[Note from Frolic: This post is brought to you by our friends at Kensington. Looking for your next book with a unique paranormal romance? Look no further than How to Love Your Elf by Kerrelyn Sparks, out now!]
One of the many reasons I love reading paranormal romance is because of the incredible creativity authors delve into to make the stories run. The world-building and character development have to be so specific and unique to really pull me into the story. Of course, we all love a good shifter or vampire book with exciting origin stories. Witches and ghosts are also a massive hit with plenty of mythology and history churning about to keep us on the edge of our seats and often learning something new. One of the things I particularly adore is when authors go out on a limb and make a creature or being out of something unexpected. It’s often a risky proposition, but when you can make a gargoyle or a mole sexy, you know you’ve hit peak author expertise!
I’ve compiled a list of unique and unusual creatures in paranormal that, if you haven’t already read, you should definitely get on your reading list. Allow me to introduce you to some extraordinary beings that stray from the paranormal norm just a bit!
How to Love Your Elf by Kerrelyn Sparks
It’s right there in the title, isn’t it?!!? This fantastical book gives us the story of the brilliant and magically embraced warrior Princess Sorcha and her Woodsman, a Wood Elf. This book has a bit of a Robin Hood feel to it as The Woodsman is genuinely a good man only out to do good for everyone, especially a frustrating Princess who reluctantly finds herself in need. How to Love Your Elf gives us magic, dastardly villains, horrible mothers, fierce battles, and talking trees. I mean, of course, the mighty oak can speak to a wood elf – imagine the insight given! As an added bonus, you get Spark’s witty banter laced with her undeniable sense of humor with a dash of romantic tension. Check out our full interview with Kerrelyn Sparks here.
Love at First Roar by Celia Kyle
This is the fourth book in Kyle’s Grayslake series, and it does not disappoint. Our hero is Isaac Abrams, the healer in his family’s bear clan. Werebears are not unique. In fact, they are right up there with werewolves as my favorite shifters to read. Oh no, the really unique and oddly perfect creature in this book is our heroine, Kira Kolanowski. Kira is a half-blind were-mole. I mean, come on, how on earth is Celia Kyle going to make mole-like characteristics compelling and even sexy? Moles burrow in the dirt and have really terrible eyesight. Well, it plays out beautifully. Kira is on the run after escaping an abusive family of werewolves that used her to experiment on with a terrible drug called Carve. This drug literally carves into the skin, body, and organs of shifters and eats its way through in a terribly painful and scarring way. Typically PNR creatures heal themselves and don’t scar. The animal part of a shifter can and usually heals any damage done to the human element of the being. Not with Carve, no, it is both scarring and deadly.
Isaac is set to leave his clan and become a traveling healer because, after a clan battle with some particularly nasty hyenas, he was left very scarred and disfigured. The females in his clan look at him with a double dose of pity and disgust, so he knows the best thing for him to do is to leave and go out on his own. Are you picking up what I’m laying down? Kira is half-blind, she is oblivious to his scars at first, not that they matter to her once she gets to know him. In fact, she is hiding some severe scarring of her own both externally and internally. The poor woman has been through a lot of physical and emotional torture. It turns out, Kira and Isaac are perfectly fated.
The King Series by Heather Killough Walden
In this series, thirteen lone sovereigns rule from shadowed thrones over lands filled with the strange and supernatural. But something is changing in the Thirteen Realms. A high witch has a telling vision of a chessboard upon which sit the usual thirteen kings… and thirteen queens.
Magic stirs the universe. Now thirteen new thrones wait empty. Killough Walden gives us a plethora of unique beings, a dragon, a vampire, a warlock, and even Time itself will at long last know the ecstasy of true love. But, the one that really catches my eye is The Goblin King.
Damian is the darkest fae lord with powers so great he was banished to a forbidden realm and basically forgotten. Now the high witch’s vision has him back among the living, so to speak, and in search of his Queen. Diana has been hiding a huge secret, she is incredibly powerful, and that makes her a target for some incredibly nefarious characters. When our dark and brooding goblin of a man, Damian happens upon her, well, hello fate! The beauty of this entire series is the amount of girl power on its pages. The Queens are really the ones that rule the world, much like chess, these Kings are just out here protecting them.
Ocean Light by Nalini Singh
Singh’s Psy-Changeling series is wildly famous with its leopards, wolves, psy, and bears, but Ocean Light takes us under the sea to water creatures. Bowen is considered the human’s superhero, but he suffered a potentially fatal blow and is pretty much living on borrowed time. Kaia is a deep-sea changling, the Black Sea specifically. With this shift in the Psy-Changeling series, we get a strong feeling of Atlantis mythology. The reader learns about the lifestyles and mannerisms of all sorts of water creatures, whales, octopus, there are lots of mysterious and beautiful creatures to explore in the water. One thing of note, and I’m just going to drop it here is…” tentacle sex.”
Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon
Speaking of tentacle-ish sex! Ruby Dixon takes us out of this world with her science fiction romance series. These aliens are blue, and they are on the hunt for human women as mates to join them on their ice planet. Dixon does not take the easy route here, the aliens and humans do not speak the same language, so miscommunications abound. That means trust and chemistry have to be built from the ground up. The literal world build in this series is remarkable. The male aliens are lonely and will do anything, I mean ANYTHING to make their human mates happy. One would never believe blue, horned, relatively primitive aliens who are not just ribbed for her pleasure, they are barbed – I don’t know, it just works, Ruby Dixon makes it work! These are fast, fun reads that are out of this world!
Which unique paranormal creature is your favorite?