Here’s a list of known upcoming vampire romance book releases for December 2007

December 1
December 4
  • Beyond The Dark (anthology: Angela Knight, Emma Holly, Lora Leigh, Diane Whiteside)
December 10
December 12
December 18
December 26

Something Wicked by Catherine MulvanyIf you’re looking for a great vampire romance standalone read, look no further than Something Wicked by Catherine Mulvany.

This splendidly written tale of a blood feud, with roots in the Civil War era, between two vampires, one a handsome billionaire funding and running an archaeological dig in the California desert (Charles Cunningham Nash) and the other a vicious leader of a gang of fanged bikers (Harper Wakefield), has plot aplenty to sink your teeth into. What can I say, romance amidst a climate of unpredictable danger always makes for great reading, at least for me.

Our heroine, Regan Cluny, is an investigative reporter with a sterling reputation for getting to the truth, accurately. For her current story, she has her sights set on the secretive Charles Nash and his archaeology project, her interest piqued after an outlandish report by a tabloid-type journalist who wildly claims Nash is looking for evidence of an alien civilization. It’s crap of course, or at least that’s what her nose for news is telling her, so she promptly heads for the desert, its unforgiving heat and headlong into peril, a paleolithic mystery and, ultimately, the arms of Charles Nash — a dangerous place to be in more ways than one, but also a decidedly arousing one. And things get really complicated when Harper decides to make Regan the instrument of Nash’s destruction.

Something Wicked is a well-paced thrill ride punctuated with moments of tender and passionate eroticism. It’s hard to beat curling up with that on a cold and rainy weekend.

Have you read Something Wicked? If so, feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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Dark Thirst by Sara ReinkeSara Reinke’s Dark Thirst is an engaging entry in the vampire romance genre and is a solid beginning to her Brethren series.

The Brethren are none other than a well-off group of vampires living in the Bluegrass State, raising thoroughbreds and making bourbon. They’re a brutal lot, living according to a code that does not sit well with our hero in Dark Thirst, the young Brandon Noble. Unlike most of his relatives and the other clans that make up the Brethren, he actually embodies the definition of his last name.

Brandon is a unique character in the vampire romance world. He is a deaf mute, the result of being brutally beaten by burglars when he was only 4 years old and before he had developed the supernatural healing abilities of his species. He grew up a sensitive child, frequently picked on and brutalized by his older brother and other bullies, and is treated with disdain by the other Brethren. He is considered weak and a major disappointment. That’s a lot to heap on a child, but Brandon survives and his father, somewhat sensitive to his son’s plight, hires a teacher, a deaf African American man named Jackson Jones, to educate his son and teach him to communicate. It is a relationship that turns into a deep and abiding friendship, one that proves pivotal in time, and also introduces Brandon to Jackson’s lovely younger sister, Angelina, who becomes the object of Brandon’s first crush and his first love.

Much of this background story is learned in flashbacks throughout the book, with current action taking place several years later as Brandon, increasingly uneasy with life amongst the Brethren and determined to not participate in the savage Bloodletting ritual rite of passage, flees. He simply refuses to kill someone and become the monster he has watched even his beloved twin sister become. He runs, with death and danger on his heels, to the only person he has ever trusted and ultimately into the arms of the young woman, now a police officer, who enchanted him as a teen-age boy.

There is so much more in this book than I can’t relate here without giving away the entire story. Suffice it to say, it has a strong plot with a number of surprises along the way and some interesting characters. The love story is sweet and tender, a bit cliched in places, but still satisfying. The writing is solid but I noted a couple “typos” — most noteably wasteband instead of waistband, which, for the news editor in me, was a definite speedbump in the middle of a sex scene.

Overall, Dark Thirst is a solid book that efficiently plants the seeds of a promising series. The cliffhanger ending definitely left me wanting to read more. I really want to find out what happens to these characters.

Have you read Dark Thirst? If so, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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The Vampire Who Loved Me by Teresa MedeirosThe Vampire Who Loved Me … I absolutely love the title and, though it might seem a campy take off on the famed Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me, it definitely isn’t as Teresa Medeiros pleases once again in this sequel to After Midnight.

