Literary Love: It's All About the Slow Burn

The official Literary Love voting has begun!! If you haven't done so already, please be sure to vote for your favorites from a truly astounding list of unforgettable characters. We've got Alanna & George! Elizabeth & Mr. Darcy! Anne & Gilbert! We just need YOU to choose your dearest and most beloved couple.

Moving onto today's festivities...

This week Literary Love will host four marvy bloggers - each with an eye for all things bookish - ready and willing to illustrate who they hold to be the most memorable couples in literature. Our guest blogger today is the ever-amazing Angie of Angieville. You say you haven't heard of Angie? Well I just don't believe you. She's like the Godfather of the online book world. If Angie likes a book, chances are hoards of hungry readers will immediately make tracks to the nearest bookstore on her word alone. She's recommended more winners than I can personally count and is actually one of the main reasons I started this here bloggy in the first place. She's simply fabulous and has a library I would no doubt kill for. Trust me, you'll love her, you'll want to be her.

Take it away Angie!


It's All About the Slow Burn

Hey Literary Love readers! Happy Week 2! I was thrilled when Michelle invited me to post it up right nice about one of my favorite literary couples. But which among the my myriad beloveds to choose? The fretting....the uncertainty....*bites nails* You see, over at my place I read and review a lot of young adult, urban fantasy, and fantasy--all of which Michelle has done a bang-up job of addressing thus far. (Hello. Nat Eaton from The Witch of Blackbird Pond? Sa-woon! And don't even get me started on Kate & Curran. Rowr!) But when I asked Michelle if she had any requests, she mentioned a contemporary couple might be nice. And that was all it took. Because when it comes to contemporary couples--I'm all about Diana Peterfruend's Secret Society Girl series. I've waxed on about them on numerous occasions and, if Diana catches me doing it again here, she'll undoubtedly roll her eyes and tell me to get a room. So, shhhhh! But seriously, this series features a couple you do not want to miss. And the beauty of the series is, the romance sneaks up on you ever-so-quietly until the enormity and the perfection of it all smacks you over the head with a slate Anne Shirley style. Just the way I like it.

A Warning: I do not want to ruin this wonderful series for you. And so if you have not yet read them, it might be best to stop now, take my (or Michelle's) word for it, and go check them out stat. Part of the deliciousness is not knowing who or when or how. Trust me.

I do love a good independent woman. And that's exactly what Amy Haskel is. She's in her junior year at the prestigious Eli University, editor of the lit magazine, determined to get that high-powered internship at one of the big publishing houses in New York City after graduation. Everything in her life is running according to plan. And so to say she is stunned when Eli's most mysterious, most hallowed secret society--Rose & Grave--taps her for their next class would be a spectacular understatement. Particularly as Rose & Grave is notorious for being a patriarchal, females-need-not-apply kind of organization. But over the course of the next two years, as Amy becomes more deeply involved with the society and its members, she begins to form some of the most important relationships of her life. Among these are a trio of young men who each, in their own way, lay a claim on our girl. What I love about the four-book series is the time Diana Peterfreund takes developing these relationship so that at one point or another you find yourself rooting for each one of them. But always (and most importantly) for Amy. And as she is such a likable character, so strong and willing to speak her mind, the reader can see how the time and level of intimacy she shares with each of them, in turn, is right and good and an integral part of who she is becoming. From the best-friend-with-benefits to the sexy copper-eyed playboy to the prickly-as-hell patriarch.

I wasn't sure, even up until the end, who Amy would end up with. And, like I said, my hopes on the matter evolved more than once. But as far as I was concerned, from the middle of book two on, there would never be anybody for Amy but Poe. I know, I know. This is the same guy who, at one point, locks her up in a coffin and threatens to drown her. The guy who is so socially inept, so secretive, and so holier-than-thou, that he verges on being unbearable. The guy who adamantly opposes female taps and always, always, always puts the society before his fellow diggers. But this is also the Poe who risks his life to save Amy from drowning, who makes teaching her to swim a priority so it will never happen again. The guy who has a pet snake named Voldemort and mows lawns with his father during the summer to pay for law school. The guy who, in the end and in the face of the kind of job offer he's always dreamed of, chooses Amy. Chooses human connection in all its messy beauty over cold, hard ambition. He's the one who runs after her. He's the one who pounds on the gates and jumps on the boat and gives the mouse a name. When it comes to romance, I take mine black with a little cream and I like the flavor to sneak up on me slowly until I'm filled with its richness and its rightness. I love Amy & Poe's relationship because it develops ever-so-gradually over the course of four books. Because they honestly can't stand one another for half that time. Because they gain a grudging respect for each other almost in spite of themselves--and definitely despite how little they have in common on paper. And because they grow as a result of knowing each other. Their essential components--what makes them them (and awesome)--don't change, but what's important to them does. And they act on that knowledge. In this series, the hot is in the build-up, the realizations, the longing, and the bridging of gaps. That and a sexy shower and/or sandbar scene thrown in for good measure. *fans self* If you're in the mood for some well-written, humorous, thoughtful contemporary fiction with a romance that sizzles, I highly recommend the Secret Society Girl series. I adore these books beyond all reason and I hope you give them a shot this Valentine's season.

I hereby confess: It's all about the slow burn.

series reading order:
~ Secret Society Girl
~ Under the Rose
~ Rites of Spring (Break)
~ Tap & Gown


Alix said...

oh me too!

I am completely with you there is no one for Amy but Poe! It was all over as soon as she noticed his shoulders.

JoLee said...

When you said you were spotlighting one of your favorite literary couples, I had a feeling you would pick Amy and Poe! As you should. They are all sorts of awesome!

Angiegirl said...

Alexa, oh my word, the noticing of the shoulders...LOVED that. Part of him totally did that on purpose, too.

JoLee, you know me too well. What a great couple they make and what a great series it is.