Tag Archives: Night Huntress Universe

Home for the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
The Bite Before Christmas Large Print :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Home for the Holidays
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #6.5, Night Huntress Universe #8.5
In: The Bite Before Christmas (Lynsay Sands & Jeaniene Frost)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 26th December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: By the time he’d crossed the room to Denise, her eyes were wide and staring into nothing, all without Ian even needing to speak.

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Synopsis

Cat and Bones were looking forward to a normal holiday – at least as “normal” as it gets for vampires and their otherworldly friends and family. But their yuletide plans are shattered when a mysterious stranger shows up and reveals long-buried secrets that threaten to take a bite out of their holiday cheer – and lives.

Thoughts

I felt seriously, truly and deeply bad for Bones in this novella. After all, finding family after 200 years and then losing them would be incredibly difficult. Around the holidays and when you just don’t expect it… yeah, that would be seriously difficult and heart wrenching.

Cat and Bones may be two of my favourite urban fantasy characters. They are an amazing couple. One that is quirky and fun. And most definitely loyal. The crap that Cat goes through throughout this story to make sure that Bones is safe is extraordinary. I was both incredibly proud of, and kind of scared for Cat throughout this. Although, as with every Night Huntress story I’ve read so far, it did all end with a happy ending.

Every time I read a Night Huntress story; I want to read more. But I always seem to do it when I’m halfway through a whole other pile of books. So, I never quite get around to it. Maybe this time I will get to sink my teeth into another amazing tale before I get too distracted by another story…

<- The GiftThe Bite Before Christmas ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

One for the Money by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
Image result for death's excellent vacation book cover

Title: One for the Money
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #4.5, Night Huntress Universe #4.5
In: Death’s Excellent Vacation (Charlaine Harris & Toni L.P. Kelner)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 29th September 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Short story
Publisher: Gollancz
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: At least Tammy wouldn’t remember any of this.

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Synopsis

Cat and Bones’s romantic vacation is interrupted when they’re enlisted to guard a spoiled heiress with both human and undead hitmen on her tail. Things quickly go from bad to worse when details of their assignment make their way through the supernatural grapevine, and what started as a simple bodyguard job ends up being a fight for survival that neither Cat nor Bones saw coming. This story takes place after the events of Destined For An Early Grave and before the events of This Side Of The Grave.

Thoughts

I loved this short story. Didn’t exactly love that it takes place after the next novel I want to read in this series… it kind of gave a few big spoilers as to what happens. But, as always, hopefully by the time I actually get to reading that novel I won’t remember all of the minutiae and can still be surprised. Although, let’s admit it – I’ll be surprised regardless because Frost always manages to pack a lot of storyline and information into one story. Which, I, of course, love.

I absolutely adore Bones and Cat as a couple. They are sexual, intense and more than a little violent. All things that I apparently love in my fictional couples. We won’t delve too much into my brain to discover why I love the fact that Cat cuts ghouls heads off and blows up cars and such… it’s quite cute that this is their vacation and there is untold drama occurring.

One of the parts of this story that was a bit of a give-away, but still enjoyable was the way in which Bones taught Justina to defend herself. It was cute, a little awkward and involved lots of stabbing. It definitely hinted at this great idea that there was going to be some healing of old wounds and fractures in Cat’s relationship with her mother throughout the series… YAY!

<- The Boys Go FishingMeanwhile, Far Across the Caspian Sea… ->

Image source: Amazon

Devil to Pay by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
Image result for four dukes and a devil book cover

Title: Devil to Pay
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #3.5, Night Huntress Universe #3.5
In: Four Dukes and a Devil (Cathy Maxwell, Elaine Fox, Jeaniene Frost, Sophia Nash & Tracy Anne Warren)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 15th December 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon Romance
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: No, Elise.

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Synopsis

Elise hasn’t felt anything since her fiance attacked her. But, a chance encounter with a demon possessed man could help her. With help from Menchares, she might just find a way to her happily ever after.

Thoughts

This year I’ve managed to read a few Night Huntress novels and each time, I fall a little bit more in love with the series. There is just something amazingly engaging and fun about it! But, what I got really, really excited about in this novella – it’s the first story so far in the series which features a demon! Not sure why, but that was a ridiculously exciting moment for me…

Although this story isn’t actually about Bones and Cat, they do still make their appearance. Which was much appreciated. Albeit, only briefly. But enough to give a great sense of continuity whilst you’re barracking for another couple and another supernatural difficulty. There’s nothing like spending a half hour to quickly revisit some characters and a world that you weren’t entirely sure you were missing… actually, mostly I was kind of disappointed that it was over.

Mencheres also makes a great appearance in this story. It’s nice to visit him after the occurrences in At Grave’s End. His was a bit of a tragic story, and you can feel the scars left on him – I look forward to getting to know this character more as the series develops.

