5 of My Favorite Paranormal Romance Novel Series

Heya,

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my favorites. If you follow my blog you’ll find that I read an array of genres. From Mystery to Thriller, from Romance to Yes…Erotica (and there is, indeed, a difference), from Science Fiction to Fantasy to Paranormal to NonFiction to Literary Fiction to sub genres and on and on. And so I thought about writing a collection of blogs chronicling my favorites from each genre.

Now, these aren’t my favorites FROM ALL TIME – as I’ve read too many books and enjoyed far too many of said books and I couldn’t rank these as the best honestly. These will be the ones most present in my mind. And currently sit on my shelves.

I hope you enjoy these lists! Don’t forget. Let me know if you’ve read any of these or have any others that you want to suggest!

Note: I’ve decided to keep this list at 5 for now as there are tons of books in each series. I also realize that I could talk all day and all night about which paranormal/fantasy romance books get me excited the most. I’ll just say…stay tuned for more lists of favorites from this genre!

There’s a link to each series!

1. Lynsay Sands : Argeneau Series 

Short Premise: This series is based on a gigantic family of Vampires. Yes, they can be born and don’t always have to be bitten to be a vampire. The series encompasses not only the immediate Argeneau family but extended family – and even goes into friends or coworkers. There is one common factor: Marguerite Argeneau. She seems to be a secret matchmaker and may be the cause of most, if not all, of the life mates discovered in the books. You’ll have to read to find out if she’s always correct. She does eventually have a book of her own, though it’s very  far into the series.

I began reading this series when I was in high school. With the first novel in the series, A Quick Bite, I was able to make my first friend. While sitting in class, I noticed she was reading the same book as me and, as young nerdy shy teens might do, I wrote her a letter. I remember mentioning how I thought we had the same tastes in books, due to the rest of the novels I’d seen her read those first months, and how I would like for us to be friends. Over the years, I’ve read the rest of the books in the series. Once I was able to make (and save) money on my own, I began to buy them and have continued to do so as an adult.

If you are looking for a series that is all about vampires, violence (in the form of killing bad guys and rogue vampires), life mates, sex-sex-sex and more sex, and a continuous collection of characters that can elongate the series on and on and on — this is the one for you. Admittedly, there are a few books that are lacking in plot, character, and identity, in comparison to the other novels in this series, but I love them anyway.

I must add, the author did begin a spin off series called “Rogue Hunters” but she seems to be taking a break from this vampire universe to write more historical romance (some of which I am also very fond of, but that’s for another list).

I will also say, I strongly, STRONGLY, suggest reading these books in order. Of course, they attempt to standalone but you will ruin a lot of the books for yourself if you do not. They are VERY intertwined, with characters meeting others, marrying others, potentially dying with others, going rogue, not going rogue, and even going on vacation with each other. So…Start with A Quick Bite.

I own 17 of the books in this series. Here are a few titles:

 

2. Gena Showalter : The Lords of the Underworld

Short Premise: Imagine warriors open Pandora’s box and from it come dangerous demons that inhabit their bodies. Each demon is a different deadly sin (or pulls from the bad in all of us): Promiscuity, Greed, Dishonesty, Death, Pain, Doubt, Secrets, and the list goes on. Each warrior must find his mate or risk losing himself to his demon forever.

I came up with that on my own and it sounds incredibly cheesy but it’s more intriguing than I play at here. I’ve been thinking of re-reading this series because the author has come out with new installments that I haven’t read and I’d like to start over. I really love how each demon the author writes is very well thought out. For example, the keeper of lies must only tell the truth. It is physically painful for him to lie. He can also sense the truth in others. And on and on with the rest. I also enjoy the fact that the heroines in these novels aren’t all damsels waiting to be saved. They aren’t all weak and innocent and sad and looking for their hero.

I picked up the first of these books on a whim and suddenly fell in love. This was years ago (many, many years ago)  and the further I venture into the genre the deeper my memory of all the different plots hide. It’s funny because I forget tons of things (like my own birthday and if I did laundry) but rarely do I forget what a book was about – if I really liked it. I would suggest this series because it actually has an interesting concept and the writing felt fresh.

I own at least 6 of the books in this series! Here are some covers:

lords of underworld

3. Cheryl Brooks : The Cat Star Chronicles

Short Premise: The men from the Zetithian species are handsome with especially keen cat-like features (and reflexes), protective instincts, and incredibly intense sex drives (and orgasmic abilities) that are spread across the universe. Their home planet was destroyed by vengeful men who were intimidated by their sexual prowess and they, sadly, have either become enslaved or were left to believe their species was eradicated. On their quest to find other Zetithians, and new homes, they find women whose smell makes them (and their sexual nature) come alive again.

