Romantasy (or fantasy romance) seems to be all the rage in recent years if you are on Booktok or Bookstagram and I’ve loved seeing it bleed out of more niche book spaces and into the general/casual reading population with astounding popularity and making a splash on pop culture.
Friends of mine, who never read fantasy romance books before, are absolutely inhaling books like Fourth Wing and ACOTAR and begging me for the best fantasy romance books to read next.
I love watching my friends become obsessed and excited — I also love their lengthy texts freaking out when big things happen in the book.
It makes me so happy — because I love romantasy — but also it reminds me of when I first got into the fantasy genre a decade or so ago and how much it changed my reading life and really reinvigorated it.
I became OBSESSED with this genre that I had always kind of (falsely) assumed wasn’t my thing and I loved being brought into this whole new world for me and think fondly about the books that got me into the genre as well as the fantasy reading friends who helped me to further discover what I loved in the genre; including the fantasy romance subgenre.
Ahh just the feeling of discovering a newfound love for something! It’s the best and I love getting to be a person who gets to dole out these kind of book recommendations! Whew, now I’m feeling nostalgic.
Anyways, whether you are new to romantasy books, didn’t realize there was a term for the type of books you’ve been reading, or have long been a reader of fantasy romance (since the genre is definitely not new and people have been reading it well before me) — I hope this reading list of my best fantasy romance/romantasy books helps!
I’ve also including some new fantasy romance books to look forward to for 2023 and 2024 if you are looking for newer recommendations.
And no matter if you like spicy romantasy or less spicy ones (maybe even closed door ones) — I’ve got quite the spectrum of fantasy romance recommendations. But, no matter the spice level, you will be swept up in a romance taking place in a fantasical world.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info
Fantasy Romance/Romantasy Reading Guide
This list includes fantasy romance for adults as well as some YA fantasy romance books (which I plan to do a separate post for) — just my overall best romantasy recommendations.
Just another reminder — spice ratings are subjective. Definitely share in the comments if you disagree for others to get a grasp on what the spice level might be
If you love fantasy romance:
Great Fantasy Romance/ Romantasy Books To Read
The Serpent & The Wings of Night by Carissa Broadbent
At A Glance: vampires, enemies to lovers, deadly competition/trial, underdog
Spice Level: I’d say a 2/5 and it’s more at the end of the book. Open door. Book 2 is a little bit more spicy.
Ooh this 2-book series really had me staying up late and getting excited about vampires again. Was the perfect read after Fourth Wing.
The vampire-centric kingdom/world/lore is so good and the deadly (normally vampires only) tournament that Oraya — the adopted human daughter of the current Vampire King — decides to compete in to change her fate is so addictive.
But even more addictive is the enemies to lovers romance between Oraya and one of her competitors, Raihn, who she has to reluctantly make an alliance with to survive each day during the trial.
The spice was excellent (think ACOMAF maybe).
A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
At A Glance: slow-burn enemies to lovers, Greek mythology, magic, mythical creatures
Spice Level: 3/5 (I have seen such the range on this one from 1 to 4 and I definitely felt like it was more 2.5 to 3 on my spice level).
It’s about a woman who has a rare power as a Kingmaker (soothsayer) and has been doing everything she can to fight this destiny and stay under the radar.
That is until she’s noticed and kidnapped by a warlord who wants to use her for the safety of his newly conquered realm — a plan that she isn’t going to let come to him easily.
Half A Soul by Olivia Atwater
At A Glance: fae, Regency romance, cozy historical fantasy/fairtytale
Spice Level: Like nothing. But the chemistry and banter is so good!
If you are a (cozy) fantasy girlie as well as Regency romance girlie, I need you to read my latest obsession that I JUST finished on audiobook (highly recommend!) and cannot wait to devour the next 2 books.
This pretty light-hearted & whimsical cozy fantasy romance is about a girl who only has half a soul after an encounter with a faerie that cursed her. This has made her quite an odd outsider and given some rather quirky parts of her personality.
But when she’s whisked off to London for the season to help find her cousin — who has another reason for wanting to go –a husband, she meets the uncouth and not-well-liked Lord Sorcier who finds out about her condition and agrees to help try to figure it out.
As their connection grows, so does the danger as they grow closer to answers to both Dora’s condition and another mystery the Lord Sorcier has been trying to solve.
If you are looking for something pretty lighter fantasy (there are some darker undertones) and a no-spice fantasy romance book, this one is absolutely charming to add to your reading list.
