19: I don’t know; she’s a witch: Wicked Abyss

The final book of IAD (so far) is here! We’re talking Sian, Lila, why horns are the BEST, and why the king of hell is the very best hell-monarch…except for his queen. Also, we talk Disney properties, complicated thoughts on how it is possible that Kresley is still getting better with each book, and the fact that we’re probably going to start a new IAD reread right away because obviously we are.

Fated Mates returns with Season Two in September — don’t forget to like & subscribe in your favorite podcasting app so you don’t miss a single second of us in your earholes!

And more than all this — thank you for listening to us talk at you about vampires, valkyries, wolf holograms, horns & Rune for 39 weeks — there honestly aren’t words for how much we love you for listening!

Team Vertas 4eva! — xoxo Sarah & Jen

Show Notes

18: We Got to the Bag of Severed Heads! Shadow's Claim and Shadow's Seduction

We’re taking a turn into the world of the Dacians, and Jen and Sarah are having STRIFE because, as usual, Jen is wrong. We’re combining Shadow’s Claim and Shadow’s Seduction — talking about what it means to be a Kresley heroine, why writers tackle spin off series, the challenges of straight writers writing queer stories, and why we would appreciate receiving the heads of our enemies as tributes.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review. 

We’re getting down to the wire with Season One of Fated Mates — in two weeks, join us for Wicked Abyss, featuring the literal King of Hell, and the Queen who takes fully no shit from him. Get Wicked Abyss at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local indie!

Show Notes


Lost Limb Count

Arms and Hands (8)

  1. Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in. (Dark Needs at Night's Edge)
  2. Cadeon has both of his hands burned off in the same scene where he loses an eye. There's description of what Cade's baby fingers look like as they are re-growing. It's...kinda gross. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)
  4. Lucia peels all the skin off from her hand in order to free herself from some handcuffs. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  5. In order to retrieve the ring from La Dorada , Lothaire cuts off her finger. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  6. Lanthe and Carrow cut off Fegley's hand so they can use his thumb to unlock their torques. He's later killed. (Demon from the Dark)
  7. After receiving Lothaire's heart in a box, Ellie cuts off her middle finger and sends it to him. (Lothaire)
  8. Chloe's shoulder is dislocated in the escape from her auction (MacRieve).

Chest and Torso (7)

  1. Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight. Sabine saves him and enlists Hag to help heal him. (Kiss of a Demon King)
  2. Lucia's neck is broken. She regenerates. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. On Torture Island, Regin,
  4. MacRieve,
  5. and Brandr are vivisected. It's pretty terrible. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  6. Declan's skin is peeled off by the Neoptera as a child. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  7. Lothaire rips out his own heart and sends it to Ellie in a box. (Lothaire)

Head, Face, and Eyes (6)

  1. Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  2. Cadeon loses an eye and part of his forehead and hair when fighting. It all regenerates. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. During a rugby match, Garreth has his teeth knocked out and swallows them. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  4. Lothaire kicks out La Dorada's remaining eye and throws her over a cliff. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  5. In the Bloodroot Forest, the tree grows over Lothaire's lips and tongue. (Lothaire)
  6. After she gains her immortality, Chloe's hair grows, but she cuts it off every morning. (MacRieve)
  7. Lanthe agrees to have her tongue cut out to save herself and Thronos, knowing she can still use the power of persuasion telepathically. (Dark Skye)

Horns (2)

  1. Cadeon cuts off his own horns to prove to Holly that he is worthy of being her mate. She tells him to let them grow back (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  2. Malkolm is captured by his enemies in Oblivion and taken to the city of Ash. The publicly cut off his horns and then intend to kill him, but Carrow saves him. (Demon from the Dark)

Legs and Feet (3)

  1. Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)
  2. Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  3. Thronos is chasing Melananthe and loses a foot when a portal closes on it. (Kiss of a Demon King)
  4. While in Pandamonia, Thronos is trapped in a Groundhog Day like trap, doomed to repeat his worst nightmare over and over again. When he believes that Lanthe is about to die, he repeatedly tears of his legs in order to reach her. He never actually loses a limb, but he was willing, so we're counting it. (Dark Skye)

Beheading as a Romantic Gesture (4)

  1. The first time Garreth spies Lucia, it's when she shoots an arrow and beheads a kobold. He notices that it's "a fantastical shot" and he's super into it. Later, he helps her pick up the head because he's a real gentleman like that. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  2. Later in the book, they are under attack from vampires and Lucia asks him to help. Garreth promises to "give her their throats" and beheads two vampires. But she's upset about it because of a previous bad experience with cannibalism. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. Malkolm beheads men that attacked Carrow in Oblvion, and he throws them to prove he's a worthy mate. (Demon from the Dark)
  4. Declan fights and beheads several creatures as they escape Torture Island, including squeezing one dude so hard his eyes pop out and then he twists his head off. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  5. Thronos beheads several foes during fights, which impresses Lanthe; but he also beheads Felix, a sorcerer who once tricked Lanthe and stole her sorcery. (Dark Skye)
  6. The bag of heads, yo. This is the pinnicle of this category, obviously. (Shadow's Claim)

Beheading as a Non-Romantic Gesture

  1. Ellie cuts off Lothaire's head, leaving a slender 1/8 of an inch left. It was kind of an accident, but he deserved it. (Lothaire)

Maybe?

