Danse Macabre (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #14)

( 807 )

Overview

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED WITH ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER

"It was the middle of November. I was supposed to be out jogging, but instead I was sitting at my breakfast table talking about men, sex, werewolves, vampires, and that thing that most unmarried but sexually active women fear most . . ."

These days, Anita Blake is less interested in vampire politics than in an ancient, ordinary dread she shares with women down the ages: she may be pregnant. And, if she is, whether the father...

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Danse Macabre (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #14)

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Overview

EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED WITH ANITA BLAKE, VAMPIRE HUNTER

"It was the middle of November. I was supposed to be out jogging, but instead I was sitting at my breakfast table talking about men, sex, werewolves, vampires, and that thing that most unmarried but sexually active women fear most . . ."

These days, Anita Blake is less interested in vampire politics than in an ancient, ordinary dread she shares with women down the ages: she may be pregnant. And, if she is, whether the father is a vampire, a werewolf, or someone else entirely, she knows perfectly well that being a Federal Marshal known for raising the dead and being a vampire executioner, is no way to bring up a baby.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
In this Anita Blake novel, Laurell K. Hamilton unleashes the mother of all bombshells -- the sexy necromancer and vampire executioner could be with child! But with seven supernatural studs as regular lovers, just who is the father?

After a missed period, Anita takes a home pregnancy test, and it comes up positive. And, as usual with Anita, complications arise at the very worst of times. One of her lovers, the Master Vampire Jean-Claude, is throwing a party for a traveling dance company made up almost entirely of undead bloodsuckers -- and he has invited numerous other Master Vampires to attend. The historic occasion is the largest gathering of Master Vampires in American history and could be a pivotal event in the attempts to unite the fragmented factions. But with so many commanding supernatural beings gathered in one place, Anita's ardeur -- a supernatural sexual hunger that is always looking to be sated -- begins evolving once again, and actively seeking out the most powerful lovers…
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Laurell K. Hamilton should be profoundly touched. The genre-transcendent success of her Anita Blake novels has spawned a whole new subgenre of dark fantasy, romance, and mystery hybrids. Just as Marmee Noir is the creator of the vampiric civilization in the Anita Blake universe, Hamilton too is the very first of her kind -- and Danse Macabre is a perfect example of her continuing mastery, combining knotty supernatural plotlines with unadulterated eroticism. Cold shower advised after reading. Paul Goat Allen
Denver Post
The eroticism and the 'dramedy' of complicated relationships between shapeshifting lovers sets Hamilton's novels apart from the rest of the pack . . . Hamilton really does come off like the genre's answer to Henry Miller.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Hamilton just keeps getting better and better.
News Press
The 'it' girl for bloodsuckers, werewolves, wereleopards and assorted undead types.
Publishers Weekly
The uniquely complicated life of Anita Blake, the St. Louis-based necromancer, gets even more complicated when Anita discovers she may be pregnant in the 14th novel in bestseller Hamilton's vampire hunter series (Micah, etc.). Her sexual magic powers require multiple lovers, so there are six potential fathers. One possible dad, werewolf Richard, has trouble understanding that, baby or not, Anita's still a federal marshal who raises the dead and executes vampires. In addition, terrifying, life-threatening obstetrical challenges are involved, since the maybe-mommy has to deal with vampirism and several strains of lycanthropy coursing through her veins. That Anita has no detecting to do may disappoint some fans, but playing hostess to a gathering of North American vampire Masters of the City, ostensibly in town for a performance by a vampiric ballet troupe, keeps her plenty busy. When the vampire ballet takes the stage toward the end, several new plot elements emerge. The very lack of a finale suggests that there's no end in sight for this fabulously imagined series. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The events of this latest entry in the "Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter" series take place over one weekend. The incredibly handsome Jean-Claude, Master Vampire of the city of St. Louis and Anita's first lover, has invited fellow Masters from throughout the country to attend a gathering at his place. The ardeur, a power fueled by sex, is rapidly gaining strength. In order to satisfy the craving it produces, Anita must find a new lover to add to her list of seven. To complicate matters, just as the weekend begins, Anita thinks she might be pregnant. Besides wondering how she could fit a child into her unconventional life, she tries to figure out which one of her preternatural partners could be the father. Hamilton (Micah) writes well and shares interesting insights into Anita's relationship with other characters. As in the more recent series novels, graphic sex is abundant. For Anita Blake fans and those who enjoy erotic romance.-Patricia Altner, Information Seekers, Columbia, MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The latest episode of the Anita Blake "Vampire Executioner" series finds her outside of her law enforcement role. Her vampire master, Jean-Claude, has invited a group of vampire leaders to a ballet performance in St. Louis. On the side, Anita is conducting auditions for at least one new lover to "feed" her "ardeur." But as the story opens, Anita is concerned that she may be pregnant by one of her paranormal partners. While trying out new lovers, she is also fighting not to shift into one of at least three dangerous animals. The mother of all vampires seems to be awakening and appears all too interested in Anita. Despite the length of this book and the potential subplots, there is very little story and little character development. A listener not familiar with the series might have trouble understanding the large cast of characters and overall setting. The violence level is less than in some of Hamilton's novels, but it is erotica: the graphic sex involving groups of men and Anita will be distasteful to many. Cynthia Holloway is a joy to the ears, but the listening quality is not enough to redeem this work. Not recommended.
—Janet Martin
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515142815
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/27/2007
  • Series: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series , #14
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 116,403
  • Product dimensions: 4.26 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurell K. Hamilton
Laurell K. Hamilton is the New York Times bestselling author of the Meredith Gentry novels: A Kiss of Shadows, A Caress of Twilight, Seduced by Moonlight, A Stroke of Midnight, Mistral’s Kiss, as well as fifteen acclaimed Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, novels. She is a full-time writer; she lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family.

