I just finished listening to an audio book version of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this book! Now, if you are completely turned off/sick-and-tired of the whole "vampire/witches/paranormal" genre that has exploded in the last 4-5 years, stop reading this review right now. This book isn't for you, LOL.
But if you can stand just one more book in that category, do not miss A Discovery of Witches. In a nutshell, Diana Bishop is a witch in denial. She knows she descends from a long line of powerful witches, but refuses to acknowledge her own powers and relies on her intellect and reality to succeed as a well-respected authority on alchemy. While researching an ancient text, she comes smack against magic and can no longer deny her destiny. However, a handsome yet enigmatic vampire is also seeking the same knowledge she is and knows she is in danger from other creatures who will stop at nothing to unlock her power and take back what they think she is hiding. The two team up, along with several others of their kind, and together they embark on a journey to stop the evil side of the witch/vampire/demon community that threatens all of them with extinction.
OK, it sounds a little trite and corny the way I described it above, but this is very well written, and reads fast even for a 500+ page book. The narrator, Jennifer Ikeda, does a great job with the pace and different voices for each of the characters. It's pretty "tame" in light of how some of these vampire/witch romances are - there isn't any sex or graphic violence (like the Twilight series). But the dialogue is great, and the author really knows how to build a storyline to where you want to find out what will happen next. And while many are comparing it to the Twilight series, I felt the main difference was that you knew you were reading about adults, vs. the teenage angst of Bella and Edward. while I enjoyed Twilight series, Bella's "teenage-ness" did get on my nerves many times throughout the books, LOL.
This book is part 1 of a trilogy, and Deborah Harkness is working on the second book in the series, to release in 2012...I can hardly wait! Again, if you like a good romance, with a devastatingly handsome male lead, and a smart female lead, you will enjoy this book!