Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top Ten Paranormal Romance Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they're particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish (and who isn't?). They're all about creating new lists including a little bit of everything and I've been meaning to participate for so long but always seemed to get behind. So here we are and hopefully you'll head over to their page and check out what everyone else put up for this week's Top Ten.

Paranormal Romance Fave #1: Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4) by Stephanie Meyers

Twilight tempted the imagination. New Moon made readers thirsty for more. Eclipse turned the saga into a worldwide phenomenon. And now, the book that everyone has been waiting for---

Breaking Dawn, the final book in the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga, will take your breath away.

Everybody knows the deal, I really haven't come across many people who haven't been taken in by Stephanie Meyer's series and I include myself among those numbers. While I enjoyed each of the books, I really thought the final book, Breaking Dawn was the most romantic. I felt like Edward and Bella finally got over a lot of the obstacles that were between the two of them (mainly her humanity) and got the chance to just enjoying being with each other.

Paranormal Romance Fave #2: Promise (Soul Savers, #1) by Kristie Cook

Alexis Ames decides to learn who she really is, with or without the help of her mother, who guards their secrets closely. After meeting Tristan Knight and discovering that he's not normal either, the secrets begin to unravel. Their union brings promise to the future of mankind. But it also incites a dangerous pursuit by the enemy. Because they are a match made in Heaven and in Hell.

I just adore everything about this series. It's truly addicting on every level. Cook's characters are relatable and drool worthy, her story lines are fast paced and action packed and the world she created within this series...awesome! There are probably more eloquent ways to put those characteristics down, but honestly I think awesome really does cover it. After reading all three books in the series I can save without a doubt that each and every once just keeps getting better and better. I'm always counting down and craving the next series installment the second I finished the final page. Cruel and unusual punishment for sure.

Paranormal Romance Fave #3: Song of the Moon (Artemis Lupine, #1) by Catherine Banks

What if you found out that there was another world inside your own? What if all of the things you thought made you weird, actually made you powerful?

Artemis's life is changed forever when the mysterious man from her dreams, Ares, comes to claim her as his mate. The seventeen year old girl must find a way to adapt to her true life and accept her fate or run from it. She must overcome her fears and human ideals to give her self to the dangerous world, and man, that is her destiny.

Yet another series that keeps me coming back for more time and again. I've already made my way through each of the three installments in this series twice now, because once just wasn't enough. The fourth book hasn't been released yet, but when it does there will be no doubt that I'll be picking up a copy as soon as humanly possible. Ares and Artemis are just a great romantic pair. They fight, they make up, they're short on patience and yet give each other space whenever necessary, but best of all...they're crazy for each other and will stop at nothing to be together. It's romantic and feisty, fun and thrilling. Reading Banks' series really put me in a good mood and I found myself having more fun with each turned page.

Paranormal Romance Fave #4: Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) by Richelle Mead

St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger...

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

I had a hard time picking which installment out of this series was the most romantic but honestly that's a tough call and one I don't think I have an answer to even now. So I went with the series opener because there was plenty of romance within those pages and since it was the first glimpse readers got of Rose and Dimitri I had to include it. These two got me over my rut after I finished both the Twilight series and The Hunger Games trilogy. It was hard to find books that were going to live up to that kind of perfection, but this series won me over quickly!

Paranormal Romance Fave #5: Fire (The Seven Kingdoms, #2) by Kristin Cashore

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she has the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City. The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was.

I know this one might not be considered a perfect fit for the paranormal genre for some, but honestly I usually link fantasy and paranormal under one umbrella. So for me, Fire qualifies and I was practically swooning by the end of this one. Brigan won me over and I think had all female readers wishing there were more white knights just like him around now days. Am I wrong? Cashore is such a talented writer and her characters practically leap off the page and straight into readers hearts.

Paranormal Romance Fave #6: Moonlight (Dark Guardians, #1) by Rachel Hawthorne

I see him and I know what this turmoil inside of me means: He's the one. My forever.

KAYLA is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can't understand why she's so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she's inherited a terrifying-and thrilling-gene that will change her life forever.

LUCAS is dangerous, gorgeous ... and a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect his pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harm's way.