  1. Does Garreth's losing his connection with his mortal soul count? (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  2. When Soroya inhabited Ellie's body, she subjected her to a full Brazilian wax. Ellie doesn't realize it's happened until she takes control of her body again. (Lothaire)

17: Sexclamation Points! - The Player!

Our favorite person, Kate Clayborn, is back with us to wrap up the Game Makers series with THE PLAYER! Join us as Sarah explains all the ways that the damaged hero works for her (Spoiler: It’s Every Single Way), Kate digs deep on Kresley’s liberal use of punctuation, and Jen admits that Sarah was right all along.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review. 

We’re getting down to the wire with IAD, but because we’re completists, we’re tackling the Dacians in two weeks with a two-for-one episode featuring both of these Lothaire spinoff stories, Shadow's Claim (featuring demon-sorceress Bettina and Dacian assassin Trehan) & Shadow's Seduction (featuring Caspion the demon and Mirceo the vampire prince)!

Show Notes

16: Was It as Good For You as it Was For Me? Sweet Ruin

IT’S HAPPENNNINNNGGGGG! Sweet Ruin, Sarah’s favorite book in the IAD series, is finally here and she is BEYOND EXCITED to talk about her favorite Kresley hero and the magnificent, perfect heroine who refuses to back down from their fated matehood. Listen as Jen and Sarah discuss Nix as Warrior Queen, make important demands of fan fiction writers in the IAD universe, and generally discuss why this book is one of the best of the series, without question. Block off some time and be sure to use the bathroom before you start, because this one clocks in at two hours (and we’ve already realized we forgot to talk about a few things — so prepare for updates in future episodes!)

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review. 

In two weeks, we’re finishing up the Game Makers series with arguably Kresley’s most broken hero (don’t worry, we’ll get to the bottom of this ranking on the episode), Dmitri Sevastyan! Basically, July is “Sarah’s favorite books” month, so settle in for that…we’ll be joined by one of our favorites, Kate Clayborn, who will reveal the name of our group text thread! Read The Player at AmazonB&NApple BooksKobo, or from your local Indie.

Show Notes

15: How Is She Even Able To Walk? - The Master

We’re back with The Game Makers Series this week — talking with the wonderful Sophie Jordan about her favorite book in the series, The Master! Starring Maxim Sevastyan and the first-time escort who lays him flat (in all ways), This one has all the insane sex stuff of the last Game Makers book, now with birth control insanity, and a sweet nod to holiday traditions…and a trip into the Internet to look at chastity belts.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review. 

In two weeks, IT IS HAPPENNNINNNGGGGG! We have reached Sweet Ruin, Sarah’s favorite book in the IAD series, and she is BEYOND EXCITED to talk about her favorite Kresley hero and the magnificent, perfect heroine who refuses to back down from their fated matehood. Block off some time, as we can’t guarantee this will be anything near a normal length episode! Read Sweet Ruin at AmazonB&NApple BooksKobo, or from your local Indie. Also, we promise you won’t be disappointed by the audio of this one!

Show Notes

14: Thronos Should Get the Hell Over Himself: Dark Skye

We are back from vacation and Torture Island is back — surprising no one more than us! It’s Dark Skye week, Lanthe & Thronos are doing some weird stuff with holey-sheets, y’all. We talk about religion and romance, the work this book does in the larger series, and—as always—patriarchy. Friend of the pod, SS Jaxon joins us, too!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review. 

We’ve got an interstitial lined up for next week, then we’re back to the Game Makers in two weeks with Jen’s favorite of the three books, The Master, and one of our favorites, Sophie Jordan! Get ready for chastity belts and string bikinis! Read The Master at AmazonB&NApple BooksKobo, or from your local Indie.




Show Notes


Lost Limb Count

Arms and Hands (8)

  1. Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in. (Dark Needs at Night's Edge)
  2. Cadeon has both of his hands burned off in the same scene where he loses an eye. There's description of what Cade's baby fingers look like as they are re-growing. It's...kinda gross. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)
  4. Lucia peels all the skin off from her hand in order to free herself from some handcuffs. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  5. In order to retrieve the ring from La Dorada , Lothaire cuts off her finger. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  6. Lanthe and Carrow cut off Fegley's hand so they can use his thumb to unlock their torques. He's later killed. (Demon from the Dark)
  7. After receiving Lothaire's heart in a box, Ellie cuts off her middle finger and sends it to him. (Lothaire)
  8. Chloe's shoulder is dislocated in the escape from her auction (MacRieve).

