Sunday, January 20, 2019

Reading ALL the Books

As we've discussed in the past, I like to read. I like to read A LOT. The only time I ever had to sit out at recess in elementary school was when my teacher found me reading a Babysitter's Club book tucked into my Social Studies textbook and I was frequently yelled at for turning my light back on after bedtime to read FAR later than any 10-year-old should. In a normal week where I'm allowed to do my job, I probably read 2-4 books; in a furlough week I'm reading at least one every two days. They're all paranormal-esque escape/adventure/romance stories. Stories with FANTASTIC writing, world-building, dialogue, and three-dimensional characters and absolutely nothing relatable to real life. Luckily, I've found friends who like to read the same. I typed out an email of my faves to several of them a few years ago and just updated it. As I was furiously typing over 100 book titles the other night, James finally looked over and said, "WHAT are you working on??"

"A vampire romance novel list," I relied without looking up.


I mean, literally what else do I have to do right now?

So, because I've already done all the typing, and because I really need more books, I thought I'd publish the list I sent my friends, somewhat in order of what I'm most excited to recommend and with some commentary. So pour a cup of tea/frozen margarita, and let's discuss.

None of the books below are appropriate for children

Ilona Andrews- husband/wife writing team, they have several series and the writing, dialogue, world-building, and fight scenes are fantastic. I've never re-read a book purely for the sword fight choreography before. All the series are solidly in the "urban fantasy" genre which is not a genre I knew existed, but it's like an action-filled subsection of paranormal romance. Kate Daniels is their largest and I adore it, but Hidden Legacy might be my sleeper fave?

Kate Daniels series - their longest series. I love it because it's different and fun and pulls in all sorts of mythology for its magic stories. The first book is kind of odd, but push through. They get much more light-hearted and smooth.

1. Magic Bites
2. Magic Burns
3. Magic Strikes
4. Magic Bleeds
4.5 Magic Dreams (novella re: Dali)
5. Magic Slays
6.5 Gunmetal Magic (novella re: Andrea)
6. Magic Rises
7. Magic Breaks
7.5 Magic Steals (novella re: Dali)
8. Magic Shifts
9. Magic Binds
10. Magic Triumphs

Iron Covenant - new spin-off series from Kate Daniels that I am LOVING. Read the first one between the 9th and 10th books of Kate Daniels.

1. Iron and Magic
2. Unnamed (expected 2019)

Hidden Legacy series - LOVE. Super fun series about powerful magical families, set in a fictional Houston, TX.

1. Burn for Me
2. White Hot
3. Wildfire
4. Diamond Fire (novella; switches POV from Nevada to Catalina)
5. Sapphire Flames (expected 2019; will continue Catalina's story)

The Edge Series - Older series, very fun; two characters pop up again in Innkeeper.

1. On the Edge
2. Bayou Moon
3. Fate's Edge
4. Steel's Edge

Innkeeper series - A magical inn that can change shape, etc. and serves as a way-point for visitors from space passing through Earth. The Innkeeper is Dina, a great character, who runs it all.

1. Clean Sweep
2. Sweep in Peace
3. One Fell Sweep
4. Sweep of the Blade

Kresley Cole

Immortals After Dark series- super fun paranormal romance series; lots of action, sex, and strong female characters. She pays impeccable attention to detail by an author who has written a TON of books and somehow they all weave together.

1. The Warlord Wants Forever (it used to be part of an anthology but you can now buy it on its own. You don't have to read it first, I'd probably read it after Hunger Like No Other which was originally written to be the first book and gives you more background, though Warlord happens chronologically before it).
2. A Hunger Like No Other
3. No Rest for the Wicked
4. Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night
5. Dark Needs at Night’s Edge
6. Dark Desires After Dusk
7. Kiss of a Demon King
8. “Untouched” (supposedly found in the A Deep Kiss of Winter Anthology, but I've never found it)
9. Pleasure of a Dark Prince
10. Demon from the Dark
11. Dreams of a Dark Warrior
12. Lothaire
13. Shadow’s Claim (The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist, a new spin-off series that follows the characters and fits in spot 13 chronologically- it was very good)
14. MacRieve
15. Dark Skye
16. Sweet Ruin
17. Wicked Abyss
18. Shadow's Seduction
19. Munro (expected 2019)

The Arcana Chronicles- YA series by Cole that I ADORE. A creative premise (a set of teens become the Major Arcana from the Tarot cards and have to battle it out to win the game); there's also an excellent love triangle. It's very teenage angsty but for some reason I absolutely love it.

