Tag Archives: kresley cole

The Immortals After Dark Series: A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole

Kresley Cole’s apparent thought process for the paranormal romance A Hunger Like No Other –

“You know what’s vile fun? Opening with an assault! A deranged man (werewolf) will sense a woman (vampire), decide she is his mate, chase and tackle her when she tries to flee, and then hold her against her will in a hotel room that he will slowly destroy. He will refer to her as “it” in his head and insult her for not being the mate he imagined. Although her abject terror is an inconvenience, and in spite of her offensive nature, he initiates a physical relationship. Alone and defenseless in a foreign country, she’ll find herself becoming aroused when he rips off her clothes and paws her. After insisting she share his bed, he can wake her up with a sexual assault. She will fight only because she is confused by her arousal. When she tries to escape, he’ll stop her. To encourage him to be gentle, she’ll threaten to harm herself. To make himself more attractive to her, he’ll use her credit cards to buy himself whatever he wants. When her family calls, she will lie, say she is fine, and then leave with him. [fanning self] That is so hot!”

Two things about this abduction and seduction plot, Ms. Cole:

b. YOU.

It does get less rage-inducing from there, but since “there” is a revenge fantasy set up and the heroine never gets around to curb stomping the hero, the so-called improvement is the most “relative” ever of the “all things being” variety. The relationship remains abusive. He needs her. He just wants to be close to her. He’s in so much pain. He’s been through so much. He’d never hurt her, you know, except all those times he tries to manipulate or control her.

What happened to the silly, sexy fun? The popularity of Cole’s campy Immortals After Dark series is built on silly, sexy fun. More importantly, even with outdated gender stereotypes, the immortal heroines are badass powerhouses. Is this book intended to tap into a predilection that simply doesn’t work for me? Because this is a terrified 105 pound, 5’2″, young woman alone with an unhinged 250 pound, 6’6″ man putting his hands on her with coerced consent. This is that abusive-relationship-masquerading-as-a-love-story plot people complain about with Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, isn’t it? The heroine actually tells herself she doesn’t have Stockholm Syndrome, then admits she does, then denies it because she is getting something she wants out of the relationship. The American Psychological Association would like a word.

Once things got back to the usual ridiculousness one looks to the Immortals After Dark series for, the plot proceeded with Cole’s standard hijinks and violently intense THUNDER SEX™scenes, and, yes, because the hero is a werewolf, the THUNDER SEX™ is indeed doggy style, emphatically so.

I was so bent out of shape and offended by the opening chapters that I finished the book strictly for the sake of Cannonball Read honesty and to plot my spiteful review. The (Shameful) Tally suddenly feels a lot less ignominious.

Reviews for other books in the series: The Warlord Wants Forever ; A Hunger Like No Other; No Rest for the Wicked; Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night; Dark Needs at Night’s Edge; Dark Desires After Dusk; Kiss of a Demon King; Deep Kiss of Winter; Pleasure of a Dark Prince; Demon from the Dark; Dreams of a Dark Warrior; Lothaire; MacRieve; Shadow’s Claim.

THUNDER SEX™ Edition – Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark Series

Thank you to Alexis for giving me two of Kresley Cole’s paranormal romance books. I hope I can do justice to their supreme, but occasionally kind of delicious, silliness. In a genre of guilty pleasures, they are the guiltiest.

The Immortals After Dark books can be read as standalone novels, but the stories and characters overlap. In this “Lore” world, fairy tales are real, vampires are considered vulgar, and there is an escalating war between Things That Go Bump in the Night, plus everyone stays young forever and no one ever gets fat. The series has a fun but odd juxtaposition of quippy writing and immortal beings acting all mythical’n’shit. Additional novels are published with metronomic regularity, but this is the current series list (reviewed books are in bold): The Warlord Wants Forever ; A Hunger Like No Other; No Rest for the Wicked; Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night; Dark Needs at Night’s Edge; Dark Desires After Dusk; Kiss of a Demon King; Deep Kiss of Winter ; Pleasure of a Dark Prince; Demon from the Dark; Dreams of a Dark Warrior; Lothaire; MacRieve, Shadow’s Claim.

