My Top 5 Favorite Diverse Romantic Couples in Celebration of Valentine’s Day!! (aka None of You Are Surprised)

I hate Valentine’s Day!

Call me a cynic but I just. feel so weird about getting sappy and sentimental (not really). I know I do it quite often but I like to appear Cold and Unemotional (not really) and Valentine’s Day just messes it all up!

BUT I do appreciate a good sappy romantic post now and then (not really), which is why today I’m going to share some of my favorite diverse romantic relationships!! I don’t know how I managed to narrow it down to just 5, but I love all of them very much.

Also, I just wanted to note how weird it is that while most fictional books have romance, I feel like in contemporaries it’s more prominent (since in fantasies there’s a whole lot of other things happening, like being on the Brink of Death), yet fantasy ships are the ones I find myself and others obsessing over the most??? I don’t know, just a weird thing I noticed!

NOTE: I’ve also included my favorite art of the couple as well! All art is credited of course, and I love them so much and looking at them makes me cry.

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KAZ AND INEJ (SIX OF CROWS)

Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1; Grishaverse, #4)  I can help you - Inej and Kaz by AmandaDuarte

Kanej is probably one of my favorite couples? ever? I just love them so much and they make me cry inside. Every time I think of them I feel like my insides are being ripped apart in somehow both a good and bad way. I just… fsdlkfdLHFDLAKHF.

More coherently speaking, they are such a power couple not only in general but also especially for having to face past trauma to be with each other. Their relationship is one of the strongest in YA, to be quite honest, and the most they do is simply hold hands. (Or kiss one person’s neck, as you can see in the breathtaking art above that I adore so much.)

I LOVE THEM OKAY. They make me so emotional and soft and happy. My favorite ever.

(And honestly? I ADORE the two other couples in this book too. Power couples. All of them.)

➠ rep: M/F || disabled love interest with PTSD and touch-aversion, brown love interest with touch-aversion (sexual abuse survivor)

➠ art: AmandaDuarte

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ANDREW AND NEIL (THE FOXHOLE COURT)

“You appear even-tempered though your looks will deceive And the sparks are always flying ‘cause you drink for relief With the heart of a child and the wit of a fool It’s a wonder why I don’t try to build a wall around you” - Full Circle, Half Moon...  The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1)  andreil by llstarcasterll on tumblr #aftg#thefoxholecourt#theravenking#thekingsmen#andrewminyard#neiljosten#andreil#andreilfanart

I physically cannot think about these two without tearing up and/or feeling pain and/or wanting to reread this series even more. Like, I went from wondering how in the world Neil and Andrew were meant to get together in the first book to crying over how perfect they are for each other in the third.

There’s not a way for me to actually describe how deep and meaningful their relationship is, but they both need someone to make them more whole, and that’s exactly what they do for each other. I just… AAAHHH. I LOVE THEM. I’M SORRY I’M AN INCOHERENT MESS.

➠ rep: M/M || gay rape and abuse survivor love interest, gay and demisexual abuse survivor

➠ art: both by llstarcasterll (fun fact I cried looking through all the fanart trying to find good ones—these are only two of my favorites)

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LEI AND WREN (GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE)

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan  was so honoured to work with Fairyloot on a piece for Natasha Ngan’s Girls of Paper and Fire!

I’ve said it like 500 times now but… Lei and Wren being two sapphic Asians in a relationship means so much to me because that! is! me!! They are both so beautiful and strong and I definitely see where Lei is coming from because I too would be (and am already) in love with Wren.

And one of my favorite parts is how they both are able to overcome and become more than their trauma by being with each other and supporting each other. Their relationship is just so meaningful and GORGEOUS and god! I love them so much! Also that art makes me feel all kinds of things, mostly just [SCREAMS]!

➠ rep: F/F || two sapphic Asians (rape survivors)

➠ art: Monolime

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EVELYN AND CELIA (THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO)

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo  Related image

My dude, my guy… I cried over these two!! Their relationship is genuinely stunningly written, and it is done so with love and care and the inclusion of important nuances (such as Celia refusing to recognize Evelyn as bi sometimes).

And through the author’s writing you can just TELL how much these two women love each other without them ever having to utter the words “I love you”. They both are already so strong and yet they somehow make each other stronger, especially in a world that doesn’t want them together. They’re just!!! beautiful!!!!

➠ rep: F/F || Cuban bisexual love interest, lesbian love interest

➠ art: layaart

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SIMON AND BLUE (SIMON VS. THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA)

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1) Image result for simon spier and blue art

If you’ve heard me talk about this book before, you know why it means so much to me (this book was a major influence in me starting to question my sexuality), and I think it’s because of that especially that I love this couple a lot. I love Simon, but I love Blue even more (not really sorry). And rereading cute scenes between them has made me so happy when I needed it!