Biography

The vampire genre has enthralled readers ever since Bram Stoker introduced a certain Transylvanian count over a century ago. Since then vampires have been used as vehicles for everything from romantic novels to erotica to humor to the expected tales of terror. However, very few writers have combined all of these facets of the never-say-die vampire quite the way that Laurell K. Hamilton has.

Hamilton has not always been under the spell of undead things that go bump-and-grind in the night. When she was a young girl, her literary tastes were a bit more on the traditional side. "I wanted to be Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women, because I had never read any science fiction, fantasy, or horror," she confessed in a podcast on Mayor Slay.com. "Then at 13 or 14 I found Robert E. Howard's short story collection [Pigeons From Hell]. It was the first horror, the first heroic fantasy, the first science fiction I'd ever read, and the moment I read that I knew that not only did I want to be a writer, but this is what I wanted to write."

Furthering Hamilton's burgeoning fascination with the fantastic, she discovered Anthony Masters's The Natural History of the Vampire at her high school library. Coupled with the ghost stories her grandmother had told her when she was a child and heavy doses of Hammer Horror movies from Great Britain, Hamilton was well on her way to creating a character that would only be rivaled by Buffy in the field of vampire slaying.

Hamilton first introduced vampire huntress Anita Blake in her third novel Guilty Pleasures. Blake is an unlikely combination of action hero, federal marshal, "necromancer," and lusty dame. Her exploits between the sheets and in the graveyard won Hamilton a rabid following hungry for something new in the well-traveled vampire genre.

Along with the kinds of scares normally associated with vampire stories, Hamilton's books are notable for their unflinching eroticism. Vampires have had a sexual lure since Stoker, but Hamilton particularly draws that aspect to the surface of her work as one of her creatures might draw blood from a victim. "I [want] a kiss to be so believable it gives the reader shivers," she says on her website. "Two things I do well are sex and violence, but I don't want gratuitous sex or violence. The sex and violence is only as graphic as need be. And never included unless it furthers the plot or character development."

Another unlikely trait of her books is humor, vampire tales classically being of the more solemn sort. However, a writer weaned on a book titled Pigeons From Hell is not likely going to shy away from wit. Consequently, her books have been consistently entertaining and fun, as well as creepy and sexy.

Hamilton has also brought her delicious combination of sex, humor, and frights to another series, this one more ingrained in dark fantasy than horror. Her faerie princess/P.I. Meredith Gentry made her debut in Kiss of Shadows in 2001 and has since sparked her own crowd-pleasing sword and sorcery meets pulp series.

Increasingly, the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry books have added more sexual content to their story lines, classifying both series in a new hybrid genre that blends romance, erotica, and paranormal fantasy. To judge from Hamilton's consistent appearance on the bestseller charts, readers find the mix spellbinding.

Good To Know

One thing you will never find in a Hamilton novel is a cliffhanger. She believes that cliffhangers unfairly tease readers who would then have to wait six months to a year to have some sense of resolution. As she said during an interview with Bill Thompson of Eye On Books, "Every book is a full meal. All the way from the appetizer to the dessert, so that you come away feeling that you've had an experience... and at the end you have that satisfied, full feeling."

