The Heldan, Deborah T. Bickmore.
Deborah Talmadge-Bickmore’s The Apprentice is one of my favorite fantasy novels; it comes closest to the mix of fantasy and romance that I like to write. For a long time I looked for more books by Ms. Bickmore and couldn’t find any, so I was delighted to stumble across The Heldan on Goodreads. Senea is summoned to train as a Held warrior, and finds herself developing an intense and dangerous relationship with her mentor, Vayhawk, as their people are threatened by the dangerous magic of their enemies, the Ja’sid. I didn’t find The Heldan quite as satisfying as The Apprentice, but it’s still a treat for lovers of romantic fantasy.
Strength, by Carrie Butler
New Adult paranormal romance, not my usual reading, but somehow I came across this one and decided to give it a try, and it was lots of fun. Rena is terrified of Wallace, who is rumored to be the Big Psycho on Campus, but as their paths cross more and she gets to know him, she learns the rumors (which she helped start) aren’t true, and there’s a lot more to him than meets the eye – and she also learns that there’s a lot more to her than she ever dreamed of. Wallace is a genuinely nice guy, which I guess is kind of rare for heroes in the genre, so that was a big plus for me.
Lord Trowbridge’s Angel, by G.G. Vandagriff
Sweet Regency romance. The falling in love doesn’t take long, but the ensuing complications almost ruin everything. A little more cheerful and light than the things I usually read, but also fun and enjoyable, with another hero who’s a genuinely nice guy.
The Wolves of Paris, by Michael Wallace
As if life in Paris in 1450 isn’t hard enough, what with wars and the Black Death and the general medievalness of it all, now there’s a pack of werewolves on the loose. Dark, creepy, scary, and exciting. Historical paranormal also isn’t my usual thing to read, but I liked this one a lot.
Ghost in the Storm, by Jonathan Moeller
Book 4 of the Ghosts series, that I’ve really been enjoying. Caina is a damaged young woman trained as an elite Nightfighter warrior for the Ghosts, the Emperor’s network of spies. She hates sorcerers and slavers and dedicates her life to wiping out evil magic and protecting the innocent. I think Ghost in the Storm is my favorite book so far; it takes place within a short period of time as Caina and her allies (which come to include one of her enemies) try to stop an invasion by a slaving empire and a sorceress with terrifying ambitions.
I think five books is enough to start with; watch for more coming soon!