Well, This is Unexpected

I was just browsing through Amazon.com, and the listing is up for the long-awaited second story from Kresley Cole‘s IAD spin-off series, The Dacians. Shadow’s Seduction will be released on January 30th, but I must say that the blurb was unexpected…

A night of debauchery
Prince Mirceo Daciano and his new friend Caspion the Tracker comb the streets of Dacia, drunkenly seeking out pleasures of the flesh. In what should have been a typical night, they coax a bevy of nymphs to bed. To impress their females, the demon and the vampire kiss on a dare.

Changes them forever
Once they finally break away from their soul-searing kiss, they find themselves alone—and shaken. Had they imagined their explosive chemistry? Obstacles—ranging from a death sentence, to exile on a war-torn dimension—threaten to destroy their lives, much less the vulnerable promise in that one kiss.

How long can they resist the fire that blazes between them?
Even if Mirceo can accept Caspion as his fated mate, the sensual vampire still must convince the stubborn demon that their bond is forever. And any royal Dacian union must receive the blessing of King Lothaire, an unpredictable and savage killer. . . .

Huh. Didn’t see that one coming at all. The first book was my favorite IAD-world story in quite a while, but I didn’t see her taking the next book in this direction. Plus, it is a “Valkyrie Press” release (so indie pubbed), and that means that right now it is showing a Kindle edition only, and it clocks in at 160 pages making it a decent sized novella.

Your thoughts? Does this seem to be sort of…random…to anyone else? Usually there is a hint of a paring before-hand, but I don’t remember any Caspion/Mirceo vibes from before. But then it has been a while, so maybe I have forgotten?

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56 thoughts on “Well, This is Unexpected

  1. renpuspita says:

    I did remember that Mirceo is bisexual. So this is the first time Cole write M/M story, right? Guess I’ll pass since I’m still uncomfortable read M/M, and the length also just novella.

    Is it possible that the next IAD will go indie? Bummer, then. I collect all IAD in paperback version. Ebook will messed it up.

    • kaleigha says:

      I had forgotten about Mirceo being bisexual, actually. Good catch. E-books are the bane of my existence at this point, especially when a series goes from mass market to hardcover to e-book. the pain.

      • renpuspita says:

        If the book come first as hardback, I can wait the mass market paperback. No biggie for me, since I can be sooo patience. But if they go indie, the paperback will come in trade version, the price will rocketing so high and the book will not available on my local bookstore of course because it’s indie. The choice for me is to buy on Amazon. But I live in Indonesia, where the shipping price sometimes doubled the book price.

        I know this is a business. But still…

        • kaleigha says:

          Even in Canada, the price/shipping thing is the same. It gets completely crazy – I think I paid 19 dollars for the Day Zero NOVELLA from Kresley Cole’s Arcana series, and even then it had to come from a third-party seller. It will be interesting to see what Arcana Rising will go for.

  2. azteclady says:

    Well, the set up for Shadow’s Claim is that Caspion visits, and then flees, Dacia, and while there was never a full explanation of why he goes to Dacia in the first place, there was a vibe. Then, in Lothaire there’s mention that Mirceo, who is just about to freeze into his immortality, is nailing ‘everything that moves’ and how that includes males, so I am not surprised.

    However, it bothers me how often these stories, when they are part of a longer hetero series, are given novella status, instead of being novels like the others.

    And it bothers me more that, if there’s ever a print edition, it will likely be trade size and cost more than a hardback.

    Mind you, what likely happened with this spinoff is that whomever was publishing the IAD series didn’t think it did well enough to warrant continuation, and, depending on the contract, they could just have declined to publish more of them. Remember, the IAD had started coming out in hardback at this time, yet Shadow’s Claim came out in paperback.

    • Alex says:

      However, it bothers me how often these stories, when they are part of a longer hetero series, are given novella status, instead of being novels like the others.

      Can you explain what you mean by this? I’ve only ever read a few m/m romances plus Kit Rocha’s Beyond series which has quite a bit of menage (and some slash Harry Potter fanfics back in the day, now that I recall). So I’m not particularly familiar with the community and criticisms surrounding romances that aren’t hetero male/female stories all the way.

      Also, I checked out your blog, and I really love it. Will probably spend the rest of the evening reading through your posts about feminism and women’s right. Just to start.