Chest and Torso (7)

  1. Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight. Sabine saves him and enlists Hag to help heal him. (Kiss of a Demon King)
  2. Lucia's neck is broken. She regenerates. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. On Torture Island, Regin,
  4. MacRieve,
  5. and Brandr are vivisected. It's pretty terrible. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  6. Declan's skin is peeled off by the Neoptera as a child. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  7. Lothaire rips out his own heart and sends it to Ellie in a box. (Lothaire)

Head, Face, and Eyes (6)

  1. Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  2. Cadeon loses an eye and part of his forehead and hair when fighting. It all regenerates. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. During a rugby match, Garreth has his teeth knocked out and swallows them. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  4. Lothaire kicks out La Dorada's remaining eye and throws her over a cliff. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  5. In the Bloodroot Forest, the tree grows over Lothaire's lips and tongue. (Lothaire)
  6. After she gains her immortality, Chloe's hair grows, but she cuts it off every morning. (MacRieve)
  7. Lanthe agrees to have her tongue cut out to save herself and Thronos, knowing she can still use the power of persuasion telepathically. (Dark Skye)

Horns (2)

  1. Cadeon cuts off his own horns to prove to Holly that he is worthy of being her mate. She tells him to let them grow back (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  2. Malkolm is captured by his enemies in Oblivion and taken to the city of Ash. The publicly cut off his horns and then intend to kill him, but Carrow saves him. (Demon from the Dark)

Legs and Feet (3)

  1. Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)
  2. Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  3. Thronos is chasing Melananthe and loses a foot when a portal closes on it. (Kiss of a Demon King)
  4. While in Pandamonia, Thronos is trapped in a Groundhog Day like trap, doomed to repeat his worst nightmare over and over again. When he believes that Lanthe is about to die, he repeatedly tears of his legs in order to reach her. He never actually loses a limb, but he was willing, so we're counting it. (Dark Skye)

Beheading as a Romantic Gesture (4)

  1. The first time Garreth spies Lucia, it's when she shoots an arrow and beheads a kobold. He notices that it's "a fantastical shot" and he's super into it. Later, he helps her pick up the head because he's a real gentleman like that. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  2. Later in the book, they are under attack from vampires and Lucia asks him to help. Garreth promises to "give her their throats" and beheads two vampires. But she's upset about it because of a previous bad experience with cannibalism. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. Malkolm beheads men that attacked Carrow in Oblvion, and he throws them to prove he's a worthy mate. (Demon from the Dark)
  4. Declan fights and beheads several creatures as they escape Torture Island, including squeezing one dude so hard his eyes pop out and then he twists his head off. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  5. Thronos beheads several foes during fights, which impresses Lanthe; but he also beheads Felix, a sorcerer who once tricked Lanthe and stole her sorcery. (Dark Skye)

Beheading as a Non-Romantic Gesture

  1. Ellie cuts off Lothaire's head, leaving a slender 1/8 of an inch left. It was kind of an accident, but he deserved it. (Lothaire)

Maybe?

  1. Does Garreth's losing his connection with his mortal soul count? (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  2. When Soroya inhabited Ellie's body, she subjected her to a full Brazilian wax. Ellie doesn't realize it's happened until she takes control of her body again. (Lothaire)

13: Can Eastern Promises Viggo Mortensen Get It? - The Professional (Game Makers)

The Game Makers Series! Kresley’s first foray into contemporary begins with The Professional, which is some kind of book, y’all. Originally released in three parts over six weeks, The Professional stars Natalie, an American Ph.D. who happens to be the long lost daughter of a Russian mobster, and said mobster’s bodyguard, who can’t get enough of watching her in the tub. Or on his cellphone. Or tied up in a sex club. You’ll see!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review. 

In two weeks, we’re back to IAD, just like the original Kresley fans were! Get ready to have your heart ripped out by these childhood lovers turned enemies turned lovers again! Poor Lanthe has been running from her Vrekener, Thronos since Kiss of the Demon King, and finally she gets her story! Read Dark Skye at AmazonB&NApple BooksKobo, or from your local Indie.

Show Notes

12: Do Not Let the Lykae into the Yankee Candle Store: MacRieve

MacRieve is here and so is friend of the pod, Sierra Simone! We’re so excited to talk about The Full Kresley, what makes erotic romance, The Simone Scale™ of taboo romance, why MacRieve is so tough to read, why Sarah thinks it might be Kresley’s best book, and why Chloe is such a badass. There’s a lot of hysterical laughter, and Sarah is preparing for legal action.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review. 

In two weeks, we’re starting Kresley’s contemporary series The Game Makers (we’re reading the books in original publication order) with The Professional. Get ready for Wroth Brother fanfic that Kresley herself refers to as “way sexier” then IAD. Get The Professional at AmazonB&NApple BooksKobo, or from your local Indie.

Show Notes

taboo chart.jpg

Lost Limb Count

Arms and Hands (8)

  1. Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in. (Dark Needs at Night's Edge)
  2. Cadeon has both of his hands burned off in the same scene where he loses an eye. There's description of what Cade's baby fingers look like as they are re-growing. It's...kinda gross. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)
  4. Lucia peels all the skin off from her hand in order to free herself from some handcuffs. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  5. In order to retrieve the ring from La Dorada , Lothaire cuts off her finger. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  6. Lanthe and Carrow cut off Fegley's hand so they can use his thumb to unlock their torques. He's later killed. (Demon from the Dark)
  7. After receiving Lothaire's heart in a box, Ellie cuts off her middle finger and sends it to him. (Lothaire)
  8. Chloe's shoulder is dislocated in the escape from her auction (MacRieve).

