55 points, 3 stars.
Warning: implied off-screen rape

Blurb:

When she chose master vampire Jean-Claude over her ex-fiancé, alpha werewolf Richard Zeeman, Anita learned that sometimes love is not enough. But though she and Richard won’t be walking down any aisles, she can’t turn her back on him when he’s arrested on a rape charge in Tennessee. Anita knows firsthand that Richard has the morals of a saint—or at least a boy scout. But his guilt or innocence is not the issue. He’s behind bars, and in five days a full moon will rise…

Quote:

“And Anita is not human. Through us she is more than that. Both of us huddle around her humanity like it is the last candle flame in a world of darkness. But by our very love, we make her less human, and more.”

Warning:

Typically I write reviews for others. Not this time. This will be full of spoilers, both for present and future books. They will be filled with rants and maybe even a little gushing. I don’t want to read these again.

If you have read them before: Enjoy my pain.
If you haven’t: Enjoy my pain.

You have been warned, we’ll see how long I last.

Review:

I cannot possibly list all the reasons why I hate all these characters, but I can sure try:

Anita: Unncessarily antagonistic. Refuses help from everyone. Argues with everything. Does the stupidest things at every turn, for reasons she can justify only to herself, not anyone else. Has massive hangups about sex and every damn conflict in the book revolved around poking her buttons on this issue. Lets people talk her into doing things that will get them hurt and then whines because she wasn’t the bestest ever and let people get hurt even though it is their own damn fault (and hers for going against her better instincts). Anita has been through a lot of changes, metaphysically, over the past few books – yet refuses to accept them and whenever something challenges those changes she get antagonistic and ignores the issue – even when it is dangerous to ignore. Fuck Anita. And please, not literally, I’m already tired of that.

Richard: Asshole supreme. Anything Anita does is wrong, and everything he does is somehow saint-like even though he is acting like a FUCKING MORON. “Oh, I’ve been accused of rape, but I don’t need a lawyer. And the local police that actually seems to want to kill me, but I don’t need to leave the area and leave it up to others, because I’m right.” Fuck off. And I do mean everything to do with Anita is wrong in his mind – everything she does, what the marks tying her to HIM and Jean Claude have changed in her, the fact that she is there at all trying to help him. And yet he still insists he loves her and wants to be with her despite hating everything about her. He basically has been throwing a multi-book long tantrum because Anita didn’t choose him. And that is somehow supposed to be sexy? AND KILL HIM ANITA JUST KILL HIM SAVE ME FROM THIS ASSHOLE PLEASE.

Nathaniel: Jesus Christ, his entire existence annoys me right now. He is there for two simple reasons: to make Anita uncomfortable because he is young and wants her sexually, and so people can kick a cute little helpless kitty. Again and Again aaaand again. And it prompts Anita to do things she wouldn’t otherwise do. Like take him on this damn journey into a territory that doesn’t want her in it in the first place. He has no reason for being here. He is weak. He gets in the way. He has to be saved the entire book. He is annoying. How the hell did this child ever become one of her top lovers later in the series?

Asher: He is less annoying than he is in later books when I hope he gets eaten alive by ants, but gods alive he just grates on me. And I don’t think it is just what he turns into later on. Everything he says and does is just annoying and unhelpful. Which is partially because the demands Anita has for others around her are entirely unrealistic and dangerous, but also because Asher is just annoying and unhelpful.

Damian: Serves the exact same function as Nathaniel, why do I have to deal with two useless characters that are just there to get beat up? He is weak, prey. Only there to make Anita do things she otherwise would do, or even need to do if they had stayed home and safe. But he calls the vampiiiire necromancy side of her so he is impoooooortant. Oh look, Anita sort of has a vampire to call. Boo hoo to Anita. It’s such a fucking hardship isn’t it? NOT.

Jean Claude:  Is barely even in this book, but still manages to annoy me. He does the right thing by telling Anita about the danger of going to help Richard. Yet what he manages to do is be completely unhelpful. He chose to send these unhelpful people to help her. And all they do is get in the way. They cause more trouble than they’re worth. And he doesn’t smooth the way for Anita at all, just does the bare minimum on that front. HAVE YOU EVER TRIED DIPLOMACY, JEAN CLAUDE?! OR IS YOUR DICK TOO MUCH IN CHARGE?! He could have been in contact with both parties the entire time, working as a go between. But nope, lots of near deaths and him completely washing his hands of what is going on.

All the side characters: There isn’t a single good side character in the entire bunch. At least a dozen side characters, and they are all either awful people or entirely unhelpful/useless. I can’t believe it.

The Story: Richard has been accused of rape and Anita rushes off to go to help him get out of this accusation that everyone is so sure the asshole who is half a step away from being controlling wouldn’t do. There are a lot of problems, everything goes to hell even from the outset. The local Master of the City doesn’t want Anita there, and sends attacks after them. The local cops are wicked corrupted, ranging from trying to kill them, trying to rape Anita, and just being general shitheads. There are weird attacks in the area, which are caught up with what Richard is doing there in the first place. It’s a mess.

The Sex: There is only about a sex scene and a half in this book. Yet I would swear there were more. If I weren’t actually counting I would have assumed 20. EVERY. SINGLE. THING. gets turned towards sex. It is so goddamn annoying. Every person in the story is either for Anita to want to have sex with, wanting to have sex with Anita, trying and failing to have sex with Anita, or being there for Anita to whine at about wanting to have sex with people. Seriously. There is even an entire scene where Anita messes up the control over her magic over something and calls THE ENTIRE PACK TO TRY AND HAVE SEX WITH HER. Seriously. She spends a good 20 pages accidentally doing this, running away from an entire pack of werewolves, and then ending up having sex with Richard. Which she vowed not to do. But she “had to” to end it. Sigh.

Miscellaneous: The horror parts are fantastic. They’re the best part of this book, hands down. This just isn’t my favourite book in the series by any means, and it’s always been a bit impossible for me to like it even when I was loving the series. The worst thing? There are some super, super dark parts to this book. And what starts in this book, ends in this book essentially. There is no follow up in the rest of the series. At all! It’s awful!