Here we go.
Anita is having ardeur problems. She runs through the Circus in a manner reminiscent of See Spot Run, including such meaningful rhymes as "then I was past him and running down, down to the underground.
So Richard is also running through a forest somewhere? I guess this is a vision she's having. "...like water made flesh, like flesh made speed."
So some of the vampires are awake and others aren't. I am confused by this. I thought they all died at sunrise? I remember some bullshit about J.C. being able to bypass this sometimes with his Master of the City powers, but other vamps are awake as well like Musette's entourage member Angelito.
Richard is killing a deer, though Anita refers to it as riding so I am not sure if Richard is eating it or fucking it. Which...is really a summation for this whole series.
Anita opens the bathroom door and doesn't remember touching it, twice.
Wow hang on, so Richard isn't the one that killed the deer? Ugh. Why am I wasting precious seconds on this? But details like this, as small as they are, make me loathe this series. Details matter, because they add up. Oh, and J.C. is in the black bathtub and he's hot and stuff and Anita like, totally wants him and will probably feed on him whatever send whiskey.
Anita doesn't want to be in Richard's mind when he starts eating the deer. You have to be fucking kidding me. This woman is the evil doer for the pack but she's squeamish about a thing wolves do all the time? She can't stand to know what it's like to eat a deer when she's tried to take a bite out of just about everyone she knows?
The next part of this scene isn't utterly worthless. She crawls in to the tub with J.C. and he shields her from Richard. He's not hard because he hasn't fed. That said, I just have to say how much describing J.C.'s eyelashes as lash annoys me. Lace has patterns in it. Are his eyelashes little doilies?
I enjoy the next part. What the fuck? She's begging J.C. to feed on her while Richard comes back in to her mind, feeding on the deer. It's a good scene that showcases Anita's desperation and the dark side of the ardeur.
You know, I actually like the idea of the ardeur. I hate how poorly it's used.
Anita admires J.C. and I don't hate this either. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME.
Here comes LKH to disappoint me, because Anita turns in to a Regency era hero from a shitty romance novel, the kind missing its cover with rippled pages where a horny house wife dropped it in the bath water before shamefully tucking it in to the returns bin. To whit:
"Is this the face that launched a thousand ships?" I slipped my hand behind his neck and began gently to bring him closer as if for a kiss, "And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?" I turned my face and swept my hair aside, exposing my neck, "sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss!"
This is so fucking out of character (as far as Anita is a character) it's shocking. Of course it's not to say a tough lady can't also love literature. I mean Ashley Williams who is from one of the greatest game franchises of all time is both a competent soldier and a lover of poetry, and it works because the writers for Mass Effect are at least halfway competent. But for Anita, it's as if she burst on scene in a pink ballgown and started belting Let It Go in the middle of a crime scene.
It's in character for J.C. at least, who responds in kind. J.C. is also desperately trying to avoid violating her consent because he knows full well that if she weren't in the grips of the ardeur she wouldn't let him feed. I feel fucking sorry for J.C. right now. J.C. is a predator, and I don't mean that in the real world sense as short hand for sexual predator. This is why sometimes comparisons to real world issues fall flat in fantasy. He literally is a predator and doing this is tantamount to getting in a lion's cage and continuously zapping it with a cattle prod. Eventually, instinct will take over and it WILL maul you. And should it come to that Anita will blame him later as if she had no part in it. She has plenty of people to feed on when the ardeur comes knocking, several of them werewolves and wereleopards who won't try to feed on her, obviating this gnarly consent issue that's risen up between her and J.C. This is manipulative and even abusive on her part, like a sub who constantly claims their dom is abusing them despite the dom following all of their rules and respecting their safeword.
You are a gross sociopathic abuser, Anita.
I am pretty sure this is the "flacid blowjob" scene that made a friend of mine chuck this book across the room.
J.C. keeps telling her no and like a true serial rapist this makes Anita angry, because she's been so "good" i.e. she didn't feed on Caleb or Nathaniel. Apparently not raping someone means she's owed someone else's body as a reward. This is absolute toxic waste, you guys. This is flat out disgusting. It would be brilliant if she were meant to be an extreme anti hero but she's supposed to be the heroine, and unironically. Other readers think J.C. is the creepy rapist and I don't agree, save a couple of scenes. He's the victim over and over again. Anita underscores this fact by going back to sucking hi flacid dick, taking his balls in her mouth too, which she unfortunately refers to as testes.
Somehow this flacid blowjob feeds the ardeur.
Anita waxes poetic about loving J.C. It wouldn't be so bad, but the problem is I don't believe a word of it. I have never understood why the people in these books love each other. There's nothing between them that's soft, or kind, or real. It's all fucking they don't have control over, emotional abuse, and politics. Call me crazy but that doesn't scream love to me.
Anita offers J.C. blood even now, that she's not controlled by the ardeur. This would be a weighty scene if I cared about these people or believed in their relationship, but clearly I do not.
Before Anita said she only knew the one quote she said, now she pulls out another one even so.
They have some back and forth that's good. STOP TEASING ME, LKH. We all know you're just going to fuck this up again.
Anita is wearing a cross and for some reason that upsets J.C. to the point where he tries to leave. He also accuses her of "clinging to your holy object" which is bizarre because she's just wearing it, nothing more. Asher shows up for some dumbass reason and stops this potentially intimate scene by implying that Anita only wants this because he rolled her before.
So here we are, left with another scene that gives the reader a case of story blue balls. What's the fucking point? Nothing ever happens! It's like LKH is incapable of letting anything happen. How does someone like that write over twenty books?