Putting Romance in Fantasy by Joely Sue Burkhart + Giveaway

Filed in Blogoversary , Giveaways , Guest Post , Joely Sue Burkhart , The Geeky Lover Posted on January 19, 2011 @ 12:00 pm 49 comments
Today Joely Sue Burkhart will take you away to the land of romantic fantasy. Grab a seat and hold your breath. Be sure to stay tuned till the end and you might win a wonderful special prize pack.
It’s sort of like walking along the top of a fence with vipers on one side and spiders on the other. Well, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but balancing fantasy and romance in a story can be difficult.
Some fantasy lovers despise the “gushy stuff” in their meaty worldbuilding.
Some romance lovers despise the “funky names” in their lovely emotional relationship.
Some readers won’t pick up a book that doesn’t have a detailed map on the inside cover.
Some readers will be furious if they finish a book and either the hero or heroine dies – which can be a common event in a dangerous journey or battle prevalent in fantasy.
So what can an author do? How can you possibly make both sides of the fence happy?

Honestly, you can’t. I realized that a long time ago. As a writer, I have to write the kind of book that makes ME happy as a reader. I want a detailed, rich world with a detailed, emotional relationship and smoldering sex, so that’s what I write. It might have too many made-up names and places for some readers. The sex may set the pages on fire for others. And yeah, there may be a few tears shed. But when the whole story is told, I hope it moves your heart as it moves mine.

The nice thing about fence-straddling crossovers is that there’s a lot of room for variety. Some books may be a little more on the romance side, others may be more fantasy than romance. Not all will work for all readers, but there’s enough variety to find just about every combination.Some great fantasy-romances with varying levels of heat and romance:

Do you have any other recommendations? Shout them out in comments or tell me what your favorite romantic fantasy/fantasy romance is!

So lets see what the Book Lovers think about this.

Joely: What’s your favorite romantic fantasy or fantasy romance?
Larissa – The Crazy Lover: Aspect of Crow Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready
Caroline – The HEA Lover: I really loved Anne Bishop’s Black Jewel trilogy and The Fire Lord’s Lover by Kathryne Kennedy. Great books!
Susi – The Geeky Lover: Okay this looks weird and I know it but Shanhasson Triology by Joely Sue Burkhart. (I didn’t get cookies for saying this- I swear)
Bea – The Charmed Lover: A tie between “Alpha & Omega” By Patty Briggs & The McCleod series by Lynn Kurland
Lea – The Danger Lover: Currently I would say “Daring Time”, by Beth Kery. (Time travel erotic fantasy)
Jackie – The Quirky Lover: Does Outlander by Diana Gabaldon count? I think I’m lacking in this category…
Amanda – The Winged Lover: Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward
Stella – The Latin Lover: Definitely Outlander by Diana Gabaldon! I love time travel fantasy romances!!
Melissa – The Spellbound Lover:  Umm.. Her Dark Angel by Felicity Heaton comes to mind.
Veronica – The Sexy Lover:Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.
JoJo – The Cornered Lover: I’m with Amanda Black Dagger Brotherhood!
Has – The Smutty Lover: Warprize trilogy by Elizabeth Vaughan for traditional romance and I know that the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and Kate Daniels series is UF but I loved how the romance was developed in both series.

Joely: Do you read fantasy if it doesn’t include the “romantic” angle?

Larissa – The Crazy Lover: Sure, there are plenty UF out there that don’t necessarily have a romantic aspect that I enjoy.
Caroline – The HEA Lover: I do! Not often but I do. I’ve read whole series without any romance in them. Like G.R.R Martin’s Ice & Fire series (Aka Game Of Thrones)
Susi – The Geeky Lover:  Actually yes I did in the past but haven’t in quite some time now. Hooked on romance right now.
Bea – The Charmed Lover: Yes, though so many these days have it.
Lea – The Danger Lover: I have in the past but not in the past 3 or 4 years.
Jackie – The Quirky Lover:  Most definitely! I have all of David Eddings books and I’m Jim Butcher’s newest fan.
Amanda – The Winged Lover:Yes of course! I love fantasy! If it has romance for me thats just bonus…give me dragons and magic anyday!
Stella – The Latin Lover:Besides urban fantasy I don’t think I’ve read any other kind of fantasy. In UF the romantic angle is not a requirement, though I most certainly enjoy it!
Melissa – The Spellbound Lover: Yeah definitely. Although adding a bit of romance sure makes it interesting 😉
Veronica – The Sexy Lover: I have but not anything thing recently.
JoJo – The Cornered Lover: Absolutely! But I do like that romantic angle :0)
Has – The Smutty Lover:  I prefer and love if there was some form of romance in fantasy but I have enjoyed and love books without it. But I do think romance adds a bit more to the story.