And also, my opinion miiight be affected a lot a little by the movie adaptation. Which I cried over all four times I saw it. The book/movie just has a LOT of meaning to me, and while I love this couple a lot on its own already, the Special Meaning adds more to it.

➠ rep: M/M || gay love interest, black Jewish gay love interest

➠ art: Ink and Owl (without who Blue is because spoilers!)


shall we chat

what are your favorite diverse book couples?? do you spot any favorites here? do YOU like (or celebrate) Valentine’s Day? also how! gorgeous! is all of this art?? (EXTREMELY)

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93 thoughts on “My Top 5 Favorite Diverse Romantic Couples in Celebration of Valentine’s Day!! (aka None of You Are Surprised)

  1. Your description of feeling like your insides are being ripped apart every time you think about Kaz and Inej is………extremely accurate. I just love them so much 😭
    Similarly, I can’t think about Evelyn and Celia – and that last line of that book, MY GOD – without getting super emotional
    AND SIMON AND BLUE!!! ❤️💙 The cutest couple ever!!! They fill my heart with happiness! That reminds me, I was planning on rewatching Love Simon…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly Kaz and Inej are a couple we don’t deserve and I really do feel like I’m dying whenever I think of them!! And aahhh the whole last section of Evelyn Hugo was just so beautiful and heartbreaking! And oh I hope you get around to rewatching Love, Simon — I really want to as well but I’ve seen it so many times by now 😅

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  2. OH MY GOD A SHORTISH POST FROM THE MANGO QUEEN WHAT HAS HAPPENED
    Kanej is… goals. (Also just think about what their Facebook Relationship Status would be 😂) But I love Wesper more, I’m sorry! Jesper is my bisexual KING (with Nina being first in command bc hello? Strong powerful woman right here) I am reading Girls literally right now and I’m loving it! Thank you for the recommendation 💜 Love you more than waffles xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahaha I seem to be in a short post funk at the moment!! And oh yes, I love Wesper so much but I do think I love Kanej more personally! 😅 And aahh I know you finished Girls already since I saw one of your posts talking about it, and I am so so happy you enjoyed it! ❤

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  3. I don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day, and I can TOTALLY relate to being somehow more attached to fantasy relationships who knows why! Lei and Wren are my soft girls and I just want them to be safe and happy but I know it’ll take a while to get there 😭

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  4. Kaz and Inej are incredible– I love how their romance was built up. It felt so powerful and pure!! They both deserve all the happiness!!
    And I just started reading the foxhole court yesterday so I am excited to get to know the characters and the ship!! 💛😊

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      1. Yes they are so great!!!
        Yes I finished the foxhole court/all for the game series so quickly!! I loved it and had a massive book hangover afterwards. I loved the characters and how they are all dealing with their own demons and that they find each other and all help everyone!! ❤

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  5. I think I obsess over relationships in fantasy more because the book is more focused on the Actual Plot so the scenes where you DO see your ship interact are rarer and therefore more meaningful and like fangirl-worthy?! Whereas in contemp, romance takes centre stage so you’re practically given all the good stuff and don’t have to survive on two words about your OTP per book. ALSO, FANTASY HAS MORE TENSION BECAUSE THEY’RE PROBS GONNA DIE!! and if it’s slow burn, EVEN BETTER.

    how dare you! that kanej fanart is going to make me cry, the audacity of casually inserting that image into this post. and my older sister gave me a card for “galentine’s day” (?) and it was really sweet and i cried internally because,,,, kindness.

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    1. Oh yeah, I definitely get that!! I think for me it’s just like… contemporaries are so close to our current world that it feels like I’m shipping real life people and that feels weird to me lmao. And fjsldkfhdks yes the stakes are so much higher in fantasy and just brings them so much closer together aaahhhh!!!

      Listen that Kanej fanart is just my FAVORITE piece ever it makes me cry so much. And oh my god your sister is so cute how dare she not give ME a card

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  6. Ahhhh, this is a SOLID list!! Simon and Leah were books I read at a really pivotal time for me, too, and those kinds of books/movies definitely stick with you because of that. And the movie. was. everything. I loved it so much.

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  7. I’m so happy Kanej is on this list!! They are my OTP and I WILL GO DOWN WITH THAT SHIP. Also your feelings about Andreil are like a mirror of mine! I really didn’t think they’d be good together after reading the first book but then after the next two I was just…they fit together. And I went down a fanart rabbit hole. 😅 Lei and Wren are hands down one of my favorite ships too.

