Shop Teen Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD 3. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Overview Willow's soul mate was taken and tossed into a fantasy realm stricken with temptation that would break the strongest of souls. He wasn't alone, Drake was with him. Rescuing them is a task she cannot do alone. She must find the female who shares not only her image but also the same dark fate, the true royal to the supernatural dimension Esterious. Willow needed a miracle, one a witch armed with ancient magic could not grant.
In a mysterious dream of Willow's an angel revealed a path. She struck out on her own determined to bring a new brand of warriors to the battlefield of hearts and souls. Each series contains its own themes, settings, and overall vibe. Together they reveal an interwork of characters and conflicts. Season 3 can be read after Scorched Souls. Product Details About the Author. Lover of loud alternative music. I love to laugh until it hurts. Fall is my favorite season. Life is beautiful! Average Review. Write a Review.
Related Searches. She was blinded. He was accused of evil. They'd been a salvation. They'd been redefined. And yet each of those trials was infantile compared to the supernatural test that both Draven and Charlie must survive now. Discovering Charlie's ghostly brother Cashton View Product. Alphas Rise: Clash of Kings. The Pentacle Sons mother chapter rests in New Orleans.
The ominous biker gang governs This was the starting point for her River Witch series, a deliciously dark tale about fairies and witches and earth-magic which is set in post-technology Britain. An imperious sultan, an ancient djinni, and a wild princess who wishes to rule…. The Sultan of Astaran was promised the greatest beauty the kingdoms had seen in centuries — an accomplished, raven-haired princess who caught the eye of even the desert spirits.
Unfortunately for the sultan, he got Zadie instead. With dreams of becoming a powerful sultanah, Zadie never expected the sultan to be quite so haughty and traditional. Or so handsome. New installments in this series of novellas release every 18 days. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Rae Carson. We here at Romantic Fantasy Shelf thought it a good time to celebrate our favorite fierce warrior women and magic users in a post of books about women who fight hard and fall in love.
In a world where some are bestowed with special gifts, Katsa is given the gift of killing. An action-packed fantasy that tackles what it means to be strong. One woman fights to realize her dream of becoming a knight amidst discrimination. This is a fantastic tale about persistence despite opposition.
A deadly assassin must win a contest against the most wicked, bloodthirsty men in the kingdom for a chance to win her freedom. From the moment I started reading I was entranced in a world I had never been yet felt like I had known my whole life. An adventure story featuring a foul-mouthed assassin and her companions. Filled with action and romance that readers rave about. A slave turned assassin, political unrest, and plots abound in this exciting romantic adventure.
Briggs at her best! A fun and fast-paced retelling, mixed with a great romance. A great female role model, a great equal relationship between the two main characters and supportive families in the background. In a world where swordfighting is king, one girl is paired with an indifferent prince.
Crown of Insight: Godly Games (Web of Hearts and Souls Young Adult Romance #1) (Insight series)
A story packed with magic, battles, and danger. A warrior with a dark past and a fight for freedom that may just cost her life. An epic story that you can get lost in! A woman chosen by the goddess as her warrior maiden, a kingdom ripe with intrigue and romance that will leave you swooning. I loved the fresh, intriguing mythology. I LOVE a good dose of girl power!
A clever take on the usual King Arthur retelling. This reverse harem is packed with action and slow burn romances. I want more!!! The characters are very strong and well written… the story and plot flowed well with many twists and turns. Beta heroes are generally defined as softer, emotionally intelligent people who are willing to take directions and listen to advice, both from their romantic partner and from other characters in the book. They are in direct contrast to the ever popular, take-charge, domineering alpha heroes.
Because alphas are often larger than life, it is easy for beta heroes to get dismissed as weak or—worse yet—boring, when in fact being willing to do the emotional labor in a relationship and truly listen to their partners can be incredibly sexy. Radiance by Grace Draven is a good example of an incredibly hot, slow-burn relationship that builds over time. Brishen and Ildiko are wed in a largely symbolic marriage to unite their two very different people—in a plot that seamlessly crosses Beauty and the Beast with a marriage of convenience.
This set-up lends itself to a beta hero, as Brishen is willing to do his duty—however distasteful—and make the best of it rather than resenting the circumstances. They quickly learn to be honest with each other and frank about their cultural and indeed species differences. Brishen wins his bride over with his humor, kindness, and respect—all hallmarks of a great beta hero. As this excerpt shows, the agency of the heroine is often underscored in stories with beta heroes, which is one of the things I like about them most.
The laughter faded but their smiles remained. No one ever asked her what she wanted; they only told her what she was to do and say. For a moment she was struck dumb. He waited patiently as she gathered her thoughts. Because beta heroes generally value compassion over status or control, there are some traits or stereotypes that are often paired with beta heroes. They are often written as scholars or geniuses rather than soldiers or commanders. This association with being quiet or nerdy is a natural fit, which is part of what makes Jadrek from Oathbreakers by Mercedes Lackey a quintessential beta hero.
As a scholar who relies on his knowledge and book learning to help Tarma and Kethry, Jadrek often underestimates himself and lacks confidence with women, showing the very sweetest side of a beta hero. Oathbreakers is a romantic fantasy with an epic fantasy storyline, so the love story between Kethry and Jadrek is an important subplot, not the main focus of the novel.
