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Kresley Cole and Her Innocent Men

There is a host of reasons to like Kresley Cole’s works. My top two are they are relentlessly fun and deliciously subversive. The fun is probably readily apparent, but this article is about her subversivity.

Cole takes very traditional tropes and reverses them completely. For example, Cole’s books are female-centric with the female myths playing larger roles. Instead of the brotherhood or the male cadre of warriors, you ave a group of sword wielding, smart mouthed, head chopping Valkryries that like sparkly things, nail polish and video games or devious witches that are so beautiful they have to spell themselves to protect others from their personal glory.

Cole takes it even farther by flipping the hero into the traditional heroine type. As Robin blogged over at Reader’s Gab, so often heroines are solitary creatures with few friends and and not much of a support system; most importantly, the heroine is generally inexperienced.

So while Cole’s heroines are the ones with the constant fellowship and support, Cole’s heroes are isolated for various reasons. Lachlain was captured for hundreds of years [A Hunger Like No Other]. Bowen was emotionally stunted because he had lost his mate [Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night]. Sebastian purposefully isolated himself by avoiding his brothers and seeking comfort in scholarly work. In Cole’s newest two books to be released back to back in May and June, the heroes are isolated again. Conrad, the hero of Dark Needs at Night’s Edge, is said to have been “alone and friendless for centuries.” In Dark Desires after Dusk, Cadeon Woede is blamed for the loss of his brother’s crown, putting him in disgust to others. “Yet as Rydstrom mounted his stallion, his soldiers gazed at Cadeon with an expression of hatred, tinged with disgust. They clearly thought Cadeon should die.I had best get used to that look, he thought. Even at his young age, he knew he’d be seeing it for the rest of his life.”

Cole’s heroes are often sexually inexperienced. They’ve had few or no partners. Lachlain abstained from consorting with women in his clan because he was sensitive to how that might make his future mate uncomfortable. He searched out jewelry and gifts, not for any current mistress or lover, but for his future mate.

The vampires cannot even get it up until they are “blooded” by their “Bride.” In a sense, these men are completely manless without the right female which is yet another reversal of the trope that posits a woman is only complete with a man on one arm and a baby in the other.

Sebastian was a bumbler with women before he was turned into a vampire and had pangs that he might not be competent enough for Kaderin. “Sebastian’s forgettable-‘or disastrous-‘experiences had not prepared him in any way for Kaderin’s passion.” He compared himself unfavorably with his brother: “He could never have compared with Murdoch’s experience, and he’d dreaded looking down as he took a woman and knowing that she was thinking the same.”

In Dark Needs, there is a hilarious scene early on in the book where Sebastian tries to give Conrad a reason to live. He tries to sell Conrad on the majestic experience it is to be blooded. Neomi, the heroine ghost, is sitting in the room at this time, intently listening to everything that is going on. Conrad is becoming increasingly embarrassed as Sebastian proceeds to state baldly, to Neomi’s great interest, how few women Conrad probably has had. “Is that all she sees him as? A madman to be ignored? Or worse – pitied? That is how she sees him. A filthy, sexually inexperienced lunatic.” Neomi is the one with sexual experience. At one point, Conrad questions “Does nothing abash you?” Cadeon, in Dark Desires, is more sexually experienced but he is so enraptured in his mate that when he first meets her, he stutters and stammers and she dismisses him which, of course, makes him want her all the more.

Cole plays on the innocence of her men, but never fully emasculates them. She relies, in part, on their great physical strength, their tremendous good looks, and their machismo. I find her heroes to be an exaggeration of the stereotypical male and while they appear alpha, the truth is that these men are pussycats that are willing to devote their lives to a woman and to making that woman happy. You get the sense that if Kaderin the Coldhearted wanted Sebastian to wear a skirt, he would don it with pleasure and enough swagger to make her swoon. The innocent, yet alpha male, is a tightrope that Cole expertly navigates.

Because despite the bumbling, the sexual innocence, the emotional impairment of these heroes, the men are not emasculated nor are they overpowering. I think that Cole gets away with this because her story is a paranormal one. Her Valkryies and Witches are smart, powerful, beautiful, and unafraid of their own attractiveness. They can see through the facade. They know their power over men and thus the excess manliness only serves to heighten the chemistry.

Cole’s writing is very smart and very female centric in a genre that all too often makes it all about the men. Kind of like this article. In celebration of Cole’s writing and her back to back releases, Dark Needs at Night’s Edge and Dark Desires After Dusk, I’m giving away 15 copies of Dark Needs at Night’s Edge. They are currently sitting on my counter and I am anxious to send them out. So go forth and comment. I’ll randomly select you to win a copy of Dark Needs so you too can enjoy Kresley Cole and one of her innocent, beleaguered men.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. DS
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 04:36:17

    No need to include me in the contest.

    I just wanted to note that the only story I had tried by Cole had one of my least favorite plot devices– the fake rake (female version 1.0). The supernatural heroine was supposed to have been sexually experienced and certainly began the story acting that way. However, the more the reader found out about her, the less experienced she became.

    I have a couple more of her books around so I may give her another try. Between A Hunger Like No Other and Captain of All Pleasures, which would you recommend?

  2. Meriam
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 04:55:47

    Cole was one of my favourite new reads of 2007. I can only echo what you’ve said, Jane. She has really turned a number of frustrating conventions on their head. And she’s done it with a great deal of sly humour and memorable characterisation.