1. Poison Princess
2. Endless Knight
3. Dead of Winter
4. Arcana Rising
0. Day Zero (prequel that shows every character's POV on the first day of the Flash)
5. The Dark Calling
6. (Final book expected 2019)

Gamemaker Series - erotica trilogy; #1 and #3 are okay, but the 2nd book is one of my faves ever and I re-read it all the time. The characters are great.

1. The Professional
2. The Master
3. The Player

MacCarrick Trilogy - a trilogy about three Scottish brothers; one of her first series, they're more traditional historical romance.
1. If You Dare
2. If You Desire
3. If You Deceive

Nalini Singh - Psy/Changling series. One of my newer authors; I'm currently reading this one (on #14 and sad there's only one left). Super fun and different, it's a world made up of the Psy (super smart, intellectual, mind powers and telepathy abound), Changelings (wolf, leopard, and other shape shifters), and Humans (as always, we totally get the short end of the stick).

1. Slave to Sensation
2. Visions of Heat
3. Caressed by Ice
4. Mine to Possess
5. Hostage to Pleasure
6. Branded by Fire
7. Blaze of Memory
8. Bonds of Justice
9. Play of Passion
10. Kiss of Snow (my fave!)
11. Tangle of Need
12. Heart of Obsidian
13. Shield of Winter
14. Shards of Hope
15. Allegiance of Honour

Guild Hunter series. Archangels and the women who love them! Also vampires. This was the first Nalini Sing series I read, but I think I like the Psy/Changeling one even better.

1. Angel's Blood
2. Archangel's Kiss
3. Archangel's Consort
4. Archangel's Blade
5. Archangel's Storm
6. Archangel's Legion
7. Archangel's Shadows
8. Archangel's Enigma
9. Archangel's Heart
10. Archangel's Viper
11. Archangel's Prophecy
12. Archangel's War (coming 2019)

Larissa Ione, Demonica series. Ione is an Air Force vet and trained medic turned author and one of my top tier faves. Darker than the series and author recommended above, she's a great writer and I enjoy the creativity of her worlds. Apparently she came up with the idea of this first one when she was watching Buffy when a vampire got hurt and she wondered, where would they go? and so this demon hospital series was born. These are definitely on the steamier side and the first is a little more intense than the others, but the writing and characters are great and I feel like she really hit her groove as the series goes on.

1. Pleasure Unbound
2. Desire Unchained
3. Passion Unleashed
4. Ecstasy Unveiled
5. Sin Undone

Lords of Deliverance. Spin-off from the Demonica series, book 1 picks up immediately at the end of book 5 above; I LOVED this series- it's a little darker, but for whatever reason, it completely captured me and you still get to see your favorite characters from the series before.

1. Eternal Rider
2. Immortal Rider
3. Lethal Rider
4. Rogue Rider

Demonica Heritage/Underworld. (More spin-offs and novellas, in order, interweaving all the characters from the earlier books and adding new ones while continuing the overall plot line).

1. Reaver
2. Azagoth
3. Revenant
4. Hades
5. Z
6. Razr
7. Hawkyn
8. Her Guardian Angel

Moonbound Clan. New vampire/werewolf type series by Ione. I like it, but she isn't publishing the books very fast and I'm not sure where it's going.

1. Bound by Night
2. Chained by Night
3. Forsaken by Night

Gena Showalter - Lords of the Underworld. I enjoy this series a lot. The first few are a little dark, but then they lighten up and the brother/sister-like relationships between all the characters really shine.

