Tessa Adams Guest Post: Why shifters are so incredibly hot in romance


[Ed. note: In case you missed it, we had a blast reading Tessa Adams’ first Dragon’s Heat novel Dark Embers. You can read our review here.]

Hidden Embers by Tessa Adams

Tessa Adams' Hidden Embers (Dragon's Heat #2)

Thank you, Chelsea, for having me here today! I really appreciate the chance to guest blog about a topic that is near and dear to my heart—why shifters are so appealing in paranormal romance ☺ We all know vampires are hugely popular, and have been for forever, but in the last decade, shifters have made an incredible rise in popularity. Suddenly, everyone is paying attention to them and readers are clamoring for more. In fact, on my Tracy Deebs blog (which is for my May YA novel, Tempest Rising), I ran a survey about what mythical creature readers preferred—the choices were vampires, mermaids, shifters, zombies and ghosts. I expected vampires to blow the other choices out of the water, but was shocked (and pleasantly surprised) to see that shifters totally ran away with the vote.

But why is this? Why are shifters so incredibly hot in romance (even YA romance) today? I’m not sure I’m exactly an expert on the subject, but I’ll definitely give the question a shot.

1. Animal magnetism: When an author writes shifters, she is free to make them a little more wild than the average alpha hero. A little darker, a little more possessive. And while in real life, many women prefer a true partner, research has proven that in fantasies many (not all, but a lot) prefer that dominant wolf/panther/dragon type guy—the one who will always struggle between his animal side and his human side.

2. Sex Appeal: Shifters are sexy. There are no two ways around it. They’re strong, gorgeous, healthy, incredible fighters and very, very powerful in their own way. Some shifters simply heal quickly and are possessed of superhuman strength, others wield magic, others still live for hundreds of years in young, virile bodies. What’s no to love?

3. Strong Female Characters: One of the great things about shifter books is that the female shifters are so incredibly strong. They are often as powerful as the male in their own ways, and some female shifters are even as dominant as the men in the pack (Nalini Singh’s novels come to mind in this area)

4. Fun: Shifters are usually a lot of fun, even the dark, edgy ones. With vampires and demons, the darkness is very often overwhelming because of who they are, what they came from and what they have to do to survive. That struggle between good and evil, undead and alive, etc. But for most shifters, there is a pure joy in their animal form, in the gift of being able to shift between human and another form. They celebrate both sides of their nature as opposed to feeling ashamed or angry or resentful of who and what they are.

5. The authors writing today: I’ve been a huge paranormal romance fan since the genre first opened up, reading everything from shifters to vampires to demons to ghosts to sci fi to futuristic to time travel to urban fantasy … You get the point. Because I’ve read so much in the genre, I feel confident in saying that in my opinion some of the most exciting ideas and books are shifter books these days. Nalini Singh, Patricia Briggs, Deb Cooke, Christine Feehan, the list goes on and on …

Well, those are a few of the reasons I think Shifter romances are so popular today—and some of the things I love most about them. How about you? What kind of paranormal romance to you prefer to read? Leave a comment and be entered to win a copy of Dark Embers, my first Dragon’s Heat novel.

50 Responses to “Tessa Adams Guest Post: Why shifters are so incredibly hot in romance”

  1. Beatrice says:

    I Love anything that’s dark and mysterious. The shapeshifters are great but still… Vampires are truly something special. There are so many different types!

  2. Autumn says:

    I think I enjoy shifters the most because they are more spontaneous and fun.

  3. Stacey Carey says:

    I like the vampires, shifters are pretty good too, not zombies, sorry.

  4. Michelle Bledsoe says:

    I just love the uniqueness of the shifter world. You have so much to choose from. I like that even in human form the shifters have personality traits of their animal halves. Yay for Shifters.


  5. Irene Jackson says:

    With the exception of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (sigh) I prefer shifters. they can have more versatile storylines ,they are big,hot,playful,hot,strong,hot .Sorry there seems to be a recurring theme here!

  6. Oh yay!! I want to start this series! I like Fae PNR series, and I like worlds that combine different species such as witches and succubi and vamps and shifters. Thanks for the interview and opportunity!

  7. Caitlin says:

    Great post; really really interesting! Personally; I’m more of a vampire girl! (I think it’s all that negative propaganda towards shifters that the vamps bandy about..it’s influenced me aha) but I totally agree about the strong female characters!! I love Faythe Sanders in the Shifter series by Rachel Vincent for example! I definitely agree with the allure of alpha males too…especially several alpha males!

