Chrysabelle and Mal’s interactions ripple with tension and unspoken desire. They like each other, but both think it’s a bad idea. The complexity of their fight against intimacy is made exponentially complicated by the fact Chrysabelle needs Mal’s saliva to keep existing. Normally, she’d get that through a bite when he fed on her coveted Comarré blood, but Mal refuses to drink from anyone. That means they need to kiss. And pretend that doesn’t stir up emotions.
With action scenes — think fight training — and being locked away in a bedroom together, the electricity between these two continually increases. As a reader I kept wanting them to admit something, but they’re not ready. You see, Painter is like so many of my other favorite authors in giving us the slow build. I highly doubt she’ll let all that chemistry go to waste in the forthcoming books in the series, but Painter is going to make us wait for it. Chrysabelle and Mal are going to have to come to terms with their emotions before the sparks fly.
So many hero/heroine duos have stifling sexual tension and a handful have authors who know how to make us work for it.
Merit and Ethan. Chloe Neill made a pair who constantly challenge one another in her Chicagoland Vampires series (first book: Some Girls Bite). Half the time they hate each other. And just like Merit, we keep thinking about Ethan being an asshole, but remembering those moments of honesty… and those stunning green eyes.
Rose and Dimitri. Richelle Mead made us wait three long books in a will they, won’t they battle in her Vampire Academy series (first book: Vampire Academy). He’s seven years her senior and while he’s admitted his interest, he recognized the importance of staying apart. But the chemistry sizzled, and it was undeniable that these two were kindred spirits. In solo sparring sessions, the electricity between the two was palpable. When these two finally come together every reader offers an audible “finally.”
MacKayla and Barrons. In Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, her characters may eventually be in love, but they won’t say it. At first Barrons is cruel to MacKayla, finding her naive and only mildly useful. As things progress we see is affection in his reactions to her trip to Faery, his need to protect her and keep her safe. And, yet, he fights to keep his distance. He doesn’t want to be loved. (Also, apparently has issues with nice girls baking cakes for him.) All that said, their chemistry — even from the first book Darkfever — is undeniable. And when things finally come together for these two, it can only be described as explosive.
What about you? Which couples were worth the wait? Who frustrated you the most?