Welcome to this week’s “meeting” of the Preternatura Book Club! Today, we continue with the first book in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series, Halfway to the Grave.
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 9-10
When we last left Cat and Bones, they were in a vampire club—supposedly having a “date”—but there were human frat boys buying funny drinks for Cat, and Bones had just spotted his nemesis (and target) Hennessey coming into the club. Bones isn’t happy. He figures Hennessey has gotten word that the now-dead Sergio has gone missing. Cat wants to go for him, but Bones says no—he doesn’t want Hennessey anywhere near her. Hm. Getting a tad possessive are we, Bones? And Cat has a great line here: “Don’t kiss me like a woman if you’re going to treat me like a child.” You go, girl.
He gives in, and Cat sets up at the bar where Hennessey can see her. She still hasn’t told Bones that she’s feeling dizzy. Just to be safe, she orders a Coke. Soon, Hennessey spots her and “glides” over. She tells him she’s there with someone—a first date—but he’s a bit arrogant. As if on cue, Bones arrives. He and Hennessey have an ugly verbal exchange. As planned, Cat tells Bones to get lost (and gets in a nice dig about how he had to beg her for a date). Cat agrees to stay and have a drink with Hennessey, but the more gin she drinks, the dizzier she gets. She goes to the restroom and when she comes out, she spots Bones feeding, which kind of icks her out.
The creepy frat boys come up and ply her with more gin. She notes that it doesn’t taste the same, but still doesn’t put two and two together. They start hassling her to go outside with them, but she pushes them away. Finally, she and Hennessey leave and she realizes something is wrong. She can’t even find the words to protest when Hennessey decides to take her home with him—and she can’t remember what it is she’s supposed to do to call for help. Fortunately, she needs to throw up, so he stops the car and she spills out the door. He drags her into the woods (can’t get vomit on his car seats, of course), partially undresses her, and starts to feed. Just before she loses consciousness, she remembers to push the panic button on her watch.
She comes to sprawled on the ground with Bones holding her up with one hand and letting the blood from his other arm run into her mouth. Hennessey’s bodyguard, who was hiding in the trunk, is dead, but the man himself has escaped. Bones realizes she’s been drugged—and she knows it wasn’t Hennessey but the frat boys. Cat passes out again and when she awakens, she’s on the ground and Bones is burying the bodyguard. He’s shirtless (she wearing his), and she pauses for a moment of admiration.
She wakes up again, and realizes she’s in bed with Bones again—and he’s naked, which freaks her out. He tells her after he dropped her off at the cave, he went back to have words with the frat boys—they’d drugged another girl and killed her. So he killed them.
Cat gives him a big speech about how she really only kissed him the night before because she was drunk, and she knows it doesn’t mean anything to him. He throws her out.
So, how long is Cat going to hold out? She’s kind of got an Anita Blake love-him-hate-him-hate-him-love him thing a la Jean Claude going on. Well, except she’s a lot more likeable than Anita. Still, get over it, babe. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing Hennessey again pretty soon.