Juno Books

Best New Romantic Fantasy 2

Edited by Paula Guran

[ Read a Story from the Anthology: "A Light in Troy" by Sarah Monette ]

Best New Romantic Fantasy

Fantasy Short Fiction Anthology
ISBN-10: 0809557843
ISBN-13: 978-0809557844
304 pages, $13.95
Publication Date: June 2007

The annual anthology of outstanding stories of love and wonder returns (under a new name). Fourteen tales are compiled and honored as the best of the year. Enchanting and enchanted lovers, magical romance, dark desires, otherworldly sensations, ethereal encounters, paranormal thrills, sensual spells, supernatural suspense, sizzling speculations... Highly imaginative short fiction and novellas from the best fantasy romance writers.


[Where possible, the author's name is linked to more information.]

Evergreen - Angela Boord
The Desires of Houses - Haddayr Copley-Woods
Smoke & Mirrors - Amanda Downum
Wizard of the Eternal Watch - Eugie Foster
An Autumn Butterfly - Esther Friesner
Moment of Joy Before - Claudia O'Keefe
The Mountains of Key West - Sandra McDonald
A Light in Troy - Sarah Monette
The Story of Love - Vera Nazarian
Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge - Richard Parks
Jane: A Story of Manners, Magic, and Romance - Sarah Prineas
Journey into the Kingdom - M. Rickert
The Red Envelope - David Sakmyster
La Fée Verte - Delia Sherman
The Depth Oracle - Sonya Taaffe


By turns deliriously romantic and richly melancholic, Guran's second anthology (after Best New Paranormal Romance) reprints 15 stories originally published in 2006 that explore the phantasmagoria of fantastic romance. Guran's shift from "Paranormal Romance" to "Romantic Fantasy" means selections "do not necessarily deal with the establishment or continuance of a relationship," signaling increased efforts to appeal to fantasy readers. Standouts include three seaside treats: M. Rickert's breath-stealing ghost tale, "Journey into the Kingdom"; Sonya Taaffe's hypnotic "The Depth Oracle"; and Sandra McDonald's wistful story about a young mother's yearnings concerning "The Mountains of Key West." Also notable are Angela Boord's bittersweet woodland fairy dream, "Evergreen"; Vera Nazarian's bright delight, "The Story of Love"; and Delia Sherman's gorgeous Parisian ode to the addictive charms of "La Fee Verte." While these offerings from an impressive crew of fantasy heavyweights may not be jam-packed with happy-ever-afters, they explore the many worlds of fantastic romance with passion and panache.--Publishers Weekly
This anthology consists of fifteen well written romantic fantasies published in various sources in 2006. The tales are fun to read as one's soulmate might be a soul stealer as opposites attract and love does not guarantee a fairy tale happy ever after though it does make the world go round; more often elliptical rather than circular. There are no clinkers as each of the chosen stories is a solid entry though the short format does not lend itself to fully developed paranormal elements. Those excellent few that do typically contain a vivid location make the fantasy seem genuine; especially gripping are the haunting coastal "Journey into the Kingdom" by M. Rickert and the forest of "Evergreen" by Angela Boord. Sub-genre readers will appreciate this fine anthology whether the stars are witches, elves, fairies and various assortments of ilk from other realms as a virtual who's who (O'Keefe, Friesner, Monette, etc.) contribute. As an aside the first volume is actually titled the BEST NEW PARANORMAL ROMANCE.--Harriet Klausner
...Juno Publishing has recently been leading the pack in the world of paranormal romance and there is no better example then their latest offering, Best New Romantic Fantasy 2. From start to finish this anthology is packed with fifteen stories that range from heart-warming to heart-wrenching. The beauty inherent in each of these stories is enough to pull tears from even the hardest of hearts, without resorting to cheap tricks or tawdry romance novel dialogue. Unlike many anthologies of this nature, this one includes entries from male and female authors. The stories run the gamut from the hypnotic and disjointed "The Depth Oracle" by Sonya Taaffe to the story of a breath-stealing ghost in "Journey into the Kingdom." Each of the stories explores the nature of love in a paranormal context, where the idea of love and the possibilities are governed by rules that normal individuals never have to face. However, while the situations may be otherworldly, the emotions are still familiar and still understandable. Those who are familiar with my reviews will know how I feel about romance novels and stories. I'm generally not a fan so this book was a wonderfully pleasant surprise. The stories have a way of pulling in the reader and not letting go until they've wrapped around your imagination and heart. Each one is beautifully written and though they are all very different, they speak to places inside of us that need to be reached. --BookFetish
About the editor

Paula Guran is the editor of fantasy imprint Juno Books.

[Photo by John Everson.]
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