Ah, fairytales. Those classic stories from childhood that we can revisit time and time again. Except now, we’re all grown up. Our tastes may have matured, but our love for these beautiful tales remains unchanged.
Let’s kick this list off with our highest heat selections! If Scorching is a little too hot for you, click here to jump down to our Steamy section.
SCORCHING (“4”) FAIRYTALE RETELLINGS
ENTREAT ME puts a fresh spin on the “Beauty and the Beast” tale, with the Beast trying to break the curse on his son. The widowed heroine, Louvaen, seeks to marry a handsome young lord. What she finds is a house trapped in time and a proud but disfigured man—but there’s more to him than meets the eye. With lush worldbuilding, this medieval fantasy standalone is rife with gothic influence, dark magic, intrigue, and all the steam for readers wanting a mature retelling of the classic story that stands the test of time.
Let’s tumble down the rabbit hole into Chase’s fresh and imaginative portal fantasy retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” with a reverse harem twist. After arriving in Wonderland, spirited Lyssa discovers she carries a hidden magic, which also grabs the attention of the deadly Queen of Hearts. In this lush but bizarre world in the throes of rebellion, three sexy men with secrets of their own may be the only ones Lyssa can trust. Can she heal their wounds as well as her own, and finally find the place she truly belongs?
Anyone game for a gender-bent “Robin Hood” retelling? How about a witty, witchy heroine skilled in illusion magic, a gruff but charming sheriff balancing political obligations, all set in a gaslamp fantasy world? “I can’t tell if you’re about to kiss me or arrest me…”—this line alone hints at the delicious tension, banter, and simmering passion between Robin and Noah. Prater’s fun and sexy OF HEISTS AND HEXES ticks all those boxes and more, combined with the classic cat-and-mouse pursuit of the elusive champion of the downtrodden, Robin Hood.
THE FIFTH KNIGHT is a gripping, steamy reverse harem take on the “Knights of the Round Table”, steeped in historical myth, magical curses, and betrayals. 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. Featuring a strong heroine (both body and mind) and knights who bear their own convictions and goals, building passion and attraction, and scorching hot scenes, this romantic fantasy series is perfect for fans of King Arthur.
What happened to Dorothy after she returned to Kansas in “The Wizard of Oz”? We find out in the dark fantasy romance TIN, where a struggling but strong of heart Dorothy takes a chance and returns to Oz, only to find it’s nothing like what she remembered. She encounters the fae Tin, a merciless assassin cursed with a stone heart, who has his own deadly agenda for the grown woman returned to him. Enemies-to-lovers fans will love the simmering hot passion growing between Dorothy and Tin as they navigate the treacherous, turmoiled world of Oz and determine where their loyalties truly lie.
How does a gender-swapped fantasy romance retelling of “The Little Mermaid” tickle your fins? OF SONGS AND SALTWATER features Fivrial, a male siren longing to be with the woman he saved from the sea. Meryn, the spirited human daughter of a duke, dreams of her own freedom from the constraints of her life. But is their love strong enough to transcend two different worlds? Dive into this enchanting, musical adventure full of magic, passion, and heart.
A twisted and dark fantasy romance with horror elements and tons of steam, MAD AS A HATTER features a litigator for the downtrodden Clara who is dragged to Wonderland by a man with rabbit ears. There, she discovers a poisoned world and a prophecy: to save the world, she must capture the Hatter’s heart. But winning over the Hatter means accepting the insanity and madness of this strange and violent world. Can Clara follow her destiny, or will the Red Queen’s grip on Wonderland strangle their world?
Fans of queer fantasy romance, you are in luck. THE 8TH RANK features both Robin Hood and The Bad Bad Wolf as the heroes. Mal (The Big Bad Wolf) searches for redemption after being wrongfully made a villain, and discovers his answers may lie in one man: the noble Robin Hood. Their budding friends-to-lovers relationship is put to the test as they race to stop the murder of a queen and strive for their own happily ever after.