    And I love the way her characters – ancient Valkyries and powerful withces – are so steeped in popular culture. It’s refreshing, particularly when most contemporary romances feel so dated (although, to be fair, I don’t read a lot of contemporaries anymore; I just remember thinking they were all in time warps).

    DS, I tried one of Cole’s historicals and didn’t like it! I prefer the paranormals by far. YMMV. Was the female rake 1.0 Myst?

  3. Ann
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 05:06:17

    I just finished A Hunger like No Other. It was absolutely amazing! I can’t wait to read her other books.

  4. DS
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 05:17:48

    I sold my copy of the book Meriam, but I think it was– some sort of supernatural heroine with an off kilter name.

  5. Leslee
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 05:50:52

    I have not tried Ms. Cole’s work but they sound soooooo good. I am always looking for something new to try and this sounds right up my alley. Throw my name in the hat if you please!

    Thanks so much!

  6. LouisianaSusan
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 05:50:56

    Interesting article. I have the first of that series on my TBR pile. I have started it but perhaps I need to get back to reading it based on your review. But I wouldn’t mind being a lucky winner! :) Thanks.

  7. Jill Myles
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 06:34:13

    I probably shouldn’t enter the contest…but SCREW THAT! Gimme book! I *love* Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and I can’t wait for this dang book. Kresley has an awesome imagination and she’s able to throw everything together and make it work.

  8. Dalia
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 06:50:40

    I’m up-to-date on her Immortals After Dark series (don’t like the Scots series – or more to the point, they aren’t memorable to me, but I did read them) and though I like them, have to say I never thought about it that way. But now that you mention it, yes mmmhmm, the females do have a more dominant role to play. And in all of them, they save the hero! Well, there’s lots of ‘saving’ going on at various points in the books, but the Major Save belongs to the woman.

    I don’t recall the sex scenes being too subversive though. Maybe it’s because the werewolves have humongous hoohas and always need to tell the heroine to ‘take me lass, just a little more, ah yes’ (or words much to that effect)

    I’d like a book but I’m not living Stateside so disregard me for the contest. I’ll have to pre-order it on Amazon like I did for the others, along with my Loretta Chase and my North and South dvd from BBC America (cannot wait!).


  9. Anne Douglas
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 06:56:25

    I’m with Jill, I *LOVE* me those books, so I’m sticking my hat in the pile! Ahhhh, watching Big Bad Bowen get his knees knocked out from under him by a girl… le sigh. I love the whole imagery of the Valkyrie house too – having to give up hair to get in, while all these wild things fly around just waiting for an excuse to tear you to bits… sounds like my kind of home alarm! I’m really looking forward to Cadeon’s story. He seems like a demon with quite a journey to make.

  10. Denise
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 06:57:26

    Hmm. I have the first three books in my huge TBR pile. I think I’ll dig them out and see what the hoopla is all about. I’d love to win the fourth book. Thanks for the fun contest!


  11. sula
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 07:16:48

    What a timely post. I was recently sent the first three Cole books in her paranormal series and really really enjoyed them (reviewed them on my blog a few weeks back in fact). I particularly liked “A Hunger Like No Other.” You’ve verbalized a lot of what I sensed (but wasn’t able to articulate) about what makes her heros so special. They’re alpha and big and strong but with that vulnerable innocent edge that makes them entirely irresistible, imo. Sebastian for example actually plays the supportive role to Kaderin, choosing to assist her and bring his unique skills to complement hers rather than compete against her or (more typical in a romance) do the job FOR her. It struck me as turning a gender stereotype (woman/wife as supportive helpmate) on its head and I loved every minute of it. *g*

    Definitely throw my name in the contest hat. I’m jazzed about the next book! (And please please, someone tell me that Rydstrom will get his own story at some point in the future!)

    DS, I would definitely choose AHLNO over the Captain book. I read the latter before the former and it soured me on Cole as a writer (wayyyyy too many plodding romance cliches). I wasn’t planning to read anything else by her until my blogging buddy lisabea sent me the Immortals After Dark series. And now I’m hooked.

  12. Susan G
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 07:19:15

    I have never read any of Ms. Cole’s books and I must admit I am very tired of supernatural storylines. Vampires, werewolves, witches, demons – it’s hard to impress me anymore. But I like how you describe this author’s twist on the world building. And I thought her video at Author Talk was hilarious. She definitely has a sense of humor I can relate to so count me in!!

  13. Diane M.
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 07:24:42

    I love her books. I can’t wait for the next two books.

  14. Ana
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 07:32:26

    How interesting. I had never thought of them this way but you are absolutely right. It also happens in her historical If you Dare. I just finished writing a review of it, and how Annalia wraps Court around her fingers. Yes, he was the sexually experienced one in this instance but she was she still quite powerful in her passion.

    I love Kresley Cole’s books and can’t for the next two installments in the Immortals After Dark series. Bowen is one of my favorite romance heroes.

  15. DS
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 07:34:44

    Then I should definitely not read The Captain of All Pleasures. My tolerance for romantic cliches is at an all time low. A Hunger Like No Other it is then.

  16. katiebabs
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 07:37:17

    I am not going to deny it, I WANT THIS BOOK!! :) Ghost loving all the way.
    I am a sucker for innocent and shy heroes. And when they are semi-alpha, that is even better. There is something so cute when they blush or don’t know what to do when they are around the women they lurve.

  17. Lisa T.
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 07:38:20

    I have not read any of Ms. Cole’s work, but your overview of her work sounds intriguing. Count me in, please!

