So let's move into this nonsense while the night is young, shall we?
I was conflicted last post. The fact that the book turned entertaining for a few paragraphs threw my game. I mean, my policy is to be honest. I like something, I'm gonna say it. And at this point saying that a paragraph doesn't make me want to kill myself is a positive point. Mostly.
Fortunately I do not think I will have that problem with these chapters.
I fought that panic, fought not to struggle, not to fight Nathaniel. I could get away. I knew it, and that other mind knew it. We could get away. We could be safe. But that small part that was still human knew that Nathaniel wouldn’t hurt us. We had to let him pin us, had to, because I knew I could escape. What I didn’t know was what would happen if I got away. What would happen if Nathaniel couldn’t pin me and hold me down until I could think like a person again? I didn’t want to find out, because it would be something bad, something I wouldn’t want to live with afterward.She wants to run away and she doesn't. Right.
The first time I ever read the "Her mouth says no but her eyes say yes" phrase was in a play script called M. Butterfly. Can I recommend it? Yes and no. It was interesting. Anyhoo, that is the exact vibe I get from this. "Oh, I need to have sex now, but good girls don't have sex, so if I resist and play at not wanting it I can have my sex and keep the moral high ground".
Except that makes you look like a moron, not moral.
Seriously, for all her "OOOH MORALS AND INHIBITIONS ARE BAD" LKH spends a lot of time making sure that Anita has the high ground in her harem. Oh, she didn't want Micah of the ultra-long schlong. No, he forced himself on her. (Which he actually did, and I'm not migitating that. Having your main character be raped so that she can fall in love with her rapist and so that you, the author, don't have to traverse the icky emotional minefield of the "It's not me, it's you" speech is disgusting on every level of human consciousness.) She didn't want Nathanial, but he insisted. Oh, she didn't want Harem Member X, but there was this magical storm and she kind of accidentally reformatted his brain, so he's hers now. It's not her fault, but hey, free hot sex without any moral questions!
Except for the whole "I fell in love with my rapist" thing. And the whole "I raped my then-fiancee" thing. And the whole "I've erased the will of at least two different men because I pointed my vagina at them" thing. I will buy that accidental lover shit when Anita rolls somebody physically disgusting. Seriously. The only way the Ardeur could truely be an accidental thing is if she had a severe allergy to supermodels.
This sex scene reads as a rape, only there's a lot of "let" involved. As in "I let him pin me down," ect, ect. Because we have to make consent clear here. Only part of Anita is scared out of her mind. The rest of her wants this. So no more accusations of the sexy men raping the main character, okay?
Yeah. Not getting a pass, thanks. Mostly because this is freaking spelled out in the text:
Nathaniel won’t hurt me. Nathaniel won’t hurt me. I kept repeating that over and over and over, as he settled his body tighter against mine. The part that was beast knew he could break our spines from this position. The part that was me felt like it was a prelim to rape.And this is the point where the sane person says "Stop" or "Red" or "Foxtrot" or whatever the safeword is, because unless the point is to feel this exact thing, this is not okay. And it's incredibly clear that the point is not to feel this exact thing, because Anita keeps trying to calm herself down. IDK about you, but repeating "It's not really rape" to myself probably wouldn't make me feel any safer. But hey, at least it's going to be really hard to top--
I knew that Nathaniel wouldn’t do that, and I also knew that truthfully if you’re intent on rape you want some clothes off before you get here. Because once you’ve pinned someone like this, your hands are busy, and men’s pants don’t unzip themselves.That's actually the rest of that paragraph, folks. Yeah, rape is only rape if the dude takes time to unzip his pants before he pins your hands down.
So Anita panics and fights Nate until he's hard against her desk, and then he bites her and everything goes from "This could be rape" level panic to sunshine and roses, and Anita relaxes. You know, because now that we've gotten the fight and the protests out of the way, we can have guilt free sex.
I'm gonna need a shower after this shit.
...and apparently I spoke too soon. Anita decides that she doesn't want to have sex in her office with her workmates right outside the door--and she's been flat-out screaming this whole time--and then Nate rolls her over onto all fours, Anita decides that being butt-naked on all fours at her workplace is a little undignified--NO REALLY YOU THINK?--and Nathanial acheives the goal he's been begging for ever since this book started.
This is the first time I can remember seeing "tight" employed in this fashion. There are probably others, but given that "tight" and it's best friend "wet" are pretty much the only discriptive terms sex with Anita ever gets, I felt it worth noting that I finally found at least half of LKH's favorite pairing in the text.
...and Anita starts screaming again. WHILE. AT. WORK. HER BOSS. IS SITTING. OUTSIDE. HER DOOR.
...okay, maybe some of the sex scene is a little interesting. If vague and under-described. It's the first time something specific has been described that I know of, though. Also, I think In-and-Out burger will probably sue.
And then we blow all of that by finding out that Nate didn't actually get an orgasm out of all this because he can only come when called, basically.
As in Anita has to give him permission. The word "headspace" is used, and I have no idea if that's a common term or if it's something invented for this scene. Given that it's too good a word for LKH to invent, I'm gonna guess somebody other than her uses it. So yeah. Nathanial has to be told he can orgasm before he can orgasm, and this should be a positive because he's "So well trained".
So Anita notices that there's a...spot. On her carpet. And she goes for babywipes to clean up. And then...
She and Nate have the "rainmaker" conversation. About how exceptional and rare it is that Anita could make a wet spot on the carpet...and apparently soak her own skin to the knees.
IS THERE A REASON WHY WE NEEDED TO KNOW THIS? SERIOUSLY. THERE IS A REASON MOST ROMANCE NOVELS SKIP THE POST-SEX CLEAN UP. IT IS GROSS AND BORING AND IT KIND OF RUINS THE MOOD.
...wait. Anita just spent a couple paragraphs--most of the "rainmaker" conversation--trying to find her underwear. Which she puts on...and then she gets out a spare set of hose. I made the mistake of assuming that these are panty-hose, simply because the one and only time I ever wore the thigh-high kind I realized why pantyhose was invented in the first place. So for a minute there I was like "Why would she have to look for her panties?"
Anita and Nate have a conversation that amounts to "Why wouldn't you come?" "Because I want it to be important when I do" "But I'm only using you." "Yeah, but I want it, so there." and that's the end of the chapter.
Start of next chapter: Anita complains that her boss will probably try to use her having loud, screaming sex in her office at her workplace against her.
You know what? There's an easy way to fix this: don't have sex at the office.
We get a play by play on how Anita puts on lipstick.
Then we get what could have been a really good scene where the secretary, Mary, cleans up Nate, and says she doesn't give a fuck about Nate being a lycanthrope/therianthrope because she can't catch it from his human form, and people who are paranoid about that are just silly.
Then there's stuff about how badly the clients abused Anita, and how Barbera Brown, the mother, has probably thrown a punch multiple times before.
...and then we find out that Burt, her boss, is an absolute piece of shit because he took their money in exchange for not calling the cops on them for assaulting Anita.
Everybody in this book is terrible. Everybody.
Burt and the Browns talk Anita into being on retainer for their son's murder case, and Anita manhandles Burt into promising to give them back the money if she can't actually help the case. She decides to bring in a man who once tried to amputate his own hands so he would stop having psychic visions, which puts her on Burt's level of shitty behavior. They discuss this for a while, and then the chapter ends.
I hate. This book. Forever.