This is my personal blog and does not necessarily reflect the collective views of Hard Limits Press

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cerulean Sins Chapter Twenty Five

So I'm sick and really busy but honestly I FUCKING HATE THIS BOOK. Not only is this one as offensive as always, it is crushingly boring. This book has been nothing but genitals and wankery but I am bored to tears. 

But we must soldier on, everyone! Or I'll have to start talking shit about Iggy Azalea and then we'll be here all fucking night.


Anita had a new shower installed in the master bathroom. Shit I don't even remember where she is at this point. Has this even been addressed? At the Circus? At home? I guess it doesn't matter considering every place Anita spends time in has weird improbable showers that make me obsess over said improbability. She paid a werebear to install it because they don't ask questions about her living arrangements, for some reason, because I guess werebears become magically accepting of polyamory once they shift for the first time.


It chars my pancakes the way she acts like she fucking invented polyamory. But it quickly devolves even further because Anita thinks having sex with someone she's not in love with "probably said something about how far down the well of moral decay I'd fallen."

Cool. Well of moral decay. Can Sex Positive Lassie rescue her? What's that boy? Anita tripped over her massive Madonna/Whore complex and is trapped? In the well? The well moral decay? Good boy!


Anita stands in the hot, hot shower having a pathetic, pathetic pity party. She is all I'm a strong woman! I don't need a man! Men are jerks! Like Richard, who left me because I'm not human enough! The fact that she still thinks that is terrifying. It lets me know that Anita doesn't believe herself capable of rape, and also doesn't think men in particular can be raped.


Anita goes on, indulging in a truly wretched Strong Woman monologue that belongs in a high school play about quirky people who DON'T NEED YOUR PITY, OKAY? Her fiance in college left her because she wasn't white enough, and her stepmother never let her forget that she was small and had dark hair. THE HORROR. Which I don't get, because Anita does not have any markers that would generally speaking code her as a woman of color in a white supremacist country. She is often described as having skin so white it is almost translucent. She does not speak her native language and there's no indication she ever spoke it with her mother. She has no cultural traditions, no physical features that code her as other (and I am sorry not sorry, but being short does not count), no accent, no manner of speech that would suggest anything but the most bland form of U.S. whiteness...it's hard for me to appreciate Anita as a woman of color when it's only trotted out when LKH needs some cheap and easy justification for Anita's ongoing emotional issues.






Anita at least realizes she's a shit head who doesn't appreciate all the ass and boot lickers around her who fall all over themselves to suck her toes and tongue bathe her no no place every time something even slightly unhappy happens to her. Don't hold your breath, this won't last.





Boo hoo, Anita is so sad she's sitting in the shower.

Jamil shows up and tells her Richard is hurt and they need to soak him in the tub here, I assume because he's a shifter and needs to be cooled down or heated up or whatever fucky attempt at biology is at work in this world. How convenient! Gee, I wonder if this could rekindle their romance????


So Jamil found Richard passed out and doesn't know what's wrong, but Anita magically does: Belle Morte has been feeding on him, too. And she knew this, despite not mentioning it when it first came up, and she didn't think to tell anyone because she just assumed he would handle it. The fact that he didn't isn't because of her callousness, or because he was caught out with no one around him, but because he just "let himself die." 






Jamil has dreadlocks because of course he does. In the midst of this high tension scene his clothes are also really important, you guys. His shirt matches the beads in his hair. Cool story, bro.

 

Anita is pissed she has to let Richard in because omg Richard broke her heeeeart. I wonder how he feels about being a rape victim? I have it on good authority that rape is a guaranteed heart breaker.


 This chapter was two and a half pages long and it was all devoted to whining.

RECAP PEOPLE:

Guy who wants his ancestor raised

Gregory and Stephen's rapist dad

Musette

Does anyone even remember these agonal attempts at plot?






















Saturday, May 2, 2015

I'm still here

Just in case anyone has been wondering I am still slogging through Cerulean Sins. I have a post in the works as we speak but it probably won't get published until tomorrow. My health is all over the place but I have the next couple of days to myself, so you'll hopefully see a couple of sporks here soon!

<3 br="">

Monday, April 6, 2015

Cerulean Sins Chapter Twenty Four Part Two

There are so many worthwhile things I could be doing right now. Watching porn. Eating a whole pint of ice cream by myself. Saving Tyria. But here we are.

Because Jason and Anita are still fucking. 


