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The Unlikely Pair

We all know these couples, right? The ones that don’t appear to belong together. The brainiac and the jock. The stripper and the prince. Okay, so maybe that one’s a little less well-known. But you get what I mean.

As readers (or people), we have certain expectations about who should be together. When we hear “prince”, we think “princess”. We’re not surprised to see lawyers get married, or to see painters and dancers together, and nothing makes more sense than for two movie stars or rock stars to be coupled off. Of course, some of that is workplace romance, but some of it is just what seems to go together.

Then there are the different but not mismatched couples. The teacher and the football coach. The lawyer and the doctor. The movie star and the artist. The accountant and the professor.

But there are some professions that are really unlikely. This creates great conflict. The whole premise of some books is the Unlikely Pair. Imagine what would happen if a vampire slayer fell in love with a vampire. Buffy. Angel. Boom. Imagine what would happen if a superhero in disguise fell in love with the woman trying to unmask him. Clark. Lois. Boom. Imagine what would happen if a demon loved a demon hunting witch. Cole. Phoebe. Boom.

So much conflict. After all, in the words of Drew Barrymore (in Ever After), “a bird may love a fish, signore, but where would they live?” This is the conflict of the unlikely pair.

They don’t belong together. It’s more than being mismatched. More than nerd and jock. Or emo and jock. It’s fundamentally not meant to happen. In life. Criminals and cops. Teachers and students. Mortal enemies. These pairs should never happen.

What about you? Have you ever read an unlikely pair? Can you tell me about it? Was it worthwhile to read

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