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I feel like I should start this post with a disclaimer. I am not seriously suggesting that the books in this post are the best books ever written, but they are some of my favourites. Please feel free to contact me and tell me how wrong I am, but you’ll be wasting your time. I am, in the immortal words of Marty Maraschino, “hopelessly devoted to each and every one” of the books in this list and my mind will not be changed!
I love books. Everyone who knows me will already know that, but it’s worth saying. I’ve thought about setting up a separate book blog, but this whole blogging thing is actually a lot of work (who knew!?) and I don’t want Becca Blogs It Out to suffer if my attention is divided. So, I’m going to start adding the occasional book-related post to my blogging schedule instead. This (in case you hadn’t already guessed) is the first one!
These book series are some of my favourite books (look out for Part 2, telling you about a few more!) and I’ve read them all more than once (some of them, more times than I can count!). If you’re looking for some amazing books to sink your teeth into (this joke would have been funnnier if I’d put it at the end of the post…), you should check these out!
Black Dagger Brotherhood – J. R. Ward
I *LOVE* these books. They are my absolute favourite books in the whole world and I re-read the entire series every year, in preparation for the next book being released. I never get bored and the books – despite there being 16 in total – are always great. These probably are the best books ever written (according to me). Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed some more than others, but I’ve never not enjoyed them and I’ve never wanted to skip any when I’ve read back through the series.
Now that I’ve got that ringing endorsement out of the way, you might be wondering what these books are about. Simply put, the Black Dagger Brotherhood books are like no other vampire books you’ve ever read before. The world created by J. R. Ward just sucks (see how I managed to get another vampire pun in there?) you in, from the first page to the last and the characters are all so well written, they end up feeling like friends rather than fiction. I should warn you – these are very “grown up” books, if you get my drift. And the vampires are about as far away from the sparkly offerings of Twilight as you can get.
Each book focuses on one character working towards his (or her) happily ever after, with lots of twists and metaphorical bumps in the road along the way. But as the series goes on, more and more characters outside of the core group of Brothers introduced in the original book become involved. You might worry that a bigger cast of characters means that the stories get less involved and the characters become less developed and, in some of the books, there is an element of truth to that. But on the whole, Ward manages to avoid that and continues to produce amazing novels with fantastic plots and characterisation. Maybe one day, I’ll post a more thorough review, but for the time being – do yourself a favour and read these books. The first in the series is called Dark Lover and while, technically, you could read the books out of order, I can’t be friends with people who do that. Sorry.
Black Dagger Legacy – J. R. Ward
Since we’re already talking about the BDB, I want to take a minute to let you know about the Black Dagger Legacy books. This is a spin off series, focusing on recruits in the BDB’s training program, but the cast of the main books are still involved. I’ll be honest, I don’t love these as much as I love the original series – maybe because I love the Brothers and the new recruits just don’t quite compare for me – but I still devour each book as soon as it’s released, because I love Ward’s work and the universe she creates, and they give me a little taste of the Brothers in that lonely no mans land of waiting for the next book. They might not be the original series, but they are still awesome and definitely worth a read.
Midnight Breed Series – Lara Adrian
Yep. More vampires. Sorry. But, if you like the Black Dagger Brotherhood, you will like these books. Adrian’s vampires are very different to Ward’s (and just as far from Twilight), but the “can’t put it down” vibe is the same. Each book features a gorgeous vampire finding the woman (called a Breedmate, recognisable by the rare birthmark they all have somewhere on their bodies) he eventually bonds with, but there’s more to the story than that. There’s love and loss and betrayal and war…. This is a best selling series, and it’s easy to see why. The whole universe is so well written and each book is as good as the one before it. I love these books. You will, too. And – even better – Amazon have a fab deal on the first four in Kindle format.
The Community Series – Tracy Tappan
OK, so these are vampire books with a difference. In Tappan’s universe, “vampires” are really a sub-species of humans called Varcolac, who live in an underground community and can only procreate with women who carry a rare gene called Dragon. There’s also another species called the Om Rau, who live “next door” to the Varcolac and are technically demons, and others who are Fey, and various mixed breed versions of all four. If it sounds a bit complicated, that’s because it is. But these books are so well written and it’s all so well explained, they feel like easy reading. Another page turner. And another great deal on Amazon for the first three books (currently free on Kindle Unlimited).
So there you have it. Some of the best books ever written (according to me). Watch this space for Part 2 (not vampires next time, I promise)!