Fri
Jul 21 2017 12:00pm

The Summer’s 10 Best Fantasy Romances

J.R.R. Tolkien once said, “Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisoned by the enemy, don't we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”  This summer sees the publication of some unique fantasy novels which will help you escape into whole new worlds.

White Hot by Ilona Andrews

White Hot and Wildfire by Ilona Andrews
Level of Romance: High

The most exciting news in fantasy romance this year is the dual release of the Hidden Legacy books within a three month period. In Ilona Andrews’s White Hot (May, Book 2) (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) Nevada Baylor once more teams up with Connor “Mad” Rogan. Both of them able to wield powerful magic, they find themselves nearly overwhelmed when the newest client of Nevada’s modest detective agency brings them a case which shows dark forces at work in the city of Houston. Fortunately, while battling for justice—and their lives—they still have time for a few sexy encounters:

I moaned into his lips. He kissed me, pillaging my mouth, the slick heat of his tongue taking over, and I teased him with my tongue, nipping at his lower lip. My breasts felt heavy and full; my body turned pliant. He was all hard muscle and rigid strength, and I stretched myself against him, seducing, enticing.

While book two does indeed show the heat between these two burning brighter, it is Wildfire (July 25, Book 3) (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) which promises us a greater resolution of the issues keeping them apart. Nevada knows that recent problems within her extended family may cause friction between them but she is determined that the changes about to come to her life will not cost her the man she loves.

He’d made it clear in the past that he expected me to walk away from him the moment our family became a House. He didn’t think our magic was compatible. If we had children, they might not even be Primes. He viewed this as the beginning of our end, but he came anyway. He was also a complete idiot if he thought I’d let him get away. He was mine. My Connor.

This writing team always does a fantastic job of writing lush romance combined with richly imagined fantasy and this is a series not to be missed. Those who haven’t had a chance to read Burn for Me (Book One) should purchase it right away so they can experience this wonderful story for themselves.

Spellbinder by Thea Harrison

Spellbinder by Thea Harrison
Level of Romance: High

Another highly anticipated summer release is Thea Harrison’s Spellbinder. (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) Fans of her series will recognize villain turned hero Morgan le Fae, a powerful sorcerer bound by a geas to Isabeau of the Light Court. She’s made him do unspeakable things but the music of talented violinist, Sidonie Martel, helps him connect with his true self, a part of him he had long forgotten. When Sidonie is captured by Isabeau, Morgan becomes her secret protector, doing the best he can to work around the geas and help the beautiful musician. It is her music that first draws him to her...but soon he wants much more than just her talented tunes.

As his lips touched hers, he felt her quick intake of breath. Then he lost himself in the shock of rare pleasure as he kissed that full sensual mouth.

A moving story of the power of love, this book is sure to delight the author’s fans – and make her some new ones.

Eternity in an Hour by Matthew Merendo

Eternity in an Hour by Matthew Merendo
Level of Romance: Medium-High

In Matthew Merendo’s Eternity in an Hour, (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) hero Tristys has had a run of bad luck. In Paru, his homeland, he was called “diverted” because of his sexual orientation towards men. He was persecuted to the point of having his family home burned down due to his proclivities. Then he is taken as a slave by the violent people of Spalor. And finally, he is shipwrecked. But is that last really bad luck?

Rami is surprised to find the boy on the beach, clearly in need of medical attention but his desire to help him quickly turns into something more:

The boy opened his eyes. Rami nearly dropped him. He had never seen eyes like this before! . . . He couldn’t take his gaze from the stranger’s face. He wanted to see those eyes again . . .

Unbeknownst to either man, that quick meeting of the eyes is the beginning of a fabulous adventure which will have them battling evil, wielding magic, and most of all, falling in love.

