Happy Halloween, my darlings! I adore Halloween and Autumn, which you probably know if you've been around here for a while, but I'm not a fan of horror. This time of year, I love to read something a little spooky or creepy, something witchy or with all the cozy fall vibes. So, for Halloween, I thought I would share some of my favorite books for this time of year with you.
A Little Familiar and Nothing More Certain by R Cooper: Witchy m/m paranormal romances with all the fall feels and all the pining. A Little Familiar is out in audio as well—it's been keeping me company on my walks the last few days. It's set leading up to and at Halloween, so it always feels perfect for this time of year.
A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness: A forbidden romance between a witch and a vampire in a story filled with an intriguing blend of magic, history, and science. This first book in the series takes place between Mabon and Samhain, so again it's perfect for this time of year. I also really love the audio.
Once Upon a Haunted Moor by Harper Fox: An incredibly atmospheric story with a mystery and some spooky elements and the beginning of a lovely romance between a village police officer and a psychic. It's short but an excellent read and a great beginning to the series.
Payback's a Witch by Lana Harper: I read this in ebook last fall and reread it this year in audio. A witch reluctantly returns home at the start of the book, which continues with a vengeance pact between her and two other witches, a magical tournament, and a lovely f/f romance. And, again, all the fall vibes here. (The second book in the series is also fantastic, though without the fall vibes!)
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas: A paranormal YA in which a trans brujo tries to bring back the ghost of his cousin to find out what happened to him and prove himself to his family—and ends up with a difference ghost entirely. Who he falls in love with while finding out what happened to him. The sweetest romance, magic, ghosts, and the traditions of Dia de los Muertos fill this book. The audio is fantastic too,
The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling: This book was apparently pitched as "Hocus Pocus but they fuck" and it does have that vibe. A heartbroken witch fake-curses her ex—but when he returns to town years later, she realizes that the curse is real as bad things keep happening to him and magic goes haywire all over town. A second chance romance, a fall festival, an absolute romp as they try to put the magic right...and a delightful talking cat. I haven't read the second book in the series yet, but I'm very much looking forward to it.
Prince of Death by Sam Burns and WM Fawkes: This book might be a semi-odd choice for this list because it's centered around Greek gods in the modern world, but it's also set in fall in Washington, DC (which brings back memories of my college days there) and there's an actual Halloween costume party in the underworld. A professor of magic is lured to the underworld with the promise of being able to find his dead mother and meets the son of Hades instead. The two fall in love while also stumbling into a plot to end humanity.
Widdershins by Jordan L Hawk: I love this book (and the series it begins), but I'm not entirely certain why I associate it with this time of year. It's set in early winter, just before Christmas. But there's something about the magic and monsters, I guess. And, of course, I adore the beginning of the relationship between Whyborne and Griffin. There actually is a book in the series set around Halloween—Bloodline, which I love too and am probably due for a reread of, but the series is best read in order.
Hainted by Jordan L Hawk: Yes, another Jordan L Hawk (and I could absolutely add more to the list!). This one is a standalone, though I wish there were more books set in this world. A young man is trying to keep the family farm afloat while raising his siblings and haint-working—helping ghosts cross over. When another haint-worker comes to town looking for his help catching a necromancer, he doesn't want to get involved, with the search or the guy but I think we can guess what happens there? Romance, ghosts, graveyards, and some bleeding walls make for a just creepy enough but not too much for me Halloween read.
As for my own books, none are explicitly Halloween books. But, if you're looking for a cozy fall/winter fantasy romance, you should curl up with The Merchant's Love. Or if shenanigans at a masquerade ball intrigue you, give The Spymaster's Secret a read.
What are some of your favorite fall or Halloween reads? (And how badly will they scare me?)