Last week we asked for your help in assembling the ultimate urban fantasy starter kit — those books that are musts for the genre. And, wow, did you ever have suggestions. We loved it. (And we know we weren’t alone in adding tons of great books to our to-read list.) From the quintessential Charles de Lint to Kim Harrison and Rachel Vincent to Jaye Wells and Nicole Peeler. You were all over the place, and it was fantastic. We’ll give it a little more time, and then we’ll tally up the responses and give you the top suggestions for the UF starter kit, but right now we’re turning our attention to paranormal romance.
While lots of favorite urban fantasy novels have romantic elements, we’re focusing on the books where the main plot of the story is a love story influenced by the preternatural. So, help us put together the must-list of books for the Paranormal Romance Starter Kit.
To get things going, here are
FIVE TITLES WE’D INCLUDE IN A PARANORMAL ROMANCE STARTER KIT
1. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
The first novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series sets up the world. Each following book has one “never going to settle down” vampire warrior finding his mate and putting her above all else. Throughout the series there’s fighting, steamy sex, real relationship issues (overcoming one’s past, etc.) and deep unyielding love. (Our favorite book in the series is Lover Awakened.)
2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
It’s been out for 20 years and this time-traveling romance stands the test of time. Instead of summing up the novel, we’ll give you our friend Smash Attack Ash’s take on its hero: “So many people talk about Jamie Fraser, and I just couldn’t resist the hype anymore. I will admit to being totally over the top in love with the young Scot, and he is possibly the ideal man. Too good to be true perfect. I can’t recall ever coming across such fire, passion, commitment and bravery in a character. He’s attractive (I love redheads!), strong, wise, smart, witty, courageous, chivalrous beyond belief, thoughtful, compassionate, and fair. I mean, I could continue….” (Read Ash’s five-star review of Outlander)
3. A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
An alpha werewolf who’s been tortured by vampires finds out his destined mate is half-vampire. Heightened tension leads to epic love. Plus, Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series is filled with precise writing and intense characters. Oh, and she may have a knack for sex scenes, too, if we’re being forthright.
4. Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione
A demon slayer has her life saved by a surgeon who just happens to be a demon. Chemistry ignites. Then they realize they’re on opposite sides of one hell of a fight. He’s trying to protect his people, she may be the one killing them. Both will be crucified if they make moves for one another, but love is worth it. Pleasure Unbound is the first in Larissa Ione’s tantalizing Demonica series.
5. The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter
Gena Showalter creates powerful, cursed alpha heroes in her Lords of the Underworld series. The hero and heroine in The Darkest Night find solace in each other. Their instant attraction brings consequences though and expect some serious tests of their love.
Now, tell us what other books are must-reads for new paranormal romance fans. We know there are so many excellent novels out there with impressive characters and exhilarating HEAs. Hit the comments with your suggestions!