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If You Like Vampire Romances

A girlfriend of mine just recently read the whole Twilight series on her iPhone. She doesn’t want to read more Meyer but she does want to read more Vampire Romances. I recommended the first book in the JR Ward series, Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1), which she bought via the Kindle App on her iPhone. I plan to recommend Kresley Cole’s Warlord Wants Forever (in Playing Hard to Get) and No Rest for the Wicked.

I thought it would be great to build a recommended list here for various tropes. Give us your best recommendations and I’ll update this post.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

112 Comments

  1. Kalen Hughes
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 11:05:28

    While not technically a romance, Robin McKinley’s Sunshine is the best damn 3/4s of a vampire book since Rice’s Interview (I say 3/4s, since it doesn’t resolve any of the relationships at the end, which kind of irked me). Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula books are also worth a look.

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  2. May B.
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 11:36:32

    Wings in the night by Maggie Shayne especially the first 4 – 5 books. I am not sure if they were released in e-book yet. They are quite old written when vampires were very HTF in romance world. I loved them because they were the first vampire I’d ever read. So new and innovative at that time. However, I am sure if they can stand the test of time. But they are always in my heart.

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  3. LauraB
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 11:38:15

    Jeaniene Frost’s Grave series! Hands down.

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  4. Tammy
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 11:51:10

    I really enjoy:
    – Kerrelyn Sparks’ “Love at Stake” series
    – Lara Adrian’s “Midnight Breed” series
    – Christine Warren’s “Others” series

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  5. Jessica Kennedy
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:01:23

    Gena Showalter’s Atlantis series. It’s not ALL vamp but it’s amazing none the less.

    She should broaden her horizon and read Demon and shifter books too! :)

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  6. Sam
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:03:53

    Jane you’re brave for recommending the BDB, I’ m still being tarred and feathered by my friends..lol (not because they think it’s book crack)

    I’m going with LauraB here on Jeaniene Frost’s books, first being Halfway to the Grave. I think Alexander Ivy writes some good Vampires and Christine Feehan does as well (some books better than others).

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  7. Lorelie
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:06:59

    Some of Lynsay Sands’ books are fun, but I don’t know that I can give an un-qualifed go to the series as a whole.

    Also might say Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series, but only if she has the intestinal fortitude to stop around book 5.

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  8. Lisa Paitz Spindler
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:25:05

    I would suggest she read JR Ward for the heroes, but Lara Adrian for the heroines.

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  9. Lita
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:25:11

    I read Meyer’s books, and I utterly fail to ascertain their appeal. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading the genre for 20 years or more. I should also say that I loathe J.R. Ward BDB series with a passion, I’ve given up on Kim Harrison (cough*dawncookinawig*cough) and Charlene Harris. Laurell Hamilton’s Anita Blake books are still must buys, but I’m loosing patience fast.

    I strongly recommend:

    Tanya Huff – “Blood” and “Smoke series – Just because most of the characters are Canadian doesn’t mean their nice, eh.
    Lynn Veihl – Darkyn Series - Need to read in order, mystery as well as romance, some horror.
    Kathrine Smith – Brotherhood of the Blood series – Templar Knights “infected” by drinking from the Blood Grail, set in late Victorian/Edwardian England and Europe. Very strong romantic component.
    Susan Squires – The Companion Series - Mostly Regency era, vampirism is based on a symbiote (the Companion). Strong horror element in later books, also some time travel that works surprisingly well.

    Probably the best, all-around vampire series is Chelsea Quinn Yarbo’s Saint-Germain books (I think there are over 25 of them now). I read the first ones back when I was in high school (I found “Path of the Eclipse” in a hotel gift shop during a senior class trip to Washington DC). Ragozcy Franciscus, Comte St. Germain was born in modern day Wallachia in “the dark of the year” about 2000 years BCE. The books are set in no particular order, and we meet up with St. Germain in Neronian Rome, Medieval Europe, Russia during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, America after the Civil War, pre-Revolutionary France, China during the Qin dynasty, etc. St. Germain is a highly romantic figure, often described as more “human” than the humans around him. Most of the early books are still in print, and I bet that they can be found in most local libraries too.

    Finally, if you’re looking for a good retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, check out Frank Saberhagen’s Dracula Files books. Hasn’t been a new one in many years, but they are really quite good.

    I’m sure I’ll think of others immediately after hitting “Submit”, Oh, well.

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  10. Silver James
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:26:23

    Susan Sizemore’s Prime series, starting with I BURN FOR YOU. The titles suck but the books are good reads. She also has the “Laws of the Blood” vampire series, though I haven’t read them so can’t recommend.

    @Lita, OMG! I’d completely forgotten Saberhagen’s Dracula books. They are an amazing read!

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  11. Kerry Allen
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:26:50

    Meljean Brook’s Demon Moon. Colin instantly shot to the top of my favorite heroes list, and—will wonders never cease—Savi is one of my favorite heroines, too.

    The only caveat being it’s not the first in the series, and I don’t know how confusing it would be to start there.

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  12. Lisa Kessler
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:29:20

    I enjoyed:

    Prince of Twilight by Maggie Shayne
    Dark Fire by Christine Feehan
    Something Wicked Catherine Mulvaney

    Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles are timeless (to a point! LOL) Esp. The Vampire Lestat, Queen of the Damned and Tale of the Body Thief.

    Hope that helps!

    Lisa :)

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  13. MaryK
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:43:52

    @Silver James: I was just about to recommend Sizemore’s Laws of the Blood series!

    It’s more urban fantasy than paranormal romance, though it does have romance in it. I think it gets shelved in SFF or even horror. Personally, I like it better than the Prime series because it’s grittier and the vampires are predators which is more “believable” to me.

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  14. Jessa Slade
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:49:37

    I third (or fourth) Jeaniene Frosts’ Cat & Bones series and second Meljean Brook. Actually, I just did a blog post on this very topic, so I’m primed.