Plot Summary (All): Boy mythical creature meets girl mythical creature. Sexual attraction supernova. Reluctance and/or hindrance. Comeheregoaway. Adventure. Comeheregoaway. Unite to resolve challenges. Comeheregoaway. THUNDER SEX™. THUNDER SEX™. Resolution. Marriage.

“What is THUNDER SEX™?”, you ask. Even with an embarrassingly high historical romance total, nothing had prepared me for the violently intense sex scenes in Kresley Cole’s books. Immortality imbues one with an orgasm tripwire. At the slightest contact, both participants are arching, gasping, pulsing, clenching, trembling, moaning, pumping, biting, sighing, throbbing, throwing his or her head back to roar at the ceiling, and d. ALL OF THE ABOVE. That, dear reader, is THUNDER SEX™.

Male Bumps in the Night: The men are all Alpha males. So far, every one is at least 6’6″ tall with black hair, an insanely muscular physique, preternatural strength, and intimidatingly height-proportionate wedding tackle. They are protective, steadfast, possessive, and besotted. The imprinting process ensures intense attraction and loyalty.

Female Bumps in the Night: The women are generally Alpha females, strong and intelligent, powerful, headstrong, and don’t take any guff. They quietly adore their mate’s ferocity. Physically they are all petite curvy allure. They are also frozen in youth and frankly young in their demeanor. The Valkyrie characters in particular seem trapped in an endless slumber party.

Kresley Cole’s writing style is distinctly flip and this what saves the books from utter ridiculousness. Well, it doesn’t exactly save them from it, but at least it feels like the author is in on the joke. These are the highest quality, most magnificent novelized Velveeta you will ever encounter, fun and completely disposable. No one is going to be writing a Master’s thesis on the gender roles in Immortals After Dark anytime soon, but if they were… I’ll save those for the next set of reviews. Malin has said she’ll to set me up with more books from the series.

If you’re the kind of person who wants to know the actual plotline of each book, they are summarized below.

No Rest for the Wicked (Vampire/Valkyrie)

The Wroth family consists of 4 brothers: Nikolai, Murdoch, Sebastian, and Conrad. In each book, Cole describes them as having an “Estonian” accent. I am convinced they sound like Dracula and are all “Ve vant to suck your blud.” The Wroths were fearsome warriors when mortal, so fearsome they impressed the Bump creatures even before they died. Nikolai and Murdoch were turned voluntarily, Sebastian and Conrad were not and are still pissed off three hundred years later. This book is Sebastian’s. In romance, being a Sebastian is a lot of pressure. There have been some pretty epic Sebastians. Classic Sebastians. Mr. Wroth is not one of those, although he is quite scholarly and gentlemanly.

Sebastian is “blooded” by a Valkyrie named Kaderin the Coldhearted. She’s a vengeance wielder with a predilection for killing vampires and as such not happy about her prospective mate. He does his best to win her over by competing with her in the Lore version of The Amazing Race (verbatim, people, that’s how it is described) called The Talisman Hie. In the process, there is fighting with sharks, traversing a lava flow, some quality time with a nest of basilisks, and, of course, THUNDER SEX™.

Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night (Werewolf/Witch)

If Sebastian Wroth is an Alpha male, Bowen MacRieve is an ALPHA male and, drum roll please, MY FIRST WEREWOLF. Oh sure, I’ve read some M/M shape-shifter novellas, but this is my first official lycanthrope [shiver of joy]. The story overlaps with the preceding one by starting out with The Talisman Hie, but veers off from there. It’s the kind of book that uses the word “magick” a lot.

Mariketa is a young witch still learning to manage her gifts. When the book opens, she is wearing a red cloak to disguise herself because, you see, she is Red Riding Hood and MacRieve is the Big Bad Wolf. Mariketa is destined to be the most powerful witch in the world once she stops blowing stuff up and crosses over to become an immortal. Bowen MacRieve is competing against her in the Talisman Hie because the grand prize is a key which can temporarily turn back time. Bowen lost his mate 180 years ago and is still bereft and very grumpy. He’s quite annoyed to discover his profound attraction to Mariketa. The book drags out the comeheregoaway, but was fun.

Cheesey Detail A: Bowen is Scottish and every time he says “do not”, Cole writes it as “doona”. Sublime.
Cheesey Detail B: Bowen has was it described as a “thumb claw”. Ew. Unless he is a classical guitarist, otherwise, EW!

