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 19-20
Another slow couple of chapters as Jeaniene Frost seems to be developing more of Cat and Bones’ relationship before the big, climactic action finish (or at least I assume so).
We start with the dynamic duo heading out to a club, hoping to figure out who Hennessey’s main enforcer is. But who hits on Cat? Not a vampire, but the human guy who done her wrong, Danny Milton. She tries to ditch him before Bones can swoop in like an avenging angel, uh, I mean vampire, but no dice. He shakes Danny’s hand…and then he crushes it and has the man escorted outside.
That kind of ruins the vampire-hunting since it drew attention to them, so C&B leave. She makes him promise not to kill, maim, torture, or otherwise inflict damage on Danny or watch while anyone else does so. This annoys Bones, of course. The two stop in the woods—the first place they stopped when Cat picked Bones up at the bar with plans on staking him—and have a romantic interlude.
Two weeks later, they’re in bed at Cat’s apartment—which Bones has furnished—when Mom drops by. Cat shoves Bones into a closet until she can get rid of Mom, and he leaves afterward, telling her she needs to figure out who she is and what she wants.
Cat goes through four days of crying and eating ice cream before college kid Timmie, of all people, points out that she needs to decide what makes her happy and forget everything else. It’s a moment of clarity for Cat, to realize she loves Bones and wants to be with him. But when she calls him to share her self-realization, he’s on high alert: Francesca has disappeared and he thinks Hennessey caught her. They go out in search of Francesca, and eventually come upon a police crime scene at the place where Hennessey attacked Cat. They see enough of the shriveled victim to know it’s Francesca.
Before she died, Francesca had told Bones she wanted out of the deal and away from Hennessey because whatever he was doing—and whoever he was working with—was too big.
Bones is so upset, he tries to tell Cat she’s out of this—he won’t dangle her as bait anymore. She realizes it’s not the time to argue, so she calms him down the best way she knows how, by telling him she loves him…eventually. They make love again, and she takes the final step by asking him to feed from her. It’s kind of a sweet scene, because he’s so cautious—he is afraid she’ll wake up the next morning and regret it and blame him. And just to make sure, while she’s asleep, he hides all her clothes so she can’t get up in a freakout and leave.
Love Bones—he’s sexy as hell—but the occasional toss-in of British or Australian slang really throws me. I sort of wish he’d either do it all the time or not at all. (And I recognize this is richly ironic coming from a writer who likes to throw out the Cajun merman dialect on occasion.)
So we’ve had essentially four chapters of Cat and Bones working out relationship issues. They seem to be on the same page now, so I’m expecting the action to pick up again next time!