  8. Amy S says:

    I prefer shifters books myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love to read about vamps, witches, fae and all that just as much as the next reader, but given a choice I will pick up a shifter book off the shelf first! 🙂

  9. Ren Puspita says:

    I’m myself always enjoy paranormal romance books. No matter what that I said “I want to take a break for reading this genre” I know I can’t. There some aspect that I love in this genre, and one of that aspect is shifter. I agree with 5 reasons why shifters is sexy , but I want to add, their animal reaction (growling, purring, etc) I found it fun and sexy too! 😀 I love all element in paranormal genre like vampire, fae, witch, but always draw to shifters and weres.

    Thanks for the giveaway 🙂 and looking forward to read Dragon Heat novels

  10. Kristin says:

    Great post Tessa! There certainly is something very sexy in the raw animal power of a shapeshifter!

    Kristin @ My Bookish Ways

  11. Mia R says:

    I love all things paranormal, especially when it’s done in a new way. I’m too overwhelmed by all the fantastic choices to pick a favorite. Shifters are yummy, especially when they can shift into multiple forms or unusual ones. I’ve never met a shifter in a book that wasn’t hot, apparently there’s no such thing as a lazy, out of shape shifter. lol I love a good demon too, but they’re harder to find. Really what does it for me, is knowing that whatever the creature is, they could break me without breaking a sweat, but instead they use that power to turn me into a purring puddle of pleasure. lol

  12. Donna S says:

    I really love all paranormal stories. Vampires are still my favorite but shifters come in close seconds.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  13. Viki S. says:

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head with your reasons as to why shifters are so HOT! Thanks for the fun post. I’m really liking dragon shifters lately. Now they’re hot in more ways than one :).


  14. Danielle Gorman says:

    I pretty much am a fan of any kind of paranormals. I just like the forbidden aspect of them. Plus, the men are always crazy hot.


  15. StacieDM says:

    Shifters are my absolute favorite paranormal creature, even more than vampires. I especially like wolf shifters (I’m traditional that way). I like that they are both man and beast at odds with each other. There is a power struggle between the two. I like the danger element with shifters because you can never be sure if the man will control the animal within him. I like the Alpha nature of shifters. They are usually very loyal and possessive/protective of the people they love.

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  16. Holly wright says:

    Shifters r sexy bc they r Soooo strong n deep down just big puppies….

  17. Johanna Jochum says:

    I love vampires but shifters are awesome too! I think its the excitement and the thrill of something taboo. Thanks for sharing with us today!

  18. Johanna, good point about the taboo thing!

    Holly, absolutely! Their tough outer shell and marshmallow center is one of the nicest parts …

    StacieDM, I too like the man and beast at odds with each other– that’s why my dragons are sentient beasts themselves, so that there is always a little of that power struggle going on between man and his beast …

    Viki S. LOL– exactly what I always say about my dragons!

    Donna S. What’s your favorite vampire series?

    Danielle, yes. The crazy hot men are definitely a plus 😉

    Mia, yes. All that power used for good 🙂 Very nice!

    Thanks, Kristin 🙂 I am fond of the raw animal power myself!

    Ren, yes! It’s awesome when you get the animal reaction– I particularly like the growls 😉

    Amy, me too! But witches are a close second, as my upcoming UF will attest.

    Caitlin, LOL! Those vampires sure know how to spin the press … but the alpha male lure cannot be underestimated 😉

    Pamela, have you tried Patricia Briggs? She does a nice job of combining the species. I’m getting ready to right a dragon/witch book for the series …

    Irene, sigh. Who’s your favorite brother? I’m still a Zsadist fan, even after all this time …

    Michelle, I think that animal carryover is the best part of shifters!

    Stacey, I’m’ with you. There’s nothing sexy about a zombie, IMHO

    Autumn, true. So many of the shifter series show their heroes as just a little playful

    Beatrice, I feel you on vampires. They are special and there are so many different origin mythologies going about them right now. It’s cool.

  19. I am a huge fan of the tongue in cheek paranormal romance books written by Kerrylyn Sparks and Lynsay Sands… Their vampires are both sexy and sleek but also generally have a “humanistic” side to them that a lot of the vampire series do not…
    I also love my shifters, especially the Mercy Thompson series written by Patricia Briggs and the shifter characters in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton still give me chills when I read about sexy Micah and my all time fave Nathaniel!

    Dragon shifters though are in a class all by themselves, not only are they scary as heck but they just have a whole different vibe and appeal than the other types of shifter characters… Right now my favorite Dragon shifter is Smoky in Yasmine Galenorns Sister of The Moon/Otherworld series… He makes me shiver in fear and desire at the same time! (Don’t tell my husband!)

