~posted by Selby G.
Romance novels, by their very nature, are usually not considered great literature. This is not to say that romance novels are not worth reading, but perhaps they should be judged with relaxed criteria. It is no different in the fantasy romance subgenre. Stories abound with sexy witches, shape shifters of all ilk and fairies that fall in love with humans. Here are a few that stand out as being particularly special for one reason or another.
Warrior by Zoe Archer is the first in a series of novels with the premise that there are sources of magic in the world that need protecting. The Blades of the Rose are a group who try and keep magical sources out of the hands of the Heirs of Albion. This first book is set mainly in Mongolia and actually had enough cultural information in it that I now want to visit there- minus evil men with magic trying to kill me, of course. If magic and the 1800’s are your thing then this is a great read.
The Kraken King by Meljean Brook. I originally picked up this book because krakens are cool. While there is only really one kraken in this book (and it is already dead) there is still plenty of action and grand adventure. There is also a solid love story and likeable characters. Brook’s imagination is amazing (and sometimes terrifying). Unlike some romance novels, The Kraken King deals with some deep emotions and the main character’s trust issues. A very solid fantasy romance.
Shapeshifting is a popular subject in fantasy romance. There are shapeshifting tigers, jaguars, bears and of course, wolves. In Terry Spear’s A Howl for a Highlander we not only get a pack of four wolf shapeshifting brothers, but they are also Scottish, and live in a castle! Romance novel gold! I can’t even remember the plot to this book but that really isn’t the point. The point is that there is a hot wolf shifter Scotsman who needs a mate! A fast and fun read.
I am always looking for fantasy romance novels which pack the most bang for the buck, and I think I have found it with Sandra Hill’s Kiss of Surrender. Not only was Trond Sigurdsson once a Viking, he is also now a vampire angel (aka Vangel) who’s current assignment is as a Navy SEAL. If he was any manlier the book just might explode. Kiss of Surrender is definitely not the best book I have ever read but you will want to tell everyone about it just so you can say ‘Vangel’.
Not all fantasy romance novels have to be so extreme or…descriptive. The Hanged Man by P.N. Elrod has only a light hint of romance mixed into a story where psychic senses are used like forensics to solve murders. A man is found hanging from his bedroom light fixture, an apparent suicide, but a young psychic senses that something is off. More subtle than the rest of my recommendations, those among you who like their fantasy light and mixed with mystery will greatly enjoy this book.
Those five books provide a wide array of the offerings in the fantasy romance subgenre. Pick which sound the most interesting to you and get lost in another world.