Jeaniene Frost is perhaps my favorite vampire author at this time and as such I was recently invited to help manage a Facebook page dedicated to the Night Huntress Series where each week we are picking one of the books to focus on and what better place to start than the beginning.
Meet Cat, a one of a kind half-vampire half-human who hates the undead with a vengeance and sees it as her personal mission to remove as many of them as she can from the world or she will die trying. She does pretty well until she meets Bones. Gorgeous, English, but more importantly a master vampire who could literally eat her for breakfast …. if he so desired…. luckily for her he has other things on his mind.
After a failed “seduction and stake” mission Cat finds herself captured by Bones and chained in his cave whilst he desperately tries to find out who hired her, convinced that another master vampire is behind her string of killings but he is wrong. The fact that she has been killing those that Bones himself has been after for information is nothing more than a cosmic coincidence …. a coincidence that Bones plans to use to keep Cat close, while he trains her, helps her, and works on his plan to make her fall in love with him the way he did with her the moment she tried to fight him.
For 5 weeks Bones takes Cat through a training regime that a top class marine would be hard pressed to keep up with all the time hiding some of the things that he can really do and as much as Cat hates it she has to admit she is getting better. Faster, sharper, and more aware of everything including how attractive Bones really is ….. if only he wasn’t a vampire …. oh and those “perk me up blood chasers” .. yes she could do without those too. Step by step Bones shows her more of the world he comes from … a world that Cat really half belongs too, a world she thought she understood but now realizes she had barely scratched the surface of. Weaknesses, Strengths, she learns them all …. and most of all how to use her heartbeat to her advantage ….. yes they will never see her coming!
Training includes a little trip to the graveyard where we learn that even Half-vampires can see ghosts, and talk with them, and get drunk for them if that’s what it takes to get needed information. We also learn that ghosts and full vampires don’t get on because the spirits are jealous that vampires are “dead” too but can affect the world around them. Pay attention here folks as later in the series this little piece of information becomes very important. Poor Cat also learns that whilst she can drink “normal” alcohol until the cows come home this Moonshine that Bones gave her to share with the alcoholic ghost (who incidentally cops a ghostly feel) can get her well and truly drunk. We learn that a drunk Cat is a much more agreeable Cat and she starts to see what us as readers have known all along … that Bones is one yummy vampire!!!!!
And that isn’t all Bones teaches her. In order for her to be better “Bait” he decides she needs a makeover in both the looks and the mannerisms department and we get a first class introduction to all the bad things Bones knows how to do … and that is just when he is TALKING!! Unsurprisingly even Cat cannot resist such a detailed description (all under the pretense of training of course) of all the things his mouth can do even if it does take her brain a moment to put the description together .. when she does it is enough to make her fall off her chair .. literally!!!! The images are so vivid that hours later in the bath his words come back to haunt her in such a way she ends up almost killing herself falling out the tub. Can you IMAGINE what is going to happen when he actually puts his hands on her!!! Fire will fly… for the readers too!!!
After her near death tub experience we get to meet Justina (Cat’s mother whom she lives with together with her grandparents). Now Justina is a piece of work if ever you meet one. She knows Cat is different and all she wants is vampires exterminated. All of them. Forever. Yes she is not going to like the feelings that Cat is discovering she has for Bones one little bit! Poor Cat is torn between what she has always been lead to believe .. all vampires are bad, demons, out for the kill, just looking for their next meal …. and what Bones is showing her … that when he looks at her his hunger is for something else entirely.
Friday comes and it is supposed to be Cat’s first “job” for Bones, off to the club to apprehend a vampire named “Sergio” who has a penchant for underage girls and Cat seems to be just his ideal target. It takes her less than 20 minutes to get him to leave the club with her but her training has gone a little better than expected and Sergio is ready for more than a little talking. Lucky for Cat, Bones in on hand to save the day and manages to get the information he is after before letting Cat go in for the kill. One thing to learn … listen VERY carefull to how Bones words things ….. he could have been a lawyer with his careful clever talk!
With the help of a friend the body (and the car they ended up with) quickly get disposed of but this means a little trip in the back of a van for Cat and Bones which give them time to …. talk! And yes talking is what they do with Bones managing to get a few personal details out of Cat in return for the story of his being turned and we learn a lot about why Cat is so skittish about men or should I say boys because her first was a nasty little boy who deserves everything he has coming to him … and oh yes he gets what he has earned!!!!!
Returning home a little confused Cat knows she has to return for her “job” with Bones the next night but what she has no idea is that Bones is planning to take her on a date .. let her have a night of fun and dancing that she has never experienced before but it takes a couple of guys slipping her a “roofie” in her drink to let herself really let go and things get very hot and heavy on the dance floor. Don’t you just love a guy that can dance!! Damn makes me want to go dancing!!! Sadly just as things are getting interesting Bones see’s the one guy he is after and the fun ends as the pair have to go to work. *Sigh* …. Damn vampires can have the worst timing can’t they??? So Hennessey (Or the vampire that ruined a perfectly good opportunity as I like to call him) has been causing all sorts of trouble around town and he thinks he is going to add Cat to his “collection” and with some stupid human’s having slipped some stuff into her drinks he almost succeeds ….. turns out what Hennessey is really running is a “Meals on Wheels” delivery type service for vampires which is why so many girls have been disappearing. Oh and those pesky police reports that can get in the way … just send a vampire over to glamour any relatives into thinking the girls left on their own. Perfect!!!!
