Sookie Stackhouse (The Southern Vampire Mysteries) by Charlaine Harris. There are currently 8 books in the series with the next book due out in May. I read these books before HBO picked up the series True Blood which is based on them. I find the show to be slow, but that is probably because I am years down the road in Sookie Stackhouse's life. (and you can never really fully adapt a book to the screen you just miss all of the characters thoughts and feelings)
The series takes place in Louisiana and is about Sookie who is telepathic, works in a bar, lives with her grandmother, and does not have luck with men. Through recent laws passed vampires are now legal citizens. This has changed life in the small town of Bon Temps. The town is very racist to the newly revealed vampires. Bill the vampire moves in next door to her and she discovers that she cant hear his thoughts or the thoughts of any other vampire. Bill becomes her boyfriend and with that relationship she goes deep into the vampire community and catches the eye of many other vampires.
The series includes Shape Shifters, Ware Animals, Witches, Fairies and few other magical creatures that make this world very interesting and unpredictable. There is a string of different love interest throughout the series that will have you wanting more. There is also always someone who is trying to get Sookie killed or put in danger the ones she loves. I recommend this series as an introduction to the Vampire Romance/Mystery category.
The next series I recommend is Riley Jensen (Guardian Series) by Keri Arthur. I have read 6 of the 7 books in the series and I intend to complete the 7th in the next few days. The next installment in the series is due out in October. This series is about Riley Jenson half Vampire half Werewolf. This series dives more into the
werewolf side of things that is lacking from the other series. It follow her and her job which starts off as an office worker it the Directorate of Other Races but it evolves into the Guardian job that her boss keeps steering her towards.
Riley's twin brother is kidnapped and with a naked Vampire who has amnesia that is on her doorstep she sets out to find her brother. These books have a lot of fight scenes that are very visual, it is real easy to hold your breath through a few pages before you realize you are even doing it.
Riley goes through a string of conflicted lovers and relationships that leaves you as a reader unable to decide who to pull for. The nonstop action makes these books a very fast read. This series takes you deep into an unknown world that you could never imagine existed. I recommend this book if you are looking for a good Vampire Romance/Mystery with a window into the world or Werewolves.
The final and my favorite of the three series is the Anita Blake (Vampire Hunter) by Laurell K Hamilton. I have read 15 of the 16 books in the series (I cant seem to find a copy of Blood Noir anywhere and had to place a special order that is taking forever to come in) The 17th in the series is due out in June.
This series is about Anita Blake who is a necromancer (someone who raises zombies) by day and a legal vampire hunter by night. She is known in the vampire world as The Executioner because of her high kill count. Anita also a part of the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team RPIT which is the department of the police that deals in all crimes involving a monster of sorts.
Anita is torn between relationships and and her own moral hang-ups. This series goes deep into the Vampire and Werewolf community and a few other things that seen to fit right into this world of mayhem. Hamilton has done a really good job with describing this world so that you can imagine everything that Anita is experiencing. You also get to learn about weapons, which was never really my thing but it is put out there in such an interesting way that you can't help but want more.
This series is never dull for even a moment, you are constantly taken from one thing to the next without any time to breathing. There is also such a long list of characters that you never get bored with the same personalities.
I highly recommend this series to anyone who is interested in the Vampire Romance/Mystery. One of the best things about it is the amount of books in the series. I read very fast reader and I was on this series of books for awhile and never got bored. I cant wait for the next book in the line up.
Any book suggestions or comments please let me know!