Phoenix Unbound by Grace Draven
At A Glance: enemies to lovers, slow burn, Roman-esque gladiators, fire magic
Spice Level: 2/5 (open door)
I think you could argue that this one sits at the line of fantasy romance and a fantasy with a good romance (especially if compared to Radiance by Grace Draven and others on this list).
However, I think fantasy romance fans who don’t mind a bit of a slow burn will enjoy this one immensely because I feel like the blend of the two genres together in this one is perfect even though it takes a while to get to the romance.
Phoenix Unbound is set in a Rome-esque world where every year each village must send a young woman to the Empire’s capital for her to be burned alive for entertainment in addition to gladiator fights that take place during this annual event.
One village, however, has Gilene. Gilene is secretly sent every year to save her village’s young women — even though she has to endure awfulness of the night including being raped before the pyre — because she is a fire witch whose power of illusion allows her to escape and come back every year.
Except this year a popular gladiator slave named Azarion has seen through her illusion and is now blackmailing her into helping him escape.
What she doesn’t know is his plan, and her help, isn’t just about escaping but also reclaiming the birthright of his clan once he does get out of there.
Radiance by Grace Draven
At A Glance: arranged marriage, friends-to-lovers, low angst, human/monster (alien?) romance, warring kingdoms
Spice Level: 2.5/5
This is one of those books that a bunch of book bloggers went wild about ages ago and it took me years to finally listen to this recommendation because I just wasn’t sold.
I was wrong. It was a romance I couldn’t get enough with — balancing a sweet nature about it with also a lot of passion, intimacy and hotness.
It’s about a Prince, the spare one, and a human noblewoman who are forced to marry for the sake of a treaty that helps gain a trade and political alliance between the Kai kingdom and the human kingdom.
And when the two come together to meet it’s definitely not love at first sight — in fact the think they other hideous being different races/species.
However, the two embrace their marriage in friendship and their relationship blossoms as they face many opposing forces both close to home and abroad.
It’s lower stakes than a lot on this list and not super plot heavy if that’s what you are looking for in a fantasy.
Rhapsodic by Laura Thalassa
At A Glance: dark fantasy, fae, siren, mystery
Spice Level: 3/5
Perfect for fans of ACOTAR and Jennifer L. Armentrout (with some vibes of The Cruel Prince).
It’s about a siren named Callie, who is also a PI, who in her youth wracked up a debt with The Bargainer and for years has owed him all these favors as a result — favors now many years later, after no contact, he reappears and finally comes to collect.
He needs her help with a problem in the Otherworld — fae warriors are disappearing and evil is lurking and now Callie needs to repay her debts and help solve the mystery.
These two have a past and so we get past/present chapters that piece together the story of their relationship and how they came to be entangled all those years ago and how they get to where their relationship stands in the present when he comes to collect and they have to work together.
A Fate of Wrath and Flame by K.A. Tucker
At A Glance: slow burn, enemies to lovers, gods & monsters, portals
Spice Level: 1.5-2/5
I have really enjoyed K.A. Tucker’s contemporary romances (ESPECIALLY The Simple Wild) and I really loved this romantasy book from her.
Romeria is a jewel thief in NYC and, after a deal with a mysterious woman, ends up being transported to a whole new realm — with warring kingdoms, magic, and more — in order to complete a task!
But when she’s thrown into this world she’s put into the body of her evil doppelganger — Princess Romeria — who committed great treachery against the family of her betrothed.
Wrapped up in the deadly plot, she must help the newly crowned king uncover the plot against his kingdom and maintain her hidden identity while she completes the task she was transported there for.
Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
At A Glance: young adult, witches, witch hunts, murder mystery, revenge, Italy, demons
This YA fantasy romance series is so good. I will say that the romance element gets stronger in the sequel (it feels more fantasy with romance in book 1) and heats up becoming a bit less YA making it more of a NA (new adult) fantasy romance, IMO. It reminds me a lot of how Sarah J. Maas’s ToG was pretty firmly YA and then aged up in that way around book 5.
Emilia and Vittoria are witches who live secretly among humans and keep their magic hidden in order to not be persecuted.
When Vittoria doesn’t come home and Emilia finds her body after searching for her, she sets off on a path of vengeance and destruction to find her sister’s killer — even if that means using her forbidden magic and aligning with one of the Wicked Princes of Hell (who has his own agenda for finding the murderer) whom she’s long been warned against by their Nonna.
