Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #12)

Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series #12)

3.9 948
by Laurell K. Hamilton

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Vampire hunter Anita Blake finds her life is more complicated than ever, caught as she is between her obligations to the living-and the undead.  See more details below


Vampire hunter Anita Blake finds her life is more complicated than ever, caught as she is between her obligations to the living-and the undead.

Editorial Reviews
The Barnes & Noble Review
Devout followers of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake saga who think that they have the sexy vampire executioner finally figured out are in for a big surprise in Incubus Dreams, the 12th -- and steamiest! -- installment in the wildly popular series.

Already metaphysically connected to master vampire Jean-Claude and to Richard, the Ulric of the St. Louis werewolf pack, Anita finds herself in another supernatural triumvirate, this one with the seductive, shape-shifting stripper Nathaniel and the beautiful bloodsucker Damian. With so many preternatural bonds, Anita finds herself struggling to come to grips with the potentially deadly disadvantages -- and the mind-blowing benefits -- of the complicated arrangement. As Anita is just beginning to understand how to utilize her newfound powers, a series of brutal strip club murders forces her to come face to face with her most terrifying foe to date: her own conscience.

Stylish, witty, breakneck paced, and filled with enough supernatural sensuality to surprise even the most hard-core fans, this novel, simply put, will blow readers away. As implausible as it may seem, after genre-transcending novels like Obsidian Butterfly, Narcissus in Chains, and Cerulean Sins, Hamilton has found an ingenious way to further complicate one of the most complex and compelling female characters in the history of speculative fiction.

While other series tend to lose energy -- and readership -- after numerous installments, Hamilton's saga is just hitting its stride with the 12th novel. After reading Incubus Dreams, Anita Blake fanatics all over the world will be rabidly waiting to sink their fangs into the next novel, to see what happens to the newly liberated and supernaturally enhanced vampire hunter. In a word: Wow! Paul Goat Allen

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series, #12
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

I was in the kitchen eating biscuits with butter and honey slathered all over them. The biscuits were good, but the show was Gregory. He was still in leopardman form, but he was eating biscuits. Have you ever watched someone eat bread with teeth that are designed for tearing out the throats of gazelles? It was interesting. If he'd just put the whole biscuit in his mouth at once it would have been okay, but he didn't. He ate the rounds of bread dripping with butter and red-currant jelly in pieces, delicately. Except that his jaws weren't made for delicate, so his fur was spotted with reddish jelly, and he kept licking it off with an impossibly long tongue. It was disturbing, distracting, and vaguely fascinating. Like a combination of Animal Planet and Food Network.

It was good that I had something to amuse me, because Nathaniel was being very unamused. I'd known he would be upset about me marking Micah's neck, when he'd practically begged me to do it to him, and I'd refused, but I had no real clue how upset. He'd been banging things around the kitchen. A cabinet door didn't just close, it slammed. Opening the refrigerator was a chorus of bangs, slaps, etc...I didn't even know that plastic food containers could make that much noise.

In between slamming things around, he was agreeing with everything Gregory said, but his tone of voice sounded like he was fighting. "We've been advertising a leopard for tonight, if they can't have me, you're it," Gregory said, then licked that long pink tongue all the way around his 'muzzle.'

"Fine, it's not like I'll be doing anything else tonight." Somehow I thought that last was directed at me.

Micah was giving me the look, the once that said as clearly as if he'd spoken, fix this. Why was it always me that had to fix it? Because I was usually the one who screwed it up in the first place. Oh, that was why.

My teeth marks were imprinted in Micah's neck, the edges had been smeared with neosporin, but he hadn't had to bandage it. Good for him, and for me. I'd stopped before I'd hurt him too badly. It was actually less bloody than the one and only time I'd let myself mark Nathaniel. It had been when the arduer was new and I was still trying to find ways to feed it that didn't involve intercourse. Silly me.

The last straw was when Nathaniel took the butter dish off the table before everybody was finished with it. Gregory grabbed for it, and claws are wrong for grabbing china. The plate fell and broke all over the floor. The butter slid across the floor in a long yellow line, like a really nasty snail trail. I don't know what I would have said, probably something not very helpful, but the phone rang.

"Someone else get that," Nathaniel said from the floor where he was wiping up the mess, "I'm a little busy."

Micah just kept eating his breakfast, I think because he was upset with me for not saying something to help things with Nathaniel. Problem was I didn't know what to say. So I got the phone.

"Anita, it's Ronnie."

