Tag Archives: Fantasy Romance

[Adult] High Fantasy Romances: A Quest (+ Books I’ve Read in this Genre)

Hi friends! As you know, I’ve been on a big kick for adult high fantasy romances! I’m pretty sure I’ve explained “high fantasy” in previous posts … not sure about the other so … By adult I don’t mean “adult situations” I mean “the main characters are considered to have reached the age of majority in their world/culture.” (Although you know, adult situations are good too ūüėõ ) It seems this is still a genre dominated by YA but … you know. Also, one of my “quirks” is I hold off on reading a series until it’s finished. (Mostly because I’ll blow through an entire series in just a few days.) I do sometimes make an exception but … it’s rare. (And I also need to be assured each book can stand sufficiently alone/doesn’t end on a massive cliffhanger.)

Anyway, here’s my updated list! I would like to note… I’ve branched into YA. I mean – see above, right? I thought about trying to find some symbol to denote YA titles but … that seems too daunting. I periodically make these posts because I ask for recommendations on social media a lot, and a lot of people are always interested, so hopefully this helps us¬†all out. ūüėÄ

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson book cover

Here’s what I’ve read: Continue reading

Debut Author Ainsley Wynter on Writing Her First Scene

Hi friends! I met Ainsley Wynter in person at RWA this summer (it was her birthday!!!) and I’m thrilled to have her as a guest today! I hope you all give her a warm welcome – and congratulate her on her first book, Kissed at Midnight!

Kissed at Midnight by Ainsley Wynter Book CoverPrincess Sidony of L’Ortagia serves as the queen’s hostess, leaving affairs of state to her sister Zara. During a masquerade ball, Sidony kisses a handsome stranger only to discover he’s Prince Adrian of Embury, a man with a fearsome reputation and the emissary sent to arrange her sister’s marriage. Worried her actions will damage the budding alliance, she convinces Adrian to forget the incident…even if she cannot.

Adrian roots out traitors in his uncle’s kingdom of Embury using his magical abilities. When he’s sent to arrange a wedding for his cousin, a kiss in the moonlight gives him a taste of what he’s been missing. Sidony is everything his life is not: laughter, warmth, and passion. But the king maintains an unbreakable hold over him, hiding his family in exchange for Adrian’s loyalty to the crown.

After Zara disappears on the eve of the royal wedding, Adrian’s orders are to stay and maintain the alliance with L’Ortagia. But Sidony’s effect on his powers and his heart becomes too strong to deny. When he has a chance to rescue his family and throw off his royal ties, will he take it, knowing he’ll have to leave Sidony? Or will the dark prince abandon his past to be with the one woman who brought his cold heart to life?

Kissed at Midnight: The First Scene I Wrote

Sidony knocked on Adrian’s door before she lost her nerve. She twirled one of her rings. She jumped at a rumbling in the hallway, but it was only one of the castle’s cats pausing on the rug to wash its face. Striving for a similar nonchalance, Sidony softly recited lines from the current play she was reading before knocking again. Still nothing. Surely at this late hour he was in his suite.

This is in chapter seventeen, but it was the first paragraph I wrote of Kissed at Midnight. Continue reading

Duology Review: Reign of Shadows & Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan

Reign of Shadows & Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan
Young adult high fantasy romance released by HarperCollins on February 9, 2016 and February 7, 2017

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan Book CoverDestiny and darkness collide in this romantic, sweeping new fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan.

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

And

Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan Book CoverLuna and Fowler have escaped the kingdom of Relhok, but they haven’t escaped the darkness. When a battle against the dark dwellers mortally injures Fowler, Luna is faced with a choice: put their fate in the hands of mysterious strangers or risk losing Fowler forever.

Desperate to keep the one bright part of her life alive, Luna accepts the help of soldiers from a nearby kingdom. Lagonia‚Äôs castle offers reprieve from the dangerous outside world‚ÄĒuntil the King discovers both Fowler and Luna‚Äôs true ties to Relhok and their influence over the throne.

Now pawns in each kingdom’s political game, Luna and Fowler are more determined than ever to escape and build the life they’ve been dreaming of. But their own pasts have a tight hold on their hearts and their destinies. Luna must embrace the darkness and fire within her before she loses not only Fowler but the power she was destined to inherit.

