Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy discussion

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

On a lot of other sites I have noticed that most people either favor Laurell K Hamilton or Sherrilyn Kenyon. I was just wondering who is favored more, or if you don’t like either one. Me personally I prefer Kenyon. She was the first pnr author that really liked. I still like Hamilton’s books, but I prefer her Gentry books. The Blake books have lost there sizzle for me. I still read them I just don’t rush out to get them anymore. Kenyon on the other hand is a must have for me.


message 2: by Pamela, Moderatrix (new)

Pamela (teacupfangirl) | 614 comments Mod
I used to be a big LKH fan, but both of her series have deteriorated, IMO, into poorly written, cliche-ridden, hundred-and-fifty-page-long sex scenes. I like sex scenes, don't get me wrong, but I prefer to have at least some plot with my smut. And if I never see some form of "it felt like he was going to drive his body through hers" in a sex scene again, it'll be too soon. *laughs*

I've never really read any of Kenyon's work. I tried to start one of her vampire books but I couldn't get into it.


message 3: by Stacie (new)

Stacie | 9 comments I prefer to read Sherrilyn Kenyon over LKH. I always get the Kenyon books also. She is supposed to have Acheron's story coming out in the spring of 2008 if I am not mistaken. Did you get her book detailing the history and background of the Dark Series?? Stacie


message 4: by Innerpeace1081 (new)

Innerpeace1081 | 4 comments I prefer the SK series as well. I have not been able to get into the LKH series. Just MHO


message 5: by Summer (new)

Summer (summerbp) | 59 comments Has anyone read Christopher Moore? His books sound very funny, but I haven't had a chance to read any yet.


message 6: by Lynn (new)

Lynn (dwell_ondreams) | 9 comments I have yet to read Kenyon. I love LKH's early works - not so much these days. *sigh*


message 7: by Diane (new)

Diane | 7 comments Christopher Moore is an extremely twisted author. Saying that, I guess I'm a twisted reader. Very very funny in a sarcastic way. I think I've read all of the books except for the one that came out last year.

I picked up the first because of the title - The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove. How could anyone pass up a title like that.

Good reading!


message 8: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jen421) | 201 comments I have only read the first SK book, Fantasy Lover. It was decent, but as I said in another post, it left something to be desired. The heroine was a wimp, and the dialog was stilted and juvenile. I expect adults to talk like adults, not high school students. I am willing to try another of her books, and hope for the best. I cut an author some slack for their first novel.

I liked the first three LKH books, but they were a bit more thriller than romance. There was some nice sexual tension between Anita and Jean Claude though. (I really like Jean Claude!) From what I am hearing from others in this group, they transition to smut somewhere around book 5.

However, I am currently in the middle of book 4 (The Lunatic Cafe) and I'm starting to have a problem with one of the plot developments.

***Spoiler Alert***** Just in case you haven't read the series yet, and would like to, don't finish this post. *******



Okay, I have to get this off my chest. Does anyone else have a problem with Anita getting engaged to Richard?!?!?! Hello!!! They've been dating for what?? Two Months?!?! And they just up and get engaged?!?! They barely know each other!!!! Not to mention that the first time she met him, he was NAKED in a room full of vampires and lycanthropes, and possibly in bed with a female lycanthrope. This is not someone I would have chosen to get involved with. Who in their right mind would turn down Jean Claude for Richard?!?!?! (I obviously have a thing for Jean Claude.....) Okay, I have said my peace, and will now step down off the soap box.


message 9: by Tina (new)

Tina Jennifer - I have to agree with you about Richard. I never got the appeal of Richard. I was always all about Anita and Jean-Claude. I am glad you are enjoying The AB series. I liked them up to a point as well. I liked when Anita more was focused on her work, unlike later in the series. But I won't say more and let you continue on your reading odyssey.


message 10: by Pamela, Moderatrix (new)

Pamela (teacupfangirl) | 614 comments Mod
Richard irritated me pretty much from the get-go. I never found him to be an interesting character (or maybe I'm just biased toward Jean-Claude, haha), and the engagement thing made me toss the book down in disgust. I always preferred Jean-Claude, and one of the reasons I started losing interest in the AB books was because poor JC was so underused.


message 11: by Tina (new)

Tina While hanging out in a Barnes and Noble the other day, I picked up Kenyon's Dark Hunter Companion. I'd never read any of her books, but reading the companion made me interested in them, so I picked up a few from my local library and plan to read them this week.

