Author: Jeaniene Frost
Published: October 2007 (Avon)
Category: Paranormal Romance
Series: Night Huntress #1
I don't recall how I stumbled upon the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, but I'm so happy I did. I'm betting it was one of those "You might like this" titles that Barnes and Noble shows me when I'm online shopping, the easily-impressionable impulse buyer that I am.
Cat, our heroine, is a half-human/half-vampire product of an attack her mother suffered at the hands of a newly-made vampire two decades before our story begins. For the first sixteen years of her life, she believed she was different, but couldn't figure out why she was stronger than other kids, or could see in the dark as well as she could during the day. When her mother told her her true heritage when she turned sixteen, she began a quest to kill as many vampires as possible. Her mother schooled her that all vampires are EVIL and will date rape you at the first opportunity. So what does Cat do? She sets herself out as bait at night clubs waiting for a vampire to pick her up, and then stake him when they leave the club.
Eventually, she meets Bones, a vampire who happens to be a vampire bounty hunter. He's a little pissed because she staked the guy he was hunting. He decides to make her his pupil/partner. She's the bait, and then he'll do the dirty work, questioning the vamps before dispatching them.
The romance part is not as large a part as the paranormal element of the book, but excellent when it's there. Bones has been attracted to her from the beginning, when she challenges him to a fight rather than accept his deal, despite the fact that she's far less powerful than him, and chained to a wall in her underwear. Bones knows he has an uphill battle because she's been brainwashed into thinking that all vampires are evil murderers. In fact, their first date only happens because he makes her think they're hunting a vampire at a club, so she has to put on her hoochie clothes, but turns out the vampire they're looking for is actually him. Cute, without being nauseating. I'm glad that the love admissions don't take forever to come about, but Cat's mom poses quite the problem with her rabid belief that all vampires are evil and that her half-evil daughter will succumb to one of them and turn into a full vamp.
The reason I gave the book 7/10 was the ending. Very sad, because there is no happy ending. If you look at the description for the next book, you'll see that Cat and Bones aren't together, but they will be by the end of it, for sure (they better!!). When I got to the end of Halfway to the Grave, I was supremely pissed because I don't have the sequel, One Foot in the Grave on hand. If you want to torture yourself, you can visit the HarperCollins website to read the first 60 pages of the book, but here's a warning: The excerpt doesn't end on a chapter. I found myself in the middle of a sentence only to be cut off and even more tortured than before. So congratulations HarperCollins! I bought the book and now have to wait for it to arrive this week when I get back to the office!