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Friday, February 20, 2015

Cerulean Sins Chapter Twenty Three

Dottie's chapter here

"I didn't so much wake, as come to the surface of sleep..."

I don't mean to tear down every effort to use figurative or embellished language here. For awhile there was an Internet backlash against Mary Sue characters to the point where it became the same issue through a mirror darkly; suddenly everyone's main fanfic character was a pimpled slightly overweight girl with brown hair and brown eyes, all described in about the manner I just employed. But I can't help but nitpick because "coming to the surface of sleep" is just another way of saying waking up.

Micah and Cherry are here. You might remember Cherry from Narcissus in Chains. She's the wereleopard who used to be a nurse until she was outed. Anita always makes comments about how silly and slutty she looks. So, she pretty much gets the same treatment every female who isn't Anita gets. She was also one of the people being tortured by Chimera during Anita's big battle scene, a scene full of wasted potential and gratuitous torture.

Two things. I hate seeing a good action scene wasted. Writing these types of things is something I really enjoy (I really like to write fighting and fucking and honestly they are not that dissimilar). Seeing and/or imagining things so epic that they make my heart beat faster is awesome. The first twenty minutes of The Dark Knight Rises comes instantly to mind. The "ride out to meet them" scene from the Lord of the Rings trilogy (hell, most scenes from the LOTR trilogy). The scene from Game of Thrones (which I ultimately don't like, yes I know) where Dany takes control of the Unsullied. That's the good shit right there.

And if LKH's fight scenes were just straight up terrible this would be so much easier on me. But the last scene in Narcissus in Chains had all the right elements. A bad guy that, given proper development, could have been amazing. He had relatable motivations buried in there somewhere. A pitch black room. The sound and smell of torture. Him and Anita stalking each other, Anita with a big fuck off machete as her only weapon. FUCK YEAH. But much the way an unskilled baker (such as myself) can put together the right ingredients yet come out with an inedible end product, the scene merely turned in to a clumsy vehicle for showcasing Anita's supposed badassery. Do you see the worst part? It could have been amazing. 

Second thing. Adding gratuitous torture, molestation, and rape for the sole purpose of darkening up your world in the biggest, clumsiest strokes possible is gross.

Anyway Cherry is here. Micah asks her what Gregory said. Gregory is the wereleopard the wolves tortured in one of the novels preceding this. Now his child molester father has tried to contact him and his brother, Stephen.

Okay so...what is the plot of Cerulean Sins? Let's see what I can recall.

1) A guy who unwisely tells Anita he's a hit man within minutes of meeting her wants someone raised via her animator powers. Turns out it's his ancestor, and he needs this for family line purposes. Anita reminds us she's the evil doer for Richard's pack, a leopard queen, and part of the shapeshifter coalition.

2). After tons of build up the first animating she does is at a scene completely unrelated to the first guy. Asher turns up at this scene and communicates to Anita that something is very wrong.

3). Musette, Belle Morte's vampire liaison, shows up. She dicks over Asher and J.C. because Belle Morte is trying to assert her dominance.

4) Anita does a lot of whining about how she's a good girl and dating two people (Micah and J.C.) is soooo weird. Anita moans and bitches about how Richard is such a meany head and like, soooo stupid you guys because he wants different things from her in life. She never mentions having assaulted him, either; rather his rejection of her is all to do with how badly he wants to be normal.

5) They meet Musette.  Rather than allow Asher to be tortured, Anita intervenes. Only after a whole lot of nothing, of course. And it turns in to another metaphysical slap fight that I don't care about. A bunch of random characters turn up, including Damien, Anita's vampire servant. In case you were wondering, it is now many chapters in the future and Damien hasn't reappeared. Anita takes like FOUR FUCKING CHAPTERS to have pity sex with Asher that will keep him from being Musette's chew toy for the rest of the book . There is unfulfilling dry humping and Asher feeds on her, causing basically no reaction from her even though being fed from has been her hard limit for like ELEVEN BOOKS NOW. Jason has to rescue her because dawn comes and both Asher and J.C. become unresponsive, trapping her.

6). Jason and Anita go to a random series of crime scenes where we meet Tammy Reynolds (who randomly accuses Anita of being pregnant), Anita is manhandled by Dolph, and nothing new is learned or resolved. Anita faints approximately eleventy billion times.

