This post may contain affiliate links. Disclosure here.
Back in May of this year, I read Fourth Wing. Partially because I couldn’t go online without seeing it everywhere and a friend recommended it. And Fourth Wing triggered something in my brain because I have been devouring fantasy romance novels since then. Some I loved, some I strongly disliked, and some I went absolutely feral over.
I’m going to go over these books in the order that I read them, instead of organizing them by rating or publishing date.
The books mentioned are:
- Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
- Belladonna by Adalyn Grace
- The Serpent and The Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent
- The Ashes and The Star Cursed King by Carissa Broadbent
- Six Scorched Roses by Carissa Broadbent
- Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
- A Court of Thorns and Roses – whole series by Sara J Maas
- A Court This Cruel and Lovely by Stacia Stark
- A Kingdom This Cursed and Empty by Stacia Stark
- One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
This was my first fantasy romance or ‘romantasy’ book of the year. Aside from all of the hype around it on Bookstagram, it was recommended to me by my friend.
I’m honestly glad that I read this book because even though the writing and world-building are a bit clunky, I found myself so invested in the characters, dragons, and finding out what would happen next.
This book feels like a romance book meant to appeal to fantasy readers. But there is something about it that just works. It took me a minute to truly get into this book but once I was in, I. Was. In.
I found myself really relating to Violet at times, I’d definitely not be trying out for the riders quadrant with my asthma and bad back.
Also, we stan all the dark-haired and broody for everyone but her, shadow daddies in this house.
Overall, this book was a wild ride and I am so excited to continue the series with the second book in November.
This book gets 4.5 out of 5 stars for me.
Belladonna by Adalyn Grace
This book took me by surprise. It was another book recommendation on Instagram and I decided why not. It is marketed as YA but there is a spicy scene so it felt much more New Adult than Young Adult which I really enjoyed because I have decided I like my books with at least a dash or sprinkle of spice.
Our main character Signa has had an interesting nineteen years and the book immediately pulled me in.
However, having started the second book, I noticed a bit of a trend. Where the author pulls out the tension and suspense right away so after the first chapter, the book feels like it falls a little flat as the story settles back into a good pace.
Despite that, I absolutely loved the relationship that developed between our main character Signa, and her cousin Blythe, and Signa’s relationship with Death himself.
Like I said, there was a spicy scene, but overall this book is super gothic and reminds me a bit of We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson meets Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier with its gothic and dark estate, quirky cast of characters, and who-done-it feel within the storyline.
This book gets 4.75 out of 5 stars from me. Go read it!
The Serpent and The Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent
I never in my life thought I would fall in love with another fictional vampire and yet here I am, looking like a clown.
This book is much more brutal than I initially thought it would be. It reminded me a lot of when I was younger and was devouring The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Twilight. This is like the mature version of all of those wrapped up in one. This is the first book in the Crowns of Nyaxia series.
Our FMC Oraya is competing in a competition called the Kejari, and finds herself up against some powerful vampires. To survive, she teams up with our leading male, Raihn. Raihn is everything I did not know I wanted in Edward.
I will admit that I was not Team Edward.
He seemed like he didn’t even like Bella half of the time.
Anyways, Raihn and Oraya follow enemies, to reluctant allies, to lovers storyline and I absolutely ate it up.
One thing I really struggled with in this book is Oraya’s difficult relationship with her father, Vincent. He doesn’t clue her into anything about her past and so this book leaves so so many questions without answers.
This book gets a 4.5 out of 5 stars from me.
The Ashes and The Star Cursed King by Carissa Broadbent
Remember how I said the first book left a lot of questions? Well, the second book answered so many of them.
Oraya is female rage incarnate and she and Raihn follow enemies, to sort of allies, to lovers storyline again. I absolutely did not like how the first book ended and so I had to jump right into this book after finishing the first.
We get so much more in this book. This one might be my favorite of the two.
These two are part of a duopoly. The author has said that the Crowns of Nyaxia series will be six books, with three novellas, and each two books focusing on a different pairing. So the first two focus on Raihn and Oraya.
The ending of this book definitely ends much better than the first. There is no cliffhanger, it wraps up really nicely and leaves Raihn and Oraya’s story on a sweet note. But I will definitely be sad to see them go.
This book gets 4.5 stars out of 5.
In this series so far, the next book is my 5 out of 5-star book within the Crowns of Nyaxia series.
Six Scorched Roses by Carissa Broadbent
This book is a novella that happens between the events of the first book and the second book.
This book focuses on our main characters Lilith and Vale. Lilith’s town is terribly sick and Vale is her only hope. They enter into a deal where Lilith gives Vale six roses from the only bush in town producing life after being cursed by the gods, and Vale gives Lilith six vials of blood.
Despite this being a novella, I loved the stakes and tension. I loved Lilith and Vale. I loved their chemistry.
