Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wicked Wednesday - my favorites

I've read so many paranormal romances over the years, sometimes they blur together. All those sexy werewolves and vampires, irresistible Fae and hot demons. It takes something special to stand out above the others. I cherish these books not only for the incredible reads they are, but for what they have to teach me about the genre. If I want to write paranormal romance and stand out in the crowd, I have to learn how to craft a story that will make my readers feel the same way as I do about these books.

My #1 Favorite: The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
This is a MUST READ if you love paranormal romances. There's no one thing that makes this series stand out for me. It's the hidden urban fantasy world, the mythology, the characters, the twists and turns, and the romance. The protagonist, MacKayla Lane (Mac) didn't appeal to me at first. She was a bit shallow and peppy, but Mac grows into an impressive heroine. It's not something that happens overnight or even in the first book. Her growth is real compared to what she's dealing with. I don't feel rushed or cheated with how her character changes throughout the series. I can feel every moment and, oh, what moments they were! Jericho Barrons is the hero and one of the sexiest in all the genre. How I love my heroes to be tall, dark and mysterious. My stomach still flutters thinking about him. I can't say anything else about him without giving the juicy bits away.

The story has so many layers. You keep peeling and peeling, more entranced by it as you go along. The series starts with Mac going to modern day Ireland to look into the murder of her sister. She's thrust into the secret supernatural world and discovers she has a strange power she must learn to control. A handsome Fae Prince and the dangerous Barrons offer her guidance, but she doesn't know who she can trust. She must hunt an ancient evil: a sentient book that can create and destroy worlds. Just when you think you've figured something out, the plot twists. There are several OMG moments. I'm rarely surprised by the standard plot twists in most books, but I was shocked again and again.

The romance. Don't expect the heat to come on full throttle right away. This is an exquisitely written slow burning one. There's plenty of sizzling tension, but it's a relationship built up over time. Mac and Barrons don't seem to fit together, but they grow together. I like a lot of the hot stuff sometimes, but I appreciate the gradual romantic build-up most of all.

Other favorites:
Stacia Kane's Chess Putnam books - Dark and macabre. Even romance can be gritty. It's the world after a Ghost Apocalypse event. (Instead of zombies rising up, it was ghosts.) The Church of Truth is the big power and Chess works for them. She's also a drug addict and her love interest, Terrible, is a thug. Not your typical romance, but it's fierce and original.

Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series - Amazing and wondrous dark world after a magical apocalypse. So many unique places in these books. Kate is a kick-ass heroine and Curran is a sexy Lord of the Beasts. He's up there in the top five of my most memorable heroes. This series has everything. Plus, it's another gradual romance.

Christine Feehan's Ghost Walker series - This series surprised me with how much I liked it. I like Feehan's Dark series (vampires), but the Ghost Walkers is far more original. Lots of psychic abilities and intrigue. A complex overall story with several characters. Feehan proves that if you can find a romance formula that works for you, you can use it over and over again successfully. All the books have the same layout for how the romance progresses, but you won't find yourself bored.

Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series - The world and creatures in these books aren't terribly original, but Mercy is a character that stands out in a crowd. She's a mechanic with a Native American heritage and she can turn into a coyote at will. She falls for the Alpha of a local werewolf pack. Another gradual romance!

Jill Myles' The Succubus Diaries - Something steamy and fun. These books make me laugh.

Yasmine Galenorn's Otherworld series - They're wicked, over the top and break several rules of writing. That's why these books are so much fun! The books are told from the POV of three half-fae sisters each with their own unique powers and lovers. Several lovers. The white dragon, Smoky, is one of my favorites.

I need to stop myself here or I'll keep rattling on. What are your favorite paranormal romances?

7 comments:

  1. Nice listing. Paranormal Romances rank up there in my favorite reads. And I love a good book with plot twists that keep you on the edge. Thanks for sharing. :)

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  2. Awesome paranormal romances there. I think I'll have more to add to my to-be-read list. I haven't read too many paranormal romances, particularly the adult kind. I have quite a few on my bookshelves, though. I need to get to them. :)

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  3. Thanks, Laila and Cherie! I wanted to add to many more to the list.

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  4. I am definitely going to have to read the Moning books now! I also think the Ghost Walker series sounds right up my alley. I love ghosts. :)

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  5. I enjoy the dark, gritty worlds built up around urban fantasy / paranormal. Cool stuff.

    I'm still reading my mc's favorite novel, which is a paranormal romance. I think it's called Highland Thirst. They haven't said what the scottish men are yet, but it's pointing at vampires. I'm hoping for something else, but won't hold my breath. Don't tell me ... :D

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  6. Janel, unfortunately the Ghost Walker series isn't about ghosts. The name is misleading, I know. It's about a secret government project that gave some soldiers special powers to make them super soldiers. That threw me off at first, but it's really good!

    M Pax, if you like the dark stuff, the Chess Putnam books are perfect for you. I've not read Highland Thirst, but I think your hunch is right just from the title alone!

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  7. Hi Christine.
    Hope you don't mind me asking but is there any chance you could make the typeface size a bit bigger for poor souls like me who have bad eyesight? :O)

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