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    1. Of course Kanej is on this list, they’re my favorites ever 😭💕 Oh yes, Andreil is 100% hate to love slowburn and it’s done so well you can’t even tell they end up together in book 1 haha! I just recently reread the series and I am definitely still trying to climb out of the fanart/fan posts/fanfic hole 😅

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  8. I’m so excited to read Girls of Paper and Fire! My library is processing it and I put a hold on it!

    A few of my favorites including a hate-to-lovers bromance in Muse of Nightmares which I probably ship even more Lazlo and Sarai and also the one between Yumeko and Tatsumi in Shadow of the Fox (Japanese rep). The latter was so very slow-burn and more emotional than physical.

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    1. Oh, I hope you’re able to check out GOPAF soon, it is just absolutely BEAUTIFUL ❤

      Aahh I haven't read Muse of Nightmares yet! I'll be on the lookout for that bromance though haha. And aahh I've put Shadow of the Fox on hold right now but I can't wait to get back to it! ❤

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  9. ANDREW AND NEIL OML YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    But also: WESPER!!!!!!!!!!! They’re 💔 just 💔 heartbreaking 💔 I haven’t read a lot of these books on here but hearing u talk about them and loving them sm really makes me want to read them!! Great post!!!!!

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  10. Ahh, great post! I haven’t read any of these except for Simon Vs. (SIMON AND BLUE, I LOVE THEM), but all the other books you mentioned are at the VERY top of my TBR, and I just can’t wait to read them and witness these relationships and just aljdalkcuej I’m an excited Olivia. This post had the best vibes, I loved it!💓

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  11. Ughh i understand the whole not loving Valentine’s Day thing😩 I mostly am just in it for the chocolate 🍫 Also KAZ AND INEJ ARE LIFE I LOVE THEM! Seriously amazing books (I think I may have even loved Crooked Kingdom even more?!?) I’m dying to read the seven husbands of Evelyn Hugo!! Great list :))

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    1. I get Valentine’s Day but I also Do Not get Valentine’s Day if you know what I mean haha!! And tbh I really cannot choose a favorite between Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom — they both have amazing and beautiful moments! And aahh I hope you’re able to read Evelyn Hugo soon!! ❤

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    1. Oh, I hope you’re able to get to those books soon!! I am SO looking forward to reading The Gilded Wolves — all of the characters sound so good and the romance seems amazing as well. I love Grace and Eva from How to Make a Wish too! ❤

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  12. KANEJ KANEJ KANEJ I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! One of the main reasons I love them is because they were one of the first (possibly the first idk) interracial couple I read in YA and, as someone who’s as mixed as a bowl of salad and has parents in an interracial relationship, that meant so much to me!

    Some of my favorite favorite favorite favorite couples are Monica and Chandler from Friends (i know friends isn’t a book but idrc bc i love them sm), Percy and Annabeth, the rest of the Heroes of Olympus couples, Evelyn and Celia, Nick and Charlie from Heartstopper, Henry and Diego from We are the Ants, Blue and Gansey form the Raven Cycle, and Simon and Baz from Carry On!

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    1. I love Kanej so so much and they just make me so HAPPY!! And aahh, I am so happy that you were able to find solace in the interracial couple rep, that’s amazing ❤ (I'm also realizing that two other couples on my list — Evelyn and Celia, Simon and Blue — are also interracial couples haha!)

      Oh god, Percy and Annabeth!! I would have included them on my list but… not very diverse 😅 I love them SO much though. And oh I really need to read Carry On before the sequel comes out, I know everyone's obsessed with it haha!

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  13. aww yesss I am the same, I’m about as romantic as a potato but then I have some ships that just make me an absolute squish. (Also I feel like fantasy ships sometimes mean more because the stakes are higher?!? Like will Inej/Kaz get together…bEFORE ONE OF THEM DIES BRUTALLY. *sobs* Also freaking love how their problems didn’t melt away just because they loved each other. HERE for romance helping you heal but not BEING the healing.) And I knew Wren/Lei would be on your list 😍I love them so much too. And Blue/Simon!! And omg Neil and Andrew *sobbing* am rereading right now and I was as stupid as Neil missing all the clues in the first book (and most of the second lmao) but now I’m a shipping mess. Again with how their relationship gave them both something to hold each other up with but didn’t fix their lives completely. 💛💛💛

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    1. Yes, definitely! Everything is just so much more Extreme in fantasy and it just makes the love that blooms even more special. And shhh you did NOT know that Lei and Wren would be in that list, I refuse to think I’m this predictable 🙈😎 Oh god I just finished my reread of AFTG a few days ago and I really did miss so many hints of Andreil in the first two books lmao!! Their relationship just truly breaks my heart and simultaneously mends it back together again, they’re so good for each other ❤

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  14. Love this post so much!! Omg I love Evelyn & Celia and Simon & Blue soooo much; they have my entire heart aksdjkladsj 😭💖 I want to reread both books now. And I honestly can’t wait to read SOC and fall in love with all the characters (and ships), as well as The Foxhole Court and Girls of Paper and Fire!!

