The 10 Hottest Fantasy Adult Romance Books
Romance novels are, by far, the most popular genre of books worldwide. Publishers estimate romance fiction's global market value surpassed $1.4 billion in 2021 - and it's still growing.
Hell yeah romantics: you're trendy AF right now!
Yet, as true fans know, romance isn't so much a genre as it is a beautiful mosaic. Each subgenre is like a tile in a mural - a testament to humankind's love stories.
One of the most popular subgenres is fantasy adult romance books. Adult fantasy romance books are perfect for people who loved wizard schools and faerie tales as a kid, but now want something a little more grown-up.
If you're in the mood for some sexy spellcasters, dreamy druids, and orgasm-fueled magic, then you're in the right place.
Discover ten fantasy romances guaranteed to spark your imagination - and light a few other fires!
Read on for the best new fantasy romance releases - and a few rediscovered gems!
What Makes Fantasy Adult Romance Books So Fantastic?
Fantasy adult romance novels draw from centuries-old fantasy traditions all over the world. Whether they're exploring ancient mythologies or creating urban fairy-tale retellings, many novelists in this genre do their research. Yet, unlike general fantasy novels, fantasy romance books use fantastic settings as a lens, through which readers experience characters' love lives.
Magic acts like lightning in the dark, an abrupt illumination of something we might unwisely find familiar. It underscores the grandeur of the human spirit—and it draws us deep into the darkest, cruelest corridors of the human heart.
Thus, fantasy romance offers readers a multitude of delights. It is uniquely suited to vivid settings easy to escape into. Yet, it also makes ample room for strange monsters and surprising heroes—who are often all too human under the surface.
This genre cuts past the cliches and tidy endings of YA romances. Instead, it reflects the complexity of the human imagination.
Is Fantasy Romance Sexy?
Romantic fantasy novels tell stories of people falling in love and chasing their happily ever after in a fantasy setting. Adult fantasy romance books often have erotic elements. That said, the heat levels of novels in this genre vary from book to book.
"Heat Level" is a term to describe how explicit sex is in the book. Different publishing companies and writer's guilds have their own specific terms to indicate how graphic the material is. Terms like "closed door" and "sweet" indicate sex only happens offstage.
In contrast, erotica does more than just include explicit sex scenes: the sex scenes are pivotal to the story. Sex scenes further the plot and drive the characters' emotional journies.
In erotic fantasy romance books, sex or pleasure can be a source of magic. Or, certain sex acts may have political or spiritual significance in the fantasy culture.
Erotica is more likely to include unusual or taboo sex acts, like BDSM. Fantasy erotica may also include sex acts that are impossible in real life, like telepathic twin flames or minotaur lovers. More than any other romance genre, erotica aims to turn you on as much as it draws you in.
Many novels are somewhere in between intense erotica and closed-door romantic fantasies. Reviewers often use terms like sensual, spicy, steamy, and intimate to describe these books.
Intimate and steamy books have sex scenes that will get you wet, but those scenes aren't necessarily the main drivers of the plot.
Fantasy Romance vs. Paranormal Romance
Erotic fantasy romance novels and erotic paranormal romance have a lot in common. So what's the difference?
First, know that many writers themselves disagree on where to draw the line for a given book. In general, though, paranormal romances grew from the romance genre.
Many paranormal romances are set in popular romantic settings but include paranormal elements (like vampires or ghosts).
Paranormal romances often feature one human lover and one lover who is a supernatural or mythical being. If that sounds like your jam, why not check out "Paranormal Erotic Romance You Just Can't Miss"? That's a list of must-reads from the hottest shelf in the bookstore.
Fantasy Romance Genres: Urban Fantasy and Beyond
Paranormal romance and urban fantasy share a lot of the same features. The popular Sookie Stackhouse series, for instance, is frequently categorized as both paranormal romance and urban fantasy.
However, many fantasy romances utilize entirely fantastic settings. These can be completely new fantasy worlds, with complex systems of magic and politics. Or, they can be retellings of fairy tales or myths or riffs on pop culture and history.
Fantasy romances may also play on tropes familiar to fantasy genre fans. A writer can surprise readers who think they know what will happen when "the chosen one" shows up by subverting those expectations. This grants a lot of potential for drama.
So read on and find the 10 best Adult Fantasy Romance Novels of all time!
#1 Witchmark by C.L. Polk (The Kingston Cycle Book 1) [M/M]
An intimate, erotic fantasy novel, Witchmark blends Edwardian England with a magical war.
Magical families vie for power, leaving devastation in their wakes. In this wild landscape, Miles Singer was born with a witch mark, and he seemed fated to be a pawn in his family's schemes.
He thought he had escaped at last by reinventing himself as a doctor. But when he's forced to reveal his true gift, he finds himself on the trail of a daunting conspiracy—and a murder. Evading enemies, Miles's only ally may be the beautiful, mysterious Tristan Hunter.
But, does Hunter know more than he lets on? And in such a devastating place, can Miles trust any kind of tenderness?
With sensual love scenes and gripping twists, Witchmark is a can't-miss read. No wonder it won the World Fantasy Award for best novel in 2019.
#2 Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling Series)
Heart of Obsidian was nominated for the RITA award in 2014, one of the highest honors bestowed by Romance Writers of America. And it's not hard to see why: this romance carves out love in the deepest, darkest places.
Kayleb Krychek, a dangerous telekinetic, is hunting for someone he hopes is the key to his mysterious past. Like most Psy in this world, he was forced to endure torturous, emotion-deadening Silence to control his psychic powers.