The world is a fucking garbage fire, and it’s only gotten worse … which is why I’ve mostly been reading adult high fantasy romances. In fact it’s something I started more than a year ago, and the situation has only gotten more dire (in every sense). There is a¬†lot¬†more YA high fantasy romance than adult, and I think that’s a shame. In my opinion adult high fantasy romance is a huge untapped market I wish more authors would jump into. Anyway – I’ll read YA high fantasy romance when the characters are close to adult or act as if they are adults in their world. I’d say a 17 year old and a 19 year old traveling across a continent alone facing incredible danger counts. (Especially when they’re considered marriageable age and many others in that world their age already have children, etc.) I also figured, knowing Sophie Jordan wrote (writes?) romance, there would be¬†something¬†in there for me. And I was right.

I have a tendency to glom fantasy romance series – even more than other romance subgenres, so as soon as I finish one book I jump into the second, and oftentimes forgot where one ends and the other starts. (Which I don’t consider a¬†real¬†problem since so many are series …) I read both books in one day. I found the world building really interesting, and actually hope there will be some sort of novella, or vignette offering a follow up because¬†I so want to know what else¬†happens.
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Team ALBTALBS TBR Challenge Review: Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal

Shades of Milk and Honey (Glamourist Histories #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal
Historical romance with magical elements released by Tor on August 3, 2010

Shades of Milk and Honey CoverThe fantasy novel you’ve always wished Jane Austen had written
Shades of Milk and Honey is exactly what we could expect from Jane Austen if she had been a fantasy writer: Pride and Prejudice meets Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. It is an intimate portrait of a woman, Jane, and her quest for love in a world where the manipulation of glamour is considered an essential skill for a lady of quality.

Jane and her sister Melody vie for the attentions of eligible men, and while Jane’s skill with glamour is remarkable, it is her sister who is fair of face. When Jane realizes that one of Melody’s suitors is set on taking advantage of her sister for the sake of her dowry, she pushes her skills to the limit of what her body can withstand in order to set things right-and, in the process, accidentally wanders into a love story of her own.

I read this book for the TBR Challenge Sugar or Spice. This book falls solidly in the Sugar category. There are no sexy times at all, not even ardent embraces or stolen kisses until the end! This is a Regency historical romance with magical elements. I’ll get more into the magic later. Except for the magic it’s solidly in the Regency romance category in all other elements of the story. This was an ok read for me made better by learning the hero and heroine are the main characters of the rest of the books in the series. More on that below. Also my first Mary Robinette Kowal read. I’ve had this book on my Goodreads to-read list for YEARS (almost 5 to be precise) so very nice to read it for this challenge and get started on the Glamourist Histories series. Continue reading

Insanely Belated Team ALBTALBTS TBR Challenge Review: The Sea King by C. L. Wilson

The Sea King (Weathermages of Mystral Book 2) by C. L. Wilson
Fantasy romance published by HarperCollins on October 31, 2017

He wasn’t supposed to choose her…

Seafaring prince Dilys Merimydion has been invited to court the three magical princesses of Summerlea. To eradicate the pirates threatening Calberna and to secure the power of the Sea Throne, Dilys vows to return home with a fierce warrior-queen as his bride. But politics has nothing to do with unexpected temptation.

She didn’t dare wed him…

A weathermage like her sisters, Gabriella Coruscate‚Äôs gentleness exemplifies the qualities of her season name, Summer. Yet her quiet poise conceals dangerous powers she cannot begin to wield. Better to live without excitement, she reasons, than risk her heart and lose control‚ÄĒuntil an irresistible Sealord jolts her awake with a thunderclap of raw desire.

Until evil threatens everything they hold dear…

When pirates kidnap Summer and her sisters, Dilys begins a desperate quest to save the woman he loves. Only by combining his command of the seas with the unleashed fury of Summer’s formidable gifts can they defeat their brutal enemies and claim the most priceless victory of all: true love.

I’ve been on what was an epic quest of reading adult high fantasy romances. It started over the summer, and it’s still going on low-key, but over the summer I read something like 100. And let me tell you, it wasn’t an easy task because there simply aren’t that many. (As compared to other romance sub-genres.)¬† Authors – take note: there is a ravenous readership just¬†dying for high fantasy adult romances!¬†¬†There are some such books though, and¬†C. L. Wilson’s¬†Weathermage Series perfectly fits the bill.

First though, I have a confession to make. I read this book back in September. I received an ARC even earlier but … that’s another story. I have this¬†thing where¬†especially with high fantasy romances, I want to read the¬†entire series¬†in one go. Clearly, the Weathermage series is not yet complete. However, I made an exception for this series, and am pleased to be able to inform you that each book can stand alone. Also that you should read these books,¬†especially if you’re a fan of (high) fantasy romances. Continue reading

Give Me Your Book Recommendations Please! Talking Adult High Fantasy Romances

Impossible ThingsHi friends! So I’m always looking for book recommendations, and this summer I’ve been on a¬†massive adult high fantasy romance kick.