Luckily for Cat before Hennessey can drain her dry she triggers her special James Bond style watch and Bones swoops in to save her …. again ….. sadly having to sacrifice getting Hennessey to do so but he did take his shirt off so that works for me :D. After reviving poor Cat with his blood Bones (minus his shirt) takes her home where she eventually wakes up in his arms and immediately jumps to the wrong conclusions! Bones, understandably is not amused but even he can’t fight this ever-growing attraction despite Cat saying all the wrong things they end up naked …. facing each other …. and they KISS!!!! But Cat the loses her mind and leaves … seriously WHAT ARE YOU THINKING WOMAN!!!!!
So we spend the next few pages minus Bones as goes to college and tries to do “normal” (substitute boring) things to take her mind off the very sexy Bones. Cat being Cat can’t even do that properly and ends up as a target for one of Hennessey’s on campus human spies (who has no idea who Cat is) … and their planned night out turns out to be a trap and poor Cat ends up killing the bitch spy. Now personally I wouldn’t be shedding any tears but Cat is mortified and of course calls Bones for help and this is why I love him …. he doesn’t waste time asking who, how, or why, he just wants to know where and once again comes to the rescue and takes her home … and YES we finally get to see a little of what Bones is capable of!! Damn that man knows how to make a girl happy …. and let me tell you these few pages are just a GLIMPSE of what is to come!!!!
Of course Cat being Cat wakes up mortified and runs out without time for even a “see you later” and rushes home to be greeted by looks of shock from her mother and grandparents as she is COVERED IN HICKEYS!!!! Oh that amused the hell out of me!! Yes Cat good luck explaining that one!! And that is her cue to get her own place and she moves into a little apartment just a short distance from college. Hmmm probably should have done that BEFORE coming home covered in hickeys!! So although she manages to arrange a new place to live she hasn’t had the chance to move before Bones pays a surprise visit to her house. Reason enough for any girl to panic (or faint with delight….) but when her grandparents answer the door a quick flash of his green eyes and he has them believing he is a nice girl taking Cat off to bible camp. Hmmmmm all the green eyeing in the WORLD would not be able to get me to see him as a girl but OK then whatever works ……
So the spontaneous visit turned out to be because Bones had a lead on Hennessey which required a trip to Charlotte and a new club … but same old game. Cat making great bait and catching their “target” who lead them straight to a meals on wheels stop-gate house where they manage to kill the bad guys, get info on Hennessey AND save a human all in one foul swoop. Human saved (but traumatized) they take her to “an old Friend” of Bones called Tara who turns out to be another rescue case which has Cat asking all sorts of questions and putting her foot firmly in her mouth on more than one occasion but after they return to their hotel we get to see how destroyed a hotel can get having sex with a vampire *grins* and we learn that Bones has no intention of ever letting Cat go ….. and if she runs he will come and find her. Oh that gives me chills every time I read it!!!
Returning home Bones leaves Cat to move into her new apartment but it doesn’t take Bones long to come and visit and catch up on things where they left off *sigh* but he won’t “sleep there” as he feels too exposed which leaves Cat all alone the next morning to meet her neighbour who mistakenly knock on her door at 9.30!! Way too early for night bird Cat but his intentions are good bringing coffee and supplies thinking Cat is a normal new college girl. They bond over coffee and drooling exploits and Cat finally feels she has made a friend and is very relaxed as she heads up to visit Bones in his cave.
Her relaxation is short-lived as she approaches to a new energy … a vampire but not bones. fear floods her as she panics that something bad has happened so she successfully ambushes a dark-haired vampire that turns out to be Spade (aka Charles) Bones’ best friend and has come with information .. not with threats. Shame that the info he brings comes in the form of a perky little latina brunette Francesca, who would like to get more than her hands on Bones….. hmm I wouldn’t like her much either! But I have to say it is great to see it bring out Cat’s inner possessive vamp side and makes for some nasty action in a stairwell which is always a bonus. On a serious note though Francesca is risking a lot by betraying her sire like this but she has come to realise that even death would be preferable to the “life” she has right now and as a plus we get a little lesson in vampire history and politics.
Shortly after this we get a lesson in Bones … and I think this is the moment that I realized how much I adored him His undying love for Cat that comes above everything including their mission when Cat’s first ever boyfriend, Danny, who almost ruined her for all men appeared at the club and came face to face with Bones. I love how Bones just wanted to kill him there on the spot and how he made him suffer while glamouring him so he couldn’t scream. Is it wrong that I adored every second of it even as Cat was begging him to stop (don’t ask me why) and love that it led to a reenactment of their first night together too *sigh*.