As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.

Hawthorne had been plan on being a writer forever because I think I might cry if she decides to retire early or change careers. I was sad enough when she wrote her final installment for this series and only recovered after I found out a new series was in the works by her. Lucas and Kayla were so great in this series opener. They were innocent enough that readers were able to follow right along with them as they go further into this world where werewolves are real and they're about to get an up close encounter for themselves. Romance is definitely not lacking within these pages.

Paranormal Romance Fave #7: My Blood Approves (My Blood Approves, #1) by Amanda Hocking

Teenager Alice Bonham's life feels crazy after she meets Jack. With his fondness for pink Chuck Taylors and New Wave, he's unlike anyone she knows. Then she meets his brother, Peter. Even though he can't stand the sight of her, she's drawn to him. Falling for two guys isn't even the worst of her problems. Jack and Peter are vampires, and Alice finds herself caught between love and her own blood.

Amanda Hocking gets my vote for great writing and super fun plot twists. She took an age old tale of vampires and humans mixing and put her own unique twist on it. I know a lot of authors write books with familiar characters or at least common paranormal creatures, but I really think Hocking's stands out among the rest. And it's not just my opinion we're talking about here, the girl was what a lot of people are calling an overnight success, due mainly to her reader following. I found her books randomly thanks to a recommendation by my Kindle and couldn't be happier.

Paranormal Romance Fave # 8: Half Moon (The Crescent, #2) by Jordan Deen

I'd been a fool for coming here with them, and now... no one would come to save me. The world that hid in the shadows of humanity was full of enemies.Faced with death, Lacey Quinn ran away from the only family she'd ever known. That... was just the beginning.As the decision she's made sinks in, Lacey struggles to fit in with the pack and find the key to bonding with her werewolf soul mate, Brandon. But, lies can only be concealed for so long. Adjusting to a powerful new best friend, a twelve-year-old roommate with a nauseating Barbie fetish, and a lost love that won't stop haunting her dreams, she knows she has no hope of having a normal future-ever again.

After a long talk with the dead mother she never knew, and an almost deal-breaking night out with Brandon, Lacey starts spiraling into the underworld-a place where all things are possible and everyone is out to kill her.With mysterious legends of witches and sorcery marring her past and clouding her future, she quickly learns-werewolves aren't the only ones lurking in the woods...waiting to claim her powers for their own.The Mares? Well, they are the least of her worries.

Yet another werewolf series that I can't get enough of. This one however had me contemplating whether or not I was favoring werewolves over all the other paranormal creatures within the genre. Brandon and Lacey just kind of had me rooting for the two of them from the very beginning. I think that's the truest and surest way for me to have any chance at narrowing down a list like this one for me to be able to really pick and choose favorites. If I can relate and find myself on a character's side right from the start it's hard not to keep a special place on the bookshelf for that kind of book, don't you think?

Paranormal Romance Fave #9: Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, #2) by Jenna Black

On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm.

A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

So Jenna Black can pretty much make any reader swoon if you ask me. In her second installment in the Faeriewalker series she had me in such a romantic mood I honestly wouldn't have cared who Dana ended up with. I was smitten with just about any guy she came into contact and had a connection with. Be they the good guys or the bad guys. That's how much fun she makes a romance. While she never makes it easy on her main couples or love interests, she sure does make it fun and they're ever anything but boring!

Paranormal Romance Fave #10: Born At Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1) by C.C. Hunter

Don’t miss this spectacular new series that will steal your heart and haunt your dreams, Welcome to Shadow Falls camp, nestled deep in the woods of a town called Fallen…

One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever. Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.” Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world.

Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either. Or does she? They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason. As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas. Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past. Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart.

Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs…

Love triangles anyone? Kylie was such an easy character to fall in love with and when she's introduced to two guys that will steal any girl's heart it's hard for readers to choose which team they're on let alone imagine how hard it would be to choose between these two guys in real life. You've got a the typical "bad boy" and then the nice guy next door, but honestly these two are much more than that. Readers will have a tough time with this one and if you're anything like me, you'll probably go back and forth on who you like more for Kylie. I still don't think even after being caught up on the entire series that I can really decide who my favorite is!

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