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16 Monster Romance Books to Make You Gasp

Travel from the traditional werewolf and vampire literature to fae courts and orc-ruled mountains. 

monster romance covers

What draws us to the idea of monster romance? Is it the illicit nature? Is it the chance to explore and understand a world other than our own? Is it the feeling that no other human being will truly understand us, but somehow this werewolf (or fae, or vampire, or dragon, or orc, or fishman) does? 
If there’s one thing that I learned from watching the Shape of Water (and really, from a lot of the rest of Guillermo del Toro’s filmography), it’s that loving a monster isn’t about wanting to change them—it’s about accepting them. Whether or not this acceptance is a journey that the heroine faces herself or must overcome with the monster varies from story to story in this roundup. If you’re looking for a new monster romance fix, we’ve got you covered. 

Monster Romances That'll Make You Howl

Dragon's Bait

Dragon's Bait

By Vivian Vande Velde

Falsely accused of being a witch, Alys is not to be burned at the stake. Rather, the cruel villagers have sentenced her to be left on a hillside and consumed by the dragon that lives nearby. As she waits in the rainy, chilly night, Alys contemplates the best way to get revenge on the people that have wrongly cast her out. In the midst of these plans, Alys is overtaken by the dragon. 

Rather than eating Alys as the villagers expect, the dragon shapeshifts—into a young man named Selendrile. Selendrile finds the villagers as abhorrent as Alys does, and gives her the chance to get the revenge that she seeks. Alys leaps at this chance to team up with him, knowing that together, they can teach the village a lesson. She’s also eager to learn about this mysterious being that’s willing to save her life—if only for the purpose of meeting their shared goal, of course.

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Demon

By Kimberly Lemming

The series-starter of Kimberly Lemming's Mead Mishaps opens with Cinnamon, a spice trader who wants nothing more than to live in peace and maybe get a cat. After she drunkenly decides to save a demon named Fallon, who has sworn to kill an evil witch enslaving his people, Cin finds herself swept off her feet and into an adventure that's sweet, steamy, and funny as hell.

My Lord Vampire

My Lord Vampire

By Alexandra Ivy

This is the first book in the Immortal Rogues trilogy. This Regency romance follows Gideon Ravel. He is a centuries-old vampire, and one of the Immortal Rogues: a trio of vampires that are bound to protect vampire-kind. Gideon's tasked with gaining the trust of Lady Simone Gilbert, a woman at the very top of London society. 

Simone could have everything that she could ever want—the favor and undivided attention of London society. Unbeknownst to Simone, she’s also in possession of an incredibly powerful amulet. Gideon is sent to protect Simone and the amulet. However, this immortal guard must take care not to fall victim to his mortal desires. 

The Better to See You

The Better to See You

By Kate SeRine

Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? Not Lavender!...Though, maybe she should be. When a spell goes awry, fairytale characters are brought into the real world—characters like Seth, the Big Bad Wolf. He’s really not as bad as everyone makes him out to be, though! That little incident with Little Red Riding Hood was just one big misunderstanding.

Lavender knows what it’s like to get a bad rap—she’s Cinderella’s former fairy godmother, and her botched spell is the reason they’re all in this mess. She finds herself drawn to this brooding wolfman. But when bodies begin to turn up near the sanctuary for misplaced fairy tale figures, Lavender starts second-guessing her trust in Seth. 

Twilight Desires

Twilight Desires

By Amanda Ashley

We all had a Twilight phase at some point or another (and if you say that you didn’t—you’re lying. Hating Twilight counts as a Twilight phase). Sofia Ravenwood is just like the rest of us: she had a vampire phase. But where we (probably) drew the line at being Team Edward or Team Jacob, Sofia cut ties in her interest in vampires when they attacked her family. 

Sofia is still staunchly anti-vampire, but she agrees to meet with Ethan Parrish, a man that was turned against his will. Ethan is still grappling with the loss of his humanity. Sofia’s distrust in vampires remains, and Ethan’s desire to be human lingers. Can these two find a common ground? 

Beauty's Beast

Beauty's Beast

By Amanda Ashley

This retelling of Beauty and the Beast has hints of the Phantom of the Opera woven throughout its narrative. Kristine finds herself married to and at the mercy of the Demon Lord of Hawksbridge Castle. Erik has been cursed by his mother-in-law to slowly transform into a beast after the death of his first wife. 

Kristine must learn to adjust to life with this new husband—a mysterious, reclusive man who wears a mask, and a glove on his left hand.

The Dark Protectors

The Dark Protectors

By Rebecca Zanetti

The Dark Protectors are vampires, all destined to mate with human women for the rest of their lives. Each book follows a different couple, introducing you to a new Dark Protector and their mate. The heroines are as interesting and dynamic as their vampire mates, so if you’re looking for a series with tough female leads to act alongside their heroes, these books are for you! This four book series includes Fated, Claimed, Tempted, and Hunted.