      • azteclady says:

        (Apologies for the very long comment–and thank you for your kinds words about my blog)

        What I mean is that often, in very successful series mostly about heterosexual couples, when a homosexual or bisexual character becomes a fan favorite, they may get their story, but instead of a full length novel, they’ll get either a novella, or be the secondary romance in someone else’s book. This often feels like either tokenism–the author writing the story to pacify fans, but not fully committing to the characters gender identity/sexuality–or bowing to pressure from publishers or conservative fans, depending.

        The main example of the second in my brain right now is the Jules/Robin pairing in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters novels.

        Jules had been a secondary character since the second book in that series, gaining increasing importance and becoming a fan favorite over the course of another six books. When he and Robin had a kiss in book 8, there was a severe pushback from conservative readers. When the rest of the fans continued to ask for his story, there was a compromise to make the Jules/Robin romance the secondary storyline in the 11th book, Force of Nature. From what was said at the time (2007), the publisher was leery of trying to sell a book where the main romantic couple was gay.

        As the comment right below mine shows, there is a lot of pushback about stories that do not exactly represent the ideal cis hetero fantasy.

        An example of the former (tokenism) could likely be J R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood books. Vishous and Buck gave off strong gay vibes for several books running, but their stories were both heterosexual pairings. After a couple of years of strong and vocal criticism of this and other aspects of the BDB, two other characters were suddenly made gay, and their story was told as part of a multi-storyline novel. In theory, theirs was the main focus of the book, in reality…not so much.

        I have complained in my reviews of the IAD books that they are relentlessly heterosexual–even the construct of the Bride, the only one who can blood a vampire and make his heart beat, is determinedly on the strictly two-genders social narrative. This is why the mention of Mirceo nailing everything that moves stuck with me–it was the first time in the series that the author acknowledged the possibility of anything but heterosexuality.

        Which means that I’m predisposed, fairly or not, to see the fact that his story will be a longish novella, as tokenism rather than actually writing the character story because she finds it compelling enough to do so.

        • Alex says:

          Thanks for clarifying. Both sides – the author bowing to pressure from fans for non hetero pairings versus publisher pressure to adhere to conservative standards – make sense. I agree it’s a snub when these stories are reduced to novellas or a secondary romance. But I understand why. Publishers exist to make money, and if non hetero pairings hurt the bottom line and/or pacifying conservative fans is good for the bottom line…financial statements win out over good intentions. Corporate social responsibility and taking a position on social/political issues weren’t founding tenets of capitalism. Companies that pursue CSR and take position on social/political issues are usually not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. And even if they are, it still fits with their overall corporate business strategy. No matter which way you slice it, I think there’s a mercenary element; there’s an agenda.

          Reading is so personal it’s easy to forget that it’s also a business. Popular series especially are subject to these dilemmas.

          Indie pubs are better positioned to put out progressive stories without large scale reader pushback because they tend to already serve demographics more receptive to change/accepting of stories outside their normal comfort zone. There is also less risk for indies. Long term, I think the Big 5 need to, have somewhat started to, and will change their tune, but at a glacial pace. And no matter an author’s right to creative freedom, commitment to the story and characters, and desire to write books their readers love, they need to eek out a living, too. They also can’t please everyone. It’s not a perfect world.

          In the case of this IAD installment: fans uncomfortable reading a male/male romantic pairing are alienated. And fans who don’t mind and/or enjoy the pairing may also be alienated for various reasons. Such as: the author hasn’t written a non hetero pairing (that we know of) and may end up giving readers a disingenuous story; or, and this is purely conjecture, she’s jumping on the m/m bandwagon so to speak, making it gimmicky and doubly offensive; or, as you explained above, it’s relegated to novella (read: lesser) status. Or any number of other possible reasons readers may become offended.

          As I stated in my comment below, what’s the point? My opinion: KC’s reasons for giving this story – no matter the good and genuine intention – are a poor move to make at this time. She’s also terrible at communicating with her readers which doesn’t help.

          • azteclady says:

            The communication thing, which was discussed in another KC thread (about her Arcana series), is a serious problem for authors who make the move from trad publisher to indie/self pub. Even saying, “there’s a book coming, but I still don’t have a date, and this is what’s going on” only a few times a year, is leagues better than flooding with non-informative promo.

            • dougmeeks says:

              My twitter account is filled with author promos that are so overdone/repetitive/lame/etc that they are useless for the most part. Even the good ones are tweeted several times a day it seems.

