This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost (Night Huntress #5)
February 22, 2011
Urban Fantasy (strong romance)
Paperback, 384 Pages
Reviewed by Mandi
Favorite Quote: “Ask me if I sparkle and I’ll kill you where you stand.”
When Bones and Cat meet two masterless vampires who tell them several of their friends have gone missing, Bones and Cat know something fishy is going on. They have also noticed an influx of ghouls to the Ohio area, the same area Cat is from. Cat is not a full vampire, but she is still very unique. She gets the occasional heartbeat, and she must drink undead blood. When she does, she picks up the talents of those she drinks from. This makes it difficult for her. She obviously wants to drink from her husband Bones, but then she is bombarded with reading everyone’s thoughts.
Soon Bones and Cat learn the head ghoul, Apollyon wants a war between ghouls and vampires, and he is using Cat and her once half-breed status to incite the fire. Using the rumor Cat could turn into a “vampire-ghoul hybrid” he is causing unrest in the undead world. When they turn to Marie, the ghoul queen for her assistance, Cat gets more than what she bargained for. Cat not only needs her strong, sexy husband to fight this battle, but she calls upon her old team for help.
This Side of the Grave is book five in Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. I love Bones and Cat. Period. This is absolutely one of my favorite series. Jeaniene Frost has taken us on quite an emotional roller coaster with these two, but now on book five, things have settled – somewhat. What I love, and even Cat admits to in this book is that they are at a point in their relationship where those first intense feelings – that romantic new love is long gone. Now, together for quite some time, they have a rhythm, a familiarity with each other. BUT – that doesn’t mean that sexy time is over. Bones is very much filled with vitality and amorous feelings. They have some very wicked scenes in this book (even a twist on our beloved chapter 32 from One Foot in the Grave.) Bones never rolls over and lets Cat have her way – which makes their relationship always fresh and surprising. Cat will give it right back to him, and their flirtatious banter, and stubborn bickering just gives this couple even more charm.
Cat herself has gone through quite a busy year and she has matured so much in this book. The once immediate smart-alec reply is muted, and the stubborn streak that went through her is now faded a little. She is willing to accept apologies, and offer an olive branch where a few months ago she would not have had the maturity to do so. She is also realizing just how absolutely deep her feelings for Bones runs. She knows although they are both undead, there is always that chance one of them may face their true death, and their discussion of this is a very poignant scene in the book.
We get some great stuff with Spade, Mencheres, Vlad (had me cracking up!), Tate (my favorite cranky-ass vampire), and her Uncle Don. Although the conflict with the ghouls in this one didn’t really stand out and wasn’t my favorite, the growth of Cat, and the combination of the her maturity with Bones and their all out just sexy relationship seals the deal in this book.
Jeaniene Frost has created a fabulous cast of characters, and I don’t think I will ever tire of them.