Chest and Torso (7)

  1. Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight. Sabine saves him and enlists Hag to help heal him. (Kiss of a Demon King)
  2. Lucia's neck is broken. She regenerates. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. On Torture Island, Regin,
  4. MacRieve,
  5. and Brandr are vivisected. It's pretty terrible. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  6. Declan's skin is peeled off by the Neoptera as a child. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  7. Lothaire rips out his own heart and sends it to Ellie in a box. (Lothaire)

Head, Face, and Eyes (6)

  1. Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  2. Cadeon loses an eye and part of his forehead and hair when fighting. It all regenerates. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. During a rugby match, Garreth has his teeth knocked out and swallows them. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  4. Lothaire kicks out La Dorada's remaining eye and throws her over a cliff. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  5. In the Bloodroot Forest, the tree grows over Lothaire's lips and tongue. (Lothaire)
  6. After she gains her immortality, Chloe's hair grows, but she cuts it off every morning. (MacRieve)

Horns (2)

  1. Cadeon cuts off his own horns to prove to Holly that he is worthy of being her mate. She tells him to let them grow back (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  2. Malkolm is captured by his enemies in Oblivion and taken to the city of Ash. The publicly cut off his horns and then intend to kill him, but Carrow saves him. (Demon from the Dark)

Legs and Feet (3)

  1. Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)
  2. Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  3. Thronos is chasing Melananthe and loses a foot when a portal closes on it. (Kiss of a Demon King)

Beheading as a Romantic Gesture (4)

  1. The first time Garreth spies Lucia, it's when she shoots an arrow and beheads a kobold. He notices that it's "a fantastical shot" and he's super into it. Later, he helps her pick up the head because he's a real gentleman like that. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  2. Later in the book, they are under attack from vampires and Lucia asks him to help. Garreth promises to "give her their throats" and beheads two vampires. But she's upset about it because of a previous bad experience with cannibalism. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. Malkolm beheads men that attacked Carrow in Oblvion, and he throws them to prove he's a worthy mate. (Demon from the Dark)
  4. Declan fights and beheads several creatures as they escape Torture Island, including squeezing one dude so hard his eyes pop out and then he twists his head off. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)

Beheading as a Non-Romantic Gesture

  1. Ellie cuts off Lothaire's head, leaving a slender 1/8 of an inch left. It was kind of an accident, but he deserved it. (Lothaire)

Maybe?

  1. Does Garreth's losing his connection with his mortal soul count? (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  2. When Soroya inhabited Ellie's body, she subjected her to a full Brazilian wax. Ellie doesn't realize it's happened until she takes control of her body again. (Lothaire)

11: Woof. Hope Your Headphones Didn't Fall Out! - Lothaire

Lothaire is here! We’re so excited, we don’t know what to do with ourselves, but FYI, this is a longer episode than usual -- so get ready! We're talking morality chain romance, how Lothaire is a pure ass but incredibly funny, and how Ellie is pretty much the only mate he could ever have. Also, we love Nix & Lothaire a lot.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review.

In two weeks, one of our favorite people, Sierra Simone, is joining us to talk about The Full Kresley, and MacRieve! It's going to be a great time, we promise. Get MacRieve at Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, Kobo, or from your local Indie.

Show Notes


Lost Limb Count

Arms and Hands (7)

  1. Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in. (Dark Needs at Night's Edge)
  2. Cadeon has both of his hands burned off in the same scene where he loses an eye. There's description of what Cade's baby fingers look like as they are re-growing. It's...kinda gross. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)
  4. Lucia peels all the skin off from her hand in order to free herself from some handcuffs. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  5. In order to retrieve the ring from La Dorada , Lothaire cuts off her finger. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  6. Lanthe and Carrow cut off Fegley's hand so they can use his thumb to unlock their torques. He's later killed. (Demon from the Dark)
  7. After receiving Lothaire's heart in a box, Ellie cuts off her middle finger and sends it to him. (Lothaire)

Chest and Torso (7)

  1. Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight. Sabine saves him and enlists Hag to help heal him. (Kiss of a Demon King)
  2. Lucia's neck is broken. She regenerates. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. On Torture Island, Regin,
  4. MacRieve,
  5. and Brandr are vivisected. It's pretty terrible. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  6. Declan's skin is peeled off by the Neoptera as a child. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  7. Lothaire rips out his own heart and sends it to Ellie in a box. (Lothaire)

Head, Face, and Eyes (5)

  1. Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  2. Cadeon loses an eye and part of his forehead and hair when fighting. It all regenerates. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. During a rugby match, Garreth has his teeth knocked out and swallows them. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  4. Lothaire kicks out La Dorada's remaining eye and throws her over a cliff. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  5. In the Bloodroot Forest, the tree grows over Lothaire's lips and tongue. (Lothaire)

