This book sucked the big cheese. I'm am in no way a prude but it's a little hard to take your heroine seriously when she is running around naked the ENTIRE book. How awkward. Esp. when she's constantly fighting gladiator style. The whole time I thought; "well, I guess it's a good thing she doesn't have balls or a hairy ass crack."
Let's see... Riley is raped, beaten, abused, oh yeah & the best yet....going to have naked mud wrestling as an "arena whore" for her arch nemesis. And not only barely bats an eye after all of this, but is actually looking forward to the wrestling! Que the eye rolls.
Yeah, yeah, we get it, she is a werewolf & they "need" to have sex all the time in order practically survive. But the author does such an incredibly lame job trying to justify this fact to her audience (well me anyway) that I wonder if she is actually trying to convince herself most of all. It comes off as forced, gratuitous & extremely laughable.
I actually can't believe people give LKH crap & not this series. At least LKH integrated Anita having the ardeur 10 books in. In this series - Arthur clubs you over the head with the same exact justification in each book (I'm talking line verbatim here), just so she can write lame sex scenes.
And yes - the sex scenes suck. They are super short, all the EXACT same. The man is always too excited at 1st so takes her quick, no foreplay, then he's in her "deep" & "fierce" & that's that. Big deal. This series is Anita Blake's very poor cousin by comparison.
In a particularly mind boggling moment - Riley has infiltrated her enemy's compound & after a good day of fighting & some consensually boring yet brutal sex w/one of the men WHO, in the previous book raped her for 8 days straight while she was unconscious, she decides it's not enough so seeks out one of her current shape shifting lovers who happens to be a "stallion", literally. Yup...that's right.
He also has infiltrated the compound, thank god b'c he misses Riley & she him, so they get to have sex on the down low in the stables. Despite the fact that the place is supposed to be fort knox, but anywhoo - werewolves need sex so can't put a good woman down.
!!!!...Seriously!! Why is this series popular? That whole setup is actually offensive! Arthur completely glossed over the fact that Riley WILLINGLY had sex with a man who raped her for 8 days straight! WTF kind of message is that??
And just to take the absurdity a step further - while having sex, Riley's other possessive vampire lover, Quinn, manages to infiltrate (surprise!) the compound as well & willingly watches while Stallion boy (Kade) spitefully takes Riley AGAIN (b'c once is never enough for these horny shifters) while she's in the process of having a rather large relationship convo with Quinn.
And she lets Kade b'c she is annoyed at Quinn. Now imagine that..... Quinn & Riley are having a huge relationship talk while she is all naked, sweaty, sexed up & Kade is taking her from behind while said conversation is still continuing! Not only is this stupid but enhances the whole "whore" concept which Arthur is trying to have us not buy into. Go figure.
It gets better too...Quinn manages to actually freeze Kade while he is inside her (umm..is that tacky?) & proceeds to have spiritual, metaphysical sex with Riley to let her know that he is not giving up on her. This, in spite of the fact that he thinks werewolves are all "whores" & too free sexually. Ummm....note to Quinn, you're not wrong.
Riley is written about as deep as the shallow end of the kiddie pool & as cavernous as a mayo jar.
I read the series this far b'c I was engaged with the genetic cloning subplot, which this book wrapped up quickly & insufficiently. And based on my review you'd think I put the series down but I didn't.
I seem to be a glutton for bad writing punishment. What kept me going was that Quinn seems to be an homage to LKH's Richard and I was really curious to see how far Arthur took it. Thankfully - her books are so vapid, you can skim most of it without wasting too many precious minutes of life.
I gave up the series after book 6. Everything was the same, same, same.