This book came from my own shelves, and I will never give you less than an honest review, no matter its source. I do provide informational and purchase links to make it more convenient for you to access the book. I also receive a percentage of the sale if you use one of my links to buy it. And that's not enough money to be less than truthful *grin*.
Series: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter #23
Other books by this author that I've reviewed include Hit List, Bloody Bones, Killing Dance, Burnt Offerings, Narcissus in Chains, Obsidian Butterfly, Bite, Incubus Dreams, Micah, Danse Macabre, The Harlequin, Blood Noir, Skin Trade, Flirt, Bullet, Never After, Kiss the Dead, The First Death, Affliction, Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned, "Shutdown", A Kiss of Shadows, Lunatic Café, A Caress of Twilight, Seduced by Moonlight, A Stroke of Midnight, Mistral’s Kiss, A Lick of Frost, Blue Moon, Dead Ice, Crimson Death.
Twenty-third in the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter erotic urban fantasy series and revolving around Anita and her harem. Based in St. Louis, the focus is on bondage, need, and how it can affect relationships.
I’m torn in how to rate this. My main problem with Jason is its critical assessment and explanation of bondage and submission around which Hamilton has wrapped a story. Thinly. Don’t get me wrong, Hamilton does do a brilliant job of defining BDSM, analyzing how different people need different things, about fulfilling your needs without hurting others (hmmm, that sounds like the antithesis of bondage!), and being true to yourself. But I was expecting a story…not psychoanalysis!
The start is emotionally intense with the rough-sex meeting Jason has called. It’s an analysis of preferences and problems, but it’s true purpose is to talk about how unfulfilled Jade is and for Jason to ask Anita’s help with J.J. understanding bondage.
“‘…no matter how much you love your vanilla, you need the other flavors.’
‘You want the other flavors, you don’t need them,’ she said.
‘…if I don’t get my bondage and submission needs met I get really unhappy, my energy goes down, and eventually nothing works right. … it’s a need, not a want…'”
It’s Richard’s hang-ups that are the initial focus. It’s that need to win, how ruthless one can be, loving people no matter what. And what it’s all leading up to is that bondage and submission issue. Although I did appreciate Jason’s comment about it’s not just being about boy and girl parts, but about different people meeting different needs.
That’s when Nathaniel chimes in with his list of which of Anita’s lovers meet his needs. Hoo, boy. That mention of feedback is practical, and too true.
“‘It’s hard not to be self-conscious.’ … ‘…the issue isn’t about logic, or even reality; it’s an issue that’s about illogic, and emotions, and the negative voices in everyone’s head.'”
Anita is working her own issues, including realizing that she cannot do the relationship deal with as many people as are in her bed.
Hamilton beats around the bush, no pun intended (!), with her characters reminiscing on past events, how they got to where they are now, but it eventually comes down to Jade and Anita’s inability to deal with Jade’s sexual needs. Part of Anita starts wondering if how confusing Jade is, is how her men feel around her *LMAO* I do like that Anita is starting to get a feel for what her men have to endure with her!
Then again, I do sympathize with Anita’s frustration. Jade is such a wet blanket!
Lol, what every man wants to hear: “Oral skills approved by lesbians!”
“…you can only truly be brave if you’re afraid…”
Enjoying pain with your pleasure is something you either get, or you don’t. If you get it, then you don’t really need it explained, because you know how good it feels, and if you don’t get it then no amount of talking is going to convince you it makes sense.
But sometimes you have to explain the unexplainable…
Anita Blake is a vampire hunter whose adventures have enhanced a lot of abilities. She’s the Mother of the Dawn, the Queen of Tigers, and a U.S. Marshal for the preternatural branch among other roles.
Jason Schuyler is a werewolf stripper and assistant manager at Guilty Pleasures and Anita and Nathaniel are among his best friends. He’s also Jean-Claude’s pomme de sang. J.J. is his ballet dancer girlfriend who works in New York City. Freda is J.J.’s girlfriend and insanely jealous of Jason.
Nathaniel is one of Anita’s live-in lovers and a leopard shifter who also strips. Their third is Micah Callahan, the alpha for the leopards (the Nimir-Raj), and the head of the Furry Coalition.
Anita’s animals to call include…
…Nathaniel, Jason, and Domino, a tiger who shifts between black and white and works as one of Anita’s bodyguards. Nicky is an admitted sociopath, were-lion, and Anita’s Bride. Cynric, sorry, I meant “Sin”, is her blue tiger. Jade is a black tiger with whom Anita has gone heteroflexible in Kiss the Dead, 21.
Damian, a vampire, is Anita’s servant-to-call. Envy is a tiger shifter, part of the golden tiger clan, who is dating Richard. Or, well, was… Mephistopheles, a.k.a., Devil or Dev is her cousin.
Jean-Claude is the Master of St. Louis and the vampire king of the United States. He and Anita are engaged. Richard Zeeman is the werewolf alpha, the Ulfric, and a teacher.
The ardeur is like a date rape drug and an ability to feed off lust, and it surfaces at some of the worst times. Belle Morte was Jean-Claude’s sire; her ability is to make people sick with desire.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a swirl in shades of red spiraling faster and with greater definition to frame Jason’s bare chest as he’s pulling on a black leather jacket. The author’s name and title are in an embossed metallic silver with all other text in white.
The title is all wrong, for it’s not about Jason at all, but Jade.