Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Review: White Witch by Trish Milburn

Hi everyone! I'm feeling like another review. This time it's the turn of Trish Milburn's new Young Adult Series. White Witch is book 1 in the Coven series. Doesn't the cover look awesome!

Title: White Witch
Author: Trish Milburn
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Release Date: March 1st 2012
Series: The Coven Series, book 1
Source: I received this e-book (ARC) from the publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis from GoodReads:
Witchcraft Is Her Family’s Business.No One Quits The Family And Lives To Tell About It. “Jax” Pherson has power, enough power to know her future will end in service to the dark coven her father controls. Unless she can stay hidden in a small community in the mountains of North Carolina. She must find a way to live without magic and deny the darkness she feels welling up inside her—the same dark power that fuels the covens around the world. All she wants is a normal life. A boyfriend. Friends. Some place to belong, but all too soon Jax’s barely begun new life hangs in the balance when she discovers that the boy she’s attracted to is sworn to kill her kind. He’s a hunter with good reason to kill everything that goes bump in the night. Even the most fleeting use of her power is tantamount to signing her death warrant and will bring both hunter and coven down on her. But can she walk away when her friends are threatened by an old evil? Something created by the magic of witches? Jax’s only hope of survival is to convince the boy she loves to forget everything he’s ever been taught and help her find a way to fight the covens. To believe there is some good in her.

I may not be the biggest fan of Young Adult fiction but even I can tell when something is good. The fact that I devoured White Witch in one sitting says it all. White Witch contains everything you may expect from any usual teen fiction based around a girl starting a new school...the bitchy popular girl who hates you, the hot handsome guy everyone drools over, the quirky best friend...only Jax is no ordinary teenager. She's a witch.
Sixteen year old Jax is on the run from her coven...and her father. No longer able to stand the dark magic that the coven practice, Jax has decided to leave and hide. Unfortunately for her...no one has ever left the coven and lived. Jax's own mother was brutally executed by her father for attmepting to leave the coven and take her children with her. Now Jax has to get a handle on her magic for using it will be like sending a beacon with her wereabouts to her family. Something that's not exactly easy when you know you have the power to squash the queen bee who bullies Jax out of jealousy. I mean Jax is model gorgeous and super nice and gets all the male attention...what is there not to be jealous of?!

Jax does not want to be popular, all she wants is a normal life away from magic. She wants friends, a boyfriend...everything a teenage girl dreams of. Jax's bad luck strikes again however when she discovers that the boy she is attracted to (Keller) is a hunter sworn to track down and kill her kind. Despite her head telling her to run in the opposite direction, Jax follows her heart unable to deny the strong attraction. Despite the fact that the man she loves may kill her when/if he finds out the truth. After a night out goes bad, Jax is forced to reveal her true nature to her best friend and Keller - whom she has fallen for.
But a witch in love is a witch in trouble. Witches in love lose their powers...and with her evil coven hunting her...can Jax afford to give her heart away? 

I really enjoyed  White Witch, Trish Milburn is definately on to a good thing here. It's edgey with twists and turns as well as the normal high school drama...something I found strangely entertaining. Jax is super funny and the way she handles herself, especially during the exchanges with the school queen bee, is brilliant. Jax's new best friend is super cool too, as a fellow Joss Whedon fan I can totally relate to her and the way she accepts Jax for who she is puts my faith in their friendship. A late arrival in the story in the form of a young, hot male witch from Jax's past made me very suspicious. The information her brought Jax almost seemed too good to be true and I expected him to betray her any minute. Maybe I'm just a suspicious person but I still don't quite know what to make of him...he's certainly character I will be keeping an eye on. Though I will admit I had warmed to him by the end. 
White Witch naturally ends in a huge showdown between Jax and her coven...I won't spoil the outcome but woah...definately a good way to entice me to read then next one!! I cannot wait for round 2.

White Witch may only be 188 pages but it is 188 pages of awesome. If you're a fan of YA high-school romance, with a strong, funny and basically kick-ass heroine then this is the book for you.