This time, she tells the tale of Portia Cabot (yes, the hilarious girl from After Midnight) and Julian Kane. Portia is all grown up and still in love with Julian, the vampire brother of Adrian Kane, whose life she once saved. Julian has been gone for six years, sinking into a life of drunkenness and debauchery as he searched for the master vampire who holds his soul. When rumor that he’s returned to London reaches Portia’s ears, she goes in search of him, fearful yet bold, her heart hopeful that he’s found what he’s been looking for and ready to return to the living. Her hopes are dashed but she is not swayed from her affection and before she knows it, she and her sexy vampire are drawn into a web of danger and intrigue as they run from vampires and vampire hunters alike.

Portia is a fearless heroine and woman, her spirit untamed and her love undimmed during Julian’s absence. She has simply matured, and her affections with it, from a girl’s crush into the deep and abiding love and passion of a woman, while Julian, believing himself unworthy, has sought to free himself of her memory and those of what happened when she saved his life. Circumstances thrust them together, however, and they must find their way through hurts and preconceptions to embrace their destiny.

Well written with engaging characters, The Vampire Who Loved Me was a pleasure to read.

Have you read The Vampire Who Loved Me? If so, feel free to post a comment and let us know what you think.

Read our review of After Midnight

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After Midnight by Teresa MedeirosI have long eyed Teresa Medeiros’ books on the bookshelf at my local bookstore and finally took the plunge and picked up After Midnight. Now, I know this isn’t a new book (released in 2005), but I didn’t start to read the genre until 2006 so I know I’ve missed a lot of great vampire romance titles — After Midnight is one of them.

Honestly, this is one of those books that I could not put down, even though I really needed to so that I could get some sleep. It was spellbinding with wonderful characters (reminiscent of Ms. Jane Austen’s smart and spirited heroines), a fantastic love story, loving and erotic sex scenes, and a masterfully sustained element of mystery and suspense.

Our heroine is long-suffering and self-sacrificing Caroline Cabot, a woman who gave up her future to care for her younger sisters when their parents were killed in a carriage accident. She has no prospects of marriage at the ripe old age of 24 (gasp!) and their only hope of rescue from poverty is that one of the younger girls marry well — or for Caroline to marry their lecherous, toady cousin who is their landlord … ick … he is so not an option. Things start looking up, however, when they learn the middle daughter, the lovely Vivienne, may very well be being courted by the Viscount Adrian Kane. There’s only one hitch: he’s rumored to be a vampire!

These rumors send the youngest daughter, Portia, into a tizzy, propelling her already vivid imagination to new heights. The girl is hilarious and positively had me in stitches in several places — the getup she wears to their first meeting with the Viscount was priceless. The girl’s hijinks annoy Caroline but she can’t help but wonder herself after meeting the handsome, mysterious and compelling Kane, a man with obvious secrets, prompting her to begin a quest to find out who or what he is before he asks for her sister’s hand, and what exactly he’s up to — and he is up to something.

The quest leads Caroline down a path she never expected, one that stirs her long-denied passions and fires her heart in ways she never dreamed … and she’s not alone. Kane, a confident man of society, finds himself inexplicably drawn to Caroline, his heart and flesh at war with his mind as he struggles to keep his mysterious plans on course. Can they ignore their attraction for the sake of propriety and dear Vivienne? Or will they succumb to their desires? To find out, you’ve got to read the book! Trust me, it’s worth it!

Have you read After Midnight? If so, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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Embrace the Darkness by Alexandra IvyDemons, vampires and trolls … oh my!

Oh yes, there’s a little of everything and then some in Alexandra Ivy’s Embrace the Darkness, an enthralling paranormal tale fraught with peril and passion.

The second part of the Guardians of Eternity series, Embrace the Darkness takes readers on a rip-roaring ride with danger around every corner and a compelling leading couple — Viper and Shay, both of whom we met in When Darkness Comes.

Viper is an ancient vampire, a clan chief, cunning and powerful — and obsessed with the half-human, half-Shalott Shay. Since she saved his life, he hasn’t been able to quit thinking about her. Shay hasn’t been able to stop thinking about him either and is shocked when he shows up to “purchase” her at a slave auction. After a lifetime of being hunted and enslaved, she is naturally suspicious of Viper’s intentions but is unable to help her reaction to the elegant, sinfully beautiful and seductive bloodsucker, who is determined not to be her master, but her lover.

All manner of villains, however, have other plans for the last of the Shalotts. Her blood has healing powers and is a powerful aphrodisiac for vampires. Many want her for themselves, including a mysterious and powerful evil that is willing to unleash hellhounds, monstrous mountain trolls and more to acquire her, but Viper is determined to protect her at all costs, even from his own kind.

