My quest to immerse myself in romance novels continues! Last time, I focused on historical/Regency romances. Today, I bring you paranormal romance: vampires, werewolves, gods, and so much more!
I’ve got to be honest, I’ve had a hard time finding paranormal romances I could get into. It’s not that I’m not interested in this stuff – I am a diehard Buffy fan, after all, and I did enjoy the whole Twilight saga, almost despite myself (100% team Jacob, by the way). The thing I have learned about paranormal romance is that it very often takes place in large, complicated worlds that make it hard to just step into as a casual reader. I don’t want to get invested in a whole series, because that’s just not what I’m looking for in romance – I want worlds that I can dip into when I feel like it, without having to remember too much politicking.
So, Nalini Singh, who was on the top of my list going in, fell off it pretty quickly – I tried to hop into the middle of her Psy-Changeling series, at Tangle of Need, and I found myself overwhelmed by the intro text listing major characters and various factions of supernatural beings, and didn’t even get around to reading her actual writing. Oops!
Next up was Eve Silver‘s Sins of the Heart. I found a lot to like in this one, actually! The central romance features the soul-reaping demigod son of the Egyptian god Sutekh, and a very powerful ‘Otherkin’ woman of colour named Roxy Tam. It’s a pretty great hook, and the competing strengths of the two characters made for a fun dynamic. It’s also a very dark (and occasionally violent!) read, and ultimately it wasn’t for me.
I went through a slew of did-not-finishes and barely-even-got-starteds before I hit on anything that really grabbed me, but eventually I found myself a brand new author crush when I cracked open a book from Molly Harper:
In The Single Undead Moms Club, widowed suburban mom Libby is diagnosed with a terminal illness, and decides to become a vampire in order to continue raising her young son. While she’s learning the ropes of vampirism (with the help of a mentor the local chapter of the Vampire Council), and dealing with anti-vampire bigotry from the other mom’s at her son’s school, Libby also finds herself the focal point of a love triangle, and has to choose between the visceral attraction she feels for her vampire sire, and the somewhat less supernatural connection she is forming with a human single dad.
This book was honestly just super charming. Harper is a genuinely funny writer, and is not at all afraid to poke fun at the silliness of the world she’s built in the Half-Moon Hollow series. I also seriously enjoyed Libby’s relationship with the human Wade; Harper does a good job of capitalizing the interesting dynamic created by the fact that Libby is much, much more powerful than he is. I will definitely be reading much more of her stuff – lucky for Jacob-loving me she doesn’t only write about vampires – she’s also got a “Naked werewolf” series!