My Rating: 4/5

Monday, 27 February 2012

In My Mailbox {2}

In My Mailbox is a weekly post created by The Story Siren. It's a great way to show the books you've received, bought or borrowed for that week/ month depending on how regularly you want to post. I also live it because it's a great way to show off the books you have added to your collection! This is only my second IMM post but I already love it!

Books Received for Review:
I've only received one this week - 
When Copper Suns Fall by KaSonndra Leigh (Copper Suns #1). 
In fifteen-year-old Chela Prizeon’s city, alchemy is forbidden and angels hide among the mortal. With a deadly virus ravaging the globe, Chela’s nightmarish memories compels her to experience a past riddled with gloom, and now her brother is infected.
Chela’s only hope is the Caduceans, slayers sworn to protect the last seven Light Keepers and the ancient memories they share. A group led by the sometimes elusive, sometimes infuriating boy who intrigues Chela. But can she trust this boy with the mysterious past, someone who can influence her memories?
With the Caduceans aid, Chela races to defeat her rivals, to unearth dark family secrets, desperate to find a cure…only to discover the glutovirus is far more than a simple disease.
In this haunting debut, KaSonndra Leigh offers an escape into an intriguing new world filled with celestial creatures, fascinating villainy, high-stake choices, and a secret romance, When Copper Suns Fall, is a fresh and original urban fantasy—with a dystopian twist—that will take readers on an unforgettable adventure.

Books I've Bought:
Again, only one this week -
Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Infernal Devices #1)

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.
Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

That's it for this week, I'm certainly looking forward to reading them both. Look out for my reviews!

Cover Reveal: Luminosity by Stephanie Thomas

Hi everyone. Today I am very privileged to have been included in the cover reveal for Luminosity! Luminosity is book 1 in the brand new Raven Chronicles series by Stephanie Thomas. Doesn't the cover look amazing, I love that the eye make-up has been made to look like feathers on a Ravens wing, very cool! Blue again...as you know, anything blue always catches my eye and I am certainly intrigued my the cover.

"My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.
The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.
But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win."

Sounds good right? Luminosity is certainly a book added to my TBR list when it is released on 7th August 2012. Let me know your thoughts!

Paperback Available for Pre-Order from Amazon UK:

Paperback Available for Pre-Order from Amazon US:

Friday, 24 February 2012

Feature and Follow {2}

Hello everyone! To those who are new WELCOME! To those who are returning, hi again and thanks for coming back. It's nice to be remembered :) anyway I'm Vikki and I am the book addict who runs V's Book Life...why anyone would trust me with a blog is beyond me but I'm not complaining. So today is Friday and that means it's Feature and Follow time!
Feature and Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read and connects bloggers all over the world...which is amazing.  I'm currently waiting for my exam results to be published in about 30 minutes so it's a good way for me to keep my mind off them.

Right then, today's question is an activity...

Q. Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most…

Now I would take a picture except I have a really bad camera, I might be able to get one later if I can persuade Hols to lend me hers. But as a description...I like to sit on my bed with my back against the wall...or when my bum goes numb from sitting in the same place for too long I'll head downstairs and lounge on the sofa. Though I do prefer my room because it's quieter, sometimes I'll put some classical music on too (yeah, I know...my housemates always tell me that a normal 20 year old doesn't listen to classical)...but it soothes me.

Anyway, I'm waiting for my university website to get back up and running so I can get my results!

Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

My First Giveaway!

I've decided to hold my fist giveaway, and the prize will be a paperback copy of Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward (you can see my review here). Please read over my Giveaway Policy before entering.

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother: A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either. 

When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world. Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.
As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy.

Contest information:
  • To enter you MUST fill out the form below (there are chances for extra entries!) 
  • The giveaway prize is for 1 paperback copy of Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward (a book I love) for 1 winner.
  • You must be 18+ to enter this giveaway (unless you have parental permission to do so).
  • You must include a valid e-mail address!
  • Unfortunately due to lack of funds, this giveaway will be open to UK postal addresses ONLY.
  • THE GIVEAWAY WILL CLOSE WEDNESDAY 29TH FEBRUARY so be sure to enter before then!
  • The prize is provided by me (Vikki)

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Review: Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

Hi Guys, time for another review. This is Lover Unleashed by New York Times Bestselling author J.R. Ward. The Brotherhood are BACK!

