Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Publication Year: 2013
Genre: Fiction, Novella
Source: Borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
For most people, summer barbecues are nothing to be afraid of. But Anita isn’t exactly plain vanilla — and neither is her love life. So it takes a special kind of courage to attend a barbecue thrown by her friend Sergeant Zerbrowski. Walking into a backyard full of cops and their families with wereleopards Micah and Nathaniel both looking gorgeous on her arm won’t be easy, even with almost-four-year-old Matthew Vespucci to break the ice…
Anita is determined to have a good time with her family, just like everyone else. But it doesn’t take long for tensions to rise among the adults and kids. And Anita will learn that gossip and innuendo can be just as dangerous as anything the undead can throw at her…
(This is a novella in the Anita Blake series, after Guilty Pleasures, The Laughing Corpse, Circus of the Damned, The Lunatic Cafe, Bloody Bones, The Killing Dance, Burnt Offerings, Blue Moon, Obsidian Butterfly, Narcissus in Chains, Cerulean Sins, Incubus Dreams, Micah (novella), Danse Macabre, The Harlequin, Blood Noir, Skin Trade, Flirt (novella), Bullet, Hit List, Beauty (novella), Kiss the Dead, and Affliction.)
I really enjoyed this novella, even though not a lot happens in it. It’s just a story of a backyard barbecue like any other, except that the unconventional relationship between Anita, Micah, and Nathaniel catches the attention of some of the “normals” present. There’s also some interesting interactions between some of the children present, based on stereotypes of manliness, that get to be dealt with.
In hindsight, it felt a bit like a morality play, but it was still fun to read just because of getting to see the interactions between the characters that we love.