I remember reading somewhere that Kresley Cole began writing romance books because she was so dissatisfied with how a book had ended, that she knew she could write a better ending.
For me, this is a dark series in tone, something that will often have you closing the book to step away for a bit. I always imagine that I am Joey in Friends; I might have to put it in the freezer for a little while. It’s at times all of these things: scary, horrifying, loving, emotional, heart-warming, and sexy. To me, this is one of the most complex paranormal romance series out there.
What makes this series so complex?
First off, we do not simply have vampires, but also, witches, valkyries, demons, vemons (vampires and demons), fey, furies, werewolves [Lykae], and phantoms. All of these beings have individual lore, and Ms. Cole does an outstanding job of dishing out back-story for all. What I enjoy about this series is that she alludes to something that we might see a book, or even several books ahead. Always giving us a just enough to make it interesting. Just think of Kresley as Nix!
The basic world
These mystically beings are generally hidden from humans, and one of the centralized areas for witches, werewolves, and valkyries is New Orleans. We will often travel over the world (in an instant if we are Vampires or Demons). The series plot line revolves around The Accession, when basically “good” immortals fight against “bad” immortals every 500 years. Think of it as immortal population control. From the Glossary of Terms from the Living Book of Lore:
“And a time shall pass that all immortal beings in the Lore, from the Valkyrie, vampire, Lykae, and demon factions, to the phantoms, shifters, fey, and sirens… must fight and destroy each other.”
The “bad” immortals are known as Horde vampires. These are vampires that drink directly from the tap (a big no-no in this world).
“In the first chaos of the Lore, a brotherhood of vampires dominated, by relying on their cold nature, worship of logic, and absence of mercy. They sprang from the harsh steppes of Dacia and migrated to Russia, though some say a secret enclave, the Daci live in Dacia still.”
This series then is building to that great fight (at least 12 books and we are not there yet) as the “good” side builds alliances.
The books differ enough on character personalities and tone that you might not like every one of them equally. There are some, like Regin’s book that I really just did not like. Mostly because I just cannot stand the character of Regin. The farther along the series, the darker it gets as the over-arching plotline unfolds. This is not my favorite series, but it is in my top 5 and I have re-read many of these books numerous times.
The Books: These should be read in order
- The Warlord Wants Forever [#1] (2006) Main Characters: Nikolai Wroth and Myst the Coveted
- A Hunger Like No Other [#2] (2006) Main Characters: Lachlain MacRieve and Emmaline Troy
- No Rest for the Wicked [#3] (2006) Main Characters: Sebastian and Kaderin the Cold
- Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night [#4] (2007) Main Characters: Bown MacRieve and Mariketa the Awaited
- Dark Needs at Night’s Edge [#5] (2008) Main Characters: Conrad Wroth and Neomi Laress
- Dark Desires After Dusk [#6] (2008) Main Characters: Cadeon Woede and Holly Ashwin
- Kiss of a Demon King [#7] (2009) Main Characters: Rydstrom Woede and Sabine
- Deep Kiss of Winter [#8]: (2009) Main Characters: Murdoch Wroth and Daniela
- Pleasure of a Dark Prince [#9] (2010) Main Characters: Garreth MacRieve and Lucia the Huntress
- Demon from the Dark [#10] (2010) Main Characters: Malkom Slaine and Carrow Graie
- Dreams of a Dark Warrior [#11] (2011) Main Characters: Aidan the Fierce and Regin the Radiant
- Lothaire [#12] (2012) Main Characters: Lothaire and Elizabeth Peirce