Why not hyper-masculine shifters who love human women?
Why not triplet pregnancies that last only five months?
Why not two male wolves who absolutely must find a female mate together?

Seriously, why not?

I unabashedly love all things paranormal. I grew up searching for the next great fantasy or science fiction book, cycling through Lord of the Rings, Tamora Pierce and her Song of the Lioness series, and anything Madeline L’Engle ever wrote. In college, I discovered Harry Potter. And we all know how that goes. (If anyone doesn’t know how it goes, it goes with me reading for hours and not paying attention to my college coursework.)

I’d always liked my fantasy and sci-fi with a little romance, but it was hard to find the right combinations. Twilight was never my jam because there wasn’t enough between-the-sheets action for my tastes. And Fifty Shades, its real world incarnation, has absolutely zero vampires and just as few werewolves.

Next!

And then I discovered truly steamy paranormal romance novels. Don’t get me wrong—I love reading contemporary romance, and that’s what I’m best at writing. But when Milly Taiden has a new release, I’m there on release day, counting down the hours until the book goes on sale in the Amazon store.

Why do I love paranormal romance? Well, of course, I love the magic. A paranormal romance novel dares to ask the question, “Why not?”

Why not hyper-masculine shifters who love human women? Why not triplet pregnancies that last only five months? Why not two male wolves who absolutely must find a female mate together?

Seriously, why not?

It’s romantic escapism at its finest.

Why not were-bears? And werewolves? And vampires and witches and psychics?

And if you dare to ask the opposing question—why? Well, because magic. That’s the answer.

As much as any traditional fantasy asks “Why not?,” paranormal and fantasy romances do it even more. PNR authors love their world-building, and they love their mythical creatures. In their worlds, anything goes. There’s a richness when an author adds elaborate, careful world-building and magical systems to hot and steamy romance. It adds an additional depth of entertainment that you don’t find elsewhere.

I also find PNR to be the steamiest of all romance. Vampires and werewolves are animalistic in their desire for human women—and when a were-bear hero lays eyes on his woman for the first time, he’s 100% certain that their love is fated. He imprints on her, and he won’t stop until they’re married, in bed, and making shifter babies for the good of his bear tribe.

Bears aren’t pack animals, you say? It doesn’t matter. The author decided that were-bears are more social than actual grizzlies, and she’s rolling with it. The writer made the rules in her carefully built world—and the rules can be fun, campy, cheesy, over-the-top, and hilarious. Milly Taiden and Celia Kyle have a knack for tickling my funny bone like no one in contemporary romance. PNR loves the ridiculous in a way that contemporary just doesn’t. If I’ve had enough serious romantic suspense, you’d better believe I’m hitting up Scarlett Grove’s catalog for her latest and greatest cowboy bear or bear detective.

It’s romantic escapism at its finest.

The most recent trend I’m in love with revolves around—hold your horses, folks, this is a wild one—alien shifters. Aliens have their own safe spot in science fiction romance, but PNR authors have found a way to incorporate the alien love into their shifter specials.

My friend Scarlett has recently launched a dragon series, focusing on dragon shifters that come from different planets. Her most recent, Air Dragon’s Baby, focuses on a mail-order bride sent to a dragon shifter in a distant galaxy. Without her, he’ll die. So of course, she’s got to go save him.

Milly Taiden even has an alien shifter—The Alion King—in her wildly popular Paranormal Dating Agency series. Because why wouldn’t a lion shifter live on a different planet and need an earthling mate?

Marina Maddix has a similar series, involving fated mates, love at first sight, abductions, and spaceships sent to far away lands. With a sassy heroine and a love-torn wolf, longing for his mate.

What do these over-the-top romances give to their diehard readers? Like I mentioned before, paranormal romance offers the ultimate escape. There’s no such thing as a hero who’s too masculine, who falls too deeply in love too fast. And there’s no such thing as a woman who’s too sassy or too curvy—because as it happens, shifter and alien men (and alien shifter men) love women who are very, very womanly. They allow women who grew up with young adult fantasy novels to revel in those “why not” questions, while they’re getting a heavy helping of steaminess, happy endings, and well-muscled shifter men.

You can’t beat that.

So if you’re a loyal contemporary fan and you need a little break from alpha males and mob bosses, check out a paranormal read. It just might give you the lightness and humor you need. And your bikers will be waiting for you when you return from your trip to a distant shifter planet.

I promise.

Books Mentioned in This Article

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Lexi Whitlow

Lexi Whitlow is originally from the middle of nowhere in a tiny county in Virginia--though now she's enjoying her days as a suburban romance writer in a neighborhood with a big, shiny pool. She spent her early years growing up between Virginia and her grandfather's farm in North Carolina. She's Southern by heritage and a world-traveler at heart. Writing books allow her to travel to distant, unexplored lands in her mind, but she spends most days chasing her six-year-old and shouting at her dog to stop sneaking onto the sofa while she's writing. She holds a master's degree in English literature, and her mom is so proud she's "using her degree." Lexi harbors a not-so-secret love for bad boys. She loves fighters, dirty princes, crooked cops, and criminals. Her husband is a scientist... but he has the heart of a bad boy. She spends what little free time she has crocheting, painting, and occasionally cooking for her family. On big writing nights, everyone is happy eating cereal.

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