Book Reviews by Lori, Laurell K Hamilton

Bullet, Anita Blake Series Book 19 – Laurell K. Hamilton book review

Okay, I had high hopes for the next book, Bullet, in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K Hamilton. Well, to be honest, not that high but lets just say – hopeful. I was really hoping LKH would get back to the style of writing I fell in love with in the first Anita Blake books. The wonderful mystery, the sexual tension, plot not centric on sex and characters that didn’t constantly mope or fall into Emo fugues – the basics that really drew me into Anita’s world. Gone are her friends like Dolph, Zerbrowski and what happened to Larry Kirkland? We rarely hear anything anymore that has to do with these peripheral characters that supported Anitas’ world.

book cover for Bullet, the nintenth book in the Anita Blake series by LKH
Book cover for Bullet, the 19th book in the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton

I guess the answer to these missing characters is that Anita’s world has greatly changed and for the reader that means either you have to move with these changes or essentially mourn the loss of our Anita, as we knew her, because this is the direction Laurell K. Hamilton is going. She has fully embraced the sexual side of Anita, even if Anita still sometimes struggles with her growing harem of men.

This book could have had a 70’s porno theme track to go with it for the amount of sex we, the reader are treated to. And not just the straight Vanilla sex the average romance reader expects. Oh no, LKH and Anita are falling into a ‘try-anything’ catergory and she’s getting her freak-on like nobodies business, because, let’s face it, there’s always someones life depending on it.

I’m not a prude mind you. A tastefully done sex scene works in most romances, paranormal, historical or otherwise but I don’t normally sign on for what has gone far beyond Erotica to Porn. Maybe its shock value, maybe its Laurell sharing the world she lives in vicariously through Anita but I don’t want to know about Anita having sex with women or Anita have sex with 2 or 3 men having sex with each other in that kind of detail. I get the whole Succubi angle but I think the phrase ‘less is more’ actually would work better for this series because right now the plot is suffering terribly for Anita to get her jollies on to save a life. Even though we lose some semi-key characters in this novel of the series, I can barely remember the story line for this book because the main thing that stood out was sex, sex and more sex.

Not to mention the ridiculously docile and complacent switch we have with the oh-so-troubled Richard. It is like he had a lobotomy or else was body-snatched when we weren’t looking. He’s done a complete 180 and have miraculously come to terms with almost every one of his annoying hangups. I know, I said annoying, so I should be happy with this turn-about but the way it was done was so out there I kept waiting for it to be a weird dream sequence or some vampire power messing with him and it wasn’t. He really is a new man – just what Anita’s been asking for. Isn’t it nice how the ardeur keeps fulfilling all of Anita’s wishes and fixing her life so it works?

In the mist of Anita’s sexual revolution, we’ve got the return of Mommie Dearest and she’s not playing around now. She’s out for a new body and she’s looking for Anita to be her chassis. Marme Noir is using other master vampires of her line to feed and amass enough power to take over Anita. Some masters are scared. Some masters are willing to run free under Marme’s rule. And this is where our miniscule mystery comes in, such as it is, since we know the whole who-what-when-where-and-why of it almost from the first mention of the murders. See, that’s about all I can mention of it because that’s almost all that LKH devoted to the mystery. Oh, and some assassins were hired to take out Anita, Jean-Claude and Richard.

On top of all this, Anita is supposed to be meeting the other tigers that her little queen called. Obviously this means, yea, more men for Anita and more working through the issues the new men could come with, no pun intended. The masters who are running scared offer themselves up to Jean-Claudes triumvirate. Apparently, there are rumors going around that Anita may be the new Master of Beasts. That all she needs is the last tiger color of gold to move up to that power level. This meeting cumulates into so many things that if you do read this next installment of the series, I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Would I recommend this book for die-hard Anita fans?

For something to read, sure. For entertainment value, not so much, unless reading hardcore porn scenes is what you are looking for.

Will I read the next Anita Blake book?

The jury is still out on that…

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Make it or Break it, TV Reviews

Make it or Break it – Season 1 EP 17 – TV series review

Make It or Break It - Mondays  on ABC Family
Make It or Break It team

Okay, this update will be short and brief since I haven’t finished watching the whole episode but this is when I finally figured out who the Doctor that might be able to fix Payson’s back is – DEANNA TROI from STAR TREK NEXT GENERATION! OMG! Her looks have changed so much and having not seen her in her Blue STNG uniform made it a little harder for me to recognize her in episode 16 – Save the last Dance. What finally made me realize she’s Deanna Troi was her voice! Make it or Break has some really amazing stars from other TV series – Candance Cameron Bure , DJ on Full House, Peri Gilpin , Roz from Frasier and now Marina Sirtis, Deanna Troi from Star Trek Next Generation – its awesome! If you haven’t had a chance to watch this gymnastic drama, try to catch up on the episodes either on HULU or ABC Family.com. Okay, going to finish watching episode 17 now…

**UPDATE**

Finished watching Hope and Faith, Season 1 EP 17 and I was RIVETED! It was one of the most dramatic episodes yet. Watching Payson’s mom deal with the guilt of Payson being injured while on her watch was heart wrenching and it finally revealed why this one last hope was something she was so afraid to believe in – Kim, Payson’s mom, didn’t want to risk her daughter getting injured again on her watch if something should go wrong with the surgery.