But mostly, I just loved this novella because it was about a reclusive woman finding a way to live, love and exist again. I’m always a big fan of stories which feature a character overcoming the shit in their past and finding their own happily ever after… which happens in this. A great little read for late at night, after a long, horrible day…

<- At Grave’s EndDestined for an Early Grave ->

Image source: Amazon

At Grave’s End by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
Image result for book cover at grave's end

Title: At Grave’s End
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #3, Night Huntress Universe #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 22nd September – 15th November 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: I showered again and went downstairs.

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Synopsis

Some things won’t stay buried… At grave’s end.

It should be the best time of half-vampire Cat Crawfield’s life. With her undead lvoer Bones at her side, she’s successfully protected mortals from the rogue undead. But though Cat’s worn disguise after disguise to keep her true identity a secret from the brazen bloodsuckers, her cover’s finally been blown, placing her in terrible danger.

As if that wasn’t enough, a woman from Bones’s past is determined to bury him once and for all. Caught in the crosshairs of a vengeful vamp, yet determined to help Bones stop a lethal magic from being unleashed, Cat’s about to learn the true meaning of bad blood. And the tricks she’s learned as a special agent won’t help her. She will need to fully embrace her vampire instincts in order to save herself – and Bones – from a fate worse than the grave.

Thoughts

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. It took me a little while to read, because I couldn’t read it late at night before bed, or while I was trying to study, or really do anything productive in any way, shape or form. It was just really, really good and I never wanted to put it down. I finally had to set aside a night to finish it… just so I could get my little happy fix.

Unlike a lot of the books I put on the strong women shelf, Cat finds her beau in the first book, and ever tale afterwards is all about them. And you know, all the people trying to kill them, preying on the weak, yada yada yada. Yet this still works brilliantly. Cat and Bones are trying to create their lives together, but they keep coming up against hurdles. One of which is Bones’ past as a gigolo. But they’re accepting of this. Neither was pure and innocent when they got into the relationship. Neither is free of a past. And they both use their sexuality to constantly trap predators. Its kind of a nice balance – because they both do it. don’t get me wrong, I don’t love that Cat is constantly having to dress provocatively and seduce men into going with her to kill them… but I love that both her and Bones do it, get jealous and understand each others’ motive.

This month, I needed a book that had Dracula as a character. I figured I was probably just going to finally get around to actually reading Dracula… but then Vlad showed up in this story. What a brilliant idea! Not only does this novel feature Vlad the Impaler / Dracula / Haunter of My Dreams, but it also features Cleopatra’s daughter. Now I’m curious to see what historical figure Mencheres is… because he must be to be that old and powerful… yay for reading the next books in the series!

The war that takes place in At Grave’s End feels like it should be finished at the conclusion of the book. But I get the feeling that this is just setting the story up for a much greater war. Makes me feel a little like a conspiracy theorist in my musings… but there is no way that such an intense war between characters can be over so quickly… so I suppose I had better pick up the next book and get reading!

<- One Foot in the GraveDevil to Pay ->

Image source: Goodreads

One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
Image result for one foot in the grave book cover

Title: One Foot in the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #2, Night Huntress Universe #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 28th July – 31st August 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: Yeah, right.

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Synopsis

You can run from the grave, but you can’t hide…

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 him awakens all her emotions, from the adrenaline kick of slaying vamps side by side to the reckless passion that consumed them. But a price on her head – wanted: dead of half-alive – means her survival depends on teaming up with Bones. And no matter how hard she tries to keep thing professional between them, she’ll find that desire lasts forever… and that Bones won’t let her get away again.

Thoughts

This book took me way too long to read. Not because I didn’t love it, but because I started reading it at a really crappy time in my life, and just didn’t read many books at all. It almost made me want to quickly pick up the next book in the series, At Grave’s End, and spend all night reading it. Just to make up for the fact that I haven’t had much of a chance to truly enjoy One Foot in the Grave like I usually would.

I haven’t read many series which jump years ahead between the first and second book. There have been a few that have done so later in the series. But never so early on. Which is why I found it kind of exciting that this took a very different approach to timeline than I am thus far used to. It almost made Halfway to the Grave feel like a prequel novel and that this is where the depths and insanities of the series were going to really get started. I am also feeling far more desperate to pick up At Grave’s End than I did before.

I’m a big believer in true love. Which is completely obvious from the selection of books which I tend to read. Although I don’t normally love the insta-love feeling that some books give you. There is a bit of that kind of feeling in Halfway to the Grave, but that completely disappears when you get to One Foot in the Grave. After all, they’ve both spent years pinning for each other and feeling unable to move on with their lives. Insta-love might be annoying, but when that turns into the kind of love that stands the test of time… that’s the kind of story that just melts my heart.

No matter how many series, genres and books I read, I always love to come back to the urban fantasy and paranormal fantasy series. The ones which feature strong women who can kick us. This is exactly that kind of book. Even when Cat is given a nice, easy out of the predicament she finds herself in, she decides to take the harder way out. After all, the easy way isn’t about independence, but the hard way is all about winning and triumphing over bullying power hungry fools.

