Today, I wanted to talk to you about my current quest. You see, seeing as how I already reached my Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge over a month ago, I was wondering what goals I wanted to set myself for the rest of the year? Did I want to set my goals higher and just read more books? Or did I want to do something else?
So I got to thinking and came up with the idea of a fun little quest for me.
So what’s the quest and why?
It all started with Annette Marie.
As you all probably know, Annette Marie is my favorite author. I’ve read and adored all of her books. And honestly, I came upon her books by accident, when a couple of years back, I picked up a relatively unknown book called Red Winter and fell in love. Now, I wouldn’t classify Red Winter as urban fantasy (mayyybe paranormal romance), but most of Annette’s other books are. And honestly, if it wasn’t because of my love for Red Winter, I probably wouldn’t have tried them.
Because, I have to admit, I had been having some prejudices against new adult urban fantasy. I thought they wouldn’t be my thing. That, maybe because they weren’t super popular around the blogosphere, they wouldn’t be as good. That they wouldn’t be well written, have intriguing plots, amazing world-building or heartwarming romances. Why I thought that, no idea. AND THANKFULLY, ANNETTE MARIE PROVED ME WRONG!
So seeing how much I love Annette Marie’s urban fantasy books, I’ve been wondering how many more hidden gems I’ve been missing out on. And I want to remedy that. Hence the idea for my quest:
FOR THE REST OF 2020 I WANT TO DISCOVER MORE NEW ADULT URBAN FANTASY & PARANORMAL ROMANCE I LOVE!
My must-have wishlist
I’m still pretty picky when it comes to books. And I know urban fantasy and paranormal romance aren’t necessarily the same genre, but I’m lumping them together as a bigger genre for my quest. Whatever the niche genre, here’s a quick overview of my needs:
- First of all and obviously, I need the book to have good writing. If I am constantly distracted by spelling or grammatical errors I can’t get invested in the story.
- I need to be able to lose myself in a big world that the author built. It doesn’t have to be as intense and epic as high fantasy, but I need to believe it. I need to see it in front of me. I need it to make sense, like I could imagine it being real. That also means no blatant plot holes.
- I need to have likable characters who I love to root for from the beginning, but still have room to grow and have an intriguing character arc.
- I need secondary characters I love as much as the main characters. I love romance, but it can’t be ALL about the romance. I need friendships too.
- That said, I definitely do need romance. I want to ship people. I want to root for a couple to finally just kiss already. I want slow burn, but not too slow burn either.
- No alpha a-holes. I like morally grey characters, I like grumpy characters, I like characters with hidden depths. But I often can’t stand arrogant, alpha douches. If that’s your thing, no offense at all, you do you, but it’s not my thing.
- Steamy scenes are okay, though not a must. If there are steamy scenes, I do want it to be balanced out with characterization and plot. Not all smut all the time.
- And lastly, though I prefer the two-people romances, I am open to trying reverse harem tropes. I’ve seen that it is a trope that often happens in this genre, and I tried one series with it earlier this year (The Royal Trials by Tate James) and didn’t hate it at all. So I’m willing to try more and see where it goes.
That’s it. If a book or series has all of this, I’m pretty sure I will like it. Do you have any recommendations for me?
Some of the books and series I want to try:
First of all, I definitely know that there are some hugely popular urban fantasy series that are for sure still on my TBR as well. I’m thinking about the Mercy Thompson or Kate Daniels series, as well as The Others series (which I already started). But they are hugely popular series and I want to focus on some less popular books for this quest.
So here are a few of the books I added to my TBR already:
How To Save An Undead Life (Beginner’s Guide To Necromancy #1) by Hailey Edwards
Grier Woolworth spends her nights weaving spooky tales of lost souls and tragedies for tourists on the streets of downtown Savannah. Hoop skirt and parasol aside, it’s not a bad gig. The pay is crap, but the tips keep the lights on in her personal haunted mansion and her pantry stocked with ramen.
Life is about as normal as it gets for an ex-necromancer hiding among humans. Until the society that excommunicated Grier offers her a second chance at being more than ordinary. Too bad no one warned her the trouble with being extraordinary is it can get you killed.
Warning: This book contains one ex-con/ex-heiress with a pet zombie parakeet who lives next door to her ex-army/ex-crush. Brace yourselves, we’re talking more exes than a pirate treasure map here.
I actually already read this and am on book two right now. I had some issues with plot and also wasn’t a fan of the secondary characters or romance yet, but I have hopes that the rest of these series will still be good.
Dragon Marked (Supernatural Prison #1) by Jaymin Eve
It’s time for the dragon marked to rise…
Jessa Lebron doesn’t have a lot to complain about. Her father is the alpha of their wolf pack, she lives in Stratford, a protected supernatural prison town, and her best friends, the Compass quads, are the strongest dudes of the four races: shifter, vampire, fey, and magic user.
