Oct 25 2012 5:00pm

No Hair, No Fangs: The Next Wave in Paranormal Romance

Richard Armitage in The HobbitHave you had enough of alpha shapeshifters and their bad habit of marking their territory all over your house? Have you had enough of immortal vampires snacking on you? Have you had enough of fallen angels angsting over good versus evil, when they should be paying attention to the fact that it is your anniversary and they promised you cake?

Fear not, for these things too shall pass.

Well, probably not. But I can pretend. And in that frame of mind, fueled by quite a lot of coffee and a sense of humor that is both sick and naughty, I give you my thoughts on the Next Wave In Paranormal Romance, or, Supernatural Hotties That Have Been Overlooked Until Now, In No Particular Order. (Drumroll, please.)

Fantasy Dwarves.

I will be shocked if Richard Armitage’s turn as a dwarf in The Hobbit movie doesn’t influence someone. Tolkien’s dwarves, with their elaborate art and architecture, are likely very handy around the house, as well. And who says there’s no room for a paranormal hero who also knows how to fix the sink? And then stud it with carven emeralds?


If you like the scent of seafood, and are adventurous when it comes to tentacles…well, a Kraken hero might be just what you’re looking for.


The Three Stooges did a movie with mummies that could walk, so clearly there is more to them than simply preserved dead bodies. The animate mummy, aside from having a long movie history, is a perfect source for paranormal heroes because, well, vampires may be dead, too, but they’re not wrapped in layers of linen! Think of the tragic difficulties of romancing a mummy! Imagine the inevitable dramatic sex scene in which the heroine first unwraps her prize! And by “prize,” I mean…okay. Stopping now. Before I get to the part about what happened to his brain.


The ghoul hero wants to eat you all night long. The teeth are a bit unfortunate, however. I’m not sure of the long-term prospects for relationships with ghouls, but if you end the book fairly quickly….


I’ve seen a couple of ghostly heroines in the last few years, but not as many ghostly heroes. Which is a shame, because they don’t take up a lot of room, so once you move in together, you can get a lot more house for your money. You just have to watch out for the occasional rattling dishes, blood dripping from the walls, hurtling objets d’art, that sort of thing. He’s just trying to tell you how much he loves you.


I know, some writers have already used mermen characters, but all have neglected the tragedic implications when the heroines accept they will smell like fish for the duration of the marriage, and the heroes’ difficulties of spawning with their human brides, who often do not appreciate the arduous swim upstream before sexyfuntimes.


Even aside from the dramatic conflict created by, ummm, placement and position where consummation is concerned, the centaur would make a terrific paranormal hero because he’s not only wise and…large…but he’s transportation! Forget marrying a billionaire to get a fleet of Italian sportscars; the centaur is much more eco-friendly, particularly if the heroine happens to do a lot of gardening, or perhaps raises organic produce. Most suited to small-town dramas, the centaur just might be the next big (heh) thing.

Spirits of Place.

Sure, to outsiders it looks a bit like the heroine’s having some solitary lovin’ when she’s rolling around in that particular grassy dell, but he’s a great guy, you know? He’s there all the time, and he listens.

It’s pretty much impossible to truly predict future trends in fiction; if it was easy, every writer and editor on the planet would be rich. But it sure is fun to speculate.


Victoria Janssen is the author of three novels and numerous short stories. Her World War One-set Spice Brief is titled “Under Her Uniform” and is a tie-in to her novel The Moonlight Mistress. Follow her on Twitter: @victoriajanssen or find out more at

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. larainey
If you are a fan of the Dragon Age series then dwarves have been on the radar for sometime. I, personally, am looking forward to some hot dwarf lovin'.
2. Madam M
Oh Victoria! I laughed until I cried, especially over the Centaurs.
Somehow I cannot imagine bestiality to be romantic! However, the Mermen gave me pause - can't quite figure that one out either, romantically that is. Smelling like fish would be a serious drawback for me. Thanks for making my day a happier one!
3. Natalie L.
Jacqueline Carey's new book--Dark Currents--has an extremely interesting take on ghouls and one who I suspect is intended to be a love interest in future volumes. He was certainly mysterious and sexy-pants enough to be auditioning for the role. Also, the heroine has a tail. Which is AWESOME.

Not romance at all, but there is Kit Whitfield's In Great Waters which has mer-type people in it who are able to interbreed with humans, with interesting results. Smelling like fish isn't one of them (thankfully).
4. pamelia
Yeah. Got the hots for Thorin Oakenshield already from the posters and if those carven emeralds are a side benefit? I'd read that! :)
As for centaurs, if you want to read a brilliant Sci-fi trilogy with some hot centaur action try the Gaea Trilogy ("Titan", "Wizard" and "Demon") by John Varley.
OR the Taryn McTavish books by R. Lee Smith (starting with "The Care and Feeding of Griffins") has Centaurs AND MINOTAURS. Plus the books are a pretty darn great fantasy series.
5. Katie T.
MUMMIES? NO! NO! NO! My biggest fear ever. I had the shit scared out of me reading a nonfiction book about mummies when I was in 3rd grade and could hardly sleep for a month. Til this day, I'm scared of them. ANYTHING BUT MUMMIES.
Christopher Morgan
6. cmorgan
@LARAINEY I have a feeling someone is a Varric fan...

Great post Victoria here's hoping for the dwarves.
Heather Rizzuti
8. heatherbartley
Victoria, that was hilarious! I sure would love to read about some Tolkien-style dwarves!
Thinking of mummies: Anne Rice's The Mummy, or Ramses the Damned is a really cool mummy book (it's a stand-alone). Good-looking Ramses became immortal way back in Egyptian times. After a while, he got tired of living, and had himself entombed (sort of sleeping) looking like a mummy. He looks pretty bad until he can get in the sunlight again, but then he was hot! There is some romance with the daughter of the archaeologist who unearthed him in ~1920s. The last part of the book was rather annoying, though I really like the book overall. One hot mummy!
Thinking of centaurs: There is a really crazy & cool book, half fantasy and half paranormal romance with a lady and a hot centaur guy. Luckily, the centaur guy has magic and can occasionally transform into a human so they can get steamy! It's Divine by Mistake or Goddess by Mistake by P.C. Cast. Some other books in the series that are also great: Elphame's Choice and Brighid's Quest.
9. indiangirl12
One of my favorite is the Merry Gentery Series by L. K. Hamilton
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