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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good quick read
I love this entire series. Im going to be honest there is no deep and thought provoking plot in this story. Its just a not so regular day in the life of anita blake. Someone tries to make her do something she doesnt want to so she has to handle her business. I really enjoyed this book.
Published on December 2, 2012 by Toshia Merchant Sarkor

versus
140 of 150 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let me be clear: I love Anita Blake.
I love her. When I first began reading the series, I couldn't put LKH's books down. I would want nothing more in this life than to pick up a newly released Anita Blake book, read it, set it down on my night table and write this review starting with, 'Thank you, Mrs. Hamilton. Thank you. You've brought me back into the fold. Bravo to you.'

Before I begin I...
Published on August 10, 2010 by CorpseWater


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140 of 150 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Let me be clear: I love Anita Blake., August 10, 2010
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I love her. When I first began reading the series, I couldn't put LKH's books down. I would want nothing more in this life than to pick up a newly released Anita Blake book, read it, set it down on my night table and write this review starting with, 'Thank you, Mrs. Hamilton. Thank you. You've brought me back into the fold. Bravo to you.'

Before I begin I feel the need for a disclaimer. It is quite possible that because I don't understand LKH's attempt to utterly destroy the title and humiliate herself that perhaps I am just as shallow as she indicates for 'not understanding' where she's going with the series and not wanting to force myself to 'think too hard'. Perhaps I don't understand good story-telling or exploring character development through hardcore sex and whiny conversations (which all males enjoy having with one another around the the woman they're all plugging comfortably) at lunch. Ah, the lunch scene. Prepare yourselves, boys and girls, for the lunch scene. The singular event in my life in which I can point to and demand those minutes back. What a waste of pages. If I have to read about the waiter's smile one more time....I digress.
Perhaps I'm so obtuse that I shouldn't even be buying these books anymore, because their value on the market seems to decrease every time one of us morons gets a hold of one of them, reads it and says to ourselves, 'This book is absolute horse manure. The writing is amateurish. The plot is non-existent. I don't care about almost any of these characters and frankly, I'm forced to skip about 58-64% of the material due to hysterical fits of laughter over the ridiculous language used to describe people having sex, which normally I'd be secretly changing my underwear afterwards. Now I'm just changing my underwear because I laugh so hard at the sex scenes I pee a little.'

If the series had started out with writing and 'plot' like this, no one would be buying it. It never would have caught on. The only reason anyone buys this series now is pure hope only a small child who still believes in the Tooth Fairy could appreciate. I loved this series. I recommended this series. Now I have to hide the book under the sleeve of my arm around the bookstore before I read it and subsequently put it back, glad that I didn't waste my hard earned $26.00 on it. Did I ever read an Anita Blake book in the bookstore when I first started this series? No. Of course not. I trusted that the writer cared about her craft and her character. I trusted I might not enjoy this book as much as the rest, but I know I'll at least have fun reading it. Now I dread.

I especially get angry at the sheer disdain Laurell K. Hamilton has for her readers and ultimately her critics. I truly admired her for her creativity and writing style when I first started reading this series. But after reading her comments on people who don't want to be made to think too hard (meaning people that paused for a moment and said, 'Um. Mrs. Hamilton? Ma'am? Maybe if Anita could do something other than just have sex with everything and perhaps if the entirety of your books now weren't just about conversations between her and her 'men' involving whining and crying and emotional drainage, perhaps that would make the series better? No? Oh. Oh okay.) I can say that I am no longer concerned about communicating any kind of respect towards her, as she apparently has no respect for some (if not most) of her readers.

Flirt is not exceptional. It was given to me as a gift (from some well-meaning person who didn't understand how much I've come to loathe the series I spent years boasting about). It's not good, it doesn't further any plot and it doesn't make me care to read anymore from this series. This series ended with Obsidian Butterfly and no one can convince me otherwise.