I have a real love/hate relationship with LKH. I loved the first four or five Anita Blake books and the first two Meredith Gentry books. But I've completely lost my patience. The early books actually had a plot, a beginning, middle and end. But the later books are nothing but exhaustively cataloged pages of what black leather and fishnet ensemble Anita and the vamps will wear to go fight (and have amazing combat sex with) rival vamps.

She had me and she lost me.


message 12: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jen421) | 201 comments Richard is boring. I could see Anita being friends with him or something, but he reminds me of somebody's kid brother.

Jean Claude on the other hand, is dangerous, compelling, complex, and sexy.

I have a feeling I am going to get frustrated with this series and end up quitting it. I've already bought the first six books, so I'm committed until then. Guess I'll just have to see where it all goes from there. I have kind of set book 4 aside because I have been cruising through the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Which has its own set of allures and problems...


Shannon (Giraffe Days) (giraffe_days) I'm like Jennifer, I've only read Fantasy Lover and didn't think much of it. I also don't see what it has to do with vampires...?

I haven't read any Anita Blake books, or any books by Hamilton. I actually avoid vampire-hunter stories, and I can't work out where they start! Does it matter? A lot of people seem to be either disappointed with these books or really getting into them. Does anyone want to recommend one?

The paranormal romance books that I read include Lynsay Sands' Argeneau vampire series, J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, and Christine Feehan's Carpathian series. Feehan's aren't great, the books are very similar and the writing gets very corny and repetitive. But there's something about the premise that I like. I've read the first 5.

Course, the books that got me started on this whole paranormal romance wagon are Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.

I'm always looking for more suggestions!


message 14: by Emily (new)

Emily (cosmicvagabond) I just started "Kiss of Shadows." Literally, only twenty pages into it. A friend recommended it, and I'm beginning to wonder. The writing is mediocre. I hope it gets better. I realize twenty pages isn't much to go on, but I was hoping for a bang at the beginning. Instead, I feel like I'm in some teenage girl's diary of fairy fantasies.

The "Twilight" series is incredible. I keep giving away my copy of the first book and buying it again. Barnes and Noble is loving me, I bet.

I enjoyed Ward's book, only because it wasn't formulaic for every book. Not every one has a happy ending, nor does it look as though they will in the future. I enjoy that. Some of the steamier reads are by Lora Leigh. I highly recommend "Elizabeth's Wolf" as the first to pick up. Unfortunately, they're easier to download or find on ebay than they are at Amazon.com. I believe the company that previously printed Leigh's books has gone mostly to digital books these days.


message 15: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jen421) | 201 comments Shannon, I really liked the first three LKH Anita Blake books. She's a tough chick heroine, and there's lots of action. They move at a pretty good pace. Other people seem to feel this way as well about her early work. Apparently, somewhere around book 5 the quality begins to decline. (I'm currently reading book 4.)

If you're interested, the first 4 in the Anita Blake series are:
1. Guilty Pleasures
2. The Laughing Corpse
3. Circus of the Damned
4. The Lunatic Cafe

Those are in order, and they are worth the read. I just have a feeling I'll end up dropping the series after a while....


message 16: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Mitchell (emitchellwrites) | 12 comments Emma, You are so right about Kiss of Shadows.. and no it doesn't get better, I got to page 35 and was DONE.


message 17: by Tina (last edited Jan 17, 2008 04:56PM) (new)

Tina I finished Fantasy Lover yesterday and started on Night Pleasures.

