Winter is here, but most of us aren’t ready for it. We’re not ready for the chilly wind. We’re not ready for the snow on the roads (if you live in a place that gets snow), or the short daylight hours.
Fortunately, books can help with that seasonal shift. To put you in the mood, we found a bunch of winter romance books with a “paranormal” vibe. Here’s a list of novels that are set in winter or a winter-inspired world.
Crown of Frost by Isabella August
Heat Level: Hot
Love Interest: Warlock/Fae
Looking for a Winter Solstice/paranormal romance-themed book? In Crown of Frost, Elaine is a witch in hiding. As the former captive of a faerie lord who tried to turn her into an ice statue, she’s fearful of being recaptured. She also struggles with fractured memories from her time in the fairy world.
When Elaine is re-discovered by a secretive, deadly warlock who served the faerie lord during her capture, however, she is presented with an impossible, painful choice. Either she can help this warlock escape his own imprisonment, or the two of them will be haunted by the winter realm forever.
Read Crown of Frost if you’re looking for a quick winter romance.
A Highland Ghost for Christmas by Jo-Ann Carson
Heat Level: Sweet
Love Interest: Ghost
If you had told me a couple of months ago that I would read a Scottish, Paranormal, Christmas-themed romance, I would have called your bluff. After all, that’s a lot of subgenres to pack into one book! However, A Highland Ghost for Christmas is all of these things. It also features a winter-themed setting, so onto the list it goes.
Maddy Jacobson is recovering from a bad breakup with her ex-fiance. To cheer her up, her friend takes her to a fortune-teller. While there, Maddy attracts the attention of a Scottish ghost who happens to love gambling, flirting, and refusing to pass on into heaven. The ghost, she soon learns, is named Cullen.
At first, Maddy is conflicted by the fact that a ghost is hovering over her shoulder. As she and Cullen grow close, however, she is filled with angst of a different sort. Unbeknownst to Cullen, Maddy has found a new fling—and that fling is living, breathing, and very hot. How can she choose between the two of them without breaking someone’s heart?
While I’m personally “meh” on how the end plays out (it’s a love triangle and my favorite pairing wasn’t endgame), A Highland Ghost has snowstorms and Christmas motifs galore.
(Mild) Content Warning: A scenario with mistaken identity/questionable consent occurs towards the end of the book. While both characters were OK once the confusion was cleared, the lead-up to the event might be stressful to read.
The Red King by Jenn Stark
Heat Level: Sweet
Love Interest: Magician
The Red King’s paranormal vibes veer towards “mystery” instead of romance. However, it takes place during the winter, there’s a romantic interest, and the book ends with a HFN.
Starting off on the Las Vegas strip, The Red King follows Sara Wilde, a former relic hunter who found a new job as a member of a magical council. After Sara uncovers a supernatural drug ring, she finds herself swept away into a deeper mystery that takes her all the way to Venice, Italy during the height of its winter Carnivale.
There, a rogue sorcerer called The Red King is putting the city’s population at risk. Sara is at risk too—but not if a beautiful, mercurial council member named Armaeus has anything to say about it.
Incredibly in-depth with fully fleshed-out characters, The Red King is a paranormal mystery with a romantic subplot. It will appeal to anyone looking for a book with a lot of lore.
Lord of Winter by Ana Calin
Heat Level: Hot
Love Interest: Fae
Arielle is a fae in hiding. Having lived her entire life in the human world, she plays mind tricks on others so she can fund her way through school. The problem with this plan? Using your magic for money is forbidden. It isn’t long until Arielle attracts the attention of the fae authorities, and their leader, Lysander Nightfrost. Lysander, the Lord of Winter, personally throws her in jail.
When Arielle is captured, she learns there’s far more to her fae heritage than she realized. What’s worse, Lysander—whom she is attracted to—plans to leverage her life in an ongoing war by selling her off as a bride. If Arielle doesn’t find a way to escape, and quick, she’ll live in misery, chained to another fae she has no interest in.
Unbeknownst to her, Lysander shares her attraction. He’s also having second thoughts about this plan of his that will put her life at risk.
I personally have mixed feelings about Lord of Winter. In my opinion, it tried to execute an enemies-to-lovers dynamic that didn’t exactly work out. It also ends on a total cliffhanger, which makes the rest of the series somewhat risky to read. If you’re looking for something with a chilly aesthetic, however, Lord of Winter fits the bill.
(Mild) Content Warning: There’s no attempted/sexual assault, but the book was a bit insensitive when it came to talking about the trauma that Arielle would experience if she was married to someone against her will.
Frozen by Meljean Brook
Heat Level: Sensual
Love Interest: Ice Giant
Olivia Martin is a stressed-out project manager for a high-end construction company. After avoiding her boss’ son for over a year—a man named Erik whom she shared a scorching, ill-fated kiss with—Olivia finds herself searching for Erik to sign some crucial paperwork over the holidays. Unfortunately for her, Erik lives on an isolated mountain estate. She also has to trek up a very long driveway in a raging blizzard to get to his home.
Once Olivia arrives, however, the estate is attacked by werewolves. On top of that, Erik is not who he appears to be. Soon, Olivia finds herself thrust into a dangerous, mythological world where signing unwanted paperwork is the least of her problems. If she and Erik don’t find a way off of the estate before the Winter Solstice arrives, Olivia will be in danger from him, too.
Frozen was the first Meljean Brook book that I’ve read. It’s perfect on so many levels. What I really appreciated about the novel, however, was its frank, on-the-page discussion about the “fated lovers” trope in romance, and how you should explicitly address consent.
Warm Your Hands (and Your Heart) With These Winter Romance Books
Winter may have come too quickly, but just because it’s already here doesn’t mean that some decent books can’t put you in a better mood. If you’re looking for some more seasonally-themed novels, check out these tropetastic snowed-in romance books, too.