Find it at your library!

Is it still a bodice-ripper if the bodice is made of boiled leather? Either way, I love this series with the heat of a thousand suns.

I rarely wish I could live in the world of a book, but I want to fall asleep one night and wake up in Thalyria with a sword in my hand and a band of highly trained warriors at my side. Don’t @ me, but I think I’d rather go there than Hogwarts. That’s how vivid and alive the world of this trilogy is to me.

I’ve read a few fantastical romances in the past, but most of them have been in the urban fantasy vein. I would often catch myself thinking, “This would be SO GREAT if it weren’t for the vampires…” Something about lovers feeding on each other just does not get the engine revving for me. (No judgment. To each her own kink.) So I was super into this outwardly straightforward romance featuring (get this) two humans who love each other (like, a lot a lot). Yes, one of them is gifted with magic, but the other is immune to it, and somehow they balance each other out.

Even better, Cat and Griffin are both physically strong and skilled fighters, so they’re on a pretty level playing field (although Griffin’s constant protectiveness admittedly grated on me). I also liked how committed they are to each other and how unshakeable their relationship is—oddly, that’s not something I see as much as I would like, even with as much romance as I read these days. It’s nice to see a couple that has such a strong foundation and isn’t constantly beset by doubts and insecurities. Added bonus, the action isn’t dependent on the relationship and its turmoil; instead, the conflict comes from outside, and they present a united front against it. Which leaves the door open for all manner of magical creatures to come in and wreak havoc—spiders, snakes, Cyclopes, Hades’ guard dog, you name it.

I’m learning that for me the sweet spot when it comes to romance is either fantasy or historical. To be a true escape read, I need distance from the world as I know it, either by traveling to a different time and place or a different realm altogether. I’m pretty pumped to seek out more books in this subgenre and keep them in my back pocket for times when I need a fun pick-me-up.

Enthusiastic thanks to my sister-in-law Belinda for the recommendation!