Horns (2)

  1. Cadeon cuts off his own horns to prove to Holly that he is worthy of being her mate. She tells him to let them grow back (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  2. Malkolm is captured by his enemies in Oblivion and taken to the city of Ash. The publicly cut off his horns and then intend to kill him, but Carrow saves him. (Demon from the Dark)

Legs and Feet (3)

  1. Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)
  2. Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  3. Thronos is chasing Melananthe and loses a foot when a portal closes on it. (Kiss of a Demon King)

Beheading as a Romantic Gesture (4)

  1. The first time Garreth spies Lucia, it's when she shoots an arrow and beheads a kobold. He notices that it's "a fantastical shot" and he's super into it. Later, he helps her pick up the head because he's a real gentleman like that. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  2. Later in the book, they are under attack from vampires and Lucia asks him to help. Garreth promises to "give her their throats" and beheads two vampires. But she's upset about it because of a previous bad experience with cannibalism. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. Malkolm beheads men that attacked Carrow in Oblvion, and he throws them to prove he's a worthy mate. (Demon from the Dark)
  4. Declan fights and beheads several creatures as they escape Torture Island, including squeezing one dude so hard his eyes pop out and then he twists his head off. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)

Beheading as a Non-Romantic Gesture (2)

  1. Ellie cuts off Lothaire's head, leaving a slender 1/8 of an inch left. It was kind of an accident, but he deserved it. (Lothaire)
  2. In the fight with Ruelle, MacRieve and Munro's mother is beheaded by a envenomed vampire boy. Their father then beheads the vampire. Ruelle is also killed. (MacRieve)

Maybe?

  1. Does Garreth's losing his connection with his mortal soul count? (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  2. When Soroya inhabited Ellie's body, she subjected her to a full Brazilian wax. Ellie doesn't realize it's happened until she takes control of her body again. (Lothaire)

10: Declan Chase is Kinda Trying: Dreams of a Dark Warrior

Mr. Vivisection is here, and it’s a whole lot! Regin the Radiant is on Torture Island, and just her luck, the guy running the whole show is a berserker reincarnate who she’s loved in five earlier lifetimes. Declan Chase is a highly controversial Kresley hero, and Dreams of a Dark Warrior is a book Sarah and Jen always skip on the reread…but this week, we’re talking about it and *gasp!* we’re kind of on #TeamDeclan by the end?! UP IS DOWN!

This episode, we’re digging into the way Kresley builds characters and lays the brickwork for the rest of the IAD series. We’re talking about torture, about childhood, about packing for the end of days, and about Lothaire’s Guide to Wooing Women. We’re joined by the wonderful Sarah Hawley, co-host of the Wicked Wallflowers podcast, and Declan-stan.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review.

In two weeks, strap in because Lothaire. Is. Here!!! We’re so excited we don’t know what to do with ourselves, but FYI, this is gonna be a double episode for SURE. Gird your loins. Get Lothaire at Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, Kobo, or from your local Indie.

Show Notes

A huge shout out to Heather Pagan, who helped us with medieval French and edits the Anglo Norman Dictionary. Here’s the official translation of the Medieval French, along with some fascinating notes on historical swearing, which you all know is our favorite!

Go copulate with a pig - Va foutre un porcel! (literally, go fuck a pig). Unless the joke is that they are being formal (ie. copulate and not fuck) in which case: Va couvrir un porcel!

You defend that rampart female? - Femme / Dame, defendis tu le terrail?

To the death, prick*! - Jusqu'a / A la mort, ribaud! OR Jusqu'a / A la mort, paillard! OR Jusqu'a /A la mort, pautener!

* There are lots of words for penis/prick in Old French, but I don't have any evidence that they were used as insults (and that's a whole 'nother book about when we began to use genitalia as offensive words...) I've chosen to translate it with a bunch of words that mean 'jerk'. The words I used are all ones that end up being borrowed into English (ribald, pailliard, pautener) for someone who is base / rascally / a scoundrel / someone of low status etc.

Thoughts (or why you never ask an academic for a translation...) We actually don't know overly much about medieval swearing. What we know about language use during the period is based on what was written down, and what was written down (gross generalization ahead) tended not to be 1) direct / indirect speech or 2) of a less formal register. Nevertheless, we do have some record of what people said, and in some cases, how they would curse each other. A lot of these curses were be religious in nature - damning them, accusing them of bad faith etc. We have one amazing set of texts, referred to as the Manieres de Language, which were an early type of phrase book for Englishmen wanting to learn French in the late fourteen century. These include my favourite section - insults! So this is mainly what the translation is based on - though insults of the time were a bit different.

Here are some from the phrase book (translated): You're lying, you evil bastard; Go hang yourself, you bastard; Go away you bloody son of a whore; You will pay!; Kiss my ass (I am very pleased that this has been the eternal insult!); Kiss the devil's ass; Go to the devil!