<- Happily Never AfterAt Grave’s End ->

Image source: Goodreads

Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
Image result for halfway to the grave book cover

Title: Halfway to the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #1, Night Huntress Universe #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasyVampires
Dates read: 7th – 10th May 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Dinner for two.

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Synopsis

Flirting with the grave…

Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father – the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unholy partnership.

In exchange for finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner – are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her newfound status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side… and Bones is turnign out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

Thoughts

I couldn’t believe how much I loved this story! I knew it was something that was going to go to the top of my favourites lists, but I had no idea how much I would love it. I was kind of expecting another great urban fantasy story that would sweep me along with a kick ass chick as a lead and a great alpha male by her side. I didn’t realise that this story would seriously investigate issues of prejudice. That it would highlight the ways in which people turn against a minority just because they’re perceived as something a little different.

Cat is the kind of woman I want to be. She is strong and independent. Has a mind of her own, and even when she falls in love, she doesn’t let it consume her. Rather, it acts as a vessel through which she can become even more independent and accepting of herself. Something that I sometimes struggle with. I think it’s something that we all sometimes struggle with. And it is this independence and strength that makes her make one of the hardest decisions of all at the end of the story. A decision I’m not really sure I could make myself…

Most stories of this type that I’ve read don’t really have a parental figure at all. So having Cat have a mother who starts as her driver, and ends as her executioner was a great twist on the typical trope. Not only did it include the difficulties of family, it also highlighted how the crimes of the past can inform the future. And not always to the best interests of anyone involved. Their relationship breaks your heart a little, but it also shows that not every relationship is good or bad, but a complicated mix of something in between.

<- ReckoningHappily Never After ->

Image source: Amazon

Reckoning by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
Image result for unbound book cover kim harrison

Title: Reckoning
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #0.5, Night Huntress Universe #0.5
In: Unbound (Kim Harrison, Melissa Marr, Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson & Jocelyn Drake)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Strong women, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 18th April 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: EOS
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Jelani seemed surprised.

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Synopsis

Bones, faces New Orleans ghouls who eat victims alive – horror.

Thoughts

I really enjoyed this introduction to Bones. This story hints that he’s going to be a great male lead for the Night Huntress series. Or at least, one that is going to make me happy. He has a strong moral compass, is incredibly tough and has a slightly rebellious streak. All things which I love in any literary character… the fact that it’s wrapped up in a good-looking package with an English accent just makes it all the better…

I’ve read a lot of stories set in America. It’s a bit like all forms of entertainment media, America seems to be the centre for a lot of this. This is the first story I’ve read set in New Orleans though. And I’m really hoping that the rest of the series is set here too. There is such a fun and different flavour to this town. It is so unlike any other American setting which I’ve read. Actually, it’s honestly the only place in the US that I’m really interested in visiting…

The name Reckoning made this seem like it was going to be about revenge, or somebody turning, or the end of the world as we know it. It was a little bit about revenge, but mostly it was about hunting down the crazies. And the moral arguments that Bones has to make with himself while he does so. Becca is used to find the villains, but at what cost? Does the sacrifice of one person’s safety mean the survival of so many more? Is it a fair trade off?

<- Ley Line DrifterHalfway to the Grave ->

Image source: Harper Collins Publisher

Happily Never After by Jeaniene Frost

Overview
Image result for weddings from hell book cover

Title: Happily Never After
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress #1.5, Night Huntress Universe #1.5
In: Weddings From Hell (Maggie Shayne, Jeaniene Frost, Terri Garey & Kathryn Smith)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal fantasy, Urban fantasy, Vampires
Dates read: 21st – 22nd February 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harper Fiction
Year: 2008
5th sentence, 74th page: Isa went back to the living room and sat on the couch, scowling.

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Synopsis

To save her brother, Isabella is about to reluctantly walk down the aisle with Mr. Dangerously Wrong.. unless Chance, a dashing vampire, can derail this wedding of the beauty to the beast.

Thoughts

My best friend is getting married this year. And I’m so happy for her, but I’m kind of loving a collection of novellas with the theme “weddings from hell”. I hope none of her big day ends up like that… but it’s still kind of fun / funny to read these paranormal romance stories. Especially one in which the bride doesn’t want to be married and gets her own beautiful revenge for being forced into such a situation…

Isa is exactly the kind of heroine that I tend to love – independent, strong, kind of protective and with just the right amount of sass. Which really comes through in the end of the story (in case you can’t tell, I love how this story ended). Isa is able to stay in control of who she is, even when placed in a situation that I would find incredibly and intensely horrifying.

I might have loved Isa, but I love her grandmother far more. She is ten times sassy, far more pithy and had me laughing out loud. Especially when she constantly shocks her poor granddaughter with her saucy-ness. There is just something great about having such a spicy old woman in a storyline that is about a romance between a vampire and human.

<- Halfway to the GraveOne Foot in the Grave ->

Image source: Harper Collins