    Jeri Smith-Ready’s WVMP rock’n’roll vampires starting with WICKED GAME.

    Adrian Phoenix’s Maker’s Song series starting with A RUSH OF WINGS.

    I came late to Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series, and technically it’s more were than vamp, but I figure there’s great potential for a spin-off for the vamp Stefan eventually :) and BONE CROSSED was excellent fun.

    For twisted darker fun, J.F. Lewis’s series starting with STAKED.

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  15. Sandy
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:52:33

    Am I the only person on the face of the planet who is sick to death of vampire romances?

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  16. Shannon Stacey
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:53:01

    I read very few paranormal romances (although I am addicted to Teh Crhack), but I’d recommend Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series (the first one—Kiss of Midnight—is a free Kindle book right now!) and Lynn Viehl’s Darkyn.

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  17. Mireya
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:56:48

    I always recommend J.R. Ward despite my moaning about how the series has been turned into something that mostly resembles urban fantasy rather than romance; Lynn Viehl (I consider her Darkyn a must read); Christine Feehan (despite her persistence in ocassionally inserting a TSTL heroine, can we say Dark Fire); Sherrilyn Kenyon (still like her Dark Hunters, though I do not appreciate the hard cover crappola, as with the BDB); Lynsay Sands (because hers are lighthearted and give the warm fuzzies); Nina Bangs (because I still think she’s funny); Angela Knight’s Mageverse (vampires with a twist); Joey W. Hill (no one writes BDSM like she does); Emma Holly (Upyrs bring me up).

    I enjoy Kresley Cole’s and Gena Showalters’, but their respective series are not fully vampire.

    Oh and I forgot Susan Sizemore. Her latest book was pretty much slammed, but I liked it and still follow her Primes series.

    I read a lot of paranormal, not just vampires. I have yet to get bored with them.

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  18. Sam
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 12:59:48

    @ Sandy: Yes I’m pretty much sick of them as well, EXCEPT for Frost’s series and I’m pretty excited that she is writing Spade’s book. I think for the most part I’m sick of long running series period.

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  19. Doug Knipe [SciFiGuy]
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:12:38

    In addition to many of the others already suggested I’ve enjoyed both of these -

    - Diane Whiteside “Texas Vampires” series
    - Lynda Hilburn ” Vampire Shrink” series

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  20. Emma Petersen
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:14:45

    Blood Memories by Barb Hendee. I CANT wait for the next book. Christopher Moore’s Bloodsucking Fiends and You Suck. Lynn Viehl’s Darkyn series. That’s all I got for now.

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  21. Cathy
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:19:33

    Evie Byrne’s Faustin Brothers trilogy is really good (only the first two are out now).

    Jeanne Kalogridis has a great vampire trilogy, but it’s not romance.

    Instead of No Rest for the Wicked, I’d recommend the Conrad and Neomi story (I don’t remember the title); I liked that one a lot better.

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  22. Sandy
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:19:36

    Yes I'm pretty much sick of them as well, EXCEPT for Frost's series and I'm pretty excited that she is writing Spade's book. I think for the most part I'm sick of long running series period.

    I’ll read four or so books in a series, then it often seems as if an author starts to “phone it in.” I loved Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, but it petered out for me after five stories. I refuse to jump on the Twilight bandwagon. I have the Black Daggar Brotherhood series glaring at me from the top of my impossibly tall tower of TBR books, but I seem to be having trouble making myself pick any of them up. I’m just bloody sick (pun intended) of vampires.

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  23. Sarah
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:21:04

    Maggie Shayne and Robin Popp.

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  24. Angela Toscano
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:21:18

    Companions of the Night by Vivian Vande Velde is an excellent book. It is YA and pretty PG rated. However, the depiction of the vampire and the heroine is solid and extremely well done. Vande Velde manages to explore what it means to be a vampire and be with a vampire without beign didactic (Meyers) or melodramatic (see 90% of other vampire books).

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  25. Lisa J
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:21:40

    Ameila Elias has three books in the Guardians League series which are great. The titles are Hunted, Outcast, and Chosen from Samhain.

    Definitely worth reading.

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  26. alisha rai
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:26:15

    MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead series is a lighter vampire read. It took a bit of a dark turn after book 6 and reader fatigue is starting to set in for me now. I still read it, but like the first ones more.
    I loved Layel the vampire king in the Atlantis series. I actually read that one first and had no trouble following along.

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  27. Chris
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:28:32

    Kathy Love’s vampire stuff is pretty enjoyable – light’n’fluffy. Cynthia Eden’s got some good vampire stories, too.

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  28. JaimeK
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:31:02

    I agree completely with Lita’s list..read them…loved them.

    The one series of books that I did not see mentioned (and there may be a reason) that won’t win literary awards, but sometimes gives a break from the vampires that take themselves much too seriously…Mary Janice Davidson’s Undead series. It is campy, fun and anti-serious vamp book/s.

    Edit: Look at that alisha rai and I were typing at the same time with the same thought about Mary Janice books….

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  29. Christine
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:31:55

    I love the Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris. The first one is Dead Until Dark. It’s the inspiration for the HBO series True Blood.

    In the YA category, I like the House of Night series better than Twilight. The first book is Marked by P.C. Cast and Kirsten Cast.

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  30. Daelith
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:39:45

    I highly recommend Raven Hart’s Savannah Vampire series. The first of the series is The Vampire’s Seduction.

    Also I just recently read the first of a vampire romance series by Michele Bradsley -I’m the Vampire, That’s Why. Fans of Lynsay Sands will like these.

    Kerrelyn Sparks also has a entertaining vampire series…Scottish vampires.

    And as others have already mentioned – Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse Dead series are a great read.