Yep, life is pretty much exactly how she wants it. Until the fateful day, just after her twenty-second birthday, when the mother who abandoned her, returns to the pack bearing secrets that change everything.
The biggest secret of all: Jessa is dragon marked, a designation that places her in grave danger.
For a thousand years, every supernatural child born with the mark was eliminated to prevent the rise of the dragon king, a fearsome ancient warmonger. In a bid to learn more about her fate and how to avoid the hunters, Jessa finds herself locked in Vanguard, the notorious supernatural prison. Thankfully she’s not alone. Braxton Compass, the most feared of the dragon shifters, is right there with her. Together they’ll have to survive long enough to free themselves and the other dragon marked.
Before the king rises.
This one sounds promising because of the friend group. Also, a dragon shifter!
Once Bitten (Shadow Guild: The Rebel #1) by Linsey Hall
Vampires aren’t real, right?
People say I’m a weirdo. Sure, my idea of a party is a mini box of wine and hanging out with a feral raccoon, but it works for me.
When I’m accused of murder, things get crazy. One, I learn that I have magic. Two, there’s a secret magical city hidden right in London itself. And three, my only hope is a vampire who’s sexy as sin and scary as the devil himself. He’s called the Devil of Darkvale, and he all but owns Guild City.
Some say I should just quit and turn myself in. Not a chance. I’m going to solve this murder myself, which means surviving in a new world of witch parties, magical guilds, and a vampire with a tortured past. The vampire and I are like colliding stars, and the heat is irresistible. I should avoid him, but if I want to save my own life, he’s my only hope.
I want to get back into vampires and this one might do the trick.
Magic Forged (Hall of Blood and Mercy #1) by K.M. Shea
I’m one scrappy wizard. As someone with barely a flicker of magic, I’ve spent my life being mocked and surviving fights with bullies. But when my parents die in an accident, and I find myself responsible for our whole wizard house and family, I know my usual tactics aren’t going to cut it.
The situation veers from bad to catastrophic when my backstabbing cousin stages a coup and takes my family hostage. I barely manage to flee, but the only supernatural willing to help me is Killian Drake – the most feared vampire in the region, and a far more deadly villain than the jerk threatening my family.
Is Killian sexy and charismatic? Heck yeah.
He’s also so powerful that my flight or fight instincts kick in every time our eyes meet. And he’s definitely using me as his personal magic detector in his feud against the local fae.
But Killian is also the first person to believe I might have more than just a scrap of magic. And if I can convince him to train me, I might get strong enough to free my family and get my house back.
I’m not sure what happens when a scrappy wizard is taught how to fight by a hall of deadly vampires, but I’m about to find out.
Magic Forged is the first book in the Hall of Blood and Mercy trilogy, which features vampires, wizards, fae, and werewolves. It’s packed with humor, adventure, and a sweet, slow burn romance between a vertically challenged wizard and the most lethal vampire in town.
Okay, from the blurb this sounds a bit similar to Once Bitten, but… vampires! Plus the promise of a slow burn romance between a vertically challenged wizard and the most lethal vampire in town sounds just perfect.
The Vixen’s Lead (Kit Davenport #1) by Tate James
I want vengeance so badly that I can almost taste it. It’s all I’ve ever wanted. So, I did what any privileged, adopted boarding school girl would do. I slapped on a secret identity and became an internationally renowned thief, known as The Fox. Nobody knows me. Nobody can catch me.
Or so I thought…
It turns out; I have what they want. Special abilities. And trust me, these abilities are coveted–and dangerous. Now, I don’t know who to trust or where to go. Peril lurks on every corner as I try to uncover my past and origin. Teaming up with unlikely allies may be my only chance at survival or my biggest mistake. Only time will tell.
I’m Kit Davenport and this is only the beginning.
** Warning: This book contains a kick-ass heroine with several sexy men (#whychoose), violence, bad-language and content which some readers may find triggering. **
From my extensive research (ahem), I believe this is one of the most popular series featuring the reverse harem trope. And I did read another series by this author with this trope (The Royal Trials) and enjoyed it, so I definitely need to give this one a try.
Grave Mistakes (Hellgate Guardians #1) by Ivy Asher and Raven Kennedy
It’s never a good combo to be broke and desperate. You do stupid things. Like accidentally sign your soul over to Hell.
When I interviewed for a new security job, I didn’t bat an eye that it was for a literal graveyard shift…headstones and all. I mean, at the hourly rate they were offering, who cares? I got this.
Turns out, I’m not guarding a graveyard like I thought. It seems I’ve just walked my broke ass into protecting a Gate to Hell. Yeah…I don’t got this.
Now I’m stuck in a terrifying new reality: a group of hot demons who act like I can solve all their problems, and a battle between good, evil, and balance.
This will seriously teach me to read the fine print on Help Wanted ads. Good thing this job comes with a scythe. Maybe I can use it to stop them from dragging my ass into Hell.