0.5 The Darkest Fire
1. The Darkest Night
2. The Darkest Kiss
3. The Darkest Pleasure
3.5. The Darkest Prison
4. The Darkest Whisper
4.5 The Darkest Angel
5. The Darkest Passion
6. The Darkest Lie
7. The Darkest Secret
8. The Darkest Surrender
9. The Darkest Seduction
10. The Darkest Craving
11. The Darkest Touch
12. The Darkest Torment
13. The Darkest Promise
14. The Darkest Warrior
14.5. The Darkest Captive
5. The Darkest King (expected 2019)

White Rabbit Chronicles. YA series by Showalter that I enjoyed far more than I expected. I was sad the series ended.

1. Alice in Zombieland
2. Through the Zombie Glass
3. The Queen of Zombie Hearts
4. A Mad Zombie Party

Jeaniene Frost - Night Huntress/Cat & Bones series; a fun series that's not my very top tier (Ilona Andrews/Kresley Cole/Larissa Ione forever), but is at the top of my tier #2. I find Cat (the heroine) occasionally annoying, but overall, it's well-done. I also enjoyed the spin-offs (noted below) even more than the original. These are the books in the order you should read them, with all the series and spin-off mixed together:

1. Halfway to the Grave
2. One Foot in the Grave
3. At Grave's End
4. Destined for an Early Grave
5. First Drop of Crimson (spin-off re: Denise)
6. Eternal Kiss of Darkness (spin-off re: Mencheres)
7. This Side of the Grave (Cat & Bones)
8. One Grave at a Time (Cat & Bones)
9. Once Burned (spin-off series re: Vlad)
10. Twice Tempted (Vlad book 2)
11. Up from the Grave (final Cat & Bones)
12. Bound by Flames (Vlad book 3)
13. Into the Fire (Vlad book 4)
14. Shades of Wicked (new series re: Ian; loved it)
15. Wicked Bite (Ian book 2, coming July 2019)

Karen Marie Moning - Fever series. These are a cult favorite. I have SO MANY criticisms of them and yet I don't think I've ever read a series faster or sacrificed my sleep more. They're like crack in book form. It's hard to describe. They take place in Dublin when the "wall" between the fae world and the human world comes down and chaos ensues. The main female character is Mackayla and she annoys me about 50% of the time. The main male character is Barrons and you like him very much once you figure out if he's good or bad. The series continues to add more characters and somehow lots of things happen and absolutely nothing really happens. Like I said, it's inexplicable. They have a million reviews and a cult-like following and yet, I can't even explain why I read them so fast. (I know this is a middling review, but they are inexplicable to me. I even re-read the series and still stayed up until 2 and 3 a.m. to finish each book. I can't explain it. Oh! there's also a prequel series- the Highlanders that I think were better written and yet somehow less addictive. I don't know. [shrug emoji])

Highlander series

1. Beyond the Highland Mist
2. To Tame a Highland Warrior
3. The Highlander's Touch
4. Kiss of the Highlander
5. The Dark Highlander
6. The Immortal Highlander
7. Spell of the Highlander
8. Into the Dreaming

Fever series

1. Darkfever
2. Bloodfever
3. Faefever
4. Dreamfever
5. Shadowfever
6. Iced
7. Burned
8. Feverborn
9. Feversong
10. High Voltage

Patricia Briggs - Mercy Thompson series. Mercy is an auto mechanic in the Pacific Northwest. She's also a coyote shape shifter. A fun series; not in my top tier, but solidly in the second. Some of the pack interactions with Mercy get annoying, but I liked the last one more than most of the ones that have been in the middle so far.

1. Moon Called
2. Blood Bound
3. Iron Kissed
4. Bone Crossed
5. Silver Borne
6. River Marked
7. Frost Burned
8. Night Broken
9. Fire Touched
10. Silence Fallen
11. Storm Cursed (coming May 2019)

Alpha and Omega spin-off series - I never loved this as much as I felt I was supposed to, but friends disagree and I did enjoy them.
1. On the Prowl
2. Cry Wolf
3. Hunting Ground
4. Fair Game
5. Dead Heat
6. Burn Bright

Cassandra Clare - Shadowhunters series

Mortal Instruments - I enjoyed this, but it got a little repetitive by the end and it can be pretty YA angsty. (Some recommend reading books 1-3 of this, then the prequel Infernal Devices series, then books 4-6 of Mortal Instruments; I just read Infernal Devices first and then all of Mortal Instruments, but that's just because I found that series first).

