Guilty Pleasures

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $80.73
Paperback $11.02, $6.00
Hardback
Kindle $7.99
Associated ISBNs 9780441304837
9780515134490 — Paperback
9780515136173 — Paperback
9780515144185 — Paperback
9780425187562 — Hardcover
9780425197547 — Paperback
9780785776185
9781596880078 — Hardcover
9780613582926
9781596880283 — Paperback
9781596880061 — Hardcover
9781101146385
9780755355297 — Paperback
9780786528967 — E-Book
9780755374816
9780785125792

Rating (VOYA)

3Q, 4P

The quality was alright. It wasn’t the best written, the characters weren’t the greatest, but it was sturdy and appealing.

Popularity wise, this was a big one from my Readers Advisory class, and it seems as though it must be popular (considering it spawned like, 27 sequels).

Readers Annotation

Someone’s killing vampires, and it isn’t Anita Blake.

Summary

Anita Blake is a necromancer (by any other name). She raises the dead for a living. Her friend is having a bachelorette party at a vampire strip club. But surprise! Its a set-up. The vampires have manipulated Anita into coming to the club to blackmail her into finding the killer targeting vampires. Her friend is now under the power of one of the vampires from the club. Jean Claude (the sexy, French vampire club owner) really wants to be able to mentally manipulate Anita. She reluctantly agrees to look into the killings (not that she has a choice).

A “friend,” a psychopathic former assassin, is looking for the vampire queen. He knows Anita knows something. Anita gets abducted by Jean Claude. She gets thrown into a basement filled with were-rats. She fights them to stay alive. The vamps pull her out eventually. Then she meets the vampire queen, a scary old little girl. She meets their personal necromancer and keeps them from killing him.

She investigates the murders with the help of her cop friend. The psychopath ends up helping. She’s running low on sleep. She figures out who the killer is, there’s a showdown. She confronts the vampire queen and there’s a showdown too.

Evaluation

Of course he’s a foreign vampire with a sexy accent. Of course he’s going to be the love interest. Of course she’s a “badass.” These are all things I found myself thinking at the start of this book. I listened to the audio, which was great. But really, its like all the modern vampire cliches were in this book just to begin. I honestly thought this would be just like One Foot in the Grave, but it wasn’t. In fact, there wasn’t any romance at all, just hints of what will surely come. It wasn’t what I was expecting and I found it refreshing. I mean, we all know she’s going to end up with Jean Claude eventually.

Really, I found the characters… lacking. The plot was interesting. I liked that there was a mystery for the characters to solve, and I think it had just enough twists and turns to keep it interesting, but once you looked past that there were some problems. I didn’t completely connect with Anita. She didn’t really seem to deserve her killer reputation (pun intended). She wasn’t entirely likable, even though I loved her sarcasm. Jean Claude was questionable, and really wasn’t developed so well. He came off less sexy, and more creepy, manipulative asshole.

I think the world that was built was interesting. I wonder about having all this supernatural stuff out in the open, but it seemed mostly believable. I thought the human/supernatural conflicts were relatively believable, if not a little muted given today’s world.

I don’t know, overall. I liked it while I was listening to it, but it wasn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever read. I’m really on the fence about it. I think I’ll try another one and see where it leaves me.

Genre

Urban Fantasy

Readalikes

Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Significance

A sexy paranormal romance without the sexy romance.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

Do you think Anita deserves the “Executioner” title and associated fear?

What do you think of the world Laurell K Hamilton has built?

What do you think about this interpretation of vampires?

Author’s website

Laurell K Hamilton

Awards

None

Reviews

Amazon

Why I Chose It

I chose this book because everyone in my Reader’s Advisory class had raved about this series, so I thought I’d try it out.

Other Information

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One Foot in the Grave

Bibliographic Information 

Audiobook $17.59
Paperback $7.19, $5.78
Hardback
Kindle $4.99
Associated ISBNs 9.780061245091
9.780061736490
9780061649165 – e-book

Rating (VOYA)

3Q, 4P

Readers Annotation

Sexy heroine meets sexy ex-boyfriend and teams up to defeat evil undead.

Summary

Half-vampire Cat Crawford now leads a secret government SWAT team that takes out evil undead. She has just lead a semi-successful raid that has left one of her own dead. She has also just let the maker of her ex-boyfriend live instead of killing him like her boss wanted.

She has started dating again, but still thinks about her ex, the sexy vampire Bones. Her best friend has just gone through a whirlwind romance and gotten engaged. Between thinking about breaking up with her boyfriend, her job hunting vamps, and her best friends upcoming nuptials, she barely has time to think about the hit taken out on her.

At the rehearsal dinner she runs into Bones, he is one of the groomsmen, and they have a tiff. She’s still extremely attracted to him, and he to her. He says he’s been looking for her since she left him 4 years ago, and that she’s in trouble. She naturally takes him back.

Bones clashes with Tate, Cat’s friend and co-worker (because Tate’s in love with Cat). It’s discovered that the man who took out a hit on Cat is Bones’ maker, so Bones amasses his forces (the vampires and ghouls that he’s made) and sets a plan in motion. This brings Annette (one of Bones’ former client/girlfriend) back into the picture, and she and Cat bitch fight it out.

The conclusion has Bones, and Cat taking on Bones’ maker in what amounts to vampire court.

Evaluation

This was a really fun romp. I may have made the mistake of starting on the 2nd book (oops), but I didn’t think I really needed the first to get into it. This is sarcastic, sexy, and full of action.

The characters are pretty well fleshed out. They all fit into a lot of the old tropes, but they work well with them. Sexy, badass heroine. British, sexy vampire. Anti-vampire mom. Secret government agency. Evil vampires. Stakings. This one at least has a heroine whose reputation is actually deserved, unlike some other series (Anita Blake). The interactions between the characters is really where the action’s at. The relationship between Bones and pretty much every character who is not Cat is worth the price of admission alone.

This is a pretty well written book, considering. There aren’t a lot of gaping flaws and errors. Its a fun ride all the way.

I think this book is just perfect for its audience. Its sexy, its fun, and its got some great action. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea Paranormal Romance-wise, but its a pretty great example.

Genre

Urban Fantasy

Paranormal Romance

Readalikes

Darkness Unmasked by Keri Arthur

First Grave On the Right by Darynda Jones

Significance

An interesting take on some old classics, blending sarcasm and sex to make an enjoyable ride all the way through.

Book Discussion Questions and Ideas

Is it believable that Cat is so attractive that everyone wants her?

What do you think about this interpretation of vampire?

Let’s talk about Cat’s wardrobe.

Author’s website

Jeaniene Frost

Awards

None

Reviews

Amazon

Reviews

Why I Chose It

It sounded like a ridiculous paranormal romance, and I wanted to try that out.

Other Information