My suggestion? Don't be a serial killer. Don't keep strangling the life out of this book only to wake it back up to partial consciousness so you can watch the life drain out of it again. Do what Anita would do. Put a damn bullet in it.
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151 of 164 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars One to skip, February 7, 2010
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In the afterward that follows the main narrative Laurell K. Hamilton writes that Flirt is her 29th novel. Calling the story a novel is overly generous; if judged by length, I would suggest the publication be referred to as a novella. But judging the story by its content I would call Flirt a short story - something better suited to a collections such as Strange Candy than its novel-esque hardback printing.

The inspiration to publish two Anita Blake "novels" in a year may work in favor of Hamilton's bank account (as another reader has suggested), but the pace has greatly diminished the quality of her writing. While I felt Hamilton gained ground with the publication of Skin Trade, Flirt takes two steps back and one step to the left. The premise of the novel is shallow, the action ridiculous, and the development careless. What would ordinarily be presented as a parallel plot in a novel has been given center stage, and has left me (despite my frequent defense of Hamilton's later novels) rolling my eyes.

Flirt is an excuse of a publication to take advantage of the current fandom and introduce yet another supporting <strike>sex toy</strike>, er, character.

On her Twitter account Hamilton has hinted that Bullet holds a world of tragedy for Anita in the deaths of people she loves. I only hope that the novel as a whole is meatier, more developed, and cuts back on the throng that swarms around the "vampire hunter".
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264 of 298 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "Flirt"? Try Flimsy, February 2, 2010
Let me first say that I have never read an Anita Blake novel before this; my experience with LKH's writing is all Meredith Gentry. I have no true- or troo- context to put things in, but after reading it, I don't really think I needed to.

The story almost feels like a stand alone. Granted, there are references and sub-texts from past stories to draw upon, but none really impacted the story. Which would have been hard to do, given what story there was.

This novel/novella/novelette only contains 158 pages of actual story, and this is comprised of the usual large, double-spaced type. There's also quite a bit of padding before and after which is interesting- not so much what it is as to why it's there.

**SPOILER ALERTS**

A rich man wants Anita to resurrect his dead wife. She refuses, mostly on ethical grounds as it seems the man wants to resume their marriage, which she tries to explain is impossible. He leaves unsatisfied, and Anita and a few boytoys- Nathaniel, Jason and Micah- head off to lunch together.

Lunch is all about the science and skill of flirting: touching, eye contact, double entendres, flattery... To emphasize this, the waiter that comes to take their orders is completely flustered by the mere presence of Nathaniel; Anita rises to the challenge and makes her own lasting impression upon him.

Back at the office a wealthy woman wants Anita to resurrect her dead husband so she can exact a terrible vengeance upon him; Anita refuses this time on moral grounds- which gives us a touch of symmetry.

Anita returns to the same restaurant for another lunch, where the same waiter approaches her, hoping for more than flirting. During the encounter Anita senses another shapeshifter- a were-lion named Jacob- and the lioness in her responds eagerly, despite the danger. Another lion- Nick- joins them, boxing her into their trap, and they threaten mayhem if she doesn't comply. All three flex their powers, testing and reacting to each other, with plenty of angst and emoting thrown in to drag things out waaaay toooo long.

Anita thinks she knows who's bankrolling all this, but the too-obvious attempt at a twist falls short. The meeting with the previously-spurned client is ridiculous: they talk about the situation, Anita gets angry, Jacob and Nick try to soothe the savage beast while the client stands there. Repeat as (not) needed.

The client needs something extra to resurrect their spouse, something sinister. Anita realizes what it is, which brings up the lioness- but she's in heat, having never been with a Rex before. Both males want her; she uses this against them and tries to escape in the ensuing tussle but is stopped by Silas- another lion- and they both suffer for it.

She awakes in a graveyard shed, her contact with her men blocked by the spell of a lioness witch who's a member of Jacob's pride. Isolated and weakened, she needs to feed; now past the point of normal food, she must use the ardeur and Nick offers himself willingly. Given the choice between flesh and sex, Anita chooses sex, "rolling him like a vampire" and even taking his free will, as she'll need some help to escape the situation.