Anita screams when her orgasm happens. I think that is hilarious and could be an awesome character trait in the hands of an author with any distance whatsoever from her creation. In this case though it's just laughable, especially because she claws Jason and then when that isn't enough she claws herself.


I have had many orgasms in my life. I have had orgasms so good they practically slammed me in to the ground. I have had orgasms that have made me question the cosmos and the existence of god (or at the very least made me want to sing several rousing choruses of hallelujah). I also once ate a piece of chocolate cake so good it nearly made me orgasm, but that's beside the point...

But never once, in all the nineteen years I have been doing all the wonderful things that tend to bring one to orgasm, have I felt the need to claw myself.  I mean really, imagine what poor Jason would be thinking if he had anything approaching a normal character. He's having sex with this woman and she comes. Yes, go me! He's thinking. And then she turns in to Regan from the Exorcist.


Jason comes.



He howls and stuff. Get it? Because he's a werewolf. Can't you just see LKH with her legs tightly crossed like, goddamn I am a genius.


The ardeur "drank him down."


You could make an excellent Mad Libs out of these books. When Anita ___ she ___ and then she and Jason ___ until the ardeur ____

 Or hey everyone, let's play a fun campfire game! Let's write an Anita Blake chapter!

Anita and J.C. rubbed the front of their bodies against each other until the front of J.C.'s body spilled from his poured on leather pants. His desire was like a cherries jubilee where the cherries are really, really hot, and the sugar is sweet, sweet. Anita ate his cherries jubilee down, down, and drank the brandy down as it spilled over her face. 


Jason is still in Anita. Eventually they um, disengage. Jason wants to cuddle and Anita tells him he was amazing. Do people actually do this? Like, was it good for you?


Jason and Anita have a truly mind numbing conversation about how Jason's dick isn't as big as some of Anita's other lovers'. It makes me like Jason somewhat, though, because he doesn't have any weird hangups about the size of his equipment. Since it's the Anita verse I'm guessing he probably has a nine inch wang, but they both consider that just average. (Anita also calls what they did "making love" for no reason whatsoever).



The conversation takes a legitimately interesting turn as they discuss Asher's erotic vampire powers. No seriously! I love this kind of shit. I mean, I wouldn't review these pieces of trash if they didn't disappoint me on a personal level, because let's be real: these could be SO good. I have always loved the idea of a sexually motivated society (think A.N. Rolequere's Sleeping Beauty Series, but you know, not earth endingly awful) and that is kind of where these books want to go. The notion that sex and blood letting is so enjoyable as to be crazy making is rad. But the execution will of course fail us all once again, and instead of this:


We'll get this:


They get in to a truly bizarre conversation about Jason's sexuality. To wit:

"I was a little confused for awhile about what exactly my preferences were. I mean I've been Jean-Claude's pomme de sang for about two years now. It's amazing when he feeds, Antia, a-fucking-mazing. Enjoying being with him this much made me think I might be gay. But I like girls. I'm not saying that with the right person bisexuality isn't a possibility, but not if it means never being able to do this again." (emphasis mine).

What in the unholy hell is he talking about? What about being bisexual means you can never have pussy again? If he were referring to being monogamous with a man, I could see him wondering about whether he'd be satisfied if he has a strong preference for women. But basically no one in this world is monogamous, unless Anita forces them to be because her self esteem is as good as wet tissue paper (and since it's the Anita verse I'll assume it's wet because some hideous man child has ejaculated gallons of super sperm in to it).


Anita has to inform us that she's sitting "Indian fashion." Look, characters don't need to masters of racial theory, right? It's a sad state of affairs, but most people are uninformed about racism and even moreso about terms that could be considered to have a racist origin. Plus Anita is attached to law enforcement, a notoriously conservative profession. But she's such an insensitive pig about everything that even relatively minor things like "Indian fashion" scrape against my brain like the palsied talons of the shitty book vulture. Oh, and the vulture is also racist.


This pictures depicts a performance art piece where the carcass represents LKH's career.

They go on and on about Anita's reprehensible sexual politics and all her stupid controlling hang ups, including the fact that J.C. won't sleep with Jason for fear of arousing the horrifying homophobia beast curled around Anita's insides like an especially well embedded tape worm.  Even Anita points out that Jason has been J.C.'s pomme de sang longer than she has been J.C.'s lover. I hate how everyone just accepts Anita barging in to their already well established relationships. If I were Jason there would be hell to pay if my master's new girlfriend was suddenly making calls that dramatically affected my life.


