Upcoming Romantic Fantasy/Fantasy Romance Titles in 2020

2020 may be more than halfway over (thank goodness!), but that doesn’t mean that the rest of the year isn’t chock full of great new releases that are sure to satsify your craving for fantasy romance or romantic fantasy.

Come on, let’s take a peek at the goodies coming up. (Titles are listed in order of release and then alphabetically based on author’s last name.) At the very end, you’ll find a list of stories that are due to come out at some point in the latter half of 2020 but don’t have a final release date.

July/August

Let’s start off with the last week of July. Now you might be pointing out, “Jess, why are you including stories that have already been published as of the publication of this blog post?”

Ahhh, that is an excellent question. And the answer is simple. I am very far behind. When I asked the lovely authors to share what stories they had coming up, they supplied them promptly. It just took me a couple weeks longer to get this post up and running. So some of these upcoming releases are current releases!

July 28, 2020

Bethany Adams’ collection of Books 5 – 7, The Return of the Elves, released on July 28, 2020. It is a portal high fantasy romantic fantasy with stories that take place on Earth and in other realms.

A widening abyss. A threat unknown. A canny enemy.

Although Prince Kien was defeated, the trouble he started is far from gone. Now poison seeps into a crack in Earth’s energy field, requiring allies new and old to take action. Continue a journey that crosses from Moranaia to Earth and through the Seelie and Unseelie courts as mage, warrior, and rogue alike must work together to solve a new threat and face a rising enemy.

This collection includes Books 5-7 in the Return of the Elves epic fantasy series:

-Abyss

-Awakening

-Ascent

As well as:

-A BONUS short story, “The Sentinels,” first published in the Once Upon an Enchanted Forest anthology.

July 31, 2020

Domino Taylor & Vivienne Savage’s Book 3 in the Kingdom in the Sea went live on July 31, 2020. It is the final book in this fantasy romance series.

As unknown powers develop in Manu, darkness spreads to more than the underwater kingdom. If Kai is to abolish the evil of the dark sea gods, she’ll need to make new allies beyond the ocean–if the underhanded politics of Atlantis don’t destroy them first.

Don’t miss the thrilling conclusion of the Atlantis saga.

August 13, 2020

Elizabeth Briggs’s Book 2 of Royal Hearts went live on August 13, 2020. It is a steamy fantasy romance.

She would do anything for her kingdom. He would do anything to protect her.

After the King of Talador’s mysterious death, Princess Lily must prepare to take the throne, even if she doesn’t feel ready yet. As her coronation draws near, an attack on her life sends her fleeing the castle with her devoted Captain of the Guard, Keane, the one man she trusts above all others.

When she arrives at her other palace, she is courted by seven handsome suitors, all hand-selected to potentially be her future King. With her kingdom in danger and her forbidden magic growing stronger, the last thing Lily wants to do is select a husband—especially when she’d rather be with the man who’s been by her side for years.

Now that Lily is going to be queen, Captain Keane understands she needs to marry a nobleman, even if the thought makes him want to run his blade through every one of her suitors. As long as he hides his true feelings for Lily, he can continue to protect her—even if no one can protect his heart. But when the attacks on Lily grow more dangerous and a threat from the past emerges, they must embrace her magic and their forbidden love if they’re going to save her throne.

Kiss Of Snow is a steamy fantasy romance, perfect for fans of Sarah J Maas, Miranda Honfleur, and Grace Draven.

August 18, 2020

Kendra Moreno’s Book 3 of Daughters of Neverland went live on August 18, 2020. It is a dark fantasy romance with a series of twisted fairytale retellings. You can find out more about Kendra Moreno at her website.

Blood, lust, and pixie dust. . .

The Crocodile continues to drain Neverland of its life, and the world is running out of time. The very soil is dying, and no one can stop it. The clock is ticking.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Tink knows Neverland will never be the same, and though the Daughters face the dangers from the Crocodile and the Lost constantly attacking, that isn’t the only threat on the horizon. A choice must be made, to live or die, to fight or perish, and there’s no clear path to take. But even at the end of the world, love stumbles before the pixie, and though she’s the Wicked Queen, her heart carries a battle axe.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The happy thoughts are piling up, and Tink must face them head on. Can the Daughters stop Neverland from dying? Can they save the ones they care for most?

Every monster has a heart.
Every demon has a home.
And every pixie must believe.

Tick. . .tick. . .tick.

If you’re not in the US or don’t use Amazon, you can use this link to get your copy.

September

September 1, 2020

Jennifer L. Armentrout’s A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire releases September 1, 2020. It is a dark fantasy romance, and it is set in the Blood and Ash series.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout comes a new novel in her Blood and Ash series…
Is Love Stronger Than Vengeance?


A Betrayal…Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice….Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.

September 10, 2020

Denali Day’s Book 3 of Dokiri Brides releases September 10, 2020. It is a barbarian fantasy romance. You can check out her website here, and you can sign up for her newsletter here and get a free novella, Sven the Collector.

She’d walk through fire to save their world. To claim her, he’d let it all burn.

Her widowed heart freshly healed, Lavinia wants nothing more than to bind herself to Ivan, the man who adores her fatherless sons almost as much as he loves her. Then duty calls her to risk their future and return to a life she’d fled — to a man who wants her as much as she fears him.    

Tasked with escorting Lavinia back to the land of her birth, Ivan pledges his heart along with his protection. He’ll have his mark upon her within days. But no sooner do they arrive than her previous life threatens to tear her away forever. 

Haunted by the mistakes of her past, Lavinia would do anything to redeem herself and save her people. Consumed by desire, Ivan must decide if passion is worth more than the survival of his race.

Duty or love? They can’t have both.

The third novel in a sweeping new fantasy romance series. If you liked the world of Game of Thrones and the savagery of Conan the Barbarian, you’ll love Denali Day’s epic new series.

Buy Ivan the Bold to embark on your fantasy today!

September 12, 2020

Kendra Moreno’s Book of 2 The Valhalla Mechanism releases on September 12, 2020. It is a steampunk fantasy romance inspired by Norse mythology. You can find out more about Kendra Moreno at her website.

Ottilie Kingsford thought she knew her world. She lived a double life, dodging disappointing bachelors during the day, spying for the Queen at night. She craved adventure and excitement, but there was none of that in the streets of London.

Until a single mission changes her entire perception of reality.

Now, with Ragnarok raging across earth, Tillie is knee deep in mythological creatures and the Gods who imprisoned them. FIghting dark elves and the deepest secrets of Asgard coming to light, Tillie, Thor, and Loki must search for a cauldron that could slow the end of days. Mischief, Espionage, and Thunder collide in an epic power, but will that be enough to save the realms from utter destruction?

The thrones of civilizations begin to crumble. The nine realms will tremble as they waltz in the ashes of Ragnarӧk. If Tillie can’t stop it, Yggdrasil will burn.

It’s time to learn just how much fortune favors the chaos…

If you’re not in the US or don’t use Amazon, you can use this link to get your copy.

September 15, 2020

Grace Draven’s Book 3 of The Wraith Kings releases September 15, 2020. It is a fantasy romance and a continuation of the much-beloved story, Radiance.

 

The WRAITH KINGS saga continues.

The demonic horde that threatened to devour the world has been defeated, but at great cost.

Plagued by guilt and nightmares, Serovek Pangion sets out to deliver the soulless body of the monk Megiddo to the heretical Jeden Order for safekeeping. Accompanying him is sha-Anhuset, the Kai woman he admires and desires most–a woman barely tolerant of him.

Devoted to her regent, Anhuset reluctantly agrees to act as a Kai ambassador on the trip, even though the bold margrave known as the Beladine Stallion gets under her skin like no other, and Anhuset fears he’ll worm his way into her armored heart as well.

But guilt and unwelcome attraction are the least of their problems. The demons thought vanquished are stirring again, and a warlord with blood-soaked ambition turns a journey of compassion into a fight for survival. When the Beladine king brands Serovek a traitor, Anhuset must choose between sacrificing the life of a man she’s grown to love and abandoning lifelong fealty to the Kai people.

A tale of loyalty and acceptance.


Bec McMaster’s Book 2 of Dark Court Rising releases September 15, 2020. It is a fantasy romance with a wicked fae princes and an enemy princess.

Thiago and Iskvien survived a dangerous curse, but will they survive the coming war?

True love will face the ultimate challenge when a dark goddess rises, secrets threaten to tear them apart, and a queen will stop at nothing to gain revenge.

September 17, 2020

S.M. Gaither’s Book 1 of Shadows and Crowns releases September 17, 2020. It is an enemies-to-lovers epic romantic fantasy with a bit of steam, a lot of banter, and a bunch of magic and meddlesome gods and monsters.

The old gods are growing restless. An ancient evil is stirring. Can they stop the coming storm?

Mercenary Casia Greythorne cares about two things: Completing whatever her latest job is, and earning enough coin to buy the expensive medicine that’s keeping her mentor alive. 

So when the king himself offers her a job, she can’t resist the massive reward he offers—even if it means working with Captain Elander, the arrogant, mysterious right-hand to that king.

Her partner may be infuriating, but at least their mission seems simple and quick enough: Investigate the origins of the strange plague that’s been ravaging their empire, help find a cure, and then call it a day.

But in a land brimming with old magic and meddling gods, nothing is ever that simple, and nothing is ever what it seems.

As the bodies pile up and strange monsters begin to wreak havoc throughout the realms, Cas and Elander will have to work together to protect their world whether they like it or not. Because one thing is clear: Something ancient and evil is stirring in the shadows of that world.

And their empire will not survive its full unleashing. 

Filled with luscious world-building, banter-filled enemies-to-lovers romance, and epic battles, this first book in the Shadows and Crowns series is the perfect next read for fans of Throne of Glass! Don’t miss your chance to grab it for the low, special pre-order price!

September 22, 2020

H.L. Burke’s Ashen goes live on September 22. It is a fantasy romance fairy tale retelling.

Stealer of warmth, bringer of death. What if Cinderella had a secret that kept her locked away?

Unable to make her own body heat, foundling Lizbete survives in the tavern kitchen, drawing warmth from the fires, the sun—and sometimes, other living beings. Her days are spent cooking alongside the tavern owner and avoiding the suspicious gazes of the villagers in her small northern town. While she quietly longs for the handsome Brynar, she knows she has no chance with the mayor’s son, even if he invites her to the First Frost festival.

When sudden earthquakes strike Brumehome, blame falls upon Lizbete, and not even her friendship with Brynar can protect her. She finds shelter in the dangerous caverns of nearby Ash Mountain. There she discovers mysterious people with her same ability to draw heat—and a fiery doom in the mountain that slowly awakens with every quake.
Now the festival Lizbete thought to avoid is her only chance to warn the villagers. Yet even with Brynar at her side, can the strange girl dubbed the Ash Lizard hope to save the town that fears her?

A rugged YA Cinderella retelling set in a fantasy world with light steampunk elements.


Roshani Chokshi’s Book 2 of The Gilded Wolves releases on September 22, 2020. It is a romantic fantasy epic.

Returning to the dark and glamorous 19th century world of her New York Times instant bestseller, The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi dazzles us with another riveting tale as full of mystery and danger as ever in The Silvered Serpents.

They are each other’s fiercest love, greatest danger, and only hope.

Séverin and his team members might have successfully thwarted the Fallen House, but victory came at a terrible cost — one that still haunts all of them. Desperate to make amends, Séverin pursues a dangerous lead to find a long lost artifact rumored to grant its possessor the power of God.

Their hunt lures them far from Paris, and into the icy heart of Russia where crystalline ice animals stalk forgotten mansions, broken goddesses carry deadly secrets, and a string of unsolved murders makes the crew question whether an ancient myth is a myth after all.

As hidden secrets come to the light and the ghosts of the past catch up to them, the crew will discover new dimensions of themselves. But what they find out may lead them down paths they never imagined.

A tale of love and betrayal as the crew risks their lives for one last job.

September 30, 2020

Clare Sager’s Book 2 of Against Dark Tides releases September 30, 2020. It is a new adult romantic fantasy adventures with pirates and passion. You can find out more about Clare Sager at her website.

Enemies. Lovers. Enemies once more. Now they must work together to survive. 

Notorious pirate Lady Vice has lost everything: ship, crew, and friends. Even her body has betrayed her, leaving her magic weak. To make matters worse, she’s stuck at sea with the man who stabbed her in the back.

Knigh Blackwood is no longer a captain, no longer a pirate-hunter, no longer … anything. All he has left is the woman he betrayed, and she’d rather cut out his tongue with his own dagger than forgive him.

There’s just one thing that might make up for what they’ve lost: Drake’s treasure.

But they’re not the only ones searching for clues and the elusive X that marks the spot. Between them and the treasure stand a scheming duke, a former lover, and a sea monster thought the stuff of legends – not to mention Vice and Knigh’s complicated feelings for each other.

If you love the scheming of Black Sails, the high seas adventure of Pirates of the Caribbean, and the romance of Holly Black, you won’t want to miss this heart-pounding new series.

Buy AGAINST DARK TIDES now and escape to a magical world where enemies become allies and even the closest lovers can become the worst foes.

*** 

As you might expect from pirates, these stories include mild cussing and steamy encounters.

