First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World #1) by Jeaniene Frost
- Genre: Paranormal Romance, Action, Adventure, Horror, Gore
- Notes: The first of the spin-off series from the Night Huntress Novels. Not my favorite one, but I do really like this one. As far as the cover art goes: WTF?!
- Recommended For: Fans of Frost, The Night Huntress Novels, Vampire Novels, Fans of True Blood, Fans of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Fans of The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series.
A book that continues the plot and adds to the Night Huntress canon while also being a pretty good book in of itself … This is the first of Frost’s spin-offs that delves into the relationship of Spade, Bones’ closest friend, and Denise, Cat’s best friend.
The night is not safe for mortals. Denise MacGregor knows all too well what lurks in the shadows—her best friend is half-vampire Cat Crawfield—and she has already lost more than the average human could bear. But her family’s past is wrapped in secrets and shrouded in darkness—and a demon shapeshifter has marked Denise as prey. Now her survival depends on an immortal who lusts for a taste of her.
He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human—even if it means destroying his own kind. Denise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the nightmare together …
Because once the first crimson drop falls, they will both be lost.
So being the first spin-off, I was of course skeptical, but I really ended up liking this book. It falls after the fourth Night Huntress novel, Destined For An Early Grave, and afterwards comes the second spin-off titled, Eternal Kiss of Darkness.
There were several things I enjoyed about this book and overall I had a fine time reading it. I wouldn’t call it my favorite as it didn’t fully stand-out to me, but if you enjoy the rest of the series you’ll enjoy this.
As for what I liked: All the things I love about Frost are in this book. Her humor, her ability to introduce new exposition while keeping the current story moving, and her well-written characters. One thing I loved about this book that is completely different from any of her previous books in the series: You get to read from the hero’s perspective. Spade tells half the story and Denise tells the other half. I found that to be so new and different in this series, as we never read from Bones’ perspective. Oh how I wish we did.
The last we’d read about Denise, she was pulling away from the paranormal world after losing her husband to a zombie attack, and then seeing Spade kill a would-be rapist infront of her. Here Frost expands the paranormal world to introduce Demons. Which she previously had not included in her Night Huntress universe.
Overall I found this read fun, entertaining, and quick if a little underwhelming. Spade and Denise aren’t my romance-couple type. They’re more mushy, less bad ass. But that’s fine and it gets the job done. I think my only true critcism comes in the form of design.
What the hell was Frost thinking allowing that to be the cover?! I have to admit, a little bit before I started this series and knew anything about Jeaniene Frost, I found this cover and joked about it. Literally pulled it off the shelf and had a huge laugh with my friend about this.
What’s wrong with this cover, you might ask?
1) Why does his head pull away from his neck at that awkward similar-to-a-giraffe angle?
2) Why does that girl look bored and tired, when there is a silk shirted, spineless, lothario glaring over her shoulder?
3) A silk shirt? Really?
4) She looks more vampiric than he does, she’s whiter than Edward Cullen!
5) Why does he have two black-eyes?
6) That is, maybe, the most unattractive and creepy face I’ve ever seen on a romance novel cover.
There’s just so many things wrong with this cover, that I can’t imagine it was even checked before they sent it to print. I mean I can’t imagine that no one tried to say anything about this. Even as simple as, “I mean, this is Frost’s first spin-off novel. Maybe we should try and market this a little better?”
We know Frost has a great sense of humor, but you think maybe she’d be like – “Who’s the freak on the cover of my novel? And why is he creepily gripping the heroine whilst trying to Tyra-Smieyes the reader?”
My friend and I laughed about this so much, I made a spoof of it later:
Yes, indeed, I made “First Drop of Creeper” featuring my creeped-out friend, before ever reading a single Night Huntress Novel. I regret nothing. I also understand that romance novels, bodice-rippers, chick-lit all have their own sort of theme when it comes to cover design. I’m thinking about doing a post solely on RomNov cover designs. But this takes the cake. It’s like a blog post from GoFugYourself.com - A silk shirt, and no spinal cord? What more can a woman want?!
Clearly I could talk about this all day, but I’ll end simply by saying. Aside from the horrific cover art, the book is a nice read that I recommend, especially if you want to continue with the series as it introduces a plot-line for the next Cat-Bones book.
I even give this book ★★★★ because I believe it to be well set-up, a good, interesting plot, and a overall fun jaunt back into the Night Huntress universe. Enjoy with a bottle of gin. Just make sure you don’t make eye-contact with the creeper on the cover.
OH MY GOD THAT PHOTOSHOP I AM DEAD YOU ARE AMAZING
Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress #4) by Jeaniene Frost
- Genre: Paranormal Romance, Action, Adventure, Gore, Horror, Drama, Angst.
- Notes: Weakest premise of all the series so far, but also some of the strongest moments of character development.
- Recommended For: Fans of Frost, Fans of The Night Huntress Series, Fans of True Blood, Fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
If only Frost had laid more ground work for this books premise, it would have been the strongest in the entire series … This books plot line has so much to do with my critique that I’m going to put it first:
Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger
Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they’ve fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it’s time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She’s having visions of a vampire named Gregor who’s more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn’t know about.