Before Laurell K. Hamilton made a full-time career of blood, guts, murder, and mayhem, she had more humane pursuits -- she volunteered at an animal shelter where she played with unwanted pets.

In our interview, Hamilton shared some fun and fascinating facts about herself with us:

"I am incredibly stubborn. Telling me I cannot do something, especially if you cite the fact that I am a girl, will make me want to do it more and do it better."

"I am not my characters. We have some of the same traits in common, but we are very different people."

"Everything inspires me. Getting up in the morning, walking the dogs, watching a music video. Inspiration comes from everywhere."

"I love animals. I own four dogs, two of whom are rescues. In fact, Jimmy is with us because they were going to gas him if we didn't take him with us. As an older dog his chances of finding a home were fairly slim. But he has been a wonderful addition to our home."

"I like spending time with my family and friends. Something I often feel I do not do enough of. But there are only so many hours in a day."

"I like to read other people's works. I love reading cozy or historical mysteries when I can."

"I enjoy interacting with fans at planned public events. I enjoy talking to them and have met many wonderful people."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Laurell Kaye Klein (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 19, 1963
    2. Place of Birth:
      Heber Springs, Arkansas
    1. Education:
      B.A., Marion College
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

A Message from Laurell K. Hamilton's Editor

Dear Readers,
Nothing brings as much buzz into the office as having a new Anita Blake novel coming out, believe me. First there's the manuscript -- the manuscript for Danse Macabre was 1,000 pages long! (And fans who happened by my office while it was on my desk said "Oh, that isn't even long enough; I wish it could be longer.") Then there's the editing, hours on the phone with Laurell, trying to find just the right words. And then there are the galleys, and the constant problem of finding a new place to hide them so they don't all get stolen the first day…

People wonder what Laurell Hamilton is like to work with, and they're surprised when I say, "She's the hardest-working person I know." Somehow, maybe because her books are fun to read, and sexy, and full of magic and power, people get the impression that it's an easy thing to write 1,000 pages, and I'm here to tell you that is not the case. Laurell has carved out her own success, one book at a time, and that isn't a kind of success that comes to a writer who likes to take things easy. And Anita Blake is not always a gentle taskmistress.

This particular novel is special, for reasons you already know if you've read the cover copy: Anita may be pregnant. And, if she is, the list of possible fathers is pretty daunting: he could be a vampire, a werewolf, or a shapeshifter of another kind. Every one of those situations would involve special risks to the mother, and the baby. (Wait till you read the details…) And not one of them is the kind of situation likely to endear Anita to the social workers of the world, who would much prefer a single mother not be a vampire hunter. There isn't even a space for that on the checklist.

So, that's the mystery this time: Is she or isn't she. And to find out, as you will have said in your fourth grade book reports, you have to read the book! Which will be a pleasure.

All best wishes,
Susan Allison
Editorial Director
Berkley Publishing Group
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 807 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(377)

4 Star

(176)

3 Star

(110)

2 Star

(53)

1 Star

(91)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 812 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2008

    What happened here?

    I will start by saying I am a Laurell K. Hamilton fan. But I don't know what happened when this book was made. I like the sex scenes and all, but this book seemed like the interaction of the characters was just a bothersome necessity to get to the next sex scene. There was no action. All the scenes that were happening were all internal, either internal personal conflict for anita or internal dialogue between her and characters she's metaphysically bonded to. If this was made into a movie the scenes would just be people standing around staring at each other while voice over happens like some sort of 60's acid trip movie. And really, nothing seemed to be accomplished in the book. It was really disappointing. Hope to see a little more action in future books, but for now I'm gonna take a little Anita Break.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 8, 2008

    More of the same

    The 200 pages of sex is off putting to me. I would like to see more of Anita actually doing her job with Animators Inc. The "Ardeur" is my absolutely least favorite plot device in this series. It combined with Richard constantly behaving like a spoiled brat make me crazy. How is this man an Alpha and kept in his position when he so often makes horrible mistakes. Has he gotten nothing good from being part of a triad?

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2009

    I need a break!

