Anita Blake, Necromancer and Federal Marshal is approached to raise the dead wife of a rich businessman only to find herself in danger of becoming the prey of the local werelion pride. When Anita Blake, St. Louis Federal Marshal and local necromancer (raiser of the dead) is approached by a rich socialite named Tony Bennington, she initially refuses due to the nature of the job and not knowing Tony's real motives. Anita, who likes things cut and dry and usually only raises the dead for police work does not feel raising the dead for a personal interest is worth the disturbance of someone's eternal peace.
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Anita is approached a few weeks later by two were-lions (shape shifters who can transform from human to lion at will). Known as Nicky and Jacob, they threaten to kill Anita's boyfriends Micah and Nathaniel as well as her part-time lover and friend, Jason if she does not take the job for Bennington who has a personal financials take in raising his dead wife.
Sensing that Anita is a panwere and a lioness (she holds multiple strains of shape shifter DNA yet cannot shift herself) Jacob and Nicky begin to fight for her affections and plan to mate with her in an attempt to link her to their pride. During the fight that ensues, Anita escapes and spots Tony Bennington, enraged she tries to hunt him down but is cornered by another werelion who goes by the name of Silas. Silas attacks Anita and knocks her out in a brutal attack.
Hours later, Anita comes to and finds herself being guarded by Nicky. Weak and needing to regain her strength, Anita succumbs to the ardeur, a sexual consuming force that feeds on sexual energy and satiates her body. She has sex with Nicky unleashing the ardeur and linking herself to him. Unfortunately, when unleashing so much power it consumes all of Nicky's mental well-being turning him into Anita's personal slave.
Afterwards, Anita is forced to raise Tony's wife. Due to the manner of her death, Anita is left with no choice but to have a human sacrifice, to which Tony offers up Silas. Anita kills him and begins the ritual but her newfound energy from her sexual encounter with Nicky creates a surge of power and she raises the entire cemetery. Throughout the chaos, Anita reaches out for help and is able to make contact with the master vampire of the city, Jean Claude. He comes to her rescue while she is able to kill Tony and put the cemetery back in their graves. In the end, Anita finds herself stuck with Nicky who now has absolutely no free will. She invites him to move in with her, though worries about what could happen in the future if the ardeur overcomes her again.
Best part of story, including ending:
I really did not like this novel in the series. Too much time was spent retreading previously plot points from other books in the series and the main problem was wrapped up too quickly.
Best scene in story:
I really enjoyed Anita raising every zombie in the cemetery after her powers go haywire. It was very neat visually and I enjoyed the chaos.
Opinion about the main character:
Anita was a little less cynical in this novel and I enjoyed her getting back to her necromancy gigs.