Books On Sale

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton $2.99 Today Only

Back in 2000, I worked at a summer camp, and I lived at the camp from early June until late August. The camp observed the Jewish sabbath, which meant that from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, no electricity would be used – and since I worked in the office, I didn't do much of anything during that time. So I read. 

Around that time, a friend introduced me to the Anita Blake series, and I started reading Guilty Pleasures one Friday night as the sun went down. Someone had left a single porch light on, so I moved over into the light and kept reading. It was pitch dark, I was in a pine forest, and I was reading a book that scared the absolute crap out of me. I didn't want to stop reading, but I was also creeped out to the extreme. I went to bed terrified, and got up as soon as the sun was up so I could keep reading. 

Long before Anita Blake became the “glistening orifice” (TM Kaite) these books scared me witless, even as I couldn't stop reading. So today only, the first book in the series is on sale digitally for $2.99. If you've never read the series, the early books are kind of amazing, though I'm not sure where you should stop in the series, if you want to get out before the glistening begins. Maybe book 5? Either way: $2.99 is a one-day only price, so grab it while you can!

  • Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton * $2.99 – July 10 only! * A | BN | K | S
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General Bitching...

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  1. 1
    Renee K says:

    I’ve seen some consensus that Obsidian Butterfly should be the stopping point for Anita fans…but I enjoyed some of the subsequent books. The shift to erotica didn’t bother me.

    The most recent book was the end of the road for me. The first half of the book was a slog-fest filled with stilted language and jarring grammar errors. The “procedural” portion of the plot was boooooring. When the focus shifted back to her harem it picked up, but not enough for redemption. It read a little like Hamilton was hedging her bets, caving to criticism while keeping her smut.

    I LOVED the early books! But be ye warned, there is crack in those stories.  I say I’m done with Hamilton but I’ll probably be buying the next one on release day…twitching like a junkie and feeling ashamed.

  2. 2
    Shell C says:

    Alas, once again I’m hampered by location, as the deal appears to be US only.

    Like Renee, I’ve been finding LKH more recent books hit and miss, tho’ I did enjoy the early books in the series.

    In an ill advised move in late 2007 I gave up on the first 10 Anita books (and a couple hundred other titles) and set them free in the local 2nd hand bookstore ..in an effort to pay for college books and make space. 

    Who knew I’d want to re-read them 5 years down the line?

  3. 3
    cleo says:

    I was just wondering if i should buy this on sale or not.  Hmm.  Thanks for the quick overview.

  4. 4
    Natalie H says:

    I still love Anita Blake….can’t help it. Renee K is right that there is crack in the first books. I can’t help but buy the next one. I’m not even going to give up on this series because some of my favorites are after she’s turned into a “glistening orifice” (I love that description). My favorite character in the whole series is Edward and he doesn’t really get any real page time till after all the erotica starts (excluding Obsidian Butterfly).

    I know people have a problem with all the sex, but it doesn’t phase me much. I guess it’s because I understand that it is now an important part of who she is….yes maybe there could be fewer sex scenes but I really don’t care cause I can always skip them if I want to.

    I know there is so much talk about this series and where LKH is going with it. I honestly think she should stop listening to people. I think that’s why the latest book wasn’t so great…..same with a lot of the others. She isn’t going to please every single one of her fans with the same book. Let’s face it….the Anita Blake series is beyond that now….there are too many types of fans. However, I will continue to faithfully read this series for the few diamonds that she churns out every so often.

  5. 5
    Ren says:

    I loved the first book, in no small part because it was so refreshing to find a UF heroine who spent little or no time focused on her crotch.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Needless to say, a little research into the turn the series took put me off from reading any further, but as a standalone, I still think the first was excellent.

  6. 6
    Krista Holtz says:

    I agree with Obsidian Butterfly being the stopping point. I read a few after that, but they just started to be too much about her boning every guy in sight and not about her killing shit, and matching her socks to her shirts.

  7. 7
    Flo_over says:

    Don’t do eeeetttt!!!!!

    There are heroines out there who learn to balance their prejudices (and see them for what they are) with their crotch time!  With way less whining and commas.  Way less.

  8. 8
    LG says:

    I stopped reading the Anita Blake books long after I should have. Usually, my problem with long-running series is that they get to a point where they bore me. This one took my love of the characters, hacked at it with an axe, tossed the pieces in a blender, and then made rude comments at me for preferring the characters as they used to be. I keep reading out of a naive hope that things would right themselves again, but eventually I gave up. There were withdrawal symptoms, but I got over them and now feel much better.

    I’d recommend Guilty Pleasures, except I’m hesitant to encourage people to start a series that goes the places this one does. Maybe “read at your own risk” is the best way to put it?