  18. Bev(QB)
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 07:48:25

    Very interesting way of looking at the series, Jane. I have to admit that I never really noticed how Cole reversed the normal paranormal romance characterizations. And now that you’ve pointed it out, I can’t believe I never saw it!

  19. kardis
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 07:53:26

    I am really glad that you wrote this piece, Jane. I have been avoiding paranormals lately and so I never even looked twice at these books. After this I am very excited to go out and get them, thanks!

  20. JulieH
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:12:55

    I have been anxiously awaiting this book and it is going to the top of my TBR pile as soon as I can get my little hands on it!

    I never really thought about the sort of role reversal she has in her books but I can see that after reading this post. Maybe that’s why I lover her writing. I think her books seem more balanced, a lot of romances are so hero centered.

    Count me in for the book giveaway! Thanks!

  21. Sheryl Nantus
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:13:01

    oh… now I’m really intrigued!!!

    great to see someone going outside the box, as it were – please put me in for this contest!!!


  22. Laeta
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:13:29

    I recently finished ‘Wicked Deeds’ (my first Kresley Cole book) and really enjoyed it. Sometimes, I found, the humor got a little too precious for me, but the action packed plot made it a great read. I can’t wait for the newest -not to mention catching up on the back list.

  23. Jill Monroe
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:15:16

    Kresley is just as fun in person as her books! (Although a very fast runner!) The Immortals After Dark are great, but I’m also a fan of her historicals.

  24. Estelle
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:17:05

    Great post! This is exactly why I like Cole so much (although she has written some books which I didn’t like, If You Deceive in particular, and also one of her Pleasure books, can’t remember which one. Hero was a jerk, very different from the heroes she writes now). As you said, this is so very rare in romance and I, for one, love it. I’ve always thought that a hero needn’t have dozens and dozens of past lovers to be thought of as dangerously appealing to readers. You can write heroes with an edge without them being Dukes of Sluts. Linnea Sinclair is another author who does that well IMO.

    My absolute favorite by Cole is A Hunger Like No Other. That’s a pure guilty pleasure read that I can never get enough of.

    And now I can’t wait for her new books. The one with Noemi and Conrad in particular. The excerpt I read made me want to read it ASAP. And that was several weeks ago. So I’m even more impatient now!

  25. Sally
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:17:14

    I have not read her before, but after reading this article, I feel that I may be missing out. Please put my name in for the contest. Thanks.

  26. JulieLeto
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:18:49

    Jill, I was going to say the same thing, LOLOL!

    I think Kresley Cole is an amazing, funny, subversive person so it does not surprise me that her books reflect who she is!

  27. Elizabeth
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:23:05

    Hope I win a copy but, either way, I’m gonna give these a try. Great post.

  28. Phou
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:23:52

    I love her works especially Hunger Like No other and Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night. I can’t wait to read the rest!

  29. Jill Myles
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:25:27

    I’ve been reading romance since I was 12 and so I fell in love with the macho alpha male at an extremely early age. I think that’s one reason why Kresley Cole’s books work so well for me – her heroes are definitely macho, definitely alpha and sexy as hell…but the heroine is their equal (Emmaline in AHLNO starts out as weak but it’s explained and she develops wonderfully through the story).

    And once the heroine appears on the scene, the hero’s entire world revolves around her. Um, hello, love that. ;)

    And I think the second book had to be my favorite, because I’m geeky enough that I thought the Hie was an awesome concept and I kinda wish it was spanning 4 or 5 books.

    (And now I’m going to shut up)

  30. Kim
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:41:58

    I love these books! So glad they are coming out back to back. I even liked her pirate one, which most people thought was rife with cliche. Arg, but I can’t help liking a little pirate booty, me matey. LOL. Please throw my name in the hat!

  31. Jen
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:43:08

    I’ve never read anything by Cole before, but you’ve convinced me I need to add her to my TBR pile. I love me some innocent men!

  32. hanne
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:45:18

    Hurrah! Been waiting for this :)

  33. bam
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:46:50

    I want one!

    Yep… you know me and my virgin hero fetish.

    Erm, that bit up there could probably be classified as TMI.

  34. Chicklet
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:49:28

    Oooh, I’m always up for the subversion of tropes! *g* Please put my name in the hat.

  35. MaryKate
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 08:56:08

    I love Cole books, both her historicals (I loved her Scots) and her paras. Please put my name in the drawing.

  36. MissKitty
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:08:11

    Funny, there´s just the exact opposite to this discussion on Karen´s blog.
    I wont repeat what I wrote there, but:

    Hallelujah, I´ve never read anything by Cole, but it sounds just like the stuff I´ve been waiting for since Jet Mykles` first Dark Elves book and sweet, feisty Diana.
    Strong women, no superhero “I´ve done it all and can easily overpower you with my sexual energy” men, no whimpering girlies, no swooning.


  37. Stephanie Z.
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:11:10

    Sounds interesting. I’ve always loved a good role-reversal.

  38. TLS
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:17:09

    Sounds interesting. Please enter me in the contest. Thanks.

  39. Megan
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:19:39

    Oh, I love her for those same ‘cliche on head’ reasons you cite. And I haven’t bought the latest ones yet!

  40. Mary Beth
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:23:00

    Cole’s books sound great and I’ve never read her. Please toss my name in the hat.

