Our favorite animal-loving romance author, Larissa Ione, asks the most important question in romance: Where are all the puppies? Unsatisfied with this lack of furry friends, Larissa brings us something a little sexier: shapeshifters.

So…I have a new hellhound puppy. Did I need a new hellhound puppy? No. Hell, no. But if you know anything about me, you know I’m an animal lover who falls in love with anything furry or feathery, so when this pup needed a new home, I was right there willing to take him in.

This new little guy is a Belgian Malinois, and he’s a psychotic bundle of energy. I have no time for anything except training and exercising him, which is wreaking havoc on my deadlines. But you know what? Animals always have been, and always shall be, part of my life, so I can’t complain. I’ll just keep adding them to my books because not enough romances feature pets, which has always baffled me because so many households have them.

My books have been known to feature horses, dogs, cats, ferrets, goats…and hellhounds, among others. And in Forsaken By Night, the third story in my MoonBound Clan Vampires series, our hero has a pet wolf. At least, he thinks he has a pet wolf. The truth turns out to be quite…hairy. (Get it? Hairy? You rolled your eyes, didn’t you?)

Anyway, some wolves in Forsaken By Night are much more than four-legged animals. They’re shapeshifters who can take either animal or vampire form at will. They differ from were-creatures in that the moon phase doesn’t affect them, but in general, a shifter is a shifter, whether or not it shifts based on the state of the moon. And I’ve always loved shifter books and movies.

I’ve been trying to think of my favorite shifter tales, from kids’ movies like Brother Bear (love that one!) to more adult fare like Underworld and An American Werewolf in London. Oh, and we can’t forget Teen Wolf! Love Michael J. Fox.

Then there are the TV series – remember Manimal? True Blood had its share of shapeshifters as main characters, and so did Buffy The Vampire Slayer.

Heck, even my favorite role-playing games in the D&D universe feature characters who can shift into wolves or bears in order to fight.

Then there’s romance. Sure, romance novels don’t seem to contain enough pets, but if you’re looking for shapeshifters, you’re in luck. You can find almost every animal imaginable coming to life as a human between the pages of a romance, from wolves and panthers to cows and dragons. If you’re interested, here are some authors who write absolutely wonderful shifter books (in no particular order):

Shelly Laurenston, Lexi Blake, Cherise Sinclair, Nalini Singh, Donna Grant, Christina Dodd, Alexandra Ivy, Laura Wright, Thea Harrison, Kresley Cole, Cynthia Eden, Paige Tyler, Vivian Arend, Keri Arthur, Lauren Dane, Carrie Ann Ryan…oh, and Sydney Croft (Okay, I have to admit that Sydney Croft is my shared pen name with author Stephanie Tyler, but hey, had to throw that out there!)

There are so many more authors than I have room to list, but I’ve given you a good leaping-off point if you’re just now wanting to dip your toe into shapeshifter romance. And a great place to start is with Forsaken By Night (blatant plug for my book.)

Also, if you have any author suggestions, feel free to leave their names in the comments!

Thanks for reading, and I hope your Fall season has gotten off to a great start!

Don’t forget to download FORSAKEN BY NIGHT, out now!


Find out what Larissa Ione is reading.
The video game excitation.