Joely: Who’s your favorite male character from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy? (I have to admit a soft spot for all the riders of Rohan myself!)

Larissa – The Crazy Lover:  hmmm I love me some Legolas LOL
Caroline – The HEA Lover: What a Yummy question *g*. Humm I had a soft spot for Faramir. But seriously these movies are full of hotties! I need LOTR marathon soon
Susi – The Geeky Lover: Aragorn cuz I <3 Viggo Mortensen.He is just sexy in a bum kind of way. *drools* Legolas? Reallly? I can see a red sun rising!- ‘nuf said
Bea – The Charmed Lover: Oh Strider all the way! *nom* Though Frodo comes in second.
Lea – The Danger Lover: I’m with Bea & Susi, Aragorn, I loved him in the books and his character was perfect in the movies.
Jackie – The Quirky Lover: Count me with the Aragorn fans!
Amanda – The Winged Lover: I liked Pippin to be honest, I thought he was cute…
Stella – The Latin Lover: Aragorn and the riders of Rohan I agree! I don’t see how anyone could find Legolas sexy, Look at those peroxide ironed out locks and the tights! ooh.. I want a manly man who rides a horse well, is not slender and exudes testosterone 😀
Melissa – The Spellbound Lover: Well it’s a toss up between Legolas and Aragorn but I think I’ll go Aragorn. He seems er.. manlier lol.
Veronica – The Sexy Lover: Legolas and Aragorn.. Can’t choose just one, lol!
JoJo – The Cornered Lover:  o.O ……..Ummmmm I haven’t really watched them fully *ducks and hides*
Has – The Smutty Lover:  Aragorn – no contest 😀 Nom Nom Nom
GiveawayJoely is offering an exceptional prize pack. You can win the whole Shanhasson Triology (print copy of Rose of Shanhasson in print, The Road to Shanhasson and Return to Shanhasson in ebook form) + Swag and the last book isn’t even out yet. *woooot* Me jealous. 😉

 You’re also getting an extra entry for the main giveaway if you entered our Big Blogoversary Giveaway here.

All you have to do is to answer one of Joely’s questions.
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)

Please leave us a way to contact you.
(Email in blogger profile or twitter name – no way to contact you – no entry).

This giveaway is open worldwide!

Giveaway ends on Friday February 4th and we will announce the winner on Sunday.
Viel Glück!

About Susi

Susi is a geeky vegetarian from Gemany. She just finished university and now works as a civil engineer in steel construction. Besides her reading addiction she also knits like a maniac while listening to audiobooks. Susi also blogs at the Secret HEA Society.

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Join the Discussion
  • Robin K January 19, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I read all kinds of fantasy. There was a time when I did not even know romance fantasy was a genre.

  • GeishasMom73 January 19, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    OMG Aragorn from LOTR is absolutely my favorite male! I have a thing for scruffy men LOL!

    What a great prize pack! Awesome questions Joely!

    GeishasMom73 on Twitter

  • Meredith January 19, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    Do you read fantasy if it doesn’t include the “romantic” angle?

    Yes, I do read fantasy even if it doesn't have the romantic angle. I don't think everything centers around romance.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  • romanticalreader January 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Favorite romantic fantasy is definitely the black dagger brotherhood…yum!


  • Teril January 19, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I am answering the LOTR Question and I am the Aragorn fangirl all the way.

    terilhack at gmail dot com

  • Kelly M January 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    You guys are so wonderful… Thank you for sharing with me…

    As far a favorite… How can I pick just one… uummm lets see.. top 5
    1.The BlackDagger Brothers (JR Ward)
    2.The Roman Brothers (Laura Wright)
    3.The Demonica Series Boys (Larissa Ione)
    4. Midnight Breed Boys (Lara Adrian)
    5. Bones (Night Huntress world, Jeaniene Frost)

    My question for Joely is: What advice would you give someone who wants to TRY to write a story..

    Thank you for this contest and sharing Joely with me.

    Kelly M

  • Julia Rachel Barrett January 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    One of the best discussions you have ever had on this site! And you've had lots and lots of goodies! It is impossible to write SFR or fantasy romance and please both sides of the fence – people just cannot seem to cross over. But I love it – to read and write it – both SFR and fantasy. What a great post and you have mentioned some of the very best books around!

