I did a post at the end of 2017 recommending a bunch of fall and winter holiday romance, that included Halloween romances. This year, I am doing a separate post just for Halloween romance, focused on romance fiction where Halloween the holiday plays a major role in the story. I tried to give all new recs, but couldn’t resist including one from my prior Halloween list. You may also be interested in my Valentine’s Day themed recs list, or my list of witchy books on my TBR.
I tried a bunch of Halloween romances to get to this top twelve list (42 if I count correctly). They follow my tastes, in that they aren’t so spooky and aren’t horror, and generally lean toward cute, funny or sexy contemp. Most are novella length or shorter; I link to reviews where I have written them; that’s the place to find trigger warnings.
I’m listing rep at the end of my descriptions. If you spot something incorrect, please do feel free to let me know. Also, I am not intending to out anyone; I get author info from the web and the book bio. If an author would like me to remove any info listed, please do let me know. I want to note that I use the word fat as a neutral descriptor when listing rep, and use the word queer when a character or author identify that way or when I am unclear about their identity but know they fall under the LGBTQIAP+ umbrella.
For folks looking for romance with no on-the-page sex, I am putting three asterisks*** at the end of the description.
Bringing the Heat and the Humor
- Mating the Huntress by Talia Hibbert (paranormal m/f romance novella) This is my most favorite of all the Halloween romances I’ve ever read. I adore the heroine so much, and found it hilarious, smoking hot, and full of heart. It disrupts shifter romance tropes in wonderful ways and is deeply about the importance of consent. I also just love how much the hero adores the heroine for being bloodthirsty and violent and strong. (Rep: Black woman MC. Black, Anglo-Romani, disabled autistic queer woman author.)
- Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz (contemporary m/f romance novel) Full of 80s references this brother’s best friend romance balances heat, heart, and humor beautifully, and culminates in an 80s costume party queer wedding. The MCs have truly amazing chemistry, and I could not put this down. (Rep: Gay secondary characters. Bi woman author.)
Cozy Domestic Celebrations
- A Little Familiar by R Cooper (paranormal m/genderfluid romance novella) Gorgeously written witch/familiar romance complete with long term pining, pagan community, a ghost, and so much cooking it made me ravenous. I fell hard for the genderfluid familiar, and had so many feels for the witch hero who thought he’d always be alone. (Rep: Gay MC. Genderfluid love interest.) (Or, if you’ve read this one, you may want to try the latest in the series, Nothing More Certain, a Halloween themed paranormal m/m romance, and equally full of long term pining.)
- Halloween at the Corral by Debra St. John (contemporary m/f romance novelette) This has a full-on Halloween feel of the fun (not scary) variety, with lots of related activities (a festival, jack-o-lantern carving, a Halloween party complete with costumes, sexy roleplay based on the costumes), and a sweet (if fast-moving) romance arc between a rodeo star and a girl who doesn’t just want to be one of his many fans.
- Trick and Treat by Cara Lockwood (contemporary m/f serial) In this 80s-soaked romance, a librarian dressed as Madonna circa Like a Virgin has a meet-cute with a vet dressed like Maverick from Top Gun, and sparks fly. This is full of heat and humor and a lot of fun, and it’s free! The last installment posts 10/30. (Rep: Biracial Japanese American woman author.)
- New in Town by Annabeth Albert (contemporary m/m short story) I enjoyed this freebie (free through 11/2); it was a satisfying holiday romance, with family feels and costumes and a Halloween party and I especially loved the bits about queer SEALs and their families welcoming a new queer SEAL and his family and helping them get settled in a new place. (Rep: Puerto Rican Gay MC. Gay MC.)
Geeks and Acting
- Ms. Behave by Cathy Yardley (contemporary m/f romance novella) I absolutely adored this latest edition to Yardley’s geeky romance series. This is a second chance friends to lovers romance between a lawyer and an actor who were best friends for most of their youth, had one intense bout of making out in high school and then were out of contact for years. It’s got this lovely romance arc that begins at a Halloween party, and a bi heroine who loves to wear suits that I fell really hard for. (Rep: Bisexual woman MC. Biracial Asian American woman author.)
- Geeky, Freaky, Clueless by GG Andrew (contemporary m/f romance novella)*** The fourth in a series of Halloween romances, this romance between a college professor and his assistant director of the university’s production of Sweeney Todd is full of heart and humor and has a heroine I fell really hard for, who adores horror movies, and a hero who sees her value. As he puts it, “being with a girl like Vin would make it Halloween every day.” (She, on the other hand, spends a good portion of the book trying to figure out if he’s a serial killer.) (Rep: Indian-American woman MC.)
- Second Chance by Audra North (contemporary m/f romance novella)*** This adorable second chance romance between a librarian and the guy she had a crush on in high school includes an overly helpful match-making ghost. (Rep: Biracial Asian American author)
- All Hallow’s Eve by Annabelle Jacobs (paranormal m/m romance novel) This romance about descendants of witches, a haunted house, a spooky diary from the past, and a Halloween party gone very wrong grapples with the long term impact of queer hatred in a family of witches many years later, while also centering a rather lovely romance in the present day. This is definitely the spookiest of all the romances included on this list. (Rep: Gay MCs.)
Taking Kids Trick or Treating
- The Ghosts of Halloween: A Learning Curves Short Story Collection by Ceillie Simkiss (contemporary f/f short story collection)*** This adorable trio of Halloween themed short stories revisits the heroines of Learning Curves, showing them grappling with Halloween costume emergencies, trick or treaters, and Halloween party surprises. I adored the way it integrated the kinds of Halloweeny issues that can come up for fat folks, folks with anxiety, and folks with ADHD. It was also just very sweet to revisit this lovely couple again. (Rep: Fat Puerto Rican lesbian woman MC with anxiety. Panromantic asexual woman MC with ADHD. Panromantic asexual woman author with ADHD and anxiety.)
- Trick or Treat by Sydney Blackburn (contemporary m/genderfluid romance novelette) A genderfluid pansexual man answers the door for trick or treaters and meets a bi man who is taking his nephew around on Halloween. This leads to a one night stand, and the possibility for more. (Rep: Genderfluid pansexual man MC. Bisexual man LI. Genderfluid author.)