I liked the Earth's Children series by Jean Auel (Clan of the Cave Bear, Valley of the Horses, etc). Sometimes they get bogged down by overly detailed descriptions of random things, but I like the story. I wish she'd hurry up and finish the 7th (and final) book already - I'm not holding my breath though; there were 10+ years between the 5th & 6th books.
In the line of Sookie, House of Night books, I love Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series. She is on book 4 of a 6 book series but it is SO good! Book 1 is a little slow but it gets really good in the middle.
Another series I love is Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson Series.
Vampires aren't the main characters but they are involved in the series.
Just a few recs that come to my mind, which I enjoy:
-Janet Evanovich's series with Stephanie Plum as main character (One for the Money, etc)
-The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (only 3 books, but it's amazing!!! The 3rd book comes out in August)
-Ted Dekker's Circle Trilogy (if you're interested in Christian fiction)
Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear - set post WWI England, protagonist is a "psychologist and investigator" who solves crimes by understanbdign the true motivations behind the mystery. Great books.
Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare - Clare is a favorite of Stephenie Meyers and this is a fantasy adventure romance with a strong teenage love story. But Clary is a more likable and active protagonist than Bella.
Also loved Hunger Games and am eagerly awaiting the next book. Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series was great, but that's a mystery thriller not romance or speculative fiction.
The mother of all of them is the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. There's nothing to compare with that. I love the Earth's Children series too, and FYI the last book comes out next March.
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