Another for my second-in-a-series challenge is Elaine Levine's Audrey and the Maverick. I had read her first book and thought it went OK, except for some severe silliness on the protagonist's part. Unfortunately, the minor problem in this one was that there was no problem. Audrey spends the entire book terrified, but I have no idea why. Every time she panics and does something silly, I'm left confused, because either there is no threat, or she could have walked away from the problem. And the delicate way the hero confesses to being partly black left me with a bad taste -- it felt less like a historically accurate issue than one expected to shock and titillate modern readers. And why is Julian a maverick? Because he's a sheep farmer?
Bullet (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter), by Laurell K Hamilton, has a lot of very detailed multiplayer sex scenes, made more shocking by the players' tendency to stop and talk at odd moments. Very odd moments. On the other hand, there was some plot development; something is going to happen so Anita and her friends have started preparing for it. Mostly by sleeping with various people so that more people can "join the team." Which is fine, but honestly I'd rather just take it as given and use the pages to actually do something about the problem. The story line progresses along, novelette by novelette, with a few hundred extra pages per book for descriptions of hair, clothes, and loins, both still life and in action.