  41. V
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:24:53

    Great post. I love reading Cole’s After Dark series for all these reasons as well as the HOT sex scenes :)

  42. Maered
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:28:19

    I’ve never read Cole but I’m really interested in the less experienced hero trend she has. Count me in the contest!

  43. Jill Sorenson
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:37:07

    I’ve never read a Kresley Cole book either. Obviously, this must be remedied at once! So count me in.

  44. Kristen
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:40:49

    Dude, sign me up. LOL I love Kresley!

  45. KJsGrrl
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:44:44

    Interesting post. I had never thought of her books being a role reversal of the traditional romance heroine/hero. Definitely looking forward to the new books. Hope I win one! :)

  46. Julianne
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 09:53:48

    Great article. I really enjoy Kresley Cole’s books, so count me in on the contest.

  47. janicu
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:00:26

    Interesting post. I read only “A Hunger Like No Other” and I thought Lachlain could have paid more for his dragging of the heroine willy-nily, but I see your point. Hmm. *strokes chin*.

  48. Nicole
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:00:47

    Love the article. I’ve been really enjoying Kresley’s books and can’t wait to get these two books. So happy that they are being released so close together. I so hate waiting for the next book in a good series.

  49. Lorelie
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:05:04

    Oh yes, I’m counting down the days til this newest one, and pretty much have been for months. So please, please count me in on the drawing.

  50. Emily
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:06:04

    Please enter me in your contest. I’d like to try something different.

  51. Christine
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:17:12

    Great post, Jane. I love Kresely’s IAD series for exactly those insights you name. One of my favorite series. Love the characters, their interactions, the plot, the dialogue, the wit, the emotion… all awesome. I’d love to win a copy of Dark Needs on Night’s Edge!

  52. Sweet
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:27:21

    I wanted Cade’s book the moment he was introduced into the series, and I won’t even talk about my obsession with his brother Rydstrom. So please sign me up :) I’m ready for more IAD.

  53. Wandering Chopsticks
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:29:39

    Oh! I’ve come across this series so many times but the vampire angle always turns me off. Now I actually do want to read because of how you described her heroes.

  54. Dalia
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:30:20

    Yes, the Hie is so amazing. I wish I could enter. And the lines between fact and fiction continue to blur for Dalia…

  55. Dagny
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:37:04

    These sound so yummy. I’m so tired of cavemen alphas. My poor beta husband gets a complex just reading the back covers. Please include me in the drawing; he’d be ever so grateful

  56. nics
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:37:21

    I absolutely loooooove Kresley Cole’s books! She’s on my keeper shelf, especially her Immortals After Dark series.

    I’ve never really been the type to analyze a romance novel after I’m done with it, but after reading what you said, I have to absolutely agree with you! What you said actually made me appreciate Kresley Cole’s books all the more :)

    *getting down on hands and knees, begging* Please, please, please give me a copy! :)

  57. Jane A
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:44:26

    Great post that sums up what I love so much about Kresley Cole’s books. I hadn’t thought about her h/h in those terms before but you are so right. I love her capable, kickbutt, feminine heroines. And her heroes, well, you’ve said it all.

    Don’t need to enter me in the contest – I’ve got the book. :)

  58. Sarai
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:54:53

    I think that is why Ms. Cole works so well and made such an impression on me. Her stories are exactly what the doctor calls for sometimes!

  59. kerry
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 10:56:38

    Haven’t read one of hers before, but they sound interesting. Please enter my name. Thanks!

  60. SandyW
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 11:01:31

    Yes, Cole's men are fabulous. Alpha without being overbearing jerks. But the women! Competent, ass-kicking, and feminine. Her heroines are an absolute delight.

  61. Sara Dennis
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 11:02:06

    I have been meaning to try Ms. Cole’s books but haven’t gotten around to it. I’m a little leery of a lot of kick-butt heroines as I fear Xenaesque writing, but I have found a few that work just right for me, so maybe these books would too. Please add my name to the drawing.

  62. Klee
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 11:06:17

    I love the Immortals After Dark series and have been eagerly awaiting the next two (back to back!) releases. Please enter my name into the drawing.

  63. Rosario
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 11:31:43

    Spot-on, Jane! Ah, so that’s why I’ve enjoyed her books so much, in spite of the canna-dinna language and the shrill Valkyries ;-)

  64. limecello
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 11:33:16

    Oh joys! Commenting is back up!
    I have to say… I love the tortured hero. Maybe there’s something twisted in me, but I like to see the hero suffer a bit, emotionally. [Not excessively, mind you -just enough for him to really think.] I haven’t had the chance to read Kresley Cole yet, but her books sound fabulous! Please enter me into the drawing- thanks!

  65. Linsey
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 11:38:04

    I tried commenting earlier, and the internet ate it, so appologies if this is a double post. Cole has always had a two read requirement with me. The first read through is pure gluttony, gobbling it all down as fast as possible. The second is the more thoughtful read through where I actually catch all of the nuances between the couples and the group dynamics. Needless to say I’ve been trying to get my hands on a copy of her newest.

  66. Shannon C.
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 11:41:36

    No need to enter me in the contest either. And I was sooo going to read something else, but this article makes it clear that I need to not put off reading Kresley Cole because I do love me some strong heroines and reading about alpha males who are nonetheless complete pussycats… Mmm!

  67. Shreela
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 11:46:17

    Her characters sound great. I don’t care for outgoing, charismatic men. It seems the shy, more reserved men make much better choices. It probably sounds goofy, but I thought of the man from The Gods Must Be Crazy II while reading your description of Kresley’s heroes (maybe not quite so bumbling though).