  • Prequel – Across Dark Seas – Out now
  • Book 1 – Beneath Black Sails – Out now
  • Book 2 – Against Dark Tides – Coming September 2020
  • Book 3 – Under Black Skies – Coming 2021
  • Book 4 – Through Dark Storms – Coming 2021

October

October 1, 2020

Kate Grove’s Book 3 in the Yokai Treasures releases on October 1, 2020. It is a mythical romantic fantasy. You can find out more about Kate Grove at her website. And you can also sign up for her newsletter here.


October 6, 2020

Kristin J. Dawson’s Book 3 in The Unchosen releases October 6, 2020. It is the final book in the series, and is a romantic fantasy epic.

Ice warriors to the north. A greedy kingdom in the south. With only one ally, Dacia fights for its very existence.

Empress Nicoleta Aurelian is engaged to Prince Asander of Auripo, and his training of Dacia’s soft army is not enough against the ancient magi of the north who have magic beyond any Dacian’s comprehension. With the Rose Court in shambles, and attack imminent, Nicoleta must blaze a new trail for her kingdom.

Refusing to lie down and wait for the first blow, Nicoleta travels Dacia, calling them to arms. She must bring old enemies together, and trust in the one man she cannot give her heart to, Marcus Constantin, to blindly follow her plan, no matter the cost. Nicoleta must win more than a battle, or even a war, they must keep invaders from returning. She must not only unite her deeply divided kingdom, something that no emperor had ever attempted, but also rip the kingdom apart the social norms from the inside out, in order to save it.

Can Nicoleta bring her country together, and figure out how to stop the ancient magic before its too late? The final installment of The Unchosen trilogy will take you on a gripping, page-turning war-torn story, slow-burn romance, ancient magic, and characters that will stay with you long after you close the book.


V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue releases on October 6, 2020. It is a beautifully contemplative historical romantic fantasy.

In the vein of The Time Traveler’s Wife and Life After LifeThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab’s genre-defying tour de force.

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

October 9, 2020

Lyra Wolf’s Book 1 in the Nine World Chronicles releases October 9, 2020. It is a dark romantic fantasy that draws on Norse mythology. You can find out more about Lyra Wolf at her website. You can also sign up for her newsletter here to get a free copy of Lies, Knives, and Apples.

The Destroyer is coming to Asgard. All will fall. All will burn…

Loki thrives on danger, but when he’s struck by a painful vision of ash and death he knows his fun has run out. The Destroyer is real and isn’t taking prisoners. 

Refusing to have his life obliterated by some stuffy prophecy, all Loki wants is to save Asgard. But the gods stand in his way. They don’t trust the “Trickster.” 

To prove himself, he must return to the side of the man he wanted to forget. Odin, his blood brother and a first rate con. 

When he meets a mortal woman, his plans hit a snag. 

Sigyn is delightfully stubborn and quick with a blade. She also, inexplicably, possesses a divine element found only in a god.

As Loki falls for her, he never expects it to fulfill the prophecy threatening all their lives.  

Forced to choose between betraying Odin and protecting the woman he loves, Loki must face all he never wanted. 

…But the truth changes everything. 

“Truth and Other Lies” is the first book in an imaginative new series inspired by Norse mythology, and thrusts you into a world that’s dark, twisted, and deliciously fun.

October 29, 2020

Shannon Pemrick’s Book 6 in Experimental Hearts releases on October 29, 2020. It is a romantic epic fantasy. You can find out more about Shannon Pemrick at her website.

Freedom is everything.

I should know, I finally have it. After fighting for my deepest desires for so long, it feels more like a dream than reality. But when I start to get comfortable, I’m reminded of one last task that needs to be done.

Only, things don’t go according to plan.

From the shadows, old and new enemies spring forth, bent on destroying what I worked so hard to create. It’ll take everything I have, and my unbreakable bond with my life mate, to keep everything from falling apart.

And destiny isn’t done with me yet.

The fate of the timeline is at stake, and at the end of all this, I may never be the same.

October 29, 2020

Alexi Blake and May Sage’s Pick Your Poison releases on October 29, 2020. It is a dark fantasy romance.

Fae-touched Keira has always seen the folk. For eighteen years, she’s managed to avoid attracting their attention, until one encounter in the woods.

Thrust into the nightmarish realm of the fae, she has to forge herself into someone else to survive.

Calreth represents everything she should fear. The lord of the Hunt is the worst kind of monster, as terrifying as he’s devastatingly beautiful.
Asking his favor constantly puts Keira in the worst kind of danger—from the fae, from the folk, and most horrifying of all, from Cal himself—but he promised to help her get home.

Although the person she’s becoming may not fit in the mortal world. Her very blood craves the fae realm. A land of perils, schemes, and deception, where she may never belong.

An enticing, dark world, with magic spells, romance, and betrayal.

October 30, 2020

Nicolette Andrew’s Book 1 of Thornwood releases October 30, 2020. It is a Gothic romantic fantasy epic with fae. You can check out her website here, and you can sign up for her newsletter here.

She pretended she could not see them. They told her the fae weren’t real. Then they cut out a woman’s heart and she could no longer look away.

Catherine’s first memories were of the fae. They visited her in her garden, and she offered them saucers of cream and honey. But they repaid her in tricks and misfortune. They broke vases and locked her in trunks. Her parents didn’t believe her–no one did–and so all her life she took the blame for their mischief.  When Catherine arrives at her new home in the village of Thornwood, she’s determined to put her past behind her and live a normal life. That is, until a girl is found with her heart cut out… murdered by one of the fae. 

Catherine has spent a lifetime looking the other way. She convinced herself she was mad and that the fae were not real. But a chance meeting with the handsome gardener, Ray Thorn, throws everything into question. She can no longer ignore the truth, because the killer is after women who can see the fae, and Catherine might be their next victim. 

With the killer still on the loose, Catherine and Ray race to uncover more about her power and the dark secrets Thornwood hides. But time is running out and to find the killer, Ray brings her into his world, the mesmerizing and deadly faery. She should know better than to trust one of the fae, and making a deal with him could jeopardize everything she’s worked for, but if she doesn’t… she’ll be the next to lose her heart.  

Fans of Carnival Row and Jane Austen will not want to missHEART OF THORNS, the first in this gothic romantic fantasy trilogy.  

Unlock the mysteries of Thornwood in this tale steeped in fae intrigue, romance, and mystery…


Juliet Marillier’s Book 2 of the Warrior Bards releases October 30, 2020. It is a Norse romantic fantasy.

A young woman who is both a bard–and a warrior–seeks to repay her debts and settle scores in this thrilling historical fantasy series.

The young warrior and bard Liobhan has lost her brother to the Otherworld. Even more determined to gain a place as an elite fighter, she returns to Swan Island to continue her training. But Liobhan is devastated when her comrade Dau is injured and loses his sight in their final display bout. Blamed by Dau’s family for the accident, she agrees to go to Dau’s home as a bond servant for the span of one year.

There, she soon learns that Oakhill is a place of dark secrets. The vicious Crow Folk still threaten both worlds. And Dau, battling the demon of despair, is not an easy man to help.

When Liobhan and Dau start to expose the rot at the center of Oakhill, they place themselves in deadly danger. For their enemy wields great power and will stop at nothing to get his way. It will take all the skills of a Swan Island warrior and a touch of the uncanny to give them a hope of survival. . . .

November

November 5, 2020

Kimberly Rogers’ Book 1 of The Unseelie of Sonera releases on November 5, 2020. It is fantasy romance epic.

Her past is a mystery.
Protecting the children is her duty.
Her future could destroy everything she loves.

Tatiana has no people and no past before she became a companion and nurse to a noble family for five generations. She knows only that her feathered wings make her different, neither human nor gargoyle. When her young charges are orphaned, Tati escorts them across the sea to their father’s homeland. In a strange new city, she finds others like her and the chance to uncover her own past but pursuing it risks losing the children she loves.

Ramessu has spent his life serving the human rulers of the port city of Chaon. A servitude threatening to destroy his people. With their females collared, unable to fly or use magic, the Unseelie are slaves and they are dying. When an uncollared adult female arrives in the city, Ra knows she could change everything…or tear their people apart.

Unseelie Uncollared is the first book in the Unseelie of Sonera epic fantasy trilogy. Explore the world of Sonera beyond the Five Kingdoms in this thrilling new trilogy where loyalty is challenged, sacrifices are made, and love creates new hope.

November 24, 2020

Nora Roberts’ Book 1 of The Dragon Heart Legacy releases November 24, 2020. It is a romantic portal fantasy.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts begins a new trilogy of adventure, romance, and magick in The Awakening.

In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword―representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she possesses a treasure of her own…

When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father―and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.

This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies―through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny…

November 30, 2020

Nicolette Andrew’s Book 2 of Thornwood releases October 30, 2020. It is a Gothic romantic fantasy epic with fae. You can check out her website here, and you can sign up for her newsletter here.

She didn’t want to believe. She tried to run away. But you can never escape the fae. 
Despite personal tragedy and being ostracized by the village, Catherine is determined to carve out a life for herself in the village of Thornwood. She’s content with her garden, and quiet life but it is a lonely existence. She would do anything to win the village’s forgiveness and her place in the community. To pay penance for her sins, she swore never to see faery or Ray again. But she cannot run from the power that blooms in her or the danger that lurks in the shadows.

When a strange plant’s creeping vines chokes the gardens of Thornwood, it also corrupts the minds of those encounter it, turning them into raving mindless zombies. Catherine works to find a cure but the plant is not of this realm and she has no choice but to turn to Ray for aid.  Together they must find the source of the plant, but doing so means not only embracing her power but confronting her budding feelings for him.  But as they investigate the plant’s origins, it exposes Catherine to those that would destroy her at any cost. 

As they work to save the village, Catherine is further embroiled in fae politics and the threads that tied her to the Thorn Court and her the source of her power.  Getting mixed up with the fae cost her dearly before. If Catherine fully embraces her power she can save the village but in doing so she must give up on her very humanity.

December

December 1, 2020

Alexi Blake and May Sage’s Book 1 of The Darker Woods releases December 1, 2020. It is a fantasy romance epic.

My lips hitch up an inch as the hulking, slender man bends down to whisper in my ear. “A divided kingdom without a leader is weak. You will fall. You will fail. You will all die without my kindness, little girl.”

He expects me to falter, shiver, and drop my gaze to the ground like the flock of gentry buzzing around him.

My eyes widen in feigned dismay. “Kindness? Why did no one think to tell me you had any?”

I have to allow him that one concession: Rydekar is fun to tease.

He doesn’t even smile. I don’t think anyone has taunted him. “I have none. You will beg nonetheless.”

I just may, in his dreams. And in my nightmares.

No one was ever born less suited to ruling than Rissa, the thorn of the seelie realm—a half-fae so wild she’s spent the better part of a hundred years in the woods.

For all her flaws, she’s the last of the high court bloodline, and the southern king seems to think that’s reason enough to slap a crown on her feathered head. He needs her to unify the seelie forces. She needs him to forget about that nonsense.

In an effort to aid her people without condemning herself to a lifetime of misery, she sets off on a journey to find the one person with a stronger claim to the throne than hers: the cursed prince.

Sealed in the mountains of the Wilderness, under many spells, the heir of the first seelie queen is the only royal strong enough to protect the fae lands from their immortal invaders.

Surviving the untamed tribes and awakening a thousand-year-old prince seem a lot easier than ruling an entire kingdom where everyone hates her very nature.

And her choices won’t come without consequences.

January

January 14, 2021

Denali Day’s Book 4 of Dokiri Brides releases January 14, 2021. It is a barbarian fantasy romance. You can check out her website here, and you can sign up for her newsletter here and get a free novella, Sven the Collector.

She’d willingly march into hell…just not with him.

Fiercely loyal to her country, Nadine will do whatever it takes to destroy the ancient evil threatening her world. Anything. Except allow a wild savage to put his mark on her.

Plagued by survivor’s guilt, Magnus the Vast vows to do whatever it takes to bring home the friend he left behind. Claiming the beautiful hellcat who wants his head is a convenient bonus. One he won’t let her get out of.

Bound together, Nadine and Magnus must rely on one another to complete their mission and save their people. Easier said than done for the woman-warrior who thinks her new husband a domineering brute, and the sly barbarian who is all too happy to play the part.

They’ll walk into the pit of the earth, and they’ll do it together—or they may never walk out.

The fourth in a sweeping new fantasy romance series. If you liked the world of Game of Thrones and the savagery of Conan the Barbarian, you’ll love Denali Day’s epic new series.

Buy Magnus the Vast to embark on your fantasy today!

January 26, 2021

Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Silver Flames releases January 26, 2021.

Sarah J. Maas’s sexy, richly imagined series continues with the journey of Feyre’s fiery sister, Nesta.

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.

January 31, 2021

Bec McMaster’s Book 5 of Legends of Storm releases January 31, 2021. It’s an enemies to lovers fantasy romance with dragon shifters.

The old eddas speak of dreki—fabled creatures who haunt the depths of Iceland’s volcanoes and steal away fair maidens.

Solveig wants none of such myths. Mated—and spurned—by the devilishly handsome Prince Marduk, the furious dreki princess refuses to be the laughingstock of her court. Marduk will beg for her forgiveness. Or he will die.

A political alliance that ended in ruins….

