*MILD SPOILERS for people who haven't read the series*
You know when you see those adorabale, happy couples? They're love stories often start with something like "We were best friends..." Because best friends are forever and when this basis in a fictional relationship is used it gives off the feeling of it being a real and lasting love. Gosh look at me sounding all mushy and lovey dovey, its because of all the love in the air from Valentines day. Blegh.
The friends-to-lovers trope is one of my favourite kind of romances in books, mostly because of what I mentioned above and also because of that slow-burn. In Heir of Fire when Rowan and Aelin first form their friendship, personally for me, I didn't think they would be going down that road but I could tell that they had something between them at the same time? Does that even make sense? haha. It's all the FEELS frying my brain. The romance was such a pleasant slow-burn in Queen of Shadows that it just made me want to explode. literally and figuratively.
“I claim you, Rowan Whitethorn. I don't care what you say and how much you protest. I claim you as my friend.” Their hands clasped between them, he whispered into her ear, "I claim you, too, Aelin Galathynius.”
During the romance between Chaol and Celaena (Aelin), Chaol on some level, as much as he loved her, he still didn't fully accept who she was and in Queen of Shadows he just absolutely DID NOT accept it at all but he did fortunately improve towards the end but the Chaolena ship had already sunk by then. KABOOM.
“As for Celaena," he said again, "you do not have the right to wish she were not what she is. The only thing you have a right to do is decide whether you are her enemy or her friend.”
“He'd known, since the moment he figured out who she was, that while Celaena would always pick him, Aelin would not.”
|BUT I REGRET NOTHING. it was short, sweet and wonderful at the end of the day.|
I think because of the way Aelin has developed as character they just no longer suited or complimented each other anymore. Whereas Rowan and Aelin do, they accept each other for who they are and they love every part of one another, they're just so in sync with each other. THAT RIGHT THERE IS RELATIONSHIP GOALS FOLKS. *swoons*
“If you're a monster, I'm a monster.” - Rowan
“She sucked in a shuddering breath, and he pulled back far enough for them to share breath. Her fingers shook as she brushed them against his mouth, and his control nearly shredded apart right there. 'What are you waiting for?' he said, the words near guttural. 'Bastard,' she murmured, and kissed him. Her mouth was soft and warm, and he bit back a groan. His body went still—his entire world went still—at that whisper of a kiss, the answer to a question he’d asked for centuries. He realized he was staring only when she withdrew slightly. His fingers tightened at her waist.'Again,' he breathed. She slid out of his grip. 'If we live through tomorrow, you’ll get the rest.' He didn’t know whether to laugh or roar. 'Are you trying to bribe me into surviving?' She smiled at last. And damn if it didn’t kill him, the quiet joy in her face. They had walked out of darkness and pain and despair together. They were still walking out of it. So that smile … It struck him stupid every time he saw it and realized it was for him.”
“Thirty minutes later, Rowan was still staring up at the ceiling, teeth gritted as he calmed the roaring in
his veins that was steadily shredding through his self-control.
That gods-damned nightgown.
He was in such deep, unending shit.”
Her breathing turned ragged as he dragged his stare to hers - hungry, feral, unyielding.
"Not yet" he said roughly, his own breathing uneven. "Not now."
"Why?" it was an effort to remember speech with him looking at her like that. Like he might eat her alive. Heat pounded through her core.
"I want to take my time with you - to learn...every inch of you. And this apartment has very thin walls. I don't want to have an audience," he added leaning down again, brushing his mouth over the cut at the base of her throat, "when I make you moan, Aelin."
Rowan and Aelin are at their best when they are together. You know that saying about how your partner should make you want to be the best version yourself? Well this is Rowan and Aelin! They are just amazing together and I have no words on how to describe them together, you need to read QOS yourself to see what I mean. ALSO it helps that they're fight scenes with each other completely kickass! *does karate kick* well attempts to at least...
“He shifted his arm so he could brush her hair back. His fingers lingered along her jaw. “You make me want to live, too, Aelin Galathynius,” he said. “Not exist—but live.” He cupped her cheek, and took a steadying breath—as if he’d thought about every word these past three days, over and over again. “I spent centuries wandering the world, from empires to kingdoms to wastelands, never settling, never stopping—not for one moment. I was always looking toward the horizon, always wondering what waited across the next ocean, over the next mountain. But I think … I think that whole time, all those centuries, I was just looking for you.”
“I missed you,” he said quietly, his gaze darting between her mouth and eyes. “When I was in Wendlyn. I lied when I said I didn’t. From the moment you left, I missed you so much I went out of my mind. I was glad for the excuse to track Lorcan here, just to see you again. And tonight, when he had that knife at your throat …” The warmth of his callused finger bloomed through her as he traced a path over the cut on her neck. “I kept thinking about how you might never know that I missed you with only an ocean between us. But if it was death separating us … I would find you. I don’t care how many rules it would break. Even if I had to get all three keys myself and open a gate, I would find youI'm just leaving this quote with you so you can think about how awesome Rowan and Aelin are on this Valentines Day...