Welcome to this week’s “meeting” of the Preternatura Book Club! Today, by reader vote, we’re beginning a new read, with the first book in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, Halfway to the Grave.
This is a new series for me, although you guys have been singing the praises of Cat and Bones on this blog forever. So if you’re new to the series, or an old pro, hope you’ll join in and share your thoughts as we read.
Here’s how it works. Each week, I’ll post a summary (spoiler alert!) on two chapters, and we’ll chat about them. Try to minimize spoilers beyond what’s happened in the book we’ve read so far. You can read along, read ahead, or just stop by and read the summaries. After the Book Club has been up a few days, I’ll move it to archives so you can still come back and read. There’s a “Book Club” tab above. So, let’s get started!
HALFWAY TO THE GRAVE, CHAPTERS 7-8
When we last saw Cat she’d just killed the vampire Sergio. While he’s getting rid of the body, she’s holding on to her Sergio-ravaged forearm. Bones cuts his palm and clamps it over Cat’s injury, letting his blood heal her. Then he makes a phone call and while they’re waiting for help to arrive, gives her a lecture about self-pity, and why she shouldn’t have it. We have an almost-kissing moment before an 18-wheeler pulls up, bearing a guy named Ted. They load the car into the back of the big-rig, then Cat and Bones get in the back to ride so they won’t be seen with Ted. Cat asks about Hennessey, but Bones isn’t forthcoming with much information, except that he doesn’t want her around the guy. She does learn he’s been chasing Hennessey for about 11 years.
Bones talks about when he was turned vampire, in 1790 in Australia, when he’d just turned 24. His mother had been a whore who had him at age 15, so he grew up in the whorehouse. His mom died at 33 of syphilis, so the madam gave him the choice of living on the streets or servicing the customers, although she did let him sell himself to women instead of men. Meanwhile, he was still picking pockets and got caught and sent to South Wales, to a penal colony. One of his fellow prisoners turned him.
In exchange for his story, Bones wants to know what happened between Cat and her only lover. It’s a typical story. Naïve girl; guy who disappears as soon as he gets what he wants.
They finally reach their destination, and Cat waits in the trailer while Bones delivers Sergio’s $50,000 head. Then they head back to the cave. Cat’s angsting over her growing attraction to Bones. He hands her a 20 percent cut on his bounty for Sergio, though, and she takes it.
The next night, Cat shows up for her job with Bones, and he tells her her mark is over 200 years old and is named Crispin. He watches Court TV while she dresses. Then they drive to what he says is a “different sort of club.” Turns out “Crispin” is Bones’ real name, and this was supposed to be a dinner date at a vampire club. And there are lots of them, Ohio being a vampire hot spot. There are also some flesh-eating ghouls and ghosts in the bar. Bones leaves Cat to do some business, and two college guys (human) show up and put the moves on her, buying her another drink. Bones rescues her, and introduces himself as Crispin.
They have a hot dance on the dance floor, which turns into a hot kiss or two. But then Cat starts feeling dizzy. Before she can tell him whether she wants to stay or go, he spots someone coming into the club who shouldn’t be there: Hennessey.
So, what did you think of the “first kiss”—pretty hot stuff, eh?
Even though there was a lot of humor, I think my favorite part of these chapters was hearing Bones’ backstory and how he grew up, then became a vampire.
Somehow, it surprised me that Bones is still essentially 23 years old, even though Cat says he looks older than that. I mean, I know he’s not technically 23, but that age still surprised me.