  • Mikki-Manó January 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Wow =) My favourite character from LOTR is Aragorn. I liked him in the books, too, but as I was watching the films, I was melting, if you know what I mean =P Viggo Mortenson is HOT =)
    Thanks for the giveaway =)
    mikki-mano @ hotmail . com

  • SusiSunshine {The Geeky Bookworm} January 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    @Julia Yes I agree. Sad that it's that way though. Seems to keep some author from actually daring to step into this genre. And I think we definitely need some Aragorns in books. *g*

  • Stephanie January 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    Some of my favorite fantasy series are

    1. Mercy Thompson & Alapha & Omega – Patricia Briggs

    2. Black Dagger Brotherhood- JR Ward

    3. Kate Daniels & Edge – Ilona Andrews

    4. Night Huntress – Jeaniene Frost

    smccar1 at hotmail dot com

  • emmad January 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    I'll read any fantasy 🙂 Was reading it long before the genre's seemed to split into the urban fantasy and romantic fantasy etc.

    Now I'm an adult (hehe) the extra spice to some of the romantic fantasy's are good but if the story is well written then vanilla fantasy is still a grand read.

  • Danielle Gorman January 19, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    1.What’s your favorite romantic fantasy or fantasy romance?

    Black Dagger Brotherhood by JR Ward

    2.Do you read fantasy if it doesn’t include the “romantic” angle?

    I do, just not as much as I read romance.

    3.Who’s your favorite male character from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy?

    Aragorn and Legolas-Both are sexy in completely different ways.

    Thanks for the giveaway. These books look really good. Definitely going onto my wishlist.


  • Estella January 19, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    My favorite is daring Time by Beth Kery.

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  • Celine January 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    *Throwing stones at JoJo*

    I love LoTR! Can't even chose which guy I like best. Pippin's accent is amazing, Aragorn is damn hot and I just want to hug Faramir. Can I have them all please?

    I don't think romance is necessary in fantasy books, but it can certainly add to it. My favourite is the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.


  • LSUReader January 19, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Fav LOTR guy=Aragorn, most definitely! Thanks for a fun post.

  • Melissa (Books and Things) January 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    Oh, Outlander! I think that one drew me back into the whole historical/fantasy genre again. Oh, and I think I might dangle a little toward the vipers instead of the spider side… *shudder* 😛
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • Joely Sue Burkhart January 19, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Kelly writes:
    My question for Joely is: What advice would you give someone who wants to TRY to write a story..

    Go for it, Kelly! Rose was the first book I ever finished (after several heavy duty revisions). Until then, I just wrote a little here and there, for fun. One day I committed to my sister (also a writer) that I would FINISH. Just one story. Rose was that story and I couldn't stop!

  • Joely Sue Burkhart January 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Thank you so much, everyone! If you have any other questions for me, shout them out!

  • Jason January 19, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    Favorite LotR guy? I'd have to go with Legolas, though Frodo is adorable (when he's happy at least).

    jason [at] jasonkivela.com

  • Joely Sue Burkhart January 19, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    Susi – The Geeky Lover: Okay this looks weird and I know it but Shanhasson Triology by Joely Sue Burkhart. (I didn’t get cookies for saying this- I swear)

    Ha, the big box of cookies is on its way! j/k Love you, hon, and I'm so grateful for all you've done for this series!

  • JenM January 19, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Favorite LoTR guy was Aragorn without a doubt. I first read the books many years ago as a teenager and had a tremendous crush on him. When I saw Viggo Mortenson in that role, I could not believe that the casting could be that perfect. He was exactly as I had pictured my crush those many years ago.

    jen at delux dot com

  • draconismoi January 19, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    I'm definitely of the "won't touch fantasy if it has romance" group. Of course there are exceptions. Usually because I didn't realize it was romantic fantasy until after reading the book….and getting hooked.

    Anne Bishop's Black Jewel's books are pretty much the beginning and end of my romance shelf. Though I did greatly enjoy On The Edge by Ilona Andrews – despite the requisite HEA.

  • donnas January 19, 2011 at 10:45 pm

    I really love the Black Jewels series by Anne Bishop. Looking forward to the new one soon.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

  • BLHmistress January 19, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    What’s your favorite romantic fantasy or fantasy romance? This is hard because I love so many but I have to say the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

    Do you read fantasy if it doesn’t include the “romantic” angle? I have but not often. Love romance 😉

    Who’s your favorite male character from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy? Aragorn or Legolas I can't choose lol.


  • SusiSunshine {The Geeky Bookworm} January 20, 2011 at 1:00 am

    @Joely Hush! That was our little secret =P *happy dance*

  • Reading mind January 20, 2011 at 5:03 am

    I do love Carey's books and I think they are my fav fantasy romance books ever.

    Do you usually read other genres apart for the ones mentioned in the interview?


