This is seriously the worst chapter yet.
I don't think I understand what is happening here. Anita calls J.C. to ask if J.C. tried to make Richard extra special jealous over the ardeur thing and this FUCKING BORING BULLSHIT about Nate's bite marks. He says no but then blathers on about how Nate isn't a "dominant" so it's threatening to Richard that he's sharing Anita? Er, shouldn't it make Richard less jealous, since Anita is obviously dominating Nate and not the other way around? Also why is everything in this world organized in to dominant or submissive categories? Sure, it's arguably a story about a BDSM household and of course things will cleave along those lines, but:
1) it's possible to be in to kink without being in to D/s
2). Switches (people who are both dominant and submissive) exist
3). No seriously, switches exist
4). The concept of Anita living in a BDSM household is fine but should have nothing to do with how the supernaturals in the 'verse act. the fact that D/s is part and parcel of being a shifter no matter what kind of animal you're modeled on is goofy as fuck especially since LKH never thinks to explain why this is.
Anita accuses J.C. of being Machiavellian because no one knows anything about The Prince, even J.C. who more than ought to. If these books were satirical they would be so much better.
Not only that I am still not sure what J.C. is supposedly being manipulative about. So he told Richard the truth about the ardeur and about their BORING AS FUCK 'fiveway' which was hardly more titillating than playing doctor, and this is manipulative somehow?
Oh my god Anita is STILL cracking on about how the ardeur might be temporary. These are not the actions of a strong protagonist. A strong protagonist may be thrown for a loop by life sometimes, but they don't ooze around like a plate of grey slop for chapter upon chapter, bemoaning their fate and going on and on and ON about how maybe the terrible thing will go away. They face up to reality and do something. A strong person doesn't constantly complain and cry and bemoan their hand in life, no matter how dire. They fucking figure out how to play that hand to the best of their ability, to get what they desire and/or need. A character that whines about not having all the choices in the world earns only my contempt.
J.C. quite reasonably points out that Anita doesn't need to be in love with someone in order to have good sex with them. She insists that she doesn't do casual sex and how she doesn't want Nate as her pomme de sang because LKH IS TRYING TO KILL ME WITH HER WORDS. Seriously, this book is slowly causing a defect in my brain considering how my RAGE VEIN IS ALWAYS PULSING. This is the worst pile of shit I have ever been subjected to and one day I am going to have a stroke and die because of this. Why do I give a single fuck about anything that's happening?
I am not saying relationship shit isn't important in a novel. You can even dwell on it, if you want. You must however make it interesting, relevant, and evocative. Guess what this mess isn't?
Apparently J.C. is the "ultimate plotter" despite him never doing anything to earn the title.
They go round and round about Richard, and Belle Mort, and the ardeur, and Anita says:
"So you finally admit you don't know what's going on either?"
HE SAID IN THE BEGINNING THAT HE DIDN'T KNOW. HE HAS SAID HE DOESN'T KNOW LIKE A HUNDRED TIMES, WHENEVER THE ARDEUR IS BROUGHT UP.
WHAT THE FUCK AM I READING?
blah blah blah J.C. and Anita are so practical and ruthless and it's the same goddamn posturing garbage over the leopards and wolves that I've been forced to slog through for over half of this 'book' now.
Anita at least has the goddamn sense to realize that she, J.C., and Richard need some guidance about what's going on between them magically. She suggests Marianne, her witch friend. Marianne must love having a hypocritical fundamentalist Christian lecture her patronizingly about how her Christianity is so very "'stract" all the time, because even in a universe where magic exists and the presence of at least one god has been confirmed, only Anita's faith is real and true.
Okay so Anita doesn't want to have sex with Richard right now--despite that never coming up as a possibility between them anyway--because he's in a bad mood and she doesn't like it when he's in a bad mood. Good thing she's been encouraging him to be a brutal heartless dictator for the whole length of this travesty, then.
J.C. tells her she needs someone to feed off and she again treats me to a what does that even mean session, where I fantasize about pulling all her hair out strand by strand, or perhaps making the leap in total blindness by putting out both my eyes with a fountain pen. Oh wait, these books have an audio book version now. Fuck.
J.C. says she seduced Micah and she agrees.
Anita says she hasn't forgotten Damian. That's nice, because I certainly have. She angsts about who she will feed on when the ardeur hits, despite being given a million choices.