Welcome to Esme's Bookshelf! This site is an update-able list of adult fiction titles for grown-ups who love books like Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Esme's Bookshelf is a private blog written by DebNog, librarian extraordinaire, however, I also write a library blog for teens centered around paranormal fiction called Bella's Book Club. Visit there for ideas on young adult fiction titles!

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Christopher Moore: A Love Story Series

Christopher Moore is known for his humor, and his Vampire Trilogy is some of Moore's best. The dialogue is quick-witted and fast, the plots are cleverly twisted and full of irony. The trilogy begins with Bloodsucking Fiends, in which the Prada-wearing, shoe shopping junkie, Jody, finds herself changed into a creature of the night. She enlists the help of an unpublished young writer named Tommy Flood.
In Love Sucks, Tommy and Jody continue their adventures with the help of their newly minted minion, Abby Normal. Abby brings even more laughs with her emo attitude and her razor-sharp quips.
The final book, in fact, belongs to Abby. It's last year's Bite Me, and I found it to be the funniest of the entire series. Abby is so real, so absolutely clever and cute, that I wonder how on earth does Christopher Moore get into the head of an angst-ridden 17-year-old girl? This trilogy shines from start to finish. It's more literary, and less chick lit than many of my other favorites in this genre, but I think it just might be my favorite!

MaryJanice Davidson: Fred the Mermaid Series


I think I've mentioned before how much I LOVE Davidson's Betsy, the Vampire Queen series. I spent a whole winter pouring through her books. I can also recommend the Alaskan Royals series, although it isn't paranormal.
A stand-out series of hers is the Fred the Mermaid series, which starts with Sleeping With the Fishes. Fred (Fredrika), is the daughter of a human and a Mer-man. Raised by her single mom, she naturally drifted toward the ocean and ocean life. As an adult, she has become a noted marine biologist, who works at an Aquarium. Her job happens to be to take care of the big tanks and feeding the fish, which she always does after hours, when she can go into the tank and swim with her tail.
Fred is lucky in love, but has trouble deciding between her human boyfriend and the mysterious mer-man who has recently come into her life. Cute story, with lovable characters.

Fred the Mermaid

1. Sleeping with the Fishes
2. Swimming Without a Net
3. Fish Out of Water

Michelle Bardsley: Broken Heart Series

Broken Heart, Oklahoma is a quiet, unassuming little town with a lot of secrets. Michelle Bardsley writes clever stories for the extra-ordinary middle class citizens of Broken Heart, who just happen to be vampires. They are mothers, fathers, librarians, realtors, investigators, single parents, and PTA members. You'll come for the vampire romance, but you'll stay for the goings-on of this little town. It's cute, light, and funny. It makes me feel like maybe there's still a chance for something extraordinarily spooky to happen to this middle-aged mom!

Broken Heart Series (in order):
1. I'm Your Vampire, That's Why
2. Don't Talk Back To Your Vampire
3. Because Your Vampire Said So
4. Wait Till Your Vampire Gets Home
5. Over My Dead Body
6. Come Hell or High Water
7. Cross Your Heart
8. Must Love Lycans (forthcoming Sept. 2011)

Charlaine Harris: Sookie Stackhouse Series

Sookie Stackhouse is just a cocktail waitress at Merlotte's Bar in Bon Temps, Louisiana with a "special condition": she's a telepath. When the vampires went public after synthetic blood was developed by the Japanese, Sookie is thrilled to meet the town's first vampire, but her life will never be the same.
Charlaine Harris' series will have readers giggling over Sookie's predicaments and pouring over the twisted plotlines. The supernatural characters (vampires, werewolves, demons, fairies and more!) aren't always the the most unusual people in this small backward town, and each book is filled with surprises galore. Readers will appreciate Sookie's common-sense attitude and heartfelt emotion over her troubled
relationships. This series has been made into the popular television series, True Blood.

The Sookie Stackhouse (aka Southern Vampire) series in order:

1. Dead Until Dark (2001)

2. Living Dead in Dallas (2002)

3. Club Dead (2003)

4. Dead to the World (2004)

5. Dead as a Doornail (2005)

6. Definitely Dead (2006)

7. All Together Dead (2007)

8. From Dead to Worse (2008)

9. Dead and Gone (2009)

10. Dead in the Family (2010)

MaryJanice Davidson: Queen Betsy Series

Poor Betsy. While crossing the street, she was fatally struck by a Pontiac Aztek. And now, it seems that a bunch of lunatics have named her their queen, and all Betsy wants is a good sale at Nordstrom's, Prada shoes, and a little romance wouldn't be bad, either.
MaryJanice Davidson is the author of several series, and her special brand of fiction always includes a wonderful sense of humor. We call these books "Chick Lit", and in the Betsy series, readers get the fabulous mash-up of Chick Lit meets Vampire Fiction. Enjoy!

Betsy, the Vampire Queen Series in order:

1. Undead and Unwed (2002)

2. Undead and Unemployed (2004)

3. Undead and Unappreciated (2005)

4. Undead and Unreturnable (2005)

5. Undead and Unpopular (2006)

6. Undead and Uneasy (2007)

7. Undead and Unworthy (2008)

8. Undead and Unwelcome (2009)

9. Undead and Unfinished (2010)

Laurell K. Hamilton: Anita Blake Series


One enthusiast of this series described the Anita Blake books like this: "She's smart, clever and funny like Sookie Stackhouse, except that Anita Blake really kicks a_ _ !"

I'd have to agree. Anita is self-sustaining, and needs no companion to come to her rescue. These books are bold, filled with mystery, suspense and sometimes gore, but Hamilton manages to mix in some romance with all of that.

Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series in order:

1. Guilty Pleasures (1993)

2. The Laughing Corpse (1994)

3. Circus of the Damned (1995)

4. The Lunatic Cafe (1996)

5. Bloody Bones (1996)

6. The Killing Dance (1997)

7. Burnt Offerings (1998)

8. Blue Moon (1998)

9. Obsidian Butterfly (2000)

10. Narcissus in Chains (2001)

11. Cerulean Sins (2003)

12. Incubus Dreams (2004)

13. Micah (2006)

14. Danse Macabre (2006)

15. The Harlequin (2007)

16. Blood Noir (2008)

17. Skin Trade (2009)

18. Flirt (2010)

19. Bullet (2010)

Anne Rice: The Vampire Chronicles

I'd be remiss if I didn't list the grand dame of vampire fiction, Anne Rice. I've been a Rice fan for years! Her amazing series begins with 1976's Interview With the Vampire. I know many of you have probably seen the Tome Cruise/Brad Pitt film version, but I urge you to read the book. As always, it is so much better! The Vampire Chronicles are not really romance, but the characters and deep and multi-faceted. You will fall in love with the saga of Louis and Lestat, even though you'll probably hate Lestat's arrogance. It's a sweeping epic of a tale, reading through the books. Particularly interesting to me was The Tale of the Body Theif, which I thought was a great adventure. Here's the series in order:

Vampire Chronicles
Interview with the Vampire (1976)
The Vampire Lestat (1985)
The Queen of the Damned (1988)
The Tale of the Body Thief (1992)
Memnoch the Devil (1995)
The Vampire Armand (1998)
Merrick (2000)
Blood and Gold (2001)
Blackwood Farm (2002)
Blood Canticle (2003)

New Tales of the Vampires
Pandora (1998) (a Vampire Chronicle)
Vittorio the Vampire (1999)

Vampire/Mayfair Crossover
In these novels the Mayfair Witches become part of the Vampire Chronicles world.
Merrick (2000)
Blackwood Farm (2002)
Blood Canticle (2003)