  9. 9
    Diremommy says:

    Former fans do not have a problem with all the sex. We have a problem with the lack of coherent plot to go along with all the sex, the stupidity that has become Anita and her harem, the rambling descriptions of all her mens(how many ways can you say “he has blue eyes?”), the plot holes you could drive a Hummer through, and the misogyny of Anita and her attitude towards women, and her constant need to be a better man than all the men.

  10. 10
    Tam says:

    I kind of have a problem with all the sex.  I don’t know how a character who’s very reserved physically and emotionally to the point that she’s determinedly celibate in the first few books winds up having sixsomes involving underage boys.  Ugh.  And the sex scenes are DREADFUL (I’m thinking in particular of that first one with Micah, where he’s using SOAP as lubricant, and I hope Anita enjoyed the undead yeast infection which indubitably arose after that encounter.) 

  11. 11
    SB Sarah says:

    “With way less whining and commas. Way less.”

    CHOKESPLUTTERLAUGH.

  12. 12
    Corvidchild says:

    I started checking Anita Blake books out of the library when I was fifteen. Whenever I pick up a book that looks interesting my Dad will read it when I’m done. Which was fine right up until the bath scene with Jean-Claude. Then we had a talk about my reading habits. I could only keep reading Anita Blake if he had time to go through and put a sticky note on the sexy pages so I could avert my eyes. Of course I read them but if you think LKH’s sex scenes are awkward as is try reading them while knowing that your Dad has read them before you. Actually, don’t. Ever. I stopped before her orifice got too glisten-y but those sex scenes still make me more embarassed than any other in any romance I’ve read since.

  13. 13
    Juice says:

    I agree with the others – Obsidian Butterfly was the last really good one. I also have enjoyed some of the later ones, but they lacked the quality of writing and plot that the earlier books had. I’ve given up on Anita completely. I was never bothered by the sex, although it got really gratuitous with subsequent books (I write pretty graphic erotic romance myself). What really bothered me was the poor grammar and punctuation, the obvious lack of editing and complete lack of plot. She’s no Anne Rice, and I think everyone – including Rice – needs editing and polishing.

    I will admit to loving the Merry Gentry books, though. Even with some of the same flaws and the way Merry magically can fix everything.

  14. 14
    LG says:

    I actually enjoyed the Merry Gentry books at first – the sex didn’t bother me, because it felt like a part of the world and characters. Then I started noticing that the sex scenes took up most of the books leaving little room for actual story, and that bothered me. I noticed the same thing, too, in the newer Anita Blake books, but I noticed it sooner, because the sex was so completely, absolutely, suddenly out of character for Anita. The ardeur felt like Hamilton’s excuse to add lots and lots of graphicly descriptive, yet not very sexy, sex to her Anita Blake books, because she couldn’t figure out a way to naturally work it in. And as much as I started to dislike the sex in both series, anytime it got scaled back I noticed how dull the plot was, or how objections to Merry/Anita’s THIS IS HOW THINGS WILL BE AND YOU WILL LIKE IT attitudes got magicked away by death, wimpiness, complete personality transformations, or, well, magic.

  15. 15

    I love love loved Anita Blake way back in the beginning. I started reading the series back in high school. I didn’t mind the shift to erotica, but I did start to get tired a few books back. They just didn’t grab me the way they did early on. Maybe I grew out of the series? (I mean, I was 16 then, I’m 34 now.) But I still remember loving this one so much that I was clamoring for the next, so I just bought it on my Kindle. :-)

  16. 16
    Heather says:

    I finally gave up on the series a couple of months ago, when I realized I’d had “Hit List” on my shelf for nearly a year and hadn’t cracked it open. I’ve been reading the Anita Blake series for many years—probably since 1998—and LKH has ruined it for me so completely that I couldn’t even enjoy the early books anymore.

    P.S. Check out this recent blog post she did about “haters” (AKA, long-time readers (who are the reason she is successful) who are telling her the books are CRAP). http://www.laurellkhamilton.or…

    Made me LOL because we “project our feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing” onto LKH.

    UGH. Just reading that blog post made it clear the woman needs an editor. Profuse amounts of commas there.

  17. 17

    Funny you mention this as my coworker and I were discussing this series yesterday. I know so many people who got pissed off when Narcissus in Chains came out.

  18. 18
    henofthewoods says:

    I can slog through the sex, the lack of female friendships and the commas, it is the repetition that kills me. There are long passages that are paraphrased in chapter after chapter, book after book. She uses forgetful secondary characters who say “oh, I forgot that you were Queen Mary Sue of all times” in the Merry books until I want to bang my head on the wall. I feel like she has tried to cut and paste giant blocks of text to edit the book but she doesn’t manage the “cut” part, instead she uses copy and paste.
    I am not going to pay full price for any of her books at this point, but I will probably keep reading them because I feel invested in the characters. Damn it.

