Paranormal romance is by far my favorite genre. I’ve tried reading contemporaries, but I always find myself waiting for the hero to vamp out (sort of like watching David Boreanaz in Bones after watching him in Buffy and Angel for years). Although I’m always excited when I find a mythos I haven’t heard of before, or a particularly exciting twist on an existing mythos, I’m also a diehard fan of the classics. Campy doesn’t bother me in the least.
My taste plays a big part in my own writing as well (obviously). I like to twist the usual suspects (vukodlaks, strigori, iaras, and maras instead of just vampires and skinwalkers, lisitsas, medveds, and loup garou instead of just werewolves), but I’m also a fan of fairy tales, “dark princes,” “alpha males,” and token comic relief (I try to insert a pixie wherever possible. I know they can read as plot devices, but they’re hysterical and they make me laugh).
If your tastes jive with mine, here are a few books I highly recommend:
Her Mad Hatter (Kingdom series) by Marie Hall
Marie Hall is probably most famous for her Kingdom series. The Mad Hatter, Captain Hook, the Big Bad Wolf, and a few other bad boys finally get their happily ever afters. The series is sensual, so there’s a lot of sexy but not sex scene after sex scene. She’s also very funny, but not so funny that it steals the drama from the serious bits. The best part about her books is that there’s a hint of all the bad boys in each book, so as soon as you read one, you’re desperate to read the next one. And of course it doesn’t hurt at all that Her Mad Hatter (Book One in the Kingdom series) is free…
Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series) by Laurell K. Hamilton
Laurell is probably the darkest author I read. She’s more urban fantasy than romance, but there’s so much sexy goodness in the entire series that it might as well be romance. She writes in the first person, but she does it very well. She’s also very funny while still being very dark. If you’re easily squicked by violence and gore, stay away from her books. All of them. Also, I will say, both her Anita Blake series and her Merry Gentry series are very very very sex heavy, so if you’re one of those people who believe too much sex interferes with plot, I suggest you stick with the Anita Blake series and stop at Narcissus in Chains. Her early Anita books have a bit of mystery in them too and I’ve re-read the whole series more than once and I still forget some of the intricacies. It’s almost as good as reading it again for the first time and that is something special.
You Slay Me (Aisling Grey, Guardian series) by Katie MacAllister
Katie makes me laugh to the point that I pick her books up to specifically look up certain parts to make me laugh. I absolutely love her Aisling Grey Guardian series. There’s not really any darkness to Katie’s books (at least in the Guardian series), so she’s a great read if you want something sexy and funny that’s not going to require a bag of chocolate to get through (emotionally speaking). Did I mention dragons? Oh, yes, there are dragons…
All right, so those are my recommendations. Get out there and find your fantasy man!
Fabulous! Thank you for sharing Jennifer. Now for our little tradition. We always ask our author's of the month to describe themselves with three words.
Sarcastic. Loyal. Eccentric.
Please be sure to take a look at Jennifer's books!
Loupe always dreamed of getting married. She yearned for a caring husband who would take her away from her servant-like existence at home with her stepmother and two stepsisters, a man who would love her forever. Those dreams ended the day she was bitten by a werewolf. Now she’s a mindless beast on the night of the full moon—a condition that forever prevents her from sharing a marriage bed. Not even the attentions of a handsome and endearingly strong prince can convince her that the life she wants is still possible.
Etienne is a prince in need of a werewolf. A werewolf himself from birth, Etienne and his family have protected their kingdom with tooth and claw—literally—for thousands of years. Unfortunately, the spell of a well-meaning witch is slowly turning him human. Only the bite of a cursed werewolf, one who was not born with the beast inside, can save him from becoming human. He has no time for anything that will not lead him to a cure for the cure. Not even the beautiful maiden whose gentle nature soothes his soul can take his mind from his goal.
Love cares little for the best laid plans or the impossible. A grand ball. The stroke of twelve. A magic “slipper.” All kinds of things can happen when you don’t leave the ball…Before Midnight.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/before-midnight-jennifer-blackstream/1115886392?ean=2940016686080
"She stole his skin . . . can she still win his heart?"
It seems like an eternity since Ana Vulpe returned home to find her lover burning the thing she prized most in the world--the fox skin that was the key to her true form. The consequences of that horrible night plague her even two years later. With her sanity strained to the breaking point and her spirit withering with every day she’s forced to stay in human form, Ana will do anything to escape the prison of her human flesh. Whether she has to beg, borrow . . . or steal.
As the most gifted healer the selkie people have known in over three centuries, Brec knows he should be grateful for his gift. But he isn’t. Every day he dreams of joining his brother’s pod of warriors, of throwing away his bag of healer’s herbs and taking up the weapons of his ferocious kin. When his skin is stolen, no one argues when Brec insists that he be allowed to face the thief himself. Finally, he is going to war with a true enemy, someone who dared to steal a part of him he could never live without. But he’s about to realize that war is never as glorious as it seems . . .
When Ana wakes up tied to her bed with a vengeful selkie standing over her, the only thing that burns hotter than their anger is the desire that thickens the air between them. Using every wile in her repertoire, Ana almost succeeds in convincing the selkie to leave with his skin--until he discovers that his is not the only skin she has stolen. Now the righteous warrior with the dark eyes and searing kiss is determined to stay until she gives up not only the skins, but her secret as well.
Can the selkie cast off his healer’s sensibilities long enough to do what has to be done to force Ana’s hand? Or has the desperate vixen succeeded in getting . . . Under His Skin?
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/under-his-skin-jennifer-blackstream/1113723287?ean=2940015930290
"When a vampire gets involved in a werewolf mating ritual, you know there's going to be blood . . ."
Gia is a werewolf with a mission: to have a submissive mate who will never threaten her dominance. For years she has ruled as the lupa of her pack with just such a mate. Then one night her perfect little arrangement comes to an end when her mate betrays her with another woman. Outraged at the insult to their lupa, the pack calls for one of their most sacred rituals: Aphrodite’s Hunt. For three nights Gia will be the prey, hunted by the eligible males of her pack until one proves himself worthy by finding her and claiming her as his own. If Gia wants to escape the erotic ritual that even her own wolf longs for, she will have to find someone to protect her not only from her pack . . . but from her own carnal desires.
Sorin is a vampire with a secret. Haunted by the macabre sins of his past, he has sworn off blood, determined to stick to a diet of siphoned energy that leaves him too weak to pose a threat. When Gia comes to his door, possessed by a heated desire and desperate to make a deal, Sorin quickly turns her away. But he soon finds out that Gia is not a werewolf used to taking orders. One bloody kiss is all it takes to awaken the beast he has kept trapped inside of him for so long and suddenly Sorin finds himself swept up by a renewed hunger for the warmer things in life.
Now Gia wants out of the deal and Sorin wants . . . her.
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/aphrodites-hunt-jennifer-blackstream/1113017435?ean=2940015608465
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