The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen
At A Glance: enemies to lovers, slow burn, arranged marriage, political & court intrigue, princess assassin, spying
Spice Level: 2.5/3
Danielle L. Jensen is top tier for me — Stolen Songbird was my introduction to her books — and this one is just fantastic!
The Bridge Kingdom will introduce you to a princess who has been training as a warrior assassin with the mission of infiltrating her enemies via marriage to their King and then, after gaining all the intel they need, killing the King.
This mission is important because it will help her kingdom, as well as others, loosen control The Bridge Kingdom has on trade and travel.
But when she gets there everything she thought she knew about her mission and her enemy is VERY different than she could have ever imagined.
Trial of the Sun Queen by Nisha J. Tuli
At A Glance: new adult, fae, deadly contest, fae court politics, prisoner
Spice Level: 1.5 maybe. I hear the series gets spicier but I haven’t read the sequel yet.
This is one of those books where I’m recommending it for the entertainment value and page-turning qualities even though there were things I kind of was critical of writing/world-building wise.
The world was interesting and it has all the additive qualities of some of the most popular fantasy romance books out there and, while at times it felt like a mismash of those things, I had a lot of fun reading it and think fans of already popular & more commercial fantasy romance books will appreciate those things.
Definitely a good one for fantasy romance beginners, IMO, because it’s fast-paced and easy to read.
It’s The Selection meets Throne of Glass meets The Hunger Games meets maybe a sprinkle of ACOTAR.
It’s about a girl who has lived most of her life in a brutal prison and is now dealing with trying to survive a grueling and almost-certain-death solitary punishment worse than she’s ever dealt with before she’s kidnapped (but also sort of rescued) and taken to another Kingdom where she must compete in a deadly contest for the spot of Sun Queen who is to rule alongside the King.
While she is trying to survive the deadly trials (and the other contestants who don’t like her) as well as figure out why she was brought there in the first place, she must also try to win the heart of the king.
Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
At A Glance: young adult, warring gods, journalism, magic typewriter, rivals to lovers romance, “You’ve Got Mail” vibes
One of my favorite YA fantasy romances in a while and one of my favorite books of 2023!
This very much felt like a historical fantasy (feels a little WW2-esque but not named) but the conflict that is happening is between warring gods.
Our two leads are rival reporters vying for the same job and have, unbeknownst to one of them, corresponding and getting closer as pen pals thanks to a magical type-writer.
The world and the conflict are so easy to get into and you’ll easily be captivated by the action on the frontlines as much as you are by this fantastic romance that blooms between these two rivals.
Daughter of No Worlds by Carissa Broadbent
At A Glance: enemies to friends to lovers, grumpy warrior love interest, warring kingdoms, magic wielding
Spice Level: 1.5/5
I immediately downloaded this book after finishing The Crowns of Nyaxia series — can’t get enough of Carissa’s books! Especially because I was told it had some Throne of Glass vibes.
This one is about a girl (Tisaanah) who was sold into slavery very young and is now able to buy her way out of slavery but the night she tries to do so ends in murder — and her barely escaping with her life — and she flees.
In order to save her friends she’s left behind and bring justice, she travels to join the Orders — an organization of magic wielders — to really train the skill she has always had since she was a kid to help her efforts.
In order to be accepted she is forced to do an apprenticeship with a grumpy & reclusive — also very handsome — fire wielder (Max) who also despises and wants nothing to do with the Orders and has quite the tough past.
As war and other dangers looms, Tisaanah will stop at nothing to save those she abandoned.
Top Fantasy Romance Books To Read If You Haven’t Already
The next section is those books that are so popular that I almost don’t want to add to this list because 1) it FEELS like everybody has read them as they have been the gateway to a lot of fantasy romance reading for people and 2) I like to spotlight some that maybe aren’t the biggest and best-selling romantasy books.
However, I wholeheartedly recommend all of these popular fantasy romance books and think you should get to them if you haven’t yet.
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
At A Glance: new adult (not YA), faeries, Beauty and the Beast retelling
Spice Level: Maybe a 1. The series gets MUCH spicier as it goes on.
The fantasy romance that definitely was my big gateway into fantasy romance books when I read it back in 2015 (you should read Sarah’s ACOTAR release day guest post on here) — I could not put this one down! I had loved the books of Throne of Glass that were out yet but woo boy nothing could prepare me for this one!