"Ronnie, hi," and I was thinking furiously. Oh, yeah, I wasn't the only one having personal problems. I still couldn't believe that Ronnie had turned down Louie's proposal. Out loud I said, "How ya doing?"

"Louie left a message on my phone, so I know you know." She sounded defensive.

"Okay, you want to talk about it?" I didn't take offense. It wasn't me she was mad at.

She blew out a loud breath. "Yes, no, I don't know."

"You can come here, or I'll meet you somewhere." I was using that careful voice, sort of the one Micah used so much with me.

"I'll bring bagels," she said.

"How about you can have homemade biscuits when you get here?" I said.

"Homemade biscuits? You didn't make them, did you?"

"No, Nathaniel did."

"Can he cook?"

"Actually, yes."

I could almost feel her doubt wafting over the phone.

"Honest, he's really good at the baking stuff."

"If you say so."

"Well, we'd starve if they waited for me to cook."

She laughed then. "Well, that is the God's honest truth. Okay, I'll be there soon, save some biscuits for me."

"Sure thing."

We hung up.

I stayed by the phone for a second or two, watching Nathaniel's angry back at the garbage can where he was disposing of the broken dish and dead butter. I'd never realized that a pony-tail could bob angrily.

Micah looked at me, and the look was eloquent, fix this, fix this or I'll be mad at you too. There are a few downsides to having two men living with you, when they both get pissed at you at the same time is one of them.

Nathaniel stayed by the cabinet, hands on the edge of it, his entire body radiating anger. I'd never seen him this angry. It should have made me angry, but it didn't. He could be angry if he wanted to be, I guess.

I tried to think of something useful to say. He'd gone from being happy as a domestic lark to being pissed as I'd ever seen him. The only thing that had changed was the mark on Micah's neck. He'd lived through Micah getting intercourse, orgasm, while he, Nathaniel, got almost nothing. So why was that one over-enthusiastic hickey the breaking point for him? I thought and thought until I could feel a headache beginning just between my eyes. Then I had a thought, a good one, it was almost insightful. I don't usually get to insightful without talking to smarter and wiser friends. But suddenly there it was, the truth, I think.

I walked over to him, and touched his shoulder. He jerked away from me. He'd never done that before. It scared me. I didn't want him that angry at me, ever. Micah was right, I had to fix this. But how?

"Nathaniel..." and it was as if saying his name opened the flood gates.

"I can't live like this. You give me an inch and then you take it away. Orgasm today, but only because of some metaphysical shit. You'll find an excuse not to do it again. You always do. He gets intercourse, and orgasm, and I get nothing. But you'd marked me, me, not him, me!" He was still staring at the cabinet, while he ranted louder and louder. "It was all I had. All I had!" He had to pause to take a breath and I rushed into that small silence.

"I'm sorry." I said fast before he could catch his breath.

"I don't know why I keep hoping..." He hesitated, stopped, then turned to me slowly. "What did you say?"

"I said, I'm sorry."

His face softened for a second, then hardened, and he narrowed his eyes at me. He looked positively suspicious. "What exactly are you sorry about?"

"I'm sorry you're upset."

"Oh..." and he was off again, ranting.

I touched his arm, and he didn't jerk away this time, but he kept listing all the things I wouldn't do for him, or with him. It might have been embarrassing if I hadn't been more worried about stopping the fight than almost anything else. "You have to go to work tonight," I said.

That stopped him because I think it made no sense, considering what we were talking about. "What? Yes, what about it?"

"If you didn't have to work tonight, I'd take you into the bedroom now and mark you, if that's what you wanted."

He pulled away again. "I don't want you to do it just because I'm mad. I want you to do it because you want to, because you'd enjoy it too."

God, he could be so demanding. I actually had to stop and count slowly in my head, because this whole dominant submission thing hit my buttons badly. I'd done enough research to understand that the world of dom and sub was a lot bigger and more varied than I'd believed. That there were people out there that considered my love of nails and teeth during sex and foreplay to be perverted. That even that was bondage to them. I liked teeth and nails during foreplay and sex, I really did. It wasn't pretend, and it wasn't just for Nathaniel's sake. Once I thought it through to that point, I wasn't angry with him. The anger came not from what he wanted, but from my discomfort that I would enjoy it. I knew that now, embracing it all the way through my head--well, I wasn't quite there yet.

I tried for honesty, with him, and myself. "I'd love the feel of your neck under my teeth. I'd love to sink my mouth around all the meaty parts of you, and bite down until I was afraid I'd hurt you." I felt heat rush up my face, and I had to close my eyes, to finish it. "I loved the feel of you in my mouth. I loved marking you, but I wasn't ready to admit it. And it still makes me uncomfortable, but it's not because it's you, it's because it just seems, I don't know..."