As I started on Night Pleasures, it seemed to strike me that, even though the books share characters, they almost seemed like they belonged to different series.

Maybe I am mis-remembering but I don't think there was any mention of vampires or Dark Hunters in the first book. It almost seemed to me that SK was planning to write a series of her books using the Olympians as her paranormal backdrop, but was told she had to write about vampires. So she shifted her focus and started the whole Dark Hunter thing.

I think FL and so far what I am reading of NP are good reads. They aren't drawing me in like the Ward books did. But they are keeping me entertained so far.

edited: because Dark Lover is not Night Pleasures


message 18: by Emily (new)

Emily (cosmicvagabond) Tina, you're right. I didn't think Fantasy Lover belonged in the Dark Hunter series. However, Dark Lover is probably the best of the installments. After that, things get very formulaic very quickly. I think Kenyon needed the history of the Greeks in order to set a backdrop, as you've said.


message 19: by Laura (new)

Laura (LauraStamps) I have become a BIG fan of Kenyon recently. I had never read her before but many of my Goodreads friends rave about her Dark-Hunter series. I just finished it, and I have to agree. I love everything about that series...it's a good one!

I tried to read LKH, both the Anita and Merry series, and couldn't finish either book.

It's funny...Kenyon's writing style really clicks for me, whereas LKH aggravates me. Just one of my weird quirks, I guess (grin).


message 20: by Summer (new)

Summer (summerbp) | 59 comments I was perusing the shelves before work yesterday (Borders) and came across an unfamiliar name. Has anyone read Amanda Ashley? The blurb sounded interesting.


message 21: by Stacie (new)

Stacie | 9 comments Yes she also write under the name Madeline Baker. Her books are pretty good. Hope that you enjoy them too.


message 22: by Cassandra (new)

Cassandra | 49 comments I just bought "Night's Touch" by Amanda Ashley. Admittedly, it was mostly because the cover reminded me of Mick from the TV show "Moonlight" :) It's next on my stack of books to read. I'm hoping it's fantastic, because she's got a lot of other stuff out there to enjoy!


message 23: by Jan (new)

Jan (Jan1228) I plan on picking up "Dead Perfect" by Amanda Ashley this Feb. 5th. I saw the book on Kensington Books website and read the first chapter on her website at http://www.madelinebaker.net/work1.htm
I like the story idea and thought I'd give her a first time try.


message 24: by Summer (new)

Summer (summerbp) | 59 comments So I'm reading my first Katie MacAlister novel. For some reason the bookstore only had one, A Girl's Guide to Vampires. It was pretty slow getting into it, but I'm about halfway through now, and it's picking up nicely! Has anyone else read this particular novel?


Shannon (Giraffe Days) (giraffe_days) Summer, I'm currently reading a Christopher Moore book, called Lamb: the Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal. It's no Life of Brian, but I am enjoying it :)

I have one Amanda Ashley book to read, but I've since come across a very negative review here and would probably not have bought it if I'd known.

I've only read one Kenyon and one Hamilton, but if I had to choose from that paltry selection, I would pick Kenyon. Mostly because I hated the Hamilton book I read so much :)


message 26: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Summer - Katie MacAlister is great. Don't judge all her books by that one. She does good paranormal, but I love her regular romance books more. She also writes young adult books under the name Katie Maxwell and she just released a book under the name Kate Marsh. It's been awhile since I read A Girl's Guide, but I remember reading the ones that followed it immediately after so they must have been good.


message 27: by Laura (new)

Laura (LauraStamps) (Summer)
Actually, that one, "A Girl's Guide to Vampires," is one of the worst of that series IMO. The next one "Sex and the Single Vampire" is AWESOME, and one of my all-time fav PNR novels (Christian is soooo yummy *grin*). The next two are very good too. The last one in that series didn't do much for me, and I never finished it. So keep reading. It's a very good series!

