NOTE: This post first appeared in the Roswell Daily Record…
When I read the myth of the minotaur as a kid in school, I really didn’t think much about the half bull/half man at the center of the story and the labyrinth. He was bad, he ate people, heroic Theseus did him in and the world moved on. I certainly didn’t think of him as a romantic hero. But in this era today of the monster romance genre, many authors have chosen minotaurs as their main male character and written stories featuring these creatures. Readers seem to enjoy them and want more.
Regine Abel’s I Married a Minotaur comes to my mind first. Here the hero is an albino alien, half minotaur and half orc. He needs a queen. The human, innocent of the crime for which she’s been sentenced, is about to be sent to a brutal prison planet and at the last second is offered a choice, marry the minotaur or go to jail. Of course we know which one she picks. She helps the minotaur’s people avoid a war and come to a new understanding of themselves and of course a Happy Ever After ending ensues.
S. J. Sanders anchors her minotaur tale, Blooded Labyrinth, in the fantasy genre, with the labyrinth existing in its own reality, only occasionally touching the ‘real world’ of humans. The minotaur sleeps for literally ages, awakening when the labyrinth attaches to the real world. He’s a prisoner of the labyrinth and when a human woman wanders in and is trapped, he tries to protect her. Friendship blossoms as they fight the labyrinth and its evil plans for the woman and of course love follows. Together they fight for their freedom and for the HEA ending.
Mary and the Minotaur (Alien Abduction Book 13) by Honey Phillips starts with the human being abducted by aliens. She’s a very positive person, always trying to see the best in any situation and many readers lauded her inner strength. She doesn’t give up easily. On the run from the kidnappers and their nefarious plans, she meets the minotaur, an alien undercover agent trying to take down the slavers. He’s at a very low point when he meets her and she’s just what he needs, with her optimism. Of course he’s drawn to Mary and determined to protect her and together the two work to defeat the bad guys, not just to save Mary but also to get rid of the evil organization. Well deserved HEA achieved!
Minotaur: Blooded (The Bestial Tribe Book One) by Naomi Lucas is a dark romance. In this book the minotaurs and other monsters roam the labyrinth, fighting each other for the chance to eat the human tributes. The female main character is a farmer’s daughter who wanders too close to the labyrinth and gets into a conversation with one particular minotaur. They are enchanted by each other’s voices but she’s caught by the local human authorities and designated to become a human sacrifice to the labyrinth. Of course he’s determined to rescue her and save her from all the other monsters. According to reviews the steamy scenes are quite hot.
There’s also book two in the series, Minotaur: Prayer, which follows the story of a swamp witch living inside the labyrinth, who helps the couple in book one, but is now at risk herself as the new book starts. She casts a spell summoning a minotaur to be her champion against all the other monsters. (Apparently centaurs are a particular problem. Who knew?) The book tells the story of the new couple.
The Minotaur’s Mate by Delaney Rain asks: Can a bull-headed man and a marshmallow-hearted bull unite to prevent a war and save a people? This M/M romance offers “… an enemies-to-lovers, virgin hero, size difference story with sci-fi elements, a bull-headed human and a marshmallow-hearted bull, spying on your neighbors…one heck of a history lesson, monster-sized anatomy, megalomaniacs fighting to stay in control, and a little stabbing, but there’s a wedding and a HEA ending.” The author packs a lot of elements into a novella.
Grab the Bull By the Horns: A Monster Street Romance by Sam Hall is a why choose book offering not one but three hunky minotaurs for the heroine, who is sucked through a rift into their world. Luckily she learns the minotaurs there aren’t the fearsome people-eating monsters of earthly legends, although they are forced to fight many so-called ‘heroes’ who want the glory of killing a minotaur. The female main character is a major history buff and thrilled to be in a magical version of ancient Crete. She’s torn between wanting to stay with her three minotaurs and going home. They’ll do anything for her including trying to help her get to her place of origin. All in all a very different but satisfying minotaur romance read.
Moving on to the monster ‘cozy’ romance category, a new release is Minotaurs and Mantras (Leviathan Fitness Book Three) by Ashley Bennett. In this later-in-life romance, the female main character is a widow with two grown sons and the main male minotaur character is a divorced entrepreneur with one grown daughter. They ‘meet’ on a dating app and since he happens to be in town, they go out and of course attraction blooms between the couple. Their big challenge is living far away from each other and taking the risk of starting a real relationship instead of a one time fling.
The Minoan Bride (Cambric Creek Bite-Sized Reads Book 1) by C. M. Nascosta provides a time travelling minotaur couple who return to ancient Crete to find the origins of the minotaur myths.
So many other authors have good minotaur books out there, of all types from cozy to dark to scifi romance but hopefully this post gives you a few places to start if you’re curious about this flavor of monster romance.