Book: ‘Blood Noir’ – “only show your cookies to the people you love”

I will admit to being a little prudish about graphic sex in films or books; I blame a combination of bad writing/scripting combined with stereotypical British discomfort and unease about the matter.

Whilst I can hide behind my hands from the TV it is harder to do that from a book, hence why urban fantasy is a good genre for me as the sex tends to be less graphic and the plots more action based. Even most paranormal romance has surprisingly few sexual pitfalls.

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Whatever the genre it is a nice feeling when you find a series that you like and the first few books have been ‘safe’, however some series then throw a curveball and in this instance I specifically mean Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter series.

Anita starts the series as a zombie raiser (animator) and vampire executioner, the novels have a strong detective streak and some horror. In the early books Anita sporadically works with the police, largely in crime scene reconstructions and occasional monster hunts. She is appropriately armed and as physically dangerous as a petite woman can believably be when faced with monsters (and monstrous humans) who are larger than her.

Very quickly vampires and vampire politics start intruding into Anita’s world (‘Guilty Pleasures’, ‘The Laughing Corpse’ and ‘Circus of the Damned’), followed by were-creatures of all varieties (‘The Lunatic Café’, ‘The Killing Dance’, ‘Burnt Offerings’).  Even at this point the books were still fun, if anything the mixture of beasties (human and supernatural) were adding to the interest.

The ninth book, ‘Obsidian Butterfly’ was where things got weird – although this was weird in a good way! Anita ends up in New Mexico helping out Edward, aka Death, investigate some strange killings only to encounter a terrifyingly strong vampire.

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This was the last book in the series that I planned to own, as in the following book (‘Narcissus in Chains’) Anita catches the ardeur which makes requires her to have sex multiple times a day – which seems a bit of an odd plot device! I have read the rest of the series to date – excluding the most recent book, but have no interest in rereading them! However I found ‘Blood Noir’ (book 16) cheaply in a charity shop and didn’t remember that over the top sex was now almost the sole feature of the books.

By chapter 2 the book decided to go off into BDSM sex, chapter 2 starts on part 13 which I would have expected to be a little quick for most people! That is barely time to even start foreplay!

The actual plot is covered in well under 50 pages of a 350 page book, the rest of it is largely random sex and tantrums, which isn’t terribly engaging.

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