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  15. This is a brilliant post, and a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day as well. 🙂
    These are some great couples, Kaz and Inej are my tied-for-first-place couple in the Six of Crows duology (tied with Wylan and Jesper). They’re definitely a power couple and the fact that it took their relationship a long time to develop into something more because of the touch-aversion they have just made it all the more worthwhile when something did happen between them.
    Also Andrew and Neil were probably my OTP of last year. I love the All for the Game books, and I love everything about their relationship! 🙂
    Great post. ❤

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    1. Ah, thank you so much Beth!! Oh god, Wesper is so close to being tied with Kanej as my favorite SoC couple, but Kanej beats them out juuust a bit haha. And yes, I love how their struggles made it hard for them to be with each other, but when they get together their struggles don’t just magically disappear? It’s just… SO good!

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  16. Yes to Kaz and Inej and Simon and Blue!! 😍

    Tbh I keep looking for more diverse relationships in fantasy (which is pretty much all I read) but there’s not a lot out there. And even less are with main characters 🙄

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    1. Yes I love Kanej and Simon and Blue so much!! And agh I definitely feel you, a lot of the very popular fantasies don’t have many diverse relationships, but I know there are a lot more if put in the effort to look for them (which isn’t the way it should be). If you ever want any recs, just let me know!! ☺💕

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  17. Ahh what a great post, I love your choices and these fanarts are absolutely STUNNING!! 😍 I also love Kaz and Inej so, so much, as well as Simon and Blue 😍 I need to read Evelyn Hugo this year and Girls of Paper and Fire, too, both sound AMAZING!!

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  18. This post was so cuteeeee and so were all the fanarts!
    I totally relate with you – even though contemporaries have most romance and I’m more drawn to this genre anyway, I find that fantasy books tend to have the most heart-wrenching couples. Probably because the stakes are always so high in these worlds that it’s almost a risk to be in a relationship, so it’s even more dramatic.
    One of my favorite diverse couples has to be Magnus/Alex, from the Magnus Chase series. Alex is a gender-fluid character and Magnus is pansexual and I want to cry just thinking about them, ughhdjks. They make my heart sooooo happy!

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    1. Ahh thank you! The fanart are all so gorgeous ❤

      Yes I so agree! Contemporary usually has the soft fluffy couples and while I love that, fantasy has those heartbreaking tearjerking couples and for some odd reason I'm more drawn to those pain-filled romances 😭😅 And yes I love Magnus and Alex! I really hope we get to see more of them and the other characters because I absolutely ADORE them! (For a moment I thought you meant Magnus and Alex from Shadowhunters and I was like wait Magnus is pan and Alex is genderfluid?? 😂)

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      1. Hahahah, Magnus and Alex from Shadowhunters, that’s right! I totally forgot about their existence for a second here, but it’s so funny that they have similar names! I don’t like the Shadowhunters’ pair that much, though, that’s for sure!

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  19. SO MANY FAVORITE COUPLES! Kaz and Inej!!! they honestly give me so much hope? I just respect that we can have a couple that fight through pain for each other and respect each other and don’t need “fixed” from their PTSD and trauma to be loved.
    Simon and Blue = the CUTEST, ever. and evelyn and cecila are the most delicate and I want to protect their love with my life. AND WREN and LEI, i’m crying for a happy ending for them.

    Also, yes, I kind of hate valentines, too. 😂 It’d be better if the whole world only talked about our fav bookish couples

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    1. I agree with you so much, Elizabeth!! I’m so happy that that kind of couple exists — their relationship is just exceptionally well-written and so so powerful and inspiring. And oh god, if Wren and Lei don’t get their happy ending at the end of the series I will probably cry and launch myself into the sun! (But I know Natasha Ngan would never make it a tragic ending for the sapphics 😎💗)

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  20. Loved this post so much, May! I agree Kaz and Inej have the PERFECT relationship. I read Six of Crows finally (I know what took me so long?) last month and I couldn’t believe how awesome their relationship was and there wasn’t even a kiss? I think a lot of times YA authors think that kissing scenes = strong relationship and it’s just … not true. I definitely need to pick up Crooked Kingdom. And I’ve heard so much about The Foxhole Court that maybe I need to pick it up too! 🙂

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    1. Aahh, thank you Madeline! So happy you loved Six of Crows — and oh god yes, the fact that they never kissed and yet are so close and care for each other as much as they do just gets me SO MUCH. And oh, if you loved Kaz and Inej in Six of Crows, you are going to die for them in Crooked Kingdom! They’re absolutely perfect ❤

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