I have a degree in ancient history and a passion for reading, cooking, DIY projects, tea, science fiction, and a myriad of other subjects.
What is it about vampires that makes us shiver and swoon? Is it their unnatural beauty? Their lonely immortality? Their edge of fear and danger? Yes, yes, and yes! But there's more. Vampires have that indefinable sense of mystery and depth that keep the thinking woman thrilled and enthralled. It's that passion, inscrutability, and unexpected humanity that keep us on our toes (or more often, swept off them).
If you breezed through the Southern Vampire Mysteries, devoured the Twilight Saga, couldn't get enough of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series, and buried your nose in just about any Anne Rice book you could get your hands on, here are five forgotten vampire romances you may not have heard of (and you'll definitely want to pick up).
Read Secret Vampire and the Night World Series if You Liked Vampire Diaries
Author: L. J. Smith
Suitable For: Secret Vampire and the Night World Series books are suitable for ages 11 and up (6th graders).
Appeals To: Secret Vampire is a young adult novel intended for middle school-aged girls, but is suitable for all ages (I'm not ashamed to admit that I read and loved it as an adult). The book and series will appeal to fans of the Twilight Saga, The Vampire Diaries, and the Vampire Academy Series.
Summary: Secret Vampire is the story of a teenage girl, Poppy, who is dying of pancreatic cancer. Her best friend and soul mate James is secretly a vampire, and he transforms Poppy to save her life. But all members of the Night World (vampires, werewolves, witches, and shapeshifters) must follow a policy of strict secrecy toward humans, and James has broken that taboo by revealing his true nature to Poppy. Now he must protect her from other creatures of the night who wish to destroy her and her forbidden knowledge.
Series: Secret Vampire is the first book in the Night World series of teen vampire romances, which currently includes 9 novels total: Secret Vampire, Daughters of Darkness, Spellbinder, Dark Angel, The Chosen, Soulmate, Huntress, Black Dawn, and Witchlight. A 10th and final novel was planned, but has remained unpublished for the past 15 years (though Smith claims she still intends to finish and release it.)
Read Mina if You Liked Anita Blake
Author: Marie Kiraly
Suitable For: Mina is suitable for adults only, due to its strongly erotic themes.
Appeals To: Mina will appeal to fans of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series and lovers of the Fifty Shades trilogy.
Summary: Mina is written from the first person perspective of Mina Harker, the heroine of Bram Stoker's Dracula, and the book picks up where Dracula left off. Dracula is defeated and Mina returns home to her proper Victorian life and sensible marriage to Jonathan Harker, but she finds that that her supernatural experience has left her with strange feelings and dark desires. The story contains adventure and steamy romance, with a few sex scenes, but is not actually erotica.
Series: Mina is not part of a series, but it is intended to be read as a sequel to Dracula, the classic vampire novel of the Victorian Era.
Read My Lord Vampire and the Immortal Rogues Trilogy if You Liked Twilight
Author: Alexandra Ivy
Suitable For: My Lord Vampire and the books in the Immortal Rogues Trilogy are suitable for older teens ages 16 and up (10th graders).
Appeals To: My Lord Vampire will appeal to fans of the Twilight Saga and lovers of historical romance.
Summary: My Lord Vampire takes place in the 16th century. Simone, a savvy and progressive young noblewoman is given a mysterious amulet by an old gypsy woman. Gideon, a devilishly handsome vampire with little patience for humans, must retrieve the amulet to protect his people. To do so, he has to gain Simone's trust while protecting her from other vampires who wish to use the amulet for evil.
Series: My Lord Vampire is the first book in the Immortal Rogues Trilogy, followed by My Lord Eternity, and My Lord Immortality.
Read Hotel Transylvania and the Saint-Germain Cycle if You Liked Anne Rice
Author: Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Suitable For: Hotel Transylvania and the books in the Saint-Germain Cycle are suitable for older teens ages 18 and up (college-age) due to a few vague (and pretty tame) sex scenes, and some fairly graphic occult violence.
Appeals To: Hotel Transylvania will appeal to fans of Anne Rice and lovers of historical romance.
Summary: Hotel Transylvania takes place in 18th century Paris, France. Young and independent noblewoman Madelaine de Montalia has just made her debut in the court of Louis XV, and is fascinated by the mysterious, handsome, and cultured Count Saint-Germain. As their forbidden love grows, Madelaine also faces physical danger from a cult of Satan-worshiping noblemen.
Series: Hotel Transylvania is the first book in the ongoing Saint-Germain Cycle. To date, Yarbro has written 26 novels about the travels and experiences of the immortal vampire, Count Saint-Germain.
Read Lord of the Dead if You Liked Anne Rice
Author: Tom Holland
Suitable For: Lord of the Dead is suitable for adults only, due to explicitly erotic scenes.
Appeals To: Lord of the Dead will appeal to fans of Anne Rice and lovers of history and literature. The novel is extraordinarily well-written.
Summary: Lord of the Dead is a fictional account of the life of the English Romantic poet, Lord Byron, as a vampire. Holland is a noted Byron scholar and many of the details of this fictional biography are historically accurate. The story opens during Byron's first trip to Greece, during which he is transformed into a vampire, and follows his adventures thereafter.
Series: Lord of the Dead is not part of a series, but Holland's next novel Slave of My Thirst takes place in the same universe and shares a few peripheral characters in common.
© 2013 Christy Kirwan
Meredith Loughran from Florida on February 05, 2014:
It's been so long since I've read a book! I miss my romance novels but my problem is not being able to put the book down until I read from cover to cover. No sleep - just read. I think it's an OCD thing. Anyway... When I WAS reading I absolutely loved the Dark Series by Christine Feehan.
Kenneth Claude from Ohio on June 06, 2013:
I remember reading an amazing vampire novel, "Stainless", by Todd Grimson many years ago. This hub made me remember the experience.
Maria B on May 29, 2013:
Hello! Great list! I'm looking forward to reading some of these. May I suggest a great series that I managed to find a few years back? It's called the Night Huntress Novels by Jeaniene Frost. They are absolutely amazing and I really do recommend you give them a read :)
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on April 19, 2013:
Ooh, I'll have to check it out! Thanks for the tip, bkirembu!
Becky Kirembu on April 18, 2013:
Wow! It's always nice to find a Kindred spirit. I am addicted to vampire romance particularly the Amanda Ashley series. I will definitely look up these. Thanks!
P.S. Lietha Wards has written a vampire romance book titled: Immortal Promise - A Vampire Love Story ( I think that this novel is underrated as well).
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on April 16, 2013:
Wonderful! I do hope you enjoy them, khmazz!
Kristen Mazzola from South Florida on April 16, 2013:
This is great! I am adding them to my to-read list now!
Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on April 06, 2013:
Hey Tinsky, I'm so glad you enjoyed my Hub! I hope you have a great time reading the Night World books and the Immortal Rogues trilogy! Both are pretty awesome classic love stories. :)
Tina Dubinsky from Brisbane, Australia on April 06, 2013:
Hi Christy, thanks for such a concise accounting of these novels. I will admit to be a lover of vampire novels. I found your poll difficult to answer as all five books are appealing. Your plot summaries are engaging and I would love to run out and get all five today. I particularly found #5 and #3 appealing as they spoke to the romantic inside of me, so I may just have to begin with these two. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.