This reminds me of the ACOTAR Rhysand girlies switching teams when ACOSF came out to Cassian. I definitely went from a Raihn girlie to a Vale girlie.
So I’m not only in love with one vampire but two. Great.
No surprise, this book gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.
Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
Let’s take a moment of silence for all of us who were ripped in half by that cliffhanger of an ending.
Okay, anyway. This book might be one of my all-time favorite reads this year. Divine Rivals is also the first of the Letters of Enchantment series.
This book follows Iris Winnow and Roman Kitt (but we’re going to call him by his last name) who are rivals at their paper. However, on the outside, they couldn’t be any more different. Iris is struggling, her brother is off at war, and her mother an alcoholic. She needs this job more than Kitt, who is by all appearances, well off.
While Kitt may need this promotion to save face with his hard-as-nails family, Iris is fighting for it all the same.
They go from rivals to lovers but it is so much more than that. The love Kitt has for Iris is overwhelming and so pure and genuinely one of the best book boyfriends.
The boy follows her into fucking war, like kick me in the face.
This book is a closed-door romance, which is fair considering Iris and Kitt are 18 and 19 years old.
The writing is incredibly beautiful and I am counting down every single second until the second book, Ruthless Vows, comes out in December.
I could talk about this book for days. But I will say this book gets 5 out of 5 stars for me and I beg of you to read it.
A Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas
I am going to run through each book in a few sentences, followed by a rating and if you’d like, I’ll do another post dedicated to ACOTAR.
ACOTAR – The one where nothing makes sense. The first half is dumb and the second half is pure chaos. I really had to push myself to not DNF this one. 3 out of 5 stars.
ACOMAF- You had to suffer through ACOTAR to be rewarded with ACOMAF. I mean, my god. The smut, the found family, the tension of a brewing war. 5 out of 5 stars.
ACOFAS – Unnecessary, repetitive, waste of 3 hours of my life but if you’re invested in the characters, you should read it. 3 out of 5 stars.
ACOWAR – Another banger! I loved the political aspects and learning more about the other courts and “be careful how you speak about my high lady” okay, take your 4.5 out of 5 stars
ACOSF – The struggle bus returns because I cannot
fucking stand Nesta. None of the characters seemed like themselves. We were robbed of Feyre’s pregnancy and is this Rhys outside of Feyre’s POV? Because I don’t know if I like him. But the smut was spot on and I might be switching to team Cassian. 4 out of 5 stars.
A Court This Cruel and Lovely by Stacia Stark
This book took me by surprise. It is the first book in the Kingdom of Lies series. It has lots of spice, territorial fae men, and a main character FMC who doesn’t know the truth of their past.
Lorien and Prisca are the unlikeliest of allies. Lorien is in the middle of a heist and Prisca has been hiding her power for as long as she can remember. However, the chemistry between the two is undeniable.
Though Lorien did come off a bit too much as a brute at times. He is definitely less charismatic than Rhysand.
This first book left quite a lot of questions behind but was still a fantastic read. Stacia’s writing is enjoyable and the world-building was interesting. While the story itself was a bit predictable, it still left a few surprises.
This book gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from me.
A Kingdom This Cursed and Empty by Stacia Stark
This book fell a bit flat for me. There were a lot of revelations and it wasn’t the revelations I didn’t like, but rather some of the characters’ responses to them.
The spice was still 100% on point and I enjoyed the solidified found family within this book.
I feel like I usually enjoy the second book better but the cliffhanger on this one just felt out of place.
Overall just kind of disappointed in this one.
This one gets 4 out of 5 stars from me.
Even though I liked the first book better, I still love Lorien and Prisca’s relationship, I loved the found family elements and the continued world-building.
One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig
Do you like riddles? Because this book is full of riddles and I loved it. This book is the first in the Shepherd King series.
This book follows your fairly typical morally grey MMC and just learning her true power FMC storyline, but it was so fun. The characters all felt so fleshed out and I could not put this book down.
Our two main characters, Elspeth and Ravyn have such chemistry and I loved that we got a little bit of spice!
The writing really drew me in and the darkness taking over Elspeth’s mind really fascinated me.
This was a more recent read but now I want a Ravyn because, in terms of book boyfriends, he is up there with Kitt.
This book has a gothic, lots of fog and clouds kind of vibe to it. With folklore and riddles thrown in for fun.
It was such a fun read and I am DYING for the second book to come out in October.
This is another 5 out of 5 stars from me. That ending was amazing and left me with goosebumps running up my arms.
So there you have it! The majority of these books I read May through August and just had so much fun reading them. The majority of them are also rated pretty high so I guess you could say Fantasy Romance is a new favorite genre of mine.
I have read some other fantasy romance novels but really wanted to focus on the ones I truly enjoyed with this list.
Have you read any of the books on this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!