I am not a huge vampire fan. Oh, I read Anne Rice and found those books to be riveting, ten, twelve, however many years ago but now for the most part, tormented immortal beings sucking blood, eh.
My daughter loves the Twilight series, loves, loves, loves them. To me, it’s the same old, same old (this is not to say I am not thrilled with Stephanie Meyer’s success...because hey, go Stephanie, it’s always great when a work inspires that many millions of people to read. :) )
But if I’m going to read vampires, I want the story to be extraordinary. Enter J.R. Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Just finished Lover Avenged last Saturday, a treat because I’ve been writing like a fiend so I haven’t read anything for weeks.
Ward manages to craft a vampire series that is totally rockin’ by changing up the story. Vampires have their own society, their own governing system. They don’t prey on humans, don’t drink human blood (because...yuck!). The Brotherhood protects vampires and humans from the Lessers. This series is brilliant. Every single vampire has major trauma to overcome and their character arc is intense and fascinating. She manages to layer in multiple subplots, and although the main romance is wrapped up, she always has some unresolved complication for the reader to contemplate building anticipation for the next in the series. So that is me being analytical, now for the gushy reader stuff...the pace is unbelievably fast, the action brutal yet not gratuitous, the sexual tension is incredibly hot, and the story is over in a blink.
If you haven’t read this series, I suggest starting with the first Dark Lover. My favorite was the story of Butch and Marissa in Lover Revealed, but they are all excellent. And you can bet that I will be at the bookstore on the day the next Lover book is on sale....