The best vampire books for adults

J.D. Brown Author Of Dark Heirloom (An Ema Marx Novel)
By J.D. Brown

The Books I Picked & Why

Interview with the Vampire

By Anne Rice

Book cover of Interview with the Vampire

Why this book?

I read Interview at the impressionable young age of nine. I still remember randomly picking it up from the library shelf like it was yesterday. If my mother had any idea the content I was reading—well, thank goodness she didn’t, haha. That book was my paranormal awakening, so to speak. It sparked my obsession with horror and dark fantasy. Since then I’ve devoured everything from Bram Stoker to Stephenie Meyer.


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Guilty Pleasures: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel

By Laurell K. Hamilton

Book cover of Guilty Pleasures: An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel

Why this book?

In my mind, Hamilton is the queen of Urban Fantasy. She wrote dark, gritty heroines who didn’t apologize for being sexually active—and she did it before it was cool. Anita Blake is like a more mature version of Buffy. Everyone should read that series at least once. 


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Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires)

By Chloe Neill

Book cover of Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires)

Why this book?

I’m biased. Some Girls Bite takes place in Chicago, where I’m from, and where some of my own characters are from. It’s really cool to see how another author uses the city I grew up in and love. But aside from that nifty accolade, it’s a fun well-written story with mature themes. The main character, Merit, is no shrinking violet. She can kick ass and take names with the best of them, which is why I love her books. It would be amazing if our characters could meet mine someday. 


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Dark Lover

By J.R.Ward

Book cover of Dark Lover

Why this book?

Honestly, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this one. I don’t think any other vampire romance in the world grips its readers the way the Black Dagger Brotherhood series does. Yes, it’s a romance, but you won’t find any sugary sweetness or melodrama here. These characters are deep, flawed, and intoxicating in a way that always has me ripping through the pages, reading as fast as I can. The relationships are mature and complicated. There’s death and loss, children and family, toxic backstories, trauma…not all of them get a happy ending. Keep the tissues close. You have been warned. 


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Undead and Unwed: A Queen Betsy Novel

By MaryJanice Davidson

Book cover of Undead and Unwed: A Queen Betsy Novel

Why this book?

I’m including Undead & Unwed for those who don’t like dark & gritty themes like I do. I’m including it for the readers who like chick-lit and comedy—because this series is freaking hysterical. I would recommend it to fans of the Sookie Stackhouse series (oops, not me namedropping another title in there, haha). The main character, Betsy, is a vampire queen unlike any you’ve ever seen before with all the sass of the south between her fangs, and she’s having a very bad day… Go read it. You’ll be glad you did. 


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