How to Drive a Dragon Crazy

How to Drive a Dragon Crazy

By G.A. Aiken

Izzy’s been interested in Eibhear the dragon since she first laid eyes on him, when she was just sixteen years old. Now, nearly ten years later, she’s grown in strength and wisdom—a fully-fledged general in Mad Queen Annwyl the Bloody’s army. Eibhear is not the same young dragon he once was, either. He’s now known as Eibhear the Contemptible, and is one of the most feared warriors in the Dragon Queen’s army. 

Izzy has her own duties for the Queen to focus on. She has no time for Eibhear, or her feelings for him, to rear their bright blue head. But like it or not, he's just come flying back into her life. 

warm-bodies-warm bodies isaac marion

Warm Bodies

By Isaac Marion

Oh Romeo, Romeo...Why art thou a Zombie, Romeo? Well, in R’s defense, he didn’t choose to be a zombie, it just sort of...Happened. Blame the plague that ravaged society. R has no real memories of how he came to be a zombie, he just is one, now. He lives in an abandoned plane at the airport, shambles around and rides escalators in his spare time. He has no real drive. But all of that changes when he meets Julie. 

Julie is a human—a living, breathing, pulse-having human, just like R used to be. R takes Julie hostage, rather than simply eating her the way he’s supposed to. He can’t explain it, but Julie has made R feel alive again.

mrs caliban rachel ingalls

Mrs. Caliban

By Rachel Ingalls

Dorothy Caliban is trapped in an unhappy marriage. She and her husband Fred are so unhappy that they can’t even find it in themselves to get a divorce. Fred is hardly keeping his disinterest in Dorothy—or his extramarital affairs—a secret. Dorothy is lost, and doesn't know where to turn for comfort...Until a tortured six-foot-seven-avocado-loving frogman appears in her kitchen. 

Larry has escaped from a laboratory. Like Dorothy, Larry is need of understanding, and comfort. They both just happen to find it in the most unlikely places. 

A Soul to Keep: Duskwalker Brides: Book One

A Soul to Keep: Duskwalker Brides: Book One

By Opal Reyne

All Reia ever wanted was freedom. All Orpheus ever wanted was a companion.

Fans of Beauty and the Beast and Uprooted will enjoy this BookTok favorite by Opal Reyne, which follows the outcast Reia, as she is offered to the monstrous, faceless Duskwalker who protects her village. 

The Demon Orpheus seeks true companionship, something he has yet to find in all the years of his life. He'd nearly given up, but he finds in Reia a chance at love. Can he convince her to stay with him, when she's always wanted independence?

the lady and the orc finley fenn

The Lady and the Orc

By Finley Fenn

Lady Norr has become a captive of the Orc captain Grimarr. She’s just a pawn though—Grimarr doesn’t want her for anything, except her ability to draw in Lord Norr. Grimarr is a barbaric leader, a terrifying beast that draws up feelings that she never had in her marriage to her lord husband. 

As Lady Norr is taken to Orc Mountain, she’s forced to make a choice: accept as dull a captivity as her live with Norr, or surrender to pleasure at Grimarr’s hands. 

a court of thorns and roses sarah j maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses

By Sarah J Maas

Feyre could've never known that killing a wolf would open her eyes to a new world—and taught her that everything that she was ever told about the Fae was wrong.  A faerie carts her off to a different realm filled with the Fae, whom she was raised to fear. Feyre is forced to remain as a punishment for her actions. Feyre adjusts to life with her captor, Tamlin.

Her feelings toward Tamlin begin to take on something warmer, even as an ancient darkness threatens Tamlin’s life—and the lives of all Fae. 

The Shiver Series

The Shiver Series

By Maggie Stiefvater

This four-book series begins with Shiver and its hero, Sam. During the summer he seems like a normal human, but the wolf comes out in the winter. Grace met Sam and his pack during the winter and marveled at the wolves' beauty, but she never imagined that she would eventually fall in love with one of them. 

Can love survive the dangerous secret they share?

A Love Untamed

A Love Untamed

By Pamela Palmer

“Hot shifters, evil beings trying to destroy the world, a lot of action and intrigue what more could a reader ask for?” says the review for Fresh Fiction.

The “hot shifters” in question are called Feral Warriors, and they're an elite band of immortals who are sworn to rid the world of evil. Their newest member, Fox, is eager to prove himself in battle and, instead, finds himself enthralled by his partner, the legendary Ilina warrior Melisande, who proves herself to be his match in every way. 

The only problem? She hates him, at least at first. But in order to survive a deadly trap, the unlikely pair will need to trust one another. Can that trust turn into something more?

the scorpions mate susan trombley

The Scorpion's Mate

By Susan Trombley

Being abducted by an alien race may not be thing that's ever happened to Claire. Sure, it’s a bit of an inconvenience, but she’s never really played well with other people. When she’s captured, thrust into an alien research facility, and a genetically modified alien soldier named Thrax declares that she’s his life-mate, she’s just a little mistrusting. 

This scorpion-like being is a bit on the demanding side, what with his insistence that Claire now belongs with him. Claire will go along with the ride for now, if only for a chance to return to Earth—a place where this alien being will never fit in. But despite the fact that she’s only going along with this plot to get back home, Claire soon finds herself in Thrax’s thrall.