Wow. These months have flown by. At the time of this article, we’re heading into the last few days of summer, where the languid heat slowly gives way to crisp autumn days.
If you’re anything like me—a fan of paranormal romance—and you like to spend those lazy summer days reading, it may feel like this particular summer was cut short. What happened to those balmy beach days? The Instagram-worthy cottage getaways where you can settle back with your book?
While it may feel like summer has gone by too quickly, a good book can help you hold onto that feeling. With that in mind, here’s a list of summer-themed paranormal romance novels that can help you get the most out of these last few days.
American Witch by Thea Harrison
Heat Level: Sensual
Love Interest: Witch/Warlock
Holy hell. Does this book own my soul.
The first novel in a series by Thea Harrison, American Witch takes us on a detour through the rainy spring season of Atlanta, followed by the early summer days of New Orleans.
When Molly Sullivan, burgeoning witch and high-end trophy wife, finds out that her husband has been cheating on her, she quickly divorces him, utterly upending his life and hers. Soon afterward, Molly comes face-to-face with Josiah: a powerful Russian warlock posing as Atlanta’s DA who has arrived in the area to seek vengeance against an old wrong.
When Josiah’s quest for vengeance and Molly’s frantic escape from her broken marriage suddenly coincide, the two of them must work together to defeat the enemy. If they don’t, they’ll end up losing their lives.
Incredibly insightful, amazingly paced, and utterly sensual, American Witch is all about second chances, finding yourself during a midlife crisis, and sticking up for what you want. While the book gets tense at some parts (specifically around Molly’s ex-husband, and the physical efforts he will go to control her) American Witch never makes these scenes feel hopeless. The way that Molly always comes out on top turns each situation into a scene of empowerment in the face of adversity. The perfect HEA makes this book a steal.
The Undying King by Grace Draven
Heat Level: Hot
Love Interest: Lich (or something close)
The fun thing about supernatural romance books set in the summer is that they often feature love interests that stray outside your typical vampire or werewolf. You also see a lot of cross-over into fantasy. The Undying King by Grace Draven falls into this category, and features a distinctly summer-themed world.
In the novel, Imogen—a young woman who cannot touch other people without killing them—goes on a quest to find a cure for her illness. This quest takes her to a haunted castle shrouded in mists and ferns. Inside this castle is the lair of the Undying King, who is said to be able to break her curse.
The one thing Imogen didn’t account for? That the hot, lonely “king” is cursed too. His unwanted immortality also makes him the only person who is able to touch her without dying.
The Undying King is definitely a good read for anyone who likes their romance on the fantastical side.
The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Redmerski
Heat Level: Sweet
Love Interest: Werewolf
One of the most engaging summer-themed books out there is The Mayfair Moon: the first novel in The Darkwoods Trilogy by J.A. Redmerski.
A sweet romance that is balanced on that New Adult cusp, The Mayfair Moon starts off in a heatwave, with the grass waving in the warm summer breeze. Adria Dawson is living with her sister. One night, when she and her sister venture outdoors, they’re attacked by a werewolf.
As Adria deals with the aftermath of the attack, she grows closer to Isaac, a secretive young man who inexplicably knows more about the event than he should. If you loved the cult movie Gingersnaps, then The Mayfair Moon should be right up your alley.
Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Heat Level: Sensual
Love Interest: Faerie Hunter
Now, while this book is technically not set in the summer (it begins in September), the story takes place in New Orleans during a time when the summer heat is still oppressive. As such, it’s a pretty good book if you’re looking for something with a “seasonal” cross-over appeal.
The first book in a series, Wicked follows Ivy: a part-time college student and full-time faerie-hunter. When Ivy is not tracking down otherworldly beings, she’s lazing around her apartment, hiding from the memory of her tragic first love.
When a hunt turns deadly—and she meets a fellow, drop-dead gorgeous hunter named Ren—Ivy is thrust into a complex, otherworldly conspiracy. Meanwhile, she deals with her increasingly charged feelings over her fellow hunter.
The dilemma: she can stay safe and shut Ren out of her life, or open up her heart to him and risk another disaster.
Fun, fast-paced, and chock full of pop-culture references, the first book in the Wicked Series is a great read for anyone who likes their paranormal romances with a distinctly pop-culture feel.
Make Me Burn by Tiffany Roberts
Heat Level: Explicit
Love Interest: Demon
I personally hesitated on including this title, simply because of its strange over-reliance on a particular trope (more on that later). If you’re looking for a “summer-themed” romance, however, then pick up Make Me Burn: a novel set on a tropical penal colony.
When the mass-murdering demon Morthanion is banished from the mainland, he finds himself on a tropical island where the water is turquoise blue and the island is thick with palm trees. He can’t get off the island, and he’s been stripped of his own magic as punishment. Even worse, the island is full of dangerous prisoners that have been sent there before him, too.
Fortunately, Morthanion finds salvation in Aria: a strange, solitary woman who has been living in hiding on the island. Unfortunately, the more time they spend together, the greater risk they run of the other prisoners finding them. Soon, the island’s overlord, another demon, gets wind of them. He plans to tear their lives apart.
Hot, heavy, and definitely cheesy, Make Me Burn is well-suited for anyone looking for a quick, easy read with an alpha male lead.
Content Warning: While the book doesn’t go all the way through with the “threat,” there is still frequent use of the “attempted sexual assault/saved from sexual assault by the love interest” trope, specifically to drive the plot. I’m not a fan of this, and I’m sure I won’t be the only one. So if you do pick up this book tread with caution, and keep this content warning in mind.
Don’t Let Go of Summer Just Yet
Summer may be fading, but if you have these paranormal romance books on hand, you can make the hottest season of the year last a little longer. Just pick one of these titles up and go.