The best fantasy novels with a little zingy romance thrown in

Why am I passionate about this?

I absolutely adore fantasy! I love leaving our world and being transported to another. I love that characters might have magic or crazy heritages. I love the creatures that come with the genre. I adore everything about fantasy. Throwing romantic elements into the story just makes it all that much sweeter. Having a hero with a weakness for a heroine is so comforting to read. Giving the characters someone else to fight for is also a heart-warming, sometimes gut-wrenching, affair. But in the end, having romance in a fantasy just gives it a little extra push to the readers.


I wrote...

Dueling Fates

By Stephanie M. Allen,

Book cover of Dueling Fates

What is my book about?

In the world of Erez, three kingdoms share a tentative peace. In the far west, Princess Isemay yearns for much more than frilly dresses and etiquette classes. While her twin sister, Alena, prepares for life as a monarch in a neighboring kingdom, Isemay roams the woods with her loyal cheetah, hunting dagger strapped to her belt. It’s only when two surprising visitors arrive at the castle that Isemay must come to terms with her royal future—and a secret magical heritage. Now engaged to the king of the east, Isemay prepares for a position she never wanted.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of A Court of Mist and Fury

Stephanie M. Allen Why did I love this book?

A Court of Mist and Fury (or ACOMAF, as fans call it) is one of the definitive books that includes popular tropes, but still manages to draw the reader in. This book inspired me in so many ways, particularly the idea of unique magic systems, which is something that helped me in my own writing. And the “enemies to lovers” trope doesn’t hurt either.

By Sarah J. Maas,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked A Court of Mist and Fury as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE SECOND BOOK IN THE #1 BESTSELLING SERIES

'With bits of Buffy, Game Of Thrones and Outlander, this is a glorious series of total joy' - STYLIST
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Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court - but at a steep cost. Though she now possesses the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, the mesmerising High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates his dark web of political games and tantalising promises,…


Book cover of A Deal with the Elf King

Stephanie M. Allen Why did I love this book?

A Deal with the Elf King is one of those fantasy books that draws the reader in with tropes while still drawing the reader in and keeping them guessing. While this book would be considered a fantasy romance rather than a fantasy with romance, it’s almost refreshing. The reader is guaranteed a happily ever after. Seeing different magical creatures, rather than just fae, is nice. It’s something I aspired to in my own writing. I love fae, don’t get me wrong, but seeing other types of love interests is amazing.

By Elise Kova,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Deal with the Elf King as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Uprooted, this stand-alone, fantasy romance about a human girl and her marriage to the Elf King is impossible to put down! The elves come for two things: war and wives. In both cases, they come for death.

Three thousand years ago, humans were hunted by powerful races with wild magic until the treaty was formed. Now, for centuries, the elves have taken a young woman from Luella's village to be their Human Queen. To be chosen is seen as a mark of death by the townsfolk. A mark 19-year-old…


Book cover of The Shadows Between Us

Stephanie M. Allen Why did I love this book?

This is another book that I consider to fall under the romance category first. However, I absolutely adored this book because the main character is a morally gray character. I love seeing morally gray characters! I love writing them. It makes the story so much more interesting. It also makes the characters unpredictable, keeping them from falling into the “Mary Sue” category. 

By Tricia Levenseller,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Shadows Between Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

They still haven't found the body of the first and only boy who broke Alessandra's heart - and they never will. Since then, all of her relationships have been purely physical. And now at eighteen years old, Alessandra is ready for more. The plan is simple:

1. Make the king fall in love with her.
2. Get him to marry her.
3. Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

It's no small task, but Alessandra wants a kingdom and is going to do everything within her power to get it. She knows the freshly crowned Shadow King will be…


Book cover of Winter

Stephanie M. Allen Why did I love this book?

This book was a pleasant surprise for me. The covers look a little bit cheesy, which might be off-putting to some. However, and that’s a big however, I adored this trilogy. The main characters gave off Feyre and Rhysand vibes, the main characters from my first pick. I love a book that is inspired by a popular book, but can hold its own. This can definitely hold its own. And it has the ever-popular “enemies to lovers,” which is my favorite trope to write.

By Audrey Grey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Winter as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 13, 14, 15, and 16.

What is this book about?

Welcome to Evermore Academy where the magic is dark, the immortals are beautiful, and being human SUCKS.

After spending my entire life avoiding the creatures that murdered my parents, one stupid mistake binds me to them for four years.

My penance? Become a human shadow at the infamous Evermore Academy, finishing school for the Seelie and Unseelie Fae courts.

All I want is to keep a low profile, but day one, I make an enemy of the most powerful Fae in the academy.

The Winter Prince is arrogant, cruel, and apparently also my Fae keeper. Meaning I’m in for months…


Book cover of These Hollow Vows

Stephanie M. Allen Why did I love this book?

This was an unexpected read on a few levels. First, that ending! Oh, that ending was rude! It definitely left me on a cliffhanger, which I both love and hate. Let’s be real, I do it in my own writing. It keeps the reader guessing and leaves the reader wanting more. But I also found it to be fast-paced, which isn’t the usual for a romantic fantasy. It had all the elements I love: morally gray heroine, lovers to enemies, love triangle, all the tropes that just go deliciously in a fantasy.

By Lexi Ryan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked These Hollow Vows as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 14, 15, 16, and 17.

What is this book about?

From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes. Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she'll do whatever it takes to get her back - including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics…


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Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

By Rebecca Wellington,

Book cover of Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

Rebecca Wellington Author Of Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I am adopted. For most of my life, I didn’t identify as adopted. I shoved that away because of the shame I felt about being adopted and not truly fitting into my family. But then two things happened: I had my own biological children, the only two people I know to date to whom I am biologically related, and then shortly after my second daughter was born, my older sister, also an adoptee, died of a drug overdose. These sequential births and death put my life on a new trajectory, and I started writing, out of grief, the history of adoption and motherhood in America. 

Rebecca's book list on straight up, real memoirs on motherhood and adoption

What is my book about?

I grew up thinking that being adopted didn’t matter. I was wrong. This book is my journey uncovering the significance and true history of adoption practices in America. Now, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the renewed debate over women’s reproductive rights places an even greater emphasis on adoption. As a mother, historian, and adoptee, I am uniquely qualified to uncover the policies and practices of adoption.

The history of adoption, reframed through the voices of adoptees like me, and mothers who have been forced to relinquish their babies, blows apart old narratives about adoption, exposing the fallacy that adoption is always good.

In this story, I reckon with the pain and unanswered questions of my own experience and explore broader issues surrounding adoption in the United States, including changing legal policies, sterilization, and compulsory relinquishment programs, forced assimilation of babies of color and Indigenous babies adopted into white families, and other liabilities affecting women, mothers, and children. Now is the moment we must all hear these stories.

Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

By Rebecca Wellington,

What is this book about?

Nearly every person in the United States is affected by adoption. Adoption practices are woven into the fabric of American society and reflect how our nation values human beings, particularly mothers. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, the renewed debate over women's reproductive rights places an even greater emphasis on adoption. As a mother, historian, and adoptee, Rebecca C. Wellington is uniquely qualified to uncover the policies and practices of adoption. Wellington's timely-and deeply researched-account amplifies previously marginalized voices and exposes the social and racial biases embedded in the United States' adoption industry.…


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