Lost Limb Count

Arms and Hands (6)

  1. Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in. (Dark Needs at Night's Edge)
  2. Cadeon has both of his hands burned off in the same scene where he loses an eye. There's description of what Cade's baby fingers look like as they are re-growing. It's...kinda gross. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)
  4. Lucia peels all the skin off from her hand in order to free herself from some handcuffs. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  5. In order to retrieve the ring from La Dorada , Lothaire cuts off her finger. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  6. Lanthe and Carrow cut off Fegley's hand so they can use his thumb to unlock their torques. He's later killed. (Demon from the Dark)

Chest and Torso (5)

  1. Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight. Sabine saves him and enlists Hag to help heal him. (Kiss of a Demon King)
  2. Lucia's neck is broken. She regenerates. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. On Torture Island, Regin,
  4. MacRieve,
  5. and Brandr are vivisected. It's pretty terrible. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)
  6. Declan's skin is peeled off by the Neoptera as a child. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)

Face and Eyes (4)

  1. Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  2. Cadeon loses an eye and part of his forehead and hair when fighting. It all regenerates. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. During a rugby match, Garreth has his teeth knocked out and swallows them. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  4. Lothaire kicks out La Dorada's remaining eye and throws her over a cliff. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)

Horns (2)

  1. Cadeon cuts off his own horns to prove to Holly that he is worthy of being her mate. She tells him to let them grow back (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  2. Malkolm is captured by his enemies in Oblivion and taken to the city of Ash. The publicly cut off his horns and then intend to kill him, but Carrow saves him. (Demon from the Dark)

Legs and Feet (3)

  1. Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)
  2. Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  3. Thronos is chasing Melananthe and loses a foot when a portal closes on it. (Kiss of a Demon King)

Beheading as a Romantic Gesture (4)

  1. The first time Garreth spies Lucia, it's when she shoots an arrow and beheads a kobold. He notices that it's "a fantastical shot" and he's super into it. Later, he helps her pick up the head because he's a real gentleman like that. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  2. Later in the book, they are under attack from vampires and Lucia asks him to help. Garreth promises to "give her their throats" and beheads two vampires. But she's upset about it because of a previous bad experience with cannibalism. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  3. Malkolm beheads men that attacked Carrow in Oblvion, and he throws them to prove he's a worthy mate. (Demon from the Dark)
  4. Declan fights and beheads several creatures as they escape Torture Island, including squeezing one dude so hard his eyes pop out and then he twists his head off. (Dreams of a Dark Warrior)

Maybe?

  1. Does Garreth's losing his connection with his mortal soul count? (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)

8: Triggering the Chastity Clause: Pleasure of a Dark Prince

We’re back with the werewolves this week, with one of our very favorite books in the series, Pleasures of a Dark Prince, featuring Garreth MacRieve and Lucia the Huntress, a Valkyrie who is burning it all down.

This episode, we’re discussing the way this book wraps up the first movement of IAD and preps readers for what’s to come (SPOILER: IT’S TORTURE ISLAND), we get into how the books are becoming more political, we update the lost-limb count, begin Lothaire-Watch, and dig into why it’s just plain futile to try to stay away from a werewolf mate on the night of a full moon. More than all that, we’re interviewing moon expert Summer Ash about moon business, and Jen is beyond excited.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review.

In two weeks, get ready for vivisection, because it’s happening on Torture Island, and we’re doing a reread of Jen’s favorite book in the series, Demon From The Dark! Malkom Slaine is a demon living alone on another plane…until witch Carrow Graie comes to fetch him. Get DFTD at Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, Kobo, or from your local Indie.

Show Notes


Lost Limb Count

Arms and Hands (5)

  1. Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in. (Dark Needs at Night's Edge)
  2. Cadeon has both of his hands burned off in the same scene where he loses an eye. There's description of what Cade's baby fingers look like as they are re-growing. It's...kinda gross. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)
  4. Lucia peels all the skin off from her hand in order to free herself from some handcuffs. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)
  5. In order to retrieve the ring from La Dorada , Lothaire cuts off her finger. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)

Chest and Torso (2)

  1. Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight. Sabine saves him and enlists Hag to help heal him. (Kiss of a Demon King)
  2. Lucia's neck is broken. She regenerates. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)

Face and Eyes (3)

  1. Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  2. Cadeon loses an eye and part of his forehead and hair when fighting. It all regenerates. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. During a rugby match, Garreth has his teeth knocked out and swallows them. (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)

Legs and Feet (3)

  1. Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)
  2. Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  3. Thronos is chasing Melananthe and loses a foot when a portal closes on it. (Kiss of a Demon King)

These Lingering Questions

  1. Does Garreth's losing his connection with his mortal soul count? (Pleasure of a Dark Prince)

7: Ghost Pepper Town: Warlord Wants Forever & Untouchable

We’re tackling the novellas this week, and finishing up the Wroth Brother Quartet with The Warlord Wants Forever (Nikolai) & Untouchable (Murdoch), as well as their incredible Valkyrie mates.

This episode, we’re talking about Myst’s weird chain, Danii’s loneliness, the responsibility of authors to readers, to themselves, to the text, and to literary history, and the way Untouchable hints at the enormous world that IAD is about to become.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review.

