Charlaine Harris has written four series, of which my favorite are the Sookie Stackhouse series. The Lily Bard series are set in Shakespeare, Arkansas. Lily is a house cleaner who has lived in Shakespeare for a few years. She moved around for some time after being horribly raped and knifed while living in Memphis. Lily is damaged, physically and emotionally. The physical she takes care of by learning a martial art and exercising. The emotional wounds are harder to deal with, but throughout the series she grows, and in the end is able to sustain a relationship. The books, in order, are Shakespeare's Landlord, Shakespeare's Champion, Shakespeare's Christmas, Shakespeare's Trollope, and Shakespeare's Counselor.
The books are well-plotted, and the characters are interesting. The series seems dark, because it has a main character whose outlook on humanity is understandably bleak. It is a different point of view than most, and worth reading about, though a steady diet of such a viewpoint would be depressing.