Because of this, the relationship development happens more as part of the other action, yet the romance still gets me in the feels every time—especially when Kethry finally admits her growing attraction…. Very hesitantly, he leaned forward and kissed her. She returned the kiss as passionately as she dared, and suddenly he responded by embracing her and prolonging the kiss until she was breathless.
He blushed. He blushed even harder when she led him there by the hand, and all but pushed him down onto it. While sexual inexperience is often found in beta heroes, it is not a necessary trait. Harlan, from Talon of the Hawk by Jeffe Kennedy, is more sexually experienced than Ursula, the heroine of this fantasy romance. Harlan also breaks the beta mold in other ways, as a skilled swordsman and the leader of his own band of mercenaries.
He is confident and assured of himself, yet he has no trouble deferring to Ursula, letting her take the lead in many milestones in their relationship, and stepping back when she takes charge—an important mindset for a man who wants to partner with a powerful ruler. He is the perfect foil for her harrowing emotional journey. Harlan himself puts it best—. Strength is in bearing our wounds, living through them, and carrying forward regardless—not in pretending they never existed. Beta heroes can add emotional depth and texture to books already filled with wonder and magic.
Do you have any favorites for me to add to my TBR pile?
Let me know in the comments! Jaycee Jarvis has been an avid romance reader since devouring all the Sweet Dreams books her middle school library had to offer. Also a fantasy fan from an early age, she often wished those wondrous stories had just a bit more kissing. Now she writes stories with a romantic heart set against a magical backdrop, creating the kind of book she most likes to read. When not lost in worlds of her own creation, she resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three children and a menagerie of pets.
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- Insight (Insight #1; Web of Hearts and Souls #1) by Jamie Magee;
She enjoys writing beta heroes as much as she loves reading about them. In a world rife with elemental magic, can a bard with a knack for predicting the future help a warrior face her painful past? Han-Triguard Magdalena turned her back on her heritage and her family in order to pursue life as a Hand, honor bound to serve as a Protector in the tropical market town of Trimble. She never regrets putting duty first until a string of brutal murders changes everything. Her former lover, the attractive musician Jasper, stands accused.
Madi knows the gentle empath could never kill anyone, but her word alone is not enough to protect him. Even worse, one of the other victims is a member of her old clan, for whom justice is entirely out of reach. Living in close quarters, their attraction combusts while Madi is beset by unwanted tenderness for the children.
When a new threat looms, Madi vows to protect their future, make peace with her past, and maybe find a love worth fighting for. This story is the first book in the Counterfeit Contessa series. Book two will be coming out in June of this year if everything goes according to schedule, but let me give you a little spoiler and tell you that even if I had to wait two or more years to get the sequel, I would be more than willing to wait.
A Thief and a Gentlewoman is a story very much its own while working beautifully within the genre conventions and immersing the reader into an incredible world. Quin, short for Quinta, is a special sort of thief. But her life begins to change as she encounters a Pasha who is more than he appears and who is not content with her feigned appearances of demure femininity. This Pasha, Atesh, is far more than meets the eye, and though she has set him as her next mark, both are falling for one another, even though that will create even more consequences.
Not only that, but Atesh is the cousin of the Sultana, an individual with whom Quin has some family history. A Thief and a Gentlewoman is an immersive romantic fantasy epic. Clare weaves together a complex and beautiful world rich with details that draw heavily on Turkish influences as well as some English with a strong infusion of magic and fantasy my favorite distinct element being the sabre cats which are large enough to ride.
This is a slow burn romance with intrigue and doom looming over the couple as they are perpetually drawn together. This story also features mysteries and political intrigue in a way that is well balanced. While I did find myself accurately guessing some of the twists and turns, they were laid out in such a way that my enjoyment was not diminished.
This is the sort of story where the journey and the unfolding and development of the characters is far more important. This story is set within a distinct world from our own. Arianople is perhaps best described as Instanbul without the prominent Christian or Muslim influences. As I have begun to realize is one of my favorite elements of romantic fantasy, this features a slow burn romance. Here the characters run into one another early on in the story, and matters build from there along with respect and affection amid vital questions.
Indeed there is a spark and an intimacy between these two, even from their first encounter. Her attitude and growth throughout is the most complex and the most fascinating. And while this section is intended to be about the romance of the two leads, I have to speak about another point of romance within this story that charmed and surprised me: the romance of the cards.
Both not only have friends but also family who exist in different circles with distinct motivations and desires. She notices many things, drawing conclusions that reveal the world and yet are natural to her. Like the famed Robin Hood, her thieving is not to enrich herself. But she has to navigate a far more complex web than the cunning archer ever did since she is trying to care for a diseased and dying family member and protect old friends from a dangerous life while also remaining presentable and intriguing to the nobility.
Numerous interests and concerns pull on Quin, and almost everyone in her life represents someone who has a need which she can in some way fulfill. Of all the non-romantic relationships within the story, I most enjoyed the ones between Quin and her family. The very first line of the story is a delightful reference to Pride and Prejudice. Other literary references and influences apparent within the story are Arabian Nights and Robin Hood. The story is quite luxurious and calm in its pacing, allowing you time to be fully immersed in the world and live with the characters rather than a rapid page turner that skims the surface.
The depth of the characters and their interactions reminds me most of Jane Austen with the wit of Pride and Prejudice and the gradual intertangling of the two loves.
