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.
Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐
Book #29! How is that even possible? I guess that makes sense considering how long I've known these characters. And yes, I said what I meant - I feel like I know these characters, and there are a lot of them. But it sure feels like time has flown by. This series is also kind of sentimental for me. I read the first book, Guilty Pleasures, around the time my son was born (maybe while I was on maternity leave?), so it's aged right along with him.
Smolder is basically the first part of a bigger story, so don't expect a lot of answers because there aren't many of those. We get plenty of questions but not much in the way of resolution. We do get to spend time with so many favorite characters. An old flame even pops back in, so I'm wondering how that's gonna go and to be honest, I'm still not sure how I feel about it. I'm hoping we don't have to wait too terribly long for everything to play out, so I'll just reserve judgment on that part until then. I was happy to get a bit of Edward. He's been one of my favorites in the Anita Blake world, almost from his first introduction. I'm always glad to experience his ruthless planning, even if I have to wait for those plans to come to fruition.
According to Google, the definition of smolder is to burn slowly with smoke but no flame. Based on that, I have to say it's a pretty good title for a couple of different reasons. One is about the characters and storyline. There's a serious lot of dialogue as various things are discussed and settled on the personal front. I feel like those things that were settled here will be important later, and like that old flame's return, I'll stay neutral until I see where things go. Anyway, there's a new big bad in town, and this book leaves us guessing what's next, so the story is kind of smoldering as we wait - some of us maybe not so patiently (raises hand).
I was surprised at the pacing in Smolder, but it also gave me time to really enjoy the characters. Of course, not everyone is here, but I got to visit with several, and I certainly enjoyed that. So, 29 books and counting, and I've been friends with these characters long enough that I'm thoroughly invested. As for what's to come - I'll just be over here, tapping my foot, anxiously waiting.
Laurell K. Hamilton is a full-time writer and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series; Zaniel Havelock series; and the Merry Gentry series. She lives in a suburb of St. Louis with her family. Learn more online at www.laurellkhamilton.com.
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