  19. 19
    Glwwme says:

    I absolutely loved Laurell K. Hamilton. In fact, I still love her first works. I would recommend. I especially loved book two (The Laughing Corpse), book three (The Circus of the Damned), and book 7? (Obsidian Butterfly). I loved Anita. She was a fantastic female character; and I /adored/ the crazy interconnected plotlines. I absolutely loved her badass best friend Edward.

    I would recomment strongly ending the series at Obsidian Butterfly, and never picking up Narcissus in Chains. From then on, the series is utterly unrecognizable. I couldn’t believe it was the same author, much less the same character. It’s utterly disappointing. Hamilton used to be my favorite author. Now I am completely ruined for anything she puts out. I walk by her new works and give them a moment a of silence to mourn for the ruination of something I spent so many happy hours enjoying.

  20. 20
    Trixienv says:

    I really liked everything until about the last 6 books.  The first 6 were awesome, and I think Obsidian Butterfly would be a little soon to stop, but probably others like me keep reading, thinking there is going to be some logical end.  I think when you read the story of how her real life changed after she started writing the series you get a sense of what the impetus was for the change in the story lines.  When I started reading Blood Noir I found myself thinking, “seriously Laurell?  Seriously??”

  21. 21
    Nita says:

    I tried…but I never got further than the first few books. It’s distracting when your name is also Anita, and I kinda want to take my name back! 

  22. 22
    Des Livres says:

    Still read them. Honestly, the decline for me has been not caring about the plot anymore, and poor editing. I wish she’d work with someone to ascertain what She actually wants to write about, and just do that really well, as opposed to trying to please warring factions. (or how about one book straight procedural, one book angst/wailing/sex – write alternates.) I have been delighting in the growing obsession with hair though. I’m pretty sure hair took up about the last third of the most recent book.

  23. 23
    Em says:

    Totally agree. I just finished her last two books – they were both terrible for the sheer lack of plot, not to mention pages and pages of angsty Anita defending her life choices. Even worse, what plot there is, is tied up in a couple of paragraphs at the end..very much…and they were all hit by a bus. The HAIR – I think she described every strand on every lovers head. OK THE TIGER HAS BLUE HAIR LAURELL K HAMILTON

  24. 24
    Des Livres says:

    really hate the “hit by a bus” plot paragraphs. I am, however, enjoying the hair exegesis. this is clearly something that matters to her and fascinates her.

  25. 25
    cbackson says:

    My favorite part of her books has always been the terrible fashion.  Her French vampire boyfriend is always wearing these translucent shirts, and at least in the early books (which were the only ones I read), Anita frequently sported black jeans and black sneakers.  I was the same age as the character was supposed to be at the time, and I always thought that was hilarious – she was a twentysomething dressed up as frumpy middle-aged woman.  In my mind, they were high-waisted black mom jeans and really clunky Reeboks.

  26. 26
    Bob says:

    I stopped reading when she described Anita’s eyes as “cold” at least eight times in three pages. Plus, her gay sex scenes made me cringe and I kept thinking that I’d read a lot of fanfic that was wicked amounts better than what she’d put down. It was like she was writing going “LOLOL I AM SO EDGY LOOK AT ME AND MY EDGY COLD AWESOMENESS” and I just couldn’t take her self-congratulatory awful sex scenes complete with cold/icy/frosty/cold eyes anymore.

  27. 27
    Diremommy says:

    Haha now she wears mini skirts, a thong, and thigh high stockings. To work. At the police station. To question a prisoner. So that she can get attacked and flash her goodies. And dash into a firefight and slip and fall in her stiletto heels.

    And then you find out LATER she had appropriate clothes in her car, she just didn’t put them on til AFTERwards.

  28. 28
    kkw says:

    I strongly disliked first couple Anita books, actually.  Anita was a prude and a bore and a fashion nightmare, and I don’t find any of these traits appealing or entertaining.  And Holy Mother of God, is LKH’s writing repetitive.  I liked the series more once Anita started having lots of sex, but then in another couple of books the sex swallowed up the plot completely.  And the writhing interchangeable puppy piles got dull rather quickly, and Anita’s misogyny started to make me feel sad, and I gave up completely.  The Meredith Gentry books I always liked better.  Still, even if I don’t read LKH anymore, I”m glad she was so hugely influential.
    That might be a whole other problem for new readers, actually – I feel like what she did has since been used and expanded upon and improved to the point that however different and exciting her work was initially, someone reading it now for the first time would probably feel that it was tired and derivative.

  29. 29
    Tam says:

    But… but… what about the Nikes with the swoosh that matches her blouse with the sleeves just long enough to cover her daggers? 

    Next you’ll be telling me that the boys are no longer wandering around in lycra spandex pants with matching spandex shirts and waist-length hair.

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