Anita's head hurts what with all this girly relationship stuff, because she's a fucking idiot. Sorry, I don't have anything clever to say about it. It's just such a plain fact it barely deserves to be remarked upon at this point.





Ultimately, Anita is afraid of loving someone "more than life itself." I think that's one of the only reasonable fears she's ever had.



The rest of this chapter turns in to an extended therapy session about how Anita feels she can't be in love with four men at once. Jason quite reasonably asks her why not. Does she seriously not know polyamory exists? I know a poly family comprised of seven adults, all of whom act as parents to the three children that have come from various unions within. Granted such a large poly relationship is somewhat atypical, but it does happen, and it can be successful. Anita is one of those extremely aggravating people that constantly sets up stumbling blocks for no fucking reason, and no matter how much encouragement and love and reassurance she absorbs she will continue self sabotaging until, frankly, she would be friendless in the real world.






Jason points out that she dated J.C. and Richard at once so she could avoid truly loving either of them. Anita weakly protests that J.C. threatened to kill Richard if she didn't date him.

"And why didn't you just kill Jean-Claude then? You don't tolerate ultimatums, Anita, so why tolerate that one?"

I didn't have an answer for that.

Jason just became my favorite character in this whole series. Also from a psychology point of view I find it really interesting how occasionally one of LKH's minor characters will become a vehicle for the death throes of her subconscious attempting to save her from herself. They will hit Anita with a truth she's been needing to hear for whole books, but then it invariably fizzles out and Anita goes right back to doing what she's been doing all along, namely treating everyone like disposable interchangeable sources of narcissist energy.





OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT THE ARDEUR IS THE LITERAL REPRESENTATION OF ANITA'S NEED FOR NARCISSISTIC SUPPLY.

Oh my god. That is so fucking horrifying I almost closed down the computer and practiced deep breathing for awhile.





Jason continues calling her out by telling her to get the fuck over her stupid relationship from college. Oh god, thank you. It's nice to hear someone say it even if Anita won't grow or change in any way from this. Anita counters with the fact that she loved her mother completely and she died, and that she loved Richard completely and he dumped her, so she can't give herself completely to anyone anymore. The mother thing, I'll give her. She fucking RAPED Richard and surprisingly, he didn't want to stay with her after that. She is a disgusting skin sack stuffed to the brim with malignant personality-cancer. Except it won't have the good decency to kill her and spare me from this base and grotesque exercise. How about me, then? Anyone?





Poor Jason just wants someone to love him and would kill to have Anita's good fortune, the fortune and love she consistently squanders even though she been blessed with far more than her fair share. I didn't think it was possible to hate her more, but I've actually dredged up some particularly black bile from somewhere deep within just for her.



Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Cerulean Sins Chapter Twenty Four part one


Anita is about to have a SIGNIFICANT DREAM.

Full disclosure: I have written these sorts of scenes myself. It's a thing that happens. But it's like whenever LKH doesn't know what to do next, she drops another one of these in to the mix. For example this one is about Belle Morte.



Belle Morte is not in any sense of the word an effective antagonist. She's too removed from Anita's daily life. She never does anything particularly clever. It's not that I mind her style of attempting to manipulate from the shadows. She is an ancient vampire, after all. It's sort of their thing. But even her direct agents are idiots, easily defeated by bullshit like a knife in the ribs or a cross on the door. See, in Anita's world magic and magical creatures have always existed, so you'd think by now the humans and the vampires would have a hojillion ways to get around each other's protections and traditions. 



Belle Morte has beautiful black hair, "honey brown" eyes, and "moist red lips." She's wearing a gold dress and it brings out the color in her eyes. 



Belle Morte beckons to Anita, probably because she wants to get bisexual cooties all over her. I am in support of this because it would probably make Anita spontaneously combust. Turns out that Anita is wearing a fancy dress similar to Belle Morte, and despite not having a mirror and never wearing this type of getup before she knows exactly how it affects the look of her hair and eyes. Of course it makes her sexier. 



Belle refers to Anita as ma petite and tries to boss her around, because "everything that belongs to Jean Claude is mine." I can understand Belle Morte being rather old fashioned and eccentric, but I don't understand why a vampire so interested in the outside world is so completely ineffective. There's being anachronistic and there's being pathetic. Don't the vampires in this series know how to use the Internet? 