Marduk’s evil mother bound him to mate with one of the daughters of King Harald, but when Marduk chooses the fierce-tongued Solveig, even he is surprised. The princess is known for her ruthlessness—the son her father never had—and when he promises to be a mate in name only and leaves her alone and wanting in the mating bed, she swears revenge.

But there is something about Solveig’s wild nature that stirs the heart of his dreki. And with his court and family at the mercy of a powerful curse, he needs all the allies he can get. But can she forgive him for playing recklessly with her fate? And will two clashing hearts ever learn to yield to each other?

At Some Point in 2020

Of course, as much as we authors would love to have firm plans, some of us are just in process and have to be flexible with our release times. Especially since we don’t want to frustrate readers. This section of the list may change as dates are updated or authors may move their books from one part of the calendar to the next.

Miranda Honfleur’s Book 2 of The Dark Elves of Nightbloom is set to release in later 2020. It is a fantasy romance set in the world of Blade and Rose; each book in the series is a stand-alone. You can check out her website to learn more about her and her stories, and you can sign up for her newsletter here to receive a free copy of Winter Wren.

(There is currently no link to preorder, but the book will be up when it’s ready! Sign up for our mailing list to know the moment it’s available.)

Wrath consumes him as the dark does the night… Until she rises. But can she chase away his darkness?

Most would say the “sweet” and “quiet” Signorina Arabella Belmonte has lived a quiet life as a young noblewoman in her family’s castello. But little do they know she pens treatises criticizing the realm’s warmongers… and now there’s a price on her head. As she struggles to hide her seditious activities, a chance encounter with a unicorn leaves her with four hooves and a horn of her own–and a form she can’t control. The dark-elf queen has offered her a chance to acquire that control… if Bella can find the unicorn who turned her.

Prince Dhuro of Nightbloom has never met a problem he couldn’t solve with his fists–that is, until he fought his sister for a place in the army’s elite forces and lost. When the light-elves defeated them and his father was executed, Dhuro’s inner demons laid claim to the whole of him. Now Immortal beasts are growing in power and threatening his people.

Dhuro has a chance to help his people win, but his mother, the queen, sends him on a fool’s errand instead–helping a human newly turned unicorn find her sire, and asking the impossible: whether the Elder of the pacifistic unicorns will stand with them against the beasts ravaging his people. Making things worse, Bella challenges his every decision, argues with him, infuriates him… until beneath the full moon, she shifts to her human form… and enchants him.

A war is raging, Dhuro must marry for political advantage, and only Bella’s sire can help her… And when the bounty hunters hunting her find them, Dhuro and Bella’s worldviews collide like life and death. But can he be the answer to helping her control her form, and can she chase away his darkness? Can they find a way to be together and fight the war threatening to devour the land… or will it swallow them too?

Readers are saying if you like the fantasy and romance of Grace Draven’s Wraith Kings and a Swan Princess tale with unicorns, Bright of the Moon will lure you into its world and not let you go.


Miranda Honfleur’s Book 5 of the Blade and Rose series is set to release in later 2020. It is a romantic fantasy epic. You can check out her website to learn more about her and her stories, and you can sign up for her newsletter here to receive a free copy of Winter Wren.

Darkness stirs in the heart of Courdeval. And in the heart of its very king. But she’ll fight until her last breath to save them both.

After Jon’s near brush with death, Rielle couldn’t be happier when he awakens. As he resumes his duties and his normal life, however, it becomes clear he is changed–perhaps forever. There is a power in him, and a darkness, that threatens to consume him… for all time.

With the Order of Terra and the Tower of Magic now serving the Crown, Emaurria is stronger than ever, but the threats it now faces might lead to the kingdom’s undoing. Locked in open war against the Divinity of Magic, Emaurria is in grave danger and, worse, divided at its core. The Houses see opportunity in a withdrawn king, and Rielle, Brennan, and Olivia fight to keep stability as they try to reach Jon, while Leigh finds himself damned and looks for the strength to save himself before he can save the world from the Rift.

As the Houses and the war poke a sleeping dragon, they invite flames that could char Emaurria to mere glowing embers. Can Rielle and her friends reach Jon before it’s too late, or will he be lost to the darkness, and Emaurria to the flames of dragon fire?

If you like the fantasy romance of A Court of Thorns and Roses, the dark intrigue of the Black Jewels series, the epic adventure of Game of Thrones, and a heroine who never gives up, you’ll love this romantic epic fantasy series.

Dive into a medieval world sensual and dark, full of magic and greed, love and blades, where factions vie for influence and there are no easy choices…


Miranda Honfleur’s Book 1 of the Blooded series is set to release in early 2021. It is a romantic fantasy epic, connected to the world of Blade and Rose. You can check out her website to learn more about her and her stories, and you can sign up for her newsletter here to receive a free copy of Winter Wren.

The pack hunted down her family and left her for dead. She survived. And now she’s hunting them.

As a princess of Morwen, Melora has lived a sheltered life–her only escape hunting with her mother and her brother on royal lands, and the opulent Winter Palace where the court has moved for the season has long been a favorite of hers. But when a hunt goes horribly wrong, her mother and her brother disappear, and the Winter Palace becomes a bloodbath.

Injured and ill, Mel turns to her lady-in-waiting, Aislinn, for help and soon finds herself changed… and the court overrun. The royal family has vanished, the land is abandoned, and her people are hunted and forced into hiding. A darkness deepens and spreads from the Winter Palace as refugees spill over the borders. With only Aislinn and a small band of brave souls, Mel nevertheless pushes back against that darkness, for her people, for answers, and for herself. The Wolves of the Winter Palace wage a war that could kill her and everyone with her. No one else comes to her aid… until him.

The Black Wolf was a hushed whisper among hunters and wayfarers, a cautionary tale told to children and young lovers, but when Mel hunts him down, she finds him real. Very real. Enormous and menacing, with a strong werewolf pack behind him, he claims to be a friend, but can he be trusted? Or is he just another ravenous mouth eager to devour her land’s riches… and maybe even her?

Unsure of whom to trust and stripped of allies and resources, can Mel reclaim the Winter Palace, or will the wolves’ reign of blood run red forever?

Fans of Sarah J. Maas and Holly Black will love this dark and mesmerizing romantic fantasy, in which Red Riding Hood and the Wolf follow a different thread of fate.

Let Blooded take you deep into dark forests and windswept moors, where hope whispers through the leaves, love and death dance in shades, and werewolves lurk in the darkness…

Here’s Your List of Romantic Reads From the 2020 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO)!

If you’re a member of our Facebook group, chances are you’re familiar with self-published books. Many of the book recommendations made there are novels written by independent (“indie”) authors, who don’t go through a traditional publishing house like Penguin or Hachette, but oversee their books’ preparation and publishing on their own.

Self-published books can have a difficult time getting into book awards and being chosen for reviews by prestigious book bloggers. For the past five years, Mark Lawrence in conjunction with a group of awesome bloggers has run the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO), and this year is the sixth! From the man himself:

The SPFBO exists to shine a light on self-published fantasy. It exists to find excellent books that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. It exists to help readers select, from the enormous range of options, books that have a better chance of entertaining them than a random choice, thereby increasing reader faith in finding a quality self-published read.

The SPFBO covers fantasy, including romantic fantasy, fantasy romance, and reverse-harem fantasy! (And we have a list for you below submitted from the authors themselves. But FIRST…)

Do you want to get involved?

Join the SPFBO Facebook group! And you can find a full list of this year’s entries and which bloggers will be reading them here, a Goodreads list here, and a Google Sheet here.

There’s an official r/Fantasy 2020 Book Bingo Challenge here, and the authors specify which bingo squares their books fit here. Want to know more? From r/fantasy:

Fantasy Book Bingo is a yearly reading challenge within the r/fantasy community. Its one-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out authors and books, to boldly go where few readers have gone before….(okay, a lot of us have gone here by now, just roll with it!)

The core of this challenge is all about encouraging folks to step out of their comfort zones, discover new and amazing reads, and motivate everyone to keep up on their reading throughout the next year.

And of course, help your fellow shelfies find good books! Post your reviews, recommendations, and discussions of the romantic fantasy, fantasy romance, and reverse-harem fantasy entries in our Romantic Fantasy Shelf Facebook group!

Are you ready for your list of SPFBO fantasy books with romance?

(Note: This is a mixed list that may include romantic fantasy, fantasy romance, and reverse-harem fantasy. HEAs are *not* guaranteed, but romance is, according to the authors themselves in the SPFBO Facebook group!)

In no particular order:

1. A Wind from the Wilderness by Suzannah Rowntree

2. Frey by Melissa Wright

3. Beneath Black Sails by Clare Sager

4. Pawn by Angela J. Ford

5. Forged in Shadow by Megan Haskell

6. Feast of the Mother by Miranda Honfleur and Nicolette Andrews

 

7. Of Honey and Wildfires by Sarah Chorn

8. Shrouded Kingdom by Rachel Medhurst

9. The Fae & The Fallen by Brittni Chenelle

10. Dragon Mage by Tameri Etherton

11. Trial of Thorns by Stacey Trombley

12. Heir of the Curse by Deborah Grace White

 

13. Stray Magic by Jenny Schwartz

 

14. Æroreh by Jesikah Sundin

15. Squire Derel by Rachel Ford

16. To Target the Heart by Aldrea Alien

17. Where Shadows Lie by Allegra Pescatore

18. A Voice That Thunders by Cully Mack

19. Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater

20. Burning Embers by Fiona Jeeves

21. Star Compass by Anthea Sharp

22. Currents of Change by Darian Smith

 

23. Bloodlust by Nicole Zoltack

24. Prince of Shadow and Ash by Selina R. Gonzalez

25. Burden of Power by Caren Hahn

26. Crown of the Sundered Empire by JC Kang

 

27. Enlightened by Billie Kowalewski

28. The Edge of Nothing by Crystal Crawford

29. Sorrowfish by Anne C. Miles

 

30. Legends of the Exiles by Jesse Teller

31. The Curse of the Jenri by Stephanie Barr

 

32. Shoreseeker by Brandon M. Lindsay

33. Vampire Wars: Inescapable by Sean Harris

34. A Locket of No Particular Significance by Florien St. John

35. House Of Legions by Shan R.K

So, which ones are you reading first? Let us know in the comments!

I’m currently reading Beneath Black Sails by Clare Sager! But a new-to-me book from this list? Personally, my eye spotted a pretty shiny, and I’m reading A Wind from the Wilderness by Suzannah Rowntree next!!!

45 Swoon-worthy Fantasy Romance Novels

Want to fall in love with a fantasy romance? We at Romantic Fantasy Shelf got you covered! If you’re happy to support indie authors, we’ve marked them with a convenient #indie. In no particular order:

1. Warprize (Chronicles of the Warlands Book 1) by Elizabeth Vaughan

“Vaughan’s brawny barbarian romance recreates the delicious feeling of adventure and the thrill of exploring mysterious cultures created by Robert E. Howard in his Conan books and makes for a satisfying escapist read with its enjoyable romance between a plucky, near-naked heroine and a truly heroic hero.” —Booklist

2. Lord of the Fading Lands (The Tairen Soul Book 1) by C. L. Wilson 

“This book transports you into this amazing world of the Fae. You will get lost in their history and will love these characters. You will love their code of honor and be amazed with their power.” –Amazon Reviewer

3. Master of Crows by Grace Draven #indie

“You get that sense of a living world, weaved with dark magic and ordinary lives, as if this place exists outside of the pages and the book is a window giving you a glimpse. Against this background, plays out a touching love story.  …It’s not a sex story, although sex is in the book. It’s a slow burn relationship that unfolds over the course of weeks. I’m jaded and I had this terrible sense of dread before the finale because I’ve become attached to the characters.  She got me.” –Ilona Andrews, #1 NY Times Bestselling Author of The Kate Daniels Series

4. Pestilence (The Four Horsemen Book 1) by Laura Thalassa #indie

“These complex characters manage to change and alter each other so drastically that neither is the same at the end of this book. This series is masterfully in-depth and complex. You will have moments of laughter, tears, and scenes that will leave goosebumps behind. This book somehow manages to not only capture these characters, but shine a light on what it means to be human; good and bad.” –Amazon Reviewer

5. Heart of the Fae: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling (The Otherworld Book 1) by Emma Hamm #indie

“The romance between Sorcha and Eamonn is slow-building, but that makes it even more believable and real. The relationship building between, not just Sorcha and Eamonn, but all other characters (especially Boggart, Oona, and Bran) is adorable (mainly Boggart’s adorable).” –Amazon Reviewer

6. No Man Can Tame (Dark-Elves of Nightbloom Book 1) by Miranda Honfleur #indie

“Rich world-building in this fantasy romance about heroes from different cultures bridging the gap to bring their peoples–and themselves–together.” –USA Today bestselling science fiction & fantasy author Lindsay Buroker

7. Promise of Darkness (Dark Court Rising Book 1) by Bec McMaster #indie

“A combination of fairy tales and mythology plus a believable slow burn romance kept me glued to my kindle. I defy anyone to read this and not fall in love with these characters.” –Amazon Reviewer