Where to find Jamie Magee online
For those who love Robin Hood stories but want a more feminine focus with political intrigue or seekers of a more modern Austen voice in fantasy setting, I certainly recommend A Thief and a Gentlewoman. It will also appeal to those who want a non-European focused romantic fantasy or simply an excursion into an immersive fantasy world with a rich romance and complex characters and a relaxing pace. Butler is an adventurer, author, and attorney who never outgrew her love for telling stories or playing in imaginary worlds.
Independent novellas set in the same world include Locked, Alone, and Cursed. She has also written a number of other stories including Mermaid Bride, Through the Paintings Dimly, and more. She writes primarily speculative fiction with a focus on multicultural high fantasy and suspenseful adventures with intriguing romances. And on top of that, she lives with her husband and law partner, James Fry, in rural Indiana where they enjoy creating fun memories, challenging each other, and playing with their three cats.
Check out her romantic epic fantasy Tue-Rah Chronicles :. Though her brutal husband is imprisoned, Amelia must navigate the hostile political climate or else face banishment or execution. Despite saving the nation, Amelia remains incapable of satisfying the demands of the Libyshan leadership.
Amelia fights to stand firm in her calling and her convictions while struggling to find a solution that leaves Libysha whole, restores the interdimensional portals, and removes Naatos and his shapeshifting brothers to a place where they can do no harm. The Machat warn that these shapeshifters can only be held for a brief period, but an enraged populace and spiteful elder commander desire vengeance and block Amelia at every turn.
Her bond to Naatos and his family makes her a traitor unless she does precisely as they say. Time counts down, and soon Naatos and his brothers will be free to wreak bloody vengeance on Libysha before resuming their plans of universal dominance. Amelia must embrace being a traitor in the eyes of her own people to save them while also untangle her feelings for the man who has claimed her as his wife. Get your copy on Amazon today! I understood having the sexy bits behind closed doors or faded out, but it often felt like the sweet bits were being locked away as well.
Elua and most of his Companions practice what he preaches. Among the Companions, Naamah, the elder sister, is said to have lain with strangers in the street for coin to keep Elua and the Companions fed. They pledge themselves until they can make their mark — a full back tattoo that supposedly originates in the marks Naamah herself would have acquired from bedding people against unforgiving surfaces — in stages as they ply their trade.
Patrons can leave gifts above the price they pay for the service, and from there come the funds to pay the tattooist to fill out the mark. The Night Court is made up of thirteen houses that all cater to a particular aesthetic both visually and in terms of sexual desire. She was born with a scarlet mote in her left eye, and that imperfection makes her unfit for service. Her parents, who she explains have more love for each other than sense, failed to make profit from a trading caravan and desperately need money enough to survive.
They must back the goods with their own coin. In desperation, her mother turns to the first house, Cereus House, for a way out. I remember how she spoke of my father still with love and admiration, sure that the next purse, the next sojourn, would make his fortune. I remember how she cited, voice bold and trembling, her years of service, the exhortation of Blessed Elua: Love as thou wilt. And I remember, at last, how the fountain of her voice ran dry, and the Dowayne moved one hand.
Not lifted, not quite; a pair of fingers, perhaps, laden with rings. So we approached the chair, my mother trembling and I oddly fearless, as children are wont to be at the least apt of times. The Dowayne lifted my chin with one ring-laden finger and took survey of my features. Did a flicker of something, some uncertainty, cross her mien when her gaze fell on my left eye? Even now, I am not sure; and if it did, it passed swiftly. She withdrew her hand and returned her gaze to my mother, stern and abiding.
Yet she is comely, and being raised to the Court, may fetch a considerable bond price. In recognition of your years of service, I will make you this offer. The second chapter of the book, which is quite short, begins thusly. She scores her hand with a pin and is caught enjoying the pain of it by the Dowayne, who starts to send her off to Valerian House, where they specialize in that sort of fascination, but stops herself. She sends for Anafiel Delaunay, who is not a member of the Night Court, but something of a noble and a scholar.
Delaunay, after giving a name to her gifts, buys her mark so that once she has reached the age of ten she will join his household as one of his apprentices. From here the story grows into a masterfully crafted, War of the Roses style political intrigue. He seeks to accomplish this by using the pair of his apprentices, who pledge to become Servants of Naamah in an independent fashion, as honey pots. Her experiences and pleasure are vividly portrayed. Piece by piece, assignation by assignation, we move through the story, and along the way we meet Melisande Shahrizai.
If Delaunay is Sherlock, with an immense intellect, a keen eye for detail, and a mission for the greater good as he sees it , then Melisande is his Moriarty in the sense that the two of them are equally clever and motivated towards their own goals. I enjoy Melisande for her ruthless ambition and her intelligence.
She has the good fortune not to be sent alone, which brings me to one of my favorite things about this novel. Darcy is to regency romance. The Cassiline Brotherhood are not descendents of Cassiel, but an order of bodyguards pledged from noble houses that are considered to be the ultimate protectors. Usually they are only in service to those born of the Great Houses i. They dress in grey and carry two daggers and a sword, though mostly they fight with unmatched skill with the two daggers, as their swords are only drawn to kill. The young man standing in the shadows behind me bowed in the traditional manner of the Cassiline Brotherhood, hands crossed before him at chest level.