"Perverted," Gregory suggested.

I opened my eyes to glare at him. "Don't help me, Gregory, okay."


"Do you mean what you just said?" Nathaniel asked, and his voice was oddly empty, as if he were trying very hard not to be angry or hopeful.

I met his face, and even his eyes were being careful. I hated to see him managing me that hard, as if he were afraid if he appeared too eager I'd run. And he might have been right. The thing was, I'd been doing my own version of what Richard was doing. I wasn't running from as much of myself, but if I hadn't had the arduer to push me, I might have been. If I could have pretended as cleanly as Richard could, I would have. That I could admit at least to myself. The arduer had made that impossible. But this wasn't about the arduer. This was about Nathaniel and me, and the happy little domestic arrangement that we had.

I'd waited too long to answer. Nathaniel's eyes filled with such sorrow, and he turned away. Oh, hell. I grabbed his face between my hands, and went up on tip-toes for that three inch height difference. I'd startled him so that he stumbled back into the cabinets. I plastered myself against the front of his body, and kissed him. I kissed him as if I were eating him. I set my teeth into that lovely lower lip and bit down, not enough to mark, but enough to draw a small sound from his throat. I leaned back from the kiss enough to see his eyes wide and unfocused. His hands gripped the cabinet behind him so tight his hands were mottled, as if he was afraid he'd fall.

I was breathing a little hard myself. My voice was shaky when I said, "That wasn't metaphysical shit. That was just me, just you."

His eyes closed, and a shudder ran through him from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. He swayed, and if I hadn't caught him around the waist, I think he'd have fallen. His arms slid around me, and he laid his head on my shoulder. He hadn't exactly fainted, but he was limp in my arms. I realized he was totally passive. I knew in that moment I could do anything I wanted to him. The thought didn't excite me, it scared me. I had enough trouble running my own life, I didn't want someone else's. But I kept my doubts to myself. He had enough of his own without me sharing.

"You promise," he whispered, "promise you'll mark me tonight."

He'd said the 'p' word. Shit. "I promise," I whispered it into the vanilla warmth of his hair.

He drew a deep breath that moved his bare chest up and down along my covered one. My body reacted to it, whether I wanted it to or not. Nipples hardening from the brush of him.

He drew back enough to see my face, and the look in his eyes was all male, and brought heat in a rush up my face again. It sped my pulse in my throat. He was submissive, but underneath all that was something that could have been very dangerous, and it was there in his eyes now, that promise of disaster.

"Come to the club tonight, see my act, please."

I shook my head. "I work tonight."

"Please." The please was more than just a word, it filled his eyes. He wanted me to see him on stage, surrounded by screaming fans. Maybe he wanted to impress on me that even if I didn't want him, others did. I guess I'd earned it, having my face rubbed in it.

"What time do you go on?"

He told me.

"I can catch some of your act, but probably not all."

He kissed me, hard and strangely chaste, and bounced towards the door. "I'll need to see if my costume is ready for tonight." He turned at the door with that eager look still on his face. "What if I turn furry, will you still mark me?"

"I don't do furry," I said.

He poked his lip out at me, like an imitation of a child.

"You are so damn pushy, you do know that, right?"

He smiled.

"I don't do furry."

"But if I'm not furry, you'll do it?" He asked it, and something about the way he said it made me suspicious, but I nodded. "Yes."

He vanished into the dimness of the living room. "I'll see you tonight at the club."

I yelled after him. "If there's another murder all bets are off. Murder takes precedence over watching my boyfriend strip." There was that word again, boyfriend.

I heard Nathaniel's laugh trail down the stairs. It reminded me of another man in my life, who'd left me with a laugh this morning. I was just amusing the hell out of everybody today.

--from Incubus Dreams by Laurell K. Hamilton, Copyright © 2004 Laurell K. Hamilton, published by the Berkley Publishing Group, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., all rights reserved, reprinted with permission from the publisher.