Belle Morte has a bowl of "old fashioned roses" at her elbow. What in the hell is an old fashioned rose? Does she mean a cabbage rose? Also these roses are named after Belle Morte. I want us all to commemorate this moment, because it is one of the only times LKH has gotten a detail like this even remotely close to right because according to Wikipedia: "the forerunner of the rose garden as we know it today was planted by empress Jos├ęphine de Beauharnais at Malmaison, France in the years between 1799-1814." 


So fine, LKH you win this round. It's sad that in the span of almost three books now, this is one of the only details that is even remotely plausible.

Things in Anita's body tighten so I assume this means she either thinks Belle Morte is hot or she has appendicitis.


Belle's breasts are "mounded" which makes me think they're made of mashed potatoes (my partner said "mounded? That makes me think one breast is stacked on top of the other one."). Her skin is "gleaming" which means she's an animate Thanksgiving dinner from the Twilight universe. 


"I took two handfuls of the long skirt..."

As opposed to what? Does Anita only have one hand since the other one seems inexorably drawn to whatever faintly penis shaped object drifts by? Are there tentacles coming out of her vagina? I guess those would technically count as hands. 

And hey wait just a goddamn minute. Remember the beginning of this book? When Harlan the hitman comes to hire Anita so she'll raise his ancestor? What the fuck happened to that plot?


If that gets answered by the end of this book I'll have a goddamned heart attack. 

Anita is running in high heels (!) down a dark darkity dark hallway filled with monsters, except they're not monsters, they're a bunch of vampires fucking. No, seriously.


"Breasts like ripe fruit..."

"Flesh pale and dark..." (I thought only white people get to be vampires?)

Now if those examples aren't bad enough, shit gets truly incomprehensible immediately thereafter:

"Blood gleamed down the pale flesh, vampires raised fangs to the light, and humans clung to them, begging for more."

The thing that sticks out the most for me is that the construction of this ahem, 'sentence', makes it seem as if the humans are clinging to the fangs themselves, not the vampires attached to said teeth. Also staccato information like this can really work when properly used. Spoiler alert: it isn't properly used.


Anita is wearing a "tight, upright" corset that is hard to run in, and the skirt makes her "struggle" against. You know, unlike the famous floppy sideways corsets popular at the Ministry of Silly Walks.


So, Anita again describes her plight to run from Belle, past all of these "carnal nightmares." The scene is complete with a door at the end of the hallway that never seems to get closer. Yet the next paragraph? Opens with this bullshit:

"There was nothing too terrifying happening in the alcoves."

So all that shit she just described to me as psycho sexy is now not at all scary, she just doesn't want to be touched.


She gets to the door and it's locked. By the way, can I just take a second to point out that this is THE most generic nightmare I have ever fucking read about?


Belle Morte asks Anita to come to her willingly, which is really rich considering Anita is obviously not interested. Belle's voice is like "sex sliding across my skin." What the hell does that feel like? All I can imagine is a sort of primordial slime.


Belle's voice is so good Anita "spasm" s against the door. It makes me sad that Anita doesn't understand the difference between a spasm and an orgasm, which I presume she's currently having. Belle Morte says some bad guy stock dialouge about how Anita will "feed them" whether she wants to or not.


Anita turns around and Belle Morte is standing there, backed by all the naked vampires. There's some writing that makes this sound sort of scary I guess. Belle delivers some cheesy bad guy lines about how Anita can choose whether to feed her willingly or not. Anita quite reasonably points out that choices offered under duress aren't really choices. Belle says, "then your choice is pain!"


The naked flesh mob rushes Anita and she wakes up. She is gasping "in to" poor Nate's face.

Guess what? CAN YOU GUESS? THAT'S RIGHT. This entire dream is an excuse for the ardeur to rise. She wants to eat Nate's energy so bad and he almost touches her. She tells him to stop before it can happen, and muses that Nate is the only one of her lovers who would obey a direct request to not touch her. 


Anita employs some truly awkward language in an effort to communicate that Nate's dick isn't hard, but she'd greatly prefer it if it was.

For once I would just love for Anita to say, "his dick wasn't hard yet. What a disappointment. I like it if my lovers are always ready to give me the kind of dicking I can feel two days later." God, that would be so refreshing. That would be like a cold shower after Burning Man.


Belle is still influencing Anita and thinks one of Nate's positive qualities is that he is young.