Warm sunlight gleamed on the steel of his vambraces and the chain-mail that gauntleted the backs of his hands. His twin daggers hung low on his belt and the cruciform hilt of his sword, always worn at the back, rose above his shoulders. He straightened and met my eyes. It is my privilege to attend. He neither looked nor sounded as though he meant it; I saw the line of his jaw harden as he closed his mouth on the words. It was a beautiful mouth.
Indeed, there was very little about Joscelin Verreuil that was not beautiful. He had the old-fashioned, noble features of a provincial lord and the somber, ash-grey garb of a Cassiline Brother adorned a tall, well-proportioned form, like the statues of the old Hellene athletes. His eyes were a clear blue, the color of a summer sky, and his hair, caught back in a club at the nape of his neck, was the color of a wheatfield at harvesttime. Joscelin enters the story at a tumultuous time.
But they are of a similar age, and he is assigned to be her protector at a time when she is becoming isolated from those she cares for by their shared mission. Joscelin, who is much more careful, is a good foil for her, and proves himself a stalwart companion when the chips are down.
It has naught to do with thrones and crowns. Cassiel betrayed God because God Himself had forgotten the duty of love and abandoned Elua ben Yeshua to the whims of Fate. To the point of damnation and beyond, he is the Perfect Companion. The two of them are such a slow-burn, antagonists-to-lovers romance that I could write an entire epic saga in honor to it. They both support each other and grow to be capable individuals that fit together. The acceptance of sexuality, desire, and love in this world I would say book, but remember, this series continues on for more than just this one are another reason I love it so.
Remember, he starts off a chaste guardian that errs towards restraint rather than passion. The book is also long , nine-hundred-and-one pages long, which puts the paperback in the category of self-defense brick. The story is gorgeously written, but with so much of it , I find that every time I read the book new details come to my attention. This romantic epic fantasy:. Did I miss your favorite part? Have you been in love with it as long as I have, or is this your first introduction to it? You can get your copy here.
Roz has a degree in both theater and comic books from different ends of the country, and has been telling stories since she was chasing fireflies barefoot at dusk and tormenting her cousins by enforcing a storyline on summer games of tag. She enjoys video games that rival epic sagas in length, writing books with heroines that require her to spar through her fight scenes with friends, and a good cup of tea.
No amount of coin will convince Belisare to use her magic, but that never stops her lover Gio from trying to change her mind. When convincing the lads of the plan goes poorly and Gio shows up in her tent, Belisare is more than happy for a few hours of distraction. Content Warning: Steamy love scenes, occasionally naughty language, and busty ladies in armor wielding swords.
Intended for mature audiences. Chosen Ones have a place and a purpose. There is no meandering through life and adventure when there is something to be done. The understanding is that there is a goal, a destination, and the Chosen One will reach it at some point or another. Chosen Ones are typically being guided, or they feel like they are. Chosen Ones usually only have to have faith in themselves.
And when they do, the pieces they were missing magically fall into place, and they are victorious. Chosen Ones are born special. Most recent example would be The Umbrella Academy on Netflix. No spoilers. This is literally given away in the trailer. Reading about Chosen Ones is a guilty pleasure for most of us. Sometimes, it hits us in our most vulnerable spots.
Some of us are bothered by the idea of nothing guiding our hand or looking out for us. We recognize our own fragility, our own weaknesses, and we rightfully mistrust ourselves in a lot of our decision making. It takes us decades to trust our own intuition, thoughts, and beliefs. For some of us, it takes us our entire lives if at all. And a lot of us want to believe that we can do great things for humankind as a whole. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself. The market, especially books and YA, has been inundated with a million Chosen One stories.
My guess would be that we have Harry Potter and the resurgence of superheroes to thank for it. And the idea of Chosen Ones has been spat on a lot for being too fictional or too lazy. I have yet to write a Chosen One despite loving the trope. I find it just as important to show that characters with grit, determination, and motivation can achieve great things. That despite a million and one pitfalls, they get right back up, not because their destiny says so, but because they must.
I like showing that if there is nothing guiding us, we can still do the right thing. We can trust ourselves to be our best, to overcome, to persist. But I think the answer has to be balance and acceptance, right? We need both, and I give you permission, as a totally regular person, to love both. If someone needs to read about someone facing fears and struggles without knowing the outcome, then so be it. Ryan grew up a military brat, managed to teach middle school in Texas for a spell, and finally settled in the southeastern US with her husband, their daughter, and two black cats. She loves writing determined heroines who answer the call for wild adventures across rich lands with grit and smarts.
Shenna is forced to watch her loved ones disintegrate before her very eyes. As an apprentice potioner, seventeen-year-old Shenna has been training to cure the Necrophaise disease for most of her life. The answer is an immortality elixir, and the key ingredient is rumored to exist outside the walls of Eien in the war-torn and deadly land of Revellis. When her fellow potioner returns from Revellis empty handed and near death, Shenna volunteers to be the next potioner to search for the ingredient.
Desert beasts hunt Shenna for the water in her body. Armies kill and destroy everything in their path. But Shenna is not without allies. She meets new friends, and a questionable, yet handsome, thief promises to steal her heart… eventually. As the Revellian war closes in around them, Shenna must rely on her potions and her friends if she hopes to survive and keep Eien from vanishing into light and dust.
