Not all love stories are sweet and sunny. And not all horrors must be faced alone.
When it comes to horror, protagonists must face the unthinkable. Fright after fright brings out the very worst in them, bending and breaking them until their strength either prevails or fails them. Sometimes, though, someone is at their side to love them at their worst—to stand with them through the terrors the world (natural or otherwise) hurls at them. And who doesn't dream about that?
Horror romance—or horromance—is about more than dropping romantic subplots into terrifying tales. It's a genre dedicated to telling stories about romances that blossom because of the terror, rather than in spite of it. Whether your ideal lover is a sinister killer or you swoon at the thought of a heroic honey, here are some must-read horror romance books!
A Dowry of Blood
We all know the story of Dracula, but what of his first bride? Constanta begins her life as a medieval peasant, but finds herself lifted out of obscurity and suffering to become the wife of an immortal king. She loves him like no other, but there's an evil in him that unsettles her.
Constanta has no one to find comfort in but her rival consorts, Alexei and Magdalena. But what starts out as a bitter jealousy between the three of them soon turns into a passionate love. With Dracula's dark secrets unfolding all around her and everything she holds dear in danger, Constanta must decide if she will seek true freedom or give in to the blind devotion she feels toward her husband.
Eight weeks ago the world came to an end at the hands of a plague, turning a large portion of the population into brainless killers. Ali has spent the past two months hiding in the attic, terrified of her homicidal neighbors. Daniel has spent most of his life as a loner, but now that there's truly no one left, solitude isn't all it's cracked up to be. Former cop Finn is desperate for human connection, and just as desperate to protect any survivors he comes across.
When Ali, Daniel, and Finn meet, they decide to stick together. Suddenly, the deadly wasteland comes alive with sparks of romance and passion. In the midst of a battle for survival, they'll give in to their most human desires.
Queen of Teeth
From Bram Stoker Award-winner Hailey Piper, Queen of Teeth is a quintessential entry in the horromance genre.
Yolanda “Yaya” Betancourt has discovered a set of teeth between her legs. Now she's being hunted by one of America's most powerful corporations. Her vagina dentata is more than just an unusual genetic mutation, it's a startling side effect from a decades-old pharmaceutical experiment—an experiment which is continuing to progress. The changes to her lower anatomy don't stop with teeth, but develop on with horns, tentacles, and a sentient mind of its own.
Yaya is on the runs from the AlphaBeta Pharmaceutical goons, changing more with every passing second. And to complicate matters even more, she's falling in love with an ABP scientist…
Vampires of El Norte
Set in Mexico in the 1840s, this story follows Nena and Néstor. Nena's home has been under threat of Anglo settlers for years, but something far worse lingers just outside of her ranch. Each night a creature lurks in the darkness, draining men of their blood. Nine years ago, this sinister creature attacked Nena.
After that dreadful attack, Néstor thought Nena was dead—and he's been running from the pain ever since. He bounces from ranch to ranch working as a vaquero, trying to drink away the thoughts of deadly teeth and the only woman he ever loved.
When Mexico is invaded by the United States, a brewing war thrusts these long-lost lovers onto the same path. Nena takes up work as a healer, trying to avoid her father's efforts to marry her off. Néstor becomes a member of the auxiliary cavalry. Their reunion is far from sweet, however, as Nena is furious at Néstor for abandoning her. But there's no time to rehash old feelings. An old nightmare is waiting for them in the dark.
A Book of Tongues
The Wild West is being terrorized by Asher Rook, a former Confederate chaplain who wields dark magic after having cheated death. Along with a gang of brutal outlaws, he keeps his lieutenant and lover Chess Pargeter by his side.
Ed Morrow is a Pinkerton agent undercover in Rook's gang, sent to uncover the limits and secrets of his sorcerous power. He's not the only one with an interest in this dangerous outlaw—a Mayan goddess with an insatiable bloodlust has desires she will satisfy at any cost.
Such Sharp Teeth
Rory Morris may not be happy about moving back to her hometown, but her twin sister, Scarlett, needs her. Trying to escape all the bad memories that come with home, Rory spends a night out at a bar. It's here she runs into an old almost-lover, Ian. And it's on the way home that she's attacked by a large wild animal.
At first, she's just feeling lucky that she survived the ordeal—then the changes start. She's stronger than she ever was before, and she can't stand to be around silver. With the moon holding her in its thrall, it's not hard to figure out what's happening. Is she a monster putting everything that matters to her in danger? Or will embracing her wild side bring her the happiness she's been waiting for?
House of Hunger
In this high society, the most valuable currency is blood. For Marion Shaw—a girl raised in desperate poverty—the ad in the newspaper seeking a bloodmaid seems to be the answer to all her hopes and dreams. She doesn't know much about the northern nobles who feast on blood, but she applies for the position anyway.
Within days, she's whisked away to the notorious House of Hunger. Marion falls into a world of darkness and debauchery. A world that seems to revolve around Countess Lisavet, who people revere as much as they fear. When the magnetic Lisavet takes a keen interest in Marion, Marion can't help but be eager to please. But there are dangerous secrets hiding within the House of Hunger that could spell the end for the young bloodmaid.
Anna Dressed in Blood
Like his father before him, Cas Lowood kills the dead. Wielding his murdered father's deadly athame, Cas wanders across the country with his kitchen-witch mother and spirit-attuned cat. Blowing into a new town, they search for a local ghost dubbed Anna Dressed in Blood. Cas expects his usual hunt, but what he finds instead is a ghostly girl tangled up in curses.
Anna was violently murdered back in 1958. She's dressed in that same gown she wore that day, white and dripping with blood. Since her demise, she has brought death to everyone who has stepped foot into the abandoned house she once lived in. But for some reason, she spares Cas…
Companions of the Night
This is not your typical vampire story. And this is no typical small town night. It all starts when 16-year old Kerry rushes to the laundromat to save her little brother's beloved stuffed koala. In the midst of her retrieving the toy, three men burst into the deserted laundromat, dragging a bloodied young man behind them. The captors insist he's a vampire, but the situation doesn't sit right with Kerry. She helps the man escape, only to find herself caught between hunters and prey.