Flirt (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #18)Flirt by Laurell K. Hamilton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Let’s get one thing absolutely clear; Flirt is not a full sized novel. It’s about 190 pages long and 20 of those are how the author came up with the idea for a scene and some accompanying comics which are, admittedly, quite funny. Those were by Jennie Breeden. Deduct another five for ISBN, copyright pages and honestly-who-reads-those-pages-anyway and we’re down to just over 160 pages.

I didn’t realise this when I purchased it via my Kindle and given that I paid only slightly less for a full size book, I’m a little vexed about that. Not Amazon’s fault, though. I’m looking at you, you greedy publisher.

So that’s that rant out of the way, what are we left with? A decidely average story, pretty much. There was a time, as past reviews have indicated, that I used to enjoy Anita Blake novels and I even found the sex scenes fairly hot. But having come down from a Black Dagger Brotherhood high, Flirt left me decidedly needful.

After having rejected two clients who wanted Ms. Blake to raise their spouses for fairly nefarious purposes, our heroine goes to lunch with Micah, Nathaniel and Jason which you would think would be a fairly simple thing but no. This is an Anita Blake novel, excuse me, novella, and so their is a lot of inner turmoil going on. At least Richard doesn’t make an appearance.

Things pick up though because one of the clients doesn’t handle rejection all that well and kidnaps Anita a couple of weeks later when she is at lunch by herself. Obviously, Anita uses the ardeur to have sex with one of her kidnappers (funny that you can’t have ‘deus ex machina’ without ‘sex’, can you?), turns the situation to her advantage, raises a zombie and ends the kidnapping in suitably gruesome style.

And that’s pretty much it, really. It wasn’t a poor story because it was short and to the point. There have been previous novels that have been way too long and could have done with being this size. But it wasn’t a great story either. Just another ho-hum addition to the series. I think I miss the interaction between Anita and Marmee Noir and / or Belle Morte. As stated though, at least Richard didn’t get a mention much less page time. And Jean Claude with his ‘ma petite’-could-you-be-any-more-insulting crap was only mentioned in passing.

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