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  31. rebyj
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:46:54

    I second the Maggie Shayne series.
    Very strong story line that follows each book, all the couples are different enough that the romances are not formulatic. They are on my keeper shelf and re-read about twice a year.

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  32. Kathy
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:52:01

    I don’t think anyone mentioned Karen Chance’s Cassandra Palmer series yet. I’ve enjoyed them.

    Also, Keri Arthur’s Riley Jenson series – I’m lovin’ it.

    And let’s not forget Kim Harrison’s Rachel Morgan series.

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  33. Kati
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:52:28

    There are also vampires in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, which is my favorite UF series out there.

    I’d also vote for the Lara Adrian Midnight Breed series. It’s my favorite of the vamps that are out there.

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  34. votermom
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 13:57:05

    My faves would have to include Sunshine (McKinley), The Hollows series (Harrison), Sookie Stackhouse series (Harris).

    Better than Twilight, I think, for vampires in high school is Claudia Gray’s Evernight. Neat twist. I just got hold of book 2, Stargazer.

    P.N. Elrod’s Jonathan Barrett, Gentleman Vampire series is a great, lighthearted, romantic series. The first book is Red Death.

    For someone who really explores what it must mean to be a parasitic predator, I think fantasy & sf author C.S. Friedman is the best. Her Coldfire Trilogy (first book is Black Sun Rising) has the most compelling evil antihero ever in Gerrald Tarrant.
    Her new Magister trilogy, (first book Feast of Souls) is also awesome. Not strictly vampires but very similar dynamic because sorcerers must drain another person’s life to survive.

    And for straight horror, a very compelling, highly recommended vampire novel is Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist (there’s also a translation titled Let Me In).

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  35. FD
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:04:40

    H’mmm. I gotta say I’m pretty much vamped out at the moment. I’ll second the commenter who recced Evie Byrne's Faustin Brothers which I recently read and enjoyed.

    There are two pretty good YA series which I’ve (successfully) used to wean teens off Twilight:
    L.J. Smith’s ‘Nightworld’ series, which despite the having the dreaded ‘soulmate principle’ as a standard trope, actually subverts it – being soulmates is demonstrably bloody inconvenient and in some cases horrifying to the hero / heroine. It also has a somewhat unusual and interesting pseudo-scientific explanation for the bloodsucking.
    Richelle Mead’s ‘Vampire Academy’ which deals with many of the standard teen tropes and has interestingly icky and convincing vampires, plus ethical questions, courtly politics, and life-lessons on prejudice, without being too preachy.

    Robin McKinley’s Sunshine is probably the most creepy vampire novel I’ve read in a long time.
    Carole Nelson Douglas has two ‘Delilah Street’ novels out now which are not quite primarily vampire novels and not quite romances and not quite detective-noir. They aren’t in the usual line. Featuring Las Vegas, mirrors, a shapeshifting silver snake, vampires, werewolves, myths and a hot necromancer.
    I also can’t recommended too strongly Tanya Huff’s ‘Blood’ novels, but they aren’t really for the faint of heart.

    There’s always Christine Feehan.

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  36. Heather Brewer
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:12:24

    I love anytype of paranormal but I think Vamps and Witches are my Favorites. I love BDB and Christine Warren’s series (especially if you can find the 1st 6 books – Book 1 Fantasy Fix has been re-released as One Bite with a Stranger and book 2 Fur Factor is being re-released 9/29/09 as Big Bad Wolf) The 1st six books were ebooks through ellora’s Cave I believe.

    I also love Lynn Viehl’s Darkyn series and there is a book you can get for the Kindle that goes hand in hand with the last story it’s just told from his assistant’s point of view. I downloaded it for my Kindle and actually read it 1st.

    Kreseley Cole and Gena Showalter do rock and they do have other paranormals in them.

    I also agree that PC and Kristen Cast’s House of Night series is better than Twlight. We have several people at work that agree.

    Another new author to try is Chloe Neill Some Girls Bite and Molly Harper’s Nice Girls Don’t have Fangs for a couple more vamp books.

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  37. Chris
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:21:12

    I don’t think it’s been mentioned yet but I have really enjoyed reading the Gardella Legacy Vampire Series by Colleen Gleason. A bit of a different take on the vampire bit…well written and ‘crack-like.’

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  38. ReacherFan
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:27:29

    I rather like the Dalakis Series by N. J. Walters. It’s ebook only from Ellora’s Cave as far as I know and she’s just written the 5th book in the series – Endless Chase. About the only one I didn’t much care for was the first one, which was more novella or short story (Christofor and Johanna), the rest were all good.

    I agree with Lorelei that Lynsay Sands books can vary a lot in quality. I don’t care for her Rogue Hunter books, but that said, I loved Single White Vampire and several others in the Argeneau series.

    Bianca D’Arc writes good vampire books in her Brotherhood of the Blood, though several of the series are in collections and not listed as part of the Brotherhood series, which gets confusing. They are mostly short novels.

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  39. Anthea Lawson
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:27:36

    Another vote for SUNSHINE! Robin McKinley is an amazing writer.

    I also recommend SILVER KISS by Annette Curtis Klause. It’s got a wonderful, moody feel, and, though it’s YA, happily pre-dates the YA Vamp trend. It was published in 1992 and is all the stronger for being ahead of its time.

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  40. Kirsten
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:30:20

    Charlie Huston 1. Already Dead; 2. No Dominion; 3. Half the Blood of Brooklyn; 4. Every Last Drop; and 5. My Dead Body (forthcoming)

    The first two are also great audible listens, narrated by Scott Brick.

    It is vampire-noire with a romance thread running through. Vampirism is a virus and his girlfriend is HIV positive–he doesn’t want to give it to her and she doesn’t want to give it to him.

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  41. MD
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:32:07

    While Rob Thurman’s Nightlife series is not strictly vampires but a whole host of fabulous creepies, there is a romance between vampire and human (Promise and Niko) that is the most intelligent and believable relationship I’ve read in any vampire romance before. I highly recommend the whole series.