8. Mystic and Rider (Twelve Houses series Book 1) by Sharon Shinn 

“The incredibly powerful mystics’ talents slowly revealed. Love and trust growing between companions-of-the-road. King and queen, warriors, peasants & mystics face treason & revolution. And love blooms among the thorns.” –Amazon Reviewer

9. A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 1) by Amanda Bouchet

“A perfect blend of adventure and love story with a fantastic hero and heroine at its center, this is a not to be missed story of gods and goddesses, magic, prophecies and the power of true love.”—Heroes & Heartbreakers

10. Lonen’s War (Sorcerous Moons Book 1) by Jeffe Kennedy #indie

“Jeffe Kennedy has a terrific knack for meticulous worldbuilding, which helps to make her characters both relatable and otherworldly. I thoroughly enjoyed Lonen’s War and the Sorcerous Moons trilogy. If you’re a fan of fantasy romance, you should definitely pick this up!” ~ Thea Harrison, NYT and USA TODAY bestselling author of the Elder Races series

11. Kitsune: A Little Mermaid Retelling (Tales of Akatsuki Book 1) by Nicolette Andrews #indie

“It’s a tale of love, war and betrayal, with a huge dollop of magic… If I had to sum it up in one word, well, I can’t. That’s how good it was… It’s one of those novels that you just know will stay with you.” –Goodreads Reviewer

12. Soulbound (The Return of the Elves Book 1) by Bethany Adams #indie

“It was a fresh take on true love, what is real, what can be thought and . . . did I mention true love?” –Amazon Reviewer

13. Betrayal’s Price (In Deception’s Shadow Book 1) by Lisa Blackwood  #indie

“Fantasy, romance and loyalty takes the reader into a world of magic and the mystery of sharing a body with another.” –Amazon Reviewer

14. Burn Bright by Bec McMaster #indie

“Neva is a breath of fresh air. She definitely fits the bill as the heroine. Cas is not quite the typical knight in shining armor, but he will do. This was an amazing story of old myths, evil kings, and a kind Prince.” –Amazon Reviewer

15. Beauty In Darkness (Royal Hearts Book 1) by Elizabeth Briggs #indie

“This story is magical. A true fairy tale. It’s an imaginative, lovely read.” –Amazon Reviewer

16. Stolen Princess: A Fantasy Romance (Royal Conquest Book 1) by Nikki Jefford #indie

“A wild ride full of romance, adventure, and twists that had me swooning one page and making shocked gasps the next. Expertly written with rich world-building and complex characters.” –Amazon Reviewer

17. The Winter King (Weathermages of Mystral Book 1) by C.L. Wilson

“THE WINTER KING is a fierce blend of heart-pounding action, pulse-throbbing romance that touches the depths of your soul, and brands it with an emotion that seizes and captivates, and vibrates everything within. Combined with sexy romance, explosive magic, bloody murder, and unimaginable mayhem, all wrapped around a berated and belittle Warrior Princess, that is destined to save all the kingdoms combined!” –Amazon Reviewer

18. Dark King (Sea Fae Book 1) by C.N. Crawford #indie

“Adventurous, humorous, suspenseful with a dark past and a bright future as well as a romance that leaves you needing more.” –Amazon Reviewer

19. A Sorceress of His Own (The Gifted Ones Book 1) by Dianne Duvall #indie

“A Sorceress of His Own has a wonderful dynamic, an amazing promise of future adventures and a well-told romance that is sure to please.” –Long and Short Reviews

20. Trick (Foolish Kingdoms Book 1) by Natalia Jaster #indie

“Their relationship was intricately woven into something so real and beautiful.” –Amazon Reviewer

21. Gilded Rose: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling (Celestials Book 1) by Emma Hamm #indie

Available November 27, 2019!

22. Through the Paintings Dimly by J.M. Butler #indie

“‘Through the Paintings Dimly’ by J.M Butler was a brilliantly immersive read which didn’t shy from dark topics or twisting the literary knife a little deeper–This delivered a touch of horror and more than a dab of fantasy in with a romantic ribbon. ” –Amazon Reviewer

23. Radiance (Wraith Kings Book 1) by Grace Draven #indie

“In short order, Draven has demonstrated that she is a truly gifted teller of romantic fantasy tales that are utterly unforgettable. In Radiance, Draven explores a forced political marriage between seemingly incompatible races. The growing relationship between these protagonists is a genuine joy to read, and the fantastic story is filled with dangerous twists and turns!” –Jill M. Smith – Romantic Times Reviewer

24. The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen  #indie

“Heart-pounding romance and intense action wrapped in a spellbinding world. I was hooked from the first page.”– ELISE KOVA, USA Today bestselling author of the Air Awakens books

25. Locked by J. M. Butler #indie

“A clever, funny, and quick little romance.” –Amazon Reviewer

26. Poison Study (Soulfinders Book 1) by Maria V. Snyder

Poison Study is both a riveting romance and a spellbinding fantasy.” — B&N Explorations

27. Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe Book 1) by Rosamund Hodge

“The complex layers of each character in this book just blew my mind. I was kept on the edge of my seat until the very end. I LOVE this book. It’s a must read for sure!” –Amazon Reviewer

28. Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

“Full of swoony romance intertwined with non-stop adventure, Kiss of the Royal was a delight from start to finish. Lindsey Duga has created a world with fairytale charm and shivers that readers are sure to enjoy.” ―Mindee Arnett, critically acclaimed author of Avalon and Onyx & Ivory

29. Chosen of Azara (Tales of Tehovir Book 1) by Kyra Halland #indie

“Not only is this book great fantasy, but at the same time it’s also a fantastic tale of love.” –Amazon Reviewer

30. The Kiss of Deception: The Remnant Chronicles, Book One by Mary E. Pearson

The Kiss of Deception has it all–beautiful writing, heart-pounding suspense, a fiery princess, and an epic romance that’ll make you swoon. This is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year!” ―Alyson Noël, #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Immortals

31. The Golden Spider (An Elemental Steampunk Chronicle Book 1) by Anne Renwick #indie

“The Golden Spider is a delicious treat for fans of gadgets, science, and steampunk romance!” –Jen at That’s What I’m Talking About

32. Dawn’s Promise (Silent Wings Book 1) by A.W. Exley #indie

“I found myself enthralled in the world the author created and couldn’t get enough of this gentle yet fiery romance between the two main characters.” –Amazon Reviewer

33. The Sorcerer’s Concubine (The Telepath and the Sorcerer Book 1) by Jaclyn Dolamore #indie

“Excellent touching fantasy novel with a fairly original system of magic and races which centers around forbidden romance (with some pretty hot scenes) and includes racial tensions, some necromancy, magical races, the possibility of war, politics, and the development of sorcerous skills.” –Amazon Reviewer

34. The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga Book 1) by G.A. Aiken 

“Throw in a bunch of centaurs, elves, dwarves, witches and a cranky dragon, a lost treasure, spectacular fight scenes and hint of romance, and you have got the beginnings of a great fantasy adventure that will leave you wanting more.” –Amazon Reviewer

35. Assassin’s Gambit: The Hearts and Thrones Series by Amy Raby 

“Raby’s debut heralds the arrival of a terrific new fantasy romance voice….[Raby] has a gift for storytelling.” —RT Book Reviews

36. Vengeance Born (A Novel of the Light Blade Book 1) by Kylie Griffin

“Vengeance Born is a Fantasy Romance, and totally different then most romance stories. It is a story of two unlikely people, who come together to help each other survive a deadly situation. It is a story of trust, prejudice and how love can change anything.” –Amazon Reviewer

37. The Curse Giver by Dora Machado #indie

“If you like fantasy with a dash of romance and suspense then buy this book.” –Amazon Reviewer

38. The Wolf King’s Bride (Fate of Imperium Book 1) by C.A. Worley #indie

“Fabulous centre characters combined with romance, intrigue and action make this such an incredibly easy read to lose and immerse yourself in.” –Amazon Reviewer

39. The Fire Lord’s Lover (The Elven Lords Book 1) by Kathryne Kennedy

“A Tolkien-esque world combined with an eighteenth-century historical romance produces a satisfying tale with twists you’ll never expect. Excellent!”—Jennifer Ashley, USA Today bestselling author of Pride Mates

40. Pathways (The Kingdom Chronicles Book 1) by Camille Peters #indie

“Talk about being sucked into a story. I was almost immediately drawn into this fairy tale world. The magic was perfect. The romance was engaging. I am so happy I read this one.” –Amazon Reviewer

41. My Lady Mage: A Warriors of the Mist Novel by Alexis Morgan

“This is the story of the threat reaching across the entire countryside and the task of these five warriors to protect the girl who called them and to free the land of whatever the evil turns out to be. It’s a fast paced story of romance and action.” –Amazon Reviewer

42. Troubled Waters (An Elemental Blessings Novel Book 1) by Sharon Shinn 

“The story has romance, fantasy, suspense, political intrigue, and murder. If you like to read a fast-moving fantasy with a strong heroine, pick up this book.” –Amazon Reviewer

43. The Companion by Susan Squires #indie

“It was a rich tale with all the historical background to round out the story and yet not bore. And the romance sizzled.” –Amazon Reviewer

44. The Dragon Princess: Sleeping Beauty Reimagined (The Forgotten Kingdom Book 1) by Lichelle Slater #indie

45. Hunted by the Winter King (Faeted Mates Book 1) by Ariel Hunter #indie

“I’m already in love with Mara and her feisty spirit. I can’t wait to read more…” –Amazon Reviewer

Which of these have you read? Which others would you recommend?

58 Romantic Fantasy Books To Tie Your Heart In Knots

Looking for your next romantic fantasy read? We here at Romantic Fantasy Shelf have put together a list of our favorites and the most promising candidates from our TBRs, in no particular order, just for you! To help those of you supporting indie authors, we’ve gone ahead and marked those with #indie. Enjoy!

1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas 

“A dazzling world, complex characters and sizzling romance. Feyre is a charming heroine with a perfect amount of flaws and strengths, and her chemistry with Tamlin is wonderfully tangible.” –Top Pick, RT Book Reviews

2. Daughter of the Forest (The Sevenwaters Series Book 1) by Juliet Marillier 

“It is dark, painful and horrifying at times but it is also balanced with extreme love, devotion and hope. So even though it breaks your heart DoF will do its best to patch it up again.” — Amazon Reviewer

3. Kushiel’s Dart (Kushiel’s Legacy Book 1) by Jacqueline Carey 

“The story is rich and complex, the characters deep and conflicted, and the setting is full of grace. There’s love & betrayal, for sure, but also sword fights, brilliant escapes, brutal warlords, torture, a good deal of kindness unlooked for, poetry, royalty teetering on the brink of collapse, and so much more.” –Amazon Reviewer

4. Blood Oath (The Darkest Drae Book 1) by Raye Wagner & Kelly St. Clare #indie

“This book has everything you could possibly want: action, love, hysterical inner monologue, the answers to the questions and predictions that eat away at you while reading, and leaves you wanting more.” –Amazon Reviewer

5. Fantasy of Frost (The Tainted Accords Book 1) by Kelly St. Clare #indie 

“Olina is a very interesting character and you’ll quickly be drawn into her story and be anxious to learn more. There is adventure, a little romance, interesting world building, and fun and interesting characters that play into this series well.” –Amazon Reviewer

6. Air Awakens (Air Awakens Series Book 1) by Elise Kova #indie

“I love Air Awakens! It’s Phantom of the Opera meets Cinderella in a wonderfully crafted world created by debut author Elise Kova.” –Michelle Madow

7. Blade & Rose (Blade and Rose Book 1) by Miranda Honfleur  #indie

“…[M]ultiple threads of a complex plot, forbidden romance, manipulative villains, and marvelous writing.” –Fantasy-Faction.com

8. Mother of Shadows (The Chosen Book 1) by Meg Anne #indie

“I’m completely shocked that this is a debut novel… It’s executed flawlessly, the storyline is decadent, full of magic, love, heat and deceit. I literally felt like I was stepping into a different world, I didn’t want to put the book down, I just had to know what was going to happen next!” –Amazon Reviewer

9. Stolen Songbird: Malediction Trilogy Book One by Danielle L. Jensen  #indie

Stolen Songbird is an absolutely wonderful addition to the fantasy genre. The book is full of magic, adventure, outlandish creatures, and at its heart is one of the most touching love stories I have ever read…” –Avid Reviews

10. The Priestess and the Dragon (Dragon Saga Book 1) by Nicolette Andrews  #indie

“This story has it all, action adventure, mystery, touch of romance, humor, excellent visual word pictures, and the deepest, full-bodied characters.” –Amazon Reviewer

11. Phoenix Unbound (The Fallen Empire Book 1) by Grace Draven 

“Grace Draven’s exciting romantic fantasy features characters who are fresh and original. Their problems and triumphs will keep you reading into the night.”—Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author

12. Mermaid Bride by J.M. Butler #indie

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s prose is very strong, with beautiful imagery that captures all the senses and a strong plot of conflictual romance, loyalty, and integrity.” –Amazon Reviewer

13. Oath Taker: Kingdom of Runes Book 1 by Audrey Grey #indie

“A lyrical, sweeping fantasy that will take you on a beautiful adventure in a world where danger and romance lurk at every corner.” ~ Olivia Wildenstein, USA Today Bestselling author of A PACK OF BLOOD AND LIES

