Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Couples’ First Encounters


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic is Love Freebie.  I’ve chosen to pick out the first meetings of some fictional couples.  Spoiler Alert: If you’re not familiar with the books and don’t want to know that these characters become couples, read no further. Click on the highlighted titles to read my review of the book in which the couples appear.

JohnBuchanThrillersRichard Hannay and Mary Lamington from Mr Standfast by John Buchan

Hannay first encounters Mary whilst visiting a comrade recovering in hospital. ‘Someone put a tea tray on the table beside us and I looked up to see the very prettiest girl I ever set eyes on… I stared after her as she walked across the lawn, and I remember noticing that she moved with the free grace of an athletic boy.’

Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves PbackElsie Boston and Rene Hargreaves from Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves by Rachel Malik

Rene and Elsie meet when Rene arrives at Starlight Farm to work as a landgirl. She feels an immediate unspoken connection with Elsie. ‘She had offered her hand to Elsie, and Elsie had reached out hers but it wasn’t a greeting – Elsie had reached out as if she were trapped and needed to be pulled out, pulled free’.

Carol BloomsburyCarol Aird and Therese Belivet from Carol by Patricia Highsmith

Therese is working in a New York department store as a sales assistant in the toy section when a woman in her thirties walks up to her counter.  Therese’s first glimpse of Carol is life-changing; it awakens an overwhelming but quite unexpected attraction to this cool, stylish, beautiful woman.


AManCalledOveOve and Sonja from A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Whilst working as a train cleaner, Ove spots Sonja on a railway station platform ‘with all her auburn hair and her blue eyes and all her effervescent laughter.’ When she boards the train he does too and goes to sit by her. ‘It was the single best decision he would ever make.’

ShelterFinalCoverConnie and Seppe from Shelter by Sarah Franklin

They meet in wartime in The Forest of Dean; a serendipitous meeting for both of them. Seppe, an Italian POW, is desperate to get work that will take him outside the prison camp. Connie, a lumberjill, is desperate to remain in the forest for reasons of her own. “Look at that for a turn up, Frank. You’ve got yourself a new tree-felling team.”

Jane and Mr Rochester in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

A country road at dusk, the sound of a horse and rider approaching, preceded by a huge hound. A patch of ice and the horse and rider are down. Jane approaches the fallen rider. ‘”Are you injured, sir?” I think he was swearing, but am not certain; however, he was pronouncing some formula which prevented him from replying to me directly. “Can I do anything?” I asked again.”You must just stand on one side,” he answered as he rose, first to his knees, and then to his feet.’

Cathy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

An inauspicious beginning. Cathy’s father brings a strange urchin back with him from his travels, forgetting the present he had promised her. ‘When she learned the master had lost her whip in attending on the stranger, showed her humour by grinning and spitting at the stupid little thing.’

Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The scene is the Meryton ball. Bingley has been dancing with Elizabeth’s sister, Jane, and is seeking to encourage his friend, Darcy, to take to the floor, suggesting Elizabeth as a suitable dance partner. Elizabeth overhears Darcy respond: “She is tolerable; but not handsome enough to tempt me; and I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.” First impressions, eh?

Dr John Watson and Mary Morstan in The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Sherlock Holmes’ room at 221B Baker Street and a new client, Mary Morstan, arrives to consult the famous detective. Dr. Watson observes: ‘She was a blonde young lady, small, dainty, well gloved, and dressed in the most perfect taste. Her face had neither regularity of feature nor beauty of complexion, but her expression was sweet and amiable, and her large blue eyes were singularly spiritual and sympathetic.’

Call Me By Your NameElio and Oliver in Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman

‘I’m back in Italy, so many years ago, walking down the tree-lined driveway, watching him step out of the cab, billowy blue shirt, wide-open collar, sunglasses, straw hat, skin everywhere.’



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