Usually, those of us who love our books with a heaping side of romance are happy to be feeling like
from page one. But then there are those loves that start off with great chemistry and build over time to something amazing, to the point where we’re like
And when it happens, it’s all the more amazing for having had to wait. So without further ado, here are our picks for best slow-burning romances—we promise, if you keep turning the pages, you’re going to be very, very happy with the results.
1. Magnus and Cleo from the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes
We’ll be honest: for the first few books of this series, Magnus and Cleo despise each other. They have their reasons—after all, Prince Magnus’s evil father invades Princess Cleo’s country and kills her own father, while Magnus’s dislike of Cleo is a reaction to her hatred of him and resentment of her happy, loving childhood in her happy, golden kingdom. It’s not until the two are forced together by circumstance that they really come to see and understand each other for who they are, not who they appear to be, and then…then, you guys! The sparks! The kisses! The exquisite agony of true love! The potential is all there from the beginning, but the fact we have to wait for Magnus and Cleo to realize it makes this romance all the sweeter.
2. Adrian and Sydney from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead
When we meet our leading couple in Bloodlines (or rather, when we meet them again—they were both important characters in the Vampire Academy series), it’s clear there’s some real possibility brewing between straight-laced rule-follower Sydney and troubled, passionate Adrian. But Sydney’s been taught her whole life to steer clear of vampires, so even though Adrian’s one of the good ones she’s working so hard to protect, she doesn’t see him as a romantic interest. Until the end of book 2, The Golden Lily, when Adrian makes his grand gesture. Then all bets are totally off, and readers spend the last four books in this series swooning over this amazing, complicated, but undeniably romantic couple.
3. Alice and Tim from My Life Next Door and The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
My Life Next Door is, of course, the love story of Samantha and Jase, but there’s another possible romance brewing in the background: the one between Jase’s older sister, Alice, and Sam’s friend, Tim. We’re not saying it’s not complicated. Tim clearly falls for Alice from the get-go, but responsible Alice knows better than to get involved with Tim, who—in spite of how funny and lovable he is—is kind of a disaster. The story continues in The Boy Most Likely To, which brings us a Tim who’s trying to be better, and an Alice who finds it hard to keep resisting his charms. Things seem to be finally working out for them…until something from Tim’s past threatens to jeopardize their new love.
4. Lady Helen and Lord Carlston from the Dark Days Club series by Alison Goodman
Full disclosure: this series is still ongoing, so we’re not 100% sure how it’s going to work out with these two, but we’re experts in spotting potential romantic pairings, and we’re calling this one early. The Dark Days Club gives us plenty of hints that these two might share more than their membership in both London’s society of elites and the Dark Days Club, a shadowy organization dedicated to fighting the demons that are terrorizing the city. But hey, don’t take our word for it. Read The Dark Days Club now, so that when The Dark Days Pact comes out on 1/31, we can all find out if we’re right together. In the meantime, bring on the hopeful Helen/Carlston fan art!
5. Laia and Elias from the Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir
We know, we know—everybody has their favorite romantic pairing from this series, and for some it’s Elias/Helene. But either way, we can all agree that An Ember in the Ashes left us wondering who would end up with who, because there are a lot of feelings going around, none of which are resolved tidily in book 1. This is a revolution after all, they have a lot of other things to concern themselves with. And while A Torch Against the Night gave us some answers, it’s worth remembering there are two more books in this series, and likely more twists to come. We say bring it on!
6. Jack and Charlotte from the Inventor’s Secret series by Andrea Cremer
Speaking of revolution! In this new series from Nightshade author Andrea Cremer, the characters live in an alternate version of history where the American Revolution was won by the British. Again, not a ton of time for romance, what with all the freedom fighting and such, but brothers Jack and Coe both exert a pull on Charlotte’s heart. Who will she choose? How will it end? We’re very excited to find out in book 3, The Turncoat’s Gambit, out 11/15!
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