Fantasy romance novellas are one of my favorite sub-subgenres of book. There is something about having all the things I love best in a story—romance, sorcery, action, politicking, and sword fighting— condensed into a one-sitting form.
Though these might be a niche interested, over the years I have ferreted out a number of them (and written a few) and today I wanted to share my favorites!
The Crouching Shadow by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
The first in Stengl’s Golden Daughter novella series, The Crouching Shadow introduces us to a world of gilded courts, vengeful barbarian hordes, hidden magic, and betrayal, where magical forces clash and the human world is caught in the crossfire. This Chinese-inspired fairytale retelling has a gorgeous aesthetic and masterful storytelling, but a snarky cat fairy never hurts, either!
Enthroned by K.M. Shea
If you want a romantic, sweet, humorous twist on the King Arthur legend, look no further! K. M. Shea’s tales of King Arthur and Her Knights is a good fit for fans of BBC’s show Merlin with its sarcasm, family-friendly flavor, and appreciation for scheming and adventure (plus, Merlin is young and hot here, so rejoice, fellow fangirls!).
A Fairy King by C. J. Brightley
I had this novella FOREVER before I decided to read it and I loved it to bits. Something about a socially awkward yet all-powerful fairy king trying to woo a mortal is just so dang cute. If you’re looking for a clean portal Fantasy romance with a happy ending, take a look!
Beauty’s Curse by C.S. Johnson
Sleeping Beauty was one of my favorite Disney movies as a kid and so I jumped at this novella series retelling featuring a cursed warrior princess with her band of misfits on a hunt for the fairy who cursed her. This sweet friends to lovers romance made my heart sparkle (and features a portrayal of Christians where they aren’t all idealized OR depraved pyschos. Yay!).
Twelve Days of Faerie by W.R. Gingell
A spinster sorceress and an overworked, middle-aged king team up to save his son from a fairy curse in this funny, sweet romance from W.R. Gingell. I loved this whole series, but this installment especially for the way it handled the two unlikely romantic interests. W.R. Gingell is a master of writing a good love story with quirky heroines and awkward heroes. Definitely check this one out!
Captured by J.R. Castle
A captive princess, a humble peasant’s son, and a secret the king would kill to keep. I love stories where the “greater good” is pitted against the right thing. This story features a young servant who has to choose between protecting his family and helping the princess he is beginning to love. Full of hard decisions, longing, and a hero to melt the coldest of hearts, Captured is a wonderful Fantasy romance novella.
Stolen Mayfly Bride by Sarah K. L. Wilson
This was my first time reading Sarah K. L. Wilson, but I plan to read more of her work after this. I loved the originality of this scenario, where future, past, and present are tangled up to the point that destiny seems hard to separate from the characters’ own hopes and dreams. Sweet, but passionate; set in a cruel world, yet framed by hope, this is exactly the sort of story we need more of.
Ensaadi by Elisabeth Wheatley
When it comes to authors, I would say you write what you read. Ensaadi is the first in my Fantasy romance novella series, Warlords of the Sandsea. Set against the backdrop of a desert world where water is more precious than gold, strength is the only virtue, and weakness is the only sin, Ensaadi is the start of an enemies-to-lovers warlord romance perfect for readers with a taste for intrigue, sorcery, and the conflict between duty and desire.
The Last Pendragon by Sarah Woodbury
Yes, yes, I have a thing for Arthuriana, but this is my blog, so there! The Last Pendragon is unique in that it takes place long after the death and fall of Arthur and picks up as the island is trying to find stability once again. Cade and Rhiann are a fantastic couple and you are sure to root for them every step of the way.
Verdant by Tenaya Jayne
Sometimes we make mistakes in love. Verdant might be one of the more tragic Fantasy romance novellas here, but I still think it ends hopefully. The origin story of a mentor figure in the Legends of Regia series, this is a great addition to existing fans or can also be a good intro to the world. (Just don’t get too mad at the ending…later books fix it, I promise!)