By Madeline Iva
Don’t you love talking with other readers about paranormal romance? I do. It’s like raw honey. Part of it’s goodness is that it’s straight from the source. This one reader-friend I met at the Washington Loves Romance Reader’s Luncheon gave me the nitty gritty on shifter romances.
You see, I drift towards vampires–and I don’t think we give enough love to the wolf here on LadySmut, so this post is an attempt to help rectify that. (Let us not forget Kiersten Hallie Krum’s excellent pro-wolf post HERE.) So if you’ve been looking for some great paranormal romance, here’s what my favorite reader-friend ‘Donna’ recommends–both her recent reads and some past recommendations.
“Looking back at my reading the past few months I’m surprised that more of the paranormal reads aren’t shifters which will help make this a little easier to come up with just a few.
GA Aiken’s Light My Fire (dragon kin #7)
I’ve mentioned before that I love her books because she writes strong & smart characters. I love the interactions between all of the characters—the teasing, harassing & whatnot that often occurs between relatives & close friends. You can also see the love & support that underlies those relationships. In this one the hero is a dragon who is able to take human form when he wants/needs to (rather than a human who turns into a dragon or has an “inner dragon” , these are always dragons even if they happen to be in human form, they’re still a dragon in their head) gotta love dragons ,
Next there’s Christine Warren’s Stone Cold Lover (Gargoyles #2)
Who knew Gargoyles could be cool & sexy?
Bianca D’Arc’s String of Fate books 3 & 4
Jacob’s Ladder & Her Warriors respectively (book 4 is mfm)
This series while centered around big cats also includes other types of shifters including foxes & seals. There’s lots of action that happens because of the back story arc of good vs. evil (which she actually manages to run & interweave btwn all her shifter books). Also while it sticks with the fated mate there’s also period of are they/aren’t they that they have to work thru rather than “insta-love”.
Last but not least would be Remembered by Moonlight (moonlight #9) by Nancy Gideon. Wolf shifters in New Orleans.)
In this book she returns to her original hero/heroine (Max & CeeCee-books 1-4 of the series. Other books in the series have their own heroes/heroines that are in Max & CeeCee’s world.)
A couple books earlier, a situation occurred that resulted in Max losing all his memories including of his mate. So this book is him rebuilding his life, her learning to accept that he may never remember their past but instead be a “new Max” and the two of them finding love together again. All the while dealing with clan/society politics, outside & inside threats to all they hold dear & that their friends care about.
She did a great balance so that the book was enjoyable if you had read all the prior books, but also if you’d only the past few books or were completely new to the series. You weren’t over or underwhelmed by the series history either way.
So there you go, some of the good shifter books that I’ve read the past few months & would recommend. Guess one thing they have in common is that they all have something unique to them–especially with the world building that makes it interesting–but manages not to go so far out there that it loses the appeal of the base trope.”
I asked ‘Donna’ about the heat level in these stories. Paranormal has a reputation for some of the hot, hotter, hottest sex out there in Romance-landia. Here’s what she had to say:
“As for sexy times in stories, I’m fairly flexible as to how much is enough or too much (if I’m not in the mood to read it, I’ll just skim through that part). I can’t say that I’ve ever really thought a good book that I really enjoyed had too much or too little. What is important more than the how much (either in detail or frequency) is does it make sense to the story & characters? If a sex scene feels as if it’s been added to make a book “more sexy” or expounded so “it reads hot” that’s when I have a problem.
Part of why I don’t read much straight erotica is because I want a story that happens to also be sexy, not sex that happens have some story. Maybe since I’m older now I’ve come to appreciate the “Quality over Quantity” argument. Sometimes I miss the sexual tension build up that always use to occur. Why all the “insta-love, you’re the only one for me, gotta f*ck now” that a lot of shifter (& other paranormal) books have? It can get a little boring.
I guess us readers can make it hard on authors since when we find something we like we demand more & more of it, but then suddenly we’re over it because we’ve read so much of that it becomes the same old same old and we’re looking for that next new something different.
Meanwhile more books are being put out & the publishing folks are like ‘hey, you said you wanted this so here it is.” Perhaps that’s where the wisdom lies in not writing for the what the reader wants now but rather the story you want to tell. Hopefully that’s the story that will hold just the right uniqueness to keep the reader coming back for more.”
Hopefully! Are you new to shifters? Here are some other rec’s by ‘Donna’. Enjoy!
Do you enjoy smexy romance and like writing reviews on Goodreads? Say hello in the comments section. As we launch into 2015, Lady Smut might be looking for a few good woman who know what they like.
Meanwhile–come visit us as we Roam Around the World — or at least the UK and parts of the U.S. unknown….If you like paranormal you’ll j’dore our anthology THE LADY SMUT BOOK OF DARK DESIRES. We’ve got goblins, gods, techno-vampires and a succubus from hellllllllllll. Buy it, consume it, lurv it!
16th January: http://www.pinkypollock.blogspot.com
19th January: http://www.confessionsofabookwhore.org/
20th January: http://houstonhavens.wordpress.com/
21st January: http://eroticaforall.co.uk
22nd January: http://sslyblog.wordpress.com/
23rd January: http://www.reviewedthebook.co.uk/