A Rush of Wings has literally so many different types of romance in it. Technically, it's an Urban Fantasy romance, but really, it has romantic suspense elements, paranormal romance elements, contemporary romance elements, rockstar romance elements. It is so freaking good. And the reason it fits this list so well is that the hero is not only a moody, mouthy vampire who looks like someone in his early twenties, he is 100% based on Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails. Complete with leather pants, boots, and torn t-shirts. Plus allllll the goth accessories.
I love the dichotomy of having a grungy-goth rockstar and an FBI agent as the protagonist. I love that it’s set in New Orleans and the club scene it portrays. The overall vibe is very dense and dark, which fits really well with the main character and his band. I also loved that the heroine is an FBI agent and takes no shit from anyone, not even the vampires she ends up getting involved with. And I adored that she was supposed to be proving that he was guilty of a crime, but instead ended up saving him. I’m weak for that enemy to lovers trope across all romance.
This is just generally being one of my favorite books of all time even before I got into writing myself, now, as an author, I can see how one can blend multiple types of genres together in a single story. I also think this is the first book that I read where I really, truly was rooting for the anti-hero. I love the idea that it’s not only the good guys, and the nice guys who deserve love and affection. The heroine is also pretty flawed. So, in that same vein of thinking, messy girls, the ones who some readers will find unlikeable, really deserve to have their stories told just like the good girls do.