What do I search for in a good fantasy romance? Amazing worldbuilding, and something that really feels like a place that’s different from the Earth we know. That has to be combined with strong characterization and a story that moves me. There are some awesome fantasy romance authors out there. Here are some to start you out.
Grace Draven is a marvel. Classic high fantasy combined with beautiful, often subtle romance. In particular, she loves to play with the Beauty and the Beast theme.
Master of Crows
Jeffe Kennedy has done brilliant work in fantasy romance. She creates passionate, empowering women in a true fantasy universe.
12 Kingdoms series
Uncharted Realms series
Sorcerous Moons series
Chronicles of Dasnaria series
Elizabeth Vaughan, Elizabeth Vaughan, Elizabeth Vaughan. If you have not read the Chronicles of the Warlands, run, do not walk, to this series. It is, simply put, one of my all-time faves.
Chronicles of the Warlands
C. L. Wilson also writes classic fantasy romance. Her heroines have heart and soul, and her worldbuilding is amazing.
Tairen Soul series
Weathermages of Mistral series
Linda Winstead Jones wrote some of the earliest fantasy romance I saw in the old Lovespell line, retellings of fairy tales, often in a fun, humorous way. But I adore her later work building the world of Columbyana. Vast (with multiple series), the generational saga of Columbyana gripped me from the start. The doomed, damned, but absolutely true romance of secondary characters in the first series was enthralling.
The Fyne Witches series
Children of the Sun series
Roberta Gellis is best known for her historical romances, but check out her retellings of the Greek myths.
Dazzling Brightness (Hades and Persephone)
Shimmering Splendor (Cupid and Psyche)
Enchanted Fire (Orpheus and Eurydice)
Goblins aren’t everyone’s idea of a handsome hero, but Shona Husk has a great series built on this concept, as well as excellent fairy stories.
Court of Annwyn series
Speaking of goblins, Clare B. Dunkle has an excellent YA fantasy romance series where the goblins are really goblin-y.
The Hollow Kingdom
Karen Harbaugh, in the old Signet traditional Regency line, wrote some wonderful romantic fantasies. She was the first writer I read who put vampires in historical romance (back in 1995!), not to mention the Faust legend.
The Vampire Viscount
The Devil’s Bargain (this is the Faust-inspired story)
Rebecca Flanders wrote a great shifter romance tied to a mafia-like clan structure way back in the 1990s, well before today’s mafia romance trend.
Wolf in Waiting
Kylie Griffin seems to have written only one fantasy romance trilogy, but I loved it. Annika, the heroine of the first book, is half-demon and all wonderful.
Novels of the Light Blade
Kathryne Kennedy is an undersung author, and she writes fabulous fantasy romance, some set in a magical Regency London. She also created a complex elven kingdom that follows the old adage that elves are not always kind.
Tales of Merlin series
Elven Lord series
Beneath the 13 Moons series
Amy Raby is another undersung author, and she writes great fantasy romance combined with action.
Hearts and Thrones series
Coalition of Mages duology
Stephanie Burgis is a newer author, writing wonderful fantasy romance in an imagined magical Regency (see that theme recurring?).
The Harwood Spellbook series
P. C. Cast is best known for her YA books, but she has some wonderful fantasy romance as well.
Goddess Summoning series
Carolyn Jewel is another author known for historical romance, but throwing demons in there never hurt anything. 🙂 And having adored her short story “The King’s Dragon,” I am *really* hoping she starts writing that Dark Elf series soon!
My Immortals series
Robin D. Owens has been writing her Celta series of heart mates since *2006,* closing in on 20 books. True classic fantasy worldbuilding, magnificently rendered. One of my daughter’s favorites. 🙂
Speaking of demons, an excellent recent author is Marina Simcoe. Her take on demons is fascinating, and I can’t wait to read more in her imagined Earth.
Elisabeth Staab currently writes contemporary romance, but she started with a fantastic vampire series that feels like a fantasy world to me. I’m still waiting, and praying, for Siddoh and Ivy’s story.
Chronicles of Yavn
It’s tough to recommend anthologies in today’s day and age, as they’re put together for a brief time in ebook form, then disbanded and sold as separate novellas or short stories. So here are some older recommendations that are still sold as collections, as far as I can see.
Dragon Lovers (Jo Beverley, Karen Harbaugh, Mary Jo Putney, Barbara Samuel)
Chalice of Roses (the Holy Grail) (Jo Beverley, Karen Harbaugh, Mary Jo Putney, Barbara Samuel)
Bespelling Jane Austen (Mary Balogh, Colleen Gleason, Susan Krinard, Janet Mullaney)