Here are my recommendations (as per what I have read so far).
After reading the entire Twilight Saga, I immediately went onto the “Sookie Stackhouse” novels by Charlaine Harris (this is the series that the HBO show “True Blood” is based off of). This was a GREAT series, and while not exactly in the same “atmosphere” as the Twilight books (you know…the dreamy, deeply emotional, never-ending possessive love feel), there is a ton of romance, adventure, betrayal and an ongoing “love triangle” that just gets better as better, as the series continues. I was hooked and realized, that while this was not “Twilight”, I liked the series just as much.
After that, I went onto the Anita Blake series, and while I have read every book in that series, it is definitely in a world of it’s own. The vampires are more traditional (dead to the world during the day, and dangerous, sexy and mysterious at night).
Would I recommend going directly to that once you’ve finished the Twilight Saga? Mmmmm… not really… eventually (adults only!), just not yet. The Anita Blake series, for the first few books, concentrates mostly on adventure/danger and a *slight* love theme in the background. The first few books barely touch on the “romance” we came to love so much with Twilight. While there is some romantic tension, it simply drove me crazy when I’d finish each book, and still didn’t get much more than a slight “love scene” that was barely more then just a kiss and talk of attraction.
As the series progressed, 5 or 6 books in, we finally get some relief through a nice romance story and again the fun “love triangle” (and I was officially hooked), but at a certain point, a few books after that, the “romance” turns into full ADULT rated interactions, and become a whirlwind of “sexcapades” (some romance but mostly angsty drama mixed in with crazy, extremely descriptive sex). Essentially the triangle has practically turned into an octagon.
Future books in the series can be honestly exhausting, (at least in the romance/intimacy department). While I have read each one, I can say without a doubt that these, after “Obsidian Butterfly” may not appeal to readers more interested in a true romance story with adventure. Personally, I have enjoyed the series enough, and have become attached to some of the characters, so I will continue to read. While admittedly, the dominant sexual theme is relevant to the characters and situation at hand (an unwanted side effect of Anita’s situation), I found myself skipping over ALOT of pages involving most of these interactions. Let’s just say that while my mom and I love to talk about books we are reading, this is not one series that I would be willing to discuss with her!
Ok ok, so here are my recommendations for those addicted to love, and Vampires (and “shifters”), after the Twilight Saga:
I would say:
The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost (Lots of ROMANCE, and you’ll just love the two main characters. Lots of funny scenes, sad scenes, adventure – this whole series is just GREAT satisying fun!!)
Then, the Sookie Stackhouse Series (lots of books to read, funny scenes, TONS of romance, scary adventures in each, and two amazing Vampires that you’ll have a hard time choosing between -well, I know who my favorite is!) – This is actually my favorite series.
Next, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Each book focuses on one male and female character and the struggles they face for true love despite their “situation”. While each book has some action adventure in regards to an “enemy”, the enemy is mostly “blah” (except for book 3 – the adventure part was actually pretty decent), but the love story is always fantastic!
While all of the novels I have mentioned have some sexual interactions (not meant for young adults as the Twilight series was), a few of the series are slightly more detailed in the sexual interactions then others. Since I have never read any other romance novels, I can’t quite say whether these differ from regular books, but I thought I’d throw that in there.
I haven’t even put a dent in the amount of Vampire books I still have to read, so I know my opinions will change as I become more proficient in my Paranormal Romance library, however, anything that could help me get over my “Twilight fix” was good enough for me!
For MORE recommendations, read my recent post: “A Special Hug for My Sister-in-Law Who is in Mourning Over the Twilight Saga” (and scroll down through the comments to see what other reader’s suggest) – good stuff there!
01-30-2010: AN UPDATE: After a whole year of strictly reading the paranormal genre, I still love these books to death, and my “to be read” pile continues to grow. I still thank Stephenie Meyer for writing the Twilight Saga, allowing me to discover a whole section of books that I might have never perused before.
I have NEW recommendations for your post-Twilight reading (and really, this is just a sampling of the books that stand out in my head right now):
- The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead – Two half vampires training to protect vampire royalty, and struggling against their own mutual but forbidden attraction. Full of action, and plenty of romantic tension. 4 books with a 5th on the way.
- The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning – A human female discovers she is from a line of special fae “seers”. Learning how to use her newly discovered abilities with the help of some very powerful, mysterious (and heartbreakingly sexy) men, she realizes that the world as we know it, might just be about to end. Hrmmmm…Barrons or V’lane…? I still can’t choose…(you’ll see 😉 )
- The Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon – you will be occupied for weeks with this lengthy selection, about Greek Gods and gorgeous human but now un-dead warriors battling demons and vampires, all the while finding the loves of their lives. All in all, an excellent series. My world revolved around Acheron for awhile.
- The Argeneau Vampires series by Lynsay Sands – all in all, just good fun! They are hilarious! Some books have a touch of danger, but they are all extremely romantic.
- The Bourbon Street Trilogy by Kathy Love – I’m still stuck on these hot New Orleans vampires that just want to live normal lives. Playing in a cover band at a local bar, flirting with the tourist hotties, and dealing with their own deeply hidden turmoils.
Check out my other “favorites” lists: