By Laurell K. Hamilton
Anita Blake Novella (#23)
2 Dec 2014 Adult
ePub ISBN 9780698196605 & Mass Market Paperback ISBN 9780515156072 | | 304 Pages | Berkley
Audiobook Download – Unabridged | ISBN 9780698403390 | 4:45:00 Duration | Read by Kimberly Alexis | Penguin Audio
- Audio file provided for review purposes by publisher. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
“Enjoying pain with your pleasure is something you either get, or you don’t. If you get it, then you don’t really need it explained, because you know how good it feels, and if you don’t get it then no amount of talking is going to convince you it makes sense.”
But sometimes you have to explain the unexplainable, especially if the love of your life needs to understand, or she’ll leave you. Jason Schuyler is one of Anita Blake’s best friends and favorite werewolves, with benefits. J.J. is his lady love, an old flame from childhood who dances at one of the top ballet companies in New York. She’s accomplished, beautiful, and she’s crazy about him, too. Neither of them wants to be monogamous, so what could go wrong?
J.J. is enthusiastically bisexual, with an emphasis on the female side of things. She plans to keep sleeping with women, because Jason can’t meet that need, just like she can’t meet Jason’s need for rough sex and bondage. J.J. doesn’t understand why Jason isn’t content to go elsewhere for a need she can’t fulfill, so Jason asks Anita to help him explain.
Anita is having her own relationship growing pains with her only female lover ever, Jade. Jason suggests that J.J. might be able to help Anita with her girl problem, while she helps him with his kinky explanations. With some encouragement from a few other lovers in Anita’s life she reluctantly agrees, and J. J. makes plans to fly into town for an experience that none of them will ever forget.
Kim Alexis does a great job narrating JASON and even does a reasonable job with the characters balancing on that knife’s edge between narration and acting.
I have found Hamilton’s writing becoming more conversational, many of her books rely heavily on dialogue but this one in particular does. In this case there is discussion and sex, followed by discussion.
Ostensibly, they are having a group thing (do Anita and her pals ever not have a group thing? the woman must have a cast iron vagina!) to help Jason with his bisexual girlfriend. At the same time they are trying to help Anita even want her tiger-shifter-girlfriend, and becomes a lot more about Anita’s issues than Jason’s. It all becomes one huge group-sex-counseling session.
As usual they get their dislike on for Anita’s ex-fiance-sometimes-sex-buddy, Richard. Man, you have to wonder who the heck he is modeled after.
It is an interesting, and short exploration of
- allowing toxic people into your life/heart/bed;
- not being responsible for the emotional health of others;
- and whether Anita wants to consider herself bi-sexual.
I the sexual orientation exploration is the real heart of the story as Anita feels she has to have sex with Jade, but she doesn’t know if she really likes girls or girl parts. She is going through a lot of angst over the different parts. Will she decide that she doesn’t want to be bi? Or, will she decide sex with women is hot, but that she isn’really into this one woman? I feel the character is really struggling with this one aspect of her sexuality and that is what the book is about. It’s funny, in the first few books Anita was a virgin, and struggled with her sexuality. Now she has a stable of partners and is still struggling! At least no one is trying to kill her for five minutes.
Where they start off trying to help JJ, Jason’s girlfriend understand his need for pain in sex, they mostly seem to discuss and resolve Anita’s problems with Jade.
Honestly I have an issue with too many characters names sounding the same, Jason, JJ, Jade,… I got a little confused.
It’s very short as far as audio books go. I would probably prefer it as an epub, for that reason as I was just getting into it, figuring out who was who, when it was over.
And- this one is pretty graphic in the sex department so it’s more a book for earphones than a speaker!