This message brought to you by the word: Flirt!

Flirt (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #18) - Laurell K. Hamilton

This message brought to you by the word: Flirt!

Anita Blake meets with Tony Bennington, who wants her to bring back his exploded wife as a human-life zombie (we find this out after they argue and posture for a while). SOP: Anita says no, smoochie-smooes with her stripper boyfriends/lovers that pop into the office in indecent sportsware (because they wanted to give Mary the receptionist a show).

Time to pop into the restaurant for a nice whinging session about how everyone thought Anita was ugly as a child!

I am in TEARS, Anita, that you, a petite, raven-haired, chocolate-brown eyed, curvy woman was considered ugly!

Lunch time! Anita goes to lunch and sees the SAME WAITER as yesterday! GO FIGURE! I mean, it's like he WORKS at this place or something! Funny thing - he's FLIRT!ing with Anita! Anita FLIRT!s back! It feels weird to FLIRT! for FLIRT!ing sake. Only it seems the waiter isn't just FLIRT!ing for FLIRT!ing's sake - he actually wants to hook up. Anita is perplexed; she doesn't have a clue how to turn a guy down, since she never actually has (hence the Anita Blake Walking Sausages Harem). So she naturally keeps FLIRT!ing.

Two guys appear from one end of the restaurant and basically kidnap her while she is FLIRT!ing. They pile her into an SUV and take her to their boss, a person that Anita earlier turned down. Now, she MUST raise that zombie else her Walking Sausages WILL DIE!! (And since Walking Sausages can't defend themselves, even though they are ALL WEREANIMALS, Anita is in a panic.)

Anita FLIRT!s with Nicky, a werelion who is working for the Big Boss. It isn't long before they discover, go figure, Anita's lioness is in heat. Three guesses what happens, and the first two don't count.

After doing the naughty, we have zombie raising, fight scene, cut to the final paragraph or two wrap up and then THE END!

Shock of all shocks: I actually didn't half mind this book. Also shocking: LKH doesn't change in the slightest! Tour some of the best LKHism with me!!

10 LKHisms No Anita Blake Book Could Be Without:

1. Get a Room. LKH introduces the Three Walking Sausages with masturbatory descriptions that makes me cringe and want desperately to be in another galaxy (and cleanse my brain out with Chlorox). And then, we proceed to have Anita and the Three Walking Sausages do the cuddle-touchy-feely thing in a restaurant and thus become one of Those People.

Dude with the watch, I feel ya. I do.

2. Relationship Uncertainty. Even though Anita has been in dating relationships since Book 2 or 3 (even earlier with her ex-fiance), and even though Anita has been dating multiple guys since about 3 or 4, she still has no f@#$ing clue how to go about having a relationship.

"So if your guy friend and sometimes lover feels left out when you're cuddling your boyfriends at lunch, do you owe him a cuddle?"
If you have to ask...just sayin'

3. Misogyny. Because we all know that every woman other than Anita A) doesn't work hard, B) is a crazy, psycho-b!tch, C) is a weak wimp, and D) will use her feminine wiles to get out of sh!t.

"I'm trying to get these women to work harder than they're used to, and they're trying to flirt in part to get out of the hard parts."
Because female strippers doing things more than just taking off their clothes? Being actual dancers and taking PRIDE in challenges? PISH, never happened!

"Being the girl, I couldn't trust the silent communication. I had to say something."
Girls like to talk talk talk talk talk and never shut up, doncha know!

"When your babies are at stake, you want a man that can defend them."
Momma Bears? What is that? A sex position?

4. Whinging and Wangst, Wangst and Whinging. Oh, POOR ANITA!

"I was told all my childhood that I wasn't pretty..."
Try being 100+ pounds overweight, with a bad homedone haircut in your mother's old clothes and/or sweatpants. THEN come talk to me about how you "never felt pretty".

5. ...And the Subsequent Self-Esteem Boosting. Because Three Walking Sausages telling you you're always amazing and sexy is way cheaper than therapy!

Jason: "You know it's not true."
Gag me.

6. Beating a Dead Horse. I got to hand it to LKH for her amazing ability to take a thought and absolutely wring every last ounce of meaning from it. Or talking about it so long you wonder what the f@#$ you were supposed to take from it.

"That was the problem with loving people. It made you weak. It made you need them. It made the thought of not having them the worst thing in the world...'It's a terrible thing to lose someone you love'. I knew it for truth, because I lost my mother to death when I was 8, my fiance in college to his mother's pressure."

"The smile that went with it was not Nathaniel's. It was all mine, a little bit of come-hither and a little bit of threat, as if to say, 'If you take a bite, I might bite back'. It had been Jason who first explained my smile to me, but it was an honest smile, my life being the way it is."

"Because hope will keep you alive, yes, but it will also get you killed in ways worse than anything you can imagine. Hope is a bad friend when men with guns have you. But my lioness and their lions lusted after each other. Lust I trusted. Hope will lie to you, but lust is what it is. It never lies. Hope would keep me hoping, but lust might be a weapon..."

7. LOLarious Bad Writing. It's bad enough when LKH goes on her rambling monologues about weird sh!t, but some of these descriptions need to be memorialized for their sheer awfulness.

"They were both very powerful, so it was a matter of flavor, not strength." 
I'm hoping for cinnamon flavor over spearmint, to be honest.

"Sex would be the least of what we might do."
We might be able to squeeze a game of Parcheesi in!!

"His hand closed over mine, and it was just a hand."
No way! I thought it was a FOOT!

"...I could feel the beat of his pulse on my tongue like candy that I wanted to lick and suck and finally bite down and let all that rich, hot center burst into my mouth."
Life is a box of never know when someone will skimp out and given you 3 year old stale chocolate.

8. Using "Spill" for Something Not a Liquid. If you are tired of reading how everything BUT water "spills", take heart! Someone finally got LKH a thesaurus, so she sometimes switches up her "spill" with "trickle!"

"[My beast] snarled at him inside my head, and the sound trickled out my mouth."

"...but his hands slipped under my skirt, and I struggled out from under him, spilling myself to the carpet."

9. Anita Acting Like a Serial Killer. Because lines like the following are TOTALLY OK and not indicative of a SERIOUS problem in desperate need of therapy:

"It was a cold place, the place I went when I killed."

"I smiled at him, able to do it because I calmed myself with images of violence."

10. Anita Acting Like a Monster and Everyone Chuckles. Do I really need to elaborate?

"'He would do anything you told him to do, Anita. He seems to have even less free will than the rest of us do.'
'I did it on purpose, Jason.'"
This is our Heroine, people: a woman who took over a guy's mind, made him extremely subservient against his will, and has NO QUALMS ABOUT IT.

But really, this wasn't half bad. There was a PLOT, things HAPPENED, Anita has a JOB (even if she never seems to take any clients, so it's unclear how she actually has any MONEY), Anita raised zombies (OMG, a necromancer raising zombies?! Who woulda thunk?!), and best of all, Kimberley Alexis is back as the narrator and she's amazing.

I'd feel EXTREMELY cheated if I spent money on this, but I got the audiobook free from the library. And for the mere 4 hours of listening time, it was a pleasant time waster. I still wouldn't say "Anita is back", but at least, I didn't want to hang myself by the end of the audiobook, so that's a bonus!