7). Anita wakes  up from one of her many fainting spells to find herself in a tub with Micah. Their beasts rise and somehow this enables Anita to see Belle Morte's shadow trying to feed from J.C. She casts it out with her ill defined sex powers.

And now Anita wakes up only to find that three characters who haven't been in this book at all so far are here with another sharp turn in to Nonsensical, U.S.A.

Fuck it, pass the gin.

So this is the twenty third chapter and there's nothing to work with except for a long series of unrelated threads. We haven't even heard from Musette in several chapters, who apparently just waits around until Anita is done fucking and fainting and doing whatever else. My, Musette is awfully considerate for a murderous pedophile vampire sent by their greatest enemy.

Anita didn't know about Gregory and Stephen's abuse history. I could swear she did given the events of Narcissus in Chains, but I'll be damned if I'll go wading through that crapsack of a book to find out. I hope they don't mind their extremely personal business being revealed to everyone in this room, because too late now.

Zane, Cherry's lover, comes in with Nathaniel in his arms. Anita thinks about how stupidly long Nate's hair is. Zane immediately reassures her that Nate has undies on, because the rule is no one can sleep naked in Anita's bed. Nate is Anita's pomme de sang! She literally feeds on his energy to keep herself alive, but he can't have his dong out in her bed? Of course on the surface of the issue Anita has the right to ask for what makes her comfortable, but her rules are so arbitrary and weird that I can only conclude that Anita is not only a narcissist and a sociopath, but that she is suffering from obsessive personality disorder too. Other people must be controlled down to the slightest detail and when they're not, she freaks out and everyone she's abusing crowds in to smooth her moods and peace keep.

Micah gets out of bed but hides his dangly bits. Anita is grateful because "I think I was too tired to be tempted, but I knew I was too tired to want to be tempted."

I had to read that three times before it started to make any kind of sense.

Micah's hair is "dark, dark"

Cherry and Zane tease Anita about her admiring Micah, which Anita refers to as an inside joke despite it being really fucking obvious what the joke is.

Anita realizes she is naked and asks for clothes. Micah grabs one of his shirts from the chest of drawers nearby. Anita tries to convince me that this shirt fits both her and Micah. Does Micah have watermelon sized tits all of a sudden? Because even if their shoulders are the same dimensions, that shirt will definitely not fit them both properly.

Anita wants to do something for Gregory because he's hers--ugh--but Micah assures her he'll take care of it. He suggests bringing Gregory over so Gregory's father can't "find him through the phone book." If you have an abusive father why the fuck do you have a listed number?

Nathaniel gets in to bed with her and she falls asleep again. Her last thought after all of that is about how she's getting more comfortable being nude, and how it's due to the werelopard's bad influence. Sorry Gregory, I guess your awful family situation is only a mild annoyance.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cerulean Sins Chapter Twenty Two

Anita is too special to float in water that is merely warm. No, it must be "warm, warm."

Anita wakes up in a bathtub with Micah holding her.

Micah not only has a tragically huge penis, but a pair of "kitty-cat eyes."

In fact:

"I'd originally thought they were yellow green, but they were yellow, or green, or any combination fo either, depending on his mood, the light, the color of shirt he wore."

So I know a lot of people look down on those of us who spork the books of popular authors because hell, who do we think we are? After all I'm just an independent author with a single boo to my name, while LKH has a veritable empire at her fingertips. But you know what? I can safely say on my worst day on this fucking earth, I could do better than that.

This is one of those sentences that has so much wrong with it, I'm not even sure where to start. First we once again have blatant comma abuse that would probably get you killed in prison. Secondly, she says initially that she believed Micah's eyes were yellow green, implying that she then realized his eyes are some other color. And yet "or any combination of either." You know what that makes them? YELLOW GREEN.

Also Micah is just a walking dick with a big mood ring for a head.

Anita and Micah manage to inspire some writing that isn't totally without merit. As much as Micah is a rapist (of course, so is Anita for that matter), they're the only couple that feels as though they actually like each other. Birds of a feather, eh? Anita even says that Micah is the only man in her life that she truly wants to be with.

Anita has at least three lovers at this point, and Micah is the only one she's sure about? If you don't feel confident in your first relationship, adding more people will not improve on that situation.

Damn you, Anita.

There's some awful writing about Micah and Anita's beasts.

"They moved in our separate bodies like two swimming shapes..."

As opposed to the single body they like to use for special nights out.