1. City of Bones
2. City of Ashes
3. City of Glass
4. City of Fallen Angels
5. City of Lost Souls
6. City of Heavenly Fire

Infernal Devices - prequel series to Mortal Instruments; I found this first and enjoyed it more than I ended up enjoying the original.
1. Clockwork Angel
2. Clockwork Prince
3. Clockwork Princess

(In between these series are The Bane Chronicles, The Shadowhunter's Codex, and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy.)

Dark Artifices- my fave series of hers so far
1. Lady Midnight
2. Lord of Shadows
3. Queen of Air and Darkness

Nora Roberts - In Death series. A super fun futuristic true crime romance series. There are 49 in this series (I just listed the first 12) and I read all of them on maternity leave for Cora and stay up with each as they're published every 6 months or so. Written by Nora Roberts under the pseudonym JD Robb, they are very different from her usual romance fluff. Eve Dallas is the kickass New York police homicide lieutenant and Roarke is the crazy rich super sexy guy she ends up entangled with in the first book. Each book has it's own murder she's trying to solve (and, spoiler alert, she always does), while the overall plot of her romance, her friendships, etc. all grow. Some of the murders can be pretty rough, but they're the only mystery/crime type series I've ever really enjoyed. The first ten or so are so good I re-check them out to re-read all the time. (Fun note: the first book was written in 1995 and takes place in 2050; it's fun seeing what she got right about the future and what we will definitely not be able to do even 30 years from now.)

1. Naked in Death
2. Glory in Death
3. Immortal in Death
4. Rapture in Death
5. Ceremony in Death
6. Vengeance in Death
7. Holiday in Death
8. Conspiracy in Death
9. Loyalty in Death
10. Witness in Death
11. Judgment in Death
12. Betrayal in Death

JR Ward - Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Another one I have to almost apologize for. I love LOVE the first 8 or 9 books in this series. Then she starts to repeat herself and forgets to expand the universe she created. I still read them whenever she publishes one, but I no longer buy them and re-read them a dozen times. But book #3 is really one of my all time favorites and I've read it at least ten times. Her "voice" sometimes gets annoying - she's writing about a brotherhood of macho vampires and her macho "talk" comes off as fairly ridiculous, but then again, Landon says "bro" now, so who am I to say?

1. Dark Lover
2. Lover Eternal
3. Lover Awakened
4. Lover Revealed
5. Lover Unbound
6. Lover Enshrined
7. Father Mine (novella)
8. Lover Avenged
9. Lover Mine
10. Lover Unleashed
11. Lover Reborn
12. Lover at Last
13. The King
14. The Shadows
15. Blood Kiss
16. The Beast
17. Blood Vow
18. The Chosen
19. Blood Fury
20. Dearest Ivie
21. The Thief
22. Prisoner of Night
23. The Savior

(She has other series like the Fallen Angels and Bourbon Kings. Fallen Angels is okay; Bourbon Kings was fairly terrible.)

Lisa Kleypas - Wallflowers series- Great historical romance author (she has some modern day romance that are pretty good, but I'm not a modern romance reader) I always read when I want something lighter. The Wallflowers series is a particular favorite, but I like everything she's written.

1. Secrets of a Summer Night
2. It Happened One Autumn
3. A Devil in Winter
4. Scandal in the Spring
5. A Wallflower Christmas (novella)

Again the Magic
is sort of a prequel to the Wallflowers (it involves one of the main character's older sister and is fantastic) and The Hathaways is also great and has some overlapping characters.

The Gamblers series (prequel and slight overlap with the Wallflowers)

1. Then Came You - a favorite; I re-read this all the time. Cora was nearly named Lily.
2. Dreaming of You

The Ravenels - a spin-off series from the Wallflowers, bumped about about 15 years in time. #1 wasn't my favorite, but it had good background. I thoroughly enjoyed #2-4.