Steamy (“3”) FAIRYTALE RETELLINGS
A traditional retelling of “The Goose Girl” with a dark twist. This novella features Nix, betrayed by her former waiting woman who took her place as princess, and Prince Cavan, who is drawn to Nix despite being betrothed to the false princess. Broken vows, anguish, and dark secrets stand between them—can they uncover the magic to restore things to right? With themes of betrayal and honor, love and lust, and a classic tale of good versus evil, there is lots to love in this fantasy romance set in Kennedy’s Twelve Kingdoms/Uncharted Realms universe.
This “Little Mermaid” retelling features Maisie, a selkie heroine on an assassination mission—deliver a deadly kiss to the man she illegally saved, or forfeit her life. To do so, she must infiltrate a “Bachelorette” bridal style competition and play the part to reach her target. But as she gets closer, complications of the heart arise. Set in a rich, Victorian-inspired world, this standalone slow-burn fantasy romance is perfect for fans of Bridgerton, fae, and enemies-to-lovers!
In this steamy “Snow White” fantasy romance retelling, Princess Eira is destined to rule her kingdom, until her father the king is poisoned to a sleep of waking death. Now she’s on the run from her stepmother, desperate to find the cure to save her father, all the while traveling with a man she should stay far away from. Lovers of forbidden romance, dragons, quest stories, and a “chosen one” heroine will find lots to enjoy in THE NIGHT’S CHOSEN.
This is not your typical Neverland. In this fantasy romance retelling of “Peter Pan”, we’re swept onto the high seas as a banished Tinkerbell gets tangled up with none other than the villainous Captain Hook. For Tinkerbell to return home, and Hook to remove a curse caused by pixie dust, they are forced to work together to retrieve an item for the mermaid queen. As their shared enemy closes in, these reluctant allies may find more than they bargained for—in each other. Fans of enemies-to-lovers romance, battling pirates, adventure, and sexy banter are in for a treat with SECOND STAR TO THE LEFT.
In this epic fantasy romance retelling of “Beauty and the Beast”, Princess Aless enters into an arranged marriage to Prince Veron, a duty-bound dark-elf, to bridge the fierce animosity between humans and dark elves. Aless and Veron not only come from different worlds, but are total opposites, leading to a slow-building, passionate romance as they come to understand each other. With rich worldbuilding, magic, masquerades, and plenty of political intrigue, there is lots to love in this beautiful retelling.
TO LOVE A MONSTER is a contemporary paranormal standalone (a Romantic Fantasy Shelf Next Gen genre) worthy of mention for mature fans of monster romances. Sophie is attacked by a frightening Monster in the woods. Together in a remote hunting lodge, the two begin to learn more about each other in this intense “Beauty and the Beast” retelling of love and redemption. Potential triggers are noted by the author.
DANCE: CINDERELLA RETOLD is a standalone fantasy romance blending together “Cinderella” with the ancient Chinese legend of “Mulan.” Set in a world based on the 12th century Southern Song Dynasty (which had the first chiming clock), the dutiful Mai signs up to fight for the Emperor, effectively escaping from her stepmother. But when she finds herself sharing a tent with the best swordsman in the empire, Prince Yi, everything changes as their initial friendship evolves into something much more. With the familiar elements of Cinderella spun in a new way against the backdrop of war in an Asian-inspired setting, readers will find lots to love in this unique mash-up.
“Beauty and the Beast” fans, welcome to the Barrens. Saintcrowe brings the fierce heroine Ziafiata up against the rough and ruthless beast Chevolere Vox in this dark romantic fantasy. When the Beast wins Ziafiata in a card game, everyone fears for her fate. Yet she’s not the innocent woman everyone believes her to be. If you’re into the Six of Crows universe and looking for a dark and steamy villain romance, check out THE BEAST OF THE BARRENS.