If you somehow have NOT read this yet — crack it open and be whisked into Feyre’s story of, after killing a wolf in the woods, is taken by monstrous creature (demanding her life as retribution for what she did) into a whole new dangerous land where he lives.
She finds out that her captor is in fact an immortal High Fae named Tamlin and that everything she thought she knew about his world isn’t necessary true and that a terrible blight has been ravaging his home and kill Faeries. As their sexual tension simmers, so does the danger threatening them.
Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
At A Glance: dragons, enemies to lovers, deadly high stakes trials, military training school setting
Spice Level: 2/5
The latest romantasy hit — it definitely was a highlight for my reading year — and for good reason. What a page-turning, fun book. So addictive.
You’ll instantly be transported to this high stakes world of a dragon-riding military college where our underdog of a heroine (forced into this by her mother who is also the Commanding General) must survive deadly trials to graduate and becoming one of the elite dragon riders — all the while she also must survive some of her peers who want to kill her; especially one Xaden Riorson who is a wingleader with a grudge against her family.
P.S. I’ve got you if you’ve already read and are looking for books like Fourth Wing.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
At A Glance: vampires, forbidden love, slow burn, warring kingdoms,
Spice Level: 2.5-3/5
If you loved ACOTAR, you need to read this one if you already haven’t. It’s not faeries by JLA does the crap out of vampire here in this romantasy.
But I will be honest — unlike others I didn’t completely love this series until the second book. So just know that — I liked it but it definitely got better for me in book 2.
It’s about a girl named Poppy who has lived a very solitary life — a Maiden chosen from birth and whose fate has been decided for her when she will be given to the Gods as a gift to ensure her kingdom’s prosperity if she’s found worthy by the gods.
But Poppy doesn’t want this so-called honor — she would rather be fighting against the evil that took her family — and rebels when she can until the day of her Ascension — something she doesn’t know what it entails but which would make her part of the elite ruling class and very powerful.
When she meets Hawke, her new guard to ensure she makes it to her Ascension day, changes her life and makes her feel even more unsure of her destiny and duty — especially with many dark forces conspiring against it and her kingdom and the feelings Hawke stirs in her heart.
NEW FANTASY ROMANCE BOOKS COMING OUT IN 2023 & 2024
These are the upcoming & new romantasy books for 2023 on my radar that I am most excited to read soon!
Throne of the Fallen by Kerri Maniscalco
Out October 3, 2023
At A Glance: Regency London-esque world, deadly tournament, adventure
I have enjoyed Kerri Maniscalco’s previous books (Kingdom of the Wicked & Stalking Jack the Ripper) and I am so excited for Kerri’s first adult fantasy romance that is set in the same world as Kingdom of the Wicked! (Kingdom of the Wicked definitely goes from YA to more NA).
It says standalone and the main character is the Prince of Envy!
“Sinner. Villain. Ruthless.
These are wicked names the Prince of Envy welcomes. They remind him what he isn’t: a saint. And when a cryptic note arrives, signaling the beginning of a deadly game, he knows he’ll be called much worse before it ends. Riddles, hexed objects, anonymous players, nothing will stand in his way. With a powerful artifact and his own future at stake, Envy is determined to win, though none of his meticulous plans prepare him for her, the frustrating artist who ignites his sin—and passion—like no other.
Talented. Darling. Liar.
The trouble with scoundrels and blackguards is that they haven’t a modicum of honor, a fact Miss Camilla Antonius learns after one desperate mistake allows notorious rake—and satire sheet legend—Lord Phillip Vexley to blackmail her. And now it seems Vexley isn’t the only scoundrel interested in securing her unique talents as a painter. To avoid Vexley’s clutches and a ruinous scandal, Camilla is forced to enter a devil’s bargain with Waverly Green’s newest arrival, enigmatic Lord Ashford ‘Syn’ Synton, little expecting his game will awaken her true nature.
Together, Envy and Camilla must embark on a perilous journey through the Shifting Isles—from glittering demon courts to the sultry vampire realm, and encounters with exiled Fae—while trying to avoid the most dangerous trap of all: falling in love.”
The Hurricane Wars by Thea Guanzon
Out October 3, 2023
At A Glance: marriage of convenience, Reylo fanfic inspired, war/battles, elemental magic, political intrigue
Set in a Filipino inspired world, it’s about two enemies coming together — one a soldier fighting against the Night Empire & the other its Prince — forced in a tentative alliance/truce despite their competing goals after the two encounter one another on the battlefield and something unexpected happens leading them to realize they must put their differences aside to save both of their nations from something bigger.