Title: Lover Unleashed
Author: J.R. Ward
Publisher: Piatkus (UK) | Signet Eclipse (US)
Release Date: March 29th 2011
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9
Source: My personal copy

From J.R. Ward's website:
Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother: A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either.
When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world. Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.
As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy.

As you all know I am a HUGE fan of J.R. Ward, her Black Dagger Brotherhood series is one of my all time favourites. Despite this, I was hesitant about starting this Lover Unleashed, Payne was not a character that had interested me. Manny however, I was curious about. BUT, this is not Manny and Payne's book...oh no...this is Vishous and Jane part 2. In theory Lover Unleashed is Payne and Manny's story of true love with Vishous and Jane's relationship blues as a side story. It doesn't come across like that though, Vishous' story has such passion that it completely overshadows Payne's storyline. Don't get me wrong, this book is still pretty good, and to be honest I was more interested in reading about Jane and Vishous/ Blay and Qhuinn (yes, they're in here too!) anyway. 

Manny and Payne's story probably only amounts to about 1/2 of the book, and begins where Lover Mine left off. Payne is in a hospital bed in the Brotherhood's compound where she has remained since her sparring accident with Wrath which paralysed her from the waist down. Dr. Manuel 'Manny' Manello (who some may remember from Lover Unbound) is chief of surgery and the only who has any chance of reversing Payne's paralysis. One problem...he's human...she's not. Payne is the Scribe Virgin's daughter and Vishous' twin sister, making her extremely off limits to Manny, however when this unlikely pair first meet they forge an unbreakable bond. They struggle through Payne's recovery together and have a few blips in their relationship (mainly when Vishous wipes Manny's memories in an attempt to protect his twin) but you can feel Manny's passion for this delicate woman.
The pair discover truths about themselves as the relationship progresses, Payne begins to heal despite all the odds and Manny uncovers a secret from his past that ties him to the Brotherhood forever. I liked Manny as a character, he's strong willed and quick witted, plus is able to stand up to Vishous - no mean feat, he scares me too! Payne however is another matter, up until now she's been this kick-ass warrior who bows to no-one. And yet in this book, she seems to have lost most of her fight, her spirit...plus I find it hard to get my head around the way she speaks. As a couple they don't seem to fit together as well as some of the others do, and their story didn't move me as much as say...Rhage and Mary's. It's not awful, but definitely not my favourite.

Now for the part of the book I loved. There are cracks forming in Vishous and Jane's relationship, most of it due to Vishous still not believing himself to be worthy of his female, and he's still tormented by his horrific past. Their relationship fractures over Payne's treatment and I thought it was irrecoverably broken. I couldn't see a way for Vishous to work through his issues, after all they're so ingrained into his being that I don't think he even knew how badly damaged he was. Then I remembered...THIS IS J.R. WARD, if anyone could help Vishous then she could! And oh my God! There is a scene (well several if I'm truly honest) that brought tears to my eyes. For the first time, Vishous, the fierce hard hearted warrior that he is...was laid bare. It's a treat for fans of the BDB because it also adds yet another level to the relationship between V and Butch (as if it wasn't complicated already). 
'Vishous screamed around the ball gag...and kept at it. He screamed for all he had lost...screamed for the half male he was...screamed for Jane...screamed for who his parents were and what he wished for his sister...screamed for what he had forced his best friend to do.... He screamed and screamed until there was no breath, no consciousness, no nothing. No past or present. Not even himself anymore. And in the midst of chaos, in the strangest way, he became free.'
His path certainly isn't an easy one,  Vishous becomes increasingly self destructive throughout, and it takes an unbreakable friendship between him and Butch (which by God is put through the wringer) to bring stability back to Vishous' life. It's a heart-warming story of true love - not just the love between Vishous and his shellan, but the love between two best friends who would die for each other. In one word, beautiful.