  20. Victoria Zumbrum says:

    I love reading all different types of paranormal creatures including shifters but vampires are my favorite. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

  21. I love vampires and shifters equally. I agree with all your reasons why shifters are so appealing. I especially love shifter/human pairings. I think it’s just neat to see such a sexy, powerful being attracted to a normal human.

  22. Chelsea B. says:

    Oh, I’m not picky when it comes to the creatures I read about 😉 I just love me some paranormal romance 🙂

  23. Mary Preston says:

    Angels & Demons are my big thing right now. Especially Angels – can’t get enough!!

  24. Mary, I love Nalini Singh’s Archangel series– so good!

    Chelsea– a woman after my own heart 😉

    Paranormal Opinion– I agree. I love watching relationships unfold between humans and paranormal creatures.

    Victoria– Mine too, although witches are pretty awesome as well!

    Jackie– I’m from central Texas too 🙂 And I have to agree that Yasmene Galenorn is pretty fantastic.

  25. Ann says:

    definitely shifters are my favorite. Thanks to the book club I’m getting acquainted with more authors.

  26. I like reading all paranormal romance but as of late I have a thing for books that have reapers: grim reapers, light reapers, dark reapers, any kind of reapers.

  27. Meggerfly says:

    I like vampires the most but shifters run a close second. Then witches.

  28. Kimberly F says:

    I always thought Vamps were my most favorite….but I’m leaning more towards shifters now….don’t know where or when the switch happened. And just like Meggerfly says — I love to read anything about WITCHES — even though the book is fiction, I want a lot of (not all of) the “magic” to be well thought out and researched…So that if I pick up said book and read it, I’d know that author knew what he/she was talking about. There are too many people out there that misunderstand the Pagan religions to be spreading untruths. IMO! — but we know what those opinions are worth — ha ha ha ha

    blazesandbubbles AT gmail DOT com

  29. Kimberly F says:

    OH!!! and dragon shifters are HAWWWWTTTTT!!!!!

  30. I agree, my favourite Paranormal species are shifters, most specifically wolves. I love how passionate, intense, loyal and monogamous they are. I also love how important family, children and their mate is to them. They aren’t loners and mavericks like vamps, they are part of a community and there is a bond of friendship, affection and loyalty between them. I find shifters more complex and interesting than simply irresistible, dark vamps.

    Thank you! 🙂

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  31. Poppy A. says:

    I’m usually more of a vampire kind of girl but I really like shifters too!

  32. Joani S says:

    Hi there! I do like shifters, but I think my fisrt choice is always going to be the vampire. whether he be dark, broody, romantic, mysterious, grumpy, I will always love the vampire. But I do read a lot of shifter books, too.

    Artesia at comcast dot net

  33. Pam S (pams00) says:

    Dragon Shifters and Vampires are my fav paranormals – all though I do honestly love them all lol. I’ve been hooked on vamps ever since reading Bram’s Dracula and watching The Lost Boys ;). I’ve liked dragons since I was little and the idea of shifting to human or vice versa fascinated me.

    Pam S
    pams00 @ aol.com

  34. Michelle D. says:

    Your book seems very interesting! I’ve never really read a book like this, I normally read YA books like the Vmapire Academy Series and the Mortal Instruments Series. I really love to read about vampires and angels. I am really interested to read something like this, because I think that i’ll love it! 🙂

  35. Zuzu says:

    Well frankly I haven’t read a book about Dragon Shifters, but it certainly sounds interesting.
    I’ve been really attracted to the idea of Vampires. As a kid, I watched the movies than began to read the books, as a result I’m now addicted to them.
    I reached the point where I couldn’t find any other vamp. books that I liked so I began reading novels that included more supe types. I’ve discovered that Werewolves and Vamps are on tie. Recently, that transformed into Shifters and Vamps. Now, I love me a book that cover’s it all.
    Dragons hold a special place in my heart. Love ’em, but somehow I haven’t read any novel that used a dragon as a character, not just a “spooky” reminder.