In two weeks, we’re back to the Lykae, with one of our favorite books — Pleasures of a Dark Prince, the last book in the first arc of the IAD series (this begins at the same time as A Hunger Like No Other). Garreth MacRieve, prince of the Lykae clan and Lucia the Huntress — the greatest archer of all time.

Show Notes

6: Reclaiming the Unlikeable Heroine: Kiss of a Demon King

One of the best loved books in the IAD universe, this week we’re talking about Kiss of A Demon King, the completion of the Demonarchy Duology, starring Rydstrom, the deposed King of Rothkalina, and his fated mate, Sabine, the Queen of Illusions, which is an incredibly handy power.

We’ve got a fabulous guest host this week, Jenny Nordbak from our sister romance podcast, The Wicked Wallflowers Club. Jenny is ride-or-die for Sabine, and she’s got a fabulous personal story about her relationship with the book that we’re thrilled to share with you.

This episode, we’re talking traumatic pasts, horns (I mean, obviously), villains, the unlikeable heroine (a whole lot), and we’ll come back around to Cade & Holly and tackle the unfinished business from their book!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review.

Novellas are up next! We told you we’d get to the rest of the Wroth Brothers eventually, and eventually is here! Our next read-along episode will tackle both novellas, The Warlord Wants Forever (Nikolai) & Untouchable (Murdoch), available in the Deep Kiss of Winter anthology! This will be the last time we tackle vampires until Lothaire, so get your fill!

A Note: There are two version of The Warlord Wants Forever — you want the most recent version.

Show Notes


Lost Limb Count

Arms and Hands (3)

  1. Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in. (Dark Needs at Night's Edge)
  2. Cadeon has both of his hands burned off in the same scene where he loses an eye. There's description of what Cade's baby fingers look like as they are re-growing. It's...kinda gross. (Dark Desires After Dusk)
  3. Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)

Chest and Torso (1)

  1. Omort severs Rydstrom's spine and punches through his torso in a fight. Sabine saves him and enlists Hag to help heal him. (Kiss of a Demon King)

Face and Eyes (2)

  1. Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  2. Cadeon loses an eye and part of his forehead and hair when fighting. It all regenerates. (Dark Desires After Dusk)

Legs and Feet (3)

  1. Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)
  2. Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  3. Thronos is chasing Melananthe and loses a foot when a portal closes on it. (Kiss of a Demon King)

5: That Vessel Business: Dark Desires After Dusk

DEMONS ARE HERE! We’re talking Dark Desires After Dusk, starring Cadeon Woede (Prince of the Rage Demonarchy) and Holly, his human fated mate (SPOILER SHE ISN’T HUMAN, WHAT!). This one is the first in what we will end up calling the Demonarchy Duology — and we encourage you to read the next book in the series, Kiss of A Demon King as soon as you can after reading Dark Desires. Each book makes the other better. We’ll cover female rage, sex shaming, fast cars, food, feminism and…maybe a pot joke? Also, Sarah waxes on about horns. A lot.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review.

Our next read (in two weeks) will be Kiss of A Demon King — the second in the duology, and the wrap up of the plot of this book. We’ve seen Rydstrom total his McLaren and get abducted by Sabine, who is not only Queen of Illusions but also his Fated Mate. DOUBLE TROUBLE. Cade and Holly are a HUGE part of our episode on Sabine & Rydstrom’s — because we just can’t talk about one of these books alone.

Get ready for the KoaDK read along at AmazonBarnes & NobleApple Books or your local indie. Also, the Audible versions of IAD are on sale right now -- and WORTH EVERY PENNY! Listen on Audio!

Show Notes


Lost Limb Count

Legs (2)

  1. Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)
  2. Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)

Arms (1)

  1. Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)

Eyes (2)

  1. Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)
  2. Cadeon loses an eye and part of his forehead and hair when fighting. It all regenerates. (Dark Desires After Dusk)

Hands (2)

  1. Conrad cuts off his own hand with a rusty axe so he escape the "witched" chains his brothers locked him in. (Dark Needs at Night's Edge)
  2. Cadeon has both of his hands burned off in the same scene where he loses an eye. There's description of what Cade's baby fingers look like as they are re-growing. It's...kinda gross. (Dark Desires After Dusk)

Horns (1)

  1. Cadeon files off his own horns in an attempt to win back Holly. She tells him to let them grow back. (Dark Desires After Dusk)

3: A Great Lay or All the Knowledge in the World: Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night

We’re three books into IAD this week, and it is happening! We're joined by the brilliant Adriana Herrera to talk Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night, starring Bowen (the werewolf trapped in a tunnel of fire) and Mariketa the Awaited (the witch who is going to run him ragged)!

Adriana, Jen & Sarah cover everything from Snow White to trauma survivors, jungle warfare to May-December romances, sexism and Cardi B. And we still find time to fangirl over Kresley's heroines.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review.

Our next read (in two weeks) will be Dark Needs at Night's Edge — complete with a broken hero tied to a bed (vampire, obvi) and a haunting heroine who just wants to be seen (literally). This one makes for a LOT of opinions among IAD fans...you won’t want to miss it.

