Giving credit where it’s due: Kresley Cole’s venture into slash fiction

29544429Kresley Cole’s first Immortal’s After Dark book was published back in 2006—we’re now seventeen book in, and the most recent instalment, Shadow’s Seduction, has caused somewhat of a stir amongst fans of the series, solely for the fact that for the first time our heroes are both male.

Some fans, myself included, celebrated when details of the book were released—I know I’ve been hoping for a while for Kresley to write an M/M, and apparently I wasn’t alone—while others took to sites like goodreads and twitter to express their disappointment.

Now, I know everyone is entitled to their own preferences and opinions—M/M is not for everyone, just like fantasy is not for everyone, or historical fiction, or horror… (I personally am not a fan of literary fiction). But we’re getting off track—my point is, I am not trying to force M/M down anybody’s throat (although I am of the ‘don’t knock it ‘til you try it’ sort of opinion.)

And while I understand that some readers are bound to be a little disappointed that one of their favourite series has gone in a direction they hadn’t expected, comments like: I don’t think she considered her loyal readers feelings,’ and ‘I have a feeling Kresley has fallen into the “writing M/M romance because it’s trendy” category,’ and ‘Wow another author jumping on the M/M wagon to catch some more $$$’ are both ridiculously ignorant and grossly unfair to Kresley who, for over a decade, has been one of the standout writers of her field.

So let me just debunk a couple of those comments right now:

Firstly, Shadow’s Seduction is one of TWO Immortals After Dark books being released this year, the next one is only a couple of months away at the end of May. Secondly, it is part of the IAD spin-off series The Dacians, which means that although the events in the book are loosely connected to events in the rest of the IAD series, there are no pivotal plot connections and the book can easily be skipped by anyone who wishes to without losing any of the greater story. It is clear that Kresley has carefully selected this book in particular for her M/M debut, both because of its minimal plot connections and the fact there is another M/F book just around the corner. I’m not sure how much more respect for readers an author could have.

As far as the comments about M/M being trendy go, well that’s just ignorance in play. A trend is something that passes over time, but if people are assuming slash fiction is the smashed avocado if the literary world they are sorely mistaken. Sure, the genre has gained in popularity in recent years, but this is because of the upsurge in self-published authors and small presses who have the freedom to publish books that cater to a market that had already existed for quite some time. Of course the influx of books is going to lead to a growth in the market—that’s how it works.

And as for making money?—Kresley has actually taken a real gamble with this book. Yes, many females read slash fiction, but for over a decade she’s accumulated a loyal fan base who devour her M/F books—could she really be certain those same fans would pay money for something so drastically different?

Having now read the book, I can tell you it’s clear Kresley has put a great deal of thought and planning into it and that she clearly cares as deeply about these characters and this story as much as any of her other books.  Anyone who claimed she was merely trying to stay ‘on trend’ or make a few extra bucks would be selling her writing seriously short.

If you’re a fan of the series and are on the fence about whether to read Shadow’s Seduction, I’d say go for it (and I’m honestly not just saying that because I’m a fan of M/M). Kresley has not failed to deliver with this one—action, drama, romance, two hot alphas (yes, double the hotness!), and of course a lot of conflict and tripping over each other to finally reach a HEA.

 

If you’d like some other recommendations to dip your toes into the genre, try:

Him (Him #1) by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen (NA Contemporary)

#Junkie and #Rev (GearShark #1 and #2) by Cambria Hebert (NA Contemporary – spin-off of the M/F Hashtag series)

Hell & High Water (THIRDS #1) by Charlie Cochet (Paranormal/Suspense)

Cut & Run (Cut & Run #1) by Annabelle Roux and Madeline Urban (Crime/Suspense)

Aced (PresLocke #1) by Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine (Contemporary)

 

As a final thought, I’d just like to thank Kresley for taking the plunge into M/M with this book, and I hope other writers of her genre follow. There are so few really good quality M/M paranormal romance books out there, and even fewer series with a mix of M/M and M/F stories.

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