Nick and Jacob both realize what she's done, with Jacob blaming himself for not anticipating it. Silas, the were-lion Anita fought before, tries to kill her but is fatally wounded and becomes fodder to help fuel the animation spell. Anita discovers that a lycanthrope sacrifice is infinitely more powerful than a normal human; after resurrecting the client's spouse, she channels the excess energy into the rest of the graveyard, raising them all up. The power spike shatters the witch's spell returning Anita's contact with her men, who are closing in. Anita recognizes the danger the client still presents to them all, and with a little help from her newly revived friends, settles the matter. Micah and the fellas arrive and everyone goes home, with Nick the New Guy in tow.

** END SPOILERS**

Being new to all this I thought the overall setting was interesting, but Anita's powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men kept hitting me over the head; what exactly can't she do- windows? I see what people mean about Anita and Merry being almost interchangeable- it didn't feel like there was much difference between them. The lone sex scene was ok, I suppose; but I never put much stock into them, instead waiting to see what the new developments are.

It was intriguing to me the way lycanthropes visualize themselves in their minds and the way they can read each other's body language, but I thought at times it killed potential scenarios: Jacob & Nick were constantly sizing Anita up and warning her not to try anything. The attempt at humor by quoting movies was stale, not as jokes but metaphors: one of the were-lions would say something and Anita would respond "Did you just quote...?" First one was ok, the rest were lame. Or maybe she was trying to establish some character quirks for them.

The graveyard scene was rife with potential. After the zombies finish up, there's something else to them that wasn't there before, something infused within them. Anita realizes what's happened, and is momentarily seduced by it. Trust me; you're gonna see this scenario pop up again.

The title FLIRT should be taken literally, as that's the focus of the novel. Every Anita encounter with the were-lions- which take up the bulk of the story- is about the male/female ritual and establishing one's dominance, as well as the constant references to the deceased blond wife as a `furry' and the many beautiful men in Anita's life. It's also expanded upon in the Afterword, where LKH pontificates for thirteen pages about her writing process. Here you get a blow by blow description of a real-life encounter with a waiter that inspired the novel, which is repeated almost verbatim in the lunch scene. LKH admits to Divine Misdemeanors being hindered by the overwhelming, looming presence of this story idea in her head.

And in case you still don't get it, you're treated to a five-page cartoon strip done by a good friend of hers spoofing the seminal moment. Combined with three pages of dedications and an intro focused upon said waiter encounter... that's twenty pages of clutter wrapped around some light reading.

To sum up: 3 Stars for a new reading experience, -1 Star for the same old problem- too much fluff, not enough story and -1 Star for the price; even the discount isn't enough- for what you're getting this should have been a paperback or a minimal cost download or something.

(Edit on 2/13: Just finished reading The Laughing Corpse and noticed that this book is pretty much the same story, right down to the graveyard full of zombies ending- only difference being the zombies just go away peacefully in LC. So what's the difference?)
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169 of 189 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get a library card and read it for free, February 2, 2010
By 
I LOVED all the early Anita Blake novels. And by novels I mean books with 400-500 pages. I understand that authors want to express themselves and take their art in different directions. It is such a shame that this great series had gone in the direction it has. I haven't given up on the series entirely, I feel I have too much reading invested in it. But I haven't bought an Anita Blake book in some time - I get them from the local library. Overall, I still the love world the books are set in and the characters. But the plot is getting thin and repetitious and the dialogue can be just plain annoying at times. There were a couple of new, interesting ideas introduced and this book could have been so much better if those ideas were explored in depth. I see another Anita Blake book is due out in June. I hope it is more that 158 pages and takes longer than 90 minutes for me to read.
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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Who are you and what have you done with the real LKH?, February 4, 2010
This review is from: Flirt (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 18) (Kindle Edition)
I am glad I am not the only one who is beyond disappointed in this book and the previous Anita and Merry books too. In this book is as everyone is stating there is no real plot. The "flirt" story reads as if part of it got lost in the mail on the way to the editor.

