The best vampire books with a unique, spicy bite

Selene Kallan Author Of Huntress Prey
By Selene Kallan

Who am I?

I’m a paranormal fantasy author who loves vampires. They’re my favorite supernatural creatures. I think my obsession with vamps started when I saw Underworld for the first time. I had watched Blade before and thought, “I’d like to see a movie with just as much action but also romance” and voila! Some prefer the darker, less romantic vampire stories in which the bloodsuckers are monsters, but I prefer to read and write stories where they’re more than just their hunger. So if you’re like me and like a good combination of vampire action and seduction, you will probably enjoy the books on my list. 


I wrote...

Huntress Prey

By Selene Kallan,

Book cover of Huntress Prey

What is my book about?

Born to be enemies. Bound by fate. Vampiress Valentine's dull immortal life takes a thrilling, dangerous turn when she meets Axel—a beautiful, lethal fae whose first impulse is to stake first and ask questions later. Vampires and fae have been at war for millennia. But cat mama Valentine is a puzzle to Axel. And Valentine is just as intrigued by the nerdy fae. The unlikely pair form a frail alliance that forges into friendship after a fateful night where they make new powerful enemies. But will their blossoming forbidden attraction survive the battle against their foes and inner demons?

★★★★★ “A sexy fantasy thriller with a Fae-Vampire romance that will have readers swooning.”—Laurie Forest, bestselling author of The Black Witch Chronicles.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Taken by Midnight: Midnight Breed Book 8

By Lara Adrian,

Book cover of Taken by Midnight: Midnight Breed Book 8

Why this book?

I love the entire Midnight Breed series. The lore is unlike what I've ever seen in most vampire books. The vampire race was born from alien fathers and human mothers with special talents. These vamps can see their reflections, are not allergic to holy water, and are very much alive. So sexily alive. I spent a solid hour trying to choose one favorite book from this series. They’re all so bloody good! However, Taken by Midnight has some of my fave tropes: badass heroine, protective but gentle hero, interracial relationship, and all the spice. If you like vampires with a unique twist, you’ll love this series.

Taken by Midnight: Midnight Breed Book 8

By Lara Adrian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Taken by Midnight as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Her desire for revenge is ice cold...

In the frozen wilds of the Alaskan interior, former state trooper Jenna Darrow was taken hostage by a deadly vampire who terrorized her for hours, feeding on her blood and leaving her more dead than alive. But Jenna did survive - albeit as an altered being...

Now Jenna wants revenge on that vampire, and for that she must turn to the very race of beings who terrify her the most: the Breed. But of all the Breed warriors it is Brock, the immense, forbidding male who makes Jenna feel most at ease. Even…


Blood Fury: Black Dagger Legacy

By J. R. Ward,

Book cover of Blood Fury: Black Dagger Legacy

Why this book?

Again, it’s so hard to choose between all the amazing books in The Black Dagger Brotherhood, and the Black Dagger Legacy series, but Blood Fury has one of my favorite M/M romances ever. Ruhn and Saxton aren’t even the main couple, but gods, do they steal the show! I got all the feels. I shivered and teared up, laughed, and swooned. Ruhn is a gentle giant, and Saxton has had his poor heart broken in quite a spectacular way, but they find each other, and… I’ll stop because I’ll spoil the awesomeness. The spice is hot as hell too, so don’t read in public ;)

Blood Fury: Black Dagger Legacy

By J. R. Ward,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood Fury as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this sexy paranormal romance novel set in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward tells the story of two couples - both fighting to find love in the midst of the war with the Lessening Society.

A vampire aristocrat, Peyton is well aware of his duty to his bloodline: mate with an appropriate female of his class and carry on his family's traditions. And he thought he'd found his perfect match - until she fell in love with someone else. Yet when his split-second decision in a battle with the…


Vampire Academy

By Richelle Mead,

Book cover of Vampire Academy

Why this book?

Friendship, loyalty, duty. These form a bond between Lissa, a moroi vampire princess, and Rose, her dhampir guardian. This was one of the first books I read with an unapologetically badass heroine, and I still love it to this day. Rose can be reckless and has enough cheek to share with an army, but she’s a wonderful friend and far more heroic than she gives herself credit for. And her forbidden attraction to Dimitri is fire! Vampire Academy puts a twist on the classic vampire lore, giving free will importance that I found interesting.

Vampire Academy

By Richelle Mead,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Vampire Academy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major TV series on SKY & NOWTV

ONLY A TRUE BEST FRIEND CAN PROTECT YOU FROM IMMORTAL ENEMIES . . .

Lissa Dragomir is a mortal vampire. She must be protected at all times from the fiercest and most dangerous vampires of all - the ones who will never die.

Rose Hathaway is Lissa's best friend - and her bodyguard.

Now, after two years of illicit freedom, they've been dragged back inside the iron gates of St. Vladimir's Academy. The girls must survive a world of forbidden romances, a ruthless social scene and terrifying night-time rituals. But above…


Balthazar

By Claudia Gray,

Book cover of Balthazar

Why this book?

This is the fifth book of the Evernight series by Claudia Gray, but I believe it can be read as a standalone. It’s my favorite, too. Here we see a more traditional approach to the vampire myth. Silver, stakes, and running water are weaknesses. I love Balthazar. He’s a bit brooding, but also interesting. The villains are truly chilling. You know what? I think I’m going to re-read this one right now. 

Balthazar

By Claudia Gray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Balthazar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For hundreds of years, the vampire Balthazar has been alone—without allies, without love.

When Balthazar agrees to help Skye Tierney, a human girl who once attended Evernight Academy, he has no idea how dangerous it will be. Skye’s newfound psychic powers have caught the attention of Redgrave, the cruel, seductive master vampire responsible for murdering Balthazar and his family four centuries ago. Now Redgrave plans to use Skye’s powers for his own evil purposes.

Balthazar will do whatever it takes to stop Redgrave and exact his long-awaited revenge against his killer. As Skye and Balthazar stand together to fight him,…


Underworld

By Greg Cox,

Book cover of Underworld

Why this book?

Underworld is my all-time favorite vampire movie. I’ve watched it about twenty times and will watch it many more. The novelization digs deeper into the world-building and adds a few more fascinating details. I totally recommend it for those who love the Underworld movies with madness like me, and also for people who want to read a unique twist of the vampire myth.

Underworld

By Greg Cox,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Underworld as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The centuries-long battle between vampires and werewolves has reached a new intensity under the streets of New York City. One young werewolf called Michael is determined to end the conflict, but high-ranking vampire Selene has the strength of ten men, and plans to use it to destroy the werewolves.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in vampires, social class, and psychic?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about vampires, social class, and psychic.

Vampires Explore 191 books about vampires
Social Class Explore 60 books about social class
Psychic Explore 51 books about psychic

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like True Grit, City of Bones, and Twilight if you like this list.