Anita's beast suddenly helps her see that Belle Morte is trying to feed on Jean Claude. J.C.'s "failsafes" have kept him from harm, but it has backlashed on to Anita and probably Richard. Her beast has risen several times today so I am not sure why this is happening now, but whatever. Micah and Anita's beasts attack Belle Morte's shadow and it flees back in to Musette.

This is supposed to be an attempt at plot, but the problem is it just happens  to Anita. She didn't find out this information through something special or competent she did. She just happened to get lucky when Micah kissed her and their beasts showed up, and I am still not sure how that enabled her to see Belle Morte in the first place. Anita is supposed to be such a badass, but stuff just happens to and around her all the time. She's not the author of her own destiny.

Sure you will.

Micah and Anita talk about what to do and Anita asks for her cell phone, which Micah gives her. This isn't exactly riveting stuff, but it tells me something very important:

"Micah didn't make me waste time explaining myself."

So basically, she loves Micah the mostest because he never questions her or asserts himself or puts his needs before hers.

Anita calls Bobby Lee and tells him to put crosses on all the doors so the visiting vampires can't use their powers. Is it just me, or didn't they do something like this in the beginning after Anita stabbed Musette? If they did, this is annoying repetition. If they didn't they're all fucking idiots.

Bobby Lee protests because in this world you need to wrap a vampire's coffin in crosses to keep them from using their powers, but Anita says a room is really like a big coffin so it will work. That is the most incredible ass pull I've ever seen. Her vagina was already a veritable cornucopia; now her ass is a vast garden of wonderment and atrocities as well.

Micah tries to tell Anita that she shouldn't keep acquiring dudes if she can't see them as people with emotional needs, even when she doesn't need them to feed the ardeur. 

Did...did he just call her on her shit?

Oh but don't worry, instead of Anita gaining any self insight she'll just devolve in to Richard bashing instead. You see, Richard is a meanie mean poopy head who dumped her because she's "...more comfortable with the monsters than he is."


You are a psychopath. Your emotional responses are all blunted, you have no sense of guilt or remorse, you are the center of the universe and it is rightly so in your mind. People exist to fulfill your needs right up until they can't anymore, at which point you callously discard them.

Even in the rape scene, she immediately started blaming him for not fighting her hard enough. 

I can't. I just can't with this character.

What disturbs me even more is that LKH doesn't realize that she's writing rape. Many of her major players have committed sexual assault and she doesn't even fucking know it. That is honestly terrifying.

Also, Anita, stop talking about Richard's dreams like they're idiotic just because they're conventional. Plenty of people want marriage and a family and a house, and that's no better or worse than wanting your lifestyle.

Anita luuurves Micah because his balls are firmly tucked in her purse. He doesn't argue or challenge her in any way. He is Anita's perfect lover, because he has almost no personality and just exists to nod his head.

Somehow the rest of this chapter devolves in to Anita angsting about whether she'd take Richard back if he showed up. I don't even know.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey the movie

What did you think of the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, Tiger?

I will tell you, audience.

Oh and also if you're looking for a thoughtful balanced social justice-y thing like I usually try to provide, not that thing. You have been warned.

First, the movie is a thousand times better than the book because they had the ability to cut away great swathes of really shitty writing. So all the holy craps and all the shit about the inner goddess and so forth are gone, save a single "holy cow" shout out which was rather charming. All the major scenes are there--the bit with Jose, the dinner with Christian's parents, Ana's graduation, the interview--without all the filler. Also just in case you were wondering, the infamous tampon removal scene does not make an appearance. I know we're all sad about that, huh?

However, consent is portrayed very well. I can only imagine that this has been added to the movie, since from what I hear the book is terrible on this point. (whenever she tells Christian no he respects it, for one thing).

The first big question:

Is it abusive?

The short answer is that overall it is not outright abusive but it is highly questionable. Both of the major players have poor boundaries and in some instances, no boundaries at all. But a curious thing happened to me about halfway through; I started to empathize with Christian over Ana. This is because Christian has some understandable motivations. He was raped as a child (I'm sorry, but a much older woman getting sexually involved with a fifteen year old boy is rape), repeatedly molested by a woman Ana callously refers to as "Mrs Robinson."

The reason I started using gifs with my Anita reviews is that there were so many things I came across that were literally so awful I had no words to describe my reactions. A picture is worth a million words, right? Suffice to say I do not find Ana's attitude about Christian's 'dominant' amusing, and her referring to this woman as a child abuser about three fourths in does nothing to erase her casual attitude towards the situation.

