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Vampires of El Norte by Isabel Cañas

Vampires of El Norte

Repeat author

Isabel Cañas is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include The Hacienda.

by Isabel Cañas

Quick take

Sink your teeth into this sumptuous border tale full of cowboys, forbidden romance, and things going bump in the night.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Feminist


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy



As the daughter of a rancher in 1840s Mexico, Nena knows a thing or two about monsters—her home has long been threatened by tensions with Anglo settlers from the north. But something more sinister lurks near the ranch at night, something that drains men of their blood and leaves them for dead.

Something that once attacked Nena nine years ago.

Believing Nena dead, Néstor has been on the run from his grief ever since, moving from ranch to ranch working as a vaquero. But no amount of drink can dispel the night terrors of sharp teeth; no woman can erase his childhood sweetheart from his mind.

When the United States attacks Mexico in 1846, the two are brought abruptly together on the road to war: Nena as a curandera, a healer striving to prove her worth to her father so that he does not marry her off to a stranger, and Néstor as a member of the auxiliary cavalry of ranchers and vaqueros. But the shock of their reunion—and Nena’s rage at Néstor for seemingly abandoning her long ago—is quickly overshadowed by the appearance of a nightmare made flesh.

And unless Nena and Néstor work through their past and face the future together, neither will survive to see the dawn.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Vampires of El Norte.

Why I love it

I have long been drawn to stories about vampires. Admittedly, my fascination began in my teen years with a certain book series, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become interested in vampires that are a bit more sinister than the ones I grew up with. It is safe to say that I love the bloodsucking creatures that Isabel Cañas has envisioned in her newest novel, but there is something to be said for her masterful portrayal of the tumultuous setting of 1840s Mexico and her compelling cast of characters, all of which combined make for a truly special read.

On one fateful night, Nena and Néstor are attacked by a monster so dangerous, it leaves Nena on the brink of death. Believing his friend to be dead, Néstor flees their home, the ranch, and spends the next nine years running from his grief. But when the United States attacks Mexico, Néstor comes back to the life he left behind only to discover Nena is alive. Together, they reluctantly head into battle, only to discover that something monstrous awaits them. And if Nena and Néstor don’t work out their differences, they may not survive the night.

Cañas has created the perfect blend of historical fiction and horror that is a true delight to read. I found myself reveling in the danger that lurked in the shadows of this world and gladly following Nena and Néstor into the darkness, wondering if they would survive. Vampires of El Norte is the perfect read for anyone who loves the creatures that go bump in the night.

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Member ratings (7,145)

  • Isaac W.

    West Hollywood, CA

    I LOVED THIS! I dare say it’s a perfect book! I know the genre isn’t for everyone but Cañas weaves romance & historical fiction beautifully & peppers it with monstrous tension. It’s so atmospheric! ❤️

  • Jordan S.

    Woodbury, MN

    My only suggestion would be to include a map of North America in the 1840’s. I love being able to follow along with a story especially when there’s a lot of traveling in a world that no longer exists.

  • Katie P.

    Philadelphia, PA

    I loved this story. I thought the atmosphere was fantastic, though I figured there would be more of the vampire plot line based on the title. It seemed secondary to the romance, which I wasn’t mad at.

  • Blake S.

    Fallon, NV

    This story was simultaneously thrilling and comforting. Just as I was falling in love with Nena’s home, and envisioning the future she had, I was fearful of the creatures threatening to take it all.

  • Mallorie M.

    Frederick , CO

    Once I picked this book up I couldn’t put it down! The kind of historical fiction that grips you by the neck and holds you close. Nena and Nestor’s story ended perfectly, with an exhale of relief.