While a normal romance novel is still a good read, we want to read a love story with a bit of thrill once in a while. Thus, fantasy romance novels for adults are one heck of a journey. With a little bit (or more) sword, fighting, and magic, the romance only could be enhanced.
Check our list of fantasy romance novels for adults below to add to your reading list.
1. The Night Circus (2011)
A hot and tragic love story between two magicians, Celia and Marco. When they were forced to fight each other by their teacher, they developed something else—a deep connection and desire for each other.
But, their fight must happen because everyone’s fate depends on it. The stage has been prepared—Le Cirque des Rêves, a circus that opens only at night.
Written with such a seductive plot, The Night Circus is one of the adults’ best fantasy romance novels. With such great narratives, Erin Morgenstern writes a standalone novel without a cliffhanger. No need to make a sequel nor further explanation for each character.
2. The Princess Bride (2003)
A lovely girl marries the most handsome prince in the world. A classic love story, but with an unexpected twist. What if the prince is not what the girl expected?
A story about fighting and giants. Full of clashes between good and evil. With gruesome death and lustful sexual desires. A story about everything we could imagine.
William Goldman wrote this book based on a book with the same title by S. Morgenstein in 1973. But he added the twist or instead made another attempt to the “good parts” in the original for a newer generation.
Even though it’s almost a re-told, you need to read both Goldman’s version and the originals because two of them have a different vibe and storytelling. A perfect fantasy romance book with excellent prose writing.
3. The Bird and The Sword (2016)
Amy Harmon’s novel is about when you couldn’t use all the magic there is; maybe love is the only magic you need. Cursed by his mother’s words and chained by his father’s greed, a girl needs to find a way to escape. She can’t fight with a sword nor use any magic. She can’t speak even though she is a Teller, someone with the power to talk about a prophecy. The same power her mother cursed her with.
A heart-melting adult romance with a suspense thriller and action. With immense world-building in a single standalone novel. A very rare quality we find in a story with an extended rule.
4. The Bargainer Series
When you need something, you come to The Bargainer to make a deal, any deal you want. A man with anything you want and needs, and everything always comes with a price. But, he never asks for any payment for only one of his clients. Only one.
Callie, a siren with a big problem, finds her past love interest, a Fae King that has everything. They only kiss once, with more promise.
When everything seems good, every Fae warrior goes missing, with only the women ever coming back. In a glass casket and a child on their chest. The Bargainer knows something evil has woken up, and the evil seems keen on exotic creatures. Unfortunately, Callie is one of them.
The Bargainer series consists of three main books and one spin-off. With three main titles are Rhapsodic (2016), A Strange Hymn (2017), and Dark Harmony (2018). One book as a spin-off told the story about the past of the Fae King titled The Emperor of Evening Star, published in 2017.
5. The Shadow and Bone Trilogy
In the world of dark magic, Alina Starkov joins her country’s magical military. But, in her hour of duty, she falls under the evil leader, the Darkling. Everyone now believes that she has a unique power—a power to change the world’s fate.
Consisting of three main titles, Leigh Bardugo’s magical series will blow your mind away. Shadow and Bone (2012) is the first title of this series. A beginning story to a vast world of magic. In the second book, Siege and Storm (2013), Alina must escape and make a living and survive in a strange land, stranger than hers.
In the last book, Ruin and Rising (2014), a final battle between The Darkling and Alina couldn’t be more exciting and scary.
The trilogy is primarily whole-packed action on paper. But, in the romance department, Bardugo’s writing gives such a distinct nuance. From young adults to full-grown adults can read this trilogy without feeling overwhelmed by this fantasy adventure romance book.
6. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (2020)
A young woman has to make a Faustian contract to live forever in desperation. But, the price is that everyone will forget her. Thus, Addie LaRue lived for a very long time. Marking her way in a long history, she lived a quiet life.
But, after 300 years of solitude and strangers, she was recognized by a man, a handsome one, in a bookstore. What is his story? Why does he remember her even though she supposedly can’t be remembered?
7. Uncertain Magic (1987)
If you could hear other people’s thoughts, do you consider it a gift or a curse? Roderica Delamore is a woman with a complicated life and a strange ability. She can hear people’s thoughts. She doesn’t want that ability nor uses it for a so-called greater good. But when she hears a handsome man’s thoughts, she feels an urge to a strange desire, a strong one.
Faelan Savigar is a handsome earl with some dark rumors swirling around him. Yet, that evil secret he hides is what makes Roderica want her more than anything. She is willing to give him anything, even if it means her very heart.
Laura Kinsale’s debut novel with an unusual mix of romance and fantasy back in 1987. “A book beyond its time” is a good metaphor for Uncertain Magic. What is more interesting is Kinsale’s style of character writing. She makes the darkest character into the most beloved by a small thing that character is doing.
None of the words in this book feels useless. Every sentence just makes something clear, that each character’s passion for each other exceeds normality and morality. Thus, make this novel a steamy fantasy book you need to read alone.
8. Dark Light Trilogy
A beautiful and tragic fantasy romance novel series between two people full of magic and intrigue. Gabriella is a clueless young adult who just turned twenty this year. She’s not familiar with love, sex, let alone magic. But, on her birthday, her adopted parents told her everything about her past and heritage.
When the world around her turned into chaos, she found yet another discovery. Love and sex came together, and it manifested in a sexy and handsome boy, Dorian. But, she doesn’t know that love also comes with tragedies.
The titles in this trilogy are Dark Light (2012), The Dark Prince (2013), and Light Shadows (2014). Besides the trilogy, a spin-off titled Nikolai published in 2013 told the story of Dorian’s brother, Nikolai.
Some of us just couldn’t handle cringe and full-of-color love stories. Too much romance can make the story feel bland and not entertaining enough. That is why some readers prefer a love story with a twist of fantasy and a sprinkle of adult taste, preferably a steamy one.
I hope this list recommendation of fantasy romance novels for adults can be a new roadmap searching for an exciting love story.