(Also I have sold a MINIMUM of two books a day every day this week I am HAPPY CW)
Okay. Sucky book. This shouldn't be too painful, right? Right? It's post sex fluff. Right?
This is going to hurt, isn't it?
So Anita wakes up snuggling with Richard after having sex. In the morning.
Boys and girls, I have worked nightshifts for two years. I have stayed up all fucking night just because I can multiple times. I FREQUENTLY stay up until three AM because waitressing FTW and I can tell you very plainly that unless you have the alarm clock from hell? You do NOT wake up at anything RESEMBLING morning after pulling an all nighter. I woke up today at 12 pm having stayed up until three last night, and my first thought was OH FUCK I WILL GET NO WRITING DONE.
By this logic, given that AT MINIMUM Richard and Anita passed out five minutes after starting sex, they fell asleep at six AM. This is a 2-3PM wakeup time. In other words, Laurel:
HUMAN SLEEP RYTHEMS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY.
And of course, they immediately start having sex again. Don't they need coffee? I would need coffee. My first things in the morning are PHONE>snuggle cat>Caffineated beverage. I would definately need coffee before I had sex.
And then the ardeur wakes up.
I have a major character in one of my books who has severe vampire-ish tendancies. A lot of the next book in this series is dedicated to him balancing his desire to be with people against his biological requirement to eat them. (He's a fun character. Lots of fun moral questions to explore). A lot of vampire books also dedicate quite a few pages to vampire protagonists trying to find the same balance. I guess the meat of the question, if you'll pardon the pun, is how do you live if the only thing you can eat are sentient cows? Which one of you has a better right to live? I think this is one of the reasons I heart vampire fiction as much as I do. Add in the fact that vampirism is a metaphore for both power and sex in relationships, and things get really interesting. Because the answer time and again is not about absolutes, but about compromise and balance, and about finding sanity, and of COURSE LKH ignores all of that, and doesn't have Anita bother trying to resist the ardeur at all.
Richard has already established that he will not be food. Ever. It is, to borrow a term first encountered in a horrible waste of tree, a hard limit. (My copy of Fifty Shades of Gray was an ebook, but a lot of trees still died for it) I have hard limits too. There are things that I will not do, ever, for anyone, because those things awake issues and make me feel not loving thoughts about other people. And when you love someone, my dear blog readers, you put their own good above yours.
So in a normal (read as: good) vamp fic, Anita would be screaming "Run away!" and Richard would attempt to comfort her. And given the context, he would be comforting her with his penis, and the drama about this moment would be a kind of "Gift of the Magi" only with sex and more sex, rather than hair and a pocket watch. But the point of this chapter is to dispose of Richard, and so Anita breaks the trust she has with Richard, and tries to force herself on him.
Protip, Anita: If your lover is running away from you, it usually indicates that he is not interested in sex.
And if you need me to be giving you protips, you have FUCKING FAILED at having sex.
I had a flash of what it felt like to taste him like so much meat, to feel his body respond, not just to the sex but to the hunger, and I knew for the first time why shapeshifters spoke of the hunger like it should be in all capital letters.
Alright. What the FUCK is it with LKH, sex, and food? WHY CAN SHE NOT SEPARATE THESE TWO THINGS? I DO NOT WANT TO GET PENIS IN MY PASTA, IS WHAT I AM SAYING HERE. VAGINA VONGOLE SHOULD NOT BE A THING.
Richard maintains a good distance between himself and Anita, and the description of her ardeur-attack is abysmal, boys and girls. Oh, the writing itself is passable, but the amoral nature of it is nauseating. Over and over, the fact that Richard is backing the fuck out of the room is mentioned, but it is never acknowleged. It's less "He's leaving" and more "he's five feet further away from the bed." then they touch, their beasts do something, somehow Rania is involved, and Richard stumbles into her, and it is pretty much over.
There is a paragraph where Anita, using some kind of quasi psychic thing (AKA the author cheating at narration) percieves that Richard has a choice. To mantain control of this situation he must close the marks between himself and Anita, prevent himself from shape-shifting (Which would probably end in Dead Anita) and mantain his own psychic sheilds to keep her from feeding on him. WTF the marks have to do with this, IDK, but he decides the best thing he can do is stop fighting her, lock her out of the marks, and keep his beast reined in. And so in choosing to protect his psyche rather than his body, Richard creates an opening and Anita feeds on him without his consent.
Boys and girls, sports fans of all ages, ANITA HAS JUST RAPED RICHARD.
I'm going to go out on a very ugly limb politically, but I feel it must be done. It must be done because if we wish to have any value as human beings, we need to start treating each other like human beings. And that means this "oh, you can't be damaged by (x) becasue you have (privelage y)" bullshit needs to stop. If a bad thing happens to a person that bad thing damages a person, and as long as we keep that person from talking about that bad thing, the odds of that bad thing happening over and over and over will continue.
