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One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Series: Night Huntress, Book 2
Rating: 4 Stars
Length: 384 Pages
Formats: Mass Market Paperback, Kindle

One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 2)
The Red Reaper Reigns

She gave him up to save his life.

He swore he'd find her.

She really should have known. Bones always keeps his promises.

It's been four years since Cat left Bones to protect him. She's working with a covert government agency, doing what Bones taught her to do best. Kill. When she's not on duty, she's trying to live a normal life. Her best friend is getting married, she's dating a vet, and she still misses Bones so much she aches with it.

Coming face to face with him at the wedding is a shock, finding out there's a bounty on her head and he intends to track whomever is responsible and kill them ugly isn't. Cat isn't sure what to feel, though, when he tells her he's not letting her get away from him again.

This second installment of the Night Huntress series reminds me of the fourth season of BtVS. I know, I know, I can't stop making the BtVS connections. I'm sorry! Still, you gotta admit, the group Cat works for reads an awful lot like the Initiative, including the vamps in the holding cells and the military-esque tactical teams. Sure, Noah's no Riley Finn (thank hell), and no one shoves a chip into Bones' skull, but the similarities continue.

And again, this reread pointed out some issues I didn't notice the first time around. The whole secret agency thing popped up too abruptly at the end of the last book, and in this one, I was never comfortable with it. Cat is supposed to have this camaraderie with her team, but maybe because of the four year gap in story timeline those relationships felt very manufactured to me. Cat's got a new BFF we've never met, Denise, and she's marrying a guy we don't know, then there's the lovesick Tate (yeah, there's a surprise), the horndog Juan, and the reticent Cooper. They all just sort of popped up, weren't really fleshed out, just moved into position as serious secondary characters. It didn't work for me.

It wasn't until Bones was back in the picture that this story started to gel for me at all, but when he was, it was lovely. Cat's matured as a character (thankfully), and there was some genuinely refreshing moments of honesty between Cat and Bones that reminded me just how much I prefer romances where characters have the stones to be open and communicative with each other. I love them as a couple, I really do.

The external conflict in the storyline is more personal in this one, with Cat's father stirring up trouble and Bones' sire working his own agenda. Despite the fact that I don't like the secret agency bullshit, I liked those threads very much. There were several nice plot twists and a few real shockers. Oh, and of course, Cat's mother - dependable as ever as the bigoted bitch from hell. That woman is bat-shit crazy, I swear.

I'd forgotten this is the book where we first meet Mencheres, a favorite character of mine...though perhaps not as favored as Vlad, who shows up in the next book, I think, and Spade is back in a small cameo roll here. Love him. And I have to say, one of my favorite scenes of the whole series is in this book. I tittered and snickered just as hard this time around when Cat and Annette have there not-so-little fracas.
"I am going to knock the slut out of you, Annette," I gritted between clenched teeth, "And that should take some doing, you uppity English tramp!"
I can't begin to express with suitable emphasis just how much fun I had with that scene.

Like the first reread, my enthusiasm for this book was slightly dimmed from the first go. I didn't like it at all pre-Bones, and after he was back, I still had some issues with Cat and with the story. And the surprise development at the end was a combination of frustration at Cat's stupidity and pleasure at the outcome. All in all, Cat is annoying me a lot more on the rereads than she did originally, though I liked her more in this book than in the previous one. And of course, there's Bones...back with Cat and looking, acting, and being fiiiiiiiine. Yum.

Night Huntress Series:

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1) One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 2) At Grave's End (Night Huntress, Book 3)
Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Book 4) This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 5) One Grave at a Time: A Night Huntress Novel

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Ratings Guide

Here is a rundown of what the star ratings mean to me! It's not a perfect system, so you may see me add in a .5 star here and there if my impression of the book falls somewhere between these:

5 Stars - Loved it
4 Stars - Liked it
3 Stars - It's okay
2 Stars - Didn't like it
1 Star - Hated it

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2014 Reading Challenge
Tracy has read 22 books toward her goal of 175 books.
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Zero at the BoneHead Over HeelsLord of the WolfynIn Total SurrenderA Win-Win PropositionNorth of Need

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