Four White Roses by Judy Ann Davis

Four White Roses by Judy Ann Davis
Level of Romance: High

Four White Roses by Judy Ann Davis (AmazonKobo) is the story of a sarcastic ghost and two lonely hearts finding love. Widower Rich Redman didn’t want to come to Hickory Valley, PA but he was left no choice. His grandmother’s house wasn’t selling and he needed to make decisions on it, not to add that a mysterious last note from her has just been discovered. When he finds himself in need of rescue ten miles out of town, Torrie Jean Larson plays the part of Knight in Rusted Pickup and gives him a ride to Grandma’s house. When he discovers the contents of grandma’s mind-blowing last missive, he finds himself in need of an ally like Torrie. Soon they are facing homespun adventures in a haunted house supposedly hiding a magnificent treasure. Of course, they discover love along the way:

The kiss was slow and gentle. Nothing like she expected. She felt a slow flame begin to burn all the way down to her toes in her strappy heels.

From first kiss to last, this is a story that will keep you laughing till the very end.

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
Level of Romance: Sweet

Sometimes I’m just in the mood for a sweet story and they don’t get much sweeter than Crystal Cestari’s The Best Kind of Magic. (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) Amber Sand’s mom is a real witch. The kind that can cast spells with a snap of her finger. The Sand family Wicca gene rolled right over Amber however, leaving only one small bit of magic in its wake: She’s a matchmaker. She can gaze into your eyes and see your true love. It works on absolutely everyone – but her. Either she has no true love or she just can’t see him. When hero of her high school and all around amazing man Charlie Blitzman asks for her help finding his father's missing girlfriend, Amber can’t keep from falling for him. She knows there’s no happy ending possible in this affair of the heart because she can see his perfect match and of course, it’s not her. Still, is there anything wrong with Amber grabbing a little Happy For Now even if it may not be her Happily Ever After? Charlie doesn’t think so:

Amber, I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours, but I want you to know every time I’m around you, I feel like a non-fatal firework is lit inside me. It’s magic – actual magic – and you’ll have to forgive the pun, but I don’t want to be under anyone else’s spell.

Are swoonworthy love declarations the best or what? This story captures that moment of first love perfectly.

His Command by Sophie H. Morgan

His Command by Sophie H. Morgan
Level of Romance: High

His Command by Sophie H. Morgan (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) shows that you don’t need to ask the genie to find your true love—if they are your true love. Hailey is facing the toughest assignment of her life when she trips over her own feet—she has to plan the wedding of the man she proposed to. And he isn’t marrying her. Fortunately, before she can do a complete face plant she’s rescued by a genie. A genuine, magic wielding complete with the “recognizable dark brown eyes with an overlay of glittering amber lights” very, very sexy genie. But even though Ryder shows that he is willing to take on the job of full time rescuer, is she ready to trust—and love—again? She’s not sure but she does know what she wants for right now—and it’s him.

Hailey was lost in the textures of the kiss, the pleasure of it as he made love to her mouth. Confident in every stroke of his tongue, the pressure of his lips and hands as he slid the other around her waist and tugged her against him so she was plastered to him like a vine to a wall.

A funny, sexy romp in a world filled with hot, magical genies, this story is sure to delight those looking for a light summer read.

The Chocolatier’s Wife by Cindy Lynn Speer

The Chocolatier’s Wife by Cindy Lynn Speer
Level of Romance: Sweet

The Chocolatier’s Wife by Cindy Lynn Speer (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is an absolutely charming tale about marriages arranged via magic. In the kingdom of Berengeny, spouses are picked by the Wise Woman. She pricks the baby’s finger for a drop of blood, adds pure water, rosemary, roses, salt and sage to her spell bowl and the resulting combination reveals their best possible mate. William does not find his mate until he is seven years old and his parents are horrified to learn his bride is from Tarnia. Murmurs are made about the war five hundred years ago and how the witches of the other land eat the dead.

Tasmin Bey did not mind that her husband to be was from Berengeny. Sure, there was that war five hundred years ago and the rumors of eating the dead but she liked William. While few never heard from their prospective spouse, William had been writing since he first found out about her. So when she hears he has been accused of murder, she packs her bags and heads straight to Berengeny, determined to help. Along the way, there is love, laughter and magic – and of course, a happy ending.

