For the last few years, I’ve been doing one of these “best of” the year series of posts as a way to tip my hat to the best of the best of the past year … and begin looking forward to the new year, as well. I love looking back and picking out my favorites and thought it would be fun to open it up for others to join. So … I’ll be doing that from now until the end of December. Interested in joining? Check out the sign-up post.
This has to be one of the toughest posts for me to come up with every single year. I mean, I read pretty much romance exclusively at this point and after spending a year falling in love with so many couples, it’s tough to narrow the list down to ten. But, I did it. Tough cuts were made. There were very nearly tears. I waffled on whether or not to include some honorable mentions, but I decided to grit my teeth and pick my ten ABSOLUTE favorite couples and not take the easy way out.
For a little extra added fun this year, I asked some of my favorite authors to join me in the Top 10 of 2017 celebration. As soon as I set the schedule for this year in review, I messaged Tina Torrest to ask if she would participate in today’s prompt. She wrote one of my all-time favorite couples — Trip and Layla — in her Remember When Trilogy. These two… the word “special” doesn’t even begin to do them justice. I love them so damn much. And I can’t wait to revisit their story when TRIP is released next year. In the meantime, I have an excerpt (YAY!) and a giveaway, as well as her own top ten list of favorite page to screen kisses!
Sage & Belmont
Sage and Belmont’s story was building throughout the entire Romancing the Clarksons series and, quite frankly, I was really impatient to get my hands on their book. It was well worth the wait. They were an intense couple and there was something unique and special about them together. They ruined me in all the best ways possible.
Lucy & Josh
I couldn’t get enough of Josh and Lucy. I love a good antagonistic romance and the way the enemies to lovers played out here was absolutely perfect. They were charming and hilarious and their banter made the book for me. They were a fun couple to read about.
Vanessa & Aiden
Even after reading The Wall of Winnipeg and Me SIX times this year, Vanessa and Aiden do things to my heart every single time. I swear, I smile and swoon just thinking about them. I loved reading along as they became friends and then more. They fell in love so naturally, so quietly. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Georgie & Andrew
Georgie and Andrew were such a fun couple to follow. I’m a sucker for an antagonistic romance and I reveled in their chemistry and banter. They were, as Andrew would’ve said, “perfectly ridiculous” and I enjoyed every moment, laugh and feel these two delivered.
Emma & Ash
Emma and Ash were absolutely magical together. They gave me all the swoony feels and goofy smiles and I totally adored them.
Vera & Killian
Given how their story started, Vera and Killian were a surprisingly perfect couple. One of my favorite things about their romance was how Killian helped Vera build her self-confidence and believe in herself and her talents again.
Stella & ?
I can’t say much about this couple because, well, I don’t want to ruin the story for you. What I will say, however, is they’re incredible. Each character earned a special place in my heart individually, but that’s nothing compared to them together. Drive is easily one of the best love stories I’ve ever read.
Ash & Greer & Embry
I know, I know… I said couples. But there’s no way I can skip these three when I talk about the fantastic love stories I read in 2017. It’s been ages since I finished this book, yet I still get a little emotional when I think about Ash, Greer and Embry and their story. It was a tough one and absolutely gut-wrenching at times, but I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.
Sal & Rey
Sal and Rey were amazing. As these two became something like friends, then friends, then more… I was totally enamored. They complemented each other perfectly. Characters like these are why I read. I desperately wish they were real so we could be friends.
Matt & Marie
Marie and Matt were something special. I will forever have a soft spot for them. Friends to lovers is one of my very favorite tropes and what Penny did with it and these characters was magical.
Tina Torrest’s Remember When series will forever be one of my favorites, with one of my favorite couples ever. Seriously, I sobbed when it was over because it was too freaking perfect for words. I’m so glad she agreed to join us today with an excerpt from her upcoming book, TRIP, which is the first Remember When book FROM TRIP’S POINT OF VIEW. (Oh my god, give it to me now!) She is also giving away an eBook set of the Remember When Trilogy AND an eARC of TRIP… plus she’s talking about her ten favorite page to screen kisses. Bring on the swoons!
