Disclaimer: This book describes very disturbing situations.
I love Charlaine Harris and I love most of her books and series. The only series that I did not continue ready was Lily Bard, and that is because it was too disturbing. Some of you may know that Harris was a sexual assault survivor and very often so are the characters of Harris’ such as Lily Bard and Sookie Stackhouse. Harris is a wonderful writer, but when she writes about sexual assault survivors or scenes, it is very real and raw and can makes the reader very anxious.
Dancers in the Dark is a Novella that is set in the same Sookie Stackhouse universe. It is about a dancer name Rue. Rue answered an ad for a dancer that would be willing to work with vampires and get bitten. Although she has some reservations, she needs the money. I was immediately hooked.
Rue used to be a beauty queen but she wears a disguise that downplays her beauty. Rue has a secret, she was an abuse victim of someone she dated, she lives in constant fear that he will find her. I think Harris paints the fear in this book very well, at times I find myself tense or scared for Rue. I think what really got to me was when Rue looked at herself as a battered woman, it was a very powerful statement that blatantly told the reader what Rue was.
After a successful audition, Sean is her chosen vampire dancer partner. I love the vampires in the Sookieverse but I did not find Sean very interesting. I did like that he was not the traditional hot Adonis because Harris’ description of Sean painted him as a short, average redhead with a slight Irish accent.
What I did not like about Sean was that although he did not hurt Rue, he was still abusive and possessive. He would do things that she did not want and pry into her life. Rue was always initially mad but then found herself glad that he was there for her. I understand that vampires are possessive and territorial in this universe but it annoyed me because Rue was falling into the same trap. I would love to see another book to this series, one were Rue realizes Sean was just as bad as her ex.
This book was probably one of the sexiest Harris books I’ve read. It almost read like a light erotica, there was a lot of sexiness for such a short book. Harris did a great job contrasting between sex and sexual assault.
Overall, this book was a good and easy read. The ending was very powerful and I think it shines a harsh light on assault.