              • kaleigha says:

                I have actually started to try and avoid them, myself. I do check a select handful of authors to see if they have any excerpts for upcoming works, but that is about it. It is just another reason Facebook bugs me, since a lot of the time it has just become a publicity machine rather than a way to interact with fans. Not everyone has gone this way for sure, but some have.

        • Abra says:

          I’m with you @azteclady as well. The m/m novella treatment is very prevalent.

          For that matter releasing books with very new, random characters instead of current characters is also all over. There are very few writers who build in a character for a book or two before giving them their own novel. It makes it very hard to care about a character who was barely in the previous book before getting their own.

          • azteclady says:

            Exactly!

            Mind you, I’m down with a story arc (for a couple/menage/whatever) covering three, six books–as long as there is some progress in the intervening stories towards the resolution of their own story.

            In Brockmann’s Troubleshooters this was true for Sam/Alyssa and for Jule/Robin. In Singh’s Psy/Changeling this was true for Kaleb.

            However, that pretty much seems to be it; it does seem that authors prefer going off in tangents with recent/unknown/just introduced characters, and little-to-no page time is devoted to characters introduced in the first book or three, but who are presumably getting their own stories told.

        • SomewhereLostInBooks says:

          Another example is Maris and Ture in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s The League series. They only received a novella.
          Or Hard to be Good by Laura Kaye. Jeremy and Charlie’s story is a novella. Although Laura Kaye also has a novella for a heterosexual couple in that series too.

    • kaleigha says:

      It kind of bugs me when a paperback spin-off of a hardcover series gets absorbed into the main series. Gena Showalter’s Angels of the Dark is merging into the Lords of the Underworld, The Dacians seem to be merging into IAD, that sort of thing. Or my personal favorite, which is J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Legacy getting a whopping ONE paperback out before the switch to hardcover.

    • Redbutterfly says:

      “However, it bothers me how often these stories, when they are part of a longer hetero series, are given novella status, instead of being novels like the others.”

      I’m with you @azteclady, it bugs me a lot too 😡

      • dougmeeks says:

        Well allow me to give a logical reason for doing a novella. Some of us are hooked into series and they have gay characters, no big deal but if you make one of the main novels a M/M love story in a M/F series you have told your readers that basically “If you want to keep up with the overarching plot you have to read this” at which point I end my association with the series where with a novella, I can skip the M/M story if I wish and continue the series with no loss in the overarching plot line understanding that these 2 characters are now a couple, not a big deal and I don’t have to read a story with the details that I could care less about. When you try to force me to read something I have no interest in simply because you as an author feel the need to force this view, it has become social engineering and political IMHO and ceased to be entertainment because you have removed my choice, so with the novella you can have it both ways with no loss of readers. BTW just because I don’t want to read M/M does not make me “conservative’ or homophobic (which my English OCD still says is NOT a real word) since my brother and uncle were gay. It means I am a normal red blooded man who loves women and has zero interest in reading about 2 men. I think that is normal last time I looked 🙂

        • azteclady says:

          (kaleigha, feel free to delete this if you feel I’m crossing any lines)

          dougmeeks, I respect your right to read, or not read, whatever you want. And you have the right to feel indignant and singled out by being called conservative. However, you did say,

          BTW just because I don’t want to read M/M does not make me “conservative’ or homophobic (which my English OCD still says is NOT a real word) since my brother and uncle were gay. It means I am a normal red blooded man who loves women and has zero interest in reading about 2 men. I think that is normal last time I looked

          Do you not see the disconnect between “my brother and uncle are gay, I cannot be a homophobe” and “I am a normal red blooded man who loves women”? Does this make your brother and uncle abnormal non-red blooded non-men, or…? The implication that the only men who are truly men are those who are exactly like you, is there. And that need to preserve a status quo in which only those who are exactly like you are normal, is what I call conservative.

          • dougmeeks says:

            You are really overthinking this badly 🙂 “Normal” in this context just means preferring the biological intent of your gender, if it cannot lead to the propagation of the species then it is outside the norm, it does not have any social implication other than that which you wish to apply to it. The phase “normal red blooded man” means nothing more than pointing out the mathematical FACT that the majority of men prefer women since gays constitute less than 5% of the population using any reliable measurement source and less than 10% using less reliable sources. Your assertion of what the “implication” was seems to be nothing more than your desire to see such an implication whether it existed or not in reality. Since we came here to talk about books I will not be responding to any addition comments along these lines.

