It's Okay To Fuck Men, Just Not Fuckbois

Our June 12th episode asked an interesting question:

Can you think of a book series with a hetero (or at least, cis male with cis female) love story where someone isn’t a total fuckboi?

I proposed that to our usual guests (Jessica Ellis, Alisha Grauso, and Amanda Timpson) and these were some of the books they suggested:

Images are linked to my local independent bookstore and are not affiliate links of any kind.

PERSUASION, by Jane Austen

 
 

Suggested by Jessica, PERSUASION is the story of a couple who get engaged at age 19, then call off the wedding. They reunite in their late 20s and go through the long, hard slog of figuring out how to be a functional couple.

DIVERGENT, Veronica Roth

 
 

Though the series went a lot off the rails, Four in the DIVERGENT series was suggested by Amanda as a pretty reasonable, non-fuckboi love interest for Tris.

THE GRISHA TRILOGY, Leigh Bardugo

 
 

Alisha suggested the Grisha-verse trilogy and duology by Leigh Bardugo, which I would buy for the covers alone. The young king works alongside his female general work together and through their attraction to keep the kingdom together.

OUTLANDER, Diana Gabaldon

 
 

Sure, there are plenty of fuckbois in OUTLANDER, but Jessica points out that the main couple of Jamie and Claire are pretty damn healthy. They subvert a lot of tropes (smart and experienced husband, helpless female love interest) to provide what may not be an ideal marriage, but at least one built on mutual respect.

SUNSHINE, Robin McKinley

 
 

This suggestion from Jessica got us the most excited. Sure, there’s sexual tension with a vampire, but what if everyone involved knew it was a bad idea? Written in reaction to TWILIGHT, Robin McKinley tackles paranormal romance like a goddamn adult.

SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY, Mary Robinette Kowal

 
 

Amanda suggested this Regency-era series, too. Jane Austen meets fantasy where all the trappings of traditional romance– husband-hunting, traditional femme beauty, and manners– are turned on their heads for a fantasy twist.

Emily EdwardsComment