Discover the 13 Best Urban Fantasy Romance Books of All Time

Urban fantasy romance is a fascinating genre that blends elements of fantasy and romance to create a unique reading experience that has captured the hearts of countless readers. This genre has seen a tremendous growth in popularity in recent years, and with so many books and series to choose from, it can be challenging to know where to start. If you are looking for the best urban fantasy romance books of all time, then look no further as we present to you a comprehensive guide to some of the most thrilling and captivating tales in this genre.

Discover the 13 Best Urban Fantasy Romance Books of All Time

Defining Urban Fantasy Romance

Before diving into the world of urban fantasy romance, it is essential to understand what the genre entails. Urban fantasy romance usually features supernatural elements like magic, vampires, werewolves, witches, and other supernatural beings set in contemporary times or in a fictional world that is similar to our modern era. The stories often center around the romance between the characters with high-stakes action and adventure driving the plot.

Characteristics of Urban Fantasy Romance

Urban fantasy romance is a genre that thrives on creating intense connections between the protagonists while immersing the reader in vivid and detailed magical worlds. It is characterized by strong protagonists, intricate plotlines, and a blend of action, adventure, and romance. Protagonists are often complex and flawed characters who must overcome obstacles to achieve their goals while managing the complexities of love and relationships.

One of the defining characteristics of urban fantasy romance is the world-building. Authors must create a believable and immersive world that is both familiar and fantastical. This requires extensive research and imagination to create a world that feels real and engaging to readers. The world-building often involves creating complex systems of magic and supernatural powers that are unique to the story’s universe.

Another important aspect of urban fantasy romance is the blending of genres. The genre often incorporates elements of mystery, thriller, and horror, creating a unique reading experience that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. The blending of genres also allows for a wide range of readers to enjoy urban fantasy romance, from fans of romance to fans of horror and everything in between.

The Appeal of Urban Fantasy Romance

The popularity of urban fantasy romance stems from its ability to transport readers into fantastical worlds filled with magical creatures and supernatural powers. These books are an escape from reality and offer readers a chance to immerse themselves in exciting love stories while experiencing magic and action. Addictive plot arcs and a thrilling blend of fantasy and romance have made urban fantasy romance a go-to genre for readers of all ages.

Urban fantasy romance also provides readers with relatable characters who face real-world problems, despite the fantastical setting. The protagonists often struggle with issues like identity, self-worth, and acceptance, making them easy to connect with and root for. The romance aspect of the genre also provides readers with a sense of hope and optimism, as the characters often overcome obstacles and find love in unexpected places.

In conclusion, urban fantasy romance is a genre that offers readers a unique and engaging reading experience. With its blend of action, adventure, and romance, and its ability to transport readers into fantastical worlds, it’s no wonder that urban fantasy romance has become a beloved genre for readers of all ages.

The Origins of Urban Fantasy Romance

The roots of urban fantasy romance can be traced back to the early 1980s when authors like Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris began blending supernatural elements with romance in their stories. These writers paved the way for modern urban fantasy romance and helped established it as a legitimate genre. Today, there is a vast and rich collection of literature in this genre that continues to grow with each passing day.

Key Authors and Series

Night Huntress

Some of the most famous and well-known urban fantasy romance authors include Kresley Cole, Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, and Jeaniene Frost. These authors have built expansive worlds and created unforgettable characters who have captured readers’ hearts and imaginations. Some notable series include the Night Huntress series by Frost, the Mercy Thompson series by Briggs, and the Guild Hunter series by Singh.

Kresley Cole is known for her Immortals After Dark series, which features a diverse cast of supernatural beings such as vampires, werewolves, and witches. Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series explores the complex relationships between humans and shapeshifters in a dystopian future. Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series takes place in a world where magic and technology are in constant conflict, and Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series follows a coyote shapeshifter as she navigates a world full of werewolves, vampires, and fae.

Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series features a half-vampire protagonist named Cat who falls in love with a vampire named Bones. The series has spawned numerous spin-offs and has been praised for its action-packed plot and steamy romance. Singh’s Guild Hunter series follows a vampire hunter named Elena as she navigates the dangerous world of angels and demons, and Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series explores the relationship between a werewolf and a rare Omega wolf.

The Evolution of the Genre

Hunger Games

The urban fantasy romance genre continues to evolve and grow with new voices constantly emerging. Today the genre encompasses a broad range of stories with diverse protagonists, complex magical systems, and unique world-building. The genre has grown to include sub-genres like dystopian, steampunk, and even cyberpunk.

One notable example of a dystopian urban fantasy romance is the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. The series takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where teenagers are forced to fight to the death in a televised event. The romance between the two main characters, Katniss and Peeta, is a central part of the story and adds emotional depth to the action-packed plot.

Steampunk urban fantasy romance combines elements of Victorian-era technology and aesthetics with supernatural elements. Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series is a prime example of this sub-genre. The series follows a woman named Alexia Tarabotti who has no soul and can neutralize supernatural powers with her touch. The series features vampires, werewolves, and dirigibles, and has been praised for its witty humor and strong female protagonist.

Cyberpunk urban fantasy romance is a relatively new sub-genre that combines futuristic technology with supernatural elements. One notable example is the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh, which takes place in a dystopian future where humans have developed psychic abilities and shapeshifters exist in secret. The series explores themes of power and control and features complex and diverse characters.