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Incubus Dreams 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 948 reviews.
McMonkey More than 1 year ago
What happened to Anita Blake, former vampire hunter and zombie raiser? The lead character has been reduced to being an indecisive and confused slut. Over a period of only a couple of days, Anita sleeps with a stranger in front of another stranger, has several threesomes with different men, and does furry. Sex sells, but this is ridiculous and unoriginal. I found myself flipping through pages and even whole chapters to get beyond the blatant sex and back to the plot. But then I realized that there was no plot, only Anita Blake, queen of slutsville.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my favorite book of the Anita Blake series. I love them all but I have re-read this one the most. I ordered the audio book so I could listen to it while I did my walking. It gives me a change from music. I will continue to follow Anita in all of her future books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OK - yes this one does have quite a bit of sex (which I can't imagine to be a BAD thing?!), but it also moves along a ton of Anita's relationships and has some of the most touching moments. Besides, I love Nathaniel & Micha.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been reading the Anita Blake series for about a year now, and I've finally just sat down and started reading other customers reviews of the books. I have to say for those people out there who say Obsidian Butterfly is her last good book in the series they need to actually sit down and read those past that title again. There are many complaints about the amount of sex in the series and how that's all that there is. Really, it's not. If you go back and reread the books every sex scene drives the character developement. The character developement is the reason that I love this series so much. Every single character has changed to a degree and I think that's fascinating. You really get a look into their personalities. Jean-Claude is not the monster that Anita thought he was in the beginning of the series. She realizes that yes, he may be a vampire but he's a person with feelings too. I highly recommend the series to anyone and hope that they finish going through to the most current book coming out. I personally can't wait for it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Does she even write about Anitas job anymore? 260 pages in and nothing but sex. So trashy. So done with this author.
KelHat More than 1 year ago
OMG I loved this book I'm on my way to the book store to buy all of the Anita Blake Series.
Guest More than 1 year ago
First of all, this is not a series you should just pick up anywhere. Start at the beginning. There is so much history you need in order to appreciate where Anita is at in her life in this crazy story. If I started with this book I would have been weirded out but I have come to know and appreciate Anita's personality and all the amazing men in her life. This author has done a great job!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book, I couldn't put it down. It is stunningly imaginative.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this series up to Obsidian butterfly after that though NO! HORRIBLE! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME READING THIS MEDIOCRE PIECE OF WORK. It is as if Mrs. Hamilton just forgot how to write the good stuff. I will not buy another book from her again. It is a waste of money.
Velvetine More than 1 year ago
I think people have been a little too harsh on the arduer. Its important to remember that Anita is coming into powers that she cant control and has to learn to practice. Personally I am glad to see Hamilton evolving Anita past the "moral tightrope" she had been strangling herself on in the first few books. A long running series means that Anita has had to grow up, and Hamilton is doing a great job with that. The plot and characters remain intact even through the additional fluff of the sex/arduer. It was a good read and worth the money. If a little bit of erotic writing frightens you then you might want to avoid the book. DONT JUMP INTO THIS BOOK if you havent read others. You would be far too confused.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yes the books have gotten more and more erotic, and as they do, Anita becomes more and more annoyed with how her life is getting. But she is also learning how to cope with the fact she cant really change what she has to do. During the sex more stuff is happening then just sex, and every act of sex brings one more person into Anitas life, and complicates things even more. If you can see past the sex and pay attention to the story and not just the erotic parts. Youll love it. Everything has its reason
Guest More than 1 year ago
The dust jacket promises us a mystery ¿ a serial killer is on the loose and apparently culling the stripper population of St Louis. The Regional Preternatural Crime Investigation Team quickly determines that killer is of an ¿other worldly¿ nature and puts in a panic call to Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter. Certainly not an original plot idea, but at least it raises our hopes that we¿ll get to see the feisty, smart-alecky, butt-kicking heroine the ruled the earlier books in the series. Unfortunately, once again it¿s Anita Blake: Vampire Humper that answers the call instead. As we¿ve seen since her introduction in ¿Narcissus in Chains¿, the ¿new¿ and ¿improved¿ Anita is a whiney, self-absorbed caricature of the once strong, independent woman first introduced at the beginning of the series. Thanks to the Ardeur ¿ a corny, trite plot device introduced to conveniently circumvent Anita¿s previous moral standards and to clearly up the ante of sexual activity in the series ¿ we¿re left with a pitiful version of Anita that just grates on the readers¿ nerves. Once you open the book the whole serial killer plot idea is quickly jettisoned and replaced with endless pages of relationship angst and mind numbing, repetitive boring sex. The over indulgent use of one boring gratuitous sex scene after another reads more like fodder for a 15-year olds sexual fantasy and quickly turns the book into a bloated stinky corpse. The current installment reads like a cross between a poorly written soap