I have declared my love of all things paranormal, specifically the shifter world of paranormal romance, for a very long time. It is a unique, unabashed, unapologetic kind of love. Werewolf books were a gateway drug for me, and once I found my way into the world of shifter romances, I embraced creatures of all walks of life and a variety of creatures. My love for shifters knows no bounds and does not discriminate. Let’s take a little walk down Shifter Avenue and see the glorious sights that have shaped my love of paranormal romance.
I’ll break you in slowly because I can understand how, for non paranormal readers, this can feel a little odd. Our first stop on this journey is Bearville. Kathy Lyons’ Grizzlies Gone Wild series is a standout of epic proportions. As the series name implies, Grizzly bears are the star of the show. We do get other shifters, and they are portrayed as the bad guys, a real threat to the magical secret of shifters as well as to human life. Lyons’ world-building is fascinating and makes you wonder about what could be going on right under our own human noses! Start with The Bear Who Loved Me and let your love of Carl lead the way. He’s a good man, doing good work to help usher young cubs into the strange new world of shifting. One of the things Lyons does particularly well is writing the shocked and oddly realistic expressions humans have when the magical shifter world is revealed to them.
Other great bear shifters include:
Love At First Roar by Celia Kyle
The Bear’s Chosen Mate by Vivian Arend
Wild About You by Kerrelyn Sparks
Next stop, Dragons!
Dragons are a mythical thing of beauty and wonder, so it goes without saying, a dragon shifter book is a phenomenal feat of author-ly expression. I mean dragons are not typically warm and fuzzy cuddlers, no? Dragon shifter books have a touch of fantasy built right in, embrace it. A great place to start is G.A. Aiken’s Dragon Actually. Our heroine Annwyl (the Bloody), is a warrior that leaves men cowering in fear. But, sometimes, it’s nice to have a man by your side, someone to talk to, share your deepest feelings and emotions that don’t involve decapitations. And sex, of course, the sex. Annwyl feels safe with Fearghus. Fearghus is a dragon, a magical creature that doesn’t seem all warm and cuddly, but with the right warrior woman, all bets are off!
Other fun dragon shifter books:
Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison
Dragon Warrior by Janet Chapman
Fury of Fire by Coreene Callahan
Our next category covers the old adage; variety is the spice of life! I’ve read shifter books of all creature varieties. My most recent read, from a favorite author, has to be Badger to the Bone by Shelly Laurenston. Much like dragons, honey badgers are not typically thought of as spooners. No, honey badgers are deadly killers that seemingly lack any sort of remorse if the killing keeps themselves or someone they love alive. Let’s be honest, honey badgers don’t really need a reason to mess you up, it’s kind of their thing! That translates into a total badass heroine in Badger to the Bone, Max MacKilligan has zero f’s left to give, she just wants her family safe. ZeZe, the man sent to kidnap her, has no idea what he’s walked into, nor does he know he’s actually a shifter cat just waiting to flex his claws.
Other unusual shifter pairings can be found in…
Written in Blood by Anne Bishop
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
In closing, I’d like to remind us all that to this day, we still don’t really know what Jericho Barrons really is. Yes, he is immortal, and yes, he shapeshifts and is not afraid of literally marking his territory, but what is he other than dark and scary and ridiculously sexy? It’s a question for the ages, and one that honestly doesn’t require a full answer, suspension of disbelief is fine with me. Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series has Barrons and his ilk, but it also has shapeshifting fae of the good and bad variety and let’s not forget our heroine Mac pretty much, in the most basic of descriptions, turns into a mystical book towards the end, but that’s probably a post for another day! Folks that sleep on shapeshifting paranormal romance are really missing out.
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