Overall, the urban fantasy romance genre continues to thrive and evolve, offering readers a wide range of stories and characters to fall in love with.

Top Urban Fantasy Romance Books

Urban fantasy romance is a popular genre that blends elements of fantasy and romance in an urban setting. Here are some of the top standalone novels, book series, and anthologies/collections in this genre:

Standalone Novels

If you are looking for a standalone novel in the urban fantasy romance genre, here are some great options:

The Midnight Bargain by C.L. Polk

The Midnight Bargain

This novel is set in a world where women are expected to give up their magic in order to get married. The main character, Beatrice, is a talented sorceress who is determined to find a way to keep her magic and marry the man she loves.

You can find this book here.

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

The City We Became: A Novel (The Great Cities Book 1)

In this novel, the city of New York comes to life and must fight against an ancient evil. The main character, a struggling artist named Jemisin, is one of the people chosen to represent the city in this battle.

You can find this book here.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel (Shades of Magic, 1)

This novel takes place in multiple versions of London, each with its own unique magical properties. The main character, Kell, is one of the few people who can travel between these different Londons.

You can find this book here.

Book Series

If you prefer to dive into a longer story, here are some great book series in the urban fantasy romance genre:

The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews

Kate Daniels

This series follows Kate Daniels, a mercenary who lives in a world where magic and technology alternate in power. As she tries to uncover the truth about her past, she finds herself drawn to the powerful and mysterious Curran.

The Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole

Immortals After Dark

This series features a wide range of supernatural creatures, including vampires, werewolves, and Valkyries. Each book focuses on a different couple and their journey to find love in a dangerous world.

You can find this book here.

The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning


This series is set in Dublin, where a young woman named MacKayla Lane discovers that she has the power to see faeries. As she uncovers the truth about her heritage, she falls in love with the mysterious and dangerous Jericho Barrons.

You can find this book here.

Anthologies and Collections

If you want to sample a variety of authors in the urban fantasy romance genre, here are some great anthologies and collections:

Angels of Darkness by Ilona Andrews, Nalini Singh, Meljean Brook, and Sharon Shinn

Angels of Darkness (The Guardians series)

This anthology features four novellas, each written by a different author. The stories focus on angels and the women who love them.

You can find this book here.

Hex Appeal edited by P.N. Elrod

Hex Appeal (Kate Daniels)

This collection features nine short stories, each with a different take on the theme of magic and romance. From witches to werewolves, there is something for everyone in this anthology.

You can find this book here.

On the Prowl by Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilkes, Karen Chance, and Sunny

On the Prowl (Alpha and Omega)

This anthology features four novellas, each set in a different urban fantasy universe. The stories range from a werewolf romance to a demon hunter adventure.

You can find this book here.

No matter what type of urban fantasy romance you prefer, these books are sure to transport you to a world of magic and romance.

Diverse Urban Fantasy Romance

LGBTQ+ Representation

Many stories in the urban fantasy romance genre feature queer love stories, and the genre has become increasingly inclusive in recent years. There are plenty of books that showcase diverse relationships and LGBTQ+ characters written by authors such as K.J. Charles and Ginn Hale.

Multicultural and International Perspectives


Urban fantasy romance has become more diverse, with authors showcasing characters from around the world. In the series, Psy-Changeling by Nalini Singh, she created a vast and rich world populated with characters from different cultural backgrounds. Writers such as K. Arsenault Rivera and Alyssa Cole have also contributed to enriching the genre.

Unique Magical Systems and Creatures

The magical systems and creatures in the genre can be diverse and imaginative, ranging from faeries to vampires and everything in between. Stories by authors such as Seanan McGuire, Cassandra Clare, and Leigh Bardugo showcase singular magical worlds thoroughly explored by talented authors.

Award-Winning Urban Fantasy Romance

Major Literary Awards

There are several prestigious literary awards that recognize the top names in the urban fantasy romance genre. The RITA Awards and the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers’ Choice Awards are notable examples that honor the industry’s best writers and prose.

Notable Winners and Nominees

Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changelings, Book 1)

Some of the most notable winners and nominees of the RITA Awards include Nalini Singh’s Slave to Sensation and Ilona Andrews’ Magic Slays, among others. Books that have won the Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewers’ Choice Awards include Hold On to Your Genre by Ginn Hale, and Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh, among others.


Urban fantasy romance is a rich and diverse genre that encompasses fantastic stories and magical worlds that captivate readers’ hearts and minds. From complex magical systems and unforgettable characters to thrilling plotlines and heartwarming love stories, this genre has something to offer readers of all tastes. We hope this guide inspires you to explore the fantastic world of urban fantasy romance!


What is an urban fantasy romance book?

An urban fantasy romance is a love story that flirts with the boundaries of fantasy but is typically set in a real city. For example, the story could be set in New York City and center around the romance between a human and a vampire.

Who is the best urban fantasy romance writer?

Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Cassandra Clare, and Dannika Dark are among the top-rated authors that write in the urban fantasy romance niche.

What are the best examples of urban fantasy romances?

Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series, and Dannika Dark’s Crossbreed series, are both great examples of urban fantasy romance books.

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