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Vampire Romances
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Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:42 am    Post subject: Vampire Romances Reply with quote

+IHS+

Paranormals have never really been on my radar; even when I considered them, I couldn't understand their appeal.

It would take a long story to explain what changed that, but let's say that I've done a "90 degree turn" and now want to sample the genre. For the complete 180 degrees, however, I'd actually have to do some reading. Laughing

To those who love Paranormals: Which authors and titles are your favourites? What about them do you like? As you can tell from the title, I am most interested in stories with vampires, but if you have good recs in a different subgenre, I'd be glad to know about them, too. Thanks! Very Happy
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Trish B



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1271
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some of the most popular and obvious recommendations would be JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark series and Nalini Singh's Psy-Changelings series each for very different reasons.

Ward - Her's is a dark world with a modern/urban but at the same time almost medieval feel to it. Her heroes are dark, tortured, emotionally damaged men who very often self-medicate with drugs, alcohol or even violence. Though many are losing interest in the series as it goes on (more urban fantasy, less romance?) the early books are very entertaining - Dark Lover, Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened are my faves.

Cole - Her series is more a everything-but-the-kitchen-sink type series with all manner of parnormal characters/beings: Vampires, werewolves, valkyries, fairies, demons, witches, ghosts/phantoms. Though her heroes (and a heroine or two) are often tortured souls, the overall vibe of her stories is generally more upbeat than, say Ward. There is some humor and pop culture references that lighten things up at times.

Singh - I think her series is perhaps the more sci-fi of the bunch with her cold, emotionless, tele-connected collective race called The Psy and their counterparts, the more earthy, warm, tribal, part-animal changelings.

There's also Lara Adrian's vampire series which I consider JR Ward-lite but which is still an enjoyable series.

If you want historical vampire stories you could check out Susan Squires.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 722
Location: under a cockatiel

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really enjoy Angela Knight's vampires.
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1241
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are interested in mysteries as well as romances, you should try P. N. Elrod's Vampire Files which feature Jack Fleming, a 1930s Chicago newspaper reporter, turned vampire; there are romantic elements in each book, but no HEA so far. A spin-off of the Vampire Files are Elrod's Jonathan Barrett books, set in New York and England in the last part of the 1700s.

Kay
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Retrograde



Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 458

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nalini Singh and Kresley Cole are authors of paranormal romances that I can recommend without reservation. Singh is just amazing; in the past, most of the romances I read (especially paranormals) never quite hit the spot with me. When I started reading Singh's series, I re-discovered a passion for the genre that had been waning. She ticks all the boxes in my list of what makes the perfect romance and I know that she will deliver every time. I've never been particularly drawn to vampire romances, but Cole's writing is so sexy and engaging that I can't get through her romances fast enough. These two authors are definitely skilled enough to pull off intricate paranormals with flair.

I never really got into JR Ward, the premise of her stories didn't strike that spark of interest in me. I've heard some good things, but also some bad things, so i'll go with my instinct and give it a miss. I've recently started Christine Feehan's Carpathians series, but i'm not sure how I feel about it yet. I'm definitely intrigued enough to keep turning the pages, but her couples are very intense in terms of the whole lifemates thing. Fans of the genre know that it's a common plot device, but I like a little subtlety with it too. There are times when Mikhail (the hero of book 1) is so full-on that it's a bit scary. He reminds me a little of Lachlain from A Hunger Like No Other, but I feel that Kresley Cole pulled it off better. He was intense and demanding, but also engaging and vulnerable, a character that drew sympathy from me. As much as I feel sorry for Mikhail, I don't feel that same level of attraction.

For paranormals that take a more subtle approach to romance (ie, "long-term" romances that develop over the course of several books, or perhaps an entire series), i'm really enjoying Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series, and Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. Touch The Dark by Karen Chance is a book I also enjoyed, but I haven't read the rest of the series yet - i'm not sure how I feel about the heroine, she can be annoying at times. The various potential lovers are also too ambiguous for my tastes. With the other three, we know that Elena and Clay belong together, that Kate and Curran are dynamite together, and that Mac and Jericho are fated. With Chance's heroine, it's a bit like she's making her way down a buffet table.