Dark Needs at Night’s Edge (Vampire/Phantom)

Conrad is the Wroth brother who has partaken of human blood. In this world, that means he has slowly become insane by absorbing the memories of his victims. His brothers kidnap and incarcerate him in an abandoned manor hoping to tame his bloodlust. He’s large, strong, and miffed. The manor is  occupied by Neomi Laress, the ghost of a murdered prima ballerina. Conrad is the first person to be able to see and hear her in 80 years. Because they cannot touch, their preliminary interactions are kind of like ghostly Skype sex. When Neomi finds a way to assume corporeal form, THUNDER SEX™ and hijinks ensue.

Deep Kiss of Winter (Vampire/Valkyrie)

Murdoch Wroth vants to suck your blud and has a way with the ladies. He is blooded by Dany the Ice Maiden, a Valkyrie who is also literally an ice queen. In addition to the usual “I hate vampires” party line, Murdoch cannot touch Dany without hurting her due to their differences in body temperature. I know. There is actual dry humping. DRY. HUMPING. In a romance novel. When you write this many novels about fated mated being kept apart by [insert specious reasoning and/or convenient inter-species challenge here], you have to think of new and exciting ways to create distance, but it was dull and not exactly THUNDER SEX™-Y.

The Immortals After Dark Series: The Warlord Wants Forever by Kresley Cole

If you whisper the title, it sounds even better.


Just when I thought my preferred reading material couldn’t possibly be more silly, my brain pointed out, “You’ve never really given paranormal romance a shot”. Kresley Cole is a very big name in the genre. She has a huge following. She has dozens of books. She has copious high ratings on Amazon. I have a Kindle. I have 99 cents. The Warlord Wants Forever was worth each and every one of them because Nikolai Wroth is a vampire and Myst the Coveted is, I am not making this up, a Valkyrie. They meet cute.

A prequel to Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, The Warlord Wants Forever is set in an unseen world populated by illusory creatures familiar from mythology and Things That Go Bump in the Night. There may also be shape-shifters. I’m not sure. Until last night, my main romance concern was historically-accurate frocks and then suddenly it was all fangs, blood, and violently intense love scenes that I’ve decided to christen “THUNDER SEX™”. There is some sort of internecine war between the Myth/Bump factions and Nikolai the hot vampire warlord gets “blooded” (imprinted) by the tempestuous Valkyrie, Myst the Coveted. It’s a mating system requiring, to put it delicately, initial release exclusivity, so when Myst escapes Nikolai before the THUNDER SEX consummation devoutly to be wished, he must chase his Valkyrie down to relieve his eternal blue balls. It takes him five years. Then he has to convince her to shack up with him, a lesser immortal being. There is a magical waist chain involved.

The novella was fun and the first time I’ve heard of a story that did involve a Valkyrie and didn’t involve Richard Wagner. The THUNDER SEX was hot and plentiful, if a trifle “red in tooth and claw” for my tastes. There is clearly a huge audience for paranormal romance and I could go on about what tastes or appetites this kind of fiction appeals to, but I think it all comes down, almost literally because of the vampires, to à chacun son goût.  If I ever have qualms about the nature of The (Shameful) Tally’s contents, I now know it could be worse, if not quite so deliciously ridiculous.

After reading The Warlord Wants Forever,  I tried another work from Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, Lothaire, about an ancient vampire finding love with a blue-collar mortal (which is apparently totally declassé and galling). It was even redder in tooth and claw than The Warlord Wants Forever  and included a THUNDER SEX scene which can be imagined as biting a sausage longways for a protracted period of time. Sex? Sure. Blood. Useful. Sex and blood? I’m out thus ended my paranormal romance experiment.

… or I was until being given more Kresley Cole books by Malin and Alexis. I’M NOT MADE OF STONE! As a result, I have reviewed the following linked books from the series as well A Hunger Like No Other; No Rest for the Wicked; Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night; Dark Needs at Night’s Edge; Dark Desires After Dusk; Kiss of a Demon King; Deep Kiss of Winter; Pleasure of a Dark Prince; Demon from the Dark; Dreams of a Dark Warrior; Lothaire; MacRieve; Shadow’s Claim.