Amidst battles and flights to safety, Viper works to earn Shay’s trust and ultimately her heart as Shay works to overcome her prejudices and a lifetime of betrayal and cruelty in order to acknowledge and embrace her own burgeoning affections for Viper.

Embrace the Darkness is written with a wry wit and attention to detail.

Ms. Ivy’s Shay is sassy and given to sarcasm, but also is a supremely loyal friend. Her life has not been an easy one and she bears the scars. Her Viper carries his own past pain, but where Shay is given to rash actions, he is calm, cool and collected. He is an honorable man who is passionate about those he cares for and who are under his care, and he possesses a wicked sense of humor. Shay’s gargoyle friend, the snooty and defensive Levet, provides some great comic moments with his incessant babbling — he’s French of course! The villains are suitably nasty, living up to their demon status to the point of making your skin crawl from time to time.

I must say Ms. Ivy writes evil convincingly, and she’s definitely no slacker when it comes to penning a satisfying romance.

Have you read Embrace the Darkness? If so, please feel free to leave a comment and share your opinions and thoughts.

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Taken by the Night by Kathryn SmithDear readers, it’s time to get Taken … Taken by the Night, that is.

The delicious Saint is a centuries old vampire with a soft spot for the ladies. He loves women, loves falling in love, but after the death of his beloved Marta years back, he has sworn never to let himself fall again. Still he just can’t seem to help himself when he sees the lovely, outspoken Ivy, daughter of the madam at a prominent London whorehouse, a woman who inflames his body as well as his undead soul.

As for Ivy, she doesn’t believe in love. The hurt her mother endured in the past from her father, who supposed loved her, and growing up in a place where false declarations of affection are often shouted at moments of pleasure, has left Ivy rather jaded on the subject. But when the object of her childhood crush, Saint, shows up some rethinking may be in order as the vampire ignites her passions and her heart.

As the pair simultaneously fight and nurture their attraction, they work together to solve a terrifying mystery surrounding the grisly murders of two of the girls from the whorehouse and a famed actress. Their slayings are reminiscent of those attributed to none other than Jack the Ripper, who terrorized the city not a decade earlier. As everyone is wondering if he’s back, Saint must protect the ladies of the night, whom he and his fellow vampires have patroned for decades, and find the killer before he strikes again … and closer to home.

Taken by the Night, Kathryn Smith’s latest entry in the Brotherhood of Blood series, is a wonderfully erotic tale with a solid mystery to boot. For folks like myself, who are familiar with the Ripper murder history and the many theories that abound about his identity, you’ll like the twist Ms. Smith puts on the horrific, unsolved slayings. For the romantics out there, Ivy and Saint’s story is a pleaser of the first order, much passion, much love, much respect, a hardy heroine who’s soft in every way that counts, and a strong, brave hero with a tender heart. What more could you ask for?

Have you read Taken by the Night? If so, feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.

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Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene FrostI’ve read a good many vampire romance books in the last year and I have to say, without a moment’s hesitation, that Jeaniene Frost’s Halfway to the Grave is one of the best, infinitely satisfying and a stunning debut for an author surely destined for success.

Ms. Frost brandishes a no-holds-barred style in this sharply written tale of a half-dead young woman named Cat embroiled in a personal vendetta against the full-dead, aka vampires. Why is she out for revenge? Her mother was raped by a vampire, fathering Cat and endowing her a special set of abilities. Cat’s relentless crusade, however, takes an unexpected twist when she crosses the path of a vampire hunter named Bones. Their relationship begins testily but they soon form an uneasy alliance to go after Bones’ marks, a mission that leads them into a dangerous underworld and the crosshairs of a ruthless vampire crime lord. Working together leads to trust and much more, as Cat ultimately faces her prejudices against vampires when her heart falls for her charming but deadly partner.

Cat and Bones together are magic. It is pure delight to watch their relationship form, moving from an unlikely partnership between “enemies” to that of friends and lovers. The progression is natural and unforced, and avoids many romance novel cliches along the way. Truly, this is a memorable pairing of characters and I am anxious to see how they end up. Yes, folks, there’s a cliffhanger ending of sorts.

Halfway to the Grave is the first installment of Ms. Frost’s Night Huntress series, one that I suspect will became a favorite of many vampire romance readers. The second volume, One Foot in the Grave, is due out in April. I hope I can make it!

Congratulations and well done, Jeaniene!

Have you read Halfway to the Grave? If so, feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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