The Lunatic Cafe - Laurell K. Hamilton

(Anita Blake, #4)
Urban Fantasy

You get two preternatural experts in one with Anita Blake, animator and vampire slayer. She's one of the good guys in a world full of bad things. A world that Laurell K. Hamilton makes spin in her New York Times bestselling novels. Now, Anita has fallen for the leader of a local pack of werewolves. She's survived a lot, but this love thing may kill her yet...


Hell, I knew a lot of women in my age bracket that couldn't get a date at all. I'd been one of them until Richard. All right, Jean-Claude would have taken me out, but I was avoiding him. I couldn't imagine dating Jean-Claude as if he were an ordinary guy. I could imagine having sex with him, but not dating..."

 “I loved him, but love isn't enough. All the fairy tales, the romance novels, the soap operas; they're all lies. Love does not conquer all.”

Oh, how life can get tricky. Anita may have thought Jean-Claude was old news, but the master vampire still believes he's ahead of the game, his hostility and jealousy growing in this twisted love triangle. Anita's relationship with Richard furthers, despite the fact he wants to rush into a heavy situation where she's just not ready enough to trust anyone completely.

It brings out an interesting aspect in Anita, as she has to come to terms with the monster side of Richard, not yet ready to face it - perhaps never ready - but not wanting to admit it to him or herself. On the other hand, he can't stomach her bloodthirsty ways and sees her as more of a monster than he is. The mixing of blood and water. Oh, yeah, and a female vamp Gretchen, who has the hots for Jean-Claude, would be happy to see Anita lying on the ground with her throat a bloody mess.

Anita isn't enthused to be recruited by Marcus, leader of the St. Louis werewolf clan, to track down eight missing lycanthropes. She has to consistently push through the testing of the furry clan and the power struggle streaming in the air between Marcus and her beloved. Still, she can't ignore the problem, especially when it may eventually damper Richard's personal safety.

To make matters bizarrely worse - life always sucks for this girl - she finds her friend, the cold-blooded assassin Edward, in her apartment. He's been hired to track down and kill the creator of a snuff video. It's awkward enough watching a sex tape with the strange man, but it's even worse when lycanthropes are behind the filming, and no one in Anita's new-found furry family is safe from the determined Edward. The scenes between these two are great, he's one of my favorites. Why can't we have more of this man in the later books??

As a member of the police's Regional Preternatural Investigation Team, she must battle the hinted suspicions dropped by head honcho Dolph, on what really happened to Harold in the cemetery. "There was blood all over that chair, Anita..."

Characters are as strong as ever, my heart keeps bursting and my loins grinning. Hot damn, Hamilton is amazing at building up suspenseful sex scenes! Story tension is top-notch, and she never shies away from blood, gore, and extreme violence. Although the twisted love triangle is present - and great too! - this is certainly still a horror series up to this point. Look into my magic wand and repeat after me: "Read the series, read the series..."

   Book Quotes:

“If I went in the cage, I was going to end up eaten alive. That was actually one of my top five ways not to die...” 

“I spent the next fifteen minutes convincing a crying werewolf that I wasn’t going to hurt her. My life was getting too strange, even for me.”

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