With them leaving the club that night a couple of weeks go by with no success and so Cat and Bones get to spend some quality time together until they are surprised by a sudden visit by … no not Hennessey …. JUSTINA!!! Yes the mother from Hell turns up uninvited and Cat puts Bones IN THE CLOSET to hide him. Oh you KNOW that this isn’t going to be good!! and sure enough it isn’t. Sadly once Cat manages to chase her mother off Bones decides that he is going to leave to give her time to think …… stupid Cat …. what is there to THINK about??? Really!!!! *rolls eyes*.
Well Cat gets chance to roll around in her own stupid guilt for a while and when she finally comes to her senses to call Bones she finds he is already on his was having received an emergency call from Francesca … she has been found out. You know that this isn’t going to end well. So Cat and Bones reunited scour everywhere they can think of for her but it is too late. Hennessey has found her and introduced her to the true death leaving her decomposing body in a place that Bones would be sure to find it. The only upside to this is that there is so much raw emotion flowing around you KNOW that their reunion is going to end up with sex and we all know there is nothing better than the “needing to know you are still alive” sex right up to Cat FINALLY letting Bones drink her blood!! About damn time!!!!
With all right in the Cat and Bones love life you know that this is the cue for everything to start going wrong with everything else. Firstly her family. After a phone call with her crazy mother that ends up with Justina having to go because “someone is at the door” to Cat getting a knock at her door from the police!!! Danny has given them a tip-off and this is causing a whole new world of problems. See she should have just let Bones kill him and none of this would have happened!!!! At least Cat manages not to let them in to see her arsenal of knives and other weapons and she manages to keep her head long enough for them to leave and to go out shopping and leading them on a wild goose chase for a couple of hours before running to Bones … the one person who can really help her.
Sadly by the time she gets to Bones it is already too late for her grandparents as Bones rushes her back to her home where she finds them slaughtered and her mom missing. Just when it looks like things can’t get any worse the police turn up AGAIN!! Forcing Cat to “pin” them with silver blades so she can escape with Bones so they can work out how to rescue her Mom.
As they have to wait to continue their chase (due to a cryptic message that the crazy killers left inside one of Cat’s grandparents), they have some time for some frantic crisis sex and blood swapping … always a plus in my book even under these circumstances…… and then the REAL action begins.
Out numbered and out gunned Cat and Bones head to the bad guys layer to rescue Justina (Yes I probably wouldn’t either but she is Cat’s mother), and kill the bad guys by using their secret weapon …. calling the police. Yes you read that right, and no I am not talking about some special vampire police squad , I am talking about the regular old boys in blue. Interesting, but apparently effective strategy! Even as the weapons are flying the and the fighting is happening stupid Justina is STILL against Bones. Honestly they should have taken this opportunity to just be done with her but they manage to save her and hang on long enough for the police to get there …. and arrest Cat and Bones takes off after the escaping bad guy sidekick Switch.
Turns out being arrested isn’t as good a plan as Cat thinks though as SURPRISE … some of the police are employed by the vampires and turns out this little meals on wheels gig goes all the way to the Governor!!! Cat manages to work this out in time to save her life … and sneaks into the Governor’s mansion … and kills him!! Go Cat!!! Sadly she then can’t explain everything away and so ends up arrested … and in a hospital handcuffed to a bed.
This is where things get interesting … yes I know we are almost at the end but stay with me… you are going to want to know this. So poor Cat is handcuffed to the bed when in walks a very official FBI looking team (Don and Tate) … and they know all about Vampires!!! Yes that’s right!!! They say the V word!! Now that is enough to even get Cat’s attention!! Enough that she frees herself to avoid getting shot (Don’s idea of testing a theory) and breaks his knee!! Hey he deserved it. Cat is still not on board though until they bring in Justina .. yes that woman gets in EVERYWHERE!!! And despite EVERYTHING that Bones has done it becomes clear that Justina has no intention of accepting him any time soon leaving Cat with the only option of going with the FBI to work with them in an underworld group of agents keeping things secret from humans. Well that doesn’t sound like a good plan to me.
Luckily Bones agrees with me and as they try to leave the hospital he stops the car (by standing right in front of it) and then throws it off to one side (almost killing all the agents) and rescuing Cat and her mother (who REALLY doesn’t want to be rescued) and they all escape off into the sunset to visit a ghoul called Rodney. (More about ghouls and their rules another time … just know that they are a sister race to vampires and they eat people ….. yup that about sums that up). And you would think that that was that ….. right? Bad guys killed …. Cat and Bones together ….. all should be good … but you are not allowing for Justina *sigh* and Cat makes a decision that quite honestly I hate her for at the end of the book.
After a wonderful night with Bones she sends him off with Rodney for a little while as she sets up her plan …. she calls Don, plants a fake dead vampire … and leaves with the evil Justina and just a note for Bones hoping he understands …. oh it breaks my heart …. how can you leave him …. After everything he did you LEAVE him!!!! Oh it’s just wrong … WRONG .. heartbreaking and WRONG!!!!!!!! Her final words to him … We have play the cards we’re dealt … to fight the battles we can win ….. but if you ask me by choosing Justina … Cat just LOST!!!