Anita picks up yet another stray to add to the batch, no surprise there anymore. The silver lining on the stray is that she took his free will so he will be incapable of making a decision on his own. I wonder who is going to be babysitting him? LKH has an opportunity here. Will she miss it?

What happened to her moral high ground? I admired that about Anita. She is tough, and straightforward but there were times when she really struggled with the right and wrong of a decision. This time it was "Oh golly I am going to take his freewill. Oops!" Shrug. Might as well insert a giggle or two in there. That is so not Anita. She would really care that she was forced to make that decision and it would bother her.

Also when we last left Anita she was bunking at Guilty Pleasures with Jean-Claude and Asher and now all of a sudden she is back home with Micah and Nathanial?

LKH left out 50% of the book by not relating what the boys were going through. What happened exactly to figure out she was in trouble. Who figured out who the snipers were? How did they torture them to get the info? What happened to Damian and Nathaniel when the link was severed? Didn't Jean-Claude figure it out when he woke up and no one was home on the vamp-link?

It is not just Anita anymore. The boys have become an essential part of any book. You really can't tell her story without them.

I saw her at a book signing in Portland with a friend and we both left thinking she was disingenuous, uninterested. Now having read this book I am beginning to think there is a lot to that statement. She is writing like she's not really interested.

Laurelll what has happened to you? Where did you go? Do you truly consider this writing worthy of your previous work? What about all those stories that have been hanging for years? The Anita/Nathaniel/Damien triumvirate, the wolf pack, the rats have not been seen is ages. Even the sex is getting boring!

Skip it and check it out at the library or just get it from your friend. They will be done with it in 15 to 20 minutes anyway and I doubt they will want it back.
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137 of 155 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a WASTE!, February 2, 2010
I would say this book is a waste of time and money, but it took less than 2 hours to read. This short story, and it is a short story since it does not have enough length to qualify as a novella, let alone a novel, is a waste of money. If you want to read Hamilton, get an used copy of one of her early Anita Blake books. An earlier work where she cared what she put into a book, not just about getting PAID. Flirt is just her going over old ground, and not very well. A good portion of the 192 pages, and how they came up with that number I'll never know, is her inane drivel about her writing process. She would be better off sticking to the characters lives and leave her's out of it, because, I for one, could care less. Anyone who buys this book new is a FOOL.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Anita Blake, where did you go? *Spoilers*, April 18, 2010
By 
megchranne "meg" (Kalamazoo, MI USA) - See all my reviews
I started reading the Anita Blake series because Charlaine Harris' new book was not out yet and I wasn't ready to kick the vampire out of the room, so to speak. Guilty Pleasures wasn't what I expected. Vampires weren't romanticized to the extent that they have become recently. Sure, they were sexy and there was an appeal to them that kept you interested. But, at the same time, they were scary! There was a reason Anita risked her life to kill them. A reason that she stood up to them for something she believed in: sometimes, not all things that are beautiful are good. In the same thread, there was a reason she was seduced by the monsters she was commissioned to destroy: sometimes, you can't resist a little bad. For a while, I couldn't resist a little bad. Until the books became mostly bad. Unfortunately, this book - if it can even be called a book - was all bad.

In my opinion, the series began to go downhill when Ms. Hamilton began taking major players off the stage only to introduce new, vapid characters. Does Anita really need people to bow down to her and tell her she's fabulous all of the time? It was only interesting when there was someone around that provided a conflict. Yes, Richard wanted to her to be normal. Yes, Jean Claude wanted to control her. Yes, Asher confused her. Yes, Edward terrified her. But these things made the story intriguing! These characters made her question who she was and who she wanted to be. But they also allowed her to see who she really was and could be. They made her stronger. When these characters vanished, so did Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter.