  • Tore January 20, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I love the Twilight series. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. I am a follower and email subscriber. Tore923@aol.com

  • Sullivan McPig January 20, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I can recommend the Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey. That series got me into reading fantasy.

    As for coolest LOTR guy: Haldir!
    Boromir is quite ok too.

  • winnie January 20, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Yes, I do read fantasy even if it doesn't include a romantic angle. Urban fantasty is one of my favourite genres to read 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  • Elizabeth January 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

    No i need the romance angle in order to read fantasy every book that i read has some aspect of romance in it.


  • Anonymous January 20, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I LOVE fantasy stories, and if they have romance in it too…yummy!!!

    My fav Fantasy author is Terry Pratchett. Then I adore G. R. R. Martin, who I got to meet once…and I met Terry Pratchett too. Then I also love Terry Brooks, David Gemmel, and there are some female fantasy writers who I enjoy and…well…when it comes to fantasy, I say bring it on!!!

    in Germany

  • lingeorge January 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I like my romance to be part of the fantasy novel, but not the center point. Harlequin came out with a line of books called "Luna". These books straddle the line of fantasy and romance. I have really enjoyed these books, and have discovered new authors because of it. I do enjoy fantasy without the romance – such as the Rogue Angel series.
    Oh Yah! It is Aragorn by far!

  • Pamk January 20, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    for fantasy I love Roben D. Owens and I have lots of UF like Patricia Briggs, Karen Chance, Ilona Andrews, Kresley Cole and many others. lol.
    Aragon all the way baby. For me Legolas is not even in the running .
    This series sounds good.
    scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

  • Sarah January 21, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I just discovered the Fading Lands series and totally fell in love with it 🙂 Can't wait to read the next one!

    smaccall @ comcast.net

  • Blodeuedd January 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I am leaving the e-book loving to the rest of you so just stopping by this time 🙂

    Oh and all I am saying legolas!..no Eomer..oh wait 😉

  • Sue (okibi_insanity) January 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    I love LOTR! I would say Aragorn. I am sucker for brooding heroes. I also love Faramir. So sad. Thanks for an awesome giveaway.


  • marybelle January 21, 2011 at 10:57 pm

    I don't always need romance in my fantasy reading.

    ARAGORN is the ultimate male.


  • Dina January 22, 2011 at 9:47 am

    My fav LOTR character is Aragon, when I saw his pic here, I stopped to enjoy it, lol.



  • Sheree January 23, 2011 at 2:26 am


    However, I did think that Boromir was the most interesting one as he was the main human and the one tempted by the ring yet still proved himself albeit by his death.

    Also, I don't need romance in my fantasy reads although it's nice because it brings a more human dimension to the characters (even if the love interest dies or gets turned into a vampire, zombie, or some such thing).


  • Jasmine1485 January 23, 2011 at 7:47 am

    Joely: Do you read fantasy if it doesn’t include the “romantic” angle?

    I have to say, not very often, no. Mostly I read non-romantic fantasy because it's been recommended to me by a friend, but I'm generally sucked in by the descriptions and blurbs of romantic fantasy 🙂

    Kate1485 at hotmail.com

  • les121 January 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    My favorite LOTR character is Aragorn, hands down. I actually had a life size cardboard cutout of him in my house for a while lol

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    drakeLa90 at aol dot com

  • CiNdY January 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Do you read fantasy if it doesn’t include the “romantic” angle?
    Honestly..I don't think I really do. It isn't that I have a thing against not having romance. It just turns out that everything I choose to read has some sort of romance going on! 😀
    Thanks for a chance to win!

  • Diana January 27, 2011 at 9:54 am

    My favourite character from Lord of the rings is Aragon!
    Thanks for the giveaway!


  • natalie23 January 28, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Who’s your favorite male character from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy?
    Aragorn no contest


  • mbreakfield January 28, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    It's hard to pick a favorite character from LORD OF THE RINGS, but I guess I'll go with Legolas.

  • gconoy February 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    oh – favourite lotr character is definitely aragorn. until he decides to wash his hair in 'the return of the king' & changes clothes. do not want. i only love him scruffy. and i do love boromir. a threesome (involving me of course) as a birthday gift would be greatly appreciated. 😉

    hrududu AT hotmail DOT de

  • Aleetha February 3, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    I am into fantasy books. But most of them are not included the romance inside. But I would love to read one.

    aleetha.ally at gmail dot com
    twitter: @aleetha

  • lindseye February 4, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Do not read much fantasy if it does not have romance. Do read UF which usually has some romance but after the world is saved.

    linze_e at homail.com

  • JoAnna February 4, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    I haven't read too much fantasy that didn't have romance. I have read some but not a lot.
    Fav character from LOTR definitely Legolas.

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