This is another reverse harem fantasy, but I was really hooked because it’s about a girl who gets a job guarding a Gate to Hell. Her job comes with a scythe. And now I want a scythe too!
Born in Fire (Fire and Ice Trilogy #1) by K.F. Breene
Heart pounding and laugh out loud funny, USA Today Bestselling author K.F. Breene will take you on a magical joy ride you won’t soon forget.
Supernatural Bounty Hunter isn’t the sort of thing you see on LinkedIn. But with a rare type of magic like mine, I don’t have many options.
So dangerous or not, the job is mine. And it was going fine, until an old as sin vampire stole my mark, and with it, my pay day.
Knowing I’m poor and desperate, he has offered me a job. I’ll have to work by his side to help solve a top secret case.
Everyone knows not to trust vampires. Especially a hot elder vampire. But without any other jobs coming up, I’m stuck. As I uncover a web of lies and treachery, revealing an enemy I didn’t know existed, the truth of my identity is threatened. I might make it out alive, only to end up in a gilded cage.
This one got to me because it should be laugh out loud funny. We need more humor in our fantasy. Also, a supernatural bounty hunter and more vampires? Sounds intriguing!
Bloodfire Academy (Cursed Magic #1) by Alexis Calder
When things go sideways, what a girl really needs by her side is a sexy wolf shifter, a steamy incubus, and a smoldering mage. Prove me wrong.
Everyone has heard of Bloodfire Academy. It’s an elite school that takes the best of the best in the supernatural world. The students at Bloodfire are the children of members of a secret order. Think Illuminati but for the magical world. But even more powerful.
Membership is inherited and it turns out my late mother was one of them. Who knew? Up until now, magic hasn’t really been my thing. But a girl can fake it, am I right?
There’s no faking it when I meet the sexy wolf shifter, steamy incubus, and smoldering mage. Seriously, this semester is going to be hot.
Then the attacks start. I thought I could figure out the magic part, but nobody said anything about monsters. Turns out Bloodfire Academy is more about survival than GPA.
Publisher’s Note: Cursed Magic is a full length, steamy, new adult paranormal academy romance where the heroine doesn’t have to choose. This is book one of three in the Bloodfire Academy series.
I actually already read this one for a blog tour and I really enjoyed it! It has a supernatural academy, lots of politics and intrigue and so far I’m enjoying the slow burn reverse harem aspect!
Fighting Destiny (The Fae Chronicles #1) by Amelia Hutchins
Have you ever heard of the old Celtic legends of the Fae—beautiful, magical, and deadly creatures that have a love of messing with humans just for kicks and giggles?
Welcome to my world.
What started out as a strange assignment, lead to one of the most gruesome murder mysteries of our times. My friends and I are set and determined to find out who is killing off Fae and Witches alike.
Couple of problems in the way – I hate the Fae and the Prince of the Dark Fae is bound and determined that I work for him. He’s a rude, overbearing egotistical ass with a compulsive need to possess, dominate and control me. Oh—did I mention that he is absolutely sex-on-a-stick gorgeous and he makes me feel things that I never ever wanted to feel for a Fae… every time he touches me or looks at me with those dangerous golden eyes he seems to pull me further in under his spell, despite my better judgment.
My friends and I can’t trust anyone and nothing is as it seems on the surface—not even me.
I need more fae books and I am intrigued by the gruesome murder mystery and the Prince of the Dark Fae. Though if he’s as dominating as the blurb makes him seem, I may tune out. For now I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.
I had the same experience with Anette Marie! Now for recommendations: Jeaniene Frost and her Halfway to the Grave ( try the audio as I know you listen to books too, they are excellent). Suzanne Wright has goid books too znd one with vampires but I don’t recall the name, just that I lived it!
So glad you also enjoy Annette Marie’s books, they deserve all the love 🙂
Thanks so much for the recs, I looked them up and added both Halfway to the Grave and a Suzanne Wright book to my TBR!
I’ve only read one novella by Molly Harper, Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues, but it was lovely, might want to look into her I think she checks all your boxes
Thanks so much for the recommendation! I looked up Molly Harper and added two of her series to my TBR already 🙂
What a fun goal! This isn’t a genre I’ve read before, but it’s a great idea to do a deep dive like that!
Me too, it’ll definitely be fun to explore something new like this 🙂
This is an interesting goal. I haven’t read any of the authors you mentioned aside from Annette Marie so I’ll definitely be interested in hearing your thoughts on these.
Thanks! Yes, it seems like this genre has a ton of books that I haven’t seen around the blogosphere before, so it’ll be definitely intriguing to discover them myself, without blogger recommendations first (which is how I usually pick up up books). Maybe there will be some misses, but I’m hoping for some hits as well 🙂
I’ll throw out a recommendation for The Harmony Black series by Craig Schaefer.
Thanks so much, I’ll check it out!