• Last updatedLast updated: Dec 12, 2020

5 Enchanting Fantasy Romance Books — Plunge Into the World of Magic!

If the phrase “fantasy romance” seems unfamiliar to you, I even feel jealous. I wish I could erase my memory of the first time I read such a book (spoiler: it’ll be on the list below) to get through this unforgettable experience once again. I didn’t expect much, but I was so impressed that after reading the first one, I spent the next month familiarizing myself with nothing else but this genre. Ready to know which stories stole my heart the most?

Editor's Choice

The good old Beauty and the Beast plot retold in a mature, but no less magical way

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9.6
Best Standalone Book

This novel is filled with fae, Grimm- and Polish folklore-inspired vibes which makes it probably the most atmospheric one on the list

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9.4
Best Wizarding World Romance

For all fans of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts, this duology will steal your heart from the very first pages

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9.4
Best Urban Fantasy Romance

The Bargainer series is not only about love; this urban fantasy romance novel also gives some food for thought about friendship, bravery, and loyalty

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9.1
Best Smoldering Love Story

A story of a young girl chosen to be the Maiden of the Kingdom. But does she really want it?

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8.8

Top 5 Fantasy Romance Books Review 2020

1.

A Court of Thorns and Roses Editor's Choice

Features
  • Plot rating: 9.2
  • Writing style rating: 9.9
  • Recommended age: 18+
  • Publication date: 2015

Before I share my thoughts on this fantasy romance book for adults (a trilogy, to be exact), I must mention that my acquaintance with the genre started with it. Probably that adds a couple of points to the overall rating. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean it’s the only reason the story got the first place on the list.

Probably every fantasy romance book should resemble Beauty and the Beast in a way. If you’re in love with this fairy tale since your early childhood, but getting older, want it to contain more mature storyline, thoughts, and, probably, something erotic, you’ll love A Court of Thorns and Roses.

Feyre is a huntress. She’s the only hope her family has, otherwise they’ll simply starve to death. In order to survive, Feyre has to hunt, sometimes killing the wolves as well in case they’re after the same prey. In a word, it’s a strong, independent, feminist heroine who resembled me of Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games.

Every crime comes at a price. By accident, Fayre kills a faerie. The heroine is dragged away from her family and captured in a magical kingdom. Her captor wears a jeweled mask, and, predictably, is the Beast of this story.

Apart from the love storyline which I’d been waiting for from the very first pages, another, more psychological aspect comes into play. We’re now witnessing the heroine’s evolution, her inevitable change due to the experiences she goes through. From pride and self-reliance to dependence on her unexpected love, to the possible love triangle, broken heart, haunting thoughts on whether it (he) is worth it, and more, and more, and more. Get ready to experience the whole palette of emotions together with the main heroine.

Despite its romantic vibe and obvious resemblance of Beauty and the Beast, this story is not suitable for kids and teens. Its’ rated 18+ for a good reason. No, there’s nothing pornographic, vulgar or even erotic throughout the whole novel (check out my best BDSM books compilation if you’re interested in something hotter), however, there’s at least one real sex scene which many readers felt truly aroused by.

A great adult adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. This story won’t leave you indifferent whatsoever: you’ll be either empathize with the main characters or be irritated by their decisions, shouting “Why the F are they doing this??” at the book.

Pros
  • Beautiful, familiar plot
  • Mature thoughts
  • Heroine’s transformations interesting to follow
  • Seductive
Cons
  • Not for teenagers
  • Might resemble some well-known novels
2.

Uprooted Best Standalone Book

Features
  • Plot rating: 9.2
  • Writing style rating: 9.6
  • Recommended age: 16+
  • Publication date: 2015

Marvelous, enchanting, magical, and… horrible. These are the descriptive words for this story that come to mind in the first place.

Uprooted looks more like an extended, adult version of a typical Grimm’s fairy tale rather than a modern romance novel. It does, however, again, resemble the Beauty and the Beast plot, but it doesn’t copy it whatsoever.

The heroine, Agnieszka (Polish name) is a young girl who loves the quiet small village she lives in. Outside the valley, they say that a real dragon lives there keeping all its inhabitants in a never-ending fear. Once in ten years, the dragon takes a girl from the valley and (assumingly) eats her. This is the way people keep this beast away from destroying the whole village.

Whatever they say, it can’t farther from the truth. There’s the Dragon, but it’s just the name of an immortal wizard with extraordinary magical powers. He does take a girl once in ten years, but he needs her to serve him rather than just eat her. This, however, doesn’t make the girls’ fate less terrible.