  68. Bonnie Ferguson
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 12:03:11

    Thank you for this fun contest, Jane! Please enter my name :)

  69. Anna
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 12:07:53

    Please enter me in the contest. I read a short story in this universe in an anthology (with Emma Holly and Lora Leigh), and the story stays with me. I’ve been meaning to look up others in the series, just haven’t yet. Too many other books…..sigh. :)

  70. JLFerg
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 12:20:16

    I have never read a Kresley Cole, but she sounds like and interesting read. I’d love to give her a shot. She was really funny in that interview video you had posted the other day. Please add me to your drawing.


  71. Willa
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 12:25:17

    I didn’t like the Cole paranormal I tried, but I’m always willing to give it another go… especially if the book is free. ;-)

  72. Sarah Frantz
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 12:31:46

    Ooh, me, me! I love Cole’s paranormals–they’re so different! Robin hooked me, that evil woman, and now I’m totally addicted. I love how she doesn’t make it completely obvious who the next book is going to be about.

  73. kristenmary
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 12:42:56

    Count me in. I haven’t read her yet but from all the comments and your article they sound very interesting.

  74. Robin
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 12:44:22

    Robin hooked me, that evil woman, and now I'm totally addicted.

    Ha! My plans are working . . .

    I’m trying to restrain myself from commenting too extensively, because I’m working on my Cole review, but damn, I love these books, too!

  75. Leslie G.
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 12:50:38

    I’m currently reading Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night and totally enjoying it! “The innocent, yet alpha male, is a tightrope that Cole expertly navigates.” This comes through very clearly in Bowen. So alpha yet insecure in his ability to please Mari. Love Kresley Cole!

  76. Karen B
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 12:52:10

    Great post about an author I love. Please include me in the drawing.

  77. Sylvia
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 12:55:46

    Count me in too. Love the series.

  78. Tinkerbon
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 13:06:04

    sword wielding, smart mouthed, head chopping Valkryries … They know their power over men and thus the excess manliness only serves to heighten the chemistry.

    Is there anything else to say?! LOL I *adore* her books, and pimp them to anyone who will listen to me. Seriously.

    -‘ Bonz

  79. Liviania
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 13:07:45

    I have never read any of Cole’s books (although I have seen the Author Talk interview). I definitely think I’ll be picking up at least one now – you make a compelling case for her characterization. It sounds like a wonderful concept.

  80. Out and About In Romanceland… : The Good, The Bad and The Unread
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 13:10:10

    […] enter you have to comment… And you can get a sneak peek at the next book here. hmmm we need an excerpt of Dark Needs […]

  81. Keishon
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 13:20:15

    I’ve tried her and I just haven’t been sold – yet. I have several of her books in my TBR pile so I’ll start there. Please exclude me from the drawing but your post has encouraged me to give her another try, J.

  82. Jill D.
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 13:25:19

    I absolutely love Cole’s Immortal series. I espcially found the scavenger hunt loads of fun in No Rest for the Wicked. I can’t wait for the next two books!

  83. Anji
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 13:37:11

    I haven’t read Kresley Cole yet, but I’ve been meaning to pick up her books. Now I definitely need to be on the lookout for her books.

  84. Wendy
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 13:54:22

    Omg, do I even have to say it? OF COURSE, I’m in!

    Jane, I’d gladly give you my firstborn for this book. *g*

  85. Julia
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 13:57:23

    I knew there was something different about that series, but couldn’t put my finger on it. I always end up liking the couple by the end of the book, but it usually takes me that long to warm up to the heroine.

  86. SonomaLass
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 14:01:32

    Cole is on my list of authors to investigate, but our library doesn’t carry her books. With my shelves completely overloaded, I’ve promised my DP that I will use the library for most of my “one-off” reading, saving the (non-existent right now) shelf room for real keepers. Of course if I won the book in a contest, he could hardly complain!

  87. Wendy
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 14:03:54

    DS, I haven’t read Cole’s historical books but I have read her IAD Series and A Hunger Like No Other is one of my favorite Supernatural books ever so I really do recommend it. I really hope you like it! :)

  88. Ashley Danielle
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 14:20:13

    I love Kresley Cole’s historical and paranormal books. I thought If You Deceive was the best historical I’ve read in a long time. Her Immortals After Dark series is just as wonderful (especially A Hunger Like No Other)! Her books are just so full of life, love, and adventure!

  89. orannia
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 15:07:49

    I have to admit to never having tried a Kresley Cole book (I’m not quite sure how I managed that – I wonder if my local library doesn’t carry her books?) but Jane you have definitely tempted me! Would the Immortals After Dark series be the place to start please?

    orannia *who is rather intrigued by the ‘blooding’ scenario*

  90. Jane
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 15:14:34

    I think that the IAD series is a great place to start with Cole’s books.

    One of the gifts of Cole’s writing is that you could start anywhere and still have a full understanding of the romance because while you get re-appearances of characters past, it does not distract from the main couple. The first story is a novella and is one of my favorite featuring Nikolai, Sebastian, Murdoch and Conrad’s older brother, and Myst, a Valkryie. After hooking up with Nikolai, all of Myst’s Valkryie sisters call her Mysty, The Vampire Layer. Snerk.

    I do love A Hunger Like No Other, but I think her heroines are stronger in the other books.

