Friday, February 5, 2010

Vampire Romance & Action: Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Her deadly dreams leave her in grave danger. Since half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her undead lover Bones met six years ago, they've fought against the rogue undead, battled a vengeful Master vampire, and pledged their devotion with a blood bond. Now it's time for a vacation. But their hopes for a perfect Paris holiday are dashed when Cat awakes one night in terror. She's having visions of a vampire named Gregor who's more powerful than Bones and has ties to her past that even Cat herself didn't know about.

Gregor believes Cat is his and he won't stop until he has her. As the battle begins between the vamp who haunts her nightmares and the one who holds her heart, only Cat can break Gregor's hold over her. She'll need all the power she can summon in order to bring down the baddest bloodsucker she's ever faced . . . even if getting that power will result in an early grave.

This is the 4th novel in the "Night Huntress Series" and Jeaniene Frost has not strayed from the quality demonstrated in the first three books. She has continued to broaden the personalities of the characters that have populated the beginnings of Cat's and Bones' story and she has found new dimensions of their personal stories to add to their attraction and to rivet the reader's attention. Cat continues to exhibit her fears and insecurities, built into her by her fearful and angry mother who thought she was "demon-spawned" from before her birth. She is madly in love with Bones, but is fearful of commitment and betrayal, vehement that trusting is going to leave her vulnerable (which it will) but to a degree with which she cannot live. She is so afraid of being alone but everything she does seems to lead her away from the relationship which is more important than her own life. She has nearly lost Bones on several occasions and she is so afraid of having to live out her life without him. Yet she seems to inevitably do everything she can to keep him at arms length.

Bones is such a complicated character but perhaps that is why I am so fascinated by him. He is a 250 year old vampire who has experienced life on many levels and lived through so much of the world's history. He has become increasingly powerful, yet his desire for and complete commitment to Cat is so uncharacteristic for vampires. His hopes for their relationship keep him working to make her safe, not only physically but within her own insecurities, and his patience is awe-inspiring. Even though they are blood-bonded, he is willing to even go through a "human" wedding in order to relieve her anxieties about his fidelity. I really like this character--he is relentless in protecting what he believes to be his own, yet he is caring and careful with her needs and her relational inadequacies. Cat keeps trying to "save" him when time after time he has proven that he doesn't need her "saving."

This story is full of tension, action, and that nail-biting quality that well-written novels possess as Frost explores the tension between Cat-Bones-Gregor, the on-going stress within Bones' & Cat's relationship, Cat's uneven relationship with her mother, and the stresses within the paranormal community. Yet underneath the surface conflict is the tender love that Bones has for Cat. It is really a very engaging quality that seemed to linger with me after I had read the final page. Frost is one of those writers that keeps on growing in her craft and keeps on giving her reading public excellence in her story lines, in her ability to develope characters and conflicts, and her desire to explore her own talents. I look forward to reading the next novel in this series. I give this book a rating of 5 out of 5.

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