His one echo of happiness lies in his memories of Sahara Kyriakus - a childhood friend who may have escaped the Silence. Now, he's determined to find her at any cost.
Sahara is freer than most, but her mind is a puzzle to her. Quite literally: she erected a mental labyrinth to hide something from herself.
When cold, logical Kayleb and spirited Sahara finally meet again, sparks fly—as do a few items of furniture! But their reunion is cut short, and nothing in this world is as it seems. In the world of Psychics, lines between genius and madness blur—just like those between the living and the dead.
Can they escape the labyrinth with their love intact? Or will they both go down in flames—and bring the whole world down with them?
While Heart of Obsidian is the twelfth book in the Psy-Changeling universe, it's also a standalone novel.
#3 The Siren and the Sword by Cecilia Tan (Magic University Book)
Kyle Wadsworth was more surprised than anyone to discover he's magical.
Now, instead of shipping off to Harvard, he's enrolled in Veritas University, a school full of sirens, sorcerers, and...sex!
As Kyle starts to get into the groove of the place, he majors in sex magic.
But, the bisexuality pre-requisite is proving to be a bit of a puzzle. On top of that, the ancient prophecy he's translating for his these is starting to sound like it might be about him. If that's true, then Kyle needs to find his true love ASAP,—or the world as we know it might end for good!
The Siren and the Sword is the first book of a funny, heartfelt fantasy erotica series.
#4 Wicked by Jennifer L Armentrout
Four years ago, Ivy morgan lost everything. Now, she's sworn to hunt down the creatures who tore her world apart. The Order is her life.
Then, Ren Owens shows up.
Ren is one tall glass of temptation and charm. With his forest-green-eyed grin, he reawakens her ability to yearn for everything life has to offer. But letting him in may be dangerous.
Losing the last boy she loved almost destroyed her. And she's not the only one who has a secret.
Wicked is not only steamy, but a must-read for all of us who love highly captivating adult fantasy romance.
#5 The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles
Lucien Vaudrey is in danger. His father and brother have died, and he's inherited their earldom—and their enemies.
Now, he needs magical help.
That help arrives, but furious. Stephen Day is a magician with no goodwill to Vaudrey's family. But, it's his job to deal with otherworldly enemies.
Yet, despite his initial misgivings, Stephen's drawn in by Lucien.
Never before has he met an Earl with such an attitude: bold, tattooed, and determined to get him into bed. Suddenly, he's falling for Lucien in the worst way, at the worst time.
Will love find a way?
Or will the demon-woven web ensnare them both?
The Magpie Lord is smart, sensitive, and downright sexy.
#6 Crazy Cupid Love by Amanda Heger
Crazy Cupid Love is a laugh-out-loud erotic rom-com.
Eliza Eros was born into a family of descendants of the God of Love.
And she hates it.
But when a family crisis forces her to take over a shift at their Cupid-for-Hire store, she begins to have a change of heart.
That might have something to do with her gorgeous mentor, Jake Sanders.
Currently, he tops Eliza's mental list of seriously datable dudes. Unfortunately, her newfound sense of romance gets tripped up when her enchantments suddenly go haywire.
Now, Eliza and Jake must unravel a mystery fast. After all, the fate of love itself is at stake!
#7 Roses and Thorns: Beauty and the Beast Retold by Chris Anne Wolfe [F/F]
This dark erotic fantasy retells "The Beauty and the Beast" in a way you've never heard before.
A greedy man sells his daughter Angelique to a faceless nobleman, and she can't escape her fate. Yet, the castle of her new master is unexpected: beautiful, unsettling.
Known to her only as Drew, the nobleman consorts with Faeries and even darker forces.
Yet, as Angelique earns her master's trust, she discovers darkness disguises loneliness more painful than any curse.
Will her love grow strong enough to break it?
This dark novella brings the fairy tale's simmering lust to the surface.
#8 The Rose Contract: A Fantasy Erotica by Skottie Kaye (Sleeping Lotus Book 1)
Raena Barren is in love Jorr.
After saving his life with her magic as children, she grew up with him, working in his castle.
But Jorr is coming of age and becoming an assassin and a spy. To join him, Raena must know her own body, outsmart lethal enemies, and sell her innocence.
The Rose Contract is a fast-paced, dark erotic story with a bold Black woman protagonist.
So if you definitely need a really steamy, hot Adult Fantasy Romance Novel: The Rose Contract should be your choice!
#9 Four Psychos by Kristy Cunning (The Dark Side Series Book 1) [F/M/M/M/M]
Keyla is a ghost with goals.
Become a real girl, convince the men she's been haunting to join her team, and figure out where her memories have gone.
Now, she's ready to escape her half-life.
But to do it, she might need a little help from four extraordinary hot guys who, ok, maybe each a bit of a himbo. Oh, and they're also the four horsemen of the apocalypse.
Four Psychos is the first book in The Dark Side series. It's funny, graphic, full of sexy reverse-harem fun.
#10 Death's Dancer by Jasmine Silvera (Grace Bloods Series)
Isela Vogel has a strange power: her dances attract the favor of the gods.
But her power won't last forever.
So, when a new patron offers to set her up for life, she takes the deal without blinking.
That new patron is Azareal, a necromancer in a world of demons, shapeshifters, and shadows. He's entirely unlike her. Trusting him might be the only thing that keeps peace alive.
Yet, their attraction itself may be a threat to many. The clock is ticking.
Can they evade a fate worse than death?
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