I actually began re-reading the novels in this series earlier in the year. They are hot. AND I MEAN HOOOOT. The sex is steamy and erotic and turns you on. This is a warning because the sex is very graphic, I don’t want to hide that from you at all. If you are looking for something to make your ears red – and to hide from the girls at Bookclub – this is it.

The good thing about these books, though, is that they actually have plot, setting, and some sort of meaning to them. Although it may seem like it, they are not all about sex. I also love the fact that these books don’t take place on Earth. I’m so sick of the idea that every other species is ‘lesser’ than humans and they ‘need’ Earth. There are so many different planets – and life forms – that the author introduces you to that are way more interesting. The heroines in these novels are not always full human. –I think that a rare Zetithian female is the heroine for one of the newer novels but I haven’t read it yet.

If you are also looking for a series that takes you into the sky, has elements of science fiction, these are for you.

I own 5 books in this series. Here are some covers:

catstarbundle

4. Vicki Lewis Thompson :Wild About You

Short Premise: There seems to be a consistent theme across these books. The person you fall in love with may be the person you least expect. Most of the stories follow characters of different species, races, backgrounds, or simply different campgrounds (as in the last one) that fall in love. It’s light, honest, sweet but sensual, and has a fresh air quality to it.

Alright, so…YES, this series is more TAME than any of the others on this list. It’s not because I want to give you a reprieve. I don’t. It’s because I was shopping for a new story, something to end my Reader’s Block (ugh) and I was reading the synopsis for the first book (A Werewolf in Manhattan) and I just had to get it. Luckily, I was at a sale and they had the first four books.

I really enjoyed the premise for these books, the catchy-ness of their titles, and how they are mostly lighthearted. There is still sex, kissing, a burning need for someone who understands YOU and loves YOU despite the species you are but there is less of that and more of ‘falling in love’. Also, it still follows the guidelines of a paranormal romance novel but it isn’t as murderous as the rest of the books on this list are.

NOTE: If you are looking up the novels on the author’s website I’m going to apologize right now. In my research for this blog post, I’ve realized the covers have changed. They are no longer the adorable, colorful, cute covers you see below – the ones I have in my own library. They have moved into Paranormal Romancelandia – a place I’ve started to hate – where all the covers look the same and all the men on said covers look the same and everything is dark, sexy, and broody without any distinction between them. The VERY reason why I picked up the first book in this series is because it DIDN’T fit into that category. And yes, I judged a book by it’s cover. That is the first line of defense, after all. So, I’m sorry. Hopefully you will be as lucky as me with the colorful covers – should you decide to buy the physical books. I still recommend you read them. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, as I was.

—In doing more research, I’ve discovered that the newer books on Amazon are ONLY available with the new covers. Although, I will read them, I doubt I’ll be buying the inconsistent covers for my collection.

wildaboutyou

5. Jacquelyn Frank : The Night Walkers, The Shadowdwellers and The World of the Night Walkers

Short Premise: Outside of the ‘normal’ world there is the shadow world where demons, and other creatures, live. In the shadows is the demons are also known as protectors. They cannot partake in the sins of humans (sex, gambling, desire, etc). There are dire consequences to being with a human and most of these dwellers have sworn against it. lest they give into the Madness humanity brings. Though they all break this oath eventually.

I started this series when I was a young preteen. I was 14 when this book came out and I got it from the library, snuck it in the bushes by my house (so that my religious mother couldn’t see), and brought it in later when everyone was preoccupied. It was one of many romance books that I’d read by moonlight, devouring it in hopes I’d one day be a paranormal romance writer myself.

I just learned that there is a spin-off series from the Nightwalkers called The World of the Nightwalkers, in writing this blog, and it has 5 more books (t). I’m pretty sure I’ve read a book or two from these but I can’t remember right now so I can’t speak to the quality of them but I’m tempted, like with the others, to re-read this series so I can read those!

About The Subseries:
Each of the Night Walker books are titled with a name: Noah, Jacob, Gideon, etc.

Each of the Shadow Dweller books are titled with a word: Rapture, Ecstacy, Pleasure, etc.

