I stopped by Barnes and Noble yesterday. And it really was a quick trip. I have a massive TBR pile, I just dropped some money at the Harlequin site and the lovely Lucy Monroe is sending me some of her Harlequin Presents backlist (and some of them even have Greek in the title…*squeeee*). So my trip to B&N was a quick in and out with a purpose: to return Danse Macabre by Laurell K. Hamilton.

There was a time when LKH was an auto-buy for me on the day of release and then I’d gobble the book up as soon as I got it home. This time, I didn’t even realize she had a book releasing. It was sheer coincidence that I ended up in the store on the day it released (I was looking for something else that released that day, though I can’t remember what off the top of my head). I picked it up, looked at it, put it down and told Josh I really didn’t think I should buy it in hardcover, given my disappointment with her previous title and that I hadn’t even read Micah yet. It’s been sitting on my bookshelf for months.

For whatever reason, he convinced me to buy it (maybe because he knows I used to love her) and so, out I walked with LKH. Good thing I kept the receipt.

The book has sat on my bookshelf for the past month, while I read others that I was more eager for: the ARC of Dead Man Rising by Lilith Saintcrow, the ARC of Secret Society Girl by Diana Peterfreund, the latest offering from Kim Harrison–A Fistful of Charms–and Crazy Love by Tara Janzen (that’s the book I was in the bookstore for that day). Where once before, nothing would have taken precedance over an Anita Blake book, this time I had to make a conscious decision to put it next up.

Good thing I didn’t wait, it would have missed the 30 day window for returning it.

I suppose you can guess by now how this turned out? Literally ten pages in, I was thoroughly dissatisfied with the book. I don’t enjoy the fact that she’s sleeping with six men and looking to add more. I dislike that LKH has taken all of the people Anita was once friends with and made them unlikeable, somehow making it impossible for Anita to have friendships with anyone, only fuck buddies. Despite the fact that I love erotic romance, I don’t love the fact that these books have become aobut the sex. Everything about the plot tied in to the sex. And really, at this point, I don’t like too many of the characters, either. Including Anita.

I was ready to give up after ten pages. I whined and moaned and bitched to Mandy and Mel. (Shan and J were spared because they weren’t on IM). I read another 40 pages. Then I read the last chapter. And I determined that Anita is not for me any longer. I’m moving on and saying good-bye to an old friend. I loved LKH for those early Anita books. For creating a world and a heroine like nothing else available at the time. And for writing it in first person at a time when first person was wildly unpopular. I’ll still recommend those early LKH books and I’ll keep them on my shelves. There may come a time when I can go back and re-read them without feeling bitter about the turn Anita took. But in the meantime, I won’t be giving LKH my money any longer and Danse Macabre has been returned to the bookstore. I’m going to buy shoes instead.

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