I have a failing. I know, I know...it's hard to believe. But it's true. You see, I don't read much paranormal romance. In fact, it's fair to say that until recently (I'm looking at you, Pamela Palmer & Juliana Stone & Kerrelyn Sparks), I was a strictly non-paranormal romance reader. It's not that I was opposed to paranormals...it's that I was just busy hanging out in my historical and contemporary worlds. My sister, however, is a paranormal fan. I mean...WHOA. If there's a paranormal romance author out there, Kiki has read her. So...since I was due for another Read More Romance post AND I'm committed to reading more paranormal and totally uncertain of where to begin, I asked Kiki to make me a list. Which she did...in the form of the following pretty awesome guest post...just in time to celebrate the long-awaited launch of Lover Mine, the next book in JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Enjoy!
Kiki MacLean's Top 9 Paranormal Romance Novels
I’ve been on my sister to read more paranormal romance for several years now. I suppose when you’re fast on the way to becoming one of the best historical regency romance authors – she’s my sister, I get to say this :) (editorial note: great sister, no?) – you must stay true to your genre. Nonetheless, I designed the list below to suck her in to the world of paranormal romance. Who knows, if I’m lucky, she’ll bring her talent to the genre and write one! I live in eternal hope…
JR Ward, Dark Lover - The divine Ms. Ward… enough said … An aristocratic vampire, a blind king by the name of Wrath, a journalist, and quite possibly the best opening scene ever. Dark Lover is the first in the seven-book Black Dagger Brotherhood series (the eighth book is due for release today, I so can’t wait). This series is without a doubt one of the best (if not the best) modern-day vampire series.
Dance with the Devil, Sherrilyn Kenyon - Early in the Dark-Hunter series (book #4), the anti-hero Zarek (the ultimate bad boy, oooh leather) has been exiled to sub-zero climes in Alaska by the ‘bitch goddess’ Artemis. He finds salvation in his love for the Greek Nymph of Justice, Astrid, who is called to judge him for damning crimes – I laughed, I cried, and I admit I downloaded several of the music references, e.g., Nazareth’s Hair of the Dog.
Midnight Awakening, Lara Adrian - Book #4 in the Midnight Breed series has one super badass heroine, Elise Chase, who finds her match (and her love) in an equally bad badass hero, Tegan. It’s totally self-contained – no need to read those before or after in the series – in the immortal words of my sister, hang the rules, start with this book.
The Darkest Kiss, Gena Showalter – Showalter’s books deserve a special place on any bookshelf. An accomplished author, capable of moving effortlessly between Young Adult & Adult romance, her books underpin any paranormal list. Selecting just one? Super hard! Where to start? I suggest Darkest Kiss (Book #2 of the Lords of the Underworld series) – the story of Lucien (who houses the Demon of Death – just go with it…) and Anya, the minor goddess of anarchy – think paranormal version of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and the chase is on.
Darkness Everlasting, Alexandra Ivy – Book # 3 in the Guardians of Eternity series, this book speaks to those who prefer a mix to their paranormal – one part were to one part vampire. Poignant & incredibly addictive, Ivy’s book pits the vampire king, Styk, against the were king, Salvatore, in a conquest for the love of Darcy. Did I mention, the entire race of demons is at risk … Who can resist that?!
No Rest for the Wicked, Kresley Cole – A fun, fast-paced adventure! I tripped upon this book by accident, devoured it in one sitting, and read the balance of the series in one weekend. Mix one part vampire, one part valkyrie assassin, a half-mad soothsayer, introduce a scavenger hunt designed by mercurial gods, and wow! It sucks you in…
Pleasure Unbound, Larissa Ione – Book #1 of the Demonica series, much of Pleasure Unbound takes place in a hospital run by demons – I know, kind of bizarre, but refreshingly different. Especially for those of us who are little tired, perhaps jaded, of the tried and true vampire story -- This one’s a must read. Oh, and did I mention, the hero, Eidolon, is hot, hot, hot! And, his brother, Wraith … sigh.
So the last two on my list break from the vampire theme …
Caressed by Ice, Nalini Singh – There are so many elements of this book that make it a fantastic read – the brilliant world building, the character development, the dialogue, the political underpinnings – simply put, it’s one of my favorites in the genre.
The Game, Heather Killough-Walden (**eBook only) -- This book is a total dark horse! Victor Black, Victoria Red, and Maxwell Blood, all are caught in ‘The Game.’ Who’s good? Who’s evil? Who ends up with whom? The book keeps you guessing, with twists & turns, until the very end. Science fiction meets paranormal romance, with not a vampire in sight. This book is enthralling! I'm so taken with it, I'm off to read, Third Kiss: Dorian’s Dream. If it’s as good as The Game, it may just become #10 on the list.