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  42. Laurie
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:48:35

    I agree with everyone who said that PC and Kristen Cast’s House of Night series was wayyy better than Twilight. I loved that series and am anxiously awaiting the next book.

    I’m also a big fan of Michelle Rowen’s Immortality Bites series.

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  43. SonomaLass
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:49:03

    The resident teenager says the Cast House of Night series is pretty good, but she liked the first three Twilight books, so take that in context. She’s going for the Gardella Chronicles next, since the first one did so well in the inaugural DABWAHA tourney.

    I love Sunshine, just bought another copy. (Nice new trade paper edition came out recently.) But then I love all things McKinley, so that could be why. I find Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse books cracktastic, but I have to be careful not to O.D.. Vampires are far from my favorite trope.

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  44. Toddson
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:51:15

    I could also recommend an older book, Barbara Hambly’s “Those Who Hunt the Night” (I think I have the title right). There’s a sequel, which I didn’t think was as good.

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  45. RKB
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 14:57:45

    Read Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series up to Obsidian Butterfly. Pretend Anita died in OB and don’t read the rest of the series, because you will be *really* sorry you did.

    I’m a really big fan of Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. It’s YA, but it’s very good YA.

    Many *many* people liked Nancy Collins’ Sonja Blue series. I honestly couldn’t read it, I found it so depressing.

    Ilona Andrew’s Kate Daniels series is a big favorite of mine, but the vampires are only side characters.

    Otherwise, I can’t remember offhand any other vamp books I actually liked offhand.

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  46. MarnieColette
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 15:02:38

    there are so many Vamp books. It would depend on how traditional she wants them

    J. Frost – Night Huntress Series
    M. Shayne – she has tons
    S. Kennyon -Dark Hunters
    A. Blake – Anita Blake
    R. Mead – Vampire Academy Series
    M. Bardsley – I forget her series but the first is I’M that Vampire that’s Why – they are great.
    MJ Davidson – Has a funny Vamp series.
    C. Harris – Southern Vamp
    T. Huff – Blood Books (Blood Ties the TV series came from them)

    This is all I can remember off the top of my head.

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  47. Elaine C.
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 15:03:05

    Alexander Ivy

    Larissa Ione

    J.R. Ward

    Kresley Cole

    early Sherrilyn Kenyon

    Gena Showalter (some are vamps)

    Angela Knight

    For laughs Mary Janice Davidson’s Betsy series

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  48. Pai
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 15:13:43

    My problem is that I prefer historicals to contemporary… but it seems 90% of vampire romances are all modern / urban fantasy. So to find the type of vampire romance I like the best is hard. I’ll be checking out the Susan Squires books for sure!

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  49. K. Z. Snow
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 15:19:10

    Am I the only person on the face of the planet who is sick to death of vampire romances?

    On this thread you are, Sandy.

    What I’d like to know is, why are nearly all readers only familiar with vampires in print . . . and only by bestselling authors?

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  50. Yachay
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 15:24:57

    These vampire-books are all gay novels, if anyone is interested:

    Partnership in Blood-series by Ariel Tachna
    The Edge of Nothingness by Shayne Carmichael
    Morningstar by Jade Falconer
    Enthralled, and it’s sequel Breathing by Laura Baumbach
    Bloodmoon by Mike Shade
    Souls Deep by M.L Rhodes
    The Guardian by Shayne Carmichael

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  51. Zoe Winters
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 15:26:14

    Ooooh I need to re-read Sunshine. I need to buy it for my keeper shelf. Loved that one, but wish it had been a romance too.

    Right now I’m LOVING Katie Macalister’s “Girl’s Guide to Vampires.” It’s a spoof on the Carpathian series (which I haven’t read, but plan to after reading this.)

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  52. SandyW
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 15:26:24

    I second Toddson's recommendation of Barbara Hambly's ‘Those Who Hunt the Night.' The sequel is ‘Traveling with the Dead,' which I like as much as the first book. They take place in England and Europe about 1890-1900 (if I remember correctly). Not Romance, but romantic. And Simon Ysidro is one of the most intriguing vampires I've ever read.

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  53. Cybercliper
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 15:36:40

    Excellent recs!!! I’ve read most of them, but picked up a couple new ones – Thanks for that!!

    I would like to add Jennifer Turner’s Eternal Seduction to the list with Eternal Hearts out next month. A really different take on the genre. A heroin ho heroine(I swear, I’m not making this up) and a badass vampire/alien, oh never mind – you really have to read it for yourself, but trust me – it’s excellent. And a big OH, HELL YEAH on the previous recommendations for Diane Whiteside’s Texas Vampire Triology and Amelia Elias’ Guardian series. Both are excellent!!!

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  54. Shanna
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 15:39:34

    Definitely Sunshine, it’s one of my all time favorites.

    I also really liked Lynda Hilburn’s The Vampire Shrink and Dark Harvest.

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  55. Jorrie Spencer
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 15:44:21

    I have to chime in on Sunshine by Robin McKinley. Great book!

    And, well, I realize there’s more of a focus on shifters in the Mercy books by Patricia Briggs, but I like her take on vampires.

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  56. Angie
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 16:05:49

    Not strictly genre romances but definitely romantic — Chelsea Quinn Yarbro’s Saint Germain stories. They’re awesome, set all over the world and throughout history, with fully developed characters, flowing plots, and excellently researched settings.

    The first one is Hotel Transylvania, but it’s different from the others. I get the impression (whether correct or not) that she intended this one as a stand-alone, and later when she decided to turn it into a series she tuned St. Germain down a bit. He’s based on a historical character who was a tiny bit cracked [cough] and he’s closer to the historical St. Germain in this book. In the others, though, he’s less flamboyant, more thoughtful, and believably low-key for a guy who’s been around a few thousand years without attracting more attention than is good for him.