    One thing I wanted to state is I know that Sandy Coleman at AAR took a strong exception to the glossary which appears at the front of the book. I hadn’t ever read the glossary in Cole’s books until after I read Coleman’s review so I feel that you can read the books without the glossary.

  91. Robin
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 15:23:50

    I think No Rest for the Wicked and the novella in the Playing Easy to Get anthology are my favorites in the IAD series. I was actually on the fence about Cole after reading A Hunger Like No Other (my first of her books to read), but I was hooked after NRFTW, and the riff on the Amazing Race remains one of my favorite paranormal settings across the subgenre.

  92. Little Lamb Lost
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 15:43:34

    I haven’t tried any of the books in this series but they certainly sound wonderful.

  93. Felicia
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 15:44:21

    Hmmm, this is why I should avoid your site, you have great reviews, and then I have to read the books. All of that is not good for my wallet, now I’ll have three more books on my tbr pile.

  94. Shiloh Walker
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 15:48:23

    Don’t put me in the drawing, but I have to say, I love Cole’s books. Her paranormals are some of my faves.

  95. Maddie
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 15:52:00

    Great postand very true never thought to look at it that way but all of your points are so true, I love her books and she is an auto buy for me!! Matter of fact even though her Dark Needs are to be released next week (29th) I’ve found a copy at Barnes today, Yeah for me even Cades books is looking good too.

  96. Marg
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 15:55:04

    I own a Kresley Cole book…haven’t managed to actually read it yet! Maybe I should!

  97. Dani
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 16:27:43

    I loved Hunger especially because it wasn’t a typical paranormal. After reading the Kenyon/Feehan alpha men, it was a wonderful surprise. :)

  98. Sam
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 16:31:27

    I think I’m going to have to try her books out. I’ve not read her yet.


  99. Kresley
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 16:32:11

    Wow-‘thanks to everyone for their comments, and thank you, Jane, for the wonderful write-up! As some of you know, I'm really shy about posting for some reason. Though I'll streak a hotel lobby for Jill and Gena at Author Talk (it's on the blooper reel), I'm quaking over this post. But I had to tell everyone how much I truly appreciate your kind words about the books! Thank you again.

  100. Mireya
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 17:08:24

    When I read her first paranormal novella, I was like “meh”. Then I got my hands in “A Hunger Like No Other” for review and was hooked … for life … You hafta read “Dark Needs at Night’s Edge”. Can’t talk more about it, writing a review for it.

    *wipes drool and goes back to hide under her rock*

  101. Mad
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 17:13:13

    I would love to try one of her books…haven’t read this series yet.

  102. Wendy
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 17:29:05

    I totally agree with you, Jane! I didn’t bother with the glossary when I first read AHLNO and I didn’t have any problems. And if anyone, while reading the book, isn’t sure they can just go to the glossary and check, it’s pretty good.

    I’m telling you people, read A Hunger Like No Other! [/fangirl]

    Dammit. Cole’s the only author who can turn me into a gushing fangirl. No wonder I’m e-stalking her! Erm, I mean..uh nevermind.

  103. ChRiStY
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 18:04:46

    I must be living under a rock ~ I haven’t read any of Kresley’s books – yet. One could say I have a DARK NEED to read them.

  104. K. Z. Snow
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 18:13:52

    This take on heroes really intrigues me. (If it didn’t, I wouldn’t have bothered responding.) I’m not familiar with Ms. Cole’s work; have heard a lot about her, though.

    I must admit, I still need to be sold on uber-perfect heroines, since most of them have pushed my gag button. It’s obvious KC doesn’t need to sell anybody on any damned thing . . . but I’m truly curious about the male/female interactive mix in these books.

  105. Bev(QB)
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 18:22:44

    K.Z., that’s just it, Cole’s characters AREN’T PERFECT! What sets this series apart is that the main characters aren’t always particularly likeable, they have flaws and tempers and can be pig-headed… just like the rest of us!

  106. stephanie Kelly
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 18:26:39

    Dark Needs At Night’s Edge has been the best book i’ve read this year.
    Kresley is just an amazingly discriptive author who has an
    amazing imagination!
    So cant wait for DDAD!!!!!

  107. Josie
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 18:27:45

    Count me in! I love this series. I think it’s pretty safe to say that even if I don’t win a copy I’ll be buying one as soon as it’s been released. I’m thrilled that we’re getting 2 in a row as well!

  108. Amanda
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 18:33:04

    Oooh! Put my name in the hat. I love this series!

    You make some really good points here, Jane. I’ve never really thought about the way she subverts the hero/heroine roles but it’s all there. I think there’s an academic article in here somewhere:)

  109. Laurie
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 18:40:24

    Okay, you sold me. I’ve never had much luck with this genre, but I think I’m going to have to give it one more try.

  110. Kristie(J)
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 19:21:12

    Oooh – count me in. Although I haven’t read them all yet – in fact I haven’t read many at all – I have all her books. It’s just a matter of getting to them!

  111. Ashley
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 19:52:27

    I read “A Hunger…” back at Christmas time and I really enjoyed the way Kresley Cole developed both the heroine and the hero. I kept on cheering on the heroine throughout the book because she was a strong character! I can’t wait to read the new ones! Count me in for the contest as well please!

  112. cc
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 19:55:13

    me please. Me Please! ME PLEASE!!! I’m hearing all this good stuff and neither of the libraries in the county have any of her books. I’m off to local independent, but bet I’ll be ordering and not picking up off the shelf.

  113. Beth
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 20:11:19

    Finally a contest I can possibly win without having my own blog!

