When I think of the novels that I enjoy the most, they usually involve, among other things, a great love story. Thus why I chose this first book chat question...
 Who is your favorite fictional couple?

Oh what a tough one!  I thought I was picking an easy one but it proved otherwise.  

So here was my train of thought...(prepare, it's a long one)

I tried to think of what it was that made love stories so enjoyable to read and I decided that it's usually because there's a little cat/mouse game involved.  A couple that you are dying to just make it happen (!) and they just drag it on teasing you with little savory moments that drive you crazy.  The original tease couple, in my humble, is Elizabeth & Mr Darcy of course.  they hate each other/they love each other/he loves her/she doesn't know/back & forth/come on!/sigh.   

“In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” 
-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

But alas.  They weren't much of a couple in the novel since they didn't actually proclaim their love until the end.  I could do better.

<3 <3 <3

So I dug a little deeper...and realized that great couples usually involve extreme selflessness in some sort.  Love so deep that one person is willing to die for the other. and often visa versa.  Immediately...Katniss and Peeta.  easy.  {{SPOILER}}  The majority of the second book is Katniss' vow to keep Peeta alive...knowing it will only mean her death.  I mean...dang.  That's love.  

“I realize only one person will be damaged beyond repair if Peeta dies. Me.”
-Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

But alas.  They were so young.  And under extreme circumstances.  Romantic-yes. Realistic-no.

 <3 <3 <3

So...my now my criteria is...
-leads the reader on, keeps us guessing
-unconditional, selfless love
-realistic, sincere couple


None-other, it has to be...Jamie and Claire Fraser.  Hands down.

Outlander is a bit paranormal, a bit romance, a bit history.  Everything in one giant book that's part of one giant series.  The great thing about this couple is that they are, in a sense, real.  As real as a fictional couple can be when one part is a woman from the 1940's and the other is a Scottish highlander from the 1700's.  But that's what makes them great.  You get to watch them evolve as a man and wife and in so many ways they're like any married couple, and then they have these funny/infuriating moments when their personalities collide so destructively that you think you'll never forgive them.  Gabaldon does not sugar coat it for the most part.  Jamie is a man of his time, and that can be quite irritating for the reader (and Claire) but then he redeems himself with his unconditional love for his wife.  It's heartbreaking, really.  For me, they are the most genuine of fictional couples. It's not always honey and roses but there is real love there and it's worth reading for.
"Oh, aye, Sassenach. I am your master . . . and you're mine. Seems I canna possess your soul without losing my own." 
-Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

<3 <3 <3 <3

Can't wait to see what you all came up with!  Just enter your link below.  And if you haven't gotten around to it yet, there's still time!  I'll leave the linky open all week.  

Before I forget...the question for next week!
For 3/8/12:
What character do you feel you are most like? 

And be sure to come back tomorrow.  I have a little treat for you. {winky face}