Preternatura Book Club: Halfway to the Grave, Chapters 7-8

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!
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.
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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate’s Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man’s Curse; Black Diamond).

7 thoughts on “Preternatura Book Club: Halfway to the Grave, Chapters 7-8

  1. The age thing didn’t surprise me so much. but then, he’s a vampire.
    The kiss was very hot and I like how the author is portraying cat as strong and now we are starting to see a few of her weaker points like her feelings for bones that she doesn’t want to admit to anyone. Good character helps make the books a really great read.

  2. You’re right, Summer–the guys in the bar are MAJOR creepy. I like it that Cat reads pretty true to her age, early 20s, and upbringing, isolated but still sheltered. When I first started the book, I thought she came across as too young, too naive, but either I’ve gotten used to it or she’s growing up a bit 🙂

  3. I think she is growing up some. Another two exciting chapters. This is definitely a fun read.
    Hennessey ??? Need to find out about him. This book would pass the page 99 test if I was thinking of buying.

  4. I loved Bones’ backstory. There will be so many references & additions to it in the other books. Love Cat & Bones at the club. I was so shocked the 1st time I read it when I realized he was Crispin. Two great chapters, hard to stop reading.