In October I did a post about 25 Urban Fantasy Books that I recommend and it was one of the most popular posts on the blog, so I want to do one about paranormal romance. To me paranormal romance is mostly book candy. It is something I read to be entertained not something I read because it is really good or deep or anything like that.
When I read paranormal romance I want something that is entertaining, has a good romance plot and that makes me feel. I don’t mind crying all over my books when I am reading paranormal romance. I love supernatural creatures in my romance and the interesting dynamics that adds to the soup. I also like steaming hot sex scenes in my books, though isn’t a requirement. The books I’m including are set in the present day, so I will not include gothic romances, though those can be fun as well.
Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
Setting: St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Keywords: Vampire, werewolf, erotica, BDSM, polyamory, crime
The first few books in the series are more urban fantasy than they are paranormal romance, but after book 5 this is definitely paranormal romance and the erotica type as well. There is no sex scenes until book 6 and they are far between until sometimes in the teens, when Anita’s poly relationship really picks up. Anita Blake is able to raise the dead and animate them for a short time. She mostly does this to settle people’s insurance claims and things like that. She also becomes a consultant for the police in a number of murder cases. She is also as the title of the series says a vampire hunter at times. As the series gets rolling she has a steaming hot romance with a number of supernatural creatures. The series turns into paranormal erotica with BDSM and multiple partners. Now you are warned if that isn’t your thing. The plot of some of the books are pretty darn neat while others are bit thin. There are more than 20 books in the series, so you have something to dig into.
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Series: Sookie Stackhouse
Setting: Louisiana, USA
Keywords: Vampire, fay, wereanimals, smut
After watching the first season of True Blood I had to go read the Sookie Stackhouse books. And man they are better than the tv-series. Especially the first seven or eight books. The later books are not as good. I loved Sookie as a character, I liked that she didn’t let herself be pushed around by her way more powerful boyfriends – she does not take crap from anybody. She might be a bit weepy at times, but she goes through some horrible freaking crap. I will have to write a full review at some point. The sex scenes are smutty and steamy hot and so are the men. All the men, because wow are there are a lot of men in Sookie’s life once the series gets going. I like that it don’t mostly isn’t a love triangle but rather a series of boyfriends. I love that she gets to have more than one by the way. Her love life is messy and crazy and it is so entertaining.
Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead
Series: Georgina Kincaid
Keywords: Succubus, vampire, angel, demon, books
The female protagonist is a bookstore clerk and a succubus and the book has a lot of book love in it. It is a fun and light read. There is a big romance plot – it is the biggest plot of the series. The series is quite entertaining quick reads. They are quite dark in places and there is surprisingly little sex for a succubus book. If you want succubus sex, watch Lost Girl (also quite recommended). There is a cool society of angels and demons in Seattle and lots of fun banter. I read all 6 book in the span of a month – they are page turners.
Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
Series: Weather Warden
Setting: The United States of America
Keywords: Magic, djinn, weather, road trip
This is road trip book. Our female protagonist, Joanne Baldwin, is strong and capable and is part of an agency that control the weather and natural disasters. She and her djinn are on the run across the US. There is a big conspiracy and a big romance which are the anchors of the plot. There are some steamy sex scenes as well with the djinn which I think is the only time I have seen that.
Nice Girls Don’t Have Fangs by Molly Harper
Series: Jane Jameson
Setting: American South, small town
Keywords: Vampire, werewolf, comedy
This is something more light-hearted and fun. It is a romantic comedy with vampires and a crazy mundane family who has to come to terms with their daughter being a vampire who is dating a vampire. The protagonist is your typical rom-com protagonist but she is also a book lover so that is a huge plus. The book is sweet and funny and I giggled loud enough for my boyfriend to give me funny looks.
Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Setting: The United States of America, in the future
Keywords: Psychics, wereanimals, erotica
This series is something as unusual as sci-fi paranormal romance. The book has steaming hot werewolf and a woman learning to feel emotions after a life of medically suppressed emotions – think Equilibrium. It is very much a erotica book but one with a pretty cool plot and some great interactions. It has a horrible name and a bad cover, but is actually quite entertaining and it definitely had some great smut.
A strange thing about paranormal romance is that I feel that I have read way more of it than I actually have. It might be because so much of it is very long series or because it has been talked about so much, but when I look at my Goodreads account, these 6 series are the ones I want to recommend. I have also read Twilight and House of Night, but I don’t want to recommend either (they are just not very good) and they are both YA, so they don’t fit this post either.