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Monday, December 07, 2009:
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (2007) - review
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father--the one responsible for ruining her mother's life. Then she's captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She's amazed she doesn't end up as his dinner--are there actually "good" vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side . . . and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Young Cat Crawfield is the by-product of a date rape her mother suffered twenty-some odd years ago at the mercy of a vampire. That horrific experience scarred her mother so deeply that Cat feels guilty for her very existence. Now to atone for being born, Cat is spending her nights killing those very same vampires whose DNA runs through her veins, and her days in the classroom, trying to make something out of herself.

One night while trolling for vamps in the usual stomping grounds, Cat encounters an arrogant, cheeky vampire who sets her completely off her game. Every other time she's offered herself up as seductive prey, the evil vampire unerringly took the bait, too hungry to ever suspect something might be wrong. But this English bugger flusters Cat, makes her feel silly and gauche, and even declines her tempting offer. It isn't until another time that Mr. Can't Be Bothered decides he's got time for her, and even then, Cat discovers she's not the one in control here. Sure she may have successfully killed a bunch of vampires for someone of her tender years and limited abilities, but this one was different. Powerful. Deadly. And not one bit fooled by her innocently seductive act. This is one fight Cat's not sure she can win.

Bones is his name, and he's a bad-ass vamp who has his own reasons for killing vampires. At his ripe old age, he's a master vamp, and has powers Cat's not seen before. Discovering her amazing ability, as well as the fact this Kitten has a little secret she uses as her trump card, Bones offers up the idea of an alliance between them, a dangerous pact that just might get Cat killed....

My thoughts:

Just when you think there cannot possibly be another amazing series to fall in love with, that all the books out there are blurring into one another and you just don't have the energy or the inclination to start again, when all paranormals are based on a cookie-cutter formula, you are proven very, very wrong. And I have Jeaniene Frost to thank for that.

Cat and Bones. I mean really, what kind of a name is Bones? Certainly not a very sexy one. Amd to be honest, his real name isn't all that hawt either. And confession time: I did not even like Bones when we first meet him. He was a total wanker, and I badly wanted Cat to stake him even before I knew who he was. (In fact it was with a sense of dread that I suspected this total ass was in fact Bones, and sure enough, some people in the know on Twitter confirmed my worst fears).

But I am a weak, easy woman, and before too much longer, despite my initial distaste, I was in luv. Bones might have been rude and irritating at first, but he has an amazing tendency to wear down your defenses. He's deadly and unrepentant, but there's just something about the guy that's rather irresistible.

And then there's Cat. She's what, 21, 22 years old at this point, and has already been killing vamps for the last 6 or 7 years. She's a refreshing character because she's a loner, but not really a hardened person despite her lonely, unforgiving. Because of her half-breed existence, she's gone mostly without any friends, which is rather sad and made my heart go out to her. She also has a mother hell-bent on vengeance and Cat feels guilty for her part in that, no matter the fact that it is absolutely not her fault for the violence her mother suffered or the result led to her being born. Yet in addition to all that, Cat also has a fierce, prickly side that I rather admired. She's a bit clumsy, still getting her feet wet, yet she also has this really alluring, beautiful and fearless appeal about her that even after a time Bones cannot resist. The bloke is head over heels and Cat doesn't even know it.

This book was a trip, and I'm competely sucked in by Jeaniene's storytelling. Funny, clever, entertaining, very sexy, I thoroughly enjoyed each and every page. I especially liked how the relationship between Bones and Cat developed, and as much as I enjoy the long, drawn-out courtship, it makes sense that in a life and death existence, everything is more intense and you don't wait around for when it's the "right" time. So along with all the other exciting, edgy things going on in this book, you also have a poignant love story. That really appealed to me.

I've already started book 2 (impatient for chapter 32!) but I won't reveal any of that here. Suffice it to say it's an amazing kickoff to my new favorite series, and if you haven't gotten a chance to read it yet, stay tuned because I'm going to include it in my holiday contest. I promise, you will LOVE it.

Rating: ***** out of *****

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  1. I love what Cat says to Bones the first time they meet. From that line alone I knew this series would be awesome.

  2. I love this series! Mmmm...Bones...

    Ms. Frost writes really interesting characters and the storyline is riveting! Love Tate too (shhh...don't tell Bones!)

  3. I heart Tate too!!! I hope he gets his own book. He needs some love.

  4. So glad you loved Cat and Bones. The series just gets better and better, I promise.

    Patti & Mandi, I'm a Tate fan too. Actually there are many vamps and a ghoul I really like in this series.

  5. "I am a weak, easy woman"

    LOL. I'm sure I will be too when I start this one!!!

  6. Stace I am SOOOOO glad you told me about this series on FB. I picked up the first two yesterday. I'm halfway through the first one and I am absolutely in LOVE. It's the best book I've read in a LONG time and already up there with my favorite series.

    There is something about Bones that is TOO DIE FOR. Love the man. Everything about him. He had me at "I'm ready to F*** now" LOL. Love his sarcasm and wit. I've laughed out loud multiple times in this book. It's fantastic. I can't wait to see what happens.

    Can you tell I love the book? LOL. I haven't enjoyed a new to me author this much in...I can't even remember when.

    (AKA Kelley)

  7. yes yes! I picked these up at my library the other day and was totally sucked in. I didn't think I would be tempted by yet another UF/vampire/paranormal series, but oh yes I am. :) I can't wait to read the next one.

  8. I love this series! Cat & Bones rock!

  9. Mini confession I sleep with Bones under my pillow case O_o. No seriously best new-ish series I've read this year. I bought the 2nd book alone on Mandi's Chap 32 tweets. That Mandi she knows I'm a sucker for good sexy scenes!

  10. Darn it Stacy! Here I was actually progressing in my plan to reduce my TBR list to manageable levels (scoff all you want, I as making progress), when you write a review like that! I can't do anything but add it to my TBR list now!



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