Random (but not really)

Friday, February 7, 2020

Categorical Books: Paranormal Romance

This isn’t one of my favorite categories, but there are some very good books here that I like despite all the boinking. So assume that everything here is chock full of boinking, and that I liked these books despite all the boinking. (If you like boinking books, your list here is certainly going to be much longer.)

Nicole Peeler‘s Jane True series has fae and other magical creatures living hidden in our world. Jane doesn’t know she has a supernatural heritage, she just thinks she’s a bit of a weirdo who stands out in her small town.

I wiped my nose on his shirt. I was snotty from crying and he was already filthy. It wasn’t ideal but he was holding me so tight I couldn’t move my arms.

“Did you just wipe your nose on me?” he asked, finally. His voice was tight with various emotions, but “oh no you didn’t” had clawed it’s way to the top of the list.

“Maybe,” I mumbled, peering up at him.


Marjorie Liu‘s Dirk & Steele series is about people who work for a secret supernatural agency and the people they rescue (and fall in love with). Each book focuses on a member of the agency and during an operation they end up finding their true love, which conquers all. The characters appear in each other stories (they are a team) and each book in the series is a stand alone (I know for certain because I read the books in the order I found them.)


K.J. Charles has written a ton of M/M romance, but her Charm of Magpies series (and the books tied into it) I particularly like. There is fascinating world building (it’s set in Victorian England). All her books have strong, well-developed characters, and there is often an underlying mystery or external problem to be resolved, and they’re just fun. I also recommend the related short stories, especially A Queer Trade which has 1) two characters who are poor and 2) one character who is black (in Victorian England), which is something I really hadn’t come across anywhere else.

Merrick came in with a bundle. “I beg your pardon,” he began, and then recoiled at his master’s appearance. “What happened to you?”

“Blame Leo. She bled all over me.”

“That’s the Hawkes and Cheney suit!” said Merrick, outraged. “I’ll never get that stain out.”

“I’ll bleed more carefully next time,” Leonora assured him.


magic-and-mannersC.E. Murphy has written a lot of different things, some of which I’ve loved, and some that I just haven’t been able to get into. Her Negotiator series has a human woman accidentally become involved with the Old Races. Her Magic and Manners book is a lovely historical romance, only with magic, and I adored it.

“We do not forgive people because they are worthy, Papa. We forgive them because we love them, and because it gives us peace within ourselves to do so.”


Jeaniene Frost‘s vampire series (Kat & Bones, Vlad & Leila) are as much paranormal romances as they are supernatural fantasy, but I think they belong here for the world building. And the dialog. One of the things I particularly like about this series is that once Kat & Bones get their issues worked out, they commit to each other and are a team. The Vlad & Leila series was a little more aggravating, primarily because the books tended to end without a lot of resolution. Plus, Vlad is often a jerk.

“Don’t hurt her, she didn’t mean anything by it,” Marty said at once, moving to stand between me and Vlad. I wasn’t about to let him take more abuse, especially on my behalf, so I tried to angle myself in front of Marty. He kept sidestepping me with that damn vampiric speed until it looked like we were engaged in some sort of strange dance.


Gail Carriger is a little more complicated. I loved the first book in her Alexia Tarabotti series, was MEH about the third and incandescently mad about the third. She has a parallel series that I want to read because I’ve had friends who like it. But Blameless made me so mad I have been super hesitant.


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