Available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited! Bundled box set of the series is available too! One of my all-time favorite Disney movies is Beauty and the Beast, and finding an exceptional retelling of the classic or a book heavily inspired by it is a rare treat. Not strictly a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but it still hits all the right notes: a girl locked in a castle, and a beast with a curse to break. A masterfully written and sweet retelling perfect for lovers of YA fantasy. A beautifully rendered, brutal, and sexy tale perfect for adult fans.
Weaving in Greek mythology and other folklore, this is an exciting retelling with a compelling arranged marriage element. Dark, sexy, and steeped in mythology, this is one readers rave about.
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Beauty and the Beast inspired with a unique twist with dark elves, clever world building, and a slow-burn romance that will leave you aching for more. It has all the appeal of both the genres beautifully woven together in a satisfying and charming package. Check out J. It hits all the beats of a Beauty and the Beast retelling, with a fresh setting woven with Celtic mythology. For those who enjoy Beauty and the Beast retellings with a darker and grimmer edge or Irish mythical retellings, this book is likely a good match.
A mash-up of Beauty and the Beast with the Pied Piper makes for a unique twist. The tables are turned in this reverse harem: the girl is the beast and there are three men to break her curse. An adult retelling, filled with great characters, twists and turns that readers adored.
It completely captivated and enchanted me from the beginning to end. Dragons, intrigue, magic and romance. This book has it all! Lyrical prose, amazing characterization, and Gaelic mythology: what more could you want? A thief, an exiled prince, and a whole lot of intrigue, magic, and romance. A steamy gothic romance retelling, with strong French influences.
This story is the first book in The Otherland Series, and it is also a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. And aptly so as that was our theme for the month. Heart of the Fae is a high fantasy romance that takes its time getting to the romance. Emma tackles a lot of unpleasant and difficult subjects and themes within this book, making it live up to its description as a Beauty and the Beast with more adult themes. It too is a retelling that maintains key elements of the original fairy tale while offering its own twists and spins. Here the beast is a cursed fae prince who has been disfigured and cursed in such a way that whenever he is wounded, geodes and crystals appear where the wound was.
The beauty is Sorcha, a midwife trying to save her father who runs the family brothel. She goes on a great and confusing quest in an effort to save him. Though comparatively, the story starts out slow, picking up substantially after the first third when our primary protagonist Sorcha reaches the island. Emma favors a more descriptive telling approach to the story throughout. It is important to note that this is not a standalone story nor does the first book in the series end in a satisfying place.
Additionally her descriptions can be grippingly memorable and vivid. Descriptions of the castle and the grounds, for instance, were quite charming. The incorporation of the other senses makes the scenes even more compelling. It marries an old folkloric and mythic voice to a semi-modern rhythm with beautiful descriptions. The rhythm and poetry of the final lines sold me on the story. I may just have to pop back over and read it again. The best part within this story is the infusion of mythology and folklore within the world. While it is not entirely clear whether this is an actual Ireland or a uchronic Ireland, it is a fun world to imagine.
I lean toward it being another place entirely, particularly given the blood beetles, which sound truly terrifying. I especially liked the appearance of Macha throughout the story and her representation. Even if one is not particularly familiar with Irish mythology or folklore, it is easy to follow along. It adds to the dark mysteriousness of the story. But I would have liked more nuance to lead to balanced and less confusing situations, and greater consistency within the worldbuilding and character development.
Some of these issues may in fact be resolved later as the characters develop or as the world is further explained in the second book. In a sense, The Heart of the Fae is at a disadvantage for discussing the romance because the characters do not meet until a third of the way into the book. And then they make up for lost time, reaching their first romantic connection before the first half ends. The initial meeting is terse, brusque, and aggressive, but they soon find their way to attraction and connection.
The characters can sometimes feel erratic in their activities and driving forces as well as memories, but both Sorcha and Eamonn remain drawn to one another in the romantic climax that the reader is waiting for. Other secondary characters also steal the show. Bran, in particular, takes the focus whenever he is on the page. He feels like a good choice for further stories and focus. Aside from the cliffhanger ending, The Heart of the Fae does do well at hitting all the beats of a traditional Beauty and the Beast retelling while making them creatively its own.
The sacrificial element here plays a needed prominent role, and there are many nods to the Disney Beauty and the Beast as well. Naatos, a shapeshifter, suspects a devious mindreader named Salanca of abducting children. Salanca has hidden her vicious schemes because, though the other Neyeb can read minds, she knows how to shroud her thoughts deeply. Naatos must act swiftly and covertly to avert the murder of the stolen children even as he has been rejected yet again for receiving a Neyeb bride.
This is a prequel novella to The Tue-Rah Chronicles. It is not necessary to have read The Tue-Rah Chronicles, and it does not contain spoilers. Get it on Amazon today! My first crush was on Aladdin. As far as eight-year-old me was concerned, he was the perfect man. My penchant for Disney rogues has even followed me into adulthood—the period of time in which my three-year-old made me watch Tangled on repeat for weeks on end was made slightly more tolerable by the presence of Flynn Rider. My first boyfriend was a rogue too; the Rogue in fact. The witty King of Thieves seemed far more appealing to me than Prince Jon.
In the end, I did fall in love with a few princes, but there were also crooks, warlords and pirates. I was romanced by nineteenth-century English gentlemen, assassins from Ixia and elves from Mirkwood, while safe in the knowledge that if things got too intense, I could close the book and walk away. As an awkward, gangly, bespectacled teenager, that appealed to me, and the boys in those books seemed far more interesting than the awkward, gangly, be-spotted boys I went to school with. I wanted someone I could depend on in a crisis, and someone who knew they could depend on me.
