Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ultimate Reading List for First-Time Romance Fantasy / Fantasy Romance Readers

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Hi everyone! It’s my first time to blog here in Just Paranormal Romance so I made sure to choose a really special topic for my post and that’s – get ready for some book nerd talk – my Ultimate Reading List for First-Time Romance Fantasy / Fantasy Romance Readers. Hopefully, this list will help you stay sane while waiting for the next release from your favorite authors – whether or not they’re traditionally pubbed (e.g. Christine Feehan, Nalini Singh, Jeanine Frost) or indie (e.g. Bella Forrest, R.E. Butler). 

There are lots of different definitions to distinguish romance fantasy books and paranormal romances, but personally I like to describe them as books which are at least 50% fantasy and 50% romance or those that are heavier in fantasy than romance. So just keep that in mind as we go through my list. 

She has a number of series – her newest The Others is my favorite so far but since that only has one book out at the moment, I’d suggest new readers start with my next favorite series, Black Jewels. 

First Book: Daughter of Blood
Amazon Excerpt: The Dark Kingdom is preparing itself for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy the arrival of a new Queen, a Witch who will wield more power than even the High Lord of Hell himself. But this new ruler is young, and very susceptible to influence and corruption; whoever controls her controls the Darkness. And now, three sworn enemies begin a ruthless game of politics and intrigue, magic and betrayal...and the destiny of an entire world is at stake.... 

Why You Should Read It
Honestly, I love Anne Bishop to death but that blurb doesn’t give any clue about how awesome this book – this series – is! Good thing I can spell it out for you. ;)

The Plot – You have Jaenelle, who’s like Harry Potter in this particular series. She’s destined to be the Queen and the chapters dedicated to Jaenelle learning her craft have the same feel as when you’re reading Harry learn magic in Hogwarts.

The Characters – First and foremost, there’s Daemon – the estranged son of Saetan (yes, the Satan) and who’s perfected BDSM to an art form, so much so he makes Christian Grey look like a choir boy. He also happens to be prophesied to be Consort to Jaenelle. Now, every Queen must have her own Court (it’s like Raphael’s Seven in Nalini Singh’s Archangel series) and you will love every character (a mix of men and women, humans and non-humans) who’s “chosen” to be a part of it. 

The World-Building – Girl domination is the name of the game in this world – literally. Men aren’t just made slaves. In some cases, they love being enslaved. But no, they’re not masochists. They actually turn Alpha when it’s that time of the month. They’d be snarly possessive and no other men can come close – literally – to their women without being in danger of getting their heads snapped off (literally, too). 

Another amazing element of the world Anne created is how witches are ranked according to the colors of their jewels. I’ll need a thousand more words to explain how this works, but trust me when I say that it’s really cool. 

I generally like my book boyfriends hot, powerful, and gorgeous, but it’s all due to how great Elizabeth Haydon’s writing is that I find myself actually falling for one of her leading men – who’s hot, powerful, but not gorgeous (in the general sense). She has three series, but I strongly recommend you start with Rhapsody (a trilogy).

First Book: Rhapsody: Child of Blood
Rhapsody, a young woman trained as a Namer, can attune herself to the vibrations of all things, tap the power of true names, and rename people, changing their basic identities. Her magic lies in music: "Music is nothing more than the maps through the vibrations that make up all the world. If you have the right map, it will take you wherever you want to go," she tells her adoptive brothers. They are "the Brother," a professional assassin able to sense and track the heartbeats of all natives of the doomed Island of Seren, their homeland, and his giant sidekick Grunthor, a green-skinned Sergeant Major who enjoys making jokes, using edged weapons, and honing his cannibalistic palate. Inadvertently, Rhapsody has renamed the Brother Achmed the Snake, breaking his enslavement to Tsoltan the F'dor (a fire-born demon).

Tsoltan sends minions in pursuit to rebind Achmed. The three escape into the roots of a World Tree, Sagia, emerging transformed into another country and century. But have they truly escaped the F'dor's evil? And how does all this relate to the prologue's story of Gwydion and Emily, two young lovers brought together across history and then separated by the mysterious Meridion?

Why You Should Read It
Take your time reading the blurb slooowly – and maybe more than once. I know it’s a lot to take in, but honestly that best sums up the book. Now, if you’re not convinced why this would be of interest to paranormal romance readers like you, here are a couple of reasons to convince you otherwise.

The Plot – Rhapsody leaves one world (which is basically undergoing a destructive end, sort of like how the Mayans envisioned 2012 would be) to emerge in another, wherein she and her companions are destined to fulfill a number of life-changing prophecies. Also, although Rhapsody does not really act like it’s so, readers won’t be able to help but think Rhapsody, Achmed and an old/new love interest make up the most delicious love triangle.

The Characters – You will love the trio of characters that make up the love triangle. I can’t say much without spoiling things but let’s just say that if you love your heroes sweet and possessive or manipulative and possessive, well – you’ll have both in this series!

The World Building – The world that Elizabeth built in her series is more like what you’d expect from Lord of the Rings, with new races featuring human hybrids and a medieval society for the purely human race. Court politics – such as what you’d expect in Game of Thrones - also play a huge role and serve to create interesting twists for the stories. 

So there you have it – my two author / series recommendations that should keep you busy while waiting for the next big release from your favorite paranormal romance author. To celebrate my first post on Just Paranormal Romance, I’d also like to share the Rafflecopter featuring the Second Wolf Pack Promo, which offers lots of great prizes. During the promo, participating authors will be running discounted sales for select titles as well. 

Marian Tee is a Top 100 Contemporary and Paranormal Romance author in Amazon. Her latest release, The Demon Duke and I, tells the story of potty-mouthed photo blogger Georgina, whose life is turned upside-down when the gorgeous and powerful Silviu asks her to be his heartkeeper (does he mean housekeeper?). More information about her books is available on her website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I completely agree with you about Anne Bishop. The Black Jewels series got me hooked on paranormal/fantasy romance. Her world building and characters draw you in and the romance keeps you hooked.


  2. Yay! Glad to meet another Anne Bishop fan! :) I bet waiting for the next book in The Others series is killing you as well!

    1. Omg, it is. It can't come soon enough. I'm completely addicted to her writing.
      Congrats on the release, too. :)

  3. Now that I know about her I will definitely check out her series. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. Congratulations to Marian on her new book and thanks for the recommendations.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

    1. Thanks Maureen - and it was my absolute pleasure to fangirl over these books. Thanks for letting me post here as well. I had a great time doing this!

  5. Haven't read those series before

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com