So in the last book we find that Anita is not a Lycanthrope but since merging the marks she now has very vampire like abilities. She can (must) feed off of sex and lust, leopards are her animal to call and she has created a vampire servant (As opposed to a human servant).
In this book we learn more about 'Sourdre de Sang', Vampires come in several grades of power:
- Regular jo-blog vampire: Standard powers able to capture a human with their eyes, super strength and speed.
- Ancient jo-blog vampire: No matter how old they are they will never be masters but they've gotten a bit more metaphysical heft over the centuries.
- Regular Master: Master vampires have at least one greater power in their arsenal like being able to feed off of an emotion or being able to rot and reform or being able to trick the body into having intense pleasure during their bite.
- Superior Masters: Have one or more powers that regular masters have but are also able to have an Animal to call. If that animal to call has humanoid counterpart like a were-wolf then their power has even greater uses in regards to having a completely obedient cadre of body guards/sentinels, and so is seen as being even more powerful again.
- Council Members: Basically ancient Superior Masters that were/are strong enough to hold a seat at the council
- Sourdre de Sang: Most council members are Sourdre de Sang but not all. When a vampire becomes Sourdre de Sang they become the head of their own bloodline. Anyone they create and then also any one they create and so on and so forth, the original Sourdre de Sang can call upon them, has the power to give or take power from them. Every millennia only 2-3 Sourdre de Sang grow into their title as they must be powerful and their power must evolve beyond what their Sourdre de Sang gave them, to be either greater or different from what they were originally created as.
Jean Claude’s Soudre de Sang is Belle Morte and she was negotiating to send delegates to visit Jean Claude in 3 months. They broke agreements by arriving early and so Anita has to play Vampire politics and power games. We meet Musette, Belle Mortes executioner and she is small, cute, creepy little French barbie doll. Valentina, a girl who was changed into a vampire at the age of 8 by a paedophile Vampire, and Bartolome, a boy who was 12 or 13 who was known to be already very sexually active and was brought over to be a vampire rather than let him die when he was thrown from his horse.
In other issues, now that she is a succubus Anita needs to agree to having more sexual partners to feed the ardeur since Nathaniel has collapsed due to being fed on too frequently.
An ancient vampire known as Sweet Mother or Mother of Darkness or Anita decides to call her "Mommy Dearest" has been slumbering for something like 2 or 3 millennia is starting to wake up and in her slowly waking state she is curious about Anita and Anita finds out that Mommy Dearest and her servants are somehow both Vampire and Lycanthrope.
A rogue were-wolf is raping and killing women and Dolph, the head of the Regional Preternatural Investigation Team (RPIT) has grown to become extremely speciesist on the job where he has started being abusive to Anita due to her choice/s of bed partners. His hatred caused partially by the job and partially by the fact that his son has fallen in love with a vampire and has decided to become one himself.
Oh and some international assassins have decided to start following Anita around.
So at the end of this book we learn that Jean Claude has become a Sourdre de Sang. Were Belle Mortes powerbase is last, it is theorised in later books that Jean Claudes power has grown beyond that where his power is also Love. Yes he can use lust but love, loyalty and compassion is what set him apart and made him more than what Belle created him to be.
Also Richard's gone off the deep-end and Anita is now sleeping with both Jean Claude and Asher as a Ménage à trois. It is more a book about Anitas growth emotionally speaking and coming to terms with the fact that sleeping with multiple people is not something to be ashamed of.
Outside of that this book is a slog, it takes forever to get to the point. What you need to know is:
- Anita starts being okay with the idea of having more sexual partners and being able to love all of them.
- Mommy Dearest is an a vampire who created the council some 2 or 3 million years ago, is both a vampire and a saber-tooth/cave-lion lycanthrope and has power over nothingness and darkness and is starting to wake from her slumber.
- Jean Claude has become a Sourdre de Sang.
Once you know that, skip this book. I give it 5.5/10. The plot line doesn't proceed in an enjoyable format.
The only thing it makes me wonder is if Warrick from Burnt Offerings had lived, would he have become a Sourdre de Sang and would have his line been able to be day walkers and able to withstand fire and holy articles? Would he have been able to call Faeries as his animal to call since he could call butterflies? Such things to wonder at. Pity we will never find out.