Best Paranormal and Fantasy Romances of 2018: A Hogwarts Reading List
There something about the holidays the get me in the mood to read (or watch) some Harry Potter. Perhaps it is because I’ll never quite get over the first time I saw Hogwarts all decked out for the occasion.
Seriously, my Hogwarts letter must have gotten lost in the mail. I’m so meant to be there.
But I digress.
In thinking about the many ways I typically wrap up my year through holidays, reading challenges, etc., I came up with the crazy idea to run my favorite books of 2018 through the Sorting Hat. Surprisingly, when I checked on my favorite paranormal romances of the year, not all of them were Gryffindor or Slytherin books. I had read more than my fair share of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw books this year, too! Which is truly shocking for a Slytherin gal like myself.
And thus, with the help of the illustrious Aimee Miles, a HPish list of our favorite paranormal and fantasy romances of 2018 began to take shape. The books are categorized by House in a few different ways and, of course, everyone’s reading preferences are subjective. These were our favorite paranormal romances of the year, but please comment and let us know your favorites and what house they would be sorted into!
Note: All Hogwarts House descriptions from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
“You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart.”
Dragonfire by Donna Grant
The complexity of Grant’s Dark Kings series never fails to astound me. The beauty of Dragonfire, though, is that amidst all of the fighting and deception among the races, Sabina and Roman’s story felt like a return to basics. Their mission in this novel was fairly focused (return V’s sword to its rightful owner) and their forced proximity while completing the task allowed us to see the tenderness and strength of their love as it developed. Of course, though, their quest was not without danger. The bravery and nerve they both had to display as they traveled across the world and through time was awe-inspiring, and mighty Gryffindorish, to say the least. —Erin McCoy (Editor’s note: this entry was updated with the correct title!)
Blood Fury by J.R. Ward
Just as much Saxton and Rune’s book as it is Peyton and Novo’s this may be my favorite Black Dagger Legacy book yet. Or even, dare I say it, my favorite BDB ever…Anyhoo, these characters and this story is so very Gryffindor-like that it’s insane. The bravery is takes for Rune to pick up his life and live with the Brothers, for Saxton to risk his heart again, or for Novo to trust Peyton with her deepest secret has me close to tears just thinking about it all. Blood Fury may make your heart hurt but it proves that sometimes the risk is worth the reward. —Erin McCoy
“You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true
And unafraid of toil.”
Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston
If I had to think of only one character to embody the Hufflepuff ideal it would be Charlie MacKilligan. She protects her family with everything she has, seeing past their flaws, their aggression, and the endless destruction they reign down on everyone that comes in contact with them. Despite it all, Charlie fixes their problems, hides the dead bodies, and medicates her sisters as necessary. She may be lacking a bit when it comes to the “just” part of the Hufflepuff description, but she is a honey badger hybrid shifter after all; a lapse in even-handedness is totally expected. In this first-in-a-series romance Charlie, a hybrid shifter with two super crazy sisters, is coupled with an endearing bear shifter, Berg. Despite the sister problem, Berg is just so darn smitten with Charlie throughout this book that it’s hard not to fall just a bit in love with him. Perhaps the most enjoyable book I read all year! —Erin McCoy
The Minotaur’s Kiss by Erin St. Charles
Futuristic, paranormal pregnancy romance perfection. In the book, we meet Diana, a human social worker, and Mac, a shifter security officer. The two meet, conceive a child by accident, and then find out they’ve been placed together to work a case. Try as they might to keep their relationship professional, Mac soon realizes that Diana is his mate and that she’s pregnant. A bit crazy sauce, yes. It’s so good, though. Mac and Diana are most definitely Hufflepuffs. They are loyal to those they are protecting and are obsessed with justice for every being. Together they are basically unstoppable. —Erin McCoy
“Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
if you’ve a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind.”
How to Marry a Werewolf by Gail Carriger
I love a bluestocking and Faith well delivers as a geology-lover who carries rocks in her luggage. Opposite her is Channing Channing of the Chesterfield Channings, an abrasive werewolf from Carriger’s Parasolverse. The romance is sweet, with tiny Easter eggs for readers of previous Parasol books—Ravenclaws always read the whole series. Faith’s clear devotion to her science will be easily identifiable for those with “a ready mind” and Channing’s prickly personality will resonate with Ravenclaws who consider themselves strong introverts. —Aimee Miles
Baby, I’m Howling for You by Christine Warren
Set in the same world as Warren’s The Others series, but safe enough for those of us new to Warren’s works, this book was completely addictive. It kept me so enthralled that I basically read 90% of it in one sitting, stopping only because it was absolutely required. Featuring a librarian heroine who most definitely down with “wit and learning,” fans of fated mates, shifters, or small-town paranormals will devour this book. —Erin McCoy
“Those cunning folks use any means
To achieve their ends.
And power-hungry Slytherin
Loved those of great ambition.”
Clash of Storms* by Bec McMaster
Anti-hero catnip here! If you’re a Dramione shipper, you’ll find plenty of emotional parallels. Sirius is the scary prince of the dragon court; Malin is the handmaiden to the princess, Sirius’s cousin. Despite the prince-handmaiden imbalance, Malin is nobody’s inferior, and Sirius just wants everyone to stop expecting the worst of him just because he’s Slytherin all the way. *This is the third book in the series, so start with Heart of Fire for the full arc. —Aimee Miles
Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert
This Halloween novella is full of tongue-in-cheek humor. Low in angst, this book couples a quirky waitress (whose family kills werewolves on the regular) and a thoughtful werewolf as they come to grips with their unexpected attraction to each other. I had serious trouble sorting this book into a house. Chas and Luke are both so ambitious; Chas wanting to be a normal member of her family and Luke wanting more than anything to make Chas his (and to not scare her). But try as they might to get the thing they most desire, they are also kind and considerate with each other. He is a “proper werewolf” after all. Perhaps they aren’t so power-hungry, but they are both cunning and determined. —Erin McCoy
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