Tenth in the werewolf-loving, rogue-vampire–slaying, zombie-reanimating romances set in St. Louis.
Necromancer Anita Blake’s heart still wobbles between her alpha werewolf lover and ex-fiancé Richard, leader of the St. Louis pack, and Jean-Claude, her Master vampire lover, who is, of course, dead. Anita gets no kick from humans, but which monster is her great love? A woman of variable morality, she’s already betrayed Jean-Claude to sleep to the heights with Richard and up the ante in her gamble with Venus (Blue Moon, 1998), a problem that was put on hold during her trip to Tennessee to save Richard from a rape charge (Obsidian Butterfly, 2000). Anita herself bears the mark of the wolf and has been lupa of the pack, admired by all the males, though she does not wax furry in the full moon. Of her lovers Anita maintains, “They both had my libido, but I was trying to decide who had my heart.” Having killed the dominant wereleopard, Anita stands in as Nimir-Ra, or protector, of the wereleopards until a new dominant arises. Meanwhile, wereleopard Nathaniel disappears at Narcissus in Chains, a D&S bondage club. Jean-Claude agrees to help, but only if Anita quits killing so many people. Anita’s aura, her marks, desperately need filling in, but if shape-shifting Richard and heartrendingly beautiful Jean-Claude both marry marks with her, all will share their auras and magic, and the union will lead her into unplumbed depths of herself. As the tri-marriage kisses blossom, Anita’s soul-searing life in magic and love intensify in mind-bending complexity, with her energies feeding on each other. Then a group of rogue shape-shifting hyenas and half-men arises, led by hooded Chimera, whose repertory includes snake-shifting.
In this fatal hour, tough, sarcastic Anita, no longer human, torn between her inner vamp and wolf, makes a final mating choice no fan will expect to last. Better pounce.