Love & Link-Ups: A Post for Fun, Fiction & Valentine’s Day

Happy (late) Valentine’s Day, dears! I’m never quite sure how to feel about this holiday, as a single girl. Should I buy myself chocolate? Pretend it’s not a holiday? Celebrate “Singles Awareness Day” instead? (No. I hate that term. It makes singleness sound like a disease, which is it not.) Actually, I like to spend Valentine’s Day celebrating… love. Shocking, isn’t it? But just because I’m not in a romance of my own, doesn’t mean I have no one to love. Today, I enjoyed the blessing of my family’s love, the love in my friendships, and the boundless love of the Savior. It’s love that has lasted me for years and years, and has no end in sight.

Of course, I’m not anti-romance by any stretch. I may roll my eyes or grumble about the occasional couple and all the posts with photos of flowers, but I’ve been a hopeless romantic since I first watched Sense & Sensibility at age seven. My favorite love stories tend to be just that: stories. As a writer and a romantic, it often fascinates me reading through a fictional couple’s story. True, there are plenty of romances I don’t care for, but when I find a couple I deeply care about, I must follow their story.

In the world of fans, there’s a special language for this situation. It’s called shipping, which essentially means wanting or supporting two characters in a relationshipBelieving two characters are perfect together means they are your one true pairing. In honor of Valentine’s Day, and the fact that many fans are more interested in fictional relationships, I’m linking up with the Fangirl Initiative on this subject.

It was so fun collaborating on this link-up with my fellow Initiative agents Sky and Jaime. Together, we came up with 14 questions to celebrate February 14 and our favorite fictional pairings. You can read the full link-up post, and find out how to join, here or by clicking the image below. If you’d like to hear about my chosen couple, read on!

It’s a wonder I haven’t mentioned the River of Time Series by Lisa T. Bergren before. They are my favorite young adult books, some of my favorite fantasy novels, and they include the story of one of my favorite make-believe couples.

If you haven’t read them, I recommend two things: 1) You read them and 2) You don’t read the rest of this post until then. I’m going to spoil some of the love story in answering these questions, and I’d hate to ruin the romance for you. And the series is so fantastic, it’s worth experiencing firsthand. Then we can discuss it! (Online book club, anyone?)
River Tribe

If you have already read these novels, don’t mind spoilers, are too curious to stop reading this post, or you don’t plan to read the books (though I could write a review that would change your mind), I will now come to the link-up questions and my answers.

cover collage

My chosen couple is Evangelia (Lia) Bettarrini and Luca Forelli. They start out as secondary characters in the series, but they were instantly stars for me. I loved watching their stories unfold, especially towards the latter half of the series when Lia becomes a main character. I’ll contain myself from writing a book report, and stick to the 14 questions shared on the Fangirl Initiative.

  1. What is their current relationship status, and how did they meet?
    “Current” depends on which book you’re reading. By the end of the series, they are officially husband and wife. They met when Lia and her sister Gabriella accidentally traveled back in time to Medieval Italy. The sisters were separated, and it was actually Gabi who met Luca first. He and his cousin, Marcello (spoiler: Marcello and Gabriella make a marvelous match as well!) help Gabi find her sister, Lia. Luca and Lia instantly have a connection, and become great friends through the early part of the books.
  2. Why do you want them to be together? What makes them better together? They know how to be a team. Their relationship is romantic, but it’s so much deeper than that. They understand each other and respect their differences, using them as strengths rather than weaknesses. They can survive without the other, but they thrive together. 
  3. What song(s) remind you of them? I would say “I See the Light” from Tangled. (See question #12 for more on that.)
  4. How would they divide household chores (cooking, cleaning, etc.)? Being nobility in Medieval Italy, they have servants, so neither one has many chores. If they did, Lia would likely attend to most of them. Though Luca would do just about anything his lady asked him to. (With some teasing complaints tossed in.)
  5. What would this couple argue most about, and who is most likely to compromise? They tend to argue about their different ways of handling situations. They’re protective of each other, and sometimes overly so, which causes a bit of conflict when one starts to feel smothered. Fortunately, both are good at compromising, so it all evens out. 
  6. What interests do they share? Archery, riding, art, spending time with family, and laughing together.
  7. Are they introverts, extroverts, one of each? Lia is an introvert, and Luca is an extrovert. In some relationships, this could cause friction, but in theirs it lends more balance.
  8. What would their first date be like? (If they’ve already had their first date, describe their ideal date.) I would imagine a picnic in a sunny spot, perhaps by a river. (This IS the River of Time series, after all.)
  9. Do they get along with each other’s families? Yes, completely. Since his cousin marries her sister, they really are all one big, happy family.
  10. In what ways do they drive each other crazy? In what ways do they drive other people crazy together? See answer #5 for one way they drive each other crazy. I think it also drives them crazy that it’s hard to stay mad at one another. They drive other people crazy with their inside jokes, and earlier in the story, their resistance to actually forming a relationship. Or maybe that last one just drove me crazy. 😉
  11. Where would they go for their honeymoon/a romantic getaway? Sienna, or perhaps Normandy.
  12. Do they share any similarities to classic romantic couples? (I.E., Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, Beauty and the Beast) Maybe it’s too soon to consider them a “classic” couple, but Luca and Lia remind me of Flynn and Rapunzel from Tangled in many ways. Hence the song that I chose for them (#3)
  13. What would their “celebrity couple” name be? (I.E., Brangelina) I really can’t think of anything, considering their names both begin with the letter L. Lucia? Liuca? This is harder than I expected.
  14. Where do you see this couple in 10 years?​ Happily married and with several adorable children, some of whom are outgoing and spontaneous like Luca, some quiet and sweet like Lia. And I imagine this couple will continue to fight for justice as needed.