opera and a cheesy porn movie. You can almost hear the ¿tinny¿ instrumental score ¿twanging¿ away in the background as Anita and her well-hung stable of ¿pretty boy toys¿ get it on again and again. It would have been nice if the publisher had included a ¿program¿ and/or ¿scorecard¿ to keep track of the endless parade of sexual partners and practices used by Anita to feed the insatiable sexual hunger known as the Ardeur. At least it would have given the readers something to do during the tediously drawn-out and over-the-top coupling sessions. The author writes these days as if she doesn¿t care whether she keeps an audience or not and has allowed her writing to devolve into a self-conscious portal absent of any coherent plot, structure or other basic quality components of compelling fiction. Among her disintegrating fan base we see growing signs of reader disconnection and outright desertion as frustrated readers abandon the series in search of better plot driven material. Save your time and money and skip this one altogether.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This series began as a really interesting alternate universe where humans, vampires and shapeshifters lived in an uneasy truce. The heroine, Anita Blake, was a tough, intellegent, conflicted but somehow vulnerable woman who was trying to use her skills to protect and serve. The first books, up to Obsidian Butterfly, were gritty but compelling. After that they have gone steadily downhill. Incubus dreams is simply one graphic sex scene after another, cobbled together with violent and grisly descriptions of murder and mayhem. Anita has lost all appeal, even though the author seems to be trying to still make her appear vulnerable, and has simply become a caricature, a seemingly helpless victim of overwhelming and violent sexual desires. Hamilton also wants to call all this love, much to my personal revulsion. This is a sad waste of a really good writer and an increasingly disturbing series. There should be a warning label on this book. Take my advice and skip it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As an avid fan of the Anita Blake series, I rushed to get a copy of the latest installment.To my utter shock and dismay, the book was horrble. It was like reading pure porn. There was no story. There was a tease of maybe Anita actually doing her necromancing work, but that plotline fizzled into just more sex. As a fan of the characters and all the books in the Anita Blake series before Incubus Dreams, I hope that LKH can make a comeback with the next installment- which by the way I intend to borrow from the library rather than buy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just about all of the book Anita spent her time horizontal. I probably like that as much as the next guy, but not for 300 pages or so. And I am getting tired of all the hand wringing and crying about what she's becoming and who she is with. And I'm REALLY getting tired of all of Richard's whining about being a werewolf!!! In the world she's built in her book, being Ulfric of the werewolves is just not that bad a thing. And where did Damien's old Mistress come from and THEN where did she go? And who the heck is the 'Dragon' and where did she go? And who is Primo and what is he going to do? And the two new super warrior vampires, what about them? All in a new book I suppose, but she's throwing in new characters without any background on them. Their just there all of a sudden. Very frustrating. Every once in a while she gives you glimpses of the old Anita. And I'm sorry, but giving Anita a conscience and making her a more thoughtful, caring and gentler person just does not cut it for me. I liked the old, tough, more like Edward Anita much better. I liked the old Anita that inter acted with the police action team and went in with them to wipe out the vampires at the end of the book, not the whiner Hamilton is turning her into!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What happened to Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter who I've grown to know and love? I realize that having several very sexy boyfriends leads to some great bedroom antics, but I miss the Vampire Hunter. The last few chapters of this book were my favorite. Come on boys, let Anita do her job!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The series peaked with Obsidian Butterfly and has slowly degenerated into just sex. Repetaive sex at that. You can take one sex sceen from the Anita Blake series and paste it to the Princess Meridith series. I'm no prude, but if I wanted to read porn I would go buy porn. Please bring back some depth to the Anita Blake series!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the Anita Blake vampire series and anxiously awaited this one. I could even look past the fact that there seemed to be no editor involved in the publishing process in each of the previous books (I just reread them over and over again, overlooking the problems as minor annoyances to an otherwise original series). But, I was never more disappointed in my life than when I got this newest addition to the series. The story starts out normally, call to a crime scene, relationahip problems, a little sex, then it gets out of hand....400 pages of nothing but sex. Then trying to wrap everything into a tidy bundle in the last 50 pages (and NOT solving the crimes briefly, and I STRESS briefly, touched on). One thing I did notice, though, the minor annoyances were missing (just as well, considering the book was one major annoyance!), which makes me wonder if Ms. Hamilton was actually there for the whole book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this series when I first started reading it. Anita Blake's 'don't mess with me' attitude had me hooked from the very beginning. I'd been disappointed with the last few books, but I figured it could be a fluke. The most recent book changed my mind. I'm generally so taken with her books I finish them in less than a few days, but I was stuck on this one for a month. It's nothing but sex, to an excessively tedious amount. Laurell K. Hamilton has lost her wonderfully clever style and all Anita's nail-biting endeavors, and I won't be reading any more of her books. NOT recommended.
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Loving these books!!
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