Friday, June 10, 2016

Fangirl Fridays - Vampire Books that Got Me Hooked




Recently I downloaded a new book for no other reason than because I liked its title and cover. The title is Vampire Girl, and it started me thinking about the roots of my love for vampire books. That turned into a lovely stroll down memory lane.


Back in the day, I occasionally read popular mainstream bestseller vampire books, like Interview with the Vampire and The Historian, but mostly I read sci-fi/fantasy. Then one day I received a book as a present from a friend, and it had a big impact on my reading habits and my “social life” online. (Yes, I mean meeting you, my amazing Wenches.) It was not the book itself, but the new literary directions it inspired me to seek out. The book was Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. That story “sparked” my interest in vampire mythology, I went online to see if there were any other vampire books around, and I discovered an entire world of them.

After the jump, I’d like to share with you some of my first vampire reads. (As far as I remember...)




Sookie Stackhouse series That “No Name” Series
At least we had Eric



I’m sorry, but this was my first read after the Twilight series, and I enjoyed the story up through book 7. OK, that’s it.



Morganville Vampires series, Rachel Caine
Claire Danvers and her friends Shane, Michael, and Eve fight evil in Morganville, Texas. Vampires in Morganville are the bad guys. They run the town and make all the rules; they are the monsters lurking in the dark. This is a YA book, full of action and a sweet PG-13 love story, at least in the books I read (1–6). I loved the first book, Glass Houses, where I met Claire as a clever, geeky college girl who is forced to leave the college dorm due to a mean girls clique harassing her. Thus, she ends up living with the trio mentioned above. The paranormal mystery and the surprising twists and turns captivated me completely. (15 books so far)


Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, Laurel K. Hamilton
Anita Blake’s first book is Guilty Pleasures. I loved it — the combination of fantasy, great story line, suspense, and sexy vibes did it for me. Anita is a young woman, strong, brave, saucy, and sassy. She is a both a vampire hunter and an animator — she helps the police force solve murders by raising the dead and interrogating them. Anita is independent and strong-willed and has a wicked biting tongue. The vampires are old school vampires, dark, alluring and cruel. Master vampire Jean Claude is the classic example, very powerful, beautiful, attractive, oozing sex appeal, and very dangerous. I was hooked after reading Guilty Pleasures, and I loved books 1–6 or 7, before Anita became hungry for power and sex crazed, before her books turned from dark fantasy, action-packed stories to some kind of bizarre erotica stories. (25 books so far)


Chicagoland Vampires series, Chloe Neill
I fell in love with Merit from page 1 of Some Girls Bite and fell in love with Ethan in book 3, Twice Bitten. Great series, amazing plot, awesome characters of many colorful shapes and shifters. :) I will stop here, as most of us know the story and love the series. Ahhh, Merit & Ethan!!! And if you don’t know the story...go read these books! (12 books plus one more due out soon)



Anna Strong Chronicles, Jeanne C. Stein
This is one of the first vampire books I read. Anna Strong is a bounty hunter living in San Diego, intelligent and beautiful. She is turned, becomes a vampire unwillingly after fighting a criminal (vampire) who attempted to kill her, not realizing he turned her. Anna hates being a vampire and tries to maintain her humanity as much as possible. In the first book, The Becoming, she lives between the two worlds — the human one, with her human boyfriend, and the supernatural one, with her vampire mentor, who wants her for himself. I liked the slow growth into her new life, the struggle between her human side and her vampire side. This is an action-packed series: crimes, villains, family drama, and lover’s drama. I think I read 4 books, but now that I recall the story, I might reread it and continue with the books I didn’t read. (9 books)



Vicki Nelson series, Tanya Huff
Blood Ties
The first book was written in 1991. First I watched the TV series, which was called Blood Ties, and I liked it so much that I had to look for the books. I didn’t have my Kindle yet, so I asked my friends in Toronto, Canada, and they sent me the books. Vicki Nelson is an ex-cop turned Private Investigator living in Toronto; she was forced to leave the police force due to her deteriorating eyesight. In the first book, Blood Price, Vicki tries to find a killer after she stumbles one night upon a dead body with its throat ripped out. To solve this supernatural murder mystery, she has to join forces with her ex-partner/friend with benefits and with a sexy, 450-year-old vampire who is the illegitimate son of King Henry VIII. There is a sexual tension with the trio, but the actual sex scenes are left to your imagination. This is the start of an enjoyable series full of adventure and supernatural creatures. (5 books)


House of Night series, P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast
This is the story of Zoey Redbird, a 16-year-old girl who gets “marked” by a vampyre, a mark that changes her and alters her life. (Book 1 is entitled Marked.) She has to move into the House of Night, a boarding school for her kind. The whole story takes place within the school’s walls. The change from human into a full vampyre, or vampire, takes 4 years in which the fledglings, as the adolescents are called, have to study a lot to learn what they will face in the future. As usual for these kinds of books, Zoey and her friends fight evil and suffer a lot of angst and teenage drama, humor, and heartache. The books are really written for YA, but I am not ashamed to admit I read the whole series. It was quite lovely, with good pace to the plot, and I liked the neo-pagan theme of the story. (12 books)


Black Dagger Brotherhood series, J.R Ward
Midnight Breed series, Lara Adrian
I’m sorry, but these two series are a little confused in my memory. When I try to recall them, I remember a group of vampires, living together, fighting evil vampires and some other creatures and finding their mates — the women they fall in love with and are destined for a Happily Ever After with. I can’t remember which plot belongs to which series, but here are the facts: Dark Lover, the 1st book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (15 books), was published in September 2005, and Kiss of Midnight, the 1st book of Midnight Breed (14 books) was published in May 2007. I admit I wasn’t “vamped” / knocked out of my chair by either series. They were good reading at first, Harlequin romances style, sexy and romantic, but the plots repeated themselves too much. In the BDB books, I found myself skipping big chunks of pages, and in MB I just got bored. I feel a need to apologize to all those fans out there; these were not my cup of tea.