Who are your favorite fictional couples? Have you read any unforgettable love stories? Did you celebrate this Valentine’s Day?

Lots of love!

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24 thoughts on “Love & Link-Ups: A Post for Fun, Fiction & Valentine’s Day

  1. I like your idea of Valentine’s Day. Love in any form is wonderful, so there’s no reason why we should only celebrate romantic love.

    I’ve actually never heard of the River of Time series, so I just skimmed over your list to avoid spoilers, but Lia and Luca sound like an awesome couple. Really, I’d have to say my favorite fictional couple is still Anne and Gilbert from the Anne of Green Gables books, perhaps because that was the first fictional couple I really fell in love with. Generally, the love stories I like best are true ones, like John and Abigail Adams or C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman. Now that’s a heck of a love story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you liked it, Hanna! 🙂 happy Valentine’s Day!

      Let me know if you decide to check out the series. It’s a really fun read! Oh!!! Anne & Gilbert are perfect together! I’m sad to say, I’m not as familiar with history’s love stories as I am fiction’s. You’ve made me want to do some research on those brilliant couples.

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  2. ajfasdklfjaslkfjsalf I told you I’d comment, so here I am.

    This post is BEAUTIFUL. I agree with everything, even the Tangled comparison (super cool, never thought of it before now, but I see it!) I think my favorite thing with Deluge was that it spent more time with Lia & Luca (I adore Gabi & Marcello, but I feel I’m a lot like Lia & Luca is adorably charming. *sigh* I always go for those types. *coughs*) And also: baby Forellis. EEEP I’m going to go cry about how beautiful of a sight that would be. All blond and blue-eyed. *sighs again*

    Also what if their “celebrity name” was Evangeluca! 😀 I came up with that on the spot. It did feel their names were a bit more tricky to smash together. 🙂 Good effort.

    This was fun to read and I’m so so so soss glad I found someone else who ADORES this series. 😀

    -Jaime

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jaime! 😀 Your comment made my day!
      I relate to Lia a lot, too. Now to find a Luca… 😉 Also, Evangeluca is the PERFECT name for them. I’m taking that.
      I’m seriously thrilled that you’re such a fan of the series! I foresee many, many conversations on this subject. 🙂

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      1. I’m confident you’ll find your “Luca” someday–even if he doesn’t end up being blond or Italian. 🙂
        And I’m quite proud of Evangeluca 🙂

        We must discuss these books on many occasions! :DDD Anytime, I’ll be ready. She-Wolves of Siena Unite!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Rodolfo definitely deserves love! I really did end up caring for him.
      As for Luca & Lia, you just described their relationship perfectly! That’s always been one of my favorite things about Luca, but I never could get it into words. So I love your comment! 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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  3. The River of Time Series is simply the best. I love Lia and Luca together. The way Luca teases her is so sweet and cute. I’m so glad they ended up together. If they hadn’t gotten married, I’m pretty sure I would have hurled the book across the room (actually, that is not at all true. I loved the series far too much to damage it!). Long live Luca and Lia!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really liked Marcello and Gabi. I really didn’t like all the kissing. I don’t think you should kiss as much as Marcello and Gabi did until you are married. I didn’t at ALL like Gabi calling God “dude” and “the big guy.” God is Holy and not a dude. And in Deluge, I didn’t like the way Lisa Bergren talked of Lia and Luca’s wedding night. I think it was just a little too descriptive.

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    1. I totally understand what you mean, Ann. Marcelo & Gabi are great characters, but my personal boundaries are stricter than theirs for sure. The way Gabi refers to God was one of the things that bugged me about her, I must agree. And Deluge was definitely the most “mature” of the series! I wouldn’t recommend the books to younger teens for that reason. Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I really enjoyed hearing your perspective, and I also really appreciate you reading the post 🙂

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      1. It’s just really hard to find good clean books. I love Italy and anything Medieval so I was so happy when I found the River of Time books. So when I read of all the kissing, etc. I really felt bummed.

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      2. England has always been “my” dream spot in Europe, but Italy seems wonderful, especially after reading these books and a few others set there. Have you ever been? Medieval times are definitely fascinating! I would never want to live in them, but it’s fun to read about. Do you like to write? 🙂

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      3. That is awesome! I’d love to read your stories one day- especially if they involve Italy or Medieval times, but even if they don’t 🙂 why thank you! What is your Pinterest name? I’m going to follow you back!

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  5. I read those books about a year back, and I still go back and read over certain parts when I’m board. And, as much as I enjoy reading scenes with Marcello and Gabriella, I have to say that Luca and Kia are one of the best fictional couples that I’ve ever read about. Anyway, I really enjoyed reading this (even though it was posted quite a while ago), and you should definitely post more about this series!

    ~Em

    Like

    1. I do the same thing! I’m aching to reread the entire series, but I get impatient and rush to read my favorite scenes.
      Team Luca & Lia all the way!!
      Thanks so much for reading this, and leaving me a comment. You completely made my day! I’ve got a couple of ideas for more River posts, so stay tuned 😉

      Like

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