Each of The World of the Nightwalkers books have titles with F words: Forbidden, Forever, Forged

NOTE: You WILL need to read NW first, then SD, THEN TWNW as characters, names, deaths are mentioned as the books go on. 

I own 7 books in these series’: Here are covers from each sub-series:

 

 

Good Readdance,
Jade

P.S. I have so many more that I love and want to share with you. I have a few that I read on a whim, forgot to write down (I JUST started using Goodreads to track my Read list) and when I rediscover them I will make a new list! I’m excited about that as well. I hope you enjoyed!

Short Fiction: Ferrywoman of Souls

The Ferrywoman of Souls

 

Mid-afternoon, with a soft breeze and a light blue sky, is the perfect time to die. The soul seeps from the pores in a melodic lilt and rises toward the heavens and hovers just above its host. The body, having lost its connection with the physical world, loses its luster. Skin darkening, temperature falling, limbs grow hard over the passage of time. And the world goes on. The trees continue to breathe, branches swaying and leaves rustling. It’s a glorious moment, one you’d love to stay in forever, if you could.

Then I come and fuck things up. Fifteen feet away I stand on the edge of the curb, the balls of my feet balancing on the cement, my heels in the air. I look down and hesitate. The grass is bright green, well taken care of. I know what I’ll see the second I move and I close my eyes. I take a deep breath in and blow it out slowly. I step forward and an audible crunch comes from beneath my feet. I look down at the grass. It’s black, shriveled and hardened into the shape of my foot.

Almost all plants die when I touch them. It’s my thing. It’s the courtesy of being death’s best friend, employee, in my case, bringing the stink of the underworld with you. It trailing behind you like a poor sick puppy. It sounds so dramatic and, I guess, in a way it is. Bringer of death. Ferrywoman of souls. The strength of thousands of flesh eating demons. Alright, that last part is too much. For the most part, it’s probably just me. I’m a Reaper; a Grimm Reaper. And that is why I fill my apartment with succulents. Those fuckers are hard to kill. Cactus, Fantactus.

I step again and death to the ground spreads beneath me. Taking another deep breath, I lift my head and continue forward. The house is bright and happy. Eggshell white, pastel pink on the shutters, a pastel yellow front door with a large ruby red knocker, window flower beds with a dozen flowers and small perfectly trimmed hedges that surround the property. I almost feel bad for what I need to do but I don’t. It’s decreed. It’s for the best. It’s destiny and you just can’t change destiny. You can’t change your appointment.

When it’s your appointment time I feel a burn in my skin. It hums and vibrates until I pay heed. To make matters worse, I’ll be in the middle of showering, to get the stink of decay from beneath the epidermis, and then a gold glow will rise from my flesh. I’ll roll my eyes, because death never comes at the right time, then I swipe a hand down my forearm, where a built in map lays. It’s not like your normal map. It doesn’t show streets or lines or hills or lakes. It looks like a tree and shows energy, spirits, souls due to fade. It shows that nearby someone’s appointment is any day now. Another life passing by, going from here to the next place, never to be lived again. Then here I come, from Wherever, ready to take your hand in mine. Ready to reap.

I follow the hedges around to the back of the house, leaving a trail of dead grass behind me. Luckily, if I leave the area quick enough the grass will return to its former glory in no time. The body of an older woman, late fifties and grey hair, lay in the midst of a beautiful garden. I stood there for a moment to breathe in the beauty before I destroyed it. Tall, manicured, rose bushes lined the walk, don’t get too close to either side or you’ll get pricked. Grey stones lined the path with stubborn grass snaking between like puzzle lines.

A stone white love seat is mirrored on the first path. A vine overtakes one, not in the unkempt way, but intentionally. Curling up, up, up and over the seat and onto the arms and disappearing over the back to the hedges behind. The green looks soft, like spongy moss and I ache to sit on it. I don’t because I know it’ll crunch beneath my weight and I’d leave my deathly shadow behind. On the second path, a crowd of sunflowers gather beside stalks of tulips, making a painting of vertical and horizontal colors with green stretching between. Above the trees wave and I can’t tell if they are planted or natural, the garden was planted around them. It’s loud with nature and I take a deep breath in to immerse myself in the scent of life and listen. Bees buzzed and everything did what everything does.

I stepped gracefully onto the gravel path, narrowly missing a small collection of poinsettias, and tiptoed to the body. She looked almost peaceful. Her eyes gazing up at the clouds, mouth smiling on the left and slightly drooping on the right. One hand was twisted in a knarl of swollen knuckles. Beneath a frilly gardener’s smock she wore a pair of dark wash jeans, to guard from grassy stains, and a billowy yellow top. It flutters in the wind, movement against still.