1. Cold Hearted Rake (not my fave, but good background)
2. Marrying Winterbourne
3. Devil in Spring
4. Hello Stranger
5. Devil's Daughter (expected Feb. 2019)

Julia Quinn - Bridgerton series. Very fun, light Regency romance series about a family with 8 siblings; each kid grows up over the series and gets their book/happily ever after.

1. The Duke and I
2. The Viscount Who Loved Me
3. An Offer from a Gentleman
4. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
5. To Sir Philip with Love
6. When He Was Wicked
7. It's In His Kiss
8. On the Way to the Wedding

Pierce Brown - Red Rising. Fabulous urban fantasy series; lots of action, great world-building.

1. Red Rising
2. Golden Son
3. Morning Star
4. Iron Gold
5. Dark Age (expected 2019)

Marie Lu - Legend Trilogy. YA urban fantasy series; easy reads, but fun.
1. Legend
2. Prodigy
3. Champion

Sharon Kay Penman- very heavily researched historical fiction; can sometimes be dense, but she makes characters who died over 1,000 years ago come alive. My favorite was her Welsh series, but her Plantagenet series about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine series is also excellent.

Welsh series
1. Here Be Dragons
2. Falls the Shadow
3. The Reckoning

1. When Christ and His Saints Slept
2. Time and Chance
3. Devil's Brood

Other series I've attempted and/or abandoned
- Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones - I liked it quite a lot for the first 7 or 8 and then I just found Charley too annoying.
- The Hollows by Kim Harrison - I read this whole series and always felt I should like it more than I did. It's worth reading, and there were whole books and plot lines I really really liked, but some of the characters just never made sense to me.
- October Daye series by Seanan McGuire - I tried, I really did. I read one, forced myself halfway through the second and for one of the only times in my life, abandoned a book mid-read. She just never came alive for me.
- Anita Blake series by Laurell Hamilton - Same as above, though I think I read three of them before giving up.

Let me know if you have any others I should read!


  1. Have you read Charmaine Harris’s Southern Vampire Series? (What True Blood is based on). Not paranormal, but Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is fun and fluffy. My favorite books in recent years is Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series. Also not completely paranormal, but very engaging. Told in first person from the detective’s view and they are not trustworthy narrators.

  2. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

    I read this really fast and liked it a lot, although it did not grab me and suck me in like the Hunger Games did. The premise is this: what if, after the Battle of Gettysburg, the dead rose up and the zombie apocalypse began? How would the race relations, politics and social caste of the 1860s respond to the threat? (Spoiler: wealthy white landowners wouldn't be the ones on the front lines killing zombies). Meet Jane McKeene, born in Kentucky two days before the dead rose to a white father and a Black mother, in the middle of her education at Miss Preston's School of Combat for Negro Girls in Baltimore. A school for young women of color in the post-Reconstruction South, who, if they learn all the best zombie-slaying techniques (sickle, rifle, spiked batons, Remington single-action revolver, or a pair of "Mollies" short swords named after Molly Hartranft who lead the first wave defense of Philadelphia when first attacked by "shamblers" PLEASE let there be a Molly Haartranft book next...) might become Attendants, personal body guards to the well-to-do. An Attendant must, of course be schooled in etiquette, fashion (no corsets, hoop skirts or bustles) and customs that allow them to circulate in high society while cutting down the undead discreetly and swiftly supplying smelling salts to their delicate charges.

    To be fair, my husband and I are hobby cosplayers who never miss New York ComicCon; when I say I was "sucked in," that meant I was crafting my own Capitol couture to wear to the first showing of Mockingjay: Part 1 at midnight in Manhattan) I liked Dread Nation, but I'm not sewing my own antebellum zombie slaying dress.

  3. Long time reader and sporadic commenter - OMG, I have been waiting for a LL book list forever. I've read so many of these! If you need any more ... Sarah Maclean is a great, feminist, historical romance writer. Her stuff is feisty and sexy! Off to read some more during our northeast blizzard....Elisabeth

  4. I have a YA author to suggest - Sarah J. Maas. She has two main series - Throne of Glass (the 7th and final book came out this past fall) and A Court of Thorns and Roses (I think she has a couple more books planned).