The ring fit like perfection on her finger, and the truth was, one would not have rightly been able to say who kissed whom, just that a kiss was exchanged, and that it was a little too long to be proper.

Royal Enchantment by Sharon Ashwood

Royal Enchantment by Sharon Ashwood
Level of Romance: High

Fairy Tale. Kisses are exchanged, true love is discovered but anything more happens off page. 

In Sharon Ashwood’s Royal Enchantment (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) we learn that Arthur and Guinevere's marriage had never been an easy one. A political alliance rather than a love match, Guinevere’s headstrong “meddling” had always annoyed Arthur while his dismissal of her as anything but a womb had annoyed her.  When the Fae declare war on all humankind, Arthur, Guinevere and his knights are sent into an enchanted sleep, only to awaken when the need for them arises.  When they do wake up it is to find themselves not in England but at a theme park in America, Camelot reduced to a tourist attraction. Gwen and Arthur’s physical reunion is explosive:

He kissed her hard, reminding her that he was the master, and yet leaving coaxing nips behind. When they were together like this, there had never been a question about the spark between them.

But as much as Gwen wants him, she wants respect as well. Can an ancient love give birth to a modern relationship? Definitely.

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking Land by Callie Bates
Level of Romance: Medium

The Waking Land by Callie Bates (Amazon | B&N | Kobo) is a debut fantasy novel which examines Stockholm syndrome, family ties and the ties which bind us to the land we live in.  Lady Elanna Valtai is accused of murdering the king but she didn’t do it. Fleeing from the guard who will arrest and kill her, she discovers a protector and ally in Lord Jahan, a man with strong magic who helps her awaken her own. That is not all he awakens in her, though.

He leans over and kisses his way down my arm, so lightly I just feel the brush of his lips. Then he kisses my aching stomach, my purpling thighs and knees. I dig my hands into his thick, soft hair; tears stand out in my eyes. No one has ever shown me this kind of tenderness. He leans back up, hovering over me, and brings his lips to mine. I wrap my arms around his neck.

A tale of rebellion and hope, this fantasy adventure is a green take on Game of Thrones.

A Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa

A Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa
Level of Romance: High

Fans of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever books will definitely want to check out Laura Thalassa’s Bargainers series. A Strange Hymn (The Bargainer Book 2) (Amazon)  is the newest release and finds Des and Callypso taking tender steps into their new life as soul mates. For Callypso, the transition includes learning to live in Des’s dark kingdom – but the dark does have its perks.

He squeezes my backside for emphasis, and I let out a little shriek, which causes him to chuckle. And that rumbly chuckle leads to kissing … lots and lots of languid, delicious kissing.

A dark, sexy tale this story will definitely satisfy the cravings of Fae fans everywhere. Be sure to read book one, Rhapsodic, first so you can experience the story in full.

Lou Reed once said, “There's a bit of magic in everything.” The authors of the tales above find magic in nature, chocolate, and most importantly in love. Which tales have you read recently which capture the magical nature of a sweeping love?


H&H Editor Picks:

The 6 Fantasy Romance Authors You Should Be Reading Right Now

Fantasy Romances You Should Be Reading

July 2017 Romance Novels New Releases Shopping List

 

 

 

 

 


Maggie Boyd, blogger, reviewer, avid reader.

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4 comments
Kareni
1. Kareni
What a fun collection of books! Thanks for your list, Maggie.
Carmen Pinzon
2. bungluna
I highly recommend the Ilona Andrews books (all of them!)

Thanks for this wonderful list. I will definitely add at least three of them to my TBR pile right away.
Cindy Speer
3. Cindy Speer
How cool! Thank you so much for including me in this list, you made my weekend. :)
Maggie Boyd
4. maggieboyd66
@ Kareni - You are very welcome! Hope you find some good books from it.

@ bungluna - Love, love, love Ilona Andrews. I just did a re-read of her Inn Keeper series and am eagerly awaiting their next foray into that world. I love the Hidden Legacy books too!

@ Cindy Speer - You're welcome!
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