Jason shows up as Anita tries to fight the desire to eat Nate up like a bowl of Ben and Jerry's. Jason is wearing a pair of jeans. These jeans are not buttoned or zipped, but because this is fantasy land they just stay up, and their only purpose is to reveal a glimpse of his blue silk underwear. It's as if all the strippers in the AB world are the sexy porn kind that always have perfect makeup and always slink around with their clothes barely hanging on.


Anita banishes Nate from the room since if she feeds off of him again she might kill him. Her only option is Jason, who to his credit is quite sanguine (heh) about the whole thing. And weirdly? It makes me like him. He's a pig at best but when the chips are down and Anita asks to feed from him, all he says is "blood, flesh. or sex?"


She tells him she wants sex, but then thinks that she wants to "avoid intercourse."

WHY?

Look you know what? Sometimes telling is a good thing. I know that as authors we are constantly told show don't tell, but telling has its place. Why Anita wants to avoid banging a perfectly willing partner like he's a screen door in a hurricane would be one of those times.



Anita crawls over and licks the top of his foot. Seriously.


He likes it.



"I used my hands to crawl up his legs..."

As opposed to her mouth, like she's the front segment of the human centipede.


Anita spends a full paragraph trying to say that she can see the outline of Jason's dick in his blue silk underwear, without ever using a euphemism for penis that isn't "him" or "himself." A man is not his penis. Whenever I see a man buying in to this crap I have to wonder why he prefers to be nothing but a set of swinging genitals. Plus, Anita, you are almost thirty and you can't say cock or penis or dick? I mean really. This is a little bit like if you can't accept that eating meat requires killing animals, maybe you shouldn't eat meat. If you can't accept that in order to have sex genitals will often times be involved and the writer controlling you will have to describe them, well...I am sending Anita AND LKH to the time out room.


Anita refers to Jason's ass as his "butt." Any time a grown person uses the word butt in a sex scene I immediately lose respect for them. You are an adult. It's an ass. Not a butt. Not a no no pillow. Not a marshmallow delight.


Anita is trying to control herself for some stupid reason even though she has a perfectly healthy willing male to feed from.


"I wanted to beg him to take me." 


"There was that look that comes on a man's face when he's sure of you, sure of what will happen."

Huh? Is it the same look he gets when he sees a rack of ribs?


She launches in to a prudish speech about Jason's dick. Let's see if we can condense this, shall we?

1) Jason's dick is like, good looking and stuff.

2) She mouths his dick through the silk so that the silk is all slobbery.

3) He likes it.

4) He slides his jeans and underwear off and reveals his dick in all its "graceful, straight, fine" glory.


Anita "spills" her mouth over "the head of him." She then slides her hand in to "cup lower things." This is like the erotica I wrote when I was twelve.


Anita decides to lick "that thin strip of skin between testicles and anus."


So let me drop some sex scene knowledge here, because this took me forever to figure out: the type of language you, as an author, use in sex scenes is entirely dependent on the personalities of the characters involved. It's not out of character for Anita to say testicles and anus given how hung up on sex she is, but it doesn't work for me because I am still shouting WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS. She has NO REASON to be like this, because let's be real she's not a character, she's a paper doll.


Jason picks Anita up and there's some truly gross nonsense about how when they kiss Jason is trying to eat her and he eats her sounds and tastes her screams and excuse me a second---


I hate it when authors describe the mechanics of kissing. Like, it's fine that the characters are kissing but I don't need to hear about their wrestling tongues and stuff. Ugh.


MOVING SHARPLY ALONG.

Jason's hair has "baby silkiness"


Jason starts to fuck Anita while he's still holding here up, then takes her to the bed and starts to fuck her there. This SO BADLY wants to be hot and it almost is. Lines like "most of my lower body still held in his hands" kill it dead.


Anita is a screamer. I think this would be legitimately awesome and hilarious if this were an actual book and Anita were an actual character, instead of a jerk off journal entry scrawled desperately between um, jerks.


LKH hits me with what is probably the most disgusting thing I have ever read in a sex scene. Keep in mind this is trying to be sexy. It's not horror or comedy.

"He found a rhythm that was fast, and deep, and hard, as if he were trying to shove himself out the other side of me. He beat his body in to mine with a thick, meaty sound."


OH MY GOD ANITA SAID ORGASM.

I think this is the first time in two books that she's used a grown up word during sex!


And I am stopping there, because this piece of shit took me THREE DAYS and I am still only halfway done with this NEVER ENDING CHAPTER.