Get ready for the read along at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books or your local indie. Also, the Audible versions of IAD are on sale right now -- and WORTH EVERY PENNY! Listen on Audio!

Show Notes


Lost Limb Count
(Leg - 2, Arm - 1, Eye - 1)

  1. Lachlain tears off his own leg to reach Emma. He regenerates. (A Hunger Like No Other)

  2. Sebastian pulverizes most of his right arm during the Hie. He regenerates. (No Rest For the Wicked)

  3. Bowen loses an eye and most of his forehead during the Hie. Mariketa has cursed him and he can't heal until he returns to her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)

  4. Mariketa's skull is fractured and her leg is torn from her body. She heals herself after Bowen lays on the ground. Ivy grows over her and heals her. (Wicked Deeds on a Winter's Night)

2: The Best Led Zeppelin Song is by Pink Floyd: No Rest for the Wicked

We’re two books in this week, reading No Rest for the Wicked, starring Kaderin the Cold-hearted and Sebastian Wroth, participating in the Talisman Hie…Kresley’s version of The Amazing Race.

Sarah & Jen cover everything from pop-culture in romance novels to the lengths we’ll go for the people we love, and the immense trust required when we fall in love…all while marveling at the way Kresley sets the stage for a series that will subvert tropes and genres again and again.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, please leave us a like or a review.

Our next read (in two weeks) will be Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night and the witches are coming! WDOAWN is the story of Bowen MacRieve (werewolf) and Mariketa the Awaited (witch)…and the book that really breaks open the wide world of IAD. We’ll be joined by the brilliant Adriana Herrera, and you won’t want to miss it. Get ready for the read along at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books or your local indie.

Show Notes

  • Some fun facts about The Amazing Race.
  • The Valkyeries in mythology, and maybe you didn't notice that "Val Hall" is a play on Valhalla.
  • Vampires in pop culture & literature.
  • Remember your high school English teacher talking about characters who are foils of each other? This is not to be confused with your algebra teacher talking about how to solve quadratic equations.
  • On Urban Dictionary, I want to kiss the person who defined Frigid it as "An outdated, Victorian term used to describe women who aren't interested in sex. Only used today by drunk men in bars to explain why the woman they attempted to pick up wasn't interested."
  • A wacky look at some potential real life examples of time travel.
  • Just out of curiosity, this is what you'll find if you google "Bad Ass Estonian General." IMPRESSIVE.
  • Sarah's wet noodle joke is part of a long literary tradition where vampires just need a good dose of viagra.
  • All about beta heros, cinnamon roll heroes, and a link to a lot of talk about the latter from Ana Coqui's November 2018's #RomBkLove.
  • Sarah mentions "the vampire chained to a bed" and she's talking about Conrad Wroth, the hero of Dark Needs at Night's Edge (book 4).
  • Just a brief review of birth control, how we use it, and why it is so important to women's rights.
  • In case you were wondering why Jen talked about "no one ever has to go to the bathroom." It's a thing. Sarah accused Jen of RUINING ROMANCE, but clearly that's not the case because here we are.
  • More about lightning and planes.
  • Chicago's Bubbly Creek. That's real. If you ever want to nerd out on this history, Jen recommends a book called Nature's Metropolis. Honestly, you really have no idea how fascinating grain elevators are.
  • The short and incomplete list of magical items introduced in this book: Kaderin gives the Furies armor that can't be pierced and a battle axe that can kill Lore beings without having to behead them. The New Zealand coven of Valkyeries has a choker that allows the person wearing it to sing a siren's song. No one knows what happend to the armband that makes the wearer feel overwhelming sexual desire. Amphitrite's tear is a bead that will heal any wound. The Blade of Honorius never misses its target. Thrane's Key was the time-traveling prize in this Hie, and at the end of the book, Riora gives Sebastian one to use at his discretion.
  • Deus Ex Machina is fun to say, but kind of a bummer when that's how an author gets her characters out of a jam.
  • All the cool vampires from the mid-2000s carry RAZR phones.
  • Diamonds are a construct, just like virginity.
  • Sarah is pro-Kardashian.
  • Bowen & Mariketa are coming up next, but the thing she was excited about at the end of that book actually happened at the end of Dark Needs at Night's Edge.
  • Swineherds vs. shepherds, and the only time Jen ever felt truly understood on Reddit.
  • The Battle of Evermore by Led Zeppelin, and if you think Jen wasn't dying to update Genius with this Kresley Cole reference, you don't know her at all. But maybe the video is more your speed.

1: We're Gonna Come Back to Biting - A Hunger Like No Other

Sarah & Jen talk A Hunger Like No Other, why reading Alphas in 2018 is a tricky situation, how Kresley instantly changed the game with Lachlain MacRieve, and why Emma's bite sets the standard for the whole series.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting platform — and while you’re there, a like would be awesome!

Our next read (in two weeks) will be No Rest for the Wickedthe story of Sebastian Wroth (vampire) and Kaderin the Cold-Hearted (valkyrie), and the beginning of the IAD Amazing Race mini-arc!

Show Notes