For hardcore BDB fans (like myself) you will be pleased to know that there is some more Blay/ Qhuinn action, though their story still isn't progressing the way I want it to. Also there appears to be trouble heading the Brotherhoods way in the form of the Bloodletter's old crew. Xcor has his sights set on Wrath and the throne. The Blind King seems to have a war coming his way. Is it one he can win? I don't know...

Though I've picked at Payne and Manny a bit I still thoroughly enjoyed Lover Unleashed. I cannot get enough of J.R. Ward's writing. Her characters are full of vitality, they practically jump off the page and pull you into their world whether you like it or not. I cannot wait for Lover Reborn in March and anyone who has even a slightest interest in paranormal romance must checkout the Black Dagger Brotherhood - starting with book 1, Dark Lover!

My Rating: 4.5/5

Monday, 20 February 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly post created by The Story Siren. It's a great way to show the books you've received, bought or borrowed for that week/ month depending on how regularly you want to post. It's also a fabulous way of showcasing your book collection! This is my first IMM (hopefully the first of many) and this week I've received 3 books from NetGalley for review. 

They are:

White Witch by Trish Milburn (ARC)- a new young adult series. Courtesy of Bell Bridge Books.
I've finished this one already so expect my review soon!

Rush of Darkness by Rhyannon Byrd (Primal Instinct #7). Courtesy of Harlequin UK .
Sounds like a good read!

Queen of Swords by Katee Robert (Sanctify #2). Courtesy of Entangled Publishing.

I can't wait to start this one!

Thank to all the authors and publishers who have sent me these books! Look out for their reviews coming soon!

Cover Reveal: Inbetween by Tara Fuller

Hey everyone, I'm extremely excited to be able to reveal the cover to Tara Fuller's new Young Adult book Inbetween! I've had my eye on Inbetween for a while now because I love the sound of the blurb (see below). I like this cover...it's striking and I think it would appeal to her target audience. I personally like the quote 'Death doesn't fall in love. Usually'. I'm certainly intrigued.

Blurb for Inbetween:
Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving “accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so
Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option. 

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn't let her die before,
and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the only thing he has left…his soul.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Feature and Follow, hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read

Hello, If you are new to V's Book Life, welcome and enjoy! My name is Vikki and I'm a review blogger (as you may have guessed). V's Book Life has been up and running 8 months or so and I'm really enjoying working on it. Hopefully I can make some new friends with the same interests as me and I am excited to be taking part in the Feature and Follow. Feature and Follow is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, and is a great way for bloggers to interact and make friends. Don't worry, I don't bite...much. I always follow back so give me a comment!

This week's question is a hard one: 

Q: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What's the most unique character name you've come across?

My answer
I just love the names of the Black Dagger Brotherhood warriors; Wrath, Rhage, Tohrment, Phury, Vishous, Zsadist etc. God how I love these warriors...I still think that I should have been Zsadists shellan, that man, my lord have mercy he is amazing! Tall, dark and brooding...my type all over. I'd choose Zsadist over pretty much anything, I'd give up chocolate for a piece of him...and that's saying something...mmm...chocolate...Erm, where was I? Oh yes, the BDB series is one of my all time favourites, J.R. Ward is high on my list of top authors, and Zsadist is most definately one of my ultimate favourite characters. It's a complete triangle, you certainly can't go wrong!

Alrighty then, leave me comments for I will argue and defend Zsadist within an inch of my life.
Catch you later!

Cover Release: Gravity by Melissa West

Hi again everyone. I've been following Melissa West on twitter for a while now because the synopsis to her novel Gravity (see below) sounds really intriguing. Now we also have a delightful cover for it too, I must say I think it's so pretty. Blue has been my favourite colour FOREVER (though it is closely followed by deep purple) and it just draws me straight in. It's one of those books I'd pick up for the cover alone!