Gregor believes Cat is his and he won’t stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor’s hold over her. She’ll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she’s ever faced … even if getting that power will result in an early grave.
Before I start to say what I found failing in the book I want to preface it by saying, that although I found the journey weak, the destinations were monumental. That being said, the entire plot line rides on the belief that Cat met a man name Gregor at the age of 15 and was whisked away conveniently to Paris all before she met Bones. But she doesn’t remember any of this because for some reason Mencheres was able to wipe her memories using strong green-eyedness and magic.
OK. Wait- what? The first time I read the beginning of this book I wondered if I could hire Sassy Gay Friend to go have a chat with Frost. I had that similar SGF thought at Frost, “What- What- What are you doing?!”
I can go along with a lot of plot lines – I mean I’m reading about a vampire-human hybrid that hunts vampires with her vampire husband and works for the government. Clearly I’m on board to stretch the realm of possibilities. But when you start to go so far off your own developed storyline to create a fresh villian, I have some problems.
It’s not that I don’t think the premise is a good one – It’s actually pretty interesting. The problem is it’s weak hold onto the rest of the canon. How can I believe that all of this back story happened when in earlier books Frost has gone out of her way to show that Cat can’t be “green-eyed”. The only hint Frost gives that there was any ground work for this exposition is that Cat has always disliked and distrusted Mencheres. So I’m not saying it’s completely impossible in canon, I’m saying that it seems a little too convenient. Like a sewed patch on a pair of jeans. It fits, kind of, but you know it’s patched on after the fact.
The first time I read this it took me awhile to get into the story. I couldn’t get over the critiques I’m mentioned, but let me say I am glad I did.
While I don’t applaud Frost’s method of getting to where she does in this book, I do applaud her outcome. This book has one of the most, if not the most important character development scenes in the Cat & Bones relationship. Many of their underlying issues, some of which as a reader I didn’t notice until they were named, are addressed in the way I like them to be – ANGST ANGST ANGST.
I’m an angst fan, I’ll admit. And I don’t mean Harry Potter Book 5 whiney-angst. I mean betrayal and heartbreak and what-ifs. That is the angst I find dramatic. Pre-pubescent bitching isn’t angst.
This book delivers in the angst category, but it also defends the purpose. While I am a fan of angst, I’m not a fan of poorly written, meaningless angst. There is nothing meaningless in the drama between Cat & Bones in this story. This may be the darkest their relationship gets – at least so far in the series.
Beyond the wonderful angst there is also a sub-plot that Frost develops in preparation for the next book. I’m not going to say what as it is a spoiler, but I wanted to bring it up to point out another amazing thing Frost does as a series writer. Frost is able to fully develop and maintain a rising action, while introducing a new exposition or introduction for the next book. Which is why I criticize so harshly the exposition for this book. She doesn’t introduce it at all or even hint at it in any of the previous novels. The reader is truly blind-sided by it, making it even more noticeably awkward in the scheme of the whole series.
Overall, my only complaint is the weak justification of the exposition, but I absolutely love reading this book after you get over the initial “WTF?!”
After all that I wonder – did anyone else feel it was shoddily constructed in the beginning? I’d love to know what you thought.
In general, I feel like I can see the seams of Jeaniene Frost’s world - by which I mean it’s not perfect worldbuildling and sometimes with the plots I’m like “Uh, what was that just now.” For example, in the first book, I did NOT buy that Bones had fallen in love with Cat. That said, I think that these books are better than the average paranormal series and Cat and Bones’ relationship was enough for me to keep reading.
One Foot In The Grave (Night Huntress #2) by Jeaniene Frost
Review from The Biblio Files
In A Nutshell
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Contemporary, Action
Notes: I almost count this as #1.5 since I rushed right form #1 to read this and devoured it almost in the same day as the first book.
Recommended For: People who enjoyed the first book. Seriously read the first book first! People who like vampire romance (i.e, True Blood aka The Sookie Stackhouse Novels)
Cat is back but she’s now got some government backing … If you haven’t read the first book in this series, Halfway To The Grave, you should. This book and all the subsequent novels in the series are meant to be read in order and as I reader and lover of these books, I can assure you that it would be confusing to read them out of order. It also could spoil you for some great twists and reveals.
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 Bones awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline rush 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 Cat tries to keep things professional between them, she’ll find that desire lasts forever … and Bones won’t let her get away again.
I found this book to be a fast-paced, action packed, sexy sequel to it’s predecessor. I read it in a single day (mostly because I shirked all other responsibilities and curled up in a chair with a blanket and this book.)
This was a great sequel for a number of reasons, in my opinion. First, it quickly gets to the plot that was left as a cliff-hanger from the first novel. Second, it introduces new characters subtly but with strength while re-introducing old characters and maintaining our attention the whole time. Third, Frost picks up this new plot line while setting up the next plot line seamlessly. As far as structure goes, this might be my favorite novel in the series. It’s not hard to see why. Frost set up all the exposition in the first novel, while still having a great plot, but in this novel she really picks up from where she left off and you get right into the action.
