But I have, of course, read books where chemistry really works. First off, I think about what makes good chemistry, for me -- my definition, I guess you'd say. There's plain old sexual tension (which is always fun), but there's also romance, and for me, that's the whole package -- friendship, sexual tension, physical and emotional attraction.
Some book relationships which I think are excellent in the chemistry department:
1) Anne and Gilbert -- they begin with a wary friendship which develops to a true friendship which then moves to romantic interest and love.
2) Daine and Numair (IMMORTALS quartet by Tammy Pierce) -- Daine leans on Numair as her teacher at first; then they are friends (though she already has glimmers of what will be, I think); and then he realizes the inevitable and BAM! :)
3) Pretty much everything Mary Stewart wrote (ha) -- she's done it all: the irritable antagonism which arises from sexual tension (and turns into romantic love); the slow growth through friendship to love; and the relationship where the woman is certain they've lost the love, even though she still wants it (and eventually she learns he does too).
4) Kat and Duncan (BY THE HIGHWAY HOME, by Mary Stolz) -- their romance isn't the focus of the book, but it's slow and gentle and very poignant, imo.
5) Norma Johnston is another who I think is quite good with chemistry -- each of her books looks at different types of teenage love, and some are more physical attraction (and chemistry) which fizzle, and others are more about the deep and abiding love (which includes attraction and chemistry).
I think, for me, chemistry (and romance) is about two people finding a bit of themselves in another person -- and finding something they lack there, as well. So perhaps the best chemistry in books involves the awareness of those aspects -- and this should be among same sex relationships (not necessarily romantic here), also. I think we choose our friends many times because of those parts of ourselves which they mirror combined with those aspects we wish we had -- kindred spirits, as Anne says.
What do you think? What is chemistry to you, and which books exhibit it the best?