xox
Laura
http://www.TheWitchesofDixie.blogspot...



message 28: by Nanci (new)

Nanci (bookwoman3966) | 6 comments I really enjoy both Hamilton and Sherrilyn. I like them both for different reasons. Kenyon remains strong, and she still has so many other stories to tell. Hamilton is limited in characters and storylines. I mean, after all, how many more men can Anita really sleep with? I really loved Anita's story, but the last couple of books just weren't as good. They had tons of sex, but not much storyline (though I enjoyed the last one). I haven't read the Gentry books, so I really can't comment on those.


message 29: by Nanci (new)

Nanci (bookwoman3966) | 6 comments Oohh... I LOVE Katie MacAlister. A Girl's Guide to Vampires was great. Her novels are witty and have great characters - even the ones that aren't paranormal.

You should try her Aisling Grey, Guardian novels. There are four so far: You Slay Me; Fire Me Up; Light My Fire; and Holy Smokes. They feature an inept guardian and her dragon lover.


message 30: by Jan (new)

Jan (Jan1228) I LOVE Katie too. Her Vampire Novels (Dark Ones) are great. If I were forced to pick one out of the 6 she's written so far, it would have to be #3 "Sex, Lies, and Vampires" with Nell & Adrian.


message 31: by Melani D (new)

Melani D I'm reading - well, listening to my first Christine Feehan - Dark Prince. I'm not getting why everyone raves over these books. The dialogue is not real. It just doesn't flow. it feels stilted. And dang, it's barely disguised erotica.

Not that I have a problem with erotica, but I prefer it to be well written and to know what I've picked up.

I'm alone in this opinion, aren't I?


message 32: by Laura (new)

Laura (LauraStamps) (Ja'niece)
Oh, yeah, I love "Sex, Lies, and Vampires" too!! Nell was a hoot with Adrian. And Adrian was another totally yummy vamp (grin).

(Melani)
Some people love the first Feehan novel "Dark Prince." But IMO it is the worst in the series, just not very well written. She really didn't seem to have a grip on the series at that point. Not to mention Raven was incredibly irriating. But also her writing wasn't the greatest. You really have to get over all the dreamy language and padding she sticks in that one and in her others to some extent.

However, do go on and read the next two in the series. By the second one I was hooked, and the fourth one "Dark Magic" about Gregori is my fav so far. At the moment I am working my way through the entire series and have read 8. I am totally hooked and loving every one of those books so far. You may too once you get past "Dark Prince." The only good thing about that first novel is it introduces you to characters and backstory you will keep running into throughtout the series, so in that way it is a must read for the series.

xoxo
Laura
http://www.TheWitchesofDixie.blogspot...



message 33: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I agree with Laura. If you like anything at all about the world Feehan shows you in the first book, read on. I have read the entire series, including the few short stories published in anthologies, and I liked each book for it's similarities and differences. I think I keep going back because of her lifemate concept. I love how she has all the different lifemates react differently in each book. I have to say that the reunion book was one of the best because you got every one all in one book. It wasn't big on plot, but it was a fun read. The only problem is I got burnt out a little if I read too many of these in a row. It's best to but another book or two in between them.


message 34: by Melani D (new)

Melani D thanks Laura and Melissa. I'm almost finished listening to the book, so I'm sure I'll just go ahead and finish it.

I had actually tried to read the book a couple of years ago and didn't make it through. I decided to get the audio book because lots of times I can get through an audio book and enjoy it even if I didn't like the paperback.

guess I should find a copy of the next in the series now...lol


message 35: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jen421) | 201 comments Has anyone read Lynn Viehl's Darkyn series? I just picked up the first in the series (If Angels Burn) on a whim, and was wondering if they're any good. I haven't started it yet. If no one else has read them, then I'll keep you posted...


message 36: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (lbfarrer) | 10 comments I've read all of hers so far and have really enjoyed them. You should try it.


message 37: by calicheri (new)

calicheri | 39 comments I like Feehan's Dark series, but I wouldn't have read it if I'd started with Dark Prince. Now that I think about it, I didn't really like Fantasy Lover or If Angels Burn either. That's funny because I like the rest of the series. I usually try to read a series in order, I'm glad I didn't with these.


message 38: by Tina (new)

Tina Jennifer asked: Has anyone read Lynn Viehl's Darkyn series? I just picked up the first in the series (If Angels Burn) on a whim, and was wondering if they're any good. I haven't started it yet. If no one else has read them, then I'll keep you posted...