Do you¬†know how¬†difficult it is to find books in this particular subgenre?!!? [Very. Very, very very very¬†very difficult.] There are a lot of YA fantasy stories… some are romance … but most “adult” high fantasy romances are more romantic elements than romances.

What is high fantasy? I took that definition from wikipedia.

High fantasy¬†is a¬†subgenre¬†of¬†fantasy, defined either by its¬†setting¬†or by the epic stature of its¬†characters,¬†themes, and¬†plot. High fantasy is defined as fantasy set in an alternative, fictional (“secondary”) world, rather than “the real”, or “primary” world. The secondary world is usually internally consistent, but its rules differ from those of the primary world.

But yes – not set in the real world. It’s different from low fantasy, pararnormal, or magical elements. Although a lot of fantasy stories often have magical elements.

An example of high fantasy would be the A Song of Ice and Fire series, possibly better known as the Game of Thrones TV series. However, while it’s an adult high fantasy, it isn’t a romance.

I’ve read Grace Draven, Jeffe Kennedy, Elizabeth Hunter, Amanda Bouchet, C.L. Wilson, Elizabeth Vaughan, Maria V. Snyder, Kate Johnson, the ACOTAR trilogy by Sarah J. Maas, Lisa Blackwood, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Michelle Sagara West, Patricia Briggs, Robin McKinley, Anne Leonard, Tanith Lee, Amy Harmon, Jill Myles, and I’ve even gone so far as to read YA; Leigh Bardugo, Rae Carson, Robin LaFevers, as well as Erika Johansen – although this last was a mistake. I’ve linked each author to either the series I read or my favorite book/series by the author.

I’m currently reading Sharon Shinn, then I’m going to read book(s) by Melanie Rawn, and also have Sara Raasch on deck. There are a few more authors but I can’t think of them off the top of my head. Oh I’ve also read the Black Jewels books by Anne Bishop ages ago.

I’ve also read the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier – although I wouldn’t say those are high fantasy exactly, as the books are set in Ireland, although it’s an alternate reality “Erin with magical creatures” and more romantic elements stories than romance in my opinion. (I didn’t read book three.)

So! Does anyone have adult high fantasy romance recommendations for me? I’m willing to read series too but¬†only if they’re complete. The way I read I blow through books and I not only hate waiting, I’ll forget things, so I need to be able to glom all at once. ūüėÄ I do also love twisted fairy tales, so those I might make a special exception for – it’s what made me start the Sevenwaters books.

I know – I’m difficult. I’m not looking for paranormal romances, or time travels either.

However – if you’ve read a romance novel lately that is OH MY GOD SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS AMAZING … I’d like to hear that as well, because as of a month ago I’ve also started reading¬†some other romance subgenres as well.

Thank youuuu!! (And if you’d like to discuss any of the books I’d mention I’d love to chat too!)

Team TBR Challenge Review: The A Court of Thorns and Roses Trilogy (A Court of Thorn and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin) by Sarah J. Maas

The A Court of Thorn and Roses Trilogy (A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury, and A Court of Wings and Ruin) by Sarah J. Maas
Fantasy romance released by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 5, 2015, May 3, 2016, and May 2, 2017, respectively.

A Court of Thorns and Roses‚Ä謆Feyre is a huntress. She thinks nothing of slaughtering a wolf to capture its prey. But, like all mortals, she fears what lingers mercilessly beyond the forest. And she will learn that taking the life of a magical creature comes at a high price …Follow Feyre’s journey into the dangerous, alluring world of the Fae, where she will lose her heart, face her demons and learn what she is truly capable of. This stunning, three-book box set of the #1 New York Times bestselling series by Sarah J. Maas includes A Court of Thorns and Roses, A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of Wings and Ruin. Contains mature content. Not suitable for younger readers.
This month’s TBR Challenge is “series catch up.” Which, technically I’m catching up with the series since the first book was released in 2015 … but honestly I read the entire trilogy for the first time last week. And I loved it. I’ve been on a¬†massive¬†fantasy romance kick for the past month, which is a deviation from my usual reading. This is my escape from reality, and I’m enjoying it a lot. I’ve always loved the fantasy genre, and it was a big part of what I read as a kid. (Maybe this was because I re-read¬†On Fortune’s Wheel/The Tale of Birle¬†while recovering. Which I’m still doing. Anyway.)¬†Y’all. The A Court of Thorn and Roses (ACOTAR) trilogy is¬†fantastic. You all need to read it. Full disclosure – I’m not trying to, and in fact am trying¬†not¬†to write spoilers, but some of them might slip out. (Scroll to the bottom for the individual book covers and blurbs.)

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