The best first books in a paranormal romance series

Why am I passionate about this?

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

By Gayle Parness,

Book cover of Rebirth

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.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Slave to Sensation

Gayle Parness Why did I love 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.

By Nalini Singh,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Slave to Sensation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE FIRST PSY/CHANGELING NOVEL from the New York Times bestselling author of Shards of Hope, Shield of Winter, and Heart of Obsidian...
The book that Christine Feehan called "a must-read for all of my fans."
In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation"-the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was...Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries…


Book cover of Dark Lover

Gayle Parness Why did I love 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.

By J. R. Ward,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Dark Lover as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There also exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Among them, none relishes killing their enemies more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood...

The only pure-bred vampire left on the planet, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But when one of his most trusted fighters is killed - orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage…


Book cover of Magic Bites

Gayle Parness Why did I love 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.

By Ilona Andrews,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Magic Bites as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Kate Daniels is about to enter a world of gritty magic and dangerous mystery! Vampires, necromancers and mages abound on the city streets, with one kickass heroine in the middle

Future Atlanta is an interesting place to live: one moment magic dominates, and cars stall and guns fail. The next, technology takes over and the defensive spells no longer protect your house from monsters.

Here skyscrapers topple under the onslaught of magic; the Pack, a paramilitary clan of shapechangers, prowl through the ruined streets; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst for knowledge and wealth, pilot…


Book cover of Dragon Actually

Gayle Parness Why did I love 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. 

By G.A. Aiken,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Dragon Actually as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It's not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear—a lot—or else salute. It's true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother's soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer.

Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly, and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe—a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus…


Book cover of Dead Witch Walking

Gayle Parness Why did I love 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.

By Kim Harrison,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Dead Witch Walking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From New York Times bestselling author, Kim Harrison, comes the first book in an exciting urban fantasy series; packed with the perfect balance of wry humour and thrilling action, which will delight fans of thrillers and fantasy alike.

Rachel Morgan is a white witch and runner working for Inderland Security, in an alternate world where a bioengineered virus wiped out a great deal of the world's human population - exposing the existence of the supernatural communities that had long lived alongside humanity.

For the last five years Rachel has been tracking down law-breaking Inderlanders in modern-day Cincinnati, but now she…


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Dormice & Moonshine: Falling for Slovenia

By Sam Baldwin,

Book cover of Dormice & Moonshine: Falling for Slovenia

Sam Baldwin Author Of Dormice & Moonshine: Falling for Slovenia

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an Englishman who fell in love with a 300-year-old former sausage curing hut on the side of a Slovenian mountain in 2007. After years of visits spent renovating the place, I moved to Slovenia, where I lived and worked for many years, exploring the country, customs, and culture, learning some of the language, and visiting its most beautiful places. I continue to be enamored with Slovenia, and you will regularly find me at my cabin, making repairs and splitting firewood.

Sam's book list on books about Slovenia

What is my book about?

When two brothers discover a 300-year-old sausage-curing cabin on the side of a Slovenian mountain, it's love at first sight. But 300-year-old cabins come with 300 problems.

Dormice & Moonshine is the true story of an Englishman seduced by Slovenia. In the wake of a breakup, he seeks temporary refuge in his hinterland house, but what was meant as a pitstop becomes life-changing when he decides to stay. Along the way, he meets a colourful cross-section of Slovene society: from dormouse hunters, moonshine makers, beekeepers, and bitcoin miners, to a man who swam the Amazon, and a hilltop matriarch who…

Dormice & Moonshine: Falling for Slovenia

By Sam Baldwin,

What is this book about?

'Charming, funny, insightful, and moving. The perfect book for any Slovenophile' - Noah Charney, BBC presenter

'A rollicking and very affectionate tour' - Steve Fallon, author of Lonely Planet Slovenia

'Delivers discovery and adventure...captivating!' - Bartosz Stefaniak, editor, 3 Seas Europe

When two brothers discover a 300-year-old sausage-curing cabin on the side of a Slovenian mountain, it's love at first sight. But 300-year-old cabins come with 300 problems.

Dormice & Moonshine is the true story of an Englishman seduced by Slovenia. In the wake of a breakup, he seeks temporary refuge in his hinterland house but what was meant as…


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