14. A Thief & a Gentlewoman (Counterfeit Contessa Book 1) by Clare Sager #indie

“There’s romance, deception, magic, palace intrigue, murder, sword fights, a couple of cross country races against time and best of all, a selection of characters (not just two) I want to read more about.” –Amazon Reviewer

15. Fortune Favors the Cruel (Dark Maji Book 1) by Kel Carpenter & Lucinda Dark #indie

“If you love dark fantasy, anti-heroines and sizzling enemies-to-lovers romance, prepare to be tired, because you won’t be able to put this puppy down.” –Katherine Bogle, author

16. Betrayed (Magi Rising Book 1) by Raye Wagner #indie

“Brutal yet compelling, BETRAYED brings me back to why I fell in love with dark fantasy. The lush jungle kingdom of Qrali is as vibrant as it is dangerous, and the chemistry between Disa and Rune is mind blowing. Full of magic, intrigue, and plenty of mystery–this tantalizing tale will keep you glued to the book until the very last page.” ~ Kel Carpenter, USA Today Bestselling Author of Fortune Favors the Cruel

17. Waters of Salt and Sin (Uncommon World Book 1) by Alisha Klapheke #indie

“I give this book a 5/5, not only for the stellar world building, kickass heroine, and sexy love interest, but for the hungover longing for more I’m experiencing days after. Klapheke is one to watch out for!” ~Katherine Bogle, author of Savages

18. Summernight (Bridge of Legends Book 1) by Sarah K. L. Wilson #indie

“Marielle & Tamerlan’s lives intertwine with the hope and fear of their fates, and it’s an amazing ride. The question of who will succeed and who will die flows throughout the entire novel, leaving me on the edge of my seat until the very end.” –Amazon Reviewer

19. Empire of Sand (The Books of Ambha Book 1) by Tasha Suri

“The magic system is fascinating, and it is seamlessly integrated into both plot and character development. I adored the romance.” –Amazon Reviewer

20. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

“A brilliant debut, full of everything I love: a sparkling and fully realized heroine, an intricate and deadly system of magic, and a searing romance that kept me reading long into the night. Serpent & Dove is an absolute gem of a book.” —Sarah J. Maas

21. A Bond of Venom and Magic (The Goddess and the Guardians Book 1) by Karen Tomlinson  #indie

“A swoon worthy page-turner. Tomlinson finds the perfect balance of adventure and romance. I can’t wait for the next book! I loved it…!” — Kelly Oram, Bestselling Author of Cinder & Ella

22. Feast of the Mother (Witch of the Lake Book 1) by Miranda Honfleur & Nicolette Andrews  #indie

“Steeped in rich and dark folklore, Feast of the Mother is young-adult fantasy at its best. Honfleur and Andrews take witches, murder, and romance, twist and weave them together with an imaginative and mysterious backdrop of medieval grievances. The result is a page-turning tale that will keep you riveted from the first page until the very last.” ~Raye Wagner, USA Today bestselling author of Magi Rising series

23. The City of Brass: A Novel (The Daevabad Trilogy) by S. A. Chakraborty

“THE CITY OF BRASS has some of the best fantasy world building I’ve ever read, along with compelling characters, an intriguing mystery, a dash of swoon-worthy romance, and roots in cultures that don’t normally take center stage in fantasy.” –Amazon Reviewer

24. To Claim a King (Age of Gold Book 1) by May Sage #indie

“This is the first book I have read by this author and will not be the last. There was drama, action, fantasy and romance.” –Amazon Reviewer

25. Seas of Crimson Silk (Burning Empire Book 1) by Emma Hamm #indie

“…this is a slow burn of romance, that is definitely apparent in all the most deliciously antagonizing of ways. Everything from their physical chemistry to their verbal interactions was definitely melt worthy.” –Amazon Reviewer

26. Sarya’s Song by Kyra Halland #indie

“This was a very enjoyable read, a perfect blend of well-thought-out fantasy with a satisfying romance. I loved the ingenious and cleverly implemented concept of music as a form of magic. Highly recommended.” –Amazon Reviewer

27. Kill the Queen (A Crown of Shards Novel Book 1) by Jennifer Estep 

“Kill the Queen rocked my world! With court intrigue, a cast of fantastic characters, epic political sweep, and a slow-burn romance to die for, this book had me rapt. I only regret I devoured it so fast. And that I didn’t write it. More please!” –Jeffe Kennedy, RITA® Award winning author of The Pages of the Mind

28. The Rose Crown by Catharine Glen #indie

“No word is out of place and each sentence is balanced. It reminds us of a long-forgotten melody, of which you can only remember when you hear it aloud, and it warms the cockles of your heart.” –Fantasiareviews.com (Best Writing of the Year, 2016)

29. The Shadow and The Sun (A Militess and Mage Novel Book 1) by Monica Enderle Pierce  #indie

“I love this story so much. The characters are fully realized without the author needing to go into detailed back stories. Their actions and reactions MAKE SENSE! It’s so refreshing to have not one but both of the main characters be likable and rooting for both of them. I understand where they are both coming from and the tidbits of detail into their live before they collided are so juicy and raw. I really love this book and highly recommend it if you’re at all a romance, fantasy, or action/adventure fan.” –Amazon Reviewer

30. Heart of Dragons (Chronicles of Pelenor Book 1) by Meg Cowley #indie

“I loved the characters, the storyline, the murkiness of the relationships and how the characters have to work through it. I also happen to love elves 🧝‍♀️ And dragons! I highly recommend this book” –Amazon Reviewer

31. Beneath the Mists (Of Astral and Umbral Book 1) by Bonnie L. Price #indie

“The romance isn’t overdone, it doesn’t detract from the plot but instead enhances the character’s development.” –Amazon Reviewer

32. Diviner’s Prophecy (Diviner’s Trilogy Book 1) by Nicolette Andrews #indie

“I won’t give too much away, but the cast of characters Ms. Andrews has assembled leave the reader guessing as to their true intentions, while also managing to pull them under their spell. Will NOT disappoint true romantic fantasy fans!” –Amazon Reviewer

33. Tree of Ages (The Tree of Ages Series Book 1) by Sara C. Roethle #indie

“I had the craving for a good epic fantasy, and this world provided it. There is action, a quest, the potential for a slow-burn romance, family drama, an unknown past, the the looming threat of potential war on the horizon. I enjoyed watching the character development of Finn as she slowly becomes more human” –Amazon Reviewer

34. Dragon Storm (Heritage of Power Book 1) by Lindsay Buroker #indie

“Another new series with typical Buroker flair of impossible mission, funny verbal banter, romantic attraction, and solid storytelling.” –Amazon Reviewer

35. Witch Song by Amber Argyle #indie

“Witch Song is a debut with an engrossing world full of magic, adventure and romance. It’s a story that fascinated me with its unique witch lore and rich world building, and introduced me to some great in-depth characters.” ~Katie, Mundie Moms

36. Identity Revealed (The Tue-Rah Chronicles) by J.M. Butler #indie

“I fell in love, hate, despair with all the characters. The relationships in the story are highly relatable.” –Amazon Reviewer

37. Frostbound Throne: Song of Night (Court of Sin Book 1) by May Sage #indie

“I loved this book! If you enjoy fantasy, adventure and romance you will love it as much as I did.” –Amazon Reviewer

38. Daughter of the Blood (Black Jewels, Book 1) by Anne Bishop 

“So good, I read it twice years apart and can’t wait until I read it a third time in a few years. Magic, romance, loyalty beyond measure and a great story.” –Amazon Reviewer

39. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson 

“If you are looking for magic you will find it inside this book. Sorcery of Thorns is a bewitching gem, full of slow burning romance, loyal friendships, and extraordinary world building. I absolutely loved every moment of this story.” —Stephanie Garber, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Caraval series

40. The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air Book 1) by Holly Black 

“Heart-in-throat action, deadly romance, double-crossing, moral complexity-this is one heck of a ride.”
–Booklist (starred review)

41. Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass series Book 1) by Sarah J. Maas

“I loved the sarcasm, the romance, the mystery and the action that this story has. I loved how well developed was the love, the hatred and the friendship throughout the story.” –Amazon Reviewer

42. Sky Keeper (The Drowning Empire Book 1) by S.M. Gaither #indie

“Rich world building, fast-paced adventure, a dash of romance and a wondrous quest make this a book to get lost in and wish for the continuation as soon as the last page is done.” –Amazon Reviewer

43. Balanced on the Blade’s Edge (Dragon Blood Book 1) by Lindsay Buroker #indie

“I found myself wanting more of the book and not wanting to put it down. It had great airship action, romance was very exciting, and I find myself genuinely caring for the characters and wanting more at the end of it.” –Amazon Reviewer

44. Destiny (Experimental Heart Book 1) by Shannon Pemrick #indie

“The suspense, the wonder of romance, the different types of mythical creatures was so interesting it hooks you right in.” –Amazon Reviewer

45. Kingdom of Exiles (The Beast Charmer Book 1) by Maxym M. Martineau 

“With Kingdom of Exiles, Maxym M. Martineau launches a fresh new romantic fantasy series that has all the lush world-building and intoxicating magic of the Harry Potter universe edged with something altogether more adult… Martineau’s writing bursts with humor, heart, and an exquisite burst of magic that declare her a new voice as powerful (and charming!) as one of her irresistible characters.” – Entertainment Weekly

46. The Mark of the Tala (The Twelve Kingdoms Book 1) by Jeffe Kennedy 

“It’s a solid first book and I enjoyed the author’s world-building and writing. If you like fantasy with a little romance thrown in then this book is for you.” –Amazon Reviewer

47. Beneath the Canyons (Daughter of the Wildings Book 1) by Kyra Halland #indie

“This book had me from page one. It has fantasy, mystery, and western with a great romance plot throughout. The intrigue kept me turning the page, and the well-developed characters made me care about what would happen next.” –Amazon Reviewer

48. Eye of Truth (Agents of the Crown Book 1) by Lindsay Buroker #indie

“You’ve got adventure, mystery, romance, lovable leads and quirky supporting characters. It’s all there. Heck yeah!” –Amazon Reviewer

49. Ishtar’s Blade (Ishtar’s Legacy Book 1) by Lisa Blackwood #indie

“I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy with romance and intrigue.” –Amazon Reviewer

50. Torn (The Unraveled Kingdom Book 1) by Rowenna Miller 

“This book has romance, intrigue, betrayal and magic sewn all though it. Very well done!” –Amazon Reviewer

51. Striking Midnight (Fairy Tale Lies, Spies, and Assassins Book 1) by Jennifer Ellision #indie

“Cyn is not your average damsel, she is a kick a$$ leader with a brilliant mind. Loved the story.” –Amazon Reviewer

52. Prisoner of Silk: A Dark Fairy Tale Retelling (Queen of the Sun Palace Book 1) by Lidiya Foxglove #indie

“…it was definitely compelling and erotic but different from the usual romantic fantasy!” –Amazon Reviewer

53. Trial by Fae (Dragon’s Gift: The Dark Fae Book 1) by Linsey Hall #indie

“I loved the action, adventure, romance, and getting to know Mari.” –Amazon Reviewer

54. Shadows for a Princess (Trials of Terraina, Book 1) by Vivienne Savage and Dominique Kristine #indie

“The authors have penned a story line keeps you intrigued with a hint of romance to take your heart for a ride in the best of ways.” –Amazon Reviewer

55. Marked by Dragon’s Blood (Return of the Dragonborn Book 1) by N.M. Howell #indie

“I would recommend this book to all who like light romance with HEA and, of course, Dragons.” –Amazon Reviewer

56. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy Book 1) by N.K. Jemisin

“Multifaceted characters struggle with their individual burdens and desires, creating a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists.” –Publishers Weekly

57. Star of the Morning (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms Book 1) by Lynn Kurland 

“I love the fact that the heroine truly is a strong person in her own right. There’s great world-building, an interesting magic system, great characterization, and the romance element builds rather than being some crazed instalove.” –Amazon Reviewer

58. Red Winter (The Red Winter Trilogy Book 1) by Annette Marie

“An enchanting tale of fantastical magic, supernatural creatures, mysterious heroes, and forbidden romance, [set] against a wildly gorgeous and exotic backdrop.” – FLYLeF Reviews

Which of these have you read? Which others would you recommend?

N. J. Adel: Fantasy and Egypt

Reverse harem fantasy authors have often been inspired by the wealth of folklore and mythology across many cultures, both current and ancient. Who wouldn’t love to have a harem of immortal gods who are conjuring magic all day to please their ladies?

However, when it comes to ancient Egypt, things get a little tricky. The fascination with gods, immortality and magic is immense and mostly true, but there’s a lot more to Egyptian myth than just that.

As an Egyptian myself, and a fantasy author, I find that Egyptian myth in particular has a very wide range of conceptions, or more likely misconceptions, that varies from one culture and country to another. The main reason behind that is the mystery of the ancient Egyptian culture. You can never be sure of the authenticity of Egyptian mythology unless you have serious knowledge of hieroglyphs, have read tons of Egyptology books written by Egyptians or reliable Egyptologists, or have actually been to Egypt.

That kind of mystery, which is the main element of the Egyptian mythology appeal, remains one of the main reasons behind the underrepresentation of this fascinating mythology in fantasy books. And when an author has the courage to dive in and use it, it often comes as clichéd, superficial or full of misconceptions that would induce several eye rolls, especially from a local like me.

