A lot of Science Fiction & Fantasy readers are also Romance readers. Myself included. I’m a fan of Sarah Maclean, Alyssa Cole, Lisa Kleypas, Alexis Daria, and authors in that between space, like Ilona Andrews, Jacqueline Carey, S.T. Gibson, and G.A. Aiken. Many romance readers are frequently interested in Fantasy books with a heavy romance plotline (Tasha Suri, for example), and the same is true for Fantasy readers. Romance and Speculative imprints should take note of this because honestly I’d like to know more about books that appeal to both the Fantasy and Romance reader in me.
I tend to weave in between romance and fantasy, so I wanted to compile a list of books to put on your list if you are anything like me.
The Wolf and The Woodsman by Ava Reid
Harper Voyager, June 8th
Hungarian history and Jewish folklore mixed into a story of a young pagan woman with hidden magic and a one-eyed captain of the Woodsmen. I’ve already read this one, and it has precisely the type of simmering chemistry romance readers want. The romantic tension feels precisely like an old-as-earth impact, like when hot water touches the ice. This is a true enemies-to-lovers and slow-burn romance.
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
Orbit Books, Burning Kingdoms #1, June 10th
Tasha Suri is always known for writing romance into her fantasy novels. I’m especially looking forward to this one as it is Sapphic romance, and I find it challenging to find Sapphic romantic fantasy.
The Jasmine Throne is full of Indian epic inspirations, ancient temples, morally grey lesbians, and floral body horror. Inspired by the history of India and its epics, Tasha Suri spells an epic fantasy with morally grey lesbians up against an empire, lots of yearning, much wrist touching, and complicated family. A world of forbidden magic, an ancient temple, magical deathless waters, and decaying ruins.
The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Tor Books, April 27th
A sweeping and magical romance, this is Silvia Moreno Garcia’s take on romantic fantasy. A season of debuts, disasters, malicious gossip, and telekinesis.
The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels by India Holton
Berkley, Dangerous Damsels #1, June 15th
I asked the author if this is fantasy romance since some reviews have said it reminds them of The Princess Bride, and the author affirmed that it’s a blend. Berkley could have pushed this to appeal to Fantasy readers that are also romance readers.
This is a historical fantasy adventure romantic comedy set in an alternate Victorian England with idiots-to-lovers, pirates, and an assassin.
Requiem of Silence by L. Penelope
St. Martin’s Griffin, Earthsinger Chronicles #4, August 17th
There are very few Black authors writing Black characters in Fantasy Romance, and I’d like to highlight L. Penelope’s next.
In the conclusion of the Earthsinger Chronicles, civil unrest and refugees seek solace in the nation of Elsira. Full of Queens, former assassins, and sisterhood.
A Dance of Smoke and Steel by Milla Vane
Berkley, A Gathering of Dragons #3, October 26th
Milla Vane is the pseudonym for Meljean Brook, one of the first romance authors I obsessed over. Give me angels and demons sinning biblically, and you automatically are on my favorite list.
The third in Milla Vane’s romance fantasy series, A Gathering of Dragons. An enemies to lovers romance, between the son of a demon king and the woman sworn to kill him. This series has dinosaurs, lots of gore, and barbarians.
Payback’s A Witch by Lana Harper
Berkley, October 5th
It’s Sapphic, romance, and a witch romance. The Witches of Eastwick meets The L Word.
For The Wolf by Hannah Whitten
Orbit Books, Wilderwood #1, June 15th
For the Wolf is Red Riding Hood with Gothics and monstrous boyfriends. Weird woods, romance, carnivorous forests, a marriage of magical convenience, wound tending, and the piéce de resistance ‘oh no he’s hot”.
The Devil You Know by Kit Rocha
Tor Books , Mercenary Librarians #2, August 31st
Mercenary Librarians with post apocalyptic kissing.