Jul 15 2014 8:30am

The Otherworld Cup: Vampire-Free Paranormal Romances from Showalter, Cole, Halle, and More!

Awakened by the Minotaur by Erin MooreParanormal romances are on the decline, but are they a “dying” trend? With fewer of these types of books out there, the authors who are publishing in the genre have been throwing new kinds of stories, resulting in welcome changes to the typical vampire variety. Paranormal Romance stories have come to encompass a wide range of supernatural elements, from valkyries to gargoyles, characters one never thought of as having a “happy ever after” are popping up. In the game of keeping paranormals alive, here are some books that standout as unique among all the vampire and shifter books.

In Erin Moore’s Awakened by the Minotaur, Teo and Lara have a white-hot connection right from the start. Lara has taken a much-needed vacation to Greece and luckily lands Teo as her guide. Unknowingly, she has walked onto an island filled with ancient rites and sacrifices to the Minotaur. Teo fights Lara at every turn as he is aware of the darkness that swirls within him. Teo is possessed by the spirit of the Minotaur and it falls upon Lara to save him. An erotic novel that turns up the heat, it’s a fast read that will leave you wanting more.

Gena Showalter is one of my go-to Paranormal Romance authors (my other go-to is also featured in this post) who has a wide variety of characters to pick from. My favorite series of hers has to be the Lords of the Underworld series. Loosely based off the Pandora’s box legend and various Greek Mythology stories, Showalter makes it all her own. Each character has a different demon/vice that has infiltrated their soul. Each of these seductive warriors finds their match in unlikely places. The stories cover a wide variety of locations and they meet many different characters along the way. Packed with action, hilarious banter, each book has me falling me in love with a different Lord. I’m eagerly anticipating her next release and I hope this series doesn’t end any time soon.

Kresley Cole is my next go-to author for PNR! She has witty, fun characters in her Immortals After Dark series. Another long series, it covers an eclectic bunch, from Valkyries and phantoms to succubi and demons. There is an overall storyline that follows the romance.  Each book features a different couple and it’s never two of the same “species.”  This is another series I follow that will hopefully have no end.

Darkhouse by Karina HalleKarina Halle has the Experiment in Terror series (ending this year) that follows the adventure of Dex and Perry on their ghost-hunting television show. The series covers different creatures the TWO come across, some only heard of in legends. It’s seriously creepy and I may have had to sleep with the light on a couple of times. Traveling to different locations, they try to get footage of the ghosts/spirits that convene in these dark places. Not only do they meet ghosts but zombies and monsters as well, even some of the human variety. Along the way, their relationship changes and their chemistry becomes hard to ignore. I’m hoping for a happy ending for these two.

J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series is still wildly popular, and she also has a series that covers Angels—but not at all typical angels. These are some badass guys who are protecting mankind from the game of good vs. evil. The plot is intriguing and characters just as awesome as the BDB guys. The end of the series is coming out later this year.

Karen Marie Moning’s The Fever Series  is filled with unique, adventurous characters, Mac and Barrons stand out among them. When Mac travels to Ireland to find the culprit behind her sister’s disappearance she never dreamed she would be thrust into a world filled with fairies, monsters, and “The Nine.”  These books drop you right into the Temple Bar district on a mystery solving, vigilante spree.

Some honorable mentions have to be Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, only because I might be one of the few people who have not read the series. It’s on my TBR, especially with the show premiering soon. Sherrilyn Kenyon has a series filled with Dark-Hunters that I cannot get enough of. Jamie McGuire, author of Beautiful Disaster, also has a paranormal series that I really enjoyed! The first title is called Providence and it features a guardian angel and his charge. Cassandra Clare just finished her Nephilim series and I was hooked from the beginning. I will be reading her spin off as well!

These aren’t the only paranormal romance stories out there that feature characters other than your typical vampires. What other creatures that go bump-in-the night do you think should be mentioned as well?



Jessica spends her time daydreaming about a life within the pages of her favorite books, hoping to meet her own alpha male in an amazing meet cute. Living in Miami, she breaks the stereotype of the tanned appearance; being the palest amongst her friends takes a lot of work and it's all owed to the aforementioned books. She works all day but dreams of the day she can get paid to devour romance books all day and night. An avid reader since she could sound out words, you can find her reviewing at Bookcrack.com where she lets her reading freak flag fly!

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. TraceyLynn
News to me that PNR are on the decline. I never have any issues finding any novels in this genre.
Jennifer Proffitt
2. JenniferProffitt
@TraceyLynn, yeah, unfortunately there are just fewer paranormals being published. I don't see them going away ever, but there are fewer coming out is all!
3. Kareni
Thea Harrison's Elder Races feature some intriguing paranormal characters including dragons, gryphons, jinns, and more.

Just a note: Providence (Volume 1) by Jamie McGuire is currently available free to Kindle readers.
Jennifer Proffitt
4. JenniferProffitt
Love this post! I'm obviously a huge fan of Kresley Cole and I've really enjoyed Gena Showalter--I've actually been reading her longer than Cole, and I loved the worldbuilding of the Lords of the Underworld. It built on mythology that was already there and made it awesome--and sexy!
5. Kahintenn
@kareni: thanks for the tip on "Providence"!
6. Bell
Just started the first in the Kresley Cole series and am enjoying it. I have most of the EIT books from when they have been on sale but have not started them. Also have the first Stacia Kane book and the first in the Kate Daniels (think that's the name) and the Providence series still to start. Been kind of getting back but to paranormals and realized how much I missed them. Read the first two JC Daniels and caught up with Mercy. Then the Others novels which were so crazy good.
7. CL Swartz
You've mentioned all my favorites, Cole, KMM, Showalter, The Warden. Also happy to know I'm not the only person who hasn't read Outlander. I would like to add Shelly Laurenston, aka GA Aiken. Her were-shifters are so funny and her dragons (GA Aiken) are hot and funny!
8. JessicaM
Lol! @CL Swartz, we're a small population it feels like but Outlander is high up on my TBR. @JenniferProffit that's what I loved about Gena's books she built upon a story I already knew and it's pretty creative. I love her angel series too! This post made me realize I need to read more paranormals @Bell!
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