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Monday, March 20, 2023

Double Book Review: Smolder (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 29) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Smolder (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 29)
by Laurell K. Hamilton
March 21, 2023
Vampire hunter Anita Blake is no stranger to killing monsters. It's part of her job as a Preternatural U.S. Marshal, after all. But even her experience isn't enough to stop something that is bent on destroying everything—and everyone—she loves.

Anita Blake is engaged to Jean-Claude, the new vampire king of America. Humans think she's gone over to the side of the monsters. The vampires fear that their new king has fallen under the spell of the most powerful necromancer in a thousand years.

In the midst of wedding preparations—including getting Edward, aka U.S. Marshal Ted Forrester, fitted as best man—Anita gets a call that the local police need her expertise at a brutal murder scene linked to a nationwide slaughter of vampires and humans, dubbed the Sunshine Murders.

But there is more than just a murderer to catch: an ancient evil has arrived in St. Louis to challenge Jean-Claude for his crown, his life, Anita, and all they hold dear. Even with Jean-Claude's new powers as king and Anita's necromancy, it isn't enough; they must embrace their triumvirate or allow primeval darkness to spread across the country, possessing first the vampires and then the humans. Evil will triumph unless Jean-Claude and Anita can prove that love conquers all.


Denise B
Getting 5 sheep
Anita is preparing for her wedding to Jean-Claude while trying to balance her work and love life as well. The humans of the world believe she has gone over to the other side with the monsters while the vampires worry that their new king is under her spell as the most powerful necromancer in a thousand years.

Anita receives a call to assist the local police with the Sunshine Murders and even though she doesn’t want to leave Ted, Peter, or any of her bridal party alone, she does what she does best and goes to work. Things start going sideways at the murder scene and only seem to get worse as the night goes on.

I struggled with rating this book between a 4 and a 5. I loved the story, but I did not like that the story did not get resolved and that is the only reason I considered the 4. Hamilton is a master writer that gives you more than you even realize and makes you think about some of the underlying themes of the story as you read it.

Mary Kirkland
I give this book 3 out of 5 sheep.

Anita and Jean-Claude are finally getting married...or are they?

Anita is preparing to marry the new vampire King of America, when a new, very old vampire comes to claim Jean-Claude's place as king. They find that this new nemesis is very powerful and have trouble fighting him when he first appears. Only Richard's appearance back in their lives helps strengthen their hold so they can best him.

So not only does Anita need to worry about wedding plans, her family who hates vampires wanting to come to the ceremony, but now a new vampire threat, Richard coming back and Asher coming back with a new problem named Kane, as well. It was nice to see Richard and Asher back, though.

When Anita is called to a murder scene, things start to go wrong because the government is working on a way to control vampires, but it totally works the opposite way from what they wanted. Anita is mad, and rightly so.

I was waiting for a storyline that I'm used to with lots of action and ended up with lots of therapy talk and talking about problems. I can kind of understand that since Asher and Richard are back and they needed to show Anita, Jean-Claude and the rest of the poly group that they have or are trying to work through their problems in order to come back to the group for good. But this felt more like a book setting up the next book, so there aren't these emotional messes to deal with. I just hope the next book is high on action and has less talking about the emotional problems they have.

Although they figured out who the big bad was in this book, they didn't take him down. They figured out how to fight him and plan to do just that, but it doesn't happen in this book. This was more a setup for that to happen in the next book. This book dealt more with the jealousy, emotional baggage, and problems they have being a poly group with so many people in Anita's life. Some of the issues are being resolved, but not all and Asher's big problem, Kane, is still a big problem he can't control. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with that.

I will say that there are a lot of characters in this series and a lot of them are in this book so I would say not to start with this book if you want it to make sense. I would definitely start this series with the first book and work your way through since there seem to be new characters popping up in each new book and old characters coming back from previous books.

About the Author:
Laurell K. Hamilton is one of the leading writers of paranormal fiction. A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Hamilton writes the popular Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novels and the Meredith Gentry series. She is also the creator of a bestselling comic book series based on her Anita Blake novels and published by Marvel Comics. Hamilton is a full-time writer and lives in the suburbs of St. Louis with her family.

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