Here is what I am going to say: MEN GET RAPED TOO. By women, even. And just as it is not okay for women to be raped, it is not okay for men to be raped. It is not okay for genderless individuals to be raped. IT IS NOT OKAY FOR ANYONE TO HAVE ANYTHING HAPPEN TO THEM WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT.
And Richard has just done what some rape victims do: Withdraw, shut down everything not vital to preservation of sense of self, and endure.
We get a description of Anita's orgasm. We get a description of Richard's orgasm, as felt through Anita's quasi-unacknowleged psychic connection thing. We get many implicatons that Richard having an orgasm fully justifies Anita feeding upon him without his consent.
I have already ranted on the fact that rape victims can and frequently do experiance orgasm during rape. I am not going to do it again. I am, however, going to tell everyone remotely connected to publishing this piece of garbage to go get fucked.
Richard gets away from her as fast as he possibly can. He tells Anita she had no right to do that.
“You never said no.” I rolled onto my side, but didn’t try and sit up yet.
He nodded. “I know that. I’m not blaming you.”YES YOU DID. YOU FUCKING DID SAY NO. MULTIPLE TIMES. OVER. AND OVER. AND OVER. You did not say no right then, but Anita knew damn fucking well you did not want to be fed upon, ever, and you trusted her to respect your bounderies. SHE RAPED YOU.
Anita whines about how he won't be coming back. Richard says she had the same rule, he can't do it, he's not going to do it, it's not something he is or will ever be comfortable with, and all Anita can do is whine about who she can share the arduer with.
This is passive aggressive fuckery, folks. She KNOWS that Richard hates sharing her, she KNOWS he is naturally monogamous, he has asked her to be monogamous and has compensated for when she can't be, she knows that her sleeping around hurts his feelings, and she is trying to blackmail him into letting her do things he does not like. Folks, if you switched the genders and changed "feeding" into something like "anal sex" this would in NO FUCKING WAY be acceptable. Or hell, let's not change genders. Let's say she wants to repeat the scene in Myra Breckenridge where Myra "rides" Rusty. That's an even closer psychological parallel. THIS. IS NOT. ACCEPTABLE.
Then she tries to switch things around and ask him why he shut down the marks and his beast and not her feeding. The answer, boys and girls, is that in abusive situations you protect your sense of self first because if that breaks, you're fucked. But Anita wants to show that it means he loves her and really does want to let her feed on him. No. What it means is that he wanted to protect himself from you, and he knew the only way to do it was let you have your way for now, and then get away from you as fast as he possibly could.
And of course, his leaving breaks Anita's heart.
You know, I am sure that abusive men think they love their women just as hard as Anita thinks she loves Richard, but the truth is, if she loved him she would have respected his bounderies. Abusive men are broken when their wives leave them too. But it's not because they loved them. It's because having this person was part of what defined them. He had her as a wife. Anita had the Ulfric as her lover. She was lupa. She was somebody. She was desirable. And now Richard has left and her own sense of self is challenged, and the obvious answer (IT IS BECAUSE YOU BROKE HIS TRUST, YOU ABUSIVE WASTE OF SKIN) only damages that sense of self more. The only way to repair it is to either reaquire the person, or dehumanize them and demonize them and then, eventually, remove them.
And that is not love. That is how murder looks when you stop it mid-process.
And then the leopards find her and curl around her and make her feel all special.
Jesus. This makes me think of SEVERAL true crime books I've got scattered around here. If You Really Loved Me, Perfect Husband, Stranger Beside Me, et all, but the one it makes me think of most is Prophet of Death. You want to see what Anita Blake would look like IRL and Male? His name was Jeffery Lundgren and he was way, way, way beyond vile.
Anita whines about having to play a game she can't win, and the text COMPLETELY IGNORES the fact that she just RAPED RICHARD, and that's why he left. End chapter.
You know, I honestly thought this part wouldn't piss me off. Boy was I wrong. It's not so much what happens as it is the way that the wrongness is never even allowed to exist in the text, and you have to imagine yourself in that situation to understand just why this is WAY into Bad Touch territory. Anita just broke the trust of the guy she loves, and can't understand that the reason why he just booked is because she just proved she can't be trusted. If I were with a guy, and I told him "never hit me" and he hit me? I'm gone. (actually, "never hit me" is implied in any relationship. Guys, you are all wonderful, but you need to know better than that)
Fuck. This. Book. Fuck it. Fuck it with a frozen Edward Cullen sparkle dildo. I can't say I'm done, because I promised I'd read this whole book, but I can say there will not be another one of these until sometime Sunday afternoon. Come back tomorrow kids! For now, CW is out of steam.