Flipping my wrist to remove the long heavy cloak, I reached out with virgin hands. My fingers tingle from the tips to my inner wrist. The golden tree map begins to fade into my skin with my proximity to the awaiting soul. I lightly touched a palm to her ankle and close my eyes. Drinking in the left over power from her life source, I drew her soul to me before her last breaths left her lips. A glow follows the trail of my hand, taking the rest of the warmth with it. Her skin pales against the vibrant grass. For it’s the soul that holds all life and not the body.

Sometimes my job is easy, the souls rise to the surface on their own. Other times they linger, or get stuck, and I have to do the dirty work. She resisted, a positive, hopeful energy flowed through her bones, clinging onto the last shred of life. I gathered more power into my body and making a lasso in my mind, I gently tugged on the soul. The last hooks release and it withdrew from the body. There she was, standing before me, facing the garden she’s spent so long cultivating. It’s a beautiful backdrop for her ghostly figure.

“So that’s how I go?” she asked. Her body shimmered as the wind picked up. “A heart attack?” I rise and cover myself, virgin skin still pure. She was already dead, I could do no more damage, but I was so used to protecting others from my curse that it was second nature.

“I’m afraid so,” I say. I step toward her and look around. “Your garden is beautiful.”

“Yes,” she replies confidently. “You’re killing it.” She motioned down to my feet where not only was I trampling flowers but they were turning black and shriveling in rapid succession. It was an ode to the life I once led, to the life she once led, and I took the message as it came and stepped back quickly. My heels hover in the air as I tiptoe on to the small stone triangles of the walk.

“I’m sorry, it’s the…”

“The Reaper thing?” she finished for me. “Everything becomes so clear when you’re dead. I knew you would be there, you know. I could feel you calling me. I actually think I saw you last week when I was at the market. I was buying tomatoes and in my peripheral I could see this darkness. It hung around until I closed my eyes but when I opened them again it was still there.” She paused and looked at me. “At first, I thought it was just my eyesight going bad. That happens when you’re old. Things begin to fade away, things you once took for granted. Then I knew it was you. I knew you would come for me.”

I nod and she sighs. She did see me last week. I’m often drawn to those who are so close to death. My tree hummed but it didn’t glow, when I was near her, and it didn’t pulse with her location and date. Not her appointment yet. Sometimes they don’t always die, near death experiences do actually happen. That’s destiny as well. They still feel me though, see me. In her case, no such luck.

“I told my daughter about you, you know. She said you were just a figment of my imagination.” I don’t speak, this is common. They want to chat before they go. They want to know why; how, where, and what can they tell their family they’ve left behind. I placate them, there’s nothing I can say or do to make any of this better and I don’t try. I just listen.

We stand in silence and take in the garden. I wait for her to speak but she is waiting for me and so still we stand. A bird swoops down to the feeder and peck, peck, pecks until it’s found the prize and then off it goes, back into the sky and freedom.

“What did you say back?” I finally speak and reach out to her from beneath my cloak, with my gloved hand. She knows what to do. She puts her hand in mine, lets a finger brush over the thick leather, and lets me pull her toward the gravel path. I can feel her soul brushing against mine, know that this is how it goes. I take a piece of them and every time they take a piece of me.

“I told her I loved her. That I would always be with her. She cried. She asked me for his name. Her name. Whoever the doctor is that gave me the bad news. But there was no doctor, no paper to say this was coming, no tests with positive results. Just my intuition and a dark shadow on the corner of my mind at the market. The market. I loved that place, the comings and goings. The different cultures with their different spices. I only got into trying new things a year ago. Isn’t that funny?” she pauses and sighs and I think she’s going to make us still again so I don’t reply.

“Wait, you were at the market! Can other people see you?” She stops and I know what she’s doing. She’s stalling, I don’t mind. I’m also already dead, I have all the time in the world.

“Yes, but not when I’m doing this. When I’m doing this I’m virtually invisible to the living world. Can’t have others seeing the souls being ferried. They’d freak. Humans are not so…”

“Humans? Are you not human? You look human to me. Do you do this often?” her voice rose as she continued. I squeezed her hand, comforting.