    Well... this book both gives me a lot to say and leaves me speechless all at the same time. I respect writers and what they do with their characters so I don't want to bash anyone. I'm just left confused with this series. The first several books I really got into this story and the characters. Then I was just left scratching my head. The sex scenes don't bother me I'm no prune, but it's the amount of people she NEEDS to have sex with. It has become just gross and a turn off. I remember feeling torn between Richard and Jean Claude. There are so many men in Anita's life that NONE of them are special. I loved the mystery of Jean Claude and the fact that he was a vampire made him intriguing, I loved that Richard was some what normal even funny and seemed to of fallen in love with her. (he's still my pick) I know so many readers don't care for him but to me he's the only one that is unable to share Anita with other men isn't that what someone that loves you does? All the other men in her life either need something from her or are drawn to her by her powers. Jean Claude lost me when Asher arrived. Asher is probably the most annoying man in her life. I just need a break from this series. I hope she will wake from a dream or an injury and these last few books of never took place. I just view Anita as all used up in every since of the word eww.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    DANSE MACABRE

    Hmmm...I'm giving this 4 stars because the writing skill used in developing this is good. That being said...I have trouble that it's 500 pages and nothing really happens. What I mean by that is it's a sequence of metaphysical, moral, sexual power struggles/crises for Anita, one after the other in quick succession, that don't really move the overall story arc along. It's ok if you read it over time, ie pick up, put down, pick up, put down, pick-up, etc because then it doesn't hit you as hard that its still the same day when you're halfway through the book.
    While this book seems to be setting up future story lines and introduces new characters, you don't get to the final conflict that gave its name to the title until the end. Plus we've seen very little of how Anita is functioning in the world outside of vampire politics. It would be nice to know what's up with Edward's engagement, what Animators Inc. really thinks about all this [especially as she's now in the limelight with Jean Claude], how things are with the police force and Dolph, and in general have a book focusing on a case and not all the politics. Hopefully all this set up will get us to that soon.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    The problem, for me, wasn't that DANSE MACABRE was 300 pages of sex. The Anita Blake Series has become increasingly more sex- based, due to the ardeur that Anita carries and needs to feed. The sex in the book is nothing great, although there are a few attempts to put the people involved in situations and positions that I find would be hard to accomplish for any mortal human. But since everyone in the book is some type of supernatural being, it didn't seem to be a physical impossibility. So, if you can understand the fact that sex is an integral part of this book, you won't have a problem. <BR/><BR/>What makes the book not that great is the fact that, underneath the sex, there's just no real plot. Jean-Claude has invited a number of various Masters of the City to St. Louis for the showing of an all-vampire ballet/dance troupe. As such, the same Masters have all brought various candidates to become Anita's pomme de sang (read blood & sex dinner). That's the general plot. Unfortunately, the entire book only covers forty-eight hours, and although we know the gist of the storyline, nothing ever really happens. Besides, of course, the sex. <BR/><BR/>There are lots of hurt feelings in the book. There's a pregnancy scare. There's the typical characters (Richard, Jean-Claude, Asher, Nathaniel, Micah, Jason, Claudia, assorted vampires and werewolves and wereleopards and wererats). There are new characters (the succubs mermaid and her family, the werelions, the Masters of the City). There's crazy sex, ardeur sex, powerful sex, painful sex. <BR/><BR/>When you strip away the sex, there's not a whole lot else there. Although I will say that DANSE MACABRE could have used a good editor, just to get rid of the repeated phrases that are prominent throughout the book. <BR/><BR/>Yes, I finished the story, and no, I didn't hate it. But it wasn't all that satisfying (the sex, although large in number, isn't anything to write home about) or fulfilling (almost nothing is resolved at the end of the book that was brought up at the start). <BR/><BR/>Would I recommend buying a copy? No. Should you borrow it from a friend or the library? If you're an Anita Blake fan, then yes, to see how the storyline (what there is of it) continues. Let's hope the next book has a little more meat to it, and less screaming sexual gratification.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    Just plain boring!

    Laurell K Hamilton is the only author I know who can make a sex scene boring! I skimmed through most of this book. No plot, just porn. I'm done with this series.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2006

    Yawn...........

    This book could best be described as very boring porn. The entire book is devoted to the ardeur. Either Anita is feeding the ardeur, or else she is talking about the ardeur. Endlessly. For pages and pages and pages at a time. There are far too many characters in this book, and none of them have the depth and texture that was a hallmark of the earlier books in the series. I tell you, I am so sick to death of the ardeur that I could just scream. To me, it feels like a cheap way to rattle off a book in time to make deadline instead of having to actually think up a plot, and character growth. I would love it if LKH would come up with a real plot, instead of relying exclusively on the ardeur to sell her books. None of the sex in this book does anything to further the plot. I'm not learning anything new about Anita's character, or the character of the people with whom she's having sex. It's just a big, fat, heavy waste of time. I read in an afterward in one of her earlier, better books, that LKH has fans who read these sex scenes to each other as foreplay. I don't know, maybe laughing at the lameness of it all trips their triggers. All I know is that I am not going to waste any more of my valuable time on new Anita books unless they come with a real plot.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    What's happening here...

