The best YA fantasy romances featuring a teenage girl and an ancient dude

Nicole Kilpatrick Author Of Clover
By Nicole Kilpatrick

Who am I?

I’m a book nerd and YA novel lover. While I do enjoy the occasional mystery or thriller, I unerringly find my way to the young adult aisle each and every time I go searching for my new guilty pleasure. I especially enjoy fantasy books with a touch of romance. I find that these types of books are escapism at their very finest. It should come as no surprise that when I wrote my own book, I did not stray from my favorite genre. 

I wrote...


By Nicole Kilpatrick,

Book cover of Clover

What is my book about?

When a handsome leprechaun reveals himself to Clover O'Leary on her eighteenth birthday, she is faced with three hard facts. One: he is the reason for her remarkably charmed life. Two: her luck has now taken a turn for the worse. Three: her name is a curse; a malicious gift from the powerful leprechaun who named her while she was still in the womb.

In order to get her life back and undo the evil spell, she must travel to Ireland to seek the only creature who may be able to help: the Seelie Queen. With her intriguing leprechaun in tow, Clover crosses into the Faerie Realm, where fairies and mythical creatures abound and where finding her luck may ultimately lead to finding her love.

The books I picked & why

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By Stephenie Meyer,

Book cover of Twilight

Why this book?

Okay, I hear you. Maybe you’re saying that a hundred-year age gap is creepy and that the Twilight books are trite, overly dramatic, and way too hyped for what they truly are. Maybe. But c’mon, tell me you didn’t swoon when the century-old vampire with the mussed-up hair and sparkly skin fell for the klutzy outcast, Bella. I know I did. Twilight was a guilty pleasure that I read on a Bahamian beach with a drink in hand. It got me started on my love for YA fantasy romances, and most importantly, if I hadn’t picked up this book those many years ago, I don’t think I would have ever tried my hand at writing my own YA fantasy novel. So, thank you, sparkly Edward and clumsy Bella. I owe you one. 

A Court of Mist and Fury

By Sarah J. Maas,

Book cover of A Court of Mist and Fury

Why this book?

Although this is not the first book in the series (it’s the 2nd), it’s my favorite because (spoiler alert) this is where Feyre and Rhysand become an item. Our female protagonist is eighteen years old, while the dashing High Lord of the Night Court is at least five hundred years her senior. Men and their obsession with young women. Am I right? The Acotar books, though sometimes considered YA, are actually adult books because of their quite explicit sexual content. Despite the gratuitous sex scenes, I enjoyed Sarah J. Maas’s world-building. From Velaris to the Night Court and everywhere in between, the descriptions are vivid, and the story stays with you long after you’ve put down the last book in the series. 

City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments #1

By Cassandra Clare,

Book cover of City of Bones: The Mortal Instruments #1

Why this book?

Full disclosure: I love the Shadowhunters series. Angels. Demons. Fae. Parabatai. Cassandra Clare created such a fun and interesting world with a vast cast of endearing characters. City of Bones is the first book in the series. This is where the very ancient demon Magnus Bane first meets Alec Lightwood, a young handsome Shadowhunter. By the way, Shadowhunters are Nephilim, whose main reason for being is to vanquish demons and other supernatural creatures. Although Magnus and Alec are only side characters to the more central story of Jayce and Clary, I thoroughly enjoyed the development of their romance. You will just have to trust me on this one. If you haven’t already, you must get yourself a copy of City of Bones

Dead Until Dark

By Charlaine Harris,

Book cover of Dead Until Dark

Why this book?

A telepathic waitress begins a relationship with a vampire while a serial killer stalks their small Louisiana town. Tell me with a straight face that that blurb didn’t hook you! While this one is technically an adult book, it’s campy and fun and reads like a young adult novel, full of mystery, adventure, and supernatural creatures. This is the first novel in the Sookie Stackhouse books, which later became the inspiration for the True Blood TV series. Needless to say, vampire books = inappropriate age gap romances, but what can I say, I’m here for it! 

Things That Should Stay Buried

By Casey L. Bond,

Book cover of Things That Should Stay Buried

Why this book?

I discovered this book as it was a finalist in the 2021 Rone Awards along with my own debut novel. I really enjoyed the imaginative premise of this book. The Zodia are real. Clawing their way from a long-forgotten tomb, they emerge, ravenous to claim everyone born under their star signs. What an inventive idea! When young Larken starts to fall for the powerful Aries, you know you’re in for quite the ride. I absolutely enjoyed this book and would recommend it to lovers of YA fantasy romances. 

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