I’m sure most, if not all, of you have seen Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen, and let me tell you one thing. There is no waterfront by the pyramids, and Jordan is definitely not right across from there!

These details may seem trivial to someone who has no knowledge of Egypt or its history, but to someone who does, it makes all the difference. The details are what make or break a story based on mythology.

Now, I’m going to list a few misconceptions that I came across while Seratis Daughter of the Sun, my latest Egyptian Reverse Harem, was being beta read and reviewed.

Ancient Egyptians didn’t have a Mother of Gods

Yes, we did. The first mother of gods in all history, Isis, is a core goddess in Egyptian mythology and religion. I can’t even begin to list the stories and myths associated with her.

Ancient Egyptians didn’t believe in heaven and hell

Yes, we did. Ancient Egypt is the first civilization that had acknowledged a one unified god for all way before Moses was born. And even before the unity, Ancient Egyptians believed in the afterlife that INCLUDED a horrific journey in the underworld where one would be judged in the end and sent to either eternal paradise or eternal hell.

Ancient Egyptians were all dark-skinned and mostly black

No. Egypt has always been an African country. That doesn’t automatically make us black when it comes to skin color. And that goes all the way back in time and history and not just nowadays due to racial mix.

Two pieces of evidence support this. 1) The paintings on the temples and papyri. The colors orange, brown and rarely black are used to paint various Egyptians, royalty or otherwise, which meant black skinned Egyptians existed but they were not the majority of people back then. 2) The great civil war between the North and the South. The War of the Two Regions as we call it. This civil war kept going for years until Mina/Narmar, the Northen King (Pharoah) won the war and united the two regions. He did so by giving the South (who were black-skinned) Nubia, a part of Upper Egypt, to live and rule as their governorate, and yet remain under the Kingdom and Narmar’s reign. The Nubians remain till today the only exclusive black-skinned nation in Egypt.

Ancient Egyptians only had lotuses for flowers

Let me start by saying lotuses grew over the Nile water with zero effort from people. They weren’t exactly planted. They just grew. That’s why Ancient Egyptians gave them significance and associated them with rebirth. That doesn’t mean in any way we didn’t plant other flowers! Some were planted locally, others planted with imported seeds such as Sunflowers, a favorite of the nation that worshiped the sun. Yes, Egypt traded with other countries. We have the River Nile. A lot of trading was done on its banks.

The same applies to certain foods, animals and material.

All royalty believed in immortality, magic, and divinity

I know this is the core of Egyptian mythology, and it is true. However, this is not all. Some kings didn’t believe in their divine birth right such as Akhnaton. Many Egyptians knew immortality is only possible in the afterlife. And there are a lot more secrets in Egyptian myth.

These are just a few examples of misconceptions I came upon. The list can’t be contained in one article.

Here are some interesting and a little funny facts about the mysterious civilization:

Royal brothers and sisters used to marry to keep the bloodline pure. BUT only if they are half-siblings. If they come from the same parents, it’s forbidden.

Homosexuality existed. It was fine with women. With men, tops weren’t ridiculed, only bottoms.

Virginity had no importance. Infidelity for a married woman was a shameful sin. 

Thank you so much for reading. Next time you delve into an Egyptian fantasy book, I hope some of the misconceptions are cleared for you. I certainly hope there are more Egyptian fantasy books to come every day. Here’s one to start today, and it’s free with a kindle unlimited subscription:

Download your copy of Seratis Daughter of the Sun: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07QKNQL1B

About the Author

N. J. Adel, the author of Seratis, Her Royal Harem, Love Off Camera and The Night Minutes series, is a cross genre author. From chocolate to books and book boyfriends, she likes it DARK and SPICY.
From dark women’s fiction and romance to sci-fi and fantasy. Bikers, rock stars, dirty Hollywood heartthrobs, smexy guards and men who serve. From steamy sexy short stories to full-length literary books. She loves it all.
She teaches English by day and writes fun smut by night with her German Shepherd, Leo.

He is not a fan of her dark work!

Sign up for N.J. Adel’s Newsletter here

Get a free book here

Reach her at:

N.J. is the author of the Egyptian Mythology Fantasy Seratis.

My name is NOT Seratis.
I am Queen Meha. The rightful ruler of the Kingdom of Egypt. A scientist. Human.
I was never her. Seratis, the evil Goddess of Sleep who puts men under her spell to compel them to do whatever she commands.
It was all a lie. A myth my half-brother created to make my own people hate me so he could usurp my throne.

Lucky for me, I’ve found a way to preserve the living like my ancestors did with the dead. To escape the war my brother has waged on me, I enter my tomb to be mummified, alive, for a hundred years. With my guard, my apprentice and my maid. Only to wake when my half-brother is long gone and forgotten.

But when we wake up, reality as we know it crashes down around us. Instead of rising after a hundred years, it was a thousand. We haven’t aged a day, and we now possess inhumanly senses, strength and healing powers…among other things.
As if that is not shocking enough, now I know my half-brother isn’t dead yet, and he’s going to wake just like us.

This time I won’t escape. I will fight. And I must find a way to win the war I’ve lost before. Dead or alive.

Full with Egyptian mythology, fantasy, wild romance and sizzling scenes, Seratis Daughter of the Sun makes the perfect escapism for fantasy lovers, Egyptian historical myths fans, and spicy paranormal romance readers.
Get your copy of SERATIS DAUGHTER OF THE SUN, the first book of the Egyptian Mythology Fantasy SERATIS THE GODDESS OF EGYPT.

Catharine Glen: 5 Books To Read To Jump Into Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance

You love a good romance. We all do, that’s why we’re here! When two characters fall in love and overcome adversity: nothing better! Sometimes there’s another love interest, and the infamous triangle emerges: who will she choose? 

But now you’re looking for something more. Something new and different. Enter reverse harem (RH) or #WhyChoose, a subgenre under the poly romance umbrella in which the female protagonist has multiple suitors and does not choose one, but all! [Further reading: RH and the Rise of Polyamorous Fantasy Romance and The Path to Reverse Harem Romance]

With the genre exploding over the last year, there are tons of books to choose from spanning all genres. But don’t worry, romantic fantasy fans. I’ve got you covered. Here are five great fantasy books that will draw you into the world of reverse harem romance.

Note: All books listed below are suitable for ages 18+.

Power Of Five By Alex Lidell

The Story: Orphaned Lera is magically bonded to four fae warriors in search of their “fifth”, who to their disbelief turns out to be a mere mortal woman. It must be a mistake, right? But as their relationships develop, they realize Lera is so much more than they initially believed. 

Why You Should Read It: This one is for all you fae lovers! Four hot fae guys that are fated to be with Lera, each with a distinct personality. River is the serious leader of the group who rejects Lera from the get go. Coal is the cold, brooding one who maintains his distance. Shade is the broken wolf shifter in mourning after the death of his twin. Tye is the flirtatious, playful one who is totally on board with Lera joining them. They each approach their new relationship with Lera differently, some more willing than others, which affects the dynamic of the group and how the romance unfolds. I found something to love about all the guys, individually and as a group. Being fantasy romance, the story focuses on the relationships, with a secondary plot revolving around fae politics and the greater consequences of Lera joining their group.

The “Power of Five” series is complete at four books. They are relatively short, quick reads ending on cliffhangers that are intended to draw you into the next installment. An easy, fun series to step into the world of reverse harem fantasy.

Stroke The Flame By Elizabeth Briggs

The Story: After she is struck by lightning, four handsome men from Kira’s dreams appear in the flesh, revealing they’ve been chosen as the new elemental dragons — and she’s their mate. As the newly assembled five come to grips with their destinies, they must learn to trust each other and work together as a team if they have any hope of overthrowing the tyrannical Black Dragon. 

Why You Should Read It: First of all, dragons. But if that’s not enough… One of the aspects I love most about this series is that neither Kira nor any of the guys know each other before the start of the book. This means there’s a focus on building trust, accepting their new roles, and coming to terms with the fated bonds between them. There are secrets, hints of jealousy, conflicting motivations, and even reluctance — after all, none of them had a choice, including Kira. Each of the guys represents a different element and has a distinct personality: Jasin, the cocky soldier (Fire), Auryn, the scholarly prince (Air), Slade, the protective blacksmith (Earth), and Reven, the cold, mysterious assassin (Water). To unlock each of their elemental dragon forms and share their power with Kira, they must travel to each of the four elemental temples spread across the realm and, ahem, get it on. The promise of sexy times at the end of the books is definitely a plus!

The “Her Elemental Dragons” series is complete at four books. Each is a complete story focusing on the progression of Kira’s relationship with her men. These books are definitely hard to put down and are a solid representation of the genre. 

Dragon’s Gift By Jada Storm And May Sage

The Story: Dareena Sellis is a small town nobody, until a dragon huntress chooses her to be the Dragon’s Gift: the one woman chosen every hundred years to bear children for the future dragon king. There’s only one catch — instead of one, there are three sons vying for the throne…and Dareena. 

Why You Should Read It: Do hot and steamy scenes with three dragon shifter brothers sound appealing to you? Dareena starts from nothing and is suddenly thrust into the politics of Dragonfell, pursued by three virile men, and given the impossible task of having to choose just one. Drystan is the aloof, responsible leader, Lucyan is the flirtatious, seductive strategist, and Alistair is the warm, kind-hearted soldier. The focus of the story is mainly on the relationships and the sex, and there’s plenty of it right in the first book. 

The “Dragon’s Gift” series is complete at three books. It’s a pretty fast burn with instalust: there’s not a lot of relationship development up front. So hop aboard for the dragons, stay for the steam!

The Fifth Knight By Claire Luana And Jesikah Sundin

The Story: To save her family from a rival clan, Fionna, a warrior in her own right, sets out to steal Excalibur from King Arthur himself. Arthur and his closest knights are seeking their fifth who, as foretold by Merlin, will break Morgan la Fay’s curses over the land. They certainly don’t expect the fierce and formidable Fionna to be that knight.

Why You Should Read It: Fans of Arthurian lore will appreciate the research that went into bringing Arthur and his knights to life. All of the characters are well developed and feel genuine in their interactions and their motivations. There is a strong brotherhood among the men and Fionna’s joining to their group challenges that bond. King Arthur is a man of honor, caring first and foremost for his kingdom. Galahad is the big, charming Norseman and rock of the group. Percival is the youngest and must remain celibate due to his role with the Grail search. Lancelot is cold and standoffish, for he believes any involvement with Fionna on his part will ignite the third curse cast by Morgan la Fay. Fionna herself is strong, not only physically, but in her convictions and reasons for her actions: she’s conflicted and it pains her knowing she must betray Arthur to save her family. But what is borne from the betrayal is far more than any of them expected. 

The “Knights of Caerleon” series is complete at three books. If you’re looking for a slow to medium burn romance steeped in historical lore with plenty of steamy, more explicit scenes, you’ll find all of that and more here.

Bloodlust By Auryn Hadley

The Story: Salryc Luxx, a purebred Iliri, joins the Black Blades, an elite military force of strong, super-skilled Ilirian crossbreeds. Humans want to exterminate all Iliri, yet at the same time fear their predatory nature. Sal and the Blades form a strong bond, but that could all be destroyed if the enemy succeeds in their plans. And they are closing in…

Why You Should Read It: There are not many true epic fantasy reverse harem series out there, and this is, simply put, one of the best. After being freed from slavery, Sal was trained to be a ruthless fighter, which enables her to join the Black Blades. She must reconcile the prejudices she faced in her past with her current acceptance by the men, slowly forming deep, strong relationships with each of them. They need to be strong, for they work together as a unit and must be able to rely on each other in battle. Because the Blades are half-Iliri (unknown to the rest of military command), they will all succumb eventually to their race’s innate bloodlust, which can only be quenched by sex, lending some explicit scenes between Sal and her men. While the relationships play a major role, the overarching war for steel (and the secondary aim of both using and eradicating all Iliri), provides the drivers for the story. 

The “Rise of the Iliri” series is on-going as of this posting, with eight books published and the ninth forthcoming in July 2019. If you’re looking for something big to sink your teeth into, with plenty of action, worldbuilding, great characters, slow long-term burning romance, deep bonds between the characters, and explicit sex scenes, then Hadley’s sweeping epic military fantasy is a must read.

About the Author

Catharine Glen is a romantic fantasy author residing in New England. Her favorite kinds of stories take place in faraway worlds with unforgettable characters, plenty of romance, adventure, magic and the supernatural. She tends to get immersed in all things Japanese, reading, Lego, and possibly consumes a bit too much coffee and tea. She’s also a wife to a loving husband and a mom to two children and a spirited Jack Russell.

Catharine’s forthcoming reverse harem romantic fantasy series, The Shadowed World Saga, is anticipated in late 2019.

Reach her at:

Catharine is also the author of the romantic fantasy novel The Rose Crown.

Elite soldier Marian serves and protects the royal family—a responsibility she does not take lightly. But when she thwarts an assassination attempt on the king, she unwittingly becomes a prime suspect. Worse, she is left with a terrible, pulsing wound and vile, intrusive thoughts that are not her own. Now, the mysterious cult behind the attack has targeted her, and Marian soon learns of their goal to restore a devastating relic: the legendary Rose Crown.

