As it is Halloween I thought it would be fun to have someone that loves all things paranormal on to talk about why we love this genre so much. Jackie is on loan to us for the day from the site Bitten by Books a review site devoted entirely to the paranormal.
I blame R. L. Stine for my obsession with paranormal romance. He was my first introduction to ghosts and witches and people locked in walls, all at the ripe age of nine. I guess you could call him my gateway drug. Fear Street led to Remember Me and The Last Vampire (Christopher Pike). Those led to The Vampire Diaries (LJ Smith). By the time I hit middle school, I was devouring Anne Rice between classes and at home.
For a few years, I lost my way. School, marriage, partying, all came before my delectable reading habit until one beautiful, magic day at a book fair. I found the book under a biography on Jackie Kennedy. The cover depicted a bound woman. Kinky, right? The first chapter had the heroine wearing a suit to a wedding. Strange…but I can dig. Then came the vampires, shapeshifters, and Magic Hooha (pretty sure either KatieBabs or WickedLilPixie coined this phrase). I was intrigued – if not highly disturbed at times – by this adult version of the books I loved as a kid.
Laurell K. Hamilton became my literary crack. Before long, I was rolling in books by Katie MacAlister, Kelley Armstrong, Gina Farago, Sharon Ashwood, Kresley Cole, Kim Harrison, Nalini Singh, Lynn Viehl, Meljean Brook, C E Murphy, Jeaniene Frost, Jennifer Estep (Bigtime rules!), Deborah Cooke, Jennifer Rardin, Gena Showalter, Jordan Summers ::deep breath:: Stacia Kane, Chloe Neill, Beth Kery, GA Aiken. The list goes on and on and on to showcase some of the newer innovators in the genre like Allison Pang and Kalayna Price (viva la Haven series!). I couldn’t stop cracking the spines of these books and losing myself for hours at a time. Even after my son was born, I’d stay up until the wee hours of the morning to finish a book.
What is it about these books that get us so addicted? A good portion of the characters lack a pulse, get hairy during the full moon, or want to rend each other limb from limb. The body count is high, bloodshed is a must, and there’s always that one character who wants to take over the world. Why do we love paranormal romance? I’ll tell you why (some of these are from an article I wrote at Bitten by Books):
1) No matter how jiggly, misshapen, or awkward the heroine is, there is always a delicious, caring man ready to do freak-nasty things to her.
2) Love is permanent.
3) It doesn’t matter how big, bad, and in control a man is – he bows down to the altar he places his woman on.
4) There’s something about a man who’s lived centuries, and known hundreds of women, falling over himself to win the heart of a quirky heroine that just plain does it for me.
5) Supernatural stamina. Be they vamp, shifter, demon, or zombie (that’s right, I said it – ZOMBIE!), they become the Energizer Bunny in the sack.
6) Chapter 32. As any Jeaniene Frost fan knows, ‘nuff said.
7) Crazy as this may sound, but my absolute favorite thing about paranormal romance is the setting. Alternate realities, different realms, hidden facets of our own world, all create the perfect backdrop for high-tension and steamy romance.