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This week, I’m recommending a trilogy, so I figured I’ll just do a single post for all three books!

Series Title: Radiance
Author: Tavia Lark
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Paring Type: M/M
Spice Rating (out of 5): ♥♥♥♥ – Good and steamy, all three of ’em!

If you’re into Dungeons & Dragons or the Dragon Age game franchise, I highly recommend this series. The world feels familiar without being a direct copy. There are paladins with holy magic, demons and pact magic, and questionable religious orders. There are hints of a world bigger than what’s shown on the page and a great balance of action with sexy romance.

This is a great series for someone who wants a short, easily digestible fantasy romance. All three books have a strong romance plot that will leave you satisfied. Stick around and I’ll tell you how to get a free bonus story from the author!

Book One: The Necromancer’s Light

Ocean's Echo book cover


He’ll die without touch.

As a necromancer, Shae loses a little more of himself every time he uses his magic. Always cold, always touch-starved, the only thing that helps is human contact. But that’s hard to come by when those same dark powers scare everyone away from him. Nobody likes a necromancer.

Especially a paladin of the Radiant Order.

Arthur’s still bitter and broken after his last lover stabbed him in the back, and the last thing he needs is another brush with evil. When he agrees to escort the wandering necromancer north, he’s just doing a public service.

But he never expected Shae to be so clingy. Or distractingly attractive.

Shae has never felt an aura as warm and safe as Arthur’s. He craves the man’s touch—and more. But everyone he’s ever known has left him, and it’s just a matter of time before Arthur leaves him too.

Assuming the soul-stealing monsters don’t kill them first.

The first book introduces you to the world, the magic system, and a religious order. Shae is a literal touch-starved necromancer who will die if he’s not in contact with life energy. Arthur, holy paladin, was literally stabbed in the back by his ex-lover. These two meet strictly out of business, but naturally it becomes far more than that. If you love the “Oh no, there’s only one bed” trope, you’re in for a treat.

As the two men grow closer, the danger increases. There are foul monsters and undead enemies that Shae no longer has the strength to fight on his own. The thief that broke Arthur’s heart has been found by the paladins and Arthur has to make a difficult choice.

The romance in this book is sweet. Shae has been alone for most of his life; necromancy isn’t very popular and his own past haunts him. Arthur is handsome, charming, and basically a white knight in shining armor on top of a huge horse. Seeing them grow closer was very satisfying.

Book Two: The Paladin’s Shadow

Ocean's Echo book cover


His secret could kill him.

Karis is the arrogant young prodigy of the Radiant Order, and his talent gets him plenty of attention but very few friends. Under the order’s prying eyes, there’s one secret Karis has to hide at all costs: the meddling, un-paladin-like voice in his head. Sometimes the voice is helpful. Sometimes it gets him into trouble.

This time, trouble’s name is Ronan.

Ronan does the dirty work. Anything for the trickster god he serves, no matter how tired he’s getting. He’s so used to deception, he wouldn’t recognize real love if it bit him. When he’s captured by the Radiant Order, he doesn’t think twice before kidnapping a cute little squire to cover his escape.

His new hostage is a lot more complicated than he expected.

Between escape attempts and counterspells, Karis keeps getting under Ronan’s skin, and Ronan keeps getting inside Karis’s head. And the longer they stay together, Karis starts thinking less about escaping, and more about how Ronan might taste.

But the conspiracy they’re tangled in is far deadlier than they know.

Book two takes us back to the Radiant Order of paladins to follow Karis, who we met briefly in book one. Karis is a cute, young paladin who gets kidnapped by bad boy rogue Ronan. This is an enemies-to-lovers book with a crusty heart getting melted by warm sun beams. But, we also get more of the universe so carefully crafted in the first book. We get new magic, new gods, and a new layer to the religious order we were introduced to before.

This was the book that really sold me on the series and bumped it into being one of my favorites. I enjoyed book one and this book adds more lore to it. It gives me the urge to play around in it myself. The action of the plot is great and the romance is *chef’s kiss* as Ronan struggles not to fall for his kidnapee.

Book Three: The Sword-Witch’s Heart

Ocean's Echo book cover


Desire is his downfall.

Rejected by his ruthless family and the god he betrayed them for, Leth is desperate for a chance to prove himself. A purpose for his sword and magic. Anything beyond the legacy of restraint and repression that’s broken him down again and again.

But his new quest comes with an infuriatingly familiar companion.

Evain draws power from human desire. Every heated glance or tender touch feeds the flames of his magic. He has little patience for a frigid sword-witch who hates anything demonic—but somehow, traveling with pretty Leth makes him feel stronger than ever.

On the rare occasion Leth deigns to look at him.

Wild magic and winter nights throw them together, and cracks start forming in their first impressions. Leth wants more than a purpose from Evain, and Evain wants more than heated glances from Leth. But Evain’s hiding a secret that could shatter their fragile trust: he isn’t human.

And Leth can’t afford weakness when his family’s out for blood.

What’s that? You wanted more demons? Here you go, book three! If you’re into two characters that are usually at odds with each other until something unexpectedly intimate shifts the dynamic, this’ll be your hit of the good stuff.

Leth is a spiky, angry little man who’s good with a sword but not at socializing. Evain is too good at socializing…and hiding his big secret. This book is the delicious endcap to the trilogy, with a nice conclusion to some of the world’s issues. There’s also the classic trope of “Oh no, we need to huddle together to keep warm”. Mmm, tasty.

A Great Fantasy Romance Series to Warm Your Heart

I adore this series and I would love more entries to it, just to see more of the universe. The gods are cool, the magic is cool, the demons are cool. I just want more! This series is also great for fans of common romance tropes and eat it up like candy.

You can actually get more by following the link to sign up for Tavia Lark’s newsletter. The link will be at the back of the books. When you sign up, you’ll receive download options for a bonus Shae/Arthur story. It’s a cute—and sexy—scene that takes place after book one.

If you’ve read these, talk to me about them! If you want to learn more and aren’t afraid of spoilers, hit me up about that too! I’m still trying to decide how much to detail in these posts and I still can’t get my spoiler shortcode to work. I’m open to feedback on the book rec posts.