On the flip side, there are some paranormal authors that make me feel cheated after i've read their books, as if they've put in barely 10% of the effort I know is needed to write an outstanding paranormal. I refer to them as para-lites, books that take a good idea and fail to run with it. Gena Showalter and Alexis Morgan are some of the authors that i've had this strong reaction to. As mean as it sounds, if they'd given their ideas over to more competent storytellers, they'd have done us a favour.
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Linda in sw va



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 4708

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR Ward is a good place to start! Dark Lover first installment.

I also like Susan Sizemore which starts with I Burn For You.

Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series is excellent, it's YA which tends to put some people off, including me until I actually tried them. Once I did I was blown away and feel this is a better told romance story than most of the adult vampire romance novels out these days! I absolutely love these books.

Not romance but Charlaine Harris' Sookie series is excellent! Whole mix of paranormal characters in there and top notch writing, characters, etc. First one is Dead Until Dark.

I've heard great things about Lynn Viehl but haven't yet tried hers.

I tried Lara Adrian and they were wallbangers for me, I don't get the appeal of this author other than she's trying to rip off JR Ward (IMHO) and not doing a very good job of it.

Nalini Singh is good but she's not writing vampire romance - it's more werewolf mixed with inner psychic type abilities.

I also very much enjoyed Sunshine by Robin McKinley, The Turning by Jennifer Armintrout, Demon Moon by Meljean Brook and Vampire's Seduction by Raven Hart.

For werewolves Bitten by Kelley Armstrong is excellent! And as mentioned above Nalini Singh is also good here.

Linda[/b]
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NoirFemme



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1480
Location: America

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't really read paranormal romance, but I can recommend my favorite Urban fantasy series: Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris, Rachel Morgan by Kim Harrison, and The Vampire Huntress Legends by L.A. Banks. I've only read one Kelley Armstrong, and Karen Chance didn't impress me at all. But a few others are alright (Armintrout is very graphic).
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KayWebbHarrison



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1241
Location: SE VA. USA

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda in sw va wrote:
JR Ward is a good place to start! Dark Lover first installment.

I also like Susan Sizemore which starts with I Burn For You.

I've heard great things about Lynn Viehl but haven't yet tried hers.

Nalini Singh is good but she's not writing vampire romance - it's more werewolf mixed with inner psychic type abilities.
Linda[/b]


JR Ward's vampires drink only the blood of own kind/opposite sex. They don't seem like what I think of as vampires, but I do enjoy their stories.

I have read all of Lynn Viehl's Darkyn books. I recommend them, but they do have some most unpleasant goriness. She offers extra, free stories on her Blog:

http://pbackwriter.blogspot.com/

You could sample her work there.

Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling books are great, even if there are no vampires. Each one has a HEA for the featured couple.

I also enjoy Susan Sizemore's books. She has written two time travel books (Wings of the Storm and After the Storm) and several historical romances, in addition to her vampiric books.

Kay
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MaryK



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 177
Location: Denham Springs, La

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 10:21 pm    Post subject: vampires Reply with quote

IMO, Susan Squires' best vampire romance is her first one, "Sacrament." It's historical and not a light romance, but it's not as dark as her later ones.

Karen Harbaugh wrote a really good vampire regency called "The Vampire Viscount."

Susan Sizemore also writes a second more obscure vampire series called Laws of the Blood. They're not romances, but each book has a romantic pair. They have some gore (though I don't find them as graphic as Lynn Veihl's) so they may be classified as horror. I actually prefer them to her romance vampires because they seem to be what vampires would really be like. Wink It's best to read them in order: The Hunt, Partners, Companions, Deceptions, Heroes.
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NoirFemme



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 1480
Location: America

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:39 pm    Post subject: Re: vampires Reply with quote

MaryK wrote:
IMO, Susan Squires' best vampire romance is her first one, "Sacrament." It's historical and not a light romance, but it's not as dark as her later ones.