    Getting back to the main point. Why Shifters are hot?
    Well, from my point of view, that somewhat collides with yours:
    1. Women, that read more romance novels than guys, whether they have strong or weak personalities love the idea of having a strong, smart, leader type of guy that will undoubtedly look hot.
    2. I, for one, would prefer a guy with several degrees hotter than me (body temperature, though I won’t mind him being drool worthy material). I really don’t enjoy a cold skin next to me, since my own is cold even in hot summer days.
    3. I would pick a guy that enjoys life and nature any day of the weak, as opposed to a mopping dude that grieves for his eternity. I mean who’s the woman? Me or him? Sure I like a tough guy that has soft spots (as in touching history or some sort of troubles that makes him more human), but definitely not a weakling.
    4. I’m a animal lover, my house is full of them (from fishes to cats to dogs to rabbits to parrots you get the picture). Cat’s purring relaxes me to no end, so a guy that purrs or growls will be interesting. Out-of-the-norm types will make me not get bored with them, so that’s definitely a plus. Though I have no idea how I would react to it… But, fantasy speaking, that’s hot.
    5. A bad ass guy, powerful, smart, hot and whatnot worshiping a woman. What’s not to love about that? (too bad they only exist in fantasy…)

    Anyway, that’s what I think about them…
    About what romance novels I like to read:
    As long as it has an entertaining type of writing, I’ll read it. If it has supernatural in it, that will keep me reading and looking out for more.
    I also enjoy strong female characters, ’cause my own personality is strong and I really don’t understand weak types. I can’t identify with them… but, I guess if the character is outlined well I’ll keep reading.
    If the book has a powerful plot, I’ll hate it when I finish it… Because there are no more pages to read…
    So let’s just say that I’ll like a fast paced plot with strong characters and/or drama, as well as some info I’ll search to have a better view of the world the author creates.

  36. Tanyaw1224 says:

    I love anything paranormal these days. Shifters are sexy just because, like you said, they naturally have a wild side. I couldn’t pick a certain kind that I like more or less because I’ve found that writers can make anything sexy. I just read this book with a half demon and it had scales, claws and horns but the writer had me all goo-goo over him…lol. Please count me in this contest.

  37. Kaya Hack says:

    I love the paranormal. It gives this different slant of light on reality and makes the world a different place than thought before in a lot of novels.
    I look the description of the characters and their wants and desires in the genre.

    kasuranna at yahoo dot com

  38. Teri Crosby says:

    I love the dark and mysterious natures that are hidden in many UF/PNR books. The characters are all well described and a lot have the hidden past=redemption no. Then there are the strong kick arse heroines that don’t take no for an answer. OH how I love the genre. And the shifters, oh I love them.

    This series sounds fantastic, thank you for bringing it to my attention

  39. Jessica says:

    I don’t really have a favourite. It usually depends on the series. Like I don’t particularly like werewolves (sorry to anyone that does) but I still love the ones in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. The lords in Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series are pretty hot but I don’t really know what you’d call them, they’re like immortal warriors or something.

  40. Julie Witt says:

    I love anything nonhuman: Vampires, shape shifters, werewolves, fairy, all of it! Stick a tattoo on it and I melt!

  41. latisha depoortere says:

    I love them all but vampires are my first favorite! What a great giveaway thank you so much! Im a GFC follower/latishajean
    tishajean@ charter.net

  42. katklaw777 says:

    Have not read much of this genre…I like to read a wide variety of books. I did enjoy the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series of novels by Laurell K. Hamilton that my eldest daughter gave me to read.

  43. katklaw777 says:

    New follower on GFC.

  44. katklaw777 says:

    New follower on twitter w/ katklaw777.

  45. SLion says:

    I seem to be an equal opportunity paranormal romance/ urban fantasy genre type. I have the highest affinity to vampires and as a rule do not like hunter/slayer books where vampires are portrayed as just evil monsters. There are exceptions based on the “policing of society” hunter novels; which generally are fine since there are vampires as the hunters in these series. I have also found great enjoyment in shape-shifter and demon series. Werewolves, panther shifters, dragon shifters, etc. all have the same animal magnetism that adds the unpredictability to the mix. Demons and angels have their own brand of wickedness and morals to understand. Of course I just love the supernatural, and have read pretty much a story on anything an author has thought up, and loved it all.

  46. Jolene A. says:

    I read in every genre but my go to books are paranormal romance. I love the danger and the bad boys attitudes and the kick ass heroines presented in the paranormal world. Demons, Vampires, shifters and recently fallen angels

    GFC follower


  47. Krystal Larson says:

    I love the raw power and sexuality 😉 I’ve read a ton of similar books and never hated any of them 🙂 GFC follower Krystal Larson

  48. Scarlet Kira says:

    I much prefer vampires but shifters are all right as well.

  49. Andrea says:

    i have to agree that shifters are pretty great for a paranormal romance read. It’s gotta be the animal
    Magnetism! Thanks for a great giveaway!

  50. Amy F says:

    I like vampires. They are just so dark and mysterious and sexy. They have that secretiveness about them.. I love vampire paranormal romance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes
Malcare WordPress Security