by Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #1
Published on October 30, 2007 by Avon
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Flirting with the Grave...
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.
Action, adventure, comedy, and romance. Who could want more? This book was an action-packed urban fantasy that was sometimes serious, sometimes (very) heavy on the romance, and sometimes drop-on-the-floor hysterical. Cat and Bones have a certain chemistry that makes them perfect for the main characters of this book as their personalities clash and mix to create a whirl of an adventure. Halfway to the Grave begins the tale of Catherine Crawfield and her vampire-slaying mission in the hopes of taking out the vamp who raped her mother, spending her nights flirting, lying, and staking any undead unlucky enough to meet her. Then she gets caught by Bones, vampire bounty hunter and undead himself. They strike a bargain that has her training and working for Bones to help him track down a few men he’s been hunting for years. While strictly business at first, their relationship grows into something much more. But once the big bad vamp catches them “snooping around,” life becomes a lot more dangerous. The couple may be forced to sacrifice more than they ever expected.
I loved Cat’s character. She has the spunk and wit I’ve found with most UF/PNR heroines. They’re fairly common character traits but Frost gives them a little extra edge with her humor and general writing style. Cat knows what she wants and is quick to judge, but her flaws make her a better character. And then there’s Bones. As a big fan of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV series, I have a soft spot for British, beach-blond vamp (aka Spike). Cat’s badass vampire mentor, Bones, was perfect to fill that role. His accent carried right off the pages to add that extra dimension to his character, while his actions and personality complemented Cat’s to make them a very dynamic duo with chemistry that had me wanting to tear my hair out at times. He’s funny, serious, deadly, and sometimes downright dirty (in more ways than one). Definitely one of my new favorite male leads.
The plot itself includes the perfect set-up for a sequel. Frost leads us on a journey from Cat’s nightly hunting to her meeting Bones, to a build-up of missing girls and vampire politics, and finally to the big battle. The action scenes read seamlessly and the romance was hot — and I mean hot. But there’s a nice balance of action and romance to favor fans of either. If you’re looking for a strictly paranormal romance or urban fantasy, this book might not be for you as the two are blended together in a way I haven’t seen done quite so well before.
Halfway to the Grave is definitely a guilty pleasure book. That isn’t to say that it’s bad, though. On the contrary, the Night Huntress series is on my list of favorites now. Frost’s writing will suck you in and keep you hooked through the entire book. Her characters are dynamic, and there’s never a dull moment. Fans of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and Richelle Mead’s Georgina Kincard series will enjoy Jeaniene Frost’s Halfway to the Grave and no doubt the rest of the series. Don’t let all those other vampire books stop you from reading this one. These vamps aren’t always so nice, but some are downright irresistible.