    I would love love love to win — I have these books on my Amazon wish list but have been cash strapped lately.

    Thanks for the great article!

  114. :Candice:
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 20:14:57

    Sign me up ;) I La-la-la-la-Love Kresley Cole, and her IAD series is to g-o-o-d! I love that all of her characters have both strong and weak qualities. Her romances are delicious and her adventures have you on the edge of your seat. She is definitely an auto buy author!
    Good Luck Everyone!!!


  115. wonald
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 20:53:48

    I have the first 2 Coles on my TBR so am interested.

  116. Nikki
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 20:57:56

    I love this series. Does anyone know if any of the books other than Wicked Deeds are out as e-books?

    I have to agree that the strong heroines with a strong support group makes her different. I have noticed that other authors will set up a supposed support group but not really display it. For example, the wallflower series.

  117. Mireya
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 21:05:07

    Quick note, obviously, don’t include me in the drawing. I have the book… I just wanted to say how much I loved it. Sorry if I appeared greedy or something.

  118. Stephanie
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 21:09:45

    I haven’t read Cole, but these books sound really interesting. I’d love to be in the contest. Thank you for writing such a thoughtful article.

  119. Keilexandra
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 21:25:07

    Oh, sounds intriguing. I adore gender reversals.

  120. Miki
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 21:51:19

    I haven’t read any Cole, and am very hesitant to buy more vampire stories…but I’d take another chance on the genre if I won the book.

    And, since I have no book-buying self-control, if I liked it, I’d promise to snap up her backlist! *snicker*

  121. Collette
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 21:53:55

    Ooh, glee! I love her books. I have all of Immortals after Dark series and will definitely pick up the next 2. Back to back releases are delicious.

  122. Jane
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 22:42:07

    If you are curious about Kresley Cole’s books and don’t want to lay out the cash, you might want to head to her forum. She’s giving away 30+ books there close to her release date.


  123. Lynn
    Apr 22, 2008 @ 23:07:55

    I don’t care if I sound like a fangirl, but anything Kresley Cole touches turns to gold! Her heroes are no exception. :)

  124. acdaisy77
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 00:42:32

    I haven’t read any of Kresley Cole’s books. From the comments above, I think I would definately enjoy her books and plus it would give me a chance to try them out.

  125. Arwen
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 01:21:59

    I love Kresley Cole’s series. I got one at a convention and read it in a desperate late night moment known as “oh hell all the bookstores are closed. What can I read.” I literally grabbed it out of a bag. A late night turned into a very early morning…grin. I’d love to win!

  126. Pam P
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 03:10:02

    Great post, Jane, you said it way better than I could have, right, count me in. I loved Bowen, and can’t wait to see Caedon flustered and stuttering.

    Miki, try this series, it’s not another vamp like you’re thinking – those imperfect and kind of campy Valkryie heroines are the focus, and then all sorts of other beings mixed in.

  127. Krystle
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 06:08:17

    I’m a HUGE fan of Kresley Cole and she has been an auto-buy for me since her first book. I would highly recommend her books to anyone!

  128. azteclady
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 07:12:45

    I have had Ms Cole in my wish list for a while now… methinks I should move her up a bit :wink:

  129. Amy S.
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 07:35:22

    Please enter me in the contest! Would love to read it!

  130. Kimbelina
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 07:54:29

    Okay, you got me with this wonderful analysis of Cole’s heroes. I have not read any of her work, but now I desperately want to, so count me in. I am off to to see if I can get a hold of some of her other books.

  131. Brigitta
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 07:58:10

    Kresley’s IAD series are so damn cool – I love those butt-kicking heroines. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

  132. Sandy
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 12:37:23

    I tried one of her historicals and I have to agree with several of the others above, I didn’t like it either. This was after I read the 2nd of the IAD series, too! I was a bit disappointed with No Rest for the Wicked, but thankfully, Wicked Deeds made up for that. I can’t wait for to read the back-to-back releases.

  133. cyclops8
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 13:41:57

    I’ve never read any of Kresley’s books and I’m guessing I should definitely check them out.

  134. Renee
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 13:58:27

    Great commentary! I’ve seen Cole’s books around, but haven’t picked them up. I love it when authors mess with my expectations. Another author who really plays with gender role assumptions is Wen Spencer in A Brother’s Price.
    I’ll definitely have to check out Kresley Cole.

  135. Amy
    Apr 23, 2008 @ 23:14:40

    First, I want to say that I am a long time romance genre fan who found this blog by accident this weekend and I am so glad that I did! I had never before bothered to look for reader reviewer blogs, having relied pretty much on Amazon reviews. Well, of course after reading about the Amazon reviews fiasco here, I’m going to be more careful of relying on those reviews. I plan to be a regular reader of this blog and may search out others as well.

    I also do not need to be included in the giveaway as I’ve already ordered Dark Needs (unfortunately from Amazon) and I expect it tomorrow. I’m commenting mainly to say that your comments about Cole have captured the essence of why I love the Immortal After Dark series, though I have never before articulated all the reasons the way you have.

  136. Sheila
    Apr 24, 2008 @ 01:51:38

    I’ve enjoyed reading the Immortals after Dark series. I look forward to the upcoming books.

  137. Rosa
    Apr 24, 2008 @ 03:49:41

    I lovelovelove, Kresley Cole! Her characters are so realistic, and not male centered like so many other books in this genre so unfortunetly are. I love her books so much that I immediately made countdowns for the realease dates and have been watching the seconds tick off of on my desktop! I’m really looking forward to the back to back releases.