          • Monika says:

            This discussion actually had me stop and take a good look at my own prejudice. I consider myself very free-thinking and liberal, I do feel that gay people should have all the same rights as hetero people, and that everybody should be allowed to love whom they want and do what they want (in the bedroom), as long as it is between consensual adults. And it is indeed a bit jarring to discover that I myself prefer my (romance) novels (especially with explicit sex scenes) to be with male/female action 😉 , but that is my personal preference. I also don’t want to read about simpering virgins and find most YA (or even New Adult) books inane. But that is my escapist reading, in my more “academic” reading I have read (and been fascinated) by bunches of literature and secondary works that deal with homoerotic desire, as well as about the mechanisms that help to maintain the “heterosexual matrix”. I think I just might try a m/m story, though probably not Shadow’s Seduction. I used to love Brockmann’s Jules, but for some reason never got around to book 11…
            But with all the discussion about homosexual “romance” it makes me sort of wonder why they are almost always m/m and rarely ever f/f; there seems to be a sort of imbalance there…

            • Monika says:

              Sorry, just to avoid confusion, my comment was actually in answer to azteclady’s thoughts, your comment, Doug, only showed up on my screen after I had pressed to the “submit” button.

                • Monika says:

                  Yeah, I hate being unable to correct the embarrassing language mistakes I still sometimes make. They just seem to jump out at me after I have clicked on the submit button!

            • azteclady says:

              There is an interesting dynamic at play with the abundance of m/m stories, and the relative rarity of f/f stories; in some of the blogs I read this is addressed and discussed at length, but here’s my thumbnail (and yet, still long) interpretation of events: m/m as a genre in modern fiction stems from m/m (slash) fanfiction from back in the ’60s, which was written by, and catered to, mostly to hetero women.

              To this day, most m/m romance fiction is written by and for hetero women, and indeed, the lion’s share of romantic fiction is still written by women, and, just as dougmeeks doesn’t want to read about two dudes falling in love (let alone having sex on page), most hetero women don’t want to read about two women falling in love (and having sex on page). Ergo, tons more m/m than f/f fiction being written and published, even today.

              In fact, there was some noise not too long ago (as in, four weeks? perhaps five?) because a straight woman author ‘explained’ to other writers that trans men should not be allowed in m/m fiction, and she gave the above as the reason why.

              The fact that her ‘rule’ erased the existence of entire swathes of humanity didn’t occur to her.

              Nor did the fact that just because she doesn’t want to read and/or write them, there is no audience for these stories.

              The reality, whether palatable for some or not, is that there is an audience for every single variant of romantic story imaginable–it may be a small audience, but it’s there.

              With the advent of digital publishing, a wider variety of stories, reflecting the many flavors of humanity, gender identity, sexuality, etc., became available beyond the niche groups that already wrote and read them. However, discoverability is still an issue, as authors from any minority group will tell you. The stories are being written, and they have been written for decades; it’s just that if you are not in the know, or if you do not actively look for them, they will fly under the radar for the immense majority of readers–even those who may discover they would like to read them.

              Mind you, I am not by any means widely read in m/m, and I have not yet read any f/f, so it’s not as if I am writing from a bastion of self righteousness here. I simply don’t feel the need to announce that I won’t be reading this or that story because of the sexuality of the protagonists.

              (Though I’ll rant at length about dropping a series or author due to poor writing, lack of internal character or world-building consistency, offensive portrayals of minority groups, offensive revisionist history,* and so on and so forth)

              *for those interested: one example is the book that narrated the ‘love story’ between Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings–obviating the fact that Sally was a slave, therefore unable to consent to the relationship. Another example would be the book where the hero was a Kommandant of one of the most infamous concentration camps in Germany during WWII–sparing the lives of the heroine and a handful of Jews, after being directly responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands, does not a hero make.

              • Redbutterfly says:

                “To this day, most m/m romance fiction is written by and for hetero women, and indeed, the lion’s share of romantic fiction is still written by women, and, just as dougmeeks doesn’t want to read about two dudes falling in love (let alone having sex on page), most hetero women don’t want to read about two women falling in love (and having sex on page). Ergo, tons more m/m than f/f fiction being written and published, even today.”