I liked The Companion, but the following books in the series have been meh.
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MaryK



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 177
Location: Denham Springs, La

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:33 am    Post subject: Re: vampires Reply with quote

NoirFemme wrote:
MaryK wrote:
IMO, Susan Squires' best vampire romance is her first one, "Sacrament." It's historical and not a light romance, but it's not as dark as her later ones.


I liked The Companion, but the following books in the series have been meh.

I believe Sacrament is the first vampire book she wrote (at least, my copy has a 2002 copyright date and The Companion has a 2005 date), and seems to have been written as a stand-alone - as if she hadn't contemplated a series yet. The world is the same, but there's no sequel bait. To me, it has a very different feel from the series that followed it.

If you liked The Companion, it might be worth your while to try Sacrament.
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LizJ



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, given the nature of the reviews coming in for Lover Enshrined, Ward may no longer be an auto-buy for me. I had been suspecting that the series was losing its focus on romance in some of the recent books, and didn't like the "trick" that allowed for the "happy ending" in the last one.

Charlaine Harris' Sookie series is getting long in the tooth (ha, ha). I don't know how much longer she plans to extend it, but I am so ready for some resolution.

I don't want to see Stephenie Myers extend her series on and on, however much I like the books.

I read one or two of Viehl's, was turned off by the gore, and then picked one up again last year.

I think I read one of Cole's last year and didn't like it at all. Ditto Lara Adrian, I felt like it was too much of the same. Never was impressed with Christine Feehan's series even though it began before many of these.

I've read the first book in the Ilona Andrews series, and while not a romance, I think it's overall a decent story and good world-building.

I'm not interested at all in LKH, so that doesn't leave much left to check out...
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smithl



Joined: 28 Mar 2007
Posts: 12
Location: Western New York

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:27 pm    Post subject: Try this one Reply with quote

I love the paranormal genre as well and have even gotten more into urban fantasy when some of the paranormal romance authors just didn't deliver- for me. Try Carrie Vaughn- the Kitty Norville series. She's a werewolf/radio talk show host. I know, it sounds weird but the books are good reads and they do have some romantic elements. Not to mention, vampires and probably some other beasties. I would give Karen Chance another go. Although not one of my favorites, the heroine does grow on you. I have the 3rd book in my TBR pile. No one has mentioned Patricia Briggs, but I think she's awsome! She writes the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is a walker- she does not need the moon to change and she changes into a coyete. She's also a mechanic. Plenty of stuff going on in this series, vampires, witches, fey, etc. I think this is what Anita Blake should have been like. While not a romance- it does have strong romantic elements. Also, really like Ilona Andrews- her second book, Magic Burns is very good.
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Jane G



Joined: 29 Jun 2007
Posts: 277
Location: Washington, DC

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't want to see Stephenie Myers extend her series on and on, however much I like the books.


Breaking Dawn, which comes out in August, is hte last book. (At least in Bella's POV-- Midnight Sun, the first book in Edward's POV, will be out sometime. And she's hinted that she might not abandon the characters forever after Midnight sun... but for all intents and purposes, the series ends with Breaking Dawn Smile)

I don't like paranormal books. But I LOVE the Twilight series. I put off reading it for almost 3 years because I don't like vampires, but this series is excellent.
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LizJ



Joined: 27 Mar 2007
Posts: 139

PostPosted: Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I just noticed today that the cover for "Breaking Dawn" has now been "announced" - you can see it at Amazon and over at Stephenie Meyer's web site.

One series that I enjoy but is taking a while to get out is C. T. Adams and Cathy Clamp's Thrall series. There's a new one out at the end of July. It's a very different take on vampires than much of what we've seen recently.

Ironic, but the last few weeks I've read some really good historicals...even as recent as earlier this year I didn't know if we were going to get even a handful of good ones this year. So these things do come in waves.
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