Julia's Reviews > Beauty

Beauty by Laurell K. Hamilton
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's review
May 17, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: fantasy, fiction, arcs, dropbox

Short and sweet-ish... It's been a long time since Anita and I have been on the same page. Once the subject of many, many re-reads, the world of Anita and her boys have fallen by the wayside as of late (though Merry Gentry still gets re-reads every few years). Anita's world has become largely internal, both in terms of her repetitive monologues explaining the world according to Anita and the disappearance of the mundane world. I've heard HIT LIST is a return to police work, but I'm not entirely convinced that I couldn't just re-read OBSIDIAN BUTTERFLY and get the same content (Anita faces off with local cop that thinks she's either A. a pretty face B. a vamp whore or C. a witch. Mayhem ensures).

When I picked up BEAUTY I expected something along the lines of FLIRT, a vignette where Anita learns something new regarding the title. For someone infinitely desirable, I've long since lost patience with Anita's self-esteem issues. So when BEAUTY opens with Anita wondering how she could have won someone as gorgeous as Jean Claude, I was worried. Luckily, BEAUTY's shortness is an asset, that moment comes and goes. Anita and Jean Claude in the tub reminds me so much of their first, visceral scene together in THE KILLING DANCE (which I think I read a million times). This time around, there was no shaky laughter or condom packets being traced along skin, their love making has progressed to tops and bottoms and threesomes with Asher. And while Asher brings his characteristic splash of drama, things quickly progress to sex. The mechanics of sex scenes in Hamilton books always makes me want to draw force diagrams and marvel at technique (though I doubt I'll ever need to know details about going down on a vampire who hasn't fed recently).

With sex scenes, unless they're a particularly affecting first for the characters (like Anita and Jean Claude in the tub for the first time) or something that speaks to a particular fantasy (this one didn't for me), I won't be back to re-read again. The sex scene in BEAUTY was short, graphic, and didn't hit either of the two milestones I mentioned. The fringe of story around the sex scene was ok, with a minimum of pedantry from Anita. Jean Claude was the sweet spot that really stood out for me. He is just so happy in this scene, both with Anita's comfort level and being together with her and Asher. That more than anything was the part of this story that I'll remember fondly.

As if anticipating my wish for world building, after the menage a bath there is a sneak peak at KISS THE DEAD. This excerpt was exactly what I could have hoped for: Anita interrogating a crazy vamp, along with a Dolph and Zebrowski cameo (and Zebrowski entering the room in all his rumpled glory made me squee). Though the interrogation seems to point more towards a vampire plot than police work, it was great to be back inside the RPIT.

Full review to follow.

Sexual Content: A menage a trois.

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