    Great stories, though, and well worth diving into.

    My favorites: Blood Games, set in ancient Rome. This one has a great romantic subplot with a woman named Olivia, who gets a few books of her own later on in the chronology.

    The Palace, set in Lorenzo’s Florence. Gorgeous, and sad at the same time, watching the culture fall to Savonarola.

    The Saint Germain Chronicles, a collection of short stories. “Cabin 33″ is great — set in the mid-20th century at an off-season resort, St. Germain runs into another vampire, one who had to learn about what he was from movies and books, and goes swooping around like a latter-day Bela Lugosi. Some good funny bits, especially when St. Germain starts more or less facepalming. :D

    I also recommend Tanya Huff’s Blood Ties series. Again, not really a genre romance, but Henry is wonderfully romantic — and is a romance writer at that, contrary to the way he was portrayed in the recent TV series — Vicki is a perfect example of what a tough female protag should look like, and Mike, Vicki’s partner (she’s a cop) makes for a very nice romantic triangle with lots of push and pull.

    Angie

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  57. Zoe Archer
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 16:05:51

    @Cathy:

    Instead of No Rest for the Wicked, I'd recommend the Conrad and Neomi story (I don't remember the title); I liked that one a lot better.

    That would be Dark Needs At Night’s Edge. I only know that’s the title because it’s on my bookshelf right here. And I agree that I found it, overall, a stronger read than NRFtW. Crazy virgin vampire and sexy Roaring Twenties’ ghost, yes please! The successful resolution for this novel to me was almost a direct refutation to JR Ward’s not-particularly-successful resolution in Lover Unbound.

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  58. Pamela Turner
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 16:34:12

    Okay, I’m going to post something entirely different: a manga recommendation.

    Vampire Princess Miyu (Narumi Kakinouchi) is one of the first manga/anime stories I read and it still holds a special place for me, despite its flaws. The shoujo style artwork is beautiful and Miyu’s story departs from the typical vampire stories that are influenced by Bram Stoker, Anne Rice, etc. Granted, it’s not a perfect series, and many of the volumes are out of print, but if one can find copies, it’s worth taking a look at to see a different perspective of the vampire’s point of view.

    I know, I know, you probably only wanted novel recommendations. Sorry! On that note, I will say I’m enjoying the Dark-Hunter series. (And there’s a manga version coming out…) Actually P C Cast’s books look interesting and I’ll probably put Evie Bryne’s books on my to-buy list. Good recommendations all around! Besides, I just got that Sony ebook reader and it’s lonely. XD

    ReplyReply

  59. Sandy James
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 16:34:52

    On this thread you are, Sandy

    Yeah, I caught that. :-) I’ll slink back into my corner and be quiet now.

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  60. ShellBell
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 16:52:18

    In addition to some of the authors mentioned above I also enjoyed Felicity Heaton’s Prophecy trilogy: Child of Light, Caelestis and Aurorea and Dark Moon Rising. I think these books are only available as eBooks.

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  61. ASable
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 18:24:21

    I’m with Sandy James on this–I’m vampired-out, although I did enjoy Evie Bryne’s 2nd Faustin book which I read based on Jane’s review here. It was sexy and entertaining and hit some good notes for me.

    I do like Jeanine Frost’s Night Huntress series and will definitely pick up her next installment based on the strength of the last three books. Same with Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series (and, for that matter her Alpha & Omega series which is about wolves, not vamps). The Mercy Thompson books include vampires but aren’t vampire-centric. They’re well written and entertaining and, even though they run more UF than romance, the romantic elements are present and (generally) satisfying overall. I am woman enough to admit that JR Ward is crack to me, so I have devoured all of her installments (and the Guide, for God’s sake!). And, like any good addict, I’ll put down my cash when the next installment comes along, even if I hate myself in the morning.

    Great idea with this thread, Jane!

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  62. Angelia Sparrow
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 18:53:27

    Elizabeth Donald has a series that starts with romance and segues into pure horror.
    http://elizabethdonald.com/Elizabethdonald.com/Nocturnal_Urges.html

    In Donald’s Memphis, the vampires are an underclass, forced into hard labor, menial work and sex work. Nocturnal Urges is a club where they sell the Bite as a sex aid. Isabel Nelson is drawn into this world, so different than her own.

    Nocturnal Urges is a murder mystery.
    A More Perfect Union is a political thriller as vampires try to gain some rights against a vamp-phobic politician.
    Abaddon is back to murder mystery when someone is killing the human half of vampire/human pairs.

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  63. Doug Knipe [SciFiGuy]
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 18:56:23

    Man I can’t believe I forgot to suggest Marta Acosta’s Casa Dracula series. These are not your regular vampires.

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  64. DS
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 19:12:42

    Not a romance although there is some romantic content, I like Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series– it’s YA and on I think Book 6 Carpe Corpus, but I’m still buying and reading them.

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  65. senetra
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 20:13:29

    Jennifer Rardin’s Jaz Parks series features a pair of CIA assasins made up of human Jaz and her vampire partner. So far there are five books in the series.

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  66. Keri M
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 20:22:59

    I am going to recommend Lynsay Sands as well, but the only one that I read and just really had fun with was, The Accidental Vampire. I thought the book was hilarious and that is how I would get turned into a vampire with my kind of luck. :-)

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  67. Keri M
    Jun 11, 2009 @ 20:31:06

    You know who I just remembered Linda Lael Miller wrote some really good vampire romances, I thought she had a great vampire phase. I know some didn’t like the series, because there was pregnancies involved. But I enjoyed them all.

    # Tonight and Always 1996

    # Time Without End 1995

    # For All Eternity 1994

    # Forever and the Night 1993

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  68. Ashley Madden
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 00:02:17

    Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress Novels are pretty awesome!

    I liked Ravenous by Sharon Ashwood. Not necessarily a romance book, but it’s along the lines of one.

    Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series is great too. It’s YA and also not really a romance, but it has plenty of romantic elements, among other things.

    Hope that helps a little!

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  69. FD
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 04:16:30

    @ K.Z. Snow.

    What I'd like to know is, why are nearly all readers only familiar with vampires in print . . . and only by bestselling authors?

    *grin* Well, tbh, I was a bit stumped by the stipulation of vampire romance and the coupling with Twilight. I was looking at things on that level. Now if we opened it up to more horror/sf/f, I’d have more to say.

    @ Sandy

    Am I the only person on the face of the planet who is sick to death of vampire romances?

    Nope, I don’t mind vamps, but vampire hunters and vampire romances are feeling more than a little passée.

    Oh, as an free online read Lilith Saintcrow has a vampire novella, called Selene.

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  70. Sandy
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 07:03:34

    She MUST read LJ Smith’s Vampire Diaries. These were originally published back in the 90s and were my first exposure to urban fantasy. You have vamp brother vying for the attention of a human girl. One brother’s the good guy, one’s the bad guy. Both are sexy. It’s a great series. Oh, and it’s been picked up by the CW. I think the pilot’s going to air next fall.

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  71. Maili
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 07:11:28

    It’s out of print, but easy to find: Love Bites, a category romance by Margaret St. George (aka Maggie Osborne). It’s a good-fun, light-hearted romance. Another – The Vampire Viscount by Karen Harbaugh, a traditional Regency romance. I no longer remember the story, but I remember thinking Jasmine Creswell’s Prince of the Night was unusual. I wish I could remember why.

    Other vampire romances (and novels with strong romantic elements) that I liked or respected are out of print and lesser known (e.g. Dark Dreams by Jane Harrison – it has a lot of flaws, but I found it interesting because it was different). My taste is awkward as well. I couldn’t get into those by Feehan, Kenyon, LKH, Amanda Ashley, MJDavidson, et al.

    I deeply disliked Lori Herter’s four-book series (Obsession, Possession, Confession, Eternity), but it might appeal those who look for intense & dark stories of playwright/vampire David who, I think, had a different heroine in each successive book. It might be me misremembering, but I do remember disliking those books.

    Oh, Rosemary Laurey’s two vampire romances – Walk in Moonlight and Rapture in Moonlight - may interest those who are looking for something different. I remember picking WIM because the hero’s name was Christopher Marlowe. :D

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  72. Mariana
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 08:03:08

    Christine Feehan’s Carpathian series is also a good one. It’s a loooonnng series, but I think it’s wrapping up soon.

    ReplyReply

  73. Julia
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 08:19:37

    @Pai:

    My problem is that I prefer historicals to contemporary… but it seems 90% of vampire romances are all modern / urban fantasy. So to find the type of vampire romance I like the best is hard. I'll be checking out the Susan Squires books for sure!

    Have you tried Kathryn Smith’s Brotherhood of the Blood- Series? It’s historical vampire romance.

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  74. Jennifer North
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 08:32:23

    I’ve always loved Bram Stoker’s Dracula, so I have a fondness for vamp historicals… Hey, the dudes can live forever, right? Wouldn’t it be cool if JR Ward et al., took us back in time, not just in a flashback but for a novel-length historical about one of the guys we know in a contemporary setting?

    Anyway, as far as vamp historical romances go, I thought Teresa Medeiros’ Cabot/Kane regencies were fairly entertaining.

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  75. Dawn
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 09:58:43

    The Cin Craven series by Jenna MacLaine is historical.

    Angela Knight’s Mageverse series
    Michelle Bardsley’s Broken Hearts, OK series
    Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series
    Anya Bast’s The Chosen Sin
    Karen Chance – I liked Midnight’s Daughter (about Dorina Basarab) the best
    Lauren Dane’s Witches Knot series has vampires
    Jeaniene Frost’s Cat & Bone series
    MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead series

    Oh and Nora Robert’s Circle trilogy

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  76. Lana
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 10:19:06

    @Kalen Hughes: I STRONGLY agree with the 3/4s gripe.

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  77. Michelle
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 10:29:46

    I love Katie MacAlister’s vampire series.
    It starts with A Girl’s Guide to Vampires, but my favorite is the second Sex and The Single Vampire. The hero is a vampire who is also a romance novelist.

    Also love Tanya Huff’s books.

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  78. nekobawt
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 10:38:14

    i recommend “kindred,” by octavia butler.

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  79. Jane
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 10:56:41

    You GUYS! Your suggestions are beyond what I had imagined and I so appreciate it. It will be a great reference for all of us. Keep it up.

    This weekend I’ll format the post with the recommendations but I’ll keep the comments open so that people can keep adding books.

    I’m just overwhelmed (in a good way) with the response.

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  80. Anna
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 11:03:00

    Hi.
    I loathe Meyer and Hamilton has been useless for the past ten or so books. I second the Tanya Huff recommendation though.

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  81. MaryK
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 12:29:48

    @MaryK: I want to give more details about Sizemore’s Laws of the Blood series because I think it’s under-appreciated. I’ve read one of Huff’s vamp books and I’d say Laws of the Blood is more like that series than Sizemore’s Prime series. They’re not Romance but have strong Romantic Elements.

    So, brief facts about Laws of the Blood: The vamps have hunts where they catch and eat people (usually low-lifes) designated by the vamp Enforcers. Vamps are terrified of the Enforcers because they enforce by eating vamps. The main protagonists are usually Enforcers. Vamps and Enforcers have human companions who aren’t always thrilled about having to follow the Laws of the Blood. The human companions, who usually provide the romantic elements of the novels, have formed an underground support group via the internet.

    I realize this sounds gruesome, but I like these books a lot and I DO NOT read horror or thrillers. You pretty much have to read the series in order to get the full effect, plus you’ll get the buildup to Istvan’s book which is the money book as far as I’m concerned. Sizemore’s website has a synopsis for each book.

