Okay, I’ll admit it. I love vampires. I like them undead, formerly human or a different race altogether, cold and scary, or hot and sexy. They might live the life of the undead in Victorian England, rule over a palatial mountain enclave in Romania, stalk the alleys of an American metropolis, or make a cave their home. (I mean, seriously, would you throw Bones out of bed just because of the cave thing?)
Gotta say: The sparkling-in-sunlight business almost drove me away, but then JR Ward released the first book in a new vhampire series called the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and the world righted itself. In fact, the fanged had never looked better.
(Did you realize that Dark Lover, the first Black Dagger book, and Twilight came out within a month of each other? Talk about the yin and yang of vampires.)
I’ve actually wasted brain cells trying to figure out why I love vampires, and here’s the result of my brain-strain:
1) Tortured Males. No, no. Not the BDSM kind of play-torture, although my man Vishous went there. Not the Guantanamo kind, either. Women love tortured guys so we can then spend much drama and angst trying to save the big idiots from themselves. And who can possibly be more tortured than some quasi-immortal being who’s probably lost more loves than we can imagine? Or who has such a brutal past that only our love and faith can save him (ahem, Bella and Zsadist, Bella and Edward, Bella and…well, you get the idea).
2) Strength…and Vulnerability. Think about it. You have these virtually immortal guys. (Because, really, do we care about the female vampires? Although I’d hang out with Pam.) Usually they have incredible strength and ability to heal. Speed. Scary mental powers. And yet there are several hours per day when they are completely vulnerable. We love caring for vulnerable beings like little babies and puppies and big dudes with fangs who might burst into flames when hit by a sunbeam.
3) Need. We all know guys need us, whether they admit it or not. But think about a vampire guy. He literally can’t live without what we can give him. Okay, sure, it involves puncture wounds and a siphoning of body fluids, but in a well-done romance, the plasma donor also gets a pretty good rush from it, yes? We love to be needed and if being needed involves multiple orgasms, what’s the harm in that? Anything to support the cause.
4) Bad Boy Syndrome. Women love bad boys; it’s part of our genetic makeup. And vampires are usually bad boys. Imagine your last family gathering. Now insert Wrath in the middle of it, or Eric Northman, or Jean-Claude….well, okay, JC would simply use his voice to mesmerize them all, and probably end up in a foursome with you, your Aunt Edna, and Uncle Lou and you’d be scarred for life. But whether they’re alphas or beta males, bad boy vampires are always masculine, confident (at least on the outside), and don’t play by the rules. What’s not to love?
5) Sex Gods. A vampire who has been around a century or three has had a LOT of time to practice his technique and has learned the art of delayed gratification. Yeah, you know what I mean.
So…are you a vampire lover? Or are you all fanged out?
Suzanne Johnson, who writes urban fantasy with a few pesky romantic elements, is the author of Royal Street, first in the Sentinels of New Orleans series. Book two, River Road, will be released November 13 from Tor Books. You can find Suzanne writing about speculative fiction, with and without romance, at her daily Preternatura blog, as well as hanging around on Twitter.