I use to take the time to peruse the selves at my local book store. My first stops would always be the recent fiction releases than off to the discount table. Usually there you would be able to pick up a hard cover for 40% off regular price.
That day as I walk into the front entrance there was a display of Laurell K. Hamilton's Skin Trade. To be honest the title is what caught my eye, it sounded so taboo. The cover of the jacket has saw blades on it and in small print on the bottom it says," An Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Novel". O.k., from those three points I took it to mean that the book has sex, cutting up people, and vampires. I can stomach some violence, but it really has to pertain to the story line. As I picked it up and read the inside jacket cover I discovered that the main character, Anita is a human that hunts vampires, but has close relations with them. Sounds familiar right? All that consumption of information just wasn't enough for me to purchase it. So what did sell me on it? The mention of "weretigers". Weretigers, I wanted to know more.
From the moment I started the novel it was hard for me to put it down. It is written as a crime/ detective story with a woman as the lead character. Anita is an amazingly strong character that has won my loyalty from the start. The majority of the books I read are written by men so the women characters are always secondary and never strong- evil maybe, but never strong. I didn't realized what I was missing. Anita is petite physically, but with everything else she is bigger than life. She tends to lead with her heart and her faith which in most cases conflicts with her relationships. Sure there is sex and violence but not together. The story is based in a world where humans live with the supernatural openly. I think what sets this apart from other human-vampire stories is that it is set in the present, and is more complex - nothing is just right or wrong it just is.
So after finishing the story I wanted more. Lucky me I started with the end of the series and there was 16 books prior to Skin Trade. So starting at the beginning with book one, Guilty Pleasures I was able to read the evolution of characters. This series has become so beloved that I re-read them, and have recommended them to friends and family. I have to say that these stories are diffidently an adult read and I don't recommend this to the 18 and under crowd. The first few novels don't have sex scenes but violence. The stories are all based around a violent crime and Anita is the marshal that helps in solving them.
If this sounds like your cup of tea check it out. At this point there are 19 books in the series and I can't wait for the next one. If you have any questions or comments leave them below- xoxo AlbeeLucky