TOP TEN (from page to screen) MOVIE KISSES
#10 THE FAULT IN OUR STARS: Warmed my cold dead heart.
#9 50 SHADES OF GREY: Elevator, obviously. (This is totally gif-worthy.)
#8 THE AGE OF INNOCENCE: Forbidden love is exciting!
#7 THE PRINCESS BRIDE: When Buttercup finds out Wesley is alive.
#6 ROMEO + JULIET: Leo brings all the swoons.
#5 ATONEMENT: In the library. True book porn.
#4 GONE WITH THE WIND: When Rhett drops Scarlett off at Tara.
#3 BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: Under the stairs.
#2 TWILIGHT: Bella and Edward’s first kiss. Gah!
And coming in at #1… No big controversy on this one…
THE NOTEBOOK: Noah and Allie’s kiss in the rain is only the most romantic thing ever. (Swoons all over the place.)
Do you agree with my list? Did I forget any? Let’s fight it out in the comments.
And now… how about that excerpt from TRIP?
I heard the unmistakable sound of Layla’s Mustang outside, so I darted out the back door and headed up the driveway.
Lisa was already out of the car and standing on the sidewalk, a look of unmitigated shock on her face at the sight of our dilapidated beach rental. I can’t say that I blamed her. The place was pretty flabbergasting.
Layla hadn’t left her seat yet, so I leaned my elbows atop the passenger door and greeted her through the open window. “Hey!”
“Hi,” she said back shyly. “Looks like you forgot your shirt.”
I glanced down at my bare chest. The day was a scorcher, and I’d been wearing nothing but my swimsuit all morning. “At least I’m wearing my shorts. For now.”
Her cheeks reddened ever so slightly, forcing me to physically restrain myself from pulling her out of the damned car and burying my tongue in her mouth right then and there.
Lisa must have caught our charged exchange and decided to give us a little privacy. She smirked as she announced, “I think I’ll just head inside.”
I waved Layla toward the back of the long driveway where she wedged her Mustang into the sliver of space between Coop’s Audi and Rymer’s truck. As I jogged down the length of concrete, she exited the vehicle, and suddenly, we found ourselves facing off across the ten-foot chasm that separated us.
There was the briefest moment of trepidation as we stared each other down, the both of us unsure how to proceed. I mean, the last time we saw each other, we were tangled up in each other’s arms. But was our first kiss destined to be our only?
Layla answered my unasked question as she lunged for me, throwing her arms around my neck and wrapping her legs around my waist before planting her lips on mine. Nice. My hands automatically reached under her ass to pull us closer, liquefying any further rational thought from my brain.
Before I knew what I was doing, I maneuvered us between the cars and backed her up against Rymer’s truck. She lowered her feet to the ground, but there was no way I was ready to let her go just yet. I was too far gone.
“No, don’t,” I rasped, before hitching her legs around my waist again and rolling my hips against the space in between. The expression on her face showed the slightest intimation of shock, but she braced her feet on the passenger door of her car as I gripped her jaw in my hands and slammed our lips together. An involuntary growl ripped from my throat as my mouth opened over hers, our tongues tangling; the uncontrollable hard-on behind my shorts rocking between her legs as her fingers ran along the bare skin of my chest, my shoulders, my neck.
I couldn’t get enough of her. Her touch, her scent, her taste. Things were escalating quickly, and my scumbag hands wanted nothing more than to strip her down and explore every inch of her skin as soon as humanly possible.
Jesus. If I didn’t put a stop to this now, I’d end up violating her right here out in the driveway, for godsakes.
It was torture, but I managed to tear my mouth from hers and find my voice. “Hi,” I said to her swollen lips.
“Hi,” she said back, trying to contain her giggling. I met her eyes, my lip twitching as I admonished, “Took you long enough to get here.”
I’d been waiting all morning for her to get down to the beach, but I’d been waiting a helluva lot longer than that to get her into my arms.
Layla picked up on the double meaning of my statement. “Yeah, I know,” she said, smiling wickedly. “It feels like it took forever.”
A big thank you to Tina for the giveaway!
See full details on the Rafflecopter.
Who are some of your favorite couples of 2017?
Did any of your picks make my list?
Leave it in the comments!