Plot Type: UF with a lot of romance
Halfway to the Grave (Avon, 2007)
“Night's Darkest Embrace” in Haunted by Your Touch (NH World, 10/2010)
Magic Graves (e-book only)
"Home for the Holiday" in A Bite Before Christmas
NIGHT PRINCE: This series stars the world's most powerful vampire, Vlad Tepesh, and his electrically-charged soul-mate, Leila Dalton (aka Frankie). Click HERE to read my reviews of this series.
This is a great paranormal series—primarily UF but with a big dollop of romance. Frost knows how to tell a story, and she has created fully developed characters with whom we can empathize.
Click HERE to go to Frost's "Creature Page," in which she describes the history and the rules of life (or death) for the vampires, ghouls, ghosts, and demons that populate the NIGHT HUNTRESS universe. Frost has contracted to write a total of nine NIGHT HUNTRESS books starring Cat and Bones.
Although there are a number of graphic sex scenes and some coarse language scattered throughout the series, the emphasis is more on violent vampire action and less on sensuality. The sensuality level is highest in the early books when Cat and Frost are newly in love, although there's a love scene in This Side of the Grave in which hot candle wax and kinky fang usage make for a wild ride. Frost writes compelling plots and creates interesting characters. Each of her major characters has plenty of flaws, and that's part of what makes them so fascinating.
One Foot in the Grave (2008) won an honorable mention P.E.A.R.L. Award (2008) in the best overall paranormal romance. category Destined for an Early Grave won an honorable mention P.E.A.R.L. Award (2009) in the urban fantasy category. If you enjoy romantic urban fantasy, check out this series, but be sure to start at the very beginning so that you can watch the relationships develop.
BOOK 1: Halfway to the Grave
As the series begins, Catherine (“Cat”) is a twenty-two-year-old Ohio farm girl who is the product of her human mother’s rape by a newly turned vampire. To avenge her mother, Cat spends her teen years seeking out and killing predatory vampires in local bars. One night she meets Bones, a master vampire who defeats her and tricks her into assisting him on his own vampire-killing hunts. Love blossoms between them, but, of course, their love life does not run smoothly, especially when her vampire-hating mother finds out about their relationship. After a major scandal that involves killing the villainous Ohio governor, Cat and Bones are separated for several years when Cat is forced to become a preternatural agent for the U.S. government.
BOOK 2: One Foot in the Grave
By the time we get to the second book, Cat has turned into a tough Anita Blake clone, going into battle with multiple silver knives and swords strapped to her arms and legs. Now estranged from Bones, Cat is working for the government, killing rogue vamps. Verbal sparring among the characters adds humor to the stories. For much of the book, Cat and Bones are apart, but they finally get back together—as you always knew they would.
BOOK 3: At Grave's End
Book 3 finds Cat and Bones hunting down rogue vampires for the FBI. Cat's co-worker, Tate, is still infatuated with Cat and that causes all kinds of problems because he'll go to any length to win her over. The plot revolves around two powerful vampires: one from Cat's past (Max) and one of Bones' scorned lovers (Petra) who wants to kill both Cat and Bones. There's a tragic twist about 3/4 of the way into the book. In Destined for an Early Grave, Cat and Bones try to take some time off in Paris, but Cat begins to have terrifying visions of a powerful vampire named Gregor who claims that she belongs to him.
BOOK 3: This Side of the Grave
The first scene takes place in the same cave in which Cat and Bones first began their relationship seven years ago. This time, however, they've just stopped off for a little love play before they head off for a Columbus, Ohio, shopping mall to meet up with a ghoul with a major problem. This adventure involves Apollyon, the evil ghoul leader who wants to kill Cat and crush the vampire world in the process. He is spreading the false rumor that Cat plans to become a hybrid vampire-ghoul so that she can take over the supernatural world. Cat and Bones travel to New Orleans to make a deal with Marie Laveau, who leads her own army of ghouls, but that backfires when Marie moves ahead with her own plans for Cat and Bones. Mencheres and Vlad show up to help out, and there is the usual bloody battle at the end of the book. Once again, tragedy hits Cat's family, and she must find a way to deal with her emotions. This story is more heavily plot oriented than some of the previous books. Since Cat and Bones are a settled-down married couple by now, we don't have any angsty scenes in which one or the other bemoans the problems in their relationship. Cat seems to have grown a lot emotionally and she is beginning to handle her powers in a more assertive and responsible manner, but she is having some trouble learning to fly.
BOOK 4: One Grave at a Time
As book 4 opens, Cat and Bones are enjoying a rare moment of peace, which (of course) does not last very long. First, Cat has to deal with the fact that her Uncle Don's ghost won't go off into the light—or wherever he's supposed to go. Then, she gets called on the carpet by Jason Madigan, the new guy at the compound, who seems to be easing Tate out of his newly achieved position as Don's replacement. Finally, a ghost who was burned as a witch entreats Cat and Bones to help her kill the ghost of her murderer, a dangerous, misogynistic ghost who has the power to become corporeal every Halloween, at which time he burns three more women—right after he rapes them. The plot follows Cat and Bones and their friends as they figure out how to trap the murderous ghost while keeping out of Madigan's clutches. Several scenes take place back at Cat and Bones's Ohio cave. Supporting cast members are Tyler (medium), Fabian (ghost), Spade (Bones's BFF from their human days), Denise (Spade's demon-enhanced lover), and Ian (irksome ancient Master Vampire). Madigan is obviously Cat's new nemesis, and I expect him to play a big part in the plots of the next few books. He's a real jerk—a desk jockey from Washington with ulterior motives that he's doing his best to hide. And he doesn't like vampires at all—especially Cat. This is a great book, with a fast-paced, action-filled story line and a villain (really two villains) whom you'll love to hate. The sensuality level is about the same as the previous book, with one really wild and crazy love scene that takes place high in the air over the cornfields of Iowa. I guarantee that you've never ready anything quite like it!