A series of books by Charlaine Harris called The Southern Vampire Mysteries is really one of my favorite vampire books of all time. While the central heroine is not a vampire herself, Sookie Stackhouse is not a normal woman and is in fact a telepath. The two main vampires who vie for Sookie's heart (and blood!) are Bill Compton and Eric Northman. Set in the small town of Bon Temps, LA, the books center around Sookie's life as a barmaid and also her life involving all sorts of super natural creatures, mostly vampires, but also includes werewolves, shifters, and fairies. My favorite vampire is Eric Northman who starts off as a slightly villainous character, but goes on to win over your heart and Sookie's.
Eric Northman's a 1,000 year old Viking vampire who knows how to preserve the things he loves most - his life, his child, or progeny, named Pam and Sookie. This blonde haired ex-Viking has a love for life that is not typical for most vampires and does what he wishes to get what he wants.
I dislike Bill's character in the books mainly because of his reasoning for wooing Sookie and the way he treats her like a piece of meat, instead of an actual person. He does have some qualities, like loyalty, that are to be commended, but not many. His looks are completely in sync with his attitude, brooding and dark.
As you go through The Southern Vampire Mysteries books, you are constantly questioning who should Sookie choose in the end for her happily ever after, but for me there's not a doubt in my mind on who it should be. Eric Northman is the top vampire hands down. His transformation makes the books what they are, and it also helps that he's sexy as hell.
Some other things to enjoy about this series is the wit - especially from Eric's progeny Pam. She's an unusual vampire in that she dresses like a middle aged suburban soccer mom and has a terrific sense of humor! While there are other supporting vampires in the books, the three I make mention of are definitely the ones to look out for as you're reading.
This series of books, also called The Sookie Stackhouse Novels, is definitely made for adults, and definitely for vampire lovers who want action with their romance, and want their vampires to be wickedly delicious and without any sparkle!
"There will be hoards of vampire bats descending on Beverly Hills.... We'll see if they can find any real flesh to puncture. I don't know." -- Lucy Lawless, referencing the Hollywood premiere of 'Vampire Bats'