“Listen, Anne. Can I call you Anne? I know you want to stay. You have your daughter and your garden and your market and so much to live for but I’m sorry. It’s come to an end. Your husband is waiting for you, should you want to go to him, some people don’t and hey, that’s neither here nor there, you know what I mean.” I rambled as I tugged on her hand again and led her to the curb where I’d appeared when I was pulled to the place.

“I know. I’m sorry. You’re right. My Gus is waiting for me, should he want to see me, of course.” I nod and chuckle along with her and with my mind’s eye – open the portal.

There’s no floating up to heaven when they actually go. No movie moment where the soul is a Casper-ish ghost that floats up, up, and up and touches the clouds and there’s a bright light that abducts them like aliens. And beautiful music fills the air and a choir of cherubs sings home going hymns. We open a portal to the afterlife and in they go. To the Inbetween, the place where they wait until their afterlife fate is decided. I think. I was there once but that is a story for another time.

The place they go on the other side of the portal is different than the Darkness. It feels lighter, more like a relaxing waiting room, and not a scary place where all things are dead and unferried souls walk around with their heads drooped. We’d reap those souls, if we could figure out how to keep our bodies alive in there. Nothing breathes, in the Darkness. Nothing grows. Nothing, and I mean nothing, emits light. The souls brush past you like cobwebs, and should you have enough energy to snag a soul and pull them through to the real world, you’re more likely to come out in a place you don’t want to. Like a jail cell, the middle of the ocean, or on the wrong end of a knife.

Only the Yanaris are bold enough to Reap souls from the Darkness. The Yanaris are reapers like me and unlike me. They have been doing this so long they’ve lost all sense of their souls. Their humanity. They reap without question and live without life. For them, there is no down time between appointments. They don’t need it, they reap unconsciously and are empty. So many reaped souls chipping away that there was nothing left of themselves to give. I hope I never become one of the Yanaris although I knew each of them had, one time or another, said the same thing. It is our destiny. Though that is also another story for another time.

“I’ll see you, Anne. May your soul rest in peace.” She smirks at my quip and I smirk back.

She turns to me and sighs again. I love her sighs. They are deep and final. They punctuate her life and I can tell she had been a thinking woman. She steps backward through the portal. I don’t try to look into it, seeing what I could see. In the beginning, when I was new to this, I’d crowd in behind them, trying to get a glimpse of hope and peace. Now I know it doesn’t belong to me and I stay in my place. She fades.

As it closes, I watch her eyes tear and brighten. That could be an indicator that maybe Gus is there with open arms. Anne will walk into them and they will stand there, souls reunited, hearts touching. She will lay her head on his shoulder as she always did way back when and he will close his arms around the soft curves of her back. They will sway back and forth, back and forth, like the eddies of time and nothing else will come between them. Not that I know. Once they go to the other side, they don’t come back and I don’t join them there. I never will. I’ve done my job and now I must move on.

Book Review: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

As the carrier of a rare gene, Sirantha Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace-a talent which makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. Then a crash landing kills everyone on board, leaving Jax in a jail cell with no memory of the crash. But her fun’s not over. A group of rogue fighters frees her…for a price: her help in overthrowing the established order.

This is it!

This is the book I was talking about the other day. I’m still not exactly sure if this book is more fantasy than romance but I don’t care. I loved it. I blindly picked up the first three books in this series and I’m glad I went in unbiased. It was definitely a surprise.

Sirantha Jax is an amazing main character. She has dimension, fight and power. I love the way Aguirre really made you care about her, fear for her safety but also want to slap her. There are a few times in the book where I was just like girl, pull it together! I was rooting for her, for the crew and I need that in a book. I need to WANT the character to win, even if it also means losing. I need to be behind them and I was for her the entire ride.

 

Grimspace

 

I will say, I spent a healthy amount of time crying at the end. The book takes you on a wild ride from the very first chapter. On the edge of my seat. Wanting to know what’s next. Hoping she won’t fade into nothingness.

I would definitely recommend this book. That is definitely saying something as it’s from first person point of view and trust me…that is NOT my favorite pov. It intrigued me and the writing held a sense of urgency that made you want to read for hours. Which, of course, I did. If you are looking for something heavy on space, heavy on plot, heavy on inner turmoil, this is the book for you. Don’t worry about the romance, it is more mental than physical and makes the subplot ever so sweeter.

If you’ve read this book, liked it, disliked it, hated it or haven’t read it (or listened to it) yet but plan to…let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you have any book suggestions or any reviews you’d like to see here, let me know!

Good Readance,

Jade

 

 

Link To Book