  138. Jane
    Apr 24, 2008 @ 08:38:13

    Okay, the winners are as follows. Please email your snail mail address.

    # 92 Little Lamb Lost
    # 36 Miss Kitty
    # 14 Ana
    # 50 Emily
    # 107 Josie
    # 97 Dani
    # 67 Shreela
    # 64 limecello
    # 79 Liviania
    # 111 Ashley
    # 15 DS
    # 87 Wendy
    # 114 Candice
    # 116 Nikki
    # 103 ChRiStY

  139. azteclady
    Apr 24, 2008 @ 09:58:35

    *applause* Congrats, ladies! *applause*

  140. Winners of the Kresley Cole and Fictionwise GCs | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Apr 24, 2008 @ 11:00:25

    […] hosted a giveaway for 15 copies of Kresley Cole’s delicious upcoming May release, Dark Needs at Night’s […]

  141. :Candice:
    Apr 24, 2008 @ 21:28:20

    =^O —no way! That is soooo awesome!! I’m like speechless just “OMGing” over here I’m sending my info to this email ‘[email protected]’ Thank you so much for doing this, you totally rock!

  142. Review: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole : The Good, The Bad and The Unread
    Apr 25, 2008 @ 13:01:03

    […] as one of them. I love an author who can make me appreciate tired romance cliches and write a subversive, feminist romance novel as […]

  143. Shreela
    Apr 25, 2008 @ 15:27:28

    Thanks Jane! I’ll start reading it as soon as I receive it. Wooo!

  144. Immortals After Dark « Ciaralira
    Apr 29, 2008 @ 13:34:17

    […] are tortured but lovable, and her heroines are intrepid and strong (which Jane writes about on Dear Author). And the books are hawt. […]

  145. Sharon Whirley
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 08:47:21

    All I can say is, “Where is MY Conrad?!?!?”

  146. Dionne Galace » Blog Archive » Review: Dark Needs At a Night’s Edge
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 11:50:58

    […] Heroine: Dear Author was just talking about the females in Kresley Cole’s books and how they tend to be fierce, […]

  147. Elaine C
    Apr 30, 2008 @ 13:27:52

    Don’t put me in the drawing -_> I already have my copy of Dark Needs at Night's Edge.

    I just wanted to say I LOVE Kresley Cole’s stories and all her upcoming books are on my pre-order list. Her IAD books are my favorite, but her Scottish trilogy and historical are keepers too due to the strong heroines and great “bumbling” alpha males…I adore her balancing ability. As you said it is difficult to combine all these great traits in her characters but she does it superbly!
    Good luck to everyone else on the contest! Woo hoo looking forward to Dark Desires After Dusk

  148. Pam Howell
    May 02, 2008 @ 19:05:13

    I absolutely ADORE Kresley Cole. a Hunger Like No Other is one of my absolute favorites. I liked not loved Nor Rest for the Wicked – but she blew me away with plot twist in Bowen’s story. I NEVER saw THAT coming!
    and out my name in hat for contest – please
    Pam :)

  149. Victoria A. M. Marques
    May 05, 2008 @ 16:37:51

    I am a fan of supernatural novel and had read Kresley Cole’s historical novels before picking up A Hunger Like No Other, which completely blew me away, the following books in the series were also AWESOME and I can’t wait to read Dark Deeds at a Night’s Edge!!
    I love the twists! the girl power and each hero’s devotion!!
    I am always lending my books because I like them so much
    and I, like Pam Howell absolutely did not see THAT TWIST COMING for Bowen’s story

  150.»Blog Archive » Weekly Roundup
    May 09, 2008 @ 13:22:40

    […] –Subversive and sparkly Kresley Cole. I have some reading to catch up on. To quote Dear Author: “Cole's books are female-centric with the female myths playing larger roles. Instead of the brotherhood or the male cadre of warriors, you have a group of sword wielding, smart mouthed, head chopping Valkryries that like sparkly things, nail polish and video games or devious witches that are so beautiful they have to spell themselves to protect others from their personal glory.” […]

  151. Mags
    May 18, 2008 @ 12:16:21

    Is this drawing still going on? If it is, please count me in. Love the Immortals after Dark series.

  152. melody
    Jul 07, 2008 @ 06:11:24

    Am reading my first Cole book,the first of the McCarrick brothers,oh but i have never enjoyed a book like this one, and am about to start book 2 ,but please please let there be a 4th book

  153. Sandra
    Aug 06, 2008 @ 18:40:42

    read all 5 books, plus the McCarrick brothers series in one month, I’m on summer break. Can’t wait for Kiss of a Demon King!!! Love her style, sets my blood to tingling!!!!!!Think I’ll read them all again.

  154. Ivy
    Jul 27, 2009 @ 15:00:18

    Read the books. Loved every minute. Can’t get enough of it. Wish she was prolific. I need a fix bad… It’s my morsus.

  155. Jeannette Bonilla
    Mar 05, 2010 @ 16:42:42

    I love reading. I started reading as a teenager and have never stopped. Cole is one of two authors that have become my favorite. I have just ordered 5 books in the Immortals After Dark Series and pre-ordered Demon From the Dark. I will continue to buy ALL her books. I love every single books from this series.

  156. Immortals After Dark: Book 4 Dark Needs at Night's Edge |
    Nov 05, 2010 @ 18:07:14

    […] […]

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