Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and Necromancer must balance her work life where must investigate a string of vampire killings as well as personal life as her new roommate Nathaniel demands to be her lover, all the while trying to mitigate vampire politics in the city of St. Louis. After returning to St. Louis after her away mission in Las Vegas, Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter and Necromancer finds her life once again in a whirlwind of drama as her personal life and work life collide. At work, Anita is approached by a distraught Barbara and Steve Brown who wish for Anita to raise their dead son, Stevie, who was murdered years prior and they wish to know what truly happened. Unfortunately, when raising a murder victim the zombie only has one mission and that is to kill their murderer. Anita explains that while she can't raise their son she would happily investigate their case with the hopes of finding them answers as well as closure.
Click here to see the rest of this review
Meanwhile, in her personal life, Anita is struggling with an increase in her powers after she made a supernatural link with Jean-Claude, a vampire and master of the city of St. Louis, Richard, her ex-boyfriend and on again off again lover, and Damian a vampire as well and also her lover. Their link has caused increases in all of their powers, but also leaves Anita with access to their thoughts, feelings as well as pain, much to her detriment. This connection with Jean-Claude draws Anita into a vampire political battle where a group of vampires known as The Dragon and follow a female leader known as Primo are out to capture the vampires who are not bound by a blood oath (vampires are bound by blood oaths to who they swear fidelity too, those who are not bound are very uncontrolled and cause danger to the vampire population).
As Anita tries to figure out what needs to be done to make sure the vampires who are not blood bound do not get within The Dragon's clutches, she must also deal with her home life becoming somewhat of a nightmare as her new roommate Nathaniel, a were-leopard who she saved from an abusive master, has decided he is in love with Anita and wants to pursue a relationship. This would all be fine in dandy if Anita wasn't already dating Micah, Richard and Jean-Claude as well as having passionate sex with her servant Damian, who has begun to resent his link to her.
Unfortunately, before she can resolve her personal issues, Anita is called into an investigation with the local police regarding a string of vampire serial killings. Anita and the police are able to track down clues that lead to a group of vampires who are led by a powerful vampire known as Vittorio. In a showdown, Anita is able to take out some of the vampires responsible for the killings but Vittorio escapes.
Before she is able to pursue him, Anita is called by Jean-Claude as Primo and the Dragon move in to contest Jean-Claude's right to power. Anita rushes to his side and through her increase in power and psychic link to Jean-Claude, makes Primo a servant to Jean-Claude. This immediately resolves the dispute over the non-blood oath vampires, as now the order of the Dragon must serve Jean-Claude. The drain in her power from the binding forces Anita to feed on the ardeur, one of Anita's new powers where she must feed on sexual energy. Anita unleashes the ardeur which latches onto Wicked and Truth, two visiting vampire brothers in Jean Claude's service. Anita has sex with them to feed her lust and satiate her appetite. The brothers, infatuated with Anita, join her growing harem of men to assist in her feeding.
Anita confides in Jean-Claude that between her personal link to him and the ardeur, she is becoming overwhelmed, and the ardeur is beginning to take over her life in detrimental ways. Jean-Claude and Anita devise a plan to let Anita feed on the lust of the club-goers who frequent Jean-Claude's club. This will allow her to feed in smaller amounts from more people and keep the ardeur at bay for longer periods of time.
Throughout all of this, Anita realizes that she does truly love Nathaniel, despite already having three lovers and boyfriends. But Anita settles within herself that she can truly be in love with more than one man. She confesses her love to Nathaniel and agrees to pursue a relationship with him. This unfortunately doesn't sit well with Richard, her ex as he desires to continue a relationship with her as well even though Micah and Nathaniel want Anita exclusively. Anita and Richard have a heart to heart, and Anita releases Richard, telling him it is best he begin to date and enjoy life again. She will always love him but he needs to pursue his own desires.
Finally, Anita is able to return to the case of Stevie Brown, but realizes between her personal problems and vampire politics, she just can't take on the case in full force. She passes the case off to her coworker so she can focus on finally getting her life into some sort of control.
Best part of story, including ending:
I really enjoyed that this novel in this series focused on the relationship struggles Anita was continuing to have as well as her realizing she needed to find a way to satiate the ardeur.
Best scene in story:
Anita accepting Nathaniel as a lover and boyfriend was a sweet scene. Nathaniel has been through so much hurt and has such trust issues that it was so nice to see him truly happy for once and being claimed by Anita would bring a sense of security to his life.
Opinion about the main character:
Anita is beginning to face her problems and realize that things aren't as "okay" as she has been making them out to be. For once, Anita begins to face her morals and how her new situation conflicts with them.