I wanted warmth, and humour and intelligence. I fell for Aladdin the moment he handed his loaf of bread over to those two street children after going to so much effort to get it in the first place. That love was solidified when he kept his promise to the genie at the end, using his last wish to free him, and in doing so potentially sacrificing his own happiness. I fell for Mr. My book boyfriends were all very different.
They also taught me about love, and who might be worthy of mine. Gemma Oleander lives in Lancashire, England, and is mother to a dire wolf and two tiny humans. Growing up, she spent more time immersed in fantasy worlds than she did in the real one. Now, writing fantasy allows her to create worlds or her own and spend lots of time in them. Gemma studied English Literature and Journalism at university, and worked as an English teacher before pursuing a career in writing. You can reach her at:. Imprisoned since she was born, she is their most dangerous weapon: a magical assassin who visits people as they sleep—ensuring that they never wake up.
Cali would give almost anything for her freedom, but not when the punishment for any disobedience means death for her friends. Lok knows two things; magic is evil and so are those who wield it.
Becoming a member of The Order has been his dream since boyhood, but once he is stationed at the prison, he starts to see the corruption at its core. When children are used as offerings, he knows he can stay silent no longer. Lok decides to leave, unwittingly taking Cali with him, and events are set in motion that cannot be reversed. This story is the first book the Dark-Elves of Nightbloom Series, and it retells one of my favorite fairy tales: Beauty and the Beast. Really, I love seeing all of them. But Beauty and the Beast is my favorite. I have read many retellings of it over the years—some I loved, others were meh, and a few I hated.
No Man Can Tame is a high-fantasy romance, and it lives up to all my expectations for a book in this genre. The romance is front and center, but there is a great deal of rich worldbuilding. The story is told through the perspectives of both Aless and Veron. The retelling itself maintains key elements of the original fairy tale but offers a number of original twists and spins.
It is also, to a degree, a double Beauty and the Beast story. In a sense, both protagonists are beauties and beasts, both having to learn key lessons and understand how to be more selfless for this relationship to work. In a sense, this retelling reminds me also of the movie Ever After in its tone and style, as if it would be shot in a similar style. The story reads quickly with good pacing. While it is a slow-burn romance, it does pay off, and it fits solidly within the genre expectations.
Aless, the Beast princess, must wed Veron, an Immortali and prince of the dark elves to assure peace and secure the alliance between their nations. Arranged marriages are one of my favorite tropes simply because of the guarantee of conflict and how it tends to escalate the romantic tension, along with the unknown aspects that come from being in a relationship with a stranger who may not share your same values. Miranda plays with this trope very well, understanding the implications that arranged marriages have and their impact on individuals while still recognizing that readers want a little bit of fantasy and indulgence with these sorts of stories.
So she creates a mixture of conflict and challenges with plenty of build up, attraction, and eventually consummation. More importantly, the contrasting cultures are not there simply as trappings or window dressings. There are consequences and impacts because of these beliefs on both sides. In my opinion, the sacrificial element is one of the most important elements of a Beauty and the Beast retelling. In some way, the beauty must sacrifice herself or some part of herself to preserve the safety or happiness of another. It offers a key element of insight into the characters and a connecting point for later events within the book as well as the concept of inner beauty.
In this case, Miranda delivers a particularly strong interpretation. Similarly other characters demonstrate sacrifice, sometimes in small ways such as Veron sharing his rations with a fellow starving soldier, despite then having nothing for himself. It is woven throughout the story and plays into the finale in a satisfying way.
They are kept apart not merely because they have different physical standards for beauty but because of cultural expectations and challenges that their relationship brings about. Veron is firm but calm and resolute, utterly loyal to the commands of his queen, his mother. Aless, on the other hand, is more headstrong and impetuous, determined to make the most of things and to create her own solutions even when others attempt to deny her this. The romantic relationship works the traditional issues within any relationship: trust and honesty.
Both characters have reasons for their particular perspectives, and their motivations and histories sometimes come into conflict, creating persuasive reasons for the delays in their consummation. As both Veron and Aless become close and work through violations of trust and expectations indeed some deep emotional wounds are inflicted at a few points , the attraction does develop between them until it reaches the much anticipated exploration of the romantic relationship.
Miranda handles this artfully. There are sex scenes with a decent bit of heat and a strong focus on the emotions, and they do contain important information for the plot and character developments. Another strength of this story is the breadth of the cast of characters. Veron and Aless both have families who play key roles within the story.
Yet both remain close. The impact of a third sister is also felt as well as a brother. Veron likewise has his own family who play not only a key role in his life but in his development. One of the most intriguing is his mother, who has little screen time but is just as refreshing a change-of-pace character as Bianca. The subterranean and ferocious dark elves come from a matriarchal culture, which is reflected throughout the world building in general.
She keeps her confidences close, and there is much that is hinted at that suggests she could very easily have her own story. At a key point within the story, she must serve as a queen and determine appropriate consequences for direct disobedience. While she is not as kind as some might like, she is just in her determinations and provides sound reasoning for her decisions. Indeed, all of the secondary characters feel strong enough to carry their own stories.