                I agree with you in this one @azteclady.

                I love reading m/m books. Two hot guys getting it on? Count me in roflmao. Reading about two women having sex? Eh… no, thanks. So I feel your pain @dougmeeks lol

                BTW totally off-topic but I just went to Amazon and saw the price for the ebook of Betrayals (The Cainsville Series) by Kelley Armstrong: Kindle – $24.95 O_O WTF? It’s more expensive than the hardcover ($19.17).

                • kaleigha says:

                  What?!? That e-book pricing doesn’t make any sense. And the sad thing? Kelley Armstrong will get the flack for the book pricing even though she doesn’t have any say, and she probably doesn’t make any more out of it than if it was priced where it should be.

              • azteclady says:

                GAH!!! correction: this should read

                Nor did the fact that just because she doesn’t want to read and/or write them, doesn’t mean there is no audience for these stories.

          • Iain says:

            To begin with, I’ll read an M/M story within an otherwise M/F, etc series… altho I have yet to want to read an entirely M/M series.

            My 2 cents on the “normal” stuff… I’ve read that homosexuality exists throughout the animal kingdom, and serves an evolutionary purpose… Homosexuals are much more likely to adopt since they can’t reproduce, and orphans need homes.

            That’s all I’m gonna say.

  3. dougmeeks says:

    Looks like I will be skipping this one, no interest in reading about 2 dudes in love. Add to the fact that I always feel that we have crossed the line from entertainment to social engineering/politics I just avoid such for many reasons. I have always said in my profiles that if your books starts pushing/attacking an actual religion, supporting/insulting a political candidate/party or pushing a pet project or cause I will NOT read your book. This is not news to anyone who has read my comments on forums in the past. If I want reality I can watch the news, I read for entertainment not “enlightenment” as an author it is your right to tell any story you wish, it is also my right to ignore it 🙂

    • kaleigha says:

      Yeah, not sure I will be racing to this one, either. Maybe if it didn’t seem to just all of a sudden be a thing, I might’ve been a bit more willing to give it a shot.

  4. tomehuntress says:

    The first Dacian story is one of my favorites. I didn’t have a hint about this pairing though I vaguely recall Mirceo might be bisexual. I’ll be skipping this one, not interested in reading m/m stories. My cup of tea.

    • kaleigha says:

      The fist Dacian’s book is definitely one of my favorites, too – and it was the reason why I was so disappointed that we didn’t hear anything about a new book for so long. I would’ve traded any recent IAD book for another one like that any day. But it looks like I will be skipping this one, too.

  5. Alex says:

    I’m disappointed the story is about Mirceo and not one of the other Dacian royals. As the youngest male and, as of Shadow’s Claim, on the fringe of freezing into immortality I think he should have to wait! What about Stelian and Viktor? What about Kosmina – did anyone catch the nymphs in Sweet Ruin mention a female vamp in the New Orleans area inflicted with the mysterious vampire plague?

    I’m sure we’ll catch up with Dacian news, but still. No matter who Mirceo is paired with, his was the Dacian story LAST on my wishlist.

    All the new characters/storylines introduced in Dark Skye when we’ve been waiting for others and now this…I’m considering abandoning another of my favorite series in as many months! And the IAD was my introduction to reading paranormals.

    I’m trying to understand how these moves make sense from a sales point. If anyone has any insight I’d love to hear it. Like, beyond following whatever the author’s vision for the series, how does the new (unfortunate, in the case of Wicked Abyss) cover artwork, new characters and new direction promote series longevity?

    There was discussion here several weeks back about series we’ve stopped reading. There’s some reader disgruntlement with the shakeup in Sweet Ruin (continuing with Wicked Abyss). So why release a m/m novella that will turn away more readers? I don’t have personal feelings about non hetero stories either way; what I don’t understand is why KC and all the people who work with/advise her releases would make this move right now. It’s not a good move. This is a long running series, and there was little to no warning for readers.

    Loyal fans are already being tested by recent changes, and her books don’t have the promotional clout they used to. It would be one thing if readers had more time to get used to it like with Blay and Qhuinn in BDB. A few vague observations in Shadow’s Claim weren’t enough to draw strong conclusions about a possible Mirceo/Caspion pairing or even just a possible m/m Mirceo story.

    I just…WHY?

