The best first books in a paranormal romance series

Gayle Parness Author Of Rebirth: Rogues Shifter Series Book One
By Gayle Parness

Who am I?

I’ve loved the vampire mythos since I was a young teen, reading and watching everything I could, then devising my own stories surrounding the characters in those worlds. As an avid adult reader and audiobook listener of paranormal romance and fantasy, writing novels set in similar worlds concerning shifters and vampires and other species seemed to come naturally. I love to create dangerous and detailed worlds, then force my characters to survive in them, all while falling in love. Being able to share my stories is an amazing gift and I thank my muse on a daily basis. Because I’m an audiobook fan, my series is also on audio.


I wrote...

Rebirth: Rogues Shifter Series Book One

By Gayle Parness,

Book cover of Rebirth: Rogues Shifter Series Book One

What is my book about?

My senses are sharp, my body is sleek, and my speed is turbo-powered. I’m a shifter. A creature I didn’t know existed until a few days ago. I have two forms but my mind is mine, my human half growing stronger as my animal learns to run free. Ley line energy fuels my spirit along with my magic and I’ve never felt so empowered.

Garrett, my vampire trainer, has placed me with a group of rogues, young shifters who, like me, never fit in. Danger roams this realm, but Garrett is teaching me to fight, to use my magic to protect the vulnerable. To be all that I was meant to be. The work is hard, but I won’t let down my new team. I can do this. We can do this.

The books I picked & why

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Slave to Sensation

By Nalini Singh,

Book cover of Slave to Sensation

Why this book?

Slave to Sensation is perfect for shifter lovers who’d also like to be introduced to a fascinating and extremely powerful species. The Psi are humans who’ve evolved into creatures able to use their minds in amazing but also frightening ways. Always well written with plenty of action, yummy romance, and strong female characters. The world building is fabulous and each book in the main series and the spin-off series is wonderful.

Ms. Singh teaches me to write with abundant heart. Her books have often made me cry in a good way. She is truly an inspiration to me, and I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and chat with her about writing romance novels.


Dark Lover

By J.R.Ward,

Book cover of Dark Lover

Why this book?

What is paranormal romance without hot vampires? Only these aren’t the usual sort. This team of “brothers” is honor-bound to protect their people and their king from an evil presence wreaking havoc in upstate NY. I love this series because the world building is incredible, the romance is very steamy, and the relationships between the so-called brothers is sometimes laugh-inducing, sometimes heartbreaking. I particularly love character backstories on the darker side, and this series certainly fits the bill.


Magic Bites

By Ilona Andrews,

Book cover of Magic Bites

Why this book?

This is probably considered more urban fantasy than paranormal romance but I had to include it. The world building drew me in instantly in this series. Set in post-apocalyptic Atlanta, GA, Kate Daniels, a powerful magic user, lives in a world where magic wars with tech. Where one minute the phone and electric lights work and the next you have to rely on magic to see in the dark or to communicate. The heroine has an amazing backstory that unfolds as the series continues and Ilona Andrews (actually a husband and wife team of writers), makes you wait for the extremely unlikely romance to gain traction. I love the variety of characters, particularly Kate and the powerful Curran, a pack master for the ages. There’s lots of humor and Kate is a very strong heroine, both are always a plus for me.


Dragon Actually: Dragon Kin, Book 1

By G.A. Aiken,

Book cover of Dragon Actually: Dragon Kin, Book 1

Why this book?

Do you like to laugh out loud when you read a book, because this series is for you. G.A. Aiken also writes as Shelley Laurenston and humor is the main component in all her paranormal romance novels. Dragon Actually is set in a fantasy world where dragon shifters have violent “spats” with family members and extremely human attitudes about everything from food to sex to war, while still holding on to some of the more traditional draconic myths. Although I’ve read every book Aiken/Laurenston has written, I still have a great fondness for these almost unredeemable dragons who find love with the most unlikely creatures. 


Dead Witch Walking

By Kim Harrison,

Book cover of Dead Witch Walking

Why this book?

I didn’t want to ignore witches in my list, and Rachel Morgan is my all-time favorite. A skilled spell, charm, and curse caster, Rachel is also tasked with the job of bounty hunter. Cincinnati, Ohio must be protected, after all. I love Rachel’s never-give-up attitude, her compassionate nature, and her constant ability to say the wrong thing to the wrong creature and still find a way to survive the repercussions. There’s always plenty of action, seriously dangerous villains, and a variety of supernatural personalities, including vampires, pixies, and a demon you can’t get enough of. I’ve followed Rachel’s journey through every book and always find myself anxiously waiting for the next one in the series.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in romantic love, the paranormal, and vampires?

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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