Another reason I devour these books is because it’s a singular and unique adaptation of an over-used premise. A book series about a girl who fights vampires. Been there – a lot – done that. Right? Well when was the last time this girl had government backing? If you respond Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 4 you would still be wrong. Riley has the government backing and they just try to use the slayer. In this version, the entire program is essential built around Cat. And she thrives as a leader.
I have to admit, my biggest weakness in novels is characters and Frost knows how to write good, interesting, lovable, hatable, annoying, sympathetic, you-get-the-idea characters. I mean, I usually hate spin-off novels, but when it gets to her two spin-off novels about the characters “Spade” and “Mencheres” I read those too and liked one and loved the other.
If I had to give a criticism to this book? … I’d say it went too quickly. But that’s just because I glutton myself on this series.
If you haven’t read this series but you love paranormal (especially vampire) romance? You must read this series. “It’s a moral imperative.” If you found this review intriguing but you want to know more about the first novel, go ahead and click the title here: Halfway to the Grave
Couldn’t agree more. I think the this one WAY surpasses the first.
Romance Authors as Food Items
For no reason at all, several reviewers and I have decided to make a list of what foods romance authors would be if they were foods. Feel free to disagree or add your own in the comments/reblogs!
Jeaniene Frost - Domino’s Pizza. Say what you will, but I’ve never seen anybody turn down a slice. I could even go for some right now, actually.
Eloisa James - Berry pie. It’s deceptively simple and sweet, but it’s pretty difficult to get just right.
Jennifer Crusie - Like Ali said, mashed potatoes. They pretty much taste the same every time (with different toppings, for variety), but seriously, who doesn’t like mashed potatoes?
Loretta Chase - I suggested ratatouille (warm, hearty, comforting), but I think Melinda nailed it with red velvet cupcake. Rich, delicious, and super satisfying - but a bit naughty.
Leigh Greenwood - Sweet Texas BBQ. Even when it’s not great, it’s pretty damn good.
Laura Kinsale - Rachel says “the world’s finest souffle.” I think she’s a fan.
Naughty Nooners - Conversation hearts. They sound better than they taste. But you can’t stop eating them, because they’re THERE. And you probably got them for free.
Stephanie Laurens - Instant mashed potatoes. You think it sounds tasty and comforting, and then you start eating and UGH
Kresley Cole - Rachel suggested edible body chocolate and haggis. No. I say movie theater popcorn AND Milk Duds.
Gail Carriger - Petit Fours. Delicious and intricate and a bit old-fashioned and completely addictive.
Zoe Archer - Greek salad. Okay, this might have been influenced by the fact that one of her books was set in Greece, but it’s light, refreshing, and way more exciting than most salads.
Shana Abe - A single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat.
Marian Keyes - Homemade mac and cheese, complete with those buttery breadcrumbs on top. Some people think it’s a side dish, I call it dinner.
Nora Roberts - French toast with real maple syrup, and a side of bacon. Followed by a nap and mind-blowing sex. This was Ali’s suggestion, and I immediately put several Nora Roberts books in my TBR pile.
an-awesome-stalker asked Can I say how much I love your Tumblr? I'm new in the romance genre since fresh into college I haven't had much to read besides school assigned BUT I came across J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood and from there Kresley Cole *swoon* but I don't really know any author outside of paranormal romance that I would enjoy reading. If you could throw out some books/authors for me that would be lovely...paranormal wouldn't hurt either lol. Agian I love your site :)
Thank you! I am actually pretty new to the romance thing myself, which I’m sure will not surprise the veterans here since I keep recommending the same five authors over and over. I started reading in late 2009 and have never looked back.
The suggestions I gave to MoGlo on beginner romance here are a good place to start, but if you’re looking for paranormal-specific here’s a few I’d pitch:
Bitten, by Kelley Armstrong: This is the first book in her Women of the Underworld series, and it has lots of wolfsexy werewolf sex but it’s also one of the most engaging and well-written paranormals I’ve read in a while. I haven’t tried the rest of the series, but I hear it’s pretty good.
Alpha and Omega and Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs: Another wolfsex. Most people know Patricia Briggs for her Mercy Thompson series (I’ve only read the first), and these are set in the same universe. There’s not a WHOLE lot of sex (they are on the sweeter side), but I keep going back to them over and over. Oooh, I should probably review them.
Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, the first of which I reviewed here.
Larissa Ione’s Demonica series: I haven’t reviewed this one yet (but I should!), and by the time I got to the end of the series I was a little done with it, but the first three books are pretty stellar. A lot of the action takes place in a demon hospital. First one is Pleasure Unbound.
And I mentioned them both in MoGlo’s post, but you really can’t go wrong with Gail Carriger or Zoe Archer when it comes to historical paranormals.
I will watch the comments with interest, since I am always on the lookout for more supernatural sexxings.