*SPOILERS*

I didn't care that Anita learned how to flirt: is she going to use that the next time she raises a zombie and offer to show him her etchings? I don't care that she was forced into raising the dead and raised the entire cemetery. Didn't she do that several books ago? I don't care that she acquired another were-animal. Doesn't she do that in every book? I don't even care that she had sex with him and used the ardeur to make him hers. I'm more upset that I felt like I had read that scene before many times over in several of her previous books, the Merry Gentry series included. (Are there really only four words to describe how it feels to have sex in an Anita Blake novel?) And I don't care where she got her idea from. Isn't that the whole point? Just to be amazed by the story itself?

The major conflict in "Flirt" is that there is no real conflict. There is no emotional attachment, or sexy, or mystery, or fun. And, really, isn't that what flirting is? A connection with someone that you want to have a little sexy, or mystery, or fun with? It was a flirt, but a failed attempt. The tongue-in-cheek title was the perfect description. Had I known that by reading the title, I wouldn't have to bother reading the book, it would have saved me the $24.00 that I wasted. Had I worked for the publisher, I would have titled this book "Save your money and pray that the next book is better than this one.'"
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Flirbotomy, February 7, 2010
Hey, did the publisher forget the last 300 pages? I suspect the hardcover will be no thicker than my kindle. Of course you do get to add the pages of Laurell explaining 'how I got my idea' and giving her friend the cartoonist some free publicity in an attempt to fill more space. Very disappointing when you are expecting a novel and get a short story. Save your money and wait to pick this one up from the used book store for a dollar.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I wish there was a ZERO star option., April 8, 2010
By 
L. McLaughlin (Justin, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
LKH I've stuck with you through furry sex, orgies galore, the same plot being recycled again and again, you explaining the same basic character information to me again and AGAIN in each book, so many lovers that I can't keep track of them all, an Anita that has become a selfish character that gets everything that she wants, and the list really could just go on and on. Well, I AM DONE! NO MORE! No more Anita or Merry for me because both series now SUCK! Your writing style is in the crapper at this point. You took two interesting cool characters and you let the characters rule. Every parent knows that a child who gets what they want all of the time becomes spoiled and generally annoying to be around. You SPOILED your characters. They are annoying to read about now!

This was the last book of yours that I will ever read. I am done. Thankfully, I didn't buy this one and instead read it in B&N. At least I didn't waste more of my hard earned money on your self righteous, prideful, annoying, drivel.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Ew., April 30, 2010
I remember a time when I loved Anita Blake novels. I didn't start reading at book one, I started reading at book 11 or so, at a time when most people were already not enjoying the books. I liked them because I like the characters and I wanted to know what would happen to them all. I used to be able to read about the characters talking to each other, eating, going shopping, or doing whatever boring stuff they do, but now I just can't do it any more. Maybe I matured as a reader, or maybe I've just realized these books really are bad, but after Flirt I am done. No more books from this author ever. I just can't enjoy reading about Anita toying with her lovers and getting aroused in public. Having multiple men is not very realistic and it's not believable. They are always fawning on Anita telling her she is amazing beautiful and great and they don't care who she sleeps with. Right. I love urban fantasy because it is usually believable. Books that make me believe werewolves and vampires could exist with humans are the best kind, but the Anita Blake series is not one of those types of books. I don't know how a book so short and packed full of boring nonsense could have even been published. The appeal of the characters has long since worn off, the plot is so thin it's pretty much non existent, and truthfully, there is no reason to continue reading this series. If you are interested in Marmee Noir, stick around until Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Book 74, maybe then you will get some closure. By then Anita with have 60 animals to call, 4 vampire slaves, and 89 lovers. Is it really that predictable? Absolutely. If you didn't like the previous novels, you won't like this. I don't think this series will ever go back to what it was in the beginning. Anita would have to lose all of her lovers and all of her powers and I don't see that happening at all. I'm not interested in a character that is only seeking attention and wants to feel special so she takes 25 lovers. She doesn't think she is powerful even though she is probably the most powerful human in the world. Disgusting. I'm done and you should be too.
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Flirt (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Book 18)
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