As the next choosing approaches, Agnieszka seems not to worry at all: she knows she’s safe: she’s too awkward, clumsy, and, honestly, not a Beauty Queen. Unlike all the predictions, she becomes the Dragon’s next servant. Here’s when her metamorphoses start.

The romance starts not right away. And when it does, there’s something you might find questionable. Nieszka is an ordinary girl, yet that’s why so appealing – she believes in the right things, simple, but so right. Family, friendship, love, loyalty. The Dragon is obviously not the best match for her: abusive, rude, possessive. At some point, it seems like he shows his interest in the heroine only because of her developing magical powers (surprise), which, combined with his, can be something this world has never seen before. Will his attitude to her change? Will he see the personality behind a witch? No spoilers here.

You’ll love this book if Grimm’s books used to fascinate (still fascinating?) you when you were a kid. It’s a beautiful YA fantasy romance novel with the right morals, however, I know that many readers didn’t feel any empathy or even understanding of the Dragon as a personality. If you ask me, I think I got the idea of his character, but share the opinion that there was literally nothing Nieszka should have fallen in love with him. But love is blind. Apart from the romance storyline, there’s still much to learn and enjoy when reading this book.

Pros
  • Polish/Russian folklore vibes
  • Complete story (standalone book)
  • Appealing heroine
  • Fast-paced
Cons
  • Doesn’t quite explain why the Dragon is someone to fall for
3.

SpellbreakerBest Wizarding World Romance

Features
  • Plot rating: 9.5
  • Writing style rating: 9.2
  • Recommended age: 12+
  • Publication date: 2020

My family and friends never experience problems when it comes to deciding on what to gift me with. They do know I’m an avid Harry Potter series fan, and anything related to this wizarding world makes me the happiest of all. Character figures, branded notebooks, magic wand replicas, Lego Hogwarts, what not. I remember my excitement when the Fantastic Beasts came out, I was literally crying in the theatre – the world, so dear to my heart, got a second breath.

No wonder, my next choice stole my heart right away. The Spellbreaker world is filled with magical vibes. There’re two kinds of wizards (no, not the dark and “light” ones) – those who can cast a spell and those who’re able to break them.

Elsie belongs to the latter group, and reminds of Robin Hood from the world of magic: she believes her power is given to her for a reason. Together with the Cowls, a secret group, she fights with aristocrats and helps those oppressed by spells. She has a heart for the less fortunate which makes the heroine so much appealing.

It doesn’t take too long for her future crush to appear (it’s still a romance book, remember?). Baccheus Kelsey detects her while Elsie’s performing another mission of hers. He could turn her in easily, but, instead, he promises to keep silent if she helps him gain his Master’s degree in Physical Aspectorship. Elsie starts working for him, breaking one spell after another, getting to know Kelsey better and better.

I fell into this story from the very beginning. Beautifully described alternative reality Victorian England, incredible magical atmosphere, intriguing plot, and romance in the air. There’s nothing explicit in it which means it is an awesome read for kids and teens as well. If you love this duology, be sure to read the Paper Magician series by the same author, which has been optioned by the Walt Disney Company.

Pros
  • Intriguing plot
  • No explicit scenes or language
  • Charming atmosphere of wizardry
Cons
  • The setting takes too long
4.

RhapsodicBest Urban Fantasy Romance

Features
  • Plot rating: 9.5
  • Writing style rating: 8.7
  • Recommended age: 17+
  • Publication date: 2016

Literally, everyone and their mom advised me on this when I shared my impressions after reading A Court of Thorns and Roses. And I’m glad I decided to give it a chance.

The Bargainer series consists of 4 books, which kinda pushed me back at first. Don’t get me wrong, I do love reading, but if the story hadn’t impressed me, I would have read the rest of the books no matter what (and suffer, probably). Call it a pathology, but that’s how it works in my world: if there’re several parts, I don’t feel the work is done until I finish them all. It doesn’t only refer to books, however (leave the contacts of a good therapist if you know one).

Luckily, the first book turned out to be so compelling that I finished it in a couple of nights. I bought the other three the next day and it took less than a week to read till the end. Wow, what a journey it was. I can’t say the Bargainer is something outstanding; it’s an easy read, with a nice, magical plot, twisted to the right extend – not too much, but still making the reading process engaging. Nevertheless, it’s something we all need at times – an easy-to-read novel packed with magical creatures, provocative romance storyline, and fast-paced, intriguing dialogues.