    Stillwaiting for the anita blake adventures to be more than erotiica . I loved all the books...right up to obsidian butterfly, and then everything seemed to be on self destruct mode.
    It used to be...I coulnt put the book down, now I find myself skimming the pages.
    I've also decided to borrow the ebook from library rather than spend the $$....until I feel the book is worthy of a spot on my bookshelf...I do look forward to that time. I'm hopeful!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not the best

    This book wasn't the best in the series. In my opinion the story was just bad. The plot wasn't the best, although I think that Asher gaining power was very cool. This book had way too much sex, Anita slept with about 10 guys in a matter of a day or so.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Too Much Sex

    I have loved reading the Anita Blake novels but lately there is just too much sex. I bought this book back in 2006 when it first came out but kept putting it down because I lost interest due to so much sex. Since I bought it back then, I've read at least twenty other books because I lost interest. I'd come to love the strong willed Anita, not the nympho Anita.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2007

    What's the deal?

    I have been seeing this author's name everywhere, so I finally picked up a book and read it. It was like reading an episode of a really bad TV show...one that would get cancelled in about two weeks. Her writing is sub-par at best and her plots are hackneyed, trite, and predictable. Don't waste your time.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2007

    Where did Anita go???

    I made it to page 88, then got so sick of Anita's sex life that I tossed the book across the room. Yuck. Whatever happened to the Anita in the first 4 books? The one who kicked booty and actually did something that wasn't centered around her? I miss the old Anita and give up totally on this new one. I'm not prude, but give me a break.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2007

    IF I DIDN'T HAVE TO RATE THIS BOOK AT ALL I WOULDN'T.

    I wasn't a big fan of Hamilton to begin with because i read the Merry Gentry novels. Wana know why? Because Gentry was always changing partners or on top of another being. HOWEVER!!! I thought i'd give the Anita Blake series a try as i heard its the original formation other authors such as Feehan have used in their books. ANYWAY!!! i was amazed by how much i loved this series it was sooo good i felt i was being harsh by judging Hamilton too quickly on previous books. Maybe i spoke to soon i dnt know what happened. Everything turned into a pornographic scene where the woman is shared between men who supposedly 'love' her. AND WILL SOMEONE PUHLEEZZZ TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED TO JEAN CLAUDE???? He was sooo in love with Anita in the first 5 or so novels and all of a sudden he wants to share with other men??!! Whats wrong with this picture??? I skimmed through the book then skipped atleast ooo lets say 700 pages and read the very last sentence. To be honest i got bored of the series. Could it be that Hamilton has finally overused Anita's character? Maybe it's time to let Anita live happily ever after. After novel 5 the storyline took over somewhere between Hamilton's fantasy and what she thought the readers wanted. I think this was the last of Anita Blake i will ever read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Danse Macabre

    Way too much sex and not enough of the reason I started this series, vampire hunting and zombie raising. Need to go back to why this series was good in the first place.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2013

    I like(liked) the series a lot but when it got to Obsidian Butte

    I like(liked) the series a lot but when it got to Obsidian Butterfly it started getting more about sex, not that I mind that. Then I started on Danse macabre and it was more sex, weird sex.. I read the first 120 pages skimmed the rest then put it aside I could not read it anymore. Hopefully she'll back to raising the dead and killing people instead of sleeping with 20 people in 1 day in the next book geeez . I know its a book but that's so gross and not interesting at all. PLease let the next book be better...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2013

    Just keeps getting better

    From the first book i have been hooked. It just keeps getting better. Yes there is quite a bit of sex but the story and characters have me hook line and sinker.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Great

    Great

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2013

    Laurell Hamilton

    This is another great book in her seris.

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  • Posted November 20, 2012

    I loved this book! I love this series! The development of Anit

    I loved this book! I love this series! The development of Anita and the other characters is wonderful and so very imaginative. It's not just sex. If people can't understand that sex is important to the development of these characters, then they can just stop reading because they obviously don't understand what LKH is writing about.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2014

    Love this series!

    Yes there is alot of sex but I love the story to!

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