I just finished Kresley Cole’s latest novel, Dreams of a Dark Warrior , and I can’t help it; I gotta rave about one of my favorite series. Ever since I first discovered Anne Rice in high school, I have been an urban fantasy/paranormal romance junkie. I have devoured everyone from Emma Bull, Tanya Huff, and Chelsea Quinn Yarbro to the more recent Kim Harrison, Patricia Briggs, and Jim Butcher. I have also read “the greats” – those that laid the groundwork, like Wilkie Collins, Mary Shelley, the Bröntes, and (of course) Bram Stoker. One of life’s great pleasures, in my mind, is curling up with a devilishly dark, sexy read.

And Cole delivers on that every time. Better yet, her work appeals to the pagan in me with its mythic storylines, larger-than-life heroines, and unashamed sexuality. Intentionally or not, Cole plays in our world, by our rules, and she does it better than any other pop author I’ve read. Sure she has vampires and werewolves (like every other paranormal author out there) – but she also quotes Eddas, deals with reincarnation, and terrifies the hell out of her readers with mythological characters like Crom Cruach. Cole knows her myths.

For those unfamiliar with the Immortals After Dark stories, they are paranormal romances set in a modern world teeming with living myths. I picked up A Hunger Like No Other , the first book in the series, because the heroine was a valkyrie – something I’d never seen before. What I got was a page-turning read that flew right past my boundaries for acceptable behavior… and damn I loved it. The heroines are always the kind of pagan princesses I want to be: sexy, worldly, capable, kick-ass, and (for the most part) pagan. They drive cool cars and have wicked skills (like archery and an ability to drink demons under the table); they dress how they want, go where they want, do what they want… and (at least by the end of the novel) they love with abandon.

I highly recommend checking them out! Give a kick-ass author who gives pagans some love some of that love right back!