Kelly Parker in the bathroom after listening in on Lauren and Emily.
A smug Kelly Parker armed with new gossip to hurt team Rock.

To top it all off, we watched our 3 National Team Members, Emily, Kaylie and Lauren deal with trying to get back into the US Olympic team committees good graces after they performed so badly when they had to work with Marty as their National Team coach for the first time. The drama comes to a peak when Kelly Parker, who by the way – the actress is doing an amazing job of making me hate her character – found out about the affair between Kaylies mom and their coach, Marty. She uses this information to strip away at each Rock team members confidence and it works all too well. When Kaylie fails to perform her Double Arabian in the National’s practice meeting and Marty instructs her to take it out of the routine, Kaylie rightfully balks. Marty’s telling her she’s not consistent and has to go with the lower scoring move just moments after Kelly ripped her emotions out from under her by spewing her venom with the knowledge she knows about Kaylies’ mom’s affair. Kelly went one better and implied that Kaylies friends told her all about the affair and, well, truthfully, Kaylie should know better than to trust them because no one really wants to be her friend. So you can bet that Kaylie laid into Marty and let him know she knows about the affair and then Kaylie stormed out of the practice. Sasha tried to go after Kaylie, with Summer following on his heels, but both just missed Kaylie as she pealed out of the parking lot. Sasha turned to Summer and asked her if all of this was just because Marty abandoned the team when they needed him the most and Summer tries to prep Sasha by asking him to keep calm and then she explains it is not because Marty left but why he left. Cut to Sasha storming into the gym and slugging Marty in the kisser. Yea, Sasha.

While all this drama is going on, Lauren is still stewing about Emily’s mom dating her dad. In a stellar Lauren move, Lauren visits Emily’s mom and starts to spin this tale about how Scott, her dad, is a sex addict. It’s amazing how many people underestimate Emily’s mom, Chloe. Lauren didn’t pull any wool over Chloe’s eyes with her tale. Lauren only succeeded in letting Chloe know she knew that Scott and Chloe are seeing each other. Chloe tries to reach Scott right away and of course only gets a call back from him as Chloe’s walking into the Rock on the day of the Nationals practice. While Scott and Chloe are discussing the fact that Lauren knows about them seeing each other and how Chloe had to tell Emily right away because Emily couldn’t find out Lauren knew before Emily did – Emily stormed out of the Rock and overheard the whole conversation.

Angered, Emily huff’s back into the gym and confronts Lauren – more angry that Lauren didn’t tell her about it and that Lauren was fishing around for information. Lauren strikes back with some vicious words about Emily’s mom, her mom’s fashion sense and how strapped for money Emily’s family is and the two girls start shoving each and come pretty close to blows. The argument is broken up by Marty who tells Emily to do her vault and Lauren to chalk up. Emily goes to do her vault routine and misses.

Kelly moves over to the chalk and starts chipping away at Lauren by bringing up that 2 were down and there was one more to go. She gets rather vicious and hits Lauren hard by striking at Lauren’s abandonment by her mother. Lauren’s cool exterior breaks and she flings chalk into Kelly’s eyes. This is when Summer must have finished telling Sasha about Marty and Kaylie’s mom because he comes in swinging. All this drama happens with in the first half hour of the show.

That night Sasha calls the girls back to the gym and assures them the disaster practice will be kept private and that they need to bring their fighting game face the next day for the Committee practice. And the girls do. They hit all their moves and stick their landings but when the time comes to call the National Team Members going to compete in China, Kaylie, the National Champion, and Emily are left home. Lauren is somehow invited. Sasha is stunned. His team performed skills at higher levels than the other girls and they performed them better than the other girls. He confronts the committee woman and finds out it was a rigged practice from the get go. The committee has made up their mind and determined that Sasha’s girls are rouge. She even reveals the committee is well-informed of the fuss that went on at the practice the night before – a practice the committee should know nothing about and blatantly says, the girls didn’t really stand a chance.

Kaylie and Emily are stunned and left wondering why? They worked so hard, performed so well, proven themselves and they were still snubbed. Moments after the revealing conversation with the committee member – read evil witch – Sasha approaches the girls, and to be cliché, he had steam coming out of his ears. The girls ask why and Sasha doesn’t hold back in telling them its a political move and that they were deemed rogue. The girls ask, well what do we next? Sasha tells them, “They think we’re rogue now, they haven’t seen anything yet.”

Payson going in to surgery
Payson moments before she is wheeled into back surgery

The episode ends with Payson being wheeled into surgery after her parents struggled for days with just telling Payson about it and then after telling her, dealing with the potential risks of the surgery and as mentioned earlier, the guilt. We are left wondering how the surgery goes and what the Rock plans next in their bid to compete in China. I am really looking forward to the next new episode. I hope it’s as packed as this one.