Ana also has almost no personality. She is as bland as Bella Swan. (more about the Twilight connections later)

Anyway, back to my analysis of Christian. He is obviously emotionally unavailable and doesn't have much personality, or rather he doesn't let people see anything about him that might be considered characterizing. He tries to make up for this by essentially love bombing (more like money/attention bombing, since Christian doesn't do love) Ana, taking her on fancy plane rides, buying her clothes and cars, and otherwise overwhelming her with luxury. I enjoyed the way the movie underscored the fact that these things can't make up for emotional availability. Christian, while he is not in my view abusive, is a questionable person. He and Ana have a big power differential between them, and he clearly thinks that he ought to be able to purchase her or win her over the way he might do with a fine antique or a client at work.

1). Shows up at places she is without being invited. I especially dislike when he comes to her job at a hardware store and buys a bunch of bondage items. He's involving her in his fantasies without her consent and it's weird.

2). Saves her from an assault only to wisk her away himself. To his credit he didn't take advantage of her drunkenness.

3). A TON of mixed signals about how he doesn't do love, yet he's constantly treating her like a lover even from the beginning and then acts surprised that she's confused.

4). Parts of his BDSM contract are ridiculous. Controlling what she eats? I mean I'm not saying that this is inappropriate in and of itself. Lots of people live in 24/7 scenarios that are this restrictive. But to start with? (I have to say though the scene where they discuss the contract and Ana's limits is really good)

5). He does like ZERO aftercare. You can't just spank the woman and then leave her there, man! Shit's not cool!

6). He strikes her (on the ass) out of anger at one point. NO. Do not do this. Punishment is not the same as hitting someone because you're angry. Punishment is part of BDSM for many, many people. Hitting someone because you're pissed off and out of control is abuse.

But as much as the abuse angle has been discussed, I don't see that in the movie to an overwhelming degree. What really enrages me is how BDSM is portrayed.

Look, I like edge play. This would be basically anything you might need to sign a waiver for. Knives, needles, suspensions, hard whippings, whatever. When it comes to writing well, I like to write the same thing. Yesterday I wrote a scene that included the sentence "roll over, pretty whore. I want to see that come filled asshole for myself."

Yeah so thing one, the BDSM in this movie is really fucking tame. But it is hot! Somehow they managed to achieve almost Secretary level greatness in some areas. And here's the weirdest thing, I liked this movie. What I HATED is how Christian's totally run of the mill BDSM tastes have to mean that he's an abused emotionally constipated pervert. He spends almost the whole movie dicking around with feathers and soft rope and ice cubes (which I consider to be quite vanilla) which is totally fine, but it's certainly not 120 Days of Sodom. 

So he's easing her in to the lifestyle as he should, but Ana can't deal with that. And here's the thing. Yes, she's the submissive, but dominants have boundaries and hard limits too. People have this idea that BDSM is about a long suffering submissive just taking the big bad dominant's abuse, but that's very much not the case. Both parties have responsibilities and power and things they love and hate. Christian is very clear with her that he doesn't like to be touched, that he doesn't want to do romance, and that he doesn't want to sleep next to her. She makes the classic mistake of agreeing to things that she ultimately doesn't want because she has stars in her eyes over how handsome and rich he is. When she realizes that his boundaries are real, she freaks out. She's constantly pressing him to let her touch him, to talk to her, to date her, to do all the things he said he didn't want to do. And yet, this is okay because Ana is the one doing it? If Christian were acting the way she does in this movie, people would be shitting on him from here to next week for not respecting what she wants.

In short: this shit is not okay. It's not okay just because Ana is the submissive, or because Ana is a woman, or because Christian obviously needs help. Forcing him won't heal or help his wounds. It's also not responsible BDSM. It's good that she states outright that she eventually wants more emotional connection. It's not good to whine about it, to pressure him, to withhold from him in order to get him to do what she wants. They're both making serious mistakes here. On Christian's side of things he ought to realize that it's really hard to consistently practice power exchange with someone without developing feelings. Fine, they're flawed people and that's realistic enough, but at least when she says no it stops him in his tracks. At least he doesn't constantly keep trying to do something to her that she doesn't want (she constantly tries to touch him in ways he expressly does not want). At least he doesn't ask her intrusive repeated questions about the scars on her body and where they came from and whether his adoptive family really loved him.