    Also, according to this person on Goodreads, Furie’s book is next. Read the review comments. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1595885910?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

    • kaleigha says:

      To me, logically, the next story would’ve been Kosmina’s. But once again, it is a story set up with no follow through (a la Munro, Furie, Kristoff, etc).

      It is hard to let go of the series that starts you reading your favorite genre – mine is Christine Feehan, and I have been pretty whiny about her, but I still slog along.

      I never, ever would’ve thought that at any point in my reading life I would be meh about Kresley Cole, but somehow I just got there. Not a big, dramatic incident that changed my mind, but a combination of several books that didn’t quite work for me, long long (LONG) wait times with little to no info, crappy covers and constant promotional posts with no answers to reader questions. It is sad, but true.

      See, that is what I mean. Blay and Qhuinn had a slow-build story. I find this one is just out of left field. It is a bit weird.

      Furie should be interesting. I wonder if the rumors I heard way back when that she was paired with Kristoff are true?

  6. CourtLakics says:

    I love KC enough that in sure I’ll read this one right away. I say kudos for the m/m bit. I didn’t see it coming for Cas, but ok. I thought he was rather hetero but he did seem a bit conflicted. Maybe a little too promiscuous… Maybe unwilling to commit. Overall I like it. Maybe it is token but I’ll take token over ignoreance.

    • kaleigha says:

      Token. Yes. That is the word I was fumbling for and couldn’t spit out. I guess we will see how it goes, since it will be, as far as I recall, the first hint of same-sex relationships in the whole series. At least I don’t remember any other. Ward had Vishous, then Blay and Qhuinn, Nalini had Kier in the Guild Hunter books, Ilona has the Rat alphas, but I don’t remember any in the IAD world.

      • dougmeeks says:

        Great example since we got most of the details and history of Blay and Qhuinn but still had the choice to skip the novella with no loss of where the story went (I gave up on BDB simply because I just got tired of it and the writing seemed to be very repetitive and torturous)

  7. Lavonda44 says:

    I loved any opportunity to see Lothaire, but I like straight romance. The Prince and the demon did hook up in the first book, they both are bi-sexual and whores. So I’ll pass on that treat.

    I’m slowly loosing interest in the IAD series. I didn’t care for the last 3 books. I’ve purchased Sweet Ruin in November and still haven’t read it. So, that tells me something. I guess, in a way it’s the fought of her fans, since KC wanted to end the IAD series, but many of us begged for more. That teaches me, “Be careful of what you ask for.

    I don’t like the cover of the Abyss book. Two inches lower and it would look like smoke or mucus coming from the dudes nose. Not attractive.

    • kaleigha says:

      See, I totally missed them in the first book. Not sure how, but I have no memory of that whatsoever.

      Heh, that fire out the nose could work for a dragon shifter book, though. Right cover, wrong story maybe?

    • kaleigha says:

      Sweet Ruin didn’t do it for me, either. Not bad, not great, just not much. I don’t even remember the vast majority of it now, while the early IAD books stuck with me. That isn’t a good sign.

    • kaleigha says:

      It’s good that you like them. I haven’t really tried them. I can only think of Blay/Qhuinn’s story, honestly, and I did like that one. I have tried the m/f/m thing and that didn’t work, mostly because in those cases it was 99% sex and 1% story, so that was a no.

  8. Lidy says:

    I didn’t see this one coming. I remember Mirceo was mentioned to swing both ways in Lothaire (and Shadow’s Claim implied it). I thought they’d be much more open about it, but apparently it’s one of those alpha-male-can’t-accept-he-likes-men-too. At least it explains why Mirceo was so heartbroken over Caspion’s desertion.

    As azteclady said, the treatment given to non-straight characters who find their own HEA is unfair. It makes me wonder if it’s because there’s a huge part of readers that are uncomfortable with same-sex pairings (as if threesomes or more didn’t involve a degree of bisexuality) or if it’s a publisher-only decision, since those books/novellas usually tend to have little wordlbuilding as well: JRW swore back then that Quinn and Blay’s book would deal only with them and wouldn’t have much impact in the series, so the readers uncomfortable with m/m wouldn’t be “coerced” into reading it. I have no idea why she changed her mind, but I keep my original position: Blay and Quinn became a couple only because Butch and V did not. Also, it’s important to remember that JRW’s old board had a number of bi mods, who got offended when readers complained of potential same-sex couples.