I am excited that there will be more stories within this series that will hopefully explore these. What makes this all the more exciting is that the characters, from the protagonists to the antagonists, are all mixtures of good and bad with understandable motivations, weaknesses, and aspirations. As a fellow epic fantasy author, I find worldbuilding to be one of the most fascinating aspects of stories like this. Norse mythology is one of my favorites, and seeing how well it was woven in without being overbearing was a delight.
Despite her mistakes, she cannot be tamed thus, I think, the title. She and Veron are equals within their marriage, and while he does not try to keep her from being that, he does have to learn what it is for her to be who she is, just as much as she has to learn how to truly see beyond her own interests. While certainly not essential to the Beauty and the Beast retelling, Miranda did incorporate a couple other facets of the story. Not simply because I love libraries but because of what it reveals about Aless, her past, her family, and her culture.
Additionally, magic roses appear as well. They are present for only a little bit, but if my authorial senses are correct, I suspect we may see more of them in future books. Have you read this one? What did you think about the spin on Beauty and the Beast? Share in the comments! Trapped between warring forces, Amelia must own her destiny before her heart splits in two. Already Naatos, a world conquering warlord, and his brothers have conquered Libysha.
Her people demand she vanquish them to prove her loyalty and save them. To refuse is to lose the trust of her own family and friends, the people whom she always longed to protect.
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When betrayal threatens the refuge of her allies, Amelia must return to Naatos in order to distract him from further bloodshed, all while fighting her growing affection for him and his family. Yet the more she learns of tragic history, the murkier the truth becomes. The very people Amelia defends have committed their own atrocities, including linking Amelia to a human soldier who holds half her soul in a life-threatening bond.
Attacked by her allies and cared for by her enemies, Amelia struggles on, more disillusioned with her destiny. A massive army of deadly shapeshifters looms on the other side of the Tue-Rah, an interdimensional portal. With the fate of worlds resting on her shoulders, she must walk the balance between hero and villain before she is torn in two. I love love triangles in romantic arcs.
Granted, in some circles, this is akin to saying I love Brussels sprouts or chicken gizzards. Love triangles often get a bad rap in fiction because of Twilight. If this is your particular brand of wish fulfillment, all right then. However, love triangles existed in many forms before Twilight , and they continue to exist afterwards, in a much wider variety that is insanely useful for great romantic storytelling. At their core, love triangles have a sense of realism. They operate with the understanding that love and romance is messy, and that someone can be attractive to more than person.
Major burn there! Of course, all of this requires a great deal of smart characterization to figure out why these two characters are attracted to the same person. What do each of them uniquely see in this individual? Are they projecting their own ideas onto the person? How do they think the person will complete them—and are they right or wrong? A love triangle should create plot problems and force each character to grow to figure out where they stand. One of my favorite love triangles is in J. Such a wonderful mess of twisting fate! But then the heroine is turned towards another man because of outside forces meddling with her soul and his.
When the truth is revealed, the heroine breaks up with the other man, even though Naatos, her arranged marriage fellow, is pretty much a huge jerk. In this case, our noble heroine is trying to allow the other man to go off and live his own life. And plus, that soul-meddling has side effects, leaving all kinds of loose threads between the heroine and the other man. Cue much angst and anger and hard situations that contribute wonderfully to the main plot! This is likely why you find love triangles so much in YA stories, because YA is all about coming of age and figuring out your identity.
But if your main character can be wonderfully stressed out by two people chasing them, or if they can be flustered by chasing the same individual as another person, a love triangle is a great fit. And as a side hustle, you could start a t-shirt business for your various love triangle options. If you do, let me know… I might need them for Team Brussels Sprouts vs. Team Chicken Gizzards! Janeen Ippolito writes unique words that change our world.
In her spare time, Janeen enjoys sword-fighting, reading, pyrography, and eating brownie batter. Two of her goals are eating fried tarantulas and traveling to Antarctica. Janeen also writes love triangles in her own work! Her recent release is Lawless , the first book in The Ironfire Legacy series :. Dragonshifter convict Kesia Ironfire has one goal: to redeem herself as a soldier in the dragon-human war. A rogue mission to spy on a new airship is the perfect way to win the trust of her superiors, as long as she collects useful intel.
Then the airship explodes into sickening green smoke, leaving Kesia and her tactical partner Zephryn Nightstalker in cold water and under house arrest. Kesia and Zephryn flee to the human military capital, where Captain Shance Windkeeper is furloughed after the destruction of his airship and avoiding a most unwanted countess threatening an arranged marriage.
Eager to discover what—and who—blew up his vessel, he helps Kesia and Zephryn infiltrate High Command. And human social customs are the least of her worries. Dark secrets emerge as Kesia searches for answers in the heart of High Command. Secrets that undermine her criminal status and the war itself. This, in and of itself, is probably the best argument for romance in fantasy. For the most part, romance in stories gets boiled down to Person A falling in love with Person B and vice versa.
And for those of us who want a decent sex scene in our stories, there tends to be a few other problems. Fights for promos, swaps, ad spots, etc. And good luck if you write romantic YA where teens have sex. Guess what? Side-story: Veronica Roth YA author was approached by several parents who questioned if her books included sex. When she said no, but they include murder and fighting and killing, the parents shrugged it off and said that was fine. Also, authors who put sex on the pages of their stories in genres OTHER than romance tend to run into another interesting obstacle.
