OMG!!! It's a plot!!! Very thinly stretched at times and completely ignored at others... but still... IT'S A PLOT.
I almost gave up of this series ever being anything else than an excuse for poorly written orgy scenes. And yet, I can't seem to stop reading the series (sadly from the library now since I refuse to buy them). There's still a ton of stuff that I hated about this book.
< spoilers ahead... ye be warned >
My biggest grief with this book (entire series really since it jumped the shark) is how Anita cannot be complete without some male character hating her lifestyle choices. Richard used to be her punching bag for a long time, but the list has also included Stg. Dolph (in this book we find out he worked out his issues and is now OK with Anita and her men). And now, apparently, Asher and Anita's apprentice, Larry Kirkland, have to join the list because the 'issues' of the other men have been (mostly) resolved and/or they do not appear in the book.
Asher has been one of the characters I've rather liked in Anita's harem of men (mostly because I'm a sucker for a tragic back story and flawed characters and the fact that he truly loves Jean Claude rather than Anita). What Hamilton does to his character in this book is really character assassination (almost as bad as what she did to Richard) and makes me really miffed. Larry was written as a naive kid, but he grew on me. Especially after he married Tammy and they had a kid.
One bright spot in this mess of a book is that there is a Sigmund the Penguin reference.... FINALLY! after I don't know how many books. One of the things I really loved about the original characterization of Anita Blake was her collection of stuffed penguins (her favorite being Sigmund). Too bad I don't particularly care for Anita Blake anymore; she used to be such a fun character.