Vampire Academy series, Richelle Mead
Oh! I love this series!!! I couldn’t put it down and, though it is considered YA, I think it’s a series for all ages of paranormal romance readers. There are two kinds of vampires in this world: Moroi, who are alive and can wield magic, and Strigoi, the undead evil ones. There are also half-vampires who train to protect the Moroi. Our heroine is Rose Hathaway, a half-vampire (or Dhampir, as they are called here). She protects Lissa Dragomir, a Moroi vampire princess. The first book, Vampire Academy, starts strongly with the two girls, two years after they escaped from St. Vladimir’s Academy, their boarding school. This is an action-packed story, which is really about love, loyalty, and friendship in the true sense of it. I loved the world Rachel Mead created, her different take on vamps world. From the romantic side, I loved Dmitri’s story with all its dramatic changes and turns. You can read Head Wench Barb’s enthusiastic review of this series here. (6 books)

Spin-off series: Bloodlines series (6 books), set in the same world with supporting characters from the original books. Barb’s review here.



Night Huntress series, Jeaniene Frost
Halfway to the Grave is, for me, one of the best urban fantasy romance books I’ve read. Feisty Catherine, Cat Crawfield, drop-dead (or un-dead) gorgeous Bones, and their story combine everything I love in this genre: incredible leading characters, great action, amazing sex, dirty talk and more, tons of humor, brilliant dialogues and witty banter, good supporting characters, and a variety of supernatural elements. Some books are better than others, but this can be expected in a series. Again, Cat & Bones!!! (7 books plus short stories)

Cat and Bones
That’s all I can say

Spin-off series: Both are set in the same world with supporting characters from the original series.
  • Night Prince series (3 books plus one more due soon) Ahh, Vlad...
  • Night Huntress World series (2 books) Spade and Mencheres get their own stories. (Books are listed in the link to the Night Huntress series.)

Cassandra Palmer series, Karen Chance
By the talented Riogirl9909
Cassie Palmer is a young woman who has special powers — she is clairvoyant and she can communicate with the spirits of the dead. Her parents were killed when she was 4 years old (as often happens to protagonists in this genre). In the first book, Touch the Dark, we learn that Cassie was raised by a vampire mobster who kept her prisoner in order to use her talents. She leaves him when she grows up, but everywhere she goes someone wants to use her. The plot is very rich in world building and a motley crew of characters. The author uses real historical characters (Rasputin, Raphael, Cleopatra, and more) alongside the fictional ones. There are a lot of supernatural creatures here: werewolves, fae, witches and mages, ghosts, vampires, and even humans. It’s a roller coaster of actions and events; sometimes I felt disoriented from too many action scenes. There are two main love interests for Cassie — super sexy and very powerful — and it was hard for me to choose between the two. Imagine how hard it was for Cassie! I have to catch my breath and read the last book, which has been waiting for me since last March. I almost hate to read it because then I won’t have another one to look forward to. (8 books)

There are more books I’d like to write about, but it would take too long, so I’ll just mention a few that I remember fondly:
  • How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire (Love at Stake #1 of 16 books) by Kerrelyn Sparks. A lightweight read, strong on the funny side, bit cheesy, very entertaining. I really love the books titles, like: All I Want for Christmas is a Vampire, The Vampire and the Dragon Tattoo, How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying).
  • Into the Darkness (Darkness #1 of 8 books) by K.F. Breene. A powerful, dark story. Sasha is a strong protagonist. The vampires are strong, fast, lethal, and “bleed” tons of sexuality. This story is not for the faint of heart or prudes.
  • Blood Destiny (Blood Curse #1 of 8 books) by Tessa Dawn. There are two types of vampires here (not really original), good and evil. There is a lot of stuff here, from bloody battles, murder, rape, and torture to romance, faith, devotion, love, and a lot of sex.
  • Dead, Undead, and Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon’s Law #1 of 4 books) by J.A. Saare. Rhiannon Murphy looks like and acts like a tough bartender, but she is really vulnerable and full of pain. She can see the recently departed, but she tries to ignore them. She manages to keep her talent hidden until Disco, a good-looking vampire, enters the bar, tells her he knows her secret, and tries to recruit her for his murder investigation. In this world, where vampires peddle their blood as the latest and greatest drug of choice, someone is killing vampires to steal their hearts. Love this series.

Worth mentioning:

There are more, I know, but that’s enough for today.

These are the books I’ve been remembering as I stroll down memory lane. Some of them I love enough to revisit from time to time, others are hazy in my memory.

Are you a fan of vampire books, too? How did you discover them? Do you remember your first vampire book(s)?

2 comments:

  1. A great post Merit. Definitely some books and series I need to add to my TBR.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, I hope you'll enjoy the stories as much as I did.

    ReplyDelete