I’m coming to you today with a terrible confession. Though I’ve read hundreds of genre fiction books over the last few years, there are a few wildly successful/popular/beloved books and series that I’ve just not even touched. In such cases, when I mention to someone, “yeah, I’d really like to read that one,” I get a blank stare or disbelieving reply. “Uh…how can you not have read this yet?!”
I still can’t account for why that is. There are certain authors and series that I know I’ll love, if not from the first book, then after a few installments (such was my love affair with Anita Blake, from about book 3 to…maybe 16).
Hopefully, admitting the glaring holes in my reading resume will serve as the motivator needed to check the series out. With any luck (read: concerted effort), the following books will be read in no time.
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Dead Witch Walking (The Hollows #1) by Kim Harrison
All the creatures of the night gather in “the Hollows” of Cincinnati, to hide, to prowl, to party…and to feed.
Vampires rule the darkness in a predator-eat-predator world rife with dangers beyond imagining – and it’s Rachel Morgan’s job to keep that world civilized.
A bounty hunter and witch with serious sex appeal and an attitude, she’ll bring ‘em back alive, dead…or undead.
Urban fantasy story based in Cincinatti, Ohio. Rock on, right? ^_^ I proceed to absolutely adore strong, intelligent, alluring UF heroines. Rachel Morgan sounds like just that–you’ve gotta be to be the bounty hunter of big baddies, right?
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The Warlord Wants Forever (Immortals After Dark #1) by Kresley Cole
Nikolai Wroth, a ruthless vampire general, will stop at nothing to find his Bride, the one woman who can “blood” him, making his heart beat and filling him with strength. Coldly interested only in the power his Bride will bring, he can hardly believe when Myst the Coveted awakens him body—and soul.
Famed throughout the world as the most beautiful Valkyrie, Myst has devoted her life to protecting a magical jewel and to fighting the vampires. Wroth provides her with the perfect opportunity to torment her sworn enemy—for with his new heartbeat comes a consuming sexual desire that can only be slaked by her. Denying him, she flees, struggling to forget his searing, possessive kiss.
The Hunt is on…
She eludes him for five years, but he has finally chased her to ground and stolen her enchanted jewel, giving him absolute power over her. Now that she’s his for the taking, he intends to make her experience first-hand the agonizing, unending lust she subjected him to for half a decade. Yet when Nikolai realizes he wants far more than vengeance from Myst and frees her, will she come back to him?
My bad, Ms. Cole. I think it was the excitement surrounding your latest release, Lothaire, that really drove home the fact that you are a must-read in paranormal romance. Since the first short story(!!!) in the series has been offered at reduced price a few times (even free once, if I recall correctly), there’s very little excuse for a PNR fan to not have read at least one book in this series yet.
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Naked in Death (In Death #1) by J.D. Robb
It is the year 2058, and technology now completely rules the world. But New York City Detective Eve Dallas knows that the irresistible impulses of the human heart are still ruled by just one thing-passion.
When a senator’s daughter is killed, the secret life of prostitution she’d been leading is revealed. The high-profile case takes Lieutenant Eve Dallas into the rarefied circles of Washing-ton politics and society. Further complicating matters is Eve’s growing attraction to Roarke, who is one of the wealthiest and most influential men on the planet, devilishly handsome… and the leading suspect in the investigation.
I am in awe of the fact that this series, which I understand features the same protagonist, is well into the thirties of its release sequence. Thirty-four installments (and counting) of sci-fi mystery featuring Eve Dallas (is that right, that she’s the protag every time?) and her Roarke; something must be going very well.
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The Darkest Night (Lords of the Underworld #1) by Gena Showalter
His passion–Beyond immortal…
All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she’ll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member–a man trapped in a hell of his own.
Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments…and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction–and a soul-shattering test of love…
Though they carry an eternal curse, the Lords of the Underworld are irresistibly seductive–and unimaginably powerful…
That’s right. I’m totally ashamed to say it, but I’ve yet to read a single Gena Showalter book. It’s not for lack of desire to do so, of course…her various series–Lords of the Underworld, Alien Huntress, Atlantis (and Teen version) , Intertwined, Tales of an Extraordinary Girl–all look extremely engaging, and each series seems to have a different take on the paranormal. But where the heck to start???
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Virgin River (Virgin River #1) by Robyn Carr
“Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.”
When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she’s made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.
But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans…and a former marine cements them into place.
Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.
The Virgin River (and spinoff Promise Canyon) books seem to be a be a mainstay of contemporary romance. What book is the series on now… 5034, right? Seems like that sometimes. But these books seem like very sweet, heartwarming reads, the perfect way to spend a lazy day off.
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Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare
Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
Granted, I don’t read tons of YA, but I do love the kinds of themes and settings that seem to be central to Clare’s series. For one, her Infernal Devices books appear to have a definite steampunk edge to them. There’s all this talk about film adaptations and the like. That’s when you know you’ve got to get on the train before a horrible movie version throws you off of the series forever. Heh…
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Sadly, the list goes on from there. My apologies to the likes of Diana Gabaldon, Stacia Kane, and Keri Arthur for missing out on their greatest hits. Someday. Someday soon. ^_^
Are there any books or series that you haven’t read yet, to the surprise and dismay of your bookish buddies (and more importantly–yourself)???