    Fun fantasy magic worlds with interesting characters. Despite writing both series somewhat concurrently they are different - though they do both have strong female protagonists.

    1. Sorry I didn't mean for it to show as "unknown" - Jeanne

    2. I was going to recommend these! If you binge them the romance/angst sort of tends to blend together but she writes amazing action and the characters are pretty good. (Now I'll have to go check out the books you've listed!)

    3. Yup, Sarah Maas is a MUST! Both series mentioned above are two of my all time favorites!

  5. I devoured the Kate Daniels series (and love the Iron Covenant series so far) because of you - I'll be checking out all of these! That was my first foray into fantasy besides Harry Potter, but another one I loved was Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (sequel coming soon!!). I have LOVED all the books by her that I've read (fangirl is a good one to start with, and then read Carry On, because that's where you're introduced a bit to the world of Carry On) - both are YA. Not fantasy, but she also wrote Eleanor & Park which was a beautiful book.

  6. I'm a similarly huge reader and I just finished a series so I'm also seeking a new one.
    Ilona Andrews is top-tier forever for me. I also love Lisa Kleypas and will read any new Bridgerton book. I did really enjoy Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega; I also got into October Daye more than you did - although I liked her Incryptid series even more.

    My top recommendation based on what you've described above - Gail Carriger's Parasolverse. Vampires, werewolves, lots of humor, good romance. Start with Soulless, the first in her main adult series (5 in that one). The YA series in the same universe are also a lot of fun; one before, one after (incomplete).

    And then my second-highest recommendation is the Lady Sherlock series by Sherry Thomas. She's done both YA fantasy and romance; this is a completely different historical and completely enchanting. I find her Charlotte Holmes completely fascinating and hilarious. There are 3 books out so far and there's some satisfying romance in there.

    Some more fantasy-type recommendations: Robin McKinley writes one-off books (mostly) but they're among my most re-read. Sunshine is a fantastic modern vampire book. Shadows is an awesome, fantastical world. Her books definitely check the well-written and sense of humor boxes. Similarly, the fantasy books by Diana Wynne Jones are great reads. Patricia Wrede has a wonderful YA series, Frontier Magic, that has never gotten the love I think it deserves - it follows a girl living at the boundary of a somewhat-tamed almost-America and the magically wild West.

    One pure romance series I'm a fan of is Julie Anne Long's Pennyroyal Green. It's historical with the series going through different siblings in two feuding families. And have you tried Courteney Milan? She's an auto-buy for me; her Brothers Sinister historical series is a great starting point.

    I put off reading Terry Pratchett for a very, very long time, but ended up actually loving them - but some way more than others. It's a complicated, interwoven universe, but it's also great because there's a huge backlist :-) I'd recommend reading the City Watch books to start (I could not get into the "original" starting point, the Rincewind books, and I've never actually read some of them), followed by maybe the Witches and then Tiffany Aching. I also absolutely loved the Moist Von Lipvig series. I used this visual to figure out which books to read within each sub-series:

    If you haven't read Rainbow Rowell, I recommend everything she's every written. She crosses genres, but even when I've put off reading a new release because it doesn't seem like it'll be my thing, it ends up being one of my favorite books of the year.

    Seconding the Charlaine Harris recommendation! The Sookie Stackhouse books were fun reads and her other paranormal series have been very good.

    I just read some Shelly Laurenston series for the first time and they were similar paranormal romance reads if you're looking for more directly along those lines. Maybe The Crows?

  7. Oliver Potzcsh’s The Hangman’s Daughter series. It’s historical drama set in Bavaria. It’s fabulous. The author is a relative of the hangman.

    Try Penryn and the End of Days by Susan Ee, another YA trilogy....about the war between angels and humans kind of get caught in the middle.

    Also, Asfall Trilogy by Mike Mullen.its a YA series about the moon getting too close to earth after an asteroid hits it.

    Finally...dig into The Passage Trilogy by Justin Cronin.

    The Night Circus is fantastic, and so is The
    Bloodletter’s Daughter. Stand alone books...not series.