I won’t tell you the whole 4-book plot, of course, just some details of the opening to convince you to read further to find out what was next. Callypso Lillis (Callie) is a siren who has a lot to regret. Her past was dark and horrible at times, and in order to make it through she addressed the person everyone knows will help in such cases – the Bargainer. Many times he cleaned the mess after her, adding a black bead to a bracelet on her wrist, meaning she owes him. The romantic twist starts unexpectedly early: at this point Callie falls for the Bargainer aka Desmond. He doesn’t, however, make her pay the debts right away; instead, he disappears for long 7 years. Cassie turns into a strong, serious young lady who’s already experienced several relationships. Soon it becomes obvious that her old feelings to Des are still alive and gain a second wind when he finally comes to collect.

From that point forward we see the development of the characters and their relationships as they go through some unexpected, terrible events occurring in the Otherworld. From lover to old friends to allies in the face of danger to lovers again – this story has an eventful love storyline which is so interesting to follow till the very last page.

The Bargainer series is a great light read which doesn’t lack an interestingly twisted plot, fast-paced dialogues, and charming magical vibes. The story takes place nowadays, so if you’re looking for a good urban fantasy romance, don’t overlook this one.

Pros
  • Easy to read
  • Wrote in modern English
  • Fast-paced plot
  • Untypical love story
Cons
  • Nothing outstanding in terms of style
  • Light read, not for those looking for a masterpiece
5.

From Blood and AshBest Smoldering Love Story

Features
  • Plot rating: 9.4
  • Writing style rating: 8.2
  • Recommended age: 17+
  • Publication date: 2020

This book made me think about so many more things than just its romance storyline. I found myself wondering what it’s like to be special. Chosen. One of a kind. What do princesses feel and what delusions they are surrounded by? I don’t know why princesses came to my mind since this book’s heroine is not exactly one. However, this reminded me of some “The 10th Kingdom” where Prince Wendell went through mind-changing metamorphoses from a posh, cheeky, indifferent noble to a courageous, honest, and fair king.

This novel’s main character, Poppy, is also the chosen one who’s forced to live all her life in solitariness. The few people that do surround her, the guards, mainly, treat her in a special way, the way it is believed she deserves. She is meant to stay in her room, not to show her face to anyone, no friends, no connections. From the very beginning, we see the inner struggle that she tries to hide at first. She’s a much stronger personality than the Duke and the Duchess think, as well as any of her guards. Any, except one.

Hawk is a guard who’s bound to ensure her soon Ascension. He enters her life to change every essence of what she believed in. It’s not a typical lover you’re used to. He’s mysterious, cheeky, brave, self-confident. This aura of mystery that is hidden inside him is what attracts from the very first pages of his appearance. Poppy’s faith is constantly put to the test, gradually she’s evolving as a personality and, sure thing, falls in love with Hawk.

If I was to find an ideal adjective for their relationships, I would call them smoldering. At first, you can’t even tell if it’s a genuine attraction or proud indifference, love or hate. Gradually, it becomes obvious, the characters are fully into each other. They like to tease each other, awakening the deepest emotions inside, only adding to the growing chemistry.

Apart from the love story, this novel impresses with an incredibly twisted plot. The fate of the kingdom the characters live in is under question. They need to decide which side of the two struggling clans they are on based on their true feelings and beliefs. This book contains so much food for thought when it comes to friendship, loyalty, violence, and vengeance.

I must mention, that there’s the second book I haven’t read yet. If you have, please, let me know in the comments if it’s better/worse than the first one, and if it’s worth reading at all. My impression of the first one is so good, that I would think twice before spoiling it with something not that decent.

This story is so different from what you can usually find in a local drug store. It’s not simply a love story, it’s a complicated, gradually developing drama of a young girl that has long been unaware of what life is truly worth.

Pros
  • Untypically developing love story
  • Gives much food for thought
  • First-person POV allows for deeper diving into Maiden’s thoughts
Cons
  • Sexual harassment scenes
  • Slow pace at the beginning
  • The writing is not something outstanding

Conclusion

I hope my list of the best fantasy romance books helped you find your next read. In case you’re searching for a fast-paced, fae, romantic, and arousing book, be sure to check out A Court of Thorns and Roses.  Looking for something not that explicit and suitable for teens to read? Don’t overlook the Spellbreaker duology. Interested in Polish/Russian folklore and in love with Grimm’s fairytales? Uprooted is your best pick. Whatever you decide on, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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