Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake, #22.6
•Publication Date: October 8, 2013
Opening Line: Have you ever had to have lunch with your lover's fiancé?
"A present from me to you, because our government is behaving badly. This story is for all my readers who have been impacted by the current political SNAFU – and for anyone else who might need to enjoy a free story in these difficult times.
“Shutdown”, will be available free for the duration of the government shutdown. Once the government is back in business then the short story will no longer be available on line, at least not until my publisher and I figure out what we might want to do with it. But for right now, while we’re all wondering how it got to this point, here’s a brand new Anita Blake short story, featuring our favorite bad boy werewolf, yep, I mean Richard Zeeman. Hey, I’ve been telling you, he’s been working his therapy: read on to see the results that hard work and being brave enough to own your whole self can get you." -Laurell K. Hamilton
This is mainly a story about how Richard has grown as a person due to extensive therapy. He is no longer a self-hater. While Richard is still looking for a white picket fence life, he has accepted that he needs the kinkier things in life to be truly happy.
Richard and Dr. Ellen Radborne, his fiance, have invited Anita and Micah to have lunch with them. Although Ellen is willing to try and let Richard keep Anita, Jean-Claude and Asher in his life, she wants to better understand Anita's polyamorous lifestyle and exactly how Richard fits into it.
I was never a huge fan of Richard, even in the beginning. I never liked how Richard hated himself for being a werewolf and someone who liked kinky sex. Then, Richard turned into a major dickhead and not even the other characters liked him. That being said, I love Richard in Shutdown. I don't think Richard will ever play a huge role in Anita's life again, but if he remains like this, I could quickly become a fan.
Anita is a better woman than I am for agreeing to have lunch with Richard and his fiance. Awkward does not even begin to describe that conversation. My favorite part of the story was the end. I'm so proud of Richard!!!
There are so many reasons that most of my friends are men.
"He ties me up and does nefarious things to me."
"That would be rude and stupid. I'm trying not to be the first, and I'm not the second if I can avoid it."
"This is my sexuality; it's what makes me happy. You saying that it's abuse is insulting; it would be like me saying that your idea of sex is boring."
Was it possible to lie to yourself so well that you didn't realize you were doing it? Hell, yes. I'd done it myself for years.