    Sherrilyn Kenyon also has a novella featuring gay characters (at least, I think it’s a novella) in her League series. In the Dark-Hunter books, Stryker is/was bisexual and, when asked about Zoe, the lesbian Dark-Huntress, she was very clear: her publisher wouldn’t publish it. But then, it was a few ago. Maybe her editors have changed their minds, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    I have noticed that publishers with more erotic books in their catalogue tend to be more open-minded about same-sex couples; Nalini Singh has revealed Keir to be bi, and Elena wondered if Dmitri swung both ways back in book 1, but I don’t remember it in the Psy/Changelings. Similarly, Lynsay Sands has introduced the possibility of gay life mates very recently, in Vampire Most Wanted, and had a m/m couple in the last book as supporting characters.

    On the other hand (and believe me, I’m afraid this will be taken the wrong way), I worry about how real the relationship is. As I said before, I think JRW was pressured into “making” Butch and V straight, later deciding to turn Qhuinn and Blay into a couple. What I mean is: the relationship is for real or just marketing? I see readers pressuring some authors for gay/bi pairings and have noticed this trend (lately I’ve noticed this among Nalini Singh’s readers).

    Overall, while I’d rather read about other characters (I’m not that emotionally invested in either Mirceo or Cas), I won’t let my reading be determined by the characters’ sexuality; I don’t care if they’ll have their HEA with a man, a woman, a man and a woman or even if they are asexual, as long as it’s a consensual, conscious relationship, with all parties willing and committed.

    PS: to someone who asked, I doubt KC is going to indie publish the IAD from now on. At least, Wicked Abyss is listed on her publisher’s website.

    • kaleigha says:

      “On the other hand (and believe me, I’m afraid this will be taken the wrong way), I worry about how real the relationship is.”

      Yeah, that is what I meant when it just seemed to come out of nowhere (or at least did for me). It didn’t feel like it had any buildup, so is it a real relationship, or is it trying to force something that wasn’t there?

      I actually quite liked Blay and Qhuinn’s book, but like most Ward books now it did take me quite a while to get to it. It was one of the few m/m stories I have read, though.

      • Lidy says:

        I liked it, too, but there was that annoying little voice in my head, yelling that Qhuinn+Blay was meant as an apology for the hopeful V+Butch fans. Now I’ve noticed that a number of JRW’s books have included threesomes (there’s that Angels book, V submitting to Butch with Jane looking, Throe and XCor double teamming the hooker, and now JRW wants to know readers’ opinion on a female-female-male threesome. It’s kind of spooky how much she stressed she wasn’t talking about the Brothers and their shellans).

        As for Mirceo and Cas, it wasn’t addressed. At least, I think most readers didn’t even consider it. At least, I began thinking they had an affair after Shadow’s Claim, and only because I reread some parts of Lothaire because I got lost in the timeline.

        • kaleigha says:

          And you still get the V/Butch vibe, which is the same as what I have been getting from Bluebell/Aodhan…buddies or more?

          • Lidy says:

            Yeah, I think there’s something between V and Butch – and it got more serious after V submitted to him. As for Aodhan and Illium, I have never felt anything about them; they were childhood friends, and whatever happened with Aodhan, changed him, depriving Illium of a friend. Also, I think that Aodhan was one of the reasons Illium was able to cope with losing his human and whatever left his mother in that state… but I fail to see anything sexual there. I tried, and couldn’t.

  9. kaleigha says:

    I don’t actually have an aversion to a same-sex story. For me, it is what makes me not like multiple-partner stories, or love triangles, or can’t-pick-a-guy stories – I don’t have a horse in that race, as it were. I usually escape into my books (well, the good ones), so when it is a m/m pairing I don’t have a place. It is the main reason why I am so picky about female leads, too – because they don’t react like I would in a situation, so for me they become wrong. It isn’t fair, but it is what I do. So when it is two guys, I can read and enjoy the story like I did Blay and Qhuinn’s, but I can’t get as involved because I don’t have a place to “get into” the story.

    • Lidy says:

      What you said. 🙂 I try to have an open mind about everything (heck, I even wrote my final paper on sex compulsion and defended it for every student in my course before its due date), but I want to experience what the characters feel, which is difficult when my experiences all revolve around my own sexuality.

      • kaleigha says:

        That is why the whole triangle/multiple potential partners doesn’t work for me, either. I can read the story, but I want to slap the chick around most of the time.

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