It’s Halloween season!! And I’m taking part in Bookending Autumn, a blogging event and blog hop hosted by Sam @ Bookending Sam. I’m quite excited to be taking part this year, and have already outlined some fun prompts!
Today’s challenge is hosted by the lovely Lauren @ Northern Plunder with the best title ever: Loving the Monster. The challenge is to talk about which Halloween monsters are your favorite, with some exciting recommendations and books to look forward to! But I’ve already done that before, so instead I’m going to talk about my favorite five shifter / changeling romances!
Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) by Patricia Briggs
Mercy Thompson is honestly a huge favorite. I don’t mean that literally, but by god. She’s one of the sassiest, kick-assiest, most hilarious heroine’s I’ve yet seen. Reading her story is honestly just straight-up fun. And she is fierce, don’t you doubt it. I don’t even know how to describe Mercy other than seriously fucking fun. She also shape-shifts into an adorable little coyote! And her bantering, flirtatious (courtship) with the alpha wolf next door provides endless hilarity!
It’s fast-paced, action-packed and I was entertained from start to finish. The mystery in this one was great, too! It’s not too involved, but it’s a great cozy mystery to snuggle in with and enjoy puzzling out. Ms. Briggs, too, does a great job of really developing the werewolf pack over the course of the series, with their mannerisms, drama, patterns and hierarchy. The overall world-building is superb, and I really couldn’t ask for much more. Mercy herself is awesome, because she’s not a ninja-badass, or like the shoot/stab-first, ask-later ladies that dominate the UF genre. She’s a mechanic with a history degree and is genuinely witty. She thinks outside the “mouthy” box, and is a realistic, strong character. I love a female that’s real enough to be flawed, and Ms. Briggs really just hits the sweet spot with everything on this one. (Goodreads | Amazon)
Magic Bites (Kate Daniels #1) by Ilona Andrews
I’m actually rereading the Kate Daniels right now, and I’m all the way through book five 🥰 I forgot how much I absolutely adore this series! Kate and Curran, Derek and Julie and the whole bunch are so familiar to me. I’ve read it like… oh, three to four times? Kate is just so fun and sassy and practical and a literal ninja. Ilona Andrews, a husband-wife writing duo, have this amazing ability for world-building and creating a whole cast of amazing characters to enjoy. This book and this series is an experience and really I enjoy it so, so much. I’m so thrilled to be rereading the series again, because I’d forgotten how amazing it truly is. (Goodreads | Amazon | Review)
King Hall (King Hall #1) by Scarlett Dawn
King Hall follows Lily Ruckler in the world of the Mysticals, which is divided between four factions: shapeshifters, faeries, vampires and elementals. Lily was a regular shapeshifter, mate to the future King of Shifters. But when he died, the power went to her and she became the future Queen. The Mysticals world takes place (for them) on a college-esque campus for all the teenager Mysticals, and so we get to watch Lily in this huge transitional phase in her life. I wasn’t sure about her at first, but I grew to absolutely adore her. She may have been Queen of Shifters, but she was also an awkward young adult (truly), just like me, taking on a huge, unexpected mantle of responsibility, all while carrying a huge secret.
An extra caveat into this one is that it’s super fun, because it’s a fun mix of magical powers and crazy mating scenes, all while pushing a subtle but important message of friendship and loyalty. This book is found family at it’s finest, and it’s not to be missed, and I mean that truly. In a lot of books, with YA in particular, yes there’s a teenager and oh, she’s struggling with a huge role of responsibility thrust on her, but we don’t ever get to see her still being a kid. This trilogy takes you all the way through those phases, and you really live it with them. I’ve read this one again and again, adoring it not only because of those super-fun magical powers and slow-burn romance, but also for the friendship. I LIVE for huge friendships in books, and it really is the foundation of the book 💕✨ (Goodreads | Amazon)
Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling #1) by Nalini Singh
These Psy-Changeling books are serious fun. In the first one, Slave to Sensation, Lucas was a great character, completely at ease with himself and proud of his packmates, sweet, patient and understanding (yet still very dominant) with Sascha. And Sascha herself was a strong, selfless female lead. I loved both of these characters individually, but I loved them together better. They made me laugh, and cry and cringe and swoon, even though they were emotionally scarred, it was amazing watching them heal each other and find their way to happiness.
Ms. Singh writes such vivid characters and oh my god her world-building is undeniably top-notch. We don’t get it all in the first book, but it builds and it builds and it builds throughout the series into a masterpiece. This really is one of my favorite series. With a hate-to-love romance, a whole dynamic cast of characters, and the best damn world-building you’ve read in a while, I really can’t recommend Slave to Sensation to you enough 💕 I promise you’ll be sucked in by this paranormal romance at it’s FINEST. (Goodreads | Amazon | My Review)
Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop
These books … oh man. They’re pretty revolutionary. They’re not like any other book I’ve read and honestly… woah. Basically, this one is a completely different premise from what you’d expect. They’re not really … shifters, per say. They’re terra indigene, animals who can shift into human forms and ruled the world before humans, and finally came out of hiding when the humans crossed too many lines. It’s, quite frankly, an amazing story with astounding world-building. It has the rare quality of being moderately-paced, but still had me emotional and on the edge of my seat. Ms. Bishop has a very original and distinct writing style, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
But the shifter part… was so so so interesting. This is one of the books that I read with my highlighter aloft and at the ready. The terra indigene, or The Others, are absolutely hilarious in their practices, and bafflement at human’s. They really are something, and I can’t recommend this one enough. (Goodreads | Amazon)
Are you participating in Bookending Autumn? What are some of your favorite shifter romances? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!