Friday, 20 July 2012

One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

One Foot in the Grave (2008)
Jeaniene Frost
Grade: C
Genre: paranormal romance
Sex scenes: hot
Source: library
Night Huntress series: (1) Halfway to the Grave; (2) One Foot in the Grave, (3) At Grave's End

We open with Cat four years older than we saw her last, entering the house of a Master vampire alone. She heads up the supernatural division of the FBI and trains other men to work with her. At the end of HTTG, her future boss, Don, had used threats of exposure to coerce Cat into taking the position and for the safety of her mother, Cat reluctantly agreed. This meant leaving Bones and she hasn’t seen him since.

Who would have guessed that the Master Cat had been sent to exterminate would be Ian, Bones’ sire? Cat suggests to Ian that she and Bones parted on bad terms because she has no wish for Ian to know of the full extent of their relationship, nor for him to communicate to Bones that she still misses him like crazy. Cat can’t bring herself to kill Ian like ordered because without what he did, she would have never met Bones; instead, she allows Ian to run on the condition that she never sees him again. Little does Cat know that this is exactly what will make her Ian’s greatest prize …

In reality, Cat still loves Bones as fiercely as she did four years ago. She got a crossbones tattoo on her hip to match his and four years of celibacy hasn’t made their separation any easier to bear. When Cat discovers that several bounties have been placed over her head and that her persona as the Red Reaper has made her the paranormal world’s newest obsession, there is only one person who can keep Cat safe and she has no choice but to allow him back into her life …

Bones has loved and missed Cat as much as she has him, if not more. He proposes a compromise: they both know that they’re The One for each other and Cat’s way of handling their relationship has only resulted in four years down the drain. Cat has no real issues with Bones lacking a pulse but is firm that she doesn’t want the same fate for herself. This time, they’ll try it Bones’ way: they’ll try for a proper relationship and hide nothing from Cat’s mother or her colleagues, no matter what their prejudices. After all, if Cat doesn’t care about Bones’ undead status, then why should everyone else’s opinions matter?

It seems that Bones wasn’t kidding when he said that Ian would do anything to make Cat his. Ian is obsessed with owning rare artifacts and Cat definitely fits the bill what with her vampire-esque abilities combined with her beating heart. Cat agrees to work with Bones to help stop Ian, but when she realises that she also has the opportunity to finally meet and confront the man who raped her mother, the stakes are upped considerably …

I had very high hopes for this book. I had read the first chapter as a sneak-peek thing at the end of Halfway to the Grave and I mentioned in my review of book one that this had been my favourite part of the book. It was a brilliant start and it was good to see Cat all grown up and more mature, but I’m sorry to say that the rest of my book didn’t live up to my (high) expectations.

There’s quite a few spoilers here that I’m not going to mention because of my confessed hatred of them. Let’s just say that Cat discovers a new family connection, sees some supernatural changes to her core team and finds that she has a huge green monster inside of her. The last is very entertaining to watch unfold.

There’s a kind-of love triangle/square in OFITG. In the beginning (before Bones finds Cat) Cat starts dating a vet called Noah. He’s really sweet and otherwise a great guy, but is one-hundred per cent human and oblivious to Cat’s secret life and job. The other person in the trio of guys after Cat is Tate, Cat’s second in command. After a drunken night out, he confesses all and afterwards, Cat finds herself uncomfortably aware of Tate and the future that he would love for them to have together. Again, brilliant to watch.

This book is notable for one thing: the sex scene of Chapter 32. I saw it mentioned in a blog post on Heroes and Heartbreakers the other day and even though the events of a book inevitably all blur together in my head, I had no doubt that I knew which scene they were talking about – it’s not something easily forgotten and the memory of it makes me smile every time I think about it. It’s definitely something that I’ve not seen before in a vampire paranormal romance … here’s an inkling of what Cat has set herself up for.

“You could go ahead and beat her bloody, or … you could give me such loud, screaming orgasms that the sound of them blisters her ears. If you have any former-whore-turned-promiscuous-vampire tricks you’ve been holding back, well, bring them on. I only have one stipulation: You’d better outperform any service you gave to her or anyone else, because if I don’t wake up tomorrow red in the face from embarrassment at what you did to me, I’ll be disappointed.”

Let’s just say that Cat is left very red and not in the least bit disappointed. And yes, Bones was a prostitute in his human life. Post-bite-life, he’d been known for his very wide-ranging sexual habits … often involving multiple partners. This is something he’s definitely given up now that he’s found his soulmate.

Again, Bones’ dedication and love for Cat is wonderful. In most of the real world and I guess half of the world of romance novels, it seems like it’s the guy who has commitment issues, whether it be because they’ve had a bad experience with an ex- girlfriend/wife, a mother who left them or wish to remain unattached forever. It’s definitely the other way around in the Night Huntress series. Sure, Cat knows that she loves Bones, but she’s reluctant to commit because of her mother’s hatred of vampires (scenes with Bones and Justina are very funny) not to mention that Cat is paid to kill vampires, not have sex with them. Bones couldn’t care less what anyone else thinks and he manages to finally get the message across to Cat too. He’s already lived for over two-hundred years and so he’s pretty sure that he’s found true love and doesn’t want to miss one moment of it. It’s lovely to read.

Before I read HTTG, I hadn’t been expecting Cat and Bones to get together in the first book, but then again, I hadn’t known that book two would take place four years after book one. I’m guessing based on the level of devotion between the pair that they’re going to remain that way for the rest of the series. Not that I mind, but where’s the fun in that? I’m a fan of sexual tension and don’t actually mind when it takes several books for characters to get together (except a certain series where I’m sure EVERYONE has got bored of the heroine’s inability to make up her mind between two guys. I’ve only read nine of the books, yet I’m already fed up just thinking about how many books there are left to go before I get anywhere near catching up. You KNOW what I’m talking about) because it’s that bit hotter when they do finally get there. Take S. J. Bolton’s Lacey Flint series, for example. Yes, all I do is moan about how Lacey and Joesbury haven’t even kissed properly, let alone jumped into bed together, and why on earth can’t they just flipping do it already, but the sexual tension between them is amazing and I hope that Ms Bolton carries on with the series – even though this will mean that they won’t be shaking the sheets yet. The sexual tension before Cat and Bones had sex in HTTG was very good and highly entertaining, but it just means that for the rest of the series, we don’t have anything to look forward to. Unless, of course, their relationship is hugely fractured or something later on. But I guess that’s something I’ll find out as I keep reading..

I’m not exactly hugely encouraged to keep reading after finishing OFITG. As can be seen, I’ve given an even lower grade for book two than I had done for book one which doesn’t seem to bode well. If I hadn’t heard so much hype about Bones and the series in general, I would probably stop here and shy away from PR for another two years, but since I have, I think I’m going to soldier on and hope fervently that it gets better. Like I said in my HTTG review, it’s not that the book was bad, it’s just that I was hoping for a big BOOM and when one didn’t arise, I was left a bit deflated. There were really some moments of pure genius that I loved and so I hope that Ms Frost keeps it up and provides that major action that I’m waiting for. I really can’t be left wanting for a third time.

Image courtesy of book depository

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