Hamilton's vampire-hunting Anita Blake faces a plethora of foes in her tenth outing. Just returned to St. Louis after six months away, Anita is still no closer to choosing between her lovers--Jean-Claude, a vampire, and Richard, a werewolf. But she has to rely on both for help after two of the wereleopards that she has been watching are abducted at a seedy club called Narcissus in Chains. Anita and her boyfriends rescue the wereleopards from the sinister people holding them, but Anita is wounded in the fight and put at risk of becoming a wereleopard herself. Richard angrily captures the wereleopard he believes is responsible and threatens to execute him. Anita must now rescue that wereleopard from Richard and the werewolves he leads, even as she mourns the apparent end of her relationship with him. Then she realizes that those who kidnapped the first two wereleopards are targeting other lycanthropes. Maybe she will be next.
After the joy that was Obsidian Butterfly, it's back to reality. The very title of the book had me fearing what was in store. So lets do a summary of the main plot details. Nathaniel is in trouble and needs rescued(shock!), Micah arrives to become leopard leader with Anita, Richard is trying to kill one of Anita's leopards and Anita stops fighting uniting with Jean Claude and Richard and it turns her into a sex mad succubus. This was the arrival of the ardeur.
So at this point in the series I have several questions going on in my mind.
1)Does Anita actually work for a living? I'm finding it tough to see how she can even fit in going to the bog between her sex and makeout sessions and all her fights with Richard, never mind having a job.
2)Why has Richard, such a great adorable character in the beginning, turning into the biggest asshat on the planet? If he loves Anita why does he treat her like crud and bully everyone she cares about? Stop being such a dick all the time. Don't you think that if you treated her better and stopped yelling for ten seconds that you'd have a better chance with her. Yes I know you are the tough pack leader but you don't have to try and kill everyone you meet. I'm really starting to hate him. Every time he enters a room I think, oh here we go AGAIN. I could say the same thing about Dolph as I really hate his attitude-and Ronnie's.
3)Can we have a main male who doesn't fancy Anita? Just one? I don't count Edward in this as he isn't always around. And what exactly is the point of Micah? He is so bland and boring and I'm not getting even a whiff of chemistry or personality from him.
4)Where is our feisty but vulnerable Anita? She's become a whiny brat! She has to out-bitch everyone, be a complete cow to everyone who cares about her and is whining all the time. Can someone explain to me why all these men love her? It certainly is not for her winning personality!
For me, this book had a very weak plot and this rescue of the leopards was just a way of introducing the next set of lovers that Anita is going to have. All we get from the book is Richard becoming a bigger asshat, Anita becoming more of a bitch, and potential love interests being lined up. And a lot more sex of course, which brings me to the bloody ardeur. I hate the damn thing. I'd rather have seen Anita decide to sleep around because she wanted to or because of animal attraction or something, not the ardeur turning her into a whore against her will.
This was the book that really broke me in terms of enjoying the series. Part of you wants to know what happens because you care about the characters but the other part wonders how much of each book you'll have to skip to avoid the ardeur and Richard's tantrums. I'm only continuing because I'd already bought other books in the series and I'll quit when I get to the end of them.