Hunt on Dark Waters by Katee Robert
Out November 7, 2023
At A Glance: magical high seas adventure, pirates, vampires & other creatures like sea monsters & witches, portals
A thieving witch ends up falling through a portal –while on the run from an angry vampire ex she stole from — and is rescued by seafarers and forced to join their crew or die. While she plots her way out of this, the tension between her and the sea-faring captain heats up as does the danger awaiting this crew whose job it is to patrol this magical sea found between the realms.
A River of Golden Bones by A.K. Mulford
Out December 5, 2023
At A Glance: Sleeping Beauty retelling, wolf shifters, fated mates, queer, gender exploration
OOOH I am a sucker for a Sleeping Beauty retelling and a steamy romantasy one at that? SIGN ME UP.
Call and Briar are twins and heirs of The Golden Court who have spent their lives hiding from a powerful sorceress who destroyed their kingdom and keeping their identity as Wolves from humans.
The plan has always been for Briar to marry a prince of another pack to save their the Golden Court. Calla will be hidden away in secret shadowing, guarding and being there as a backup plan.
When they journey out for Briar’s wedding, Briar is struck by a sleeping curse by the evil sorceress and Calla knows it is up to her to save her sister and defeat the evil sorceress to rebuild her kingdom and family.
Fantasy Romance Books On My To-Be-Read List
My list of romantasy books to read is never-ending and ever-growing but these are the ones on my immediate TBR to read soon.
The Book of Azrael by Amber Nicole
At A Glance: slow burn enemies to lovers, modern world with monsters/angels/gods, ancient artifact
Spice Level: 1.5/5
A true enemies-to-lovers romantasy centering around the search for The Book of Azrael — an ancient artifact that could give control to all worlds/realms to whoever finds it — and two people from competing sides who are after it but who must work together, for the good of all the worlds/realms, once they realize the real threat looming.
Dianna sacrificed her life to save her sister and is now the right hand to the king of monsters (Kaden) in return for that and he will do whatever is necessary to get The Book of Azrael; making Dianna commit horrible atrocities on this quest.
Liam/Samkiel (a King/World Ender) locked himself into isolation of the God’s war and denied his role as King but is now reawakened to stop his enemy Kaden from getting the Book of Azrael.
River of Shadows by Karina Halle
At A Glance: underworld, Finnish mythology inspired retelling of Hades and Persephone, all sorts of supernatural creatures, alpha love interest, enemies to lovers
Spice Level: 4/5
I was recommended this one as one to ready when you want a more dark and smutty fantasy romance.
It’s about a girl named Hanna who finds out her father has passed away and travels to Finland to attend his funeral. When she finds his body is missing, she finds out the truth about his death and must travel to a mythical underworld to bargain with Death to free her father.
The Winter King by C.L. Wilson
At A Glance: epic fantasy romance (like 600 pages), slow burn, arranged marriage/enemies to lovers, warring/rival kingdoms, magic
Spice Level: 3.5/5
I need to take my own advice and stop judging books by their covers because every time I considered reading this the cover made me pass over it even though I had heard rave reviews about this one for years.
The King of Wintercraig has just conquered the Kingdom of Summerlea after a long war – started after the prince of Summerlea steals the King of Winter’s bride and killed his heir — with the help of a dangerous power called Ice Heart.
Now the Winter King wants vengeance — he demands one of the Summerlea King’s daughters to claim as his bride who then must produce an heir or he will take the next princess in line.
Instead of giving him one of his beloved daughters, the Summerlea King rids himself of the outcast daughter he despises and has kept hidden away — a feisty and temper-filled girl named Khamsin who has an unwieldy & strong power.
Khamsin, getting her first taste of freedom, heads to her new home in her new role as bride to Wynter where she has to fight for her place as an outsider as well as help her new husband fight together against magical forces threatening them — including the one inside Wynter that could destroy him.
The Witch Collector by Charissa Weaks
At A Glance: witches, enemies to lovers, grief/loss
Spice Level: 2.5/5
It’s about Raina who, driven by vengeance, to kill The Witch Collector (and The Frost King) who took her sister years ago. But when an even worse threat changes ever, she must put aside her desire to kill him and team up with the Witch Collector to save The Frost King or lose the empire (and her sister) to the enemy.
As the two journey together, she realizes there is more to this man that has been her villain and object of vengeance.
Have you read any of these romantasy books? What are some of your best fantasy romance book recommendations?