Then the part that made me hate Ana with a fiery passion.

After all of this pushing, after two hours of the two of them clearly being terrible for each other, she asks Christian to really let loose on her in the red room of pain. He asks her repeatedly if she's sure. He makes sure she knows her safe words. He tells her what he's going to do with her before he does it. 

And what is all this build up about? He hits her hard with a belt six times and this is enough for her to treat him like he just raped her. So for this entire fucking movie she's been begging for him to show his feelings, his wants, his desires. She's begged and pleaded and manipulated. They did a really good job of showing her as having power over him (given the old saw about how subs have all the power), but now unfortunately it makes her look terrible. She consents to the entire thing. She never once uses her safeword or communicates that she doesn't like what's happening. Yes, she cries but that's a normal part of a BDSM scene for a lot of people. He makes her count the blows, which she does. Only to have her completely and utterly reject him afterwards because he's a bad person. BECAUSE ONLY BAD PEOPLE LIKE BDSM. She demands to know why he likes this in the first place and why he wants to do this to her. MAYBE BECAUSE HE JUST DOES? You DO NOT have to have an abuse history to be in to BDSM. Plenty of people do, and a fair amount of those use BDSM for therapeutic purposes related to their abuse, but is it a  requirement? NO. And that is what disgusts me the most about this movie. I'm clearly supposed to empathize with Ana, because she's 'normal.' She wants hearts and flowers and dates and I am supposed to root for her because that's what normal sweet good girls want.


Fuck this movie, fuck the book, fuck the idea that you have to be abused and/or an abuser to be in to BDSM. Fuck Ana and her boundary crossing manipulative bullshit.


P.S. it's a beautiful movie. The sets are breath taking. The BDSM scenes are gorgeous. Eye candy. They go a little overboard with everything literally being a shade of grey though.

P.P.S. How does EL James get away with this massive obvious Twilight rip off? Some lines and scenes are lifted whole cloth from Twilight.

Cerulean Sins Chapter Twenty One

Dottie's chapter is here 

How many times has Anita fainted in the span of twenty very short chapters? At least twice, I think, because I'm pretty sure she also fainted after Asher bit her. This is just laziness. It's the sort of thing an author uses when they don't know how to close a scene. I mean, sometimes sure. People pass out. It's a thing that happens. But this often? I'm giving your skills the side eye, LKH.

Tammy Reynolds is here. She's a witch. In a very superficial way she was the inspiration for the urban fantasy I'm working on now. Because, come on! Isn't that a cool idea? A witch who works in law enforcement! Rest assured it will be squandered here.

There's some bullshit about how Tammy is tall and works out so the other cops "read: male" won't give her grief. I think we all know that patriarchy is a thing, but assuming it's usually displayed with all its flags flying is naive at best. Patriarchy is often subtle which is what makes it so pernicious. If it were that easy to identify at all times, we wouldn't have half the trouble we do with getting rid of it. The fact that neither Tammy nor Anita can ever interact with law enforcement without some hideous man child waving his dick around strikes me as unrealistic, even if they do live in a crapsack world. It's lazy and childish.

So Tammy has been putting cold rags on Anita's head to make her feel better, since Anita is sick. But Anita "heals like a lycanthrope now" so she runs hot when she heals. Cooling her off messes up her healing. Wat.

Tammy is pissed at herself for passing out, since only she and Anita did at a scene full of men. This I find sort of realistic, compared to Anita's clumsy attempts to discuss sexism. Anita manages to take a shot at her faith though, because it wouldn't be an Anita book without a tall glass of haterade to drink with the meal. See, Tammy is a follower of The Way, a Christian witchery path. They're all zealots for some reason, even though I have known a fair number of Christian witches in my life, none of whom felt the need to prove their piety.

Tammy thinks now is the perfect time to tell Anita she's pregnant.

For some reason Tammy then assumes that because Anita vomited and passed out, she too is pregnant. 

Anita doesn't know how to explain that her beast and Asher's bite are fucking her up, even though this is a world where supernaturals have always been a known quantity. Despite Anita being an animator and a supposed vampire expert. Despite Tammy herself being a fucking witch. 

Tammy is super pissed because she thinks Anita is lying to her about being pregnant. What the hell?

Tammy walks out. Anita obviously needs help but nope, Tammy takes complete leave of her senses and punishes Anita for 'lying' to her. I am having real trouble wrapping my mind around this one. Does Tammy live in a weird shadow world where every time a woman gets sick and faints, she's pregnant? Anita did just see a human being put through the biggest Vitamix in the world. Just maybe that's the more likely reason?

