The best urban fantasy novels with a simmering romance

Who am I?

Not only am I a writer of urban fantasy romance, I've been a huge fan of the subgenre since I was a kid—since before it was called urban fantasy. When I happened upon a series I liked back then, I'd track down every book, stack them on the green shag carpet beside my bed, and read one right after another until I was finished. Thankfully, my mom and grandmother were readers and understood my obsession. If you like action, suspense, a little magic, and a splash of romance in your fiction, consider giving one of these stories a try. Enjoy!


I wrote...

Book cover of Spiked

What is my book about?

Neely is a telepath with a deadly secret. Lucas is an alpha shifter with secrets of his own. When a homicidal alpha from Neely's past shows up threatening the people she cares about, she must put her faith in the one man she knows she can't trust in order to save them.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Moon Called

C.P. Rider Why did I love this book?

I came into this series at around the third book and have followed it for years. Patricia Briggs' unique take on urban fantasy with an insider/outsider coyote shifter protagonist raised by wolves drew me in, and the simmering romance kept me in. My search for more action-packed urban fantasy novels featuring slow-burn romance eventually inspired me to write my own.

By Patricia Briggs,

Why should I read it?

11 authors picked Moon Called as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first novel in the New York Times bestselling Mercy Thompson series - the major urban fantasy hit of the decade

'I love these books!' Charlaine Harris

The best new fantasy series I've read in years' Kelley Armstrong

MERCY THOMPSON: MECHANIC, SHAPESHIFTER, FIGHTER

I didn't realize he was a werewolf at first. My nose isn't at its best when surrounded by axle grease and burnt oil . . .'

Mercedes Thompson runs a garage in the Tri-Cities. She's a mechanic, and a damn good one, who spends her spare time karate training and tinkering with a VW bus that happens…


Book cover of Clean Sweep

C.P. Rider Why did I love this book?

Sometimes a book series just hits right. An urban fantasy blend of sci-fi, romance, and suspense, The Innkeeper Chronicles completely captivated me. Dina Demille runs a Texas bed and breakfast that caters to an otherworldly clientele. The B&B is sentient. Dina's "magic wand" is a broom. There are galactic vampires and werewolves. What more could you want? 

By Ilona Andrews,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Clean Sweep as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

***Notice: This is a special Collectors Edition, trade-paperback volume, which includes Black and White original illustrations. It is a short novel, of approximately 60,000 words in length/227 pages***

On the outside, Dina Demille is the epitome of normal. She runs a quaint Victorian Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town, owns a Shih Tzu named Beast, and is a perfect neighbor, whose biggest problem should be what to serve her guests for breakfast. But Dina is...different: Her broom is a deadly weapon; her Inn is magic and thinks for itself. Meant to be a lodging for otherworldly visitors, the…


Book cover of Blood Price

C.P. Rider Why did I love this book?

One of the first urban fantasy series I obsessed over. I read all the books, watched the TV series, and years later, still occasionally revisit the world of Vicki Nelson, an ex-cop private detective with retinitis pigmentosa, and vampire Henry Fitzroy, the bastard son of Henry VIII. A stellar example of what urban fantasy with a hint of romance should be: smart, sexy, suspenseful. It does not have a typical romance ending, but in my opinion, it's still worthy of being included on this list.

By Tanya Huff,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Blood Books are now available in "Blood Ties" TV tie-in editions. View our TV tie-in feature page here here.

Vicki Nelson, formerly of Toronto’s homicide unit and now a private detective, witnesses the first of many vicious attacks that are now plaguing the city of Toronto. As death follows unspeakable death, Vicki is forced to renew her tempestuous relationship with her former partner, Mike Celluci, to stop these forces of dark magic—along with another, unexpected ally…

Henry Fitzroy, the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII, has learned over the course of his long life how to blend with humans,…


Book cover of Written in Red

C.P. Rider Why did I love this book?

The world-building in this series is off-the-charts good. Seriously. If Anne Bishop ever decided to teach a masterclass in worldbuilding, I'd be the first in line to shove my wallet in her pocket. Of all my picks, this urban fantasy is the least romantic, but there was just enough to keep me interested and, honestly, the world is so interesting, I hardly noticed. (Note: The lead character uses a magical form of bloodletting to reveal her prophecies, which struck me as a possible trigger to anyone struggling with self-harm.)

By Anne Bishop,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Written in Red as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Enter the world of the Others in the first novel in New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s thrilling fantasy series: a place where unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—rule the Earth and prey on the human race.

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter…


Book cover of Crave

C.P. Rider Why did I love this book?

My last pick is action-packed, sexy, and pure fun.

Nava Katz’s twin brother, Ari, was chosen at birth to join the Brotherhood of David, a secret organization of demon hunters. The induction ceremony takes a turn when Nava is chosen instead. The first female ever to be chosen, and everyone—her parents, her rabbi, and the other hunters—all agree this must be a mistake. It might seem that this one doesn't qualify as slow burn since it's sexy right from the start, but it's the heart connection that takes time and therefore, qualifies it for inclusion.

By Deborah Wilde,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crave as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Enjoy this urban fantasy series by best-selling author Deborah Wilde. Featuring a snarky heroine, kickass action, and spicy romance, this hilarious adventure sucker-punches you in the heart when you're not looking.

What doesn’t kill you ...
… seriously messes with your love life.

Nava is happily settling into her new relationship and life is all giddy joy and stolen kisses.

Except when it’s assassins. Talk about a mood killer.

She and Rohan are tracking the unlikely partnership between the Brotherhood and a witch who can bind demons, but every new piece of the puzzle is leaving them with more questions…


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Too Good

By Carol Moreira,

Book cover of Too Good

Carol Moreira Author Of Riptides

New book alert!

Who am I?

I’m fascinated by the relationship of humanity to nature. When I was young, we moved all the time – my dad was in the military and we moved to a new base every 18 months. All those military bases were located in the British countryside and, in the absence of other forms of continuity, nature became like a best friend. I still walk every day. Reconnecting with trees, grass, the sounds of birds, centres and energizes me. I get my best ideas when walking. But, of course, nature is also threatening – Covid and cancer are natural. I’m fascinated by that juxtaposition and always trying to reflect it in my work.  

Carol's book list on the beauty and threat of the natural world

What is my book about?

This is a steamy tale of vulnerability and betrayal. Struggling in her marriage, her new life in England, and her work in a hospice, Canadian-born Lindsey is drawn to her best friend's attractive husband, David.

Guilt about her fascination with David is complicated by her admiration for his wife, Grace, a cancer doctor at the hospice. But when Grace is killed in a terrorist attack, Lindsey is drawn to Grace's man, unheeding of the dangers.

Too Good

By Carol Moreira,

What is this book about?

Struggling in her marriage, her new life in England, and her work in a hospice, Canadian-born Lindsey is drawn to her best friend’s attractive husband David. The sight of his lean gardener’s body working in the hospice grounds fills her with longing and makes her forget the sadness in both the hospice and her marriage.
Guilt about her fascination with David is complicated by her friendship and admiration for his wife Grace, a cancer doctor at the hospice. But when Grace is killed in a terrorist attack, Lindsey is drawn into a passionate romance with Grace’s man unheeding of the…


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