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 11-12
When we last left Cat and Bones, they’d just had an unplanned-for run-in with Hennessey in a club, and had a steamy-sexy kiss that had Cat all confused over how she feels about her vampire partner. (C’mon, Kitten, we can tell you.)
Cat’s a college student, and she has been befriended by a classmate named Stephanie. Cat doesn’t have many friends—okay, make that no friends—so she agrees to go clubbing with the girl. She arrives at Steph’s (very swank) apartment, and as Stephanie gets dressed she questions Cat about her family or lack thereof, establishes that there’s no boyfriend, and then tells her she dresses like a troll. She pulls out a dress for Cat to change into, but finally Cat starts getting the creeps and decides to wear her own clothes.
Yep, that creepy vibe was right. Steph pulls a gun on her and tosses her a pair of handcuffs to put on. Of course, she doesn’t realize that Cat is no ordinary Hicksville college girl, so our heroine is able to evade two gunshots and engage in a little hand-to-hand with Stephanie over the gun. When the gun goes off and kills Stephanie, Cat freaks out and calls...you guessed it...Bones.
He’s there in ten minutes, and walks in commenting that the place “stinks like vampires”—namely, it stinks like Hennessey. So he cleans it up fast, bundles Steph’s body away, stuffs some “evidence” in a garbage bag, and hustles Cat back to the Bones-Cave. On the way, they meet up with Ted the disposal guy, and Bones tells him to feed Stephanie’s body to a ghoul.
Back at the cave, Bones examines Stephanie’s computer and tells Cat what he’s pieced together. He thinks Hennessey is behind a number of disappearances in the Great Lakes area over the past few years, mostly young women, and that he’s selling them as a kind of vampire “meals on wheels” business. He admits to Cat that when he met her, he thought she was one of Hennessey’s people and that’s why he was so rough on her.
Finally, Bones gives Cat a cloth and wash basin so she can clean Steph’s blood off her. She takes off her blouse, and things turn steamy. Bones admits that he’s wanted her since he first saw her, and she finally sees him as a man and not a vampire. So we FINALLY get the long, lovely love scene, during which Bones shows how he’s perfected his techniques over the past few centuries.
True to form, Cat wakes up the morning after, freaks out, and runs for home.
I’m glad Jeaniene Frost didn’t have C&B wait till the end of the book for their happily-for-the-moment. Now that’s behind us, we can move on to chasing down that dastardly Hennessey.
What did you think about the Stephanie chapter? It felt a little out of left field for me at first, and was a little convenient that Cat “just happened” to be on the vampire most-wanted list of hick college girls, but I loved the way it wrapped back into the Hennessey storyline.