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7 Horror-Romance Books for When You Need Something Sweet & Scary

David Foster Wallace once wrote in a letter that “every love story is a ghost story.” While he may not have intended for this quote to take on a literal meaning, most of the best-loved stories are ghost (or monster, or vampire, or zombie) stories. At least, that’s our opinion on the matter. What makes horror romance stories so endlessly fascinating is that the majority of the conflict is external. The couple genuinely wants to be together, with a love so strong that you just know they’ll make it through anything—if they can just make it out of this harrowing tale alive. Would you and your crush survive the zombie apocalypse? Would you and your one true love survive the night? We want to find out every time. In honor of our shared love for horror-romance, here is a list of a few of our favorites…

Warm Bodies (Media Tie-In)

Warm Bodies (Media Tie-In)

by Isaac Marion

If I said the words “zombie love story,” you’d probably look at me like I ate brains for breakfast. How can a zombie story be romantic? Well, Isaac Marion figured it out with Warm Bodies. This Romeo and Juliet retelling set amid a zombie apocalypse is an entrancing concept backed up by the incredible internal monologue of our main character, the zombie R. After saving Julie’s life instead of eating her, R becomes enamored. Of course, regular zombies aren’t the worst thing in this apocalyptic world, and Julie and R will have to work together if they want to stay alive (or at least...undead? You know what I mean). Warm Bodies is a shocking and fantastic read for zombie and romance fans alike.

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The Wicked Deep

The Wicked Deep

by Shea Ernshaw

Witches, body snatching, and hot guys, you say? I am IN. Accurately described as Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic meet the Salem Witch trials, Shea Ernshaw’s YA fantasy novel The Wicked Deep centers on the town of Sparrow, where for a few weeks every summer, three sisters who were executed for practicing witchcraft 200 years ago return to seek revenge. How? By stealing the bodies of three girls and luring boys into the harbor to drown them. And this year, only 17-year-old local Penny and a new boy in town, Bo, have a chance of stopping them. Let’s just say the book will scare and seduce you in equal measure.

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Anna Dressed in Blood

Anna Dressed in Blood

by Kendare Blake

A sweet, yet horrific ghost tale that falls into the above sentiment that “every love story is a ghost story,” Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood stars Cas Lowood, a ghost hunter trying to avenge the death of his father. When Cas learns about Anna, a ghost said to be tormenting the people of Thunder Bay, he’s determined to investigate. Only...Anna’s not at all what Cas expected, and he’s drawn to the mystery of her and her past. What follows is a believable and beautiful bond between them that makes Cas (and us) question everything he knows about the spirit world. Oh, and Anna is pretty freaking awesome, which doesn’t hurt either.

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There’s Someone Inside Your House

There’s Someone Inside Your House

by Stephanie Perkins

In high school, admitting your feelings to a crush is hard enough, so imagine falling in love while also trying to escape a serial killer. Talk about a high-stakes relationship! Which is exactly what Stephanie Perkins’s There’s Someone Inside Your House provides. An homage to 90s teen- slasher films like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer, the book somehow manages to balance gruesome kills with romantic thrills. And once you meet Makani Young, the new-girl-in-town heroine, you won’t want to stop reading until you find out if she and Ollie can outsmart a murderer and make it out of the school year in one piece…

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Blood Red Kiss

Blood Red Kiss

by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione and Gena Showalter

While technically a paranormal romance anthology, Blood Red Kiss nevertheless uses horror elements to outstanding effect. After all, in most stories, vampires, demons, and aliens are the stuff of nightmares—not heroes and heroines just looking for their soulmates. Yet in these three novellas, that’s exactly the case. Vampire warlord Nikolai seeks the one woman who can make his heart beat again in “The Warlord Wants Forever”; Lobo rescues and falls for an injured vampire-turned-werewolf in “Forsaken by Night”; and part-alien, part-human Lilica protects her sister by bonding her life to an alien hunter in “Dark Swan.”

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Blood and Chocolate

Blood and Chocolate

by Annette Curtis Klause

I am not typically a fan of werewolf stories. For whatever reason, they don’t often resonate with me. However, Blood and Chocolate is different: it deals with so many themes of womanhood and embracing who you really are, that I fell instantly in love with it. Blood and Chocolate tells the story of Vivian, a werewolf, as she adjusts to a new city with her family and pack after her father’s death. Feeling excluded from the pack, Vivian befriends a group of new classmates. She quickly falls head over heels for Aiden, but when he rejects her wolf form, Vivian can’t control her rage. She awakens covered in blood and worries she’s behind a recent string of vicious murders. But what is the truth? Vivian will have to find out while learning to embrace her true nature and discovering her place in the world.

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The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

by Holly Black

A few years back, I figured I was over vampire romances forever, but Holly Black’s The Coldest Girl in Coldtown proved me wrong. Tana’s about as normal as you can get in a world where vampires live in walled-off, quarantined cities known as Coldtowns. But you know what they say—one party can change your life! Sure enough, Tana wakes up the next morning surrounded by corpses and realizes: 1) The only other survivors are her ex-boyfriend, who’s been infected, and an enigmatic guy who’s clearly harboring a dangerous secret, and 2) She’ll have to venture into Coldtown if she has any hope of saving them all. Gavriel and Tana’s otherworldly connection will keep you riveted even as the bodies hit the floor.

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