I have and I have enjoyed them. I do have a caveat, though. They are marketed as Paranormal Romance. i do not believe they should be. They aren't like a Kenyon, Ward or Feehan, for example, where you have a strong romantic story with the paranormal as a back drop. They are also not very self contained.

They should be, imo, categorized as Dark Fantasy, more along the lines of an Anne Bishop, LA Banks or even LKH. There is romance in the novels, but anyone picking them up hoping to read a romance vampire-meets-girl type story is doomed to disappointment. And while each story contains a central male/female pair, the storyline, her mythos, even the male/female relationships continue from one book to the next. They don't wrap up in one book, per se. Truthfully, the series reads more like one long story like you find in multi-volume fantasies than the one-off stories in paranormal romances.

Having said that I enjoyed the series. I think the writing is complex and the mythos is different enough. But I am reading them as fantasies not as paranormal romances.


message 39: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitaw) | 162 comments Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series - Hamilton

I had the opposite reaction to Richard at first - I was screaming at Anita that she was an idiot for running from him! In the first book of their romance, he looked like a soul mate, if only she could get over her hang ups and accept him as a wolf. It wasn't until after Richard started his vindictive, morally superior, self-destructive decline that I faced the music and accepted that she and Richard are not a perfect pair. I'm only on Cerilean Sins, so for all I know, someday they will reach some sort of peace. I'm a sucker for a happy ending, so I'm hoping Richard gets his act together and finds some sort of happiness, though I don't imagine it will be with Anita.

I too found it weird that Anita dated Richard after meeting him naked as Circus of the Damned, but I chalked that up to LKH not realizing that she would want to recycle the character in her next novel. Especially in the early novels, LKH seems to introduce characters and then later find better plot lines for them that don't always jive with the introduction.

As for which books are good and bad from this series, I like to read them for the romance/smut/relationship aspects, so I thought they really improved around book 5. For me, the gore/violence/suspense are all just filler to get to the good stuff. So there's my contrarian opinion. Anyone in the happy ending camp with me?

As an aside, I read the Merry Gentry novels before I started the Anita Blake series, and I find it very interesting noticing where I think ideas for Merry originated in Anita Blake. I figure that LKH wanted to go hog-wild in a series without Anita's moral outrage, and that's why she created the Merry series. I think she also tried switching it up a bit by giving Jean Claude's political mind to Merry. Something that bothers me about the Merry series: each book is so thinly sliced in time - it's like she wrote two novels and is publishing them as 6 books. Not teribly satisfying.




message 40: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitaw) | 162 comments Dark Hunter Series - Kenyon

Spoiler ahead

Is anyone else upset that Kenyon has set up Nick Gautier to be a traitor in one of the next few books? I loved his character, and I so want him to end up a good guy. I keep hoping that this is just the dark hunter suffering he has to endure to come out the other side happy. I know these books are very formulaic, but it's a formula I enjoy, so I'll keep reading.


message 41: by Diane (new)

Diane | 7 comments Yes, he's a little twisted but very enjoyable. I think my favorite was "The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove". It was my first by this author and my son picked the book off the shelf for me.


message 42: by Erica (new)

Erica Poole | 21 comments Spoiler Ahead...


