

Angie - So you're saying there's a chance huh? Well, maybe I should pick up the next book.