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Thursday, December 17, 2009:
One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (2008) - review
You can run from the grave, but you can't hide . . .

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield is now Special Agent Cat Crawfield, working for the government to rid the world of the rogue undead. She's still using everything Bones, her sexy and dangerous ex, taught her, but when Cat is targeted for assassination, the only man who can help her is the vampire she left behind.

Being around him awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline kick of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head--wanted: dead or half-alive--means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard she tries to keep things professional between them, she'll find that desire lasts forever . . . and that Bones won't let her get away again.

This is the 2nd book in the outstanding Night Huntress series, and this installment is just as engaging and thrilling as the last (well if you count the infamous chapter 32, even moreso).

Cat has been away from Bones for four years now, adjusting to her new life and new identity. But as much as she would like to think so, she really hasn't moved on. Fighting the evil dead is something Cat is very, very good at, and she's hand-picked a tough group of fighters as her team, but at the end of the day, she goes home alone.

A recent murder, similar to a tragedy from her past, prompts Cat to return to Ohio, and once again she runs into her old lover, and in the most unexpected place. Old feelings and strong desire still burns strong between them, but the reasons she left in the first place still exist. She's not willing to sacrifice the man she loves just by staying with him again. Her new life and old one cannot blend smoothly, and it's just easier all the way around if she stays away from Bones, even if she's unhappy. It's a small price to pay for the safety of those she loves.

But Bones is persistent, and still very much in love with his willful Kitten. Now that he's found her, she's not going to get away so easily. It's up to him to show her they can stay together and work their the issues that were keeping them apart. And now that there is a price on his love's head, he's going to fight tooth and nail - and sire - to keep her with him forever.....

My thoughts:

Jeaniene Frost has done it again! Some of you might remember, if you read my review of the first Night Huntress book, that I didn't much care for Bones when we first met him. The whole fact that he was British and pompous and blond did absolutely nothing for me. Or so I thought. The cheeky devil won me over despite my initial protests. Now, in this installment of the series, I was concerned how I would react to the separation between Cat and Bones: after all, it's been 4 long years! That's an eternity, even to a vampire, to be apart from the person they love, and all kinds of shenanigans can happen during that time.

But I shouldn't have worried. Ms. Frost brings us a bittersweet yet also funny reunion between these two stubborn but incredibly likable characters. I won't give it away, but suffice it to say that the where and how was quite fun, and right along with Cat, I knew I hadn't stopped loving Bones. He has a way about him that makes it very easy to overlook that he's a total pain in the ass on occasion. Worth putting up with for the rest of the time, especially chapter 32.

Yes, you know I had to go there. One of the most delightful things about a paranormal romance is that there are barriers and boundaries that can be erased so much more easily than in a traditional romance. Here, in this infamous chapter, Bones gives Cat the night of passion she demands, and it is so incredibly hot that even now, a week later, I'm still shivering when I think about it. The man's got some seriously dangerous skills, and Cat was one lucky chica, no doubt about it. This is the stuff legends are made of. Whew!

But there's a bunch of other stuff going on. For example, Cat's team has to come to terms with the fact that their leader is dating one of the undead. They're not so cool with that, and it causes tension in the ranks. In addition, they are dealing with the loss of one of their teammates from a fatal vampire attack, which makes Bones' presence even more unwanted. And if that weren't enough, someone has a serious jonesing to get rid of Cat permanently, and very nearly succeeds. As if Cat didn't have enough to deal with, there's just the teeny, tiny problem of her mom, who hates vampires with every fiber of her being, even though Cat is half vamp. Can you say dysfunctional? That pretty much covers Cat's relationship with her mother, yet Cat loves her, and is willing to put up with a lot to keep her mother safe.

This book I think really sets the tone for the series. Cat is no longer than clumsy, naive, starving waif we meet in the first book. She's somebody now, and she's incredibly good at what she does. She grew up, developed some confidence (and a better wardrobe?) and we see her in charge of this unit of men that defer to her in all decisions. We also delve more into her family tree, which is quite interesting. We also deal with some of Bones' history as one of the undead, and the hierarchy within the vampire world, from his sire to other Master vampires, their laws so different from human ones. It's a fascinating culture, and it will be interesting to see how Cat, as part vampire, tries to blend these two sides of herself within both worlds.

It should go without saying that I am ever so glad I have the 3rd book in the series, because while this one didn't quite end as a cliffhanger, there's still some loose threads that need to be addressed, and I'm thinking we're going to learn a lot in the next one. The more I learn, the more I want to know. And that's definitely a sign of an outstanding series.

Rating: ****1/2 out of *****

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  1. I really have to read this series.

  2. What A Buckeye Girl Reads said!!
    I have this series on the shelves....since the first book came out. In the meantime 3 books have been added but still I can't get to them. Everytime I have the freedom (in between required reads) to stand in front of my shelves and pick a book to read, I never come up with Frost. This review though, and a lot of buzz on Twitter, says I definitely should next time.

  3. I love this series! Great review - I like how Cat has grown in this book and love me some Bones (and Tate..shhhh!). I am a grown woman with three kids and I blushed while reading Chapter 32!

  4. ooo the first book is on my wish list. great review! time to move these up on my To Buy list! hopefully the holidays will be good to me *rubbing hands together in anticipation*

  5. {Gasp} Stacy you didn't like Bones in the first book?!!! I don't know what it is about Bones, but every time he spoke I was like a teenager again. I forced my sister to read this series with me and we had hour long phone conversation on how charming Bones was. Clearly I'm obsessed with this series, I'm worse than a Twihard fan.

    Psst the 4the book is even better.

  6. I am so in love with this series. You mentioned it to me and I got the books and ready all four in a week and a half. I love Bones. He is soo sexy. Cat rocks. Love her. They are HOT, funny as all get out, and exciting.

    Chapter 32 will FOREVER be etched in my memory as one of the hottest scenes I have ever read.

    Sigh. I want to read them again.

  7. Smokinhotbooks,

    I am the same as you. I get giddy over bones. He had me from that first scene.

  8. Good review Stacy! I've really liked this series since the get go. I loved books 1 and 2 but 3rd left me a little wanting. I bought the 4th book when it came out this past summer but have yet to read it. Maybe I should move that up in the pile? lol

  9. I've heard of Bones... seems that every girl in the romblog community is swooning over him if they've met him.
    I haven't read this series but now I know where this Bones guy can be found ;)
    I liked your review alot and now I'm gonna put Frost on my wishlist :D

  10. This is a highly entertaining series. and Bones is...mmmm. A very satisfying hero, imo. heh.

  11. *circles Halfway to the Grave on TBR list*

    Thank you Stacy!

  12. I have the first part in this series, but somehow always grab another book so it is still unread. Great review.

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