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  82. Chrissy
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 12:49:20

    I recently did a review of Beth Fantaskey’s Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side for Fictionistas.

    She gets everything RIGHT that, IMO, Meyer got WRONG.

    READ IT HERE.

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  83. lenamoster
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 13:04:37

    I’ll recommend the Morrigan’s Cross trilogy by Nora Roberts.

    ReplyReply

  84. Mireya
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 13:47:51

    I see several urban fantasies recommended, I am wondering if the romance element is strong in those recommendations. I am not a fan of urban fantasy, but I like it when I find one that has very strong romance elements. Also, forgot to add Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series and her newly started “Angels” series. On a slightly off topic note, does anyone know if her “Angels” series is considered urban fantasy?

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  85. MaryK
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 14:07:31

    @Mireya:

    On a slightly off topic note, does anyone know if her “Angels” series is considered urban fantasy?

    I don’t know its official classification (it feels more urban fantasy than paranormal romance), but it definitely has a strong central romance not just romantic elements.

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  86. nekobawt
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 14:20:36

    oh gosh, i’m an idiot. :( the octavia butler book i MEANT to recommend is “fledgling”. her world-building is phenomenal.

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  87. Heather
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 14:36:34

    @Sandy: I had totally forgotten about these! I read them in college and loved them. Which means I’m way too old to be watching the show on the CW, but that isn’t going to stop me. lol

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  88. Susan/DC
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 14:46:18

    I second the recommendation for Annette Curtis Krause’s The Silver Kiss. I’m not a huge fan of vamp books but I loved this book. It has suspense, poignance, and characters you care about (I got a bit teary at the end).

    I also second the recommendation for Let the Right One In. It was made into a VG movie and should be available at your local video store or through Netflix.

    I read the first three Meyer books and liked them as I read them, but as I’ve thought about them afterward they’ve gone down in my estimation. Both of the books recommended above did a better job with fewer words and only get better on reflection. Should note, however, that neither is a standard romance.

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  89. Joyce D
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 14:51:38

    @Pai:

    Gleason’s Gardella series are awesome historical vampire series–think of a Victorian Buffy. Light at first, but they get much darker. All five are out, so the series is complete and didn’t go on too long like lots of them do. **coughHamiltoncoughKenyoncough**

    And Kathryn Smith’s series which I can’t think of the name of (Taken by the NIght, Night of the Huntress) is also historical with vampires.

    There’s also an older Karen Harbaugh series that’s historical as well. Can’t think of the name of it either (age, you know), but there are two or three and they were really popular a few years ago when vampire romances were just starting to become popular.

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  90. Janine
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 14:57:47

    You know who I just remembered Linda Lael Miller wrote some really good vampire romances, I thought she had a great vampire phase. I know some didn't like the series, because there was pregnancies involved. But I enjoyed them all.

    # Tonight and Always 1996

    # Time Without End 1995

    # For All Eternity 1994

    # Forever and the Night 1993

    I enjoyed that series very much as well, so I happily add my recommendation. They should be read in reverse order from how you listed them, though:

    Forever and the Night, For All Eternity, Time Without End, Tonight and Always. My favorite was Time Without End.

    I think these were some of the earliest vampire romances and came well ahead of the current wave of paranormals.

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  91. Kate Pearce
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 15:06:21

    if you don’t mind waiting a while, I just sold 3 books to NAL which will be Vampire romances set in Tudor England at the court of King Henry VIII.
    It’s my take on exactly why some of Henry’s wives lived and others died.
    I think we’re talking Sept 2010 though LOL

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  92. KeriM
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 15:28:00

    @ Maili, Oh yes, I forgotten all about Love Bites, that was a little gem of a book. As a matter of fact, I am going to pull my copy out and reread it this weekend. I loved that book! Even though I am completely off the vampire train and have been for awhile, for this book I am going to make an exception.

    @ Janine, I liked the entire series equally, but if I had to pick one, I would say that Tonight and Always was my most fav.

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  93. Janine
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 17:10:43

    @KeriM:

    It was certainly an unusual series for the way it blended vampires with time travel elements. Tonight and Always was my second favorite and really a lot of fun. I’ve always been sorry that Miller didn’t follow up (as far as I know) with a book about the warlock character (I think his name was Dathan).

    Time Without End was my favorite because Valerian was the character I liked best in the series (and how unusual was a bisexual hero back then!), but also, I loved the reincarnation aspect, and the way Daisy’s past lives were shown so that the book was part historical and part contemporary. The interspersing of first person narration with third person narration was also very different. A truly unusual book, though I think to get the most out of it it helps to read the earlier books in the series as well.

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  94. Janet Mullany
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 20:52:39

    Kathy Love’s vampire novels–hot, sweet, funny.

    And I’ve got the first of a two-book series, Immortal Jane, about Jane Austen joining up with vampires to defeat a French invasion, summer 2010.

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  95. Grace Fonseca
    Jun 12, 2009 @ 22:11:23

    Well there’s so many Vampire Romance Novels, here are my picks:

    Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed
    Vampire Babylon by Chris Marie Green
    Women of The OtherWorld by Kelley Armstrong
    Riley Jensen by Keri Arthur
    Gardella Vampire Chronicles by Colleen Gleason
    Brotherhood of The Blood by Kathryn Smith
    House of Night by P.C. Cast and Kirsten Cast-love this series, even though it’s YA
    Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
    Vampire Queen Series by Joey W. Hill
    Dark Realm Series by Delilah Devlin
    Cin Craven Series by Jenna MacClaine
    Demonica Series by Larissa Ione
    The Dark Hunter and Dream Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.
    Guild Hunter Series by Nali Singh-New Series by The Way
    Anita Blake by Laurell K. Hamilton
    Vampire Huntress Series by LA Banks-One of My All Time Favorite Vampire Series.

