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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Halloween Vampire Week–3 Kiss Review: Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter #1) by Laurell K. Hamilton


Published over ten years ago by Ace, Guilty Pleasures marked the debut of a series that was destined to grow from cult favorite to a major New York Times bestseller. Now, for long-time Anita Blake junkies and newfound fans, Guilty Pleasures makes its trade paperback debut.

Readers will learn how Anita Blake started raising the dead-and killing the undead. And how she met Jean Claude, the master vampire destined to become not only her biggest nemesis, but her greatest lover...

My Review:

I’ve had Guilty Pleasures, actually most of the Anita Blake series on my to-read-list for what seems like forever. Originally, I was curious of this series because it was being discussed one day and a friend was just disgusted with the series. “Ugh,” she grunted. “The sex scenes are just downright pornographic,” she said. Of course, this instantly spiked my interest and I just couldn’t wait to read it. Then life happened, not to mention the reviews on Goodreads just weren’t the best. So, to no one’s surprise, YEARS passed by.

Finally, this month I HAD to read a vampire book for Halloween Vampire Week and I said – why not? Well, I kinda wish I had waited a little bit longer. LOL

Guilty Pleasures is a very dated read and a throwback to the good ol’ days – I mean the heroine, Anita carries a beeper. It’s also filled with a lot of frustrating over the top and uncomfortable in-depth descriptions of Anita’s clothes, shoes, guns, her surroundings, you name it – OVER THE TOP.

But probably the worst offense for me was – there was no sex – no romance – NOTHING. Ugh! I really hate reads like this. I really wish they were labeled so I wouldn’t waste my time. Digging further into Goodreads, it’s not until book 6 or 7 that things finally go down.


So now I really have to think if I want to wade through all those books. Hmmm…well there’s always Halloween Vampire Week next year! LOL


Anita Blake works for Animators, Inc. She’s an animator and imbued with special powers that enable her to raise the dead. This comes in handy when there’s a will to be disputed, or a loved one who didn’t get to say goodbye. It’s also a great way to solve a murder mystery.

In this universe, It’s only been a few years since the vampires came out of the coffin – so to speak, so everyone’s still acclimating to the changes of living out in the open with supernatural beings.

Anita works with the police in resolving supernatural cases, and lately she’s been investigating several vampire murders in the district. Known as The Executioner, she’s got several vampire deaths under her belt.

Anita’s minding her business when she gets visited by a Willie, a newly created vampire. He proposes that she look into the murders for his vampire boss, and Anita refuses, stating she already turned over all she had to the police. Before Willie gives up, he reminds Anita that his boss doesn’t take no for an answer.

Undeterred, Anita sends Willie on his way and goes out with her friends to celebrate a bachelorette party. Much to her dismay, her best friend chooses a local vampire club to host her party and Anita comes face-to-face with her least favorite vampire, Jean-Claude.

Jean-Claude (JC)  is a master vampire who runs Guilty Pleasures, a vampire strip club that caters to the most adventurous of humans who want to walk on the wild side. While there – because Anita can’t simply get up and leave – her best friend is seduced and tricked into being a vampire slave.

In order for Anita to free her, she must now agree to work with the vampire boss and solve the murder mysteries. It’s also annoying that Anita must now deal with JC who just jumps at the chance to find whatever spare moment he can take with Anita.

From this point on, it’s non-stop action that will leave you wondering just how in the world is Anita even standing? I mean, as a reader you get exhausted reading scene after scene. Imagine the character going through that!

Since it’s only been a few years that vampires have lived among humans, it’s understandable there’s a lot Anita doesn’t know about their customs and always seems one step behind them. But Anita’s a quick learner and she makes up for whatever she doesn’t know.

Several colorful characters are thrown in the mix and Anita’s snarky attitude steals the scene from each of them. There’s Phillip, the human who’s a vampire junkie, Sergeant Rudolf Storr, who’s probably the only decent human in this book. There’s also Zachary – a fellow animator who also raises the dead, though he’s not Anita’s favorite whatsoever.

Then there’s some vampires who just want to confuse everyone with their names. There’s vampire Aubrey, who’s really a guy and just obnoxious. Then there’s Nikolaos – the vampire boss who’s actually a little girl and over a thousand years old.  Yup, you guessed it, she’s super obnoxious, too. And don’t forget the Rat King, who’s Hispanic, a werewolf reporter, and ghouls. Yup, there’s a whole mix of everything going on in this book and it seems like everyone’s out to kill Anita.

But Anita seems to make some friends along the way and with the help of her co-worker, Edward (aka Death) they definitely even the odds. Can Anita solve the murder mysteries before Nikolaos ends her existence? And why is she having weird dreams with JC at night?

Guilty Pleasures features:

  • paranormal romance
  • kissing
  • sexual tension
  • vampires
  • shifters
  • werewolves
  • magic
  • zombies
  • suspense
  • mystery

Rating: 3 Kisses



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