Former mercenary Henryk has vowed to prevent the restoration of the Rose Crown at any cost. When he encounters Marian, he discovers the terrifying truth of her involvement—and the mortal danger they both face. Drawn together by the very thing that could destroy them, Henryk and Marian must forge a bond of trust—before it’s too late.

Can Marian battle against the ancient darkness consuming her soul, or will it utterly destroy them both?

AJ Lancaster: Book Review of Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Sometimes a book draws you in so completely that you only remember you meant to go to bed hours ago after you emerge, blinking, from the very last page. I mean, look at that opening sentence:

Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley.

Uprooted, p1

How can you possibly stop there? It’s clearly necessary to keep reading at least as long as it takes to find out that the Dragon is a wizard who lives in a tower, and that he takes a village girl to serve him every ten years. And once you’re that far in, well, if you’re me you won’t be able to stop, even if it is after midnight. Who needs sleep, anyway?

Uprooted isn’t technically a fairytale retelling, butit certainly feels like one. It’s partly the dreamy prose and partly the setting, which is alive and magical and sinister in the form of the malevolent Wood. Uprooted is somehow simultaneously epic fantasy about saving the world and small-scale cozy fantasy (that’s a genre, right?) about the comforts of home. I love it fiercely. I own multiple copies and have re-read it countless times.

My copy of Uprooted with bonus cameo by my cat Kestrel

So what makes me love it so much?

Let’s start with our heroine, Agnieszka (Ag-NYESH-kah). She’s messy, stubborn, big-hearted, uneducated but intelligent. The story is told entirely in her voice, and her arc forms the story’s core as we watch her grow from awkward village girl to self-assured sorceress.

She’s also clumsy and frequently spills things, and it’s so nice to see the non-adorable consequences of this represented in fiction. 

“How do you do this to yourself?” he asked me, almost marveling, one day when I wandered in with a clump of rice pudding in my hair—I had accidentally hit a spoon with my elbow and flung some into the air—and a huge streak of jam going all the way down my front of beautiful cream silk.

Uprooted, p36

(It should be mentioned at this point that our grumpy hero, Sarkan aka The Dragon, is a neat freak, and, yes, the conflict between him and our messy heroine on this front is just as amusing as one could hope for.)

It’s also a relief to find a heroine who, despite her magical qualities, doesn’t distance herself from other women or define herself as being “not like other girls”, which is a trope that hugely annoys me. Agnieszka’s best friend is the beautiful, confident, poised Kasia, and in a lesser book they’d be rivals. In Uprooted, a lot of the plot is driven by the strength of their friendship. 

The other central relationship in Uprootedis the slow-burn romance between the Dragon and Agnieszka. It’s that good old trope of enemies-to-lovers. When we first meet the Dragon, he is cold and callous, removing Agnieszka from her village and imprisoning her in his tower—and Agnieszka fears him. But as the story unfolds, we learn that the Dragon isn’t the villain of this tale at all, despite his prickly exterior.  

These two are chalk and cheese, and it’s very satisfying to watch as they come to understand each other and realize that ultimately they share the same goal of saving humankind from the relentless evil of the Wood (more on that later).

Some readers may find the Dragon’s grouchiness not to their taste, but for me his actions speak louder than words—and as Agnieszka quickly realizes, his bark is much worse than his bite.

The Dragon tries to teach Agnieszka magic, and he’s soannoyed by how unpredictable her magic is. Magic should be sharply defined, methodical, and work the same way every time! But Agnieszka’s magic is organic, intuitive, and context-dependent—and often fails spectacularly during their lessons.

[After Agnieszka has accidentally set fire to the guest bedroom]

He roared at me furiously for ten minutes after he finally managed to put out the sulky and determined fire, calling me a witless muttonheaded spawn of pig farmers—“My father’s a woodcutter,” I said—“Of axe-swinging lummocks!” he snarled.

But even so, I wasn’t afraid anymore. He only spluttered himself into exhaustion and then sent me away, and I didn’t mind his shouting at all, now I knew there was no teeth in it to rend me.

Uprooted, p54

Initially, Agnieszka doesn’t want to learn magic, doesn’t want to accept that she can’t go back to her old life. Her emotional journey is one of learning to step up and embrace her new self, whilst not sacrificing her values and her deep connection to her home village.  

Because home, the sense of being rooted (ha, see what I did there?) to a place, is ultimately what Uprootedis about. This also probably explains why it appeals to me so strongly, since I like to write about magically sentient places. There’s something powerful about home, the place that you both can and can’t return to after you’ve gone away and changed.

Which brings me to… the Wood.

It’s hard to make a place into a compelling antagonist, but Naomi Novik has managed it in the eldritch horror that is the Wood. Its evil lies not just in the monsters that roam beneath its branches, but in how it deliberately taints people it comes into contact with and uses them to manipulate events outside its borders, inciting deaths, wars, and misery. The central mystery of the novel is why the Wood hates humanity—and what created it in the first place. 

Both Agnieszka and the Dragon have to grow and change in order to have any chance of defeating the Wood, creating magic stronger than the sum of their parts. 

“Try and match it,” he said absently, his fingers moving slightly, and by lurching steps we brought out illusions closer together until it was nearly impossible to tell them from one another, and then he said, “Ah,” suddenly, just as I began to glimpse his spell: almost exactly like that strange clockwork in the middle of his table, all shining moving parts. On an impulse I tried to align our workings: I envisioned his like the water-wheel of a mill, and mine the rushing stream driving it around. “What are you—” he began, and then abruptly we had only a single rose, and it began to grow.

Uprooted, p95

There’s also wars, court politics, and magical monsters. What more could you ask for?

TL;DR list:

  • Enemies to lovers.
  • Magic training montages.
  • Strong female friendship.
  • Evil sentient wood.
  • Fairytale-like atmosphere.

Have you read Uprooted? What did you think?

About the Author

AJ Lancaster lives in the windy coastal city of Wellington, New Zealand, with two ridiculous cats and many novelty mugs. She writes fantasy of the whimsical rather than grimdark variety.

Her Stariel Quartet is romantic gaslamp fantasy, set on a magical sentient estate in a world where the fae are only stories…until now.

Reach her at:

The first book in the Stariel Quartet is The Lord of Stariel:

The Lord of Stariel is dead. Long live the Lord of Stariel. Whoever that is.

Everyone knows who the magical estate will choose for its next ruler. Or do they?

Will it be the lord’s eldest son, who he despised? His favourite nephew, with the strongest magical land-sense? His scandalous daughter, who ran away from home years ago to study illusion?

Hetta knows it won’t be her, and she’s glad of it. Returning home for her father’s funeral, all Hetta has to do is survive the family drama and avoid entanglements with irritatingly attractive local men until the Choosing. Then she can leave.

But whoever Stariel chooses will have bigger problems than eccentric relatives to deal with.

Winged, beautifully deadly problems. 

For the first time in centuries, the fae are returning to the Mortal Realm, and only the Lord of Stariel can keep the estate safe. In theory.

15 Books to Read If You Love Women Mages

Here’s a list of books if you like strong women who wield magic. These books were selected by our administrators and community members. We hope you find your next favorite read!

1. Mystic and Rider by Sharon Shinn

Gillengaria seethes with unrest. In the south, hostility toward magic and its users has risen to a dangerous level.

“Wonderful world building with a series of great characters all of whom are layered and well worth spending hours of time with.”

Amazon Reviewer

2. Stroke the Flame by Elizabeth Briggs

Four sexy dragon shifters. A huntress with a dark past. A bond that could save the world.

“Elizabeth Briggs books are well written, filled with enchanting characters and intriguing plots and worlds. Definitely worth reading and recommended.”

Amazon Reviewer

3. Waters of Salt and Sin by Alisha Klapheke

A sailor with forbidden magic. A golden heir with a secret love. If you love fantasy with mages, battles, romance, and wild sea adventures, Alisha Klapheke’s Uncommon World series is perfect for you!

“Monsters, magic, multiple warring factions, mystery, romance, this books encompasses it all. I recommend it wholeheartedly!”

Amazon Reviewer

4. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

Katherine Arden’s bestselling debut novel spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice.

“A vibrant world, rich characters, more than a hint of the supernatural, and an endearing main character who doesn’t have all the answers but isn’t afraid to find them makes this a must-read.”

Amazon Reviewer

5. Blade & Rose by Miranda Honfleur

A kingdom in turmoil or the love of her life. Which one will she save? Dive into a medieval world sensual and dark, full of magic and greed, love and blades, where factions vie for influence and there are no easy choices…

“From the moment I began “Blade & Rose”, I realized I was being transported into a vibrant, marvelous world of magic, mystery and intrigue, told through the lens of the deeply relate-able, strong and engaging main character, Rielle, and I never looked back.”

Amazon Reviewer

6. Fallen Empire by K.N. Lee

In this sprawling epic fantasy novel with shifting wolf hybrids, dragons, and mermaids, Amalia and Kylan begin their quest to return their realm to its former glory. 

“I really enjoyed reading this book. It was unpredictable, kept me on my toes and I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.”

Amazon Reviewer

7. Lawless by Janeen Ippolito

A dragon felon, a forsaken prince, and a jaded airship captain walk into a city—and everything explodes. A steampunk fantasy adventure with a side of snark and quirky romance.

“What a fun adventure! This book had everything, action, strong female lead, romance, and a great sense of humor that literally made me laugh out loud.”

Amazon Reviewer

8. Shadows of Lela by Tessonja Odette

A forgotten princess. A deadly quest. A threat that hides in shadow… If you like swoon-worthy romance, adventurous quests, breathtaking magic, and surprising twists, then you’ll love Tessonja Odette’s epic fantasy tale.

“I LOVED this title. It had everything a lover of the fantasy genre could ask for; original mythical creatures, an all-new magical realm, solid writing, loveable characters, hate-able characters, and of course unicorns!”

Amazon Reviewer

9. Beneath the Canyons by Kyra Halland

The new gunslinger in town. The rancher’s daughter. They share the same dangerous secret – magic. If you love magic, adventure, and romance in a unique setting, come discover the wonders and mysteries of the Wildings today!

“If you like mystery with romance, danger and humor, this is the book for you. Think Western with wizards and aliens. I know, right, but it WORKS. Good read.”

Amazon Reviewer

10. A Thief & a Gentlewoman by Clare Sager

A city of intrigue. An irresistible con. A mysterious enemy. Immerse yourself in a gripping story of sword fights, sabrecats, and simmering romance.

“The world-building is intriguing and evocative, the romance warm and engaging, and the plot weaves together light and dark, becoming richer and deeper as the story progresses.”

Amazon Reviewer

11. The Avant Champion by C.B. Samet

All things considered, it was a good day to die… The Avant Champion: Rising by C.B. Samet is an intelligently written book that will turn fantasy readers into fans.

“Captivating. Draws you in slowly to capture you before you are aware of the snare laid to hold you to the end.”

Amazon Reviewer

12. Phoenix by Jessica Wayne

The first installment in an epic five-book fantasy series following one woman’s incredible adventure to another world, and the monsters she must face when she arrives. 

“This book was full of magic, violence, heartbreak, and hope. The characters were well written and felt real to me. The relationships were everything. I loved it.”

Amazon Reviewer

13. Frostbound Throne by May Sage

Vale was born in battle seven hundred years ago, and in all this time, he’s never encountered an enemy that poses a real challenge. Until now.

“I loved this book! If you enjoy fantasy, adventure and romance you will love it as much as I did. The writing style is sophisticated with out being pretentious.”

Amazon Reviewer

14. Mage Slave by R.K. Thorne

A warrior prince, an enslaved mage, a plot to draw the world to war. Magic, politics, love, and fate collide in the destinies of two people in this fantasy adventure from R. K. Thorne. For lovers of swords and sorcery with a side of romance.

“Brilliant! I can highly recommend this book. It’s a fun, easy read to get lost in.”

Amazon Reviewer

15. A Bond of Venom and Magic by Karen Tomlinson

Magic awakens. Darkness stirs. The Wraith Lord hunts. Hold onto your heart, dive in and be swept away in this spectacular epic adventure.

“What a great book to start a new fantasy series. A different take on the usual. It had it all – mystery, a quest, heartbroken heroine, a savior or worse enemy, and Fae and Monsters galore.”

Amazon Reviewer

Do you have any recent reads you’d add to the list? Comment below!

About the Author

Nicolette is a native San Diegan with a passion for the world of make-believe. From a young age, Nicolette was telling stories, whether it be writing plays for her friends to act out or a series of children’s books (which her mother still likes drag out to embarrass her with in front of company).  

She still lives in her imagination, but in reality she resides in San Diego with her husband, children, a couple cats, and an old dog.  She loves reading, attempting arts and crafts, and cooking.

Reach her at:

Nicolette also writes books about women who wield magic, including The Priestess and the Dragon:

A story of love, magic, and revenge that readers say they couldn’t put down. 

“It’s just a really interesting, unique read. I’m hard-pressed to think of another book that is quite like this one. A unique read that makes me want to read more.”

Amazon Reviewer

Rose Amberly: Fairy tales, Fantasy and legends hold up a mirror to real life

If like me you’ve balked at how un-feminist our classic fairy tales can be, then you understand how reluctant I was, last Christmas, when my niece asked me to read her Cinderella. 

