|“||Hot.... warm.... cold.... why are we staring?||”|
— Parker, The Lost Heir Job
Tara Cole, played by Jeri Ryan, is an old friend of Sophie Devereaux's and a fellow grifter. When Sophie left the Leverage team to do some soul-searching, she asked Tara to fill in for her to pay back an unknown debt. Unlike the rest of the Leverage crew, Tara grifts for money, and for a time, demanded a cut of whatever money they recovered, which Nate paid out of his own funds. Although the team was mistrustful of her at first, she soon became a valued member of the team.
Tara's history is largely unknown, but she has dropped hints that suggest she was trained by the FBI, and may also have some experience in military intelligence; she referred to time spent "at Quantico", but did not specify with which agency. She speaks Russian and German and knows how to deal with Russian bureaucracy. She also has training in cryptography. In The Runway Job she demonstrated she is adept at hand-to-hand combat. Besides she also reveals a scar on her head in The Future Job, where she plays a psychic in a con, she claims the scar is from a brain tumor that the doctors got rid of, but afterwards "was twice blessed. With renewed life, and with this gift." Like Sophie, she has a large number of identities.
Her grifting style is quite different than that of Sophie's. While Sophie would usually get close to a mark by appearing as a business partner, Tara prefers to use her looks. Instead of trying to do business with marks, Tara will often flirt and get the mark to fall for her. This is made apparent in The Bottle Job when she got the mark to trust her simply by flirting. Later, in The Maltese Falcon Job, she gets into nothing but a towel to try and get a guard to let her into a room. When the guard hesitated, she dropped the towel and let the guard see her naked.
- Can play The Inside Man on the Long Con, as well as The Face.
- Burglary (Tara is proficient enough to use one of Parker's Rigs, while Alec Hardison gets caught up in the lines.)
- "The Lost Heir Job"
- "The Runway Job"
- "The Bottle Job"
- "The Zanzibar Marketplace Job"
- "The Future Job"
- "The Three Strikes Job"
- "The Maltese Falcon Job"
- Gina Bellman, who plays Sophie Devereaux, was pregnant during the filming of the last half of the second season, and that is the reason for Sophie traveling the world and not making much of an appearance during that time. It's also the reason that Tara was introduced to the series. When Sophie comes back in the second season finale, Tara leaves the team and goes her own way.
- In one of his Q&A blogs, series creator John Rogers stated that even before Gina made the announcement, the writing staff was already working on a storyline where Sophie would be more absent from the team. Her pregnancy simply required moving up when it would occur.
- The name Tara Cole is a nod to Tara King from The Avengers. 
- Tara has a scar on the top of her head, the cause of that scar is unknown. In "The Future Job", she says she had a brain tumor removed, as a part of the con.