    Grace

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  96. Edie
    Jun 13, 2009 @ 07:30:37

    I am soo going to have to dig up some copies of the Linda Lael Miller series, I devoured them when I discovered them a couple of years ago.

    I haven’t read the twilight sagas.. but I would probably go Kenyon as a starter into the paranormal world..

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  97. LaurieF
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 13:09:00

    I agree with a lot of the rec’s. I’ll add two more.
    Delilah Devlin has two series about vamps that I enjoy.
    My Immortal Knights from Ellora’s Cave and Dark Realm from Avon Red.
    All are available as e-books except the upcoming release from Dark Realm
    “Darkness Burning” which I assume once it’s been released in print will have
    an e-book version to follow.

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  98. Deidre Jackson
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 15:36:14

    Koko Brown’s Charmed – Ellora’s Cave
    Jennifer Turner’s Eternal Seduction – self pubbed, but hellaciously good:)

    If she’s in the mood for a vampire plot line, which doesn’t follow the norm (slayers, destined mates, self-loathing, etc) these two are great reads and they’ll have her laughing from the beginning to the end. Both are in e-book form.

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  99. LauraJane
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 17:08:27

    I think everything I’d recommend is already here.

    Especially Richelle Mead’s YA series Vampire Academy. I think the romantic aspect in the series is great and one of the reasons I’m such a huge fan.

    The Sookie Stackhouse series is still one of my favorites even though I hate the HBO series. I think the last couple of books are darker, but I’d still recommend it as a great vampire series.

    Though neither the Vampire Academy books or the Sookie Stackhouse books would be classified as romance, there’s some nice romance in both series.

    Colleen Gleason’s series is shelved in romance at Borders and it’s very good. As someone already posted above, the series is finished so there’s no waiting. There are five books. (The heroes are vampire hunters.)

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  100. Carin
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 18:48:04

    All of mine have been mentioned, but in the interest of establishing just how many people think they are great, my favorite vampire romance authors:

    J.R. Ward
    Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Christine Feehan
    Kresley Cole
    Katie MacAlister
    Patricia Briggs – Mercy Books (UF, yes, but good romantic line to them)

    I’m another 3/4 fan of Sunshine by Robin McKinley. I really wanted things wrapped up and resolved, or even just headed that way. For me, it ruined the awesomeness of the rest of the book. I might not have felt so strongly if I’d known going in that it was SF and not romance…

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  101. Zoe Archer
    Jun 14, 2009 @ 23:27:13

    @Kate Pearce:

    If you don't mind waiting a while, I just sold 3 books to NAL which will be Vampire romances set in Tudor England at the court of King Henry VIII…I think we're talking Sept 2010 though LOL

    Oh, man, that’s when my historical paranormal series launches, too! I guess we’ll have to settle this the old fashioned way….

    DANCE OFF!

    Srsly, Kate, that sounds like a cool series, and I can’t wait to read it!

    And I can do a pretty awesome funky robot, too, so watch your ass.

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  102. XandraG
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 12:29:56

    To the poster who rec’d Rosemary Laurey’s vampires–yes! They have a very charming feel to them and are sweetly romantic, even though they’re hot (I know it sounds weird but it’s true). She’s also got a new series out under the name Georgia Evans that takes place in WWII Britain that I can’t wait to get to. Vampires, Nazis, and the Blitz sounds like total win to me.

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  103. Zoe Winters
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 13:05:57

    Oooh Yes, I’d forgotten about Rosemary Laurey. definitely yes. I also like Lynsay Sands. Her vamp mythology is very unique.

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  104. votermom
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 13:11:02

    I just read and vastly enjoyed Shannon K. Butcher’s Burning Alive and if she does a book on the blood-sucking Logan, I think it will be a good vamp book. :)

    If you decide to rent the movie Let The Right One In, make sure you get the one with the theatrical English subtitles. Apparently the video initially released has very bad, no good dialogue in the subtitles and totally ruins the film.

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  105. KeriM
    Jun 15, 2009 @ 14:11:35

    @ votermom, I totally agree, I wasn’t sure whether he was going to be a good guy or a bad guy of the series I just know I was fascinated and wanted more background on him. Blood-sucking or not. :-) Although I loved the entire book and can’t wait for the 2nd in the series due in November.

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  106. Pai
    Jun 17, 2009 @ 02:26:39

    @Joyce D — Thanks a bunch for the recommendations. I’m so glad I found this blog so I can pick people’s brains for new books to devour! >=D

    ReplyReply

  107. If You Like Medievals | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 17:10:09

    [...] Filed under: Features, If You Like A couple of weeks ago, we posted a call for your favorite vampire romance recommendations.  The post generated 106 comments and even more recommendations.  This post is directed toward [...]

  108. Monica
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 14:21:58

    Let the right one in, absolutely. Just marvelous. Not a conventional romance, but simply better than the 99.9% of those blockbusters books.

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  109. Ellie
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 19:21:13

    My favorite erotic vampire series are Jory Strong’s The Angelini (Skye’s Trail is the first) and Shiloh Walker’s Hunters (The Beginning has the first two stories). Both series have other creatures like were’s and witches.

    I’d also recommend Jacquelyn Franks’s Nightwalkers series (hot but not erotic), which also has other creatures in a contemporary setting.

    All three series have an HEA in each story and no cliffhangers.

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  110. selene
    Jun 27, 2009 @ 04:08:42

    The Southern Vampire series by Charlaine Harris are quite good.

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  111. Ally
    Nov 07, 2009 @ 10:13:06

    The Night Inside by Nancy Baker. It’s the best.

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  112. Marcie
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 15:02:21

    Patricia Briggs and Christine Warren have great books for paranormal lovers, too. Maybe after her Fever series Karen Marie Moning will switch from Fae to vampires.

    ReplyReply

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