  8. We like so many of the same authors! I second whoever mentioned Sarah MacLean. 9 Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake is one of my all time favorite romance novels. I would add Deanna Raybourne, particularly her Veronica Speedwell series, but she also has the Lady Julia Grey series and some interconnected stand alones that are quite good.
    For contemporary romance (non urban fantasy) I also really like Alyssa Cole and Jasmine Guillory. Her Wedding Date was fun, but The Proposal was great. I want to be friends with the characters in that book :)
    Have you read Cinder/Cress/Scarlet by Marissa Meyer? They are the retelling of fairy tales with a sci-fi twist.
    And not fiction, but I just finished the book Bad Blood about the company Theranos and it was a fascinating read that might appeal to an SEC lawyer.
    I'm off to check out Larissa Ione...

  9. Definitely Sarah Maclean and Courtney Milan if you like Lisa Kleypas! Maclean's Scoundrels series is so good, as is her "by the numbers" series, mentioned above, starting with 9 Rules to Break. Check out Sarah Maclean's website for extensive book recommendations-- she has a lengthy detailed list of her recommendations (of other authors, not just her own stuff). It's a fantastic source.

  10. No vampires and shifters per se, but I think you'd really like Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. It has the feel of Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series (which I read afterwards. Technically YA but well executed and I was sad there were so few books. I didn't think I really liked Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series (about a werewolf radio talk show host), but I powered through the first one, blinked, and suddenly I'd read them all (15 books!). Everything Anne Bishop writes is wonderful. Her Black Jewels series is one of my all-time re-read favorites, and her Others series is great, though getting a bit repetitive as it goes on. Have you ever read Jacqueline Carey? The Kushiel series is beautifully written, though the first one takes a while to get into and the second trilogy is good as well. The third was too much, but she has several other short series that are excellent (Agent of Hel and Santa Olivia, in particular).

  11. I can’t wait to check some of these out. I blew through the red rising series after you recommended them last year.

    Sarah J. Maas not being on your list makes me sad - and it will make you sad you didn’t read them sooner when you pick them up ����

    I can’t remember if Gabaldon’s Outlander is on your radar? It lacks vampires but makes up for it in Scottish studliness.

  12. Thank you for this! You introduced me to so many new authors that I love! I just read Deborah Harkness' A Discovery of Witches and now I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the trilogy.

  13. Vote #4 for Sarah MacLean. I read historical romance in high school and fell out of love until you introduced me to The Bridgertons and The Wallflowers. Sarah MacLean is the only historical author that, IMO, can top Kleypas. All of MacLean's books take place in the same "world" so her characters float through the books. I have attempted 18 gushy sentences on how happy I was to find her books, but they all sound ridiculous. Suffice it to say - you need to read her. I'm so desperate to read what she writes, I follow her on Twitter.

    Also - MacLean and @JenReadsRomance are doing a book by book podcast of IAD.

    For more historical romance, Tessa Dare and Eloisa James both get 5 stars every time. James gets 8 stars for A Duke of Her Own because Villiers is my favorite villainous hero.

    If you ever choose to dabble in contemporary, Kate Canterbary's Walsh series will not disappoint.

  14. If you like Marie Lu, check out Julie Kagawa! I'm not much for romance, but I love fantasy of all sorts.

  15. The Chicagoland Vampire series by Chloe Neill are enjoyable- super strong female protagonist. Fun fact, Chloe Neill is a pen name. She is a practicing attorney in the Midwest.

  16. Here's a totally fun one that I haven't seen: Kylie Chan's 'Dark Heavens' trilogy. I read it when I lived in Australia in my early 20s and they brought it over to the US around 2018. She added several more continuing series & wrapped up the storyline in 2016 with 9 books altogether. Australian nanny finds herself working in a Taoist god's household & is brought into political intrigue and martial arts. She herself grows very powerful over the course of the series and there's quite a lot of romance. It's really fun, and completely different than anything I've ever read before. I hope you enjoy!

  17. Try the Casquette girls series (book 3 of a 4 book series just came out) by Alys Arden!