I hear ya Anita, but I really do think that he will turn out good. In recent books (I can't think of which one at the moment) he was showing some serious issues with doing some of the bad things that he tied himself into doing. I think he will come out a good guy in the end. It is defnitely a less than safe road she is traveling taking such a likeable and recognizeable character from her series and making him 'bad', but that is what I like about Kenyon!

I expect that the showdown with Stryker and Nick will be the fodder for "Ash". I can't wait! I just hope that isn't the end, I think she said it wouldn't be.


message 43: by Kim (new)

Kim | 53 comments I enjoyed most of the Dark Hunter series, as well, and am keeping an eye out for more things Kenyon.

I've only read one of the Aisling Gray, Guardian, series and totally enjoyed it. My lastest reads have been the first three books in Charlaine Harris' "Southern Vampire" series with the indomitable Sookie Stackhouse. I found myself completely wrapped up in Sookie's adventures, what with her "disability" of being a telepath and all.

BTW - has anyone read any Alesia Holliday/Alyssa Day? I have the Atlantean series on my list, but haven't gotten to them, yet, and comments would be appreciated greatly!


message 44: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jen421) | 201 comments I haven't heard of her or the books Kim, but they sound interseting. I may have to add them to my list.

So, I just finished reading LKH's Lunatic Cafe a couple days ago. Richard still annoys me. He's such a frickin' boy scout. Ugh! Jean-Claude is way sexier and would be better suited to Anita's personality. I don't know why I can see this, but she can't.

On another note, I'm really starting to like Anita's bounty hunter buddy Edward. He's really grown on me, and kind of reminds me of Bones character from Jeanine Frost's Halfway to the Grave.


message 45: by Summer (new)

Summer (summerbp) | 59 comments I love Edward! He is featured very strongly in Obsidian Butterfly--which is actually my favorite book in the series. He's also prominent in the latest, The Harlequin.

Just keep on reading! The books get annoying, but Harlequin has really reinstilled my faith in LKH.


message 46: by PinkyB (new)

PinkyB | 5 comments Nancy Collins is an excellent author to check out for her "Sonja Blue" vampire. The first book is called Sunglasses After Dark. I read it years ago and still consider it one of the top vampire books I've read.


message 47: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (lbfarrer) | 10 comments You know, I think I might be one of those people who pretty much likes whatever I choose to read. I mean, don't get me wrong, there are definitely books/characters/series that I like better than others, but if it looked interesting enough to read, I probably liked it alright. I will continue to read LKH whether or not the plots continue to get smaller and the sex more rampant. This is probably due to the fact that I have to know what happens to each character. If you've made it through everything written, you've stuck with it for a while and love them or hate them, you still need to satisfy that curiousity. Anyway, not to jump ahead, but I think Micah is my favorite guy so far. Maybe cause its also my husband's name and I am biased. Who knows.


message 48: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 39 comments Alyssa Day is actually pretty good.


message 49: by Anita (new)

Anita (anitaw) | 162 comments I have another question about PNR vocabulary. (It will sound very newby to some of you, but I bet I'm not the only one who's not completely sure.) What are the definations of these terms?

erotica (I think this means novels that are focused on graphic, sometimes extreme sex, rather than on romance.)

Epic Fantasy - Is this the kind of fantasy that reminds me of Lord of the Rings? A totally made-up world, often with princesses and dragons and wood sprites and the like. Definately not contemporary, urban settings.

Speculative Fiction - Is this a generic term for everything sci-fi/paranormal/fantasy?

I'm guessing on the definitions based on context, but I'd rather be sure. Thanks!


message 50: by Mahlet (new)

Mahlet (EthiopianSiren) | 17 comments Shannon,
My first book in the Kenyon's Dark Hunter series was Night Pleasures. I loved it and I was sad to be finished. Then I went backwards in the series and read Fantasy Lover - I didn't think it was that great. And I have to agree with some of the other comments - Fantasy Lover doesn't seem to belong in the Dark Hunter series. Maybe you should give Night Pleasures a try. It's really quite different. If you do, let me know what you think ;)




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