A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Guilty Pleasures’ chapter three


Monica Vespucci was wearing a button that said, “Vampires are People, too.” It was not a promising beginning to the evening.

No, I can’t imagine it would be. The grammar on that badge is terrible – look at that capitalisation! And it’s not direct speech.

Anita reckons that the bachelorette party will have a distinct vampire flavour because of this.  We then get the first solid description of what Anita looks like (with very little clothes porn, thank my lucky stars!) – dark hair, dark eyes, pale skin, plenty of scars from vampire killin’. A boyfriend once complimented her about it but she was offended by it which is why she doesn’t date much. Because she overreacts to things massively apparently.

There are only three people at the party – Monica, Catherine and Anita. Not a great crowd for a party, but depending on the attitude of the people out it might be a good time…

Catherine gave me a warning glare. I gave them both my best angelic smile. Monica smiled back. Catherine wasn’t fooled.

Ah, I see. Anita is a strong independent woman, ergo a bitch. She is very frosty with Monica and harsh with Catherine because she doesn’t approve of drinking. Well, I guess that makes sense. If you’re out killin’ members of the undead, you want to be sharp and clued up.

The three partygoers arrive in the vampire district, which is known as the Riverfront or Blood Square. They’re heading to a bar called ‘Guilty Pleasures’, which I’m guessing is going to be fairly important for the plot of the novel. Either the dead vampires had connections to the club, or there’s some sort of scandal involving the club. The club is very exclusive and Monica has some sort of clout with the place, having been able to reserve a table.

There was a large sign on the door. “No crosses, crucifixes, or other holy items allowed inside.” I read the sign and walked past it. I had no intention of getting rid of my cross.

That’s not direct speech either.

The club manager, a vampire named Jean-Claude, knows Anita and comes to greet her. He’s described as looking like a low-rate Dave Vanian.

I have figured out your tastes in eighties rock, Hamilton!

Anyway, he talks like a classic vampire stereotype. He knows Anita but is ever so charming with the ladies, and dripping with sensual charisma blah blah blah. The best part of this is Anita talking about the power of religious symbols, which in the Hamilton universe are only effective with faith. So atheists are a little bit screwed. And any religion that doesn’t use religious objects of a similar use to crucifixes. Anita is made to give up her cross to a ‘holy item check girl’.

“It will be a night you will never forget. This is a place of pleasure, Anita, not violence.”

It’s a strip club. Apparently the only choice of career when you’re part of a supernatural race is club owner or stripper. Wow, I never want to be a vampire.

[Jean-Claude] blew me a kiss across the room. The night’s entertainment had begun.

Oh goodie. I think I feel exactly the same as Anita about this. And the chapter ends very shortly again, which is a sign of a very lazy editor.

Also Jean-Claude + Anita. It’s painfully obvious.

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