Here we are, eight weeks into 2013, and I’ve managed to read 19 books, If you look at my reading list, you’ll probably notice a certain theme. Yes, I have succumbed to the paranormal romance genre.

Here’s how it all went down.

My friend, Heidi, has long known my contempt for fantasy romance novels. I would scoff and roll my eyes whenever she would gush over some sexy character or titillating scene. But then she tricked me. Back in December, knowing my obsession fondness for anything about Vlad III (aka Vlad the Impaler), she slipped a little book into my hand, telling me it featured Vlad and that I would like it.

Um, yeah. Understatement.

OnceBurned-for-blog2First of all, just look at the cover. It’s Hot with a capital H. Would that the real Vlad actually looked like this. (From now on, in my mind, he does.)

Add in a non-simpering heroine, some witty banter, a bit of fighting, some steamy sex, a good dollop of humor and you have the makings of crack, literary crack.

Now you’ve heard how a drug dealer will give a little freebie, so you get the need for it and want more? That’s what Heidi and this book did to me. Before I knew it, my library hold list had maxed out; Heidi was slipping more books into my eager hands; I bought a book or two when they couldn’t get them at the library fast enough; and I even traded in some of my own books at the used bookstore to get store credit so I can buy more PNR. Non-PNR library books like Wolf Hall and The Age of Miracles languish on my nightstand, passed by for more salacious reading fare. (I will get to them, I promise. I can stop anytime I want to!)

In the past couple of months, I”ve read the rest of Jeaniene Frost’s books (and most happily feature Vlad at least in some part), all of Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, am well on my way to devouring J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and her doppelganger, Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series. I haven’t pulled this many all-nighters since college.

bookcrack

I’ve also read a couple books that would more aptly be categorized as Urban Fantasy, like Kelley Armstrong’s Bitten and Patricia Briggs’ Moon Called. Good books, and I’ll read more, but they’re not crack, at least not for me, not yet.

And even a PNR neophyte like myself had heard of Laurell K. Hamilton. I had recommended her books to many people while at the library and I know she has a huge following. So I started with the first in the Merry Gentry series, A Kiss of Shadows. And had to force my way through it. It’s the unsexiest book about sex that I’ve ever read. And my God, does the woman love to pack in superfluous details. I don’t really care to read pages about the dynamics of levitating teacups, thank you very much.

Aside from those quibbles, I now have to face the fact that I am a reader of paranormal romance. Give me sex, humor, and a vampire, werewolf or demon (or all three) and I’m your girl.  I will be the first to admit these are fluff books with no redeeming value. Well, maybe at least one. But they are fun. And girls just wanna have.

Sing it, Cyndi!

Sing it, Cyndi!

So thanks, Heidi. You can be my pusher any day.