[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to have author N.J. Walters guest posting on the site today. She’s sharing some of her favorite paranormal romance titles. Take it away, N.J.!]
It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and I don’t mean Christmas. I love fall with the crisp days, colorful leaves, and pumpkins, not to mention Halloween and Thanksgiving. It’s the perfect time to curl up with a paranormal romance. And luckily for us, there are so many wonderful authors and diverse storylines to enjoy. From vampires and werewolves, to angels and demons, and witches and magic, there’s something for everyone. Authors will sometimes draw inspiration from mythology and history, then tap into the dark reaches of their imaginations to put their own spin on it. The possibilities are limitless, which is why I love to read it and write it.
It wasn’t always this way. When I started reading romance so many years ago—we won’t say just how many, but it was long before ebooks—it was much harder to find a good paranormal romance. If you were lucky enough to find one, it was almost always a vampire tale. Boy, have times changed. While the list below cannot fully cover the scope of the paranormal romances available today, these are some of my favorites.
Hot and Badgered (The Honey Badger Chronicles, Book 1) by Shelly Laurenston
I am a HUGE Shelly Laurenston fan. If you love paranormal/shapeshifter stories with bite and plenty of sass, you must read her Pride series. She takes shapeshifters to a whole other level of fun and sexiness. Her latest series—the Honey Badger Chronicles—is part of the world she creates in the Pride series and follows the insane lives of three sisters—all with different ethnic backgrounds, but all honey badger. I love this author’s diversity and creativity.
For her Call of Crows series, think Vikings meet shapeshifters. This is Nordic mythology mixed with imagination and set in the modern world. It’s a sometimes-dark story mixed with the author’s trademark sass and humor to balance it out.
Shelly Laurenston is an auto-buy for me.
Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1) by J.R. Ward
I was resistant to reading this book when it was first released. The book blurb really didn’t catch my attention, but I needed something to read one day and decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did.
The hero, Wrath, is the last purebred vampire on the planet. He’s not only the leader of the vampire people, he’s also the head of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a dangerous group of vampires who protect their race from their enemies. Beth Randall is a half-breed who knows nothing of her heritage. But their fates are entwined, and they will change each other in ways they never expected.
This series is up to 18 books and counting. There is also a spinoff series—Black Dagger Legacy. The amazing world created by the author expands with each new book, and we get more storylines featuring earlier characters. But make no mistake, Ward doesn’t always spare her characters, or her readers, from hardship and pain and loss. This is one of the few series I’ll buy as soon as it’s released in hardcover.
Angel’s Blood (Guild Hunter Book 1) by Nalini Singh
I absolutely LOVE Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series, which combines archangels, angels, vampires, and vampire hunters together to create a rich, diverse, and utterly unforgettable world filled with passion and danger and characters you’ll fall in love with. While Elena and Raphael are the main couple in many of the books, there are more couples to fall in love with. And I know I’m not alone when I say I can’t wait for Titus’s story, ARCHANGEL’S SUN, to release in November. Have you seen that cover?
Her Psy-Changeling series is also a reader favorite. Kaleb Krychek, the anti-hero from Heart of Obsidian, is unforgettable and a personal favorite. It was the first book in this series I read, even though it’s book 12. After I read it, I madly consumed all the rest of the books in the Psy/Changling world.
Night Play (Dark Hunters, Book 5) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Night Play is paranormal romance at its absolute best and is a part of Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series. Vane Kattalakis is one of my favorite romance heroes of all time. He’s been wounded in so many ways and doesn’t believe he’s worthy of Bride McTierney’s love but, believe me, he is. Both Bride and Vane are complex people who have been hurt in the past. But love does have the power to heal. There are also moments of humor in this book. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll swoon.
Kenyon has created a world shaped by mythology, and filled with gods and goddesses, shapeshifters and demons, and things that go bump in the night. Night Pleasures is the first book in the series, but Night Play is one of my absolute favorites. Kenyon tortures her characters like no other writer. She also has the rare gift of reminding us that there are always two sides to every story, which she masterfully shows in Acheron’s and Styxx’s books, two of the best paranormal books of all time. (In my humble opinion.)
Darkness Dawns (Immortal Guardians series Book 1) by Dianne Duvall
In Darkness Dawns, Duvall introduces readers to a world of vampires, immortals, and humans with extraordinary gifts. A single act of bravery lands Sarah Bingham right in the middle of a war between corrupt vampires and the immortal guardians. Reclusive Roland Warbrook has been around more than 900 years, but Sarah somehow manages to touch his heart. Action-packed, sexy, and original. If you love paranormal romance with dark heroes and kickass heroines, be sure to give this series a try. The books just keep getting better and better as the series continues.
When Darkness Comes (Guardians of Eternity, Book 1) by Alexandra Ivy
When Darkness Comes introduces the reader to Dante, a very sexy vampire who is trying to protect the world. Abby Barlow is a human woman who, through an act of fate, has been chosen to hold back the darkness. In an epic battle between good and evil, they must also fight for love.
This series gives you plenty of action, dark passion, and enough sexy vampires and werewolves to keep you turning the page. And Ivy has created one of the best sidekicks in paranormal romance—Levet, an undersized gargoyle who thinks he is ten feet tall. Levet brings the humor but has a heroic heart and a way of making mischief, creating havoc, and yet somehow still helps to save the day.
Kiss of Midnight (The Midnight Breed Series Book 1) by Lara Adrian
The Breed are part human, part otherworldly. They maintain order among their kind and protect humans, maintaining a peace that is built on secrecy, power, and swift justice. Now vampires are going Rogue, threatening the survival of all.
Lucan Thorne is the Breed’s leader. The last thing he wants or needs to do is to get involved with a human, but that’s exactly what he does when Gabrielle Maxwell is targeted by his enemies. With each new book, the author expands the world she’s created.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of what’s out there in paranormal romance right now. However you like your books—humor-filled, dark and brooding, or something in-between—you can find something to suit your taste. As the days get shorter and the evenings longer, curl up with a vampire, werewolf, angel, demon, witch or some other shapeshifter. You’ll be glad you did.
About the Author:
Burning Ash by N.J. Walters, Out Now!
No one is more surprised than Asher, one of the oldest vampires on Earth, that he’s attracted to vamp hunter Jo Radcliffe. She’s smart, a talented slayer, and she’s gorgeous. Something about her pulls at him, like no one ever has before. For a man, whose name strikes fear in everyone—this is something new and intriguing. And quite possibly deadly, if she discovers his secret.
Jo has two things in common with the handsome Asher—they are both slayers and someone is messing with them in a very-much-trying-to-kill-them way. She’s not so happy about joining forces with a dude she doesn’t know. But he’s sexy as hell and really good at his job as one of the Forgotten Brotherhood, whose business it is to execute misbehaving paranormals.
She knows she’s bait in a larger plot to harm Asher and the Brotherhood. And there is nothing he won’t do, no line he won’t cross, to keep her safe—which may be the weakness that destroys them both.