Halfway to the Grave and One Foot in the Grave, by Jeaniene Frost
Scarygodmother has excellent taste in romance novels, and navigating the wolfsexy waters of paranormals can be treacherous (hint: a lot of them suck). The Night Huntress series came highly recommended by her, and I think she’s right - even though when I started reading the first book I was confused, a little bored, and I even made That Face. But more on that in a second.
Our heroine is Cat, and the fact that she is half-vampire has been the source of some serious angst through her whole life. Cat has spent her whole life hearing from her psychotic hosebeast mother that all vampires are vicious demons to be exterminated and that she’s an abomination, so when we meet her she’s dedicated her whole life (and her super sweet half-vampire powers) to killing vamps. She meets our hero, Bones, a way powerful master vampire, who wants to train her to be an assassin. There’s all kinds of angst, but let’s be honest, we’re just here for the fucking. SPOILER ALERT: there is a lot of fucking.
My biggest problem with the first book is that Cat and Bones as a couple is WILDLY unbelievable. Cat is a whiny asshole kid, and Bones is superpowered antique. Their coupling is what made me make That Face, which is what happens when you sniff out a supremely ridiculous piece of prose (usually dialog). It’s bemused disbelief, with a dash of pure, uncut WHAT. THE. FUCK. Your face sort of twists up and then smooshes into a series of straight lines. Allow me to demonstrate:
Cat: [100+ pages of calling Bones and his kind an aberration, loathing his very existence, and generally being a whiny asshole]
Bones: “But … I love you.”
At first I thought SG had led me astray, but pretty soon after that Cat becomes more Buffy than Dawn and the book becomes very difficult to put down.
The second book is a huge improvement. Cat is older, a SEEKRIT AGENT, and a lot more interesting. Bones is still Bones, but it works because Cat is now a total badass and we’re not stuck with the Child/Supreme Being dynamic that made Stephanie Meyer a bazillion dollars.
A fair warning: Bones is English, a fact that Jeaniene Frost really, really, REALLY wants you to remember. My pal Nancy said she could not even finish the first book because every page was littered with “Blimey” and “Bloody ‘ell” and “Luv.” He reads a bit like a stock Humorous Cockney Character in a small-town community theater production of Oliver Twist. It gets better.
And as I have mentioned, there is fucking. DRRRRRRRRRTY sex, worthy of Xtina, especially in the second book. In fact, I would recommend skipping the first book altogether except that Cat’s growth as a character is terrific and well worth the initial assholery.