Jason shows up to carry Anita outside and presumably take her home. Once again, Anita wonders what's wrong with her even though we've established that it's her beast and the reaction to Asher's bite. She even thought this exact thing not three paragraphs ago!

The crowd of reporters "closed like a fist around us" because this is one of the only analogies LKH knows.

Oh something extra special is wrong with her. Of course. Jason takes her towards wherever the oard is. Anita faints for the third time in as many hours.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Cerulean Sins Chapter Twenty

Dottie's chapter is here

And Chelsea is still doing Merry Gentry, here 

So Jason is so fucking stupid it literally takes Anita the good part of two chapters to help him put on latex gloves.

Dolph shows up. He's another one of those characters where LKH tries to give him a personality by assigning him arbitrary physical and/or mannerism traits. In Dolph's case, he happens to be 6'8. That and hating like every supernatural creature out there is the entirety of his character, which is especially offensive considering he heads the woo woo department. That would be like if a white supremacist presided over a case of racially motivated police brutality...oh wait. Sorry LKH, maybe you're on to something here.

That said Dolph is also the only sane one, because he recognizes how ridiculous it is to have this random civilian at his crime scene. Not that anyone will use this juicy fact in court later, since court never seems to happen in these books, and even if it did everyone is dangerously incompetent anyway. Like, I'm pretty sure they all need to live in a totally round room where the only toys are stuffed animals and you're only allowed plastic cutlery to eat with.

Jason has this remarkable insight to share with us, re: the gloves which are practically a character in and of themselves at this point: "how come it feels wet and powdery all at the same time?"

Now, I am a huge White Wolf fan. I mean, shit's crazy. I have like three hundred World of Darkness books. In their Werewolf: the Apocalypse line, they had three breeds of werewolf. One of them was called the lupus, i.e. a werewolf that began life as a normal wolf. If Jason were a lupus, this scene might be at least understandable, if inane. Presuming this concept doesn't exist in Anitaverse, though, there's really no excuse for this display. Especially since it's sheer bland idiocy is turning my brain in to a particularly thin and unappetizing gruel.

So Anita tries to tell Dolph that she can't have Jason just go sit on the porch because "what if someone recognizes him? Do you really want the headlines to read werewolves attack suburbia?"


Okay but the awesome thing is that Dolph is not having any of Anita's shit. She won't be parted from Jason so he bounces them both from the scene.

Oh, except I'm supposed to think Dolph is a nasty bigot because he's sick of Anita's shit. Anita delivers the line "you bastard" which reads to me as completely emotionally dead.

Anita tries to tell Dolph he can't do that shit at his own crime scene. Dolph grabs her and drags her upstairs to see whatever the murderer left. There's a bunch of blood and gore. Whatever. Things apparently smell like hamburger, but that is definitely not what death smells like. The dead void their bowels and bladder, for one thing, and if your hamburger meat smells like fecal matter and rotting viscera then you need to find a new butcher.

Dolph is manhandling Anita and practically rubbing her face in the blood, because "one of your friends did this." This is not cool. But here comes Clive Perry, Darky McSoftspoken, to tell Dolph the little lady has had enough. You see, he's "African American" and "one of the most soft-spoken men I'd ever met." So basically Clive is a privileged white lady's fantasy about what a good black man should be, that is, soft spoken, light skinned, submissive, and only on stage when Miss Anita needs rescuing. Funny how LKH never bothers to describe anyone as white, isn't it? That's just assumed to be the case.

Dolph keeps jerking Anita around because every male in this series is a gross stereotype of one kind or another. Clive tries to intervene again and Dolph emphasizes that the crime appears to have been committed by some type of shapeshifter, which he's hell bent on holding Anita personally responsible for. Here's a thought: if you think she's compromised because of her ties to the supernatural world, why don't you just fucking fire her instead of assaulting her?

Anita hits Dolph till he lets her go. She falls in the blood, which almost soaks through her panties.

"then my knee smeared in something that wasn't blood."

This is so horrifying Anita scrambles out in to the hall and throws up on the "pale" carpet, because that's a necessary detail when your MC is hoarking all over the place. So what is this thing that isn't blood? A liver? Eyeballs? A spot of tea? Tapioca pudding?

Anita faints. Thank fuck for that.