Last year I had a blast compiling together a few recommended reads that I consider “Horrormance” — a blend of horror and romance, and I wanted to do that again this year!
To see the recommended reads from last year’s post, click right here.
This year’s post will be a little shorter because I have no concept of time anymore and had been hoping to read a few more things on my radar first, but time just keeps sneaking right past me. So I hope you do check out the few I’ve mentioned below, and of course, let me know your recommended horrormance reads, too!
Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu — I read Carmilla for the first time this year and fell madly in love, which wasn’t surprising since I’m a huge Dracula fan and always appreciate a good literary vampire. Through the eyes of our protagonist, Laura, we come to know of the strange, enchanting woman that is of course, vampire Carmilla. Le Fanu’s creation gives all the subtext one needs to understand Carmilla as a lesbian vampire. Given that the short book was written during an era heavily steeped in morals and sexual repression, I can see why something like seduction via the supernatural held such appeal to Le Fanu (and many others in this time period). And it’s given us a lot to dissect even in modern times; this book reminded me why I love literature so much, and made me miss being a student.
Carmilla and Laura by S.D. Simper — I stumbled across this one while doing a little research after I finished Carmilla. In this reimagining of what could have been between Carmilla and Laura, we are treated to a more in-depth look at their relationship, the intensity of their feelings for another, and an ending that I won’t spoil, but I think you’ll be pretty satisfied.
Someone to Share my Nightmares by Sonora Taylor — I had so much fun reading Sonora’s collection, and as I read each piece, I felt like the author had just as much fun writing each story and poem, which makes collections all the more enjoyable to read. The story “The Parrot” is just excellent; I’m still thinking about that one. A great addition to the horrormance genre! (okay who wants to get together to make our own official horrormance canon though?)
Voice of the Blood by Jemiah Jefferson — Bisexual vampires, a whole lot of sex, a good amount of blood, and some uh, let’s say, taboo scenes that will stick with you for awhile. If vampire erotica with some gore sprinkled in is your thing, I think you’ll enjoy Jefferson’s work. I haven’t read the other books in the series yet, but Voice of the Blood is quite the introduction to the depraved world you’ll find here. There’s a bit of silliness, too, so if you dont mind that, I think you’ll find this one a pretty bingeable read like I did.
Dark Dispatch Issue #2: Deadly Love edited by Destinee Schriner — For .99 on Kindle, you can pick up this anthology of horrormance featuring stories by Hailey Piper, R.J. Joseph, Christina Ladd, and more! I’m also thrilled to have my sapphic, witchy, Radium Girls-inspired story “With Radium on Her Lips” in this one.
Grim, No 10: Bad Romance published by Anatomy of a Scream — This is a gorgeous print and online journal, and this particular issue was perfect for horrormance lovers as it examines romance, obsession, monstrous love, and so much more. Get both your nonfiction and fiction fix here! I thought the whole issue was great, and particularly loved the article on Gillian Flynn’s work by Kristian Williams, Zelda Arena’s article “The Closest Thing to Love is Death”, and Molly Henery’s short story “Blind Date”.
I thought I’d throw in two classic pieces of literature that lovers of horrormance might enjoy. I adore these two pieces. The first is Robert Browning’s poem “Porphyria’s Lover” — perfect for when you need to send your illicit lover a poem about keeping them yours forever, even in death…
And second is “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. This was always a favorite of mine in school to read and discuss.
Mestiza Blood by V. Castro — I’ve never met a V. Castro book I didn’t like, and I have a feeling this collection will be just as excellent as V’s other works; I had hoped to read this one before doing this post, but time had other ideas; however, now I just have it to look forward to, and maybe you will, too!
Les Petites Morts: An Anthology of Erotic Horror Inspired by Fairy Tales, Mythology, and Folklore by Ghost Orchid Press — This one will be open to submissions July 1st according to the guidelines, so if you want to try your hand at writing some horrormance, this call seems like a perfect one to do so! I am really looking forward to this anthology! The press also has a collection titled Dark Hearts: Tales of Twisted Love that I recently picked up and am looking forward to reading.
The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht — I have heard so many amazing things about this one and how it mixes monsters, romance, and a lush world in a short book, so I’m hoping to get to this ASAP.
That will do it for this year! Hopefully next year I’ll be back with another post and actually give myself more time to read horrormance throughout the year. In the meantime, let me know your favorites and recommended reads for this subgenre!