Can that be a thing? Sometimes I need to read about the main character sleeping with every male character to pick the one she truly loves, okay? She is a beast by nature. He is a beast by duty. Amid the lovely roses and razor-sharp thorns, love tangles between beasts and beauties in this twist of a classic romantic tale that transcends time… Nida, a dragonian life weaver, anxiously awaits the day her new sisters hatch in their temple sanctuary.
But without the magical spirit of a human male, that day will never come. But that, dear readers, is not the beginning of the story…. Once upon a time, back when dinosaurs roamed the aisles of Waldenbooks, an author decided that love triangles in romance novels were silly and frustrating. Double penetration or bust, baby! But then, something huge happened in the book world—enter the e-book self-publishing revolution. Four lesbian or bi women in a relationship.
Three gay or bi guys. It was almost exclusively either contemporary romance or paranormal romance, for one thing. Go on… ask me how I know! The genre also leaned heavily toward erotic romance or outright erotica, with much of the emphasis being placed on the buildup to group sex and the eventual payoff.
Meanwhile, another book-related phenomenon was quietly bubbling in the background. Borrowing from a type of Japanese manga in which the female main character is surrounded by a number of male love and friendship interests vying for her attention, a handful of Western authors were writing books in which the YA young adult heroine openly cultivated a number of romantic partners. These partners were aware of each other and generally okay with sharing the girl.
Often they were already friends, or they were otherwise connected in some sort of previously existing group. The focus was in these books was less on sex and more on emotional relationship building. Unlike the manga stories, however, in Western-style reverse harem books, the main character never chooses one partner over the others.
The genre took off with readers in , becoming one of the hottest trends of the year in self-publishing. Reverse harem readers were voracious and knew exactly what they wanted. It was even worse if the main character ended up with one love interest at the end, instead of all of them—that way lay author career suicide. Additionally, readers wanted the men of the harem to be exclusively focused on the woman; the prevailing opinion at the time was that as soon as any of the guys went bisexual and started getting it on with each other as well as the girl, it was no longer reverse harem.
Of course, some of the women in historical, real-world harems were having sex with each other—and it happened commonly enough that there were laws in place outlining how to deal with them when they were caught. But, anyhoo…. Why is it all contemporary and paranormal romance? Because the reality is that all of these book-related terms are completely arbitrary. Not only that, but they evolve over time. Still, at least in my opinion, poly romance can be considered the overarching umbrella term for these sorts of books. The only restriction on poly romance is that 1 it must contain more than two people in a consensual romantic relationship, 2 everyone must know about everyone else, and 3 there must not be any cheating see 2.
Similarly, taking away the external plot elements would leave you with the other fifty percent of a story. In response to ever more draconian crackdowns by major book advertising platforms regarding anything that even hints at alternative lifestyles, poly romance authors have started getting creative in a truly lovely way. This has become a huge problem for authors who rely on that kind of advertising to drive book sales and make their living.
Because, after all… when it comes to book romance in all its beautiful and interesting permutations, why would you ever want to choose in the first place? USA Today bestselling author R. Steffan lives in a very boring but pretty part of flyover country in the Midwestern US. A rebel to the core, she is currently sticking it to the man by illegally harboring ducks within the city limits, where only chickens are allowed.
This fearless disregard for societal norms extends to her writing, as well. There, you will find polyamory along with straight, gay, bisexual, and non-gender conforming love of all flavors. You will also find families of choice, profound friendships, adventure, danger, and good triumphing over evil. The survival of the last living dragons rests with me and my misfit friends. No pressure. Rayth and Nyx have both been hiding secrets for a very long time, but now they face a choice.
Let go of their ugly pasts, or watch the future burn to the ground. As soon as someone catches sight of them, every soldier in Utrea will be after us. It could also end in tragedy beyond measure. If I want it to be the former, it looks like I need to start banging some heads together. Otherwise, our hopes and dreams could well go down in flames. A special note for Fantasy readers: herein, you will find explicit love scenes in several interesting and unconventional permutations. To save the country and return to her own world, she must find her seven celestial warriors, who are all bound to aid her on her quest.
Along the way, the relationships among them grow, strengthen, and evolve. This is the basic plot to Fushigi Yuugi Mysterious Play , my favorite anime and manga series as well as my original introduction to the reverse harem genre. Fushigi Yuugi is a hallmark example. All the good stuff! So when I learned from a fellow author that people are writing reverse harem romances in Western fiction, I was stunned and super excited! Being a longtime anime fan as well as a reader of fantasy and romantic fantasy when I could find it , it was choirs singing and birds soaring. Now, I absolutely love a traditional romance between two people, but seeing reverse harem romances — something I always associated with being unique to anime — appear in my beloved fantasy, it changed things for me, both as a writer and a reader.
The harems themselves include three or more members and can have both genders within i. In the context of a story, the harem can either be the focal point of the plot the center must find or connect to her harem in order to defeat the big bad , or could be the subplot the center must defeat the big bad but also gathers a harem along the way. Epic fantasy lends itself very well to the idea of reverse harems, though just as in anime, RH stories span genres from contemporary to paranormal to science fiction.
The genre mainly appeals to female readers. Though varying degrees of sexual relations and explicitness are present, the focus is mainly on the relationships. Specifically, those the center has with her harem: how they first come together, the means of attraction, the resulting emotions and feelings, how the guys relate to one another, and of course how they work together in the end.