For a start, three of the women in the story come in for very harsh descriptions, they’re either, ugly, stupid, or evil. As for Cinders, all the girl has to do is dress up nice to deserve the prince. Give us all a magic wand and we’ll all get a prince of our own. Oh, and just a minute, why is the prince such a prize anyway?

So, I did my best and tried to ‘edit’ the story, to focus more on how kind Cinders was, how despite her circumstance, she finds the time to help others. And then it hit me, the hidden story.

So let me tell you my take on Cinderella, the one that might feature on Oprah. It’s a story of success in the face of difficulties, a story of challenge, and opportunity.

A woman is widowed and left penniless with two daughters to raise. In a society where marriage is the principal career open to women, she needs a new husband, hopefully one with money. Unfortunately, no sooner does she find a new husband than he goes and dies too. He leaves her having to manage his disordered finances and debts.

The next snag comes in the shape of her step-daughter who is far too pretty. How is she supposed to find suiters for her own daughters when Cinders steals all the attention. So the twice widowed woman has to think like a business strategist; it’s a kill or be killed world out there. She looks at her daughters with honest eyes and sees that they are … average … they’re going to need all the help she can give them. Any spare money will have to go on beauty treatments, expensive clothes, and health farms. She needs to save money and get the competition out of the way. Laying off some staff and moving her step-daughter into the kitchen achieves both objectives. And when the invitation to the royal ball comes … well, what would anyone in her place do?

Don’t all shout at me at once. This is what the real world is like. As J.R.R. Tolkien says, evil is more often committed by ordinary people trying to survive, to compete. We’ve all had jobs where we’ve been treated unfairly, prizes we should have won that went to somebody with inside connections.

Now we come to Cinderella herself. As every life coach will tell you, don’t sit around moping and crying over the unfairness of life. So, she works hard, makes good friends and doesn’t give up hope. When a stranger claiming magic powers turns up with an offer of new clothes that only last till midnight, and she converts a bunch of rats and a pumpkin into a crystal carriage, what does Cinderella do? Does she give in to doubts and fear? She does what every business guru tells us to do, she grabs the opportunity with both hands. She finds her courage and takes the risk.

I wish I could say that I’ve always been this brave, that I haven’t sometimes chosen the safe and familiar option. I think on reflection, Cinderella would make a fantastic educational story for children of both sexes.

In, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche says that lies hold up a truthful mirror to the world. He cites both Gulliver’s Travels and ancient mythology. In Gulliver’s Travels, the small people fight wars over which side of the egg should be sliced first. The giants on the other hand, decline Gulliver’s offer of new weapons, they don’t believe in war.

The thing about fantasy and fable is that it allows us to comment on reality much more easily than other kinds of fiction. By elevating the question into architypes and imaginary characters, we can bring up questions of good vs evil and lay out our conclusions in a way that would seem crass in ordinary fiction.

Could you write in your next novel People don’t stay in the pigeon-holes we make for them, or that Children grow up and stop listening to their parents? Both are true but would sound cliché and flat. Pinocchiodoes it so much better. The wooden toy, once complete, becomes a boy. He has feelings, makes mistakes and wants to go out and explore the world. He tells lies and learns about consequences. Author Stella Night explains Pinocchio in terms of romantic relationships.

The other part of my story was actually about how a woman can’t change a man, only he can change himself. It was an idea that I had because I had watched my friend desperately try to save her marriage by constantly trying to change her husband, making him go to courses, yoga, and various things to make their relationship better. He didn’t respond well to any of them. In the end, she gave up. She actually just focused on her own ‘stuff’ in life. Then her husband sorted himself out on his own and returned to her becoming an amazing husband.

A similar allegory can be made with Goldilocks.

Who would you want to marry out of George Clooney, astronomer Brian Cox. Bill Gates, the football star in our local high school, or the handsome mechanic at the Mercedes dealership (let’s assume they are all single)?

My answer is, none! They’re too famous, too brainy, too rich, too young, too old, too sporty. Would I be happy in a mansion in Malibu, or a tax haven island for the super-rich? Can I live on a farm in the Prairies? No. I’d want someone just right for me. What’s my size, my personality, my lifestyle?

Once I started to think about it, I realized how our classic fairy tales can in fact say a lot about real life. When I worked as a relationship counselor, I lost track of how many people, especially women came to me with what I learned to call the Little Mermaid syndrome.

For those not familiar with the Hans Christian Andersen tragic version of The Little Mermaid: A girl falls in love with someone she doesn’t really know, she hangs her own dreams on him and believes him to be perfect for her. Then she gives up everything for him, her world, her family, her way of life, even her voice which was the one thing he liked about her. And for what? On land, he doesn’t even notice her.

Sound familiar?

The problem when women – and most of us were raised thinking that success in love would be our greatest aim – when women fall in love, they can sometimes build up the man into what they hope he could be. And in our effort to be with him we give up our independence, the very thing that made us attractive to him in the first place. We become needy and vulnerable. I’ve met a psychiatrist who quit her job and moved to Germany – which she didn’t speak – and sat at home bored waiting for her man to come home from work. A lawyer who sold her home to finance some guy’s dubious business venture and was left destitute.

I’m not saying fables and fairy tales were written as symbols of such life examples, rather that they are a blue-print of how humans behave or respond. It’s the reader, or in some cases the writer, who can find a new way of looking at these stories.

The award-winning writer Salman Rushdie in his novel, Shame, describes Beauty and the Beastas the story of an Indian arranged marriage. The girl, full of youthful romantic dreams, is horrified that her father has arranged a marriage with a local merchant. In her eyes he is a beast. But gradually, with patience and kindness, she begins to see how hard he works to provide a good life for them, she grows out of her youthful fantasies and learns to appreciate having a good home and the respect of the community. Her husband becomes a prince in her eyes.

In a recent conversation, romance author Lena Maye told me about her own latest work.

I focused on choices. We set out in a certain direction and sometimes we need to stop and think about what we really want — not what anyone else wants for us — and then change direction to follow ourselves. A theme repeated through the story was for Laurel to trust only herself in the labyrinth, and that she’s the only one who can find her way through. She has to block out everyone else — everything that she’s grown to rely on, all the noise around her, even Radek — and ask herself: what’s my path?

I think we all need to stop every so often and ask, what is my path, where am going and is it still where I need to be.

About the Author

When Rose Amberly was little, she pestered her mother for stories every night (and morning and afternoon.) In the end, her parents taught her to read so they could have some peace, but very soon she pestered them for books and more books. By the age of six, she started to make up stories and tell them to her parents pretending she’d read them in a book. Happily, now she’s all grown up and no longer has to pretend.
She travelled widely and tried different careers is education, therapy, art management and even briefly, bookkeeping but none of them were as much fun as making up stories.
Rose Amberly lives in London which she thinks is the most fabulous city in the world. She loves to set her stories in England to share with readers some of her favourite places.

Rose has a new release in the fairy tale collection After Dark:

Favourite fairy tales get a smart grown up and passionate remake.  Some stories follow the classic tale very closely, others move further and wider to offer a different ending. With a range of heat from sweet to very steamy they also range in romance sub-genres from contemporary to historical,  magical fantasy, and paranormal.

  • The Goblin King: Based on Labyrinth
  • Always a Swan : Based on The Ugly Duckling
  • Forever: Based on Snow White
  • The Girl with no Name: Based on The Little Mermaid
  • A Touch Too Hot: Based on Goldielocks
  • The Wood that Would: Based on Pinocchio 
  • Robin Hood Prince of Hackers: Based on Robin Hood
  • Sun Gold: Based on Rumpelstiltskin
  • Cock-a-Doodle-Do: Based on Mother Hulda

9 Favourite fairy tales get a grown-up make-over. Charming heroes, dangerous royals, Hollywood stars, farmers and mysterious neighbours take you on a sensuous magical journey from London to Washington DC, Tuscan hills to a rugged Canadian nature reserve. Nine stories full of passion, glitter and unexpected twists.
These charming old favourites are retold as passionate love stories (contemporary, historical, paranormal, and fantasy romances). Experience tears, heartbreak, and happy smiles as our heroines make life changing choices, overcome troubles, and find true love.
Equinox romance carefully selected nine exciting romance authors to create this collection with high quality writing and delicious escapism.  

13 Books to Read If You Love Gaslamp

Here’s a list of books if you like Gaslamp. These books were selected by our administrators and community members. We hope you find your next favorite read!

1. Nefertiti’s Heart by A.W. Exley

Cara Devon has always been impulsive, but tangling with a serial killer might cure that. Permanently.

“I love everything about the story. The title alone has gotten me ensnared. This book has blown me away.

Amazon Reviewer

2. The Watchmaker’s Daughter by C.J. Archer

With a cast of quirky characters, an intriguing mystery, and a dash of romance, THE WATCHMAKER’S DAUGHTER is the start of a thrilling new historical fantasy series.

“Mystery, secrets, deceit, action, magic, and a tiny bit of romance all rolled up into a well-written adventure story in London with Scotland yard and a hint of cowboy- what’s not to like?”

Amazon Reviewer

3. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

The Paper Magician is an extraordinary adventure both dark and whimsical that will delight readers of all ages.

“This imaginative and tightly crafted first novel opens the door to a vivid and awe-inspiring vision of Victorian era England.”

Amazon Reviewer

4. Ferromancer by Becca Andre

Solutions aren’t always black and white—sometimes they come in shades of iron gray.

“The characters were fleshed out and felt real, with just enough flaws to seem genuinely human. I’m a big fan of witty/well paced dialogue, and this definitely satisfied!”

Amazon Reviewer

5. A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale…This is a book to treasure.

“I gave this an easy 5/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who likes three-dimensional high fantasy read, full of a delightful set of characters and a terrifically intriguing world.”

Amazon Reviewer

6. The Earl of Brass by Kara Jorgensen

Eilian Sorrell is no stranger to cheating death, but when a dirigible accident costs him his arm, he fears his days of adventuring are over.

“This novel was interesting from beginning to end. The main characters were honorable, well educated and forward thinking.”

Amazon Reviewer

7. Prudence by Gail Carriger

From NYT bestselling author Gail Carriger comes a witty adventure about a young woman with rare supernatural abilities travels to India for a spot of tea and adventure and finds she’s bitten off more than she can chew.

“But her best talent, and the true reason that I will always read anything she ever writes, is her ability to craft the most hilarious witty banter! I literally laugh out loud when I read her books. They bring me so much joy and glee that I suffer major book hangovers whenever I finish one.”

Amazon Reviewer

8. Ghostlight by Rabia Gale

Trevelyan Shield would rather fight demons and exorcise haunts than deal with debutantes, alive or dead.

“I love Rabia Gale. Her worlds are unique and interesting and her characters are complex and flawed, like most of us.”

Amazon Reviewer

9. Clockwork Alchemist by Sara C Roethle

Liliana is trapped alone in the dark. Her father is dead, and London is very far away. If only she hadn’t been locked up in her room, reading a book she wasn’t allowed to read, she might have been able to stop her father’s killer.

“Really enjoyed this book. Lots of action and suspense, as well as a bigger picture yet to be revealed. Really enjoyed the characters and the humor they displayed.”

Amazon Reviewer

10. The Star of Anatolia by amaila Brinkley

Meet Miss Anastasia Galipp. Debutante, know-it-all, and the Home Office’s secret weapon.

“I loved all the details that the author provided of the agency and the culture of the series. I am looking forward to the next installment! Well done!”

Amazon Reviewer

11. The Golden Spider by Anne Renwick

London papers scream of dirigible attacks, kraken swarms, and lung-clogging, sulfurous fogs. But a rash of gypsy murders barely rates mention.

“First, I love that the heroine is smart and not afraid to hide her femininity, which is refreshing. Second, I really like the hero – wounded, brilliant, and of course handsome.”

Amazon Reviewer

12. Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster

Standing between London and a deadly plot against the throne, are the dangerous spies and femme fatales that form the Company of Rogues… that’s if they don’t kill each other first.

“It was suspenseful as well as sexy. I love the way that the love between the two characters starts off slow but then you see the intensity in which they come to trust and immerse themselves in each other.”

Amazon Reviewer

13. Lady of Devices by Shelley Adina

She wants to be an engineer, but her parents–and society–will never allow it. Until riots break out in steampunk London and she seizes her chance…

“I greatly enjoyed this series of stories. They are all fun, adventurous, and entertaining. I tried to keep my laughter quiet in deference to those who were around me, but I just couldn’t hold in the laughter at many points.”

Amazon Reviewer

Do you have any recent reads you’d add to the list? Comment below!

About the Author

Nicolette is a native San Diegan with a passion for the world of make-believe. From a young age, Nicolette was telling stories, whether it be writing plays for her friends to act out or a series of children’s books (which her mother still likes drag out to embarrass her with in front of company).  

She still lives in her imagination, but in reality she resides in San Diego with her husband, children, a couple cats, and an old dog.  She loves reading, attempting arts and crafts, and cooking.

Reach her at:

Nicolette also writes Gaslamp books, including Heart of Thorns:

A story of murder, magic, and manners that readers say kept them up at night.

“Secrets, lies, mystery, magic and the enchanting way Nicolette presents them to us – that heady concoction will keep you glued to her Heart of Thorns.”

Amazon Reviewer