Anyway here is the synopsis from Melissa West's website.
Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed—arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.
Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know—especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Sounds good does it not? Gravity is being released October 2012 and is certainly something I will be keeping a watchful eye on. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

UK Cover: Rogue Rider

Look how pretty they look together!
I was flicking down my Facebook news feed and BAM....I see this amazing cover release. I was immediately blown away by the UK cover of Larissa Ione's highly anticipated 4th book in the Lords of Deliverance series. The cover for Rogue Rider (aka. Reseph's story) is just beautiful, and model Reseph on the cover...oh boy, he is gorgeous! I'm glad they've managed to incorporate the bow and arrow that Reseph/Pestilence is such a good shot with, he actually looks a lot like I imagined him. As for Conquest...that warhorse is beautiful, I've always loved pure white horses, there's something magical about them.
This cover is going to fit so well with the other 3 in the series. Rogue Rider is going to be EPIC!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Review: Stray by Rachel Vincent

Hey all, it's the turn of Rachel Vincent's Young Adult series. This is Stray, book #1 in the Faythe Sanders series. Enjoy!

Title: Stray
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira Books
Release Date: February 2009 (UK) | July 2007 (US)
Series: Faythe Sanders/Shifters series, book 1
Source: My own copy

From Rachel Vincent's website:
I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.
Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.
This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back... for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever and whoever--I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays--'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them...

The Shifters series follows werecat Faythe Sanders as she tries to cope with being one of the few female werecats (tabbies) in the United States. She is an extremely stubborn individual as we find her at college at the start of this book, rather then doing what is considered to be her duty to her species and finding a man, and...well...continuing her species. As much as Faythe values her independence, she must be cautious, as some people will do anything to bag themselves a tabby. Including kidnapping.
While on campus, Faythe is the target of an attack by a stray (a werecat that does not belong to a pride), after surprising him with her self defence skills, thankfully the stray gives up and leaves. However only minutes later, Faythe is visited by the last person she wanted to see. Her ex-boyfriend Marc....and he's come to drag her home. Marc is the last person Faythe want's to see, but when she finds out that Tabbies are disappearing all over America (including her cousin) she reluctantly agrees to return home.

I wasn't entirely sold on Faythe as a character to begin with. She's ridiculously stubborn and will sometimes put herself and others in harms way just to prove a point. She also can come across as selfish, but considering she has had her independence taken from her it's almost understandable. Faythe most certainly isn't perfect, nor is she always likeable...however she is a very real and believable character and her flaws make her easier to connect with. When Faythe arrives home, she discovers she is not the only tabby to have been attacked. And 2 of them are missing - including her teenage cousin. Faythe becomes determined to find out who took them...before they come back for her.

Faythe has alot of people who care deeply about her, her over-protective older brothers, her Alpha father, and lovely mother. I love the scenes with her family, it shows Faythe isn't completely emotionless. Also coming under the over protective section is ex-boyfriend Marc. Marc seems like a genuinely nice guy apart from being a bit hot-headed. Marc want's nothing more than to settle down with Faythe...her father would like the same. He appears to be the perfect boyfriend, but Faythe only wants certain parts of their relationship and certainly nothing more permanent...at least not now. It's one of the reasons I didn't warm to her character, she keeps messing with Marc's emotions and he's such a nice guy...I feel bad for him. I hope, I really hope she makes up her mind and stops being so blind to what she has!

The plot was well paced and kept me interested all the way through. Some of the plot twists I didn't see coming. Although there is a horror film cliché involving Faythe practically running into the kidnappers arms. You can't help but shout 'what on earth were you thinking'...and you know her family will have the same reaction. 

One of the reasons I did eventually warm to Faythe was that she learnt from the mistakes she made throughout the story, you can see her potential and I can't wait to see what happens with her character throughout the series. Overall Stray is a pretty enjoyable addition to the Young Adult genre. I will be picking up book 2 in the series to see what happens to Faythe next.

My Rating: 4/5

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Review: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Hello everyone, I've finally finished Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. It's book 1 in the Night Huntress series and defiantly for you if 240 year old British Vampires are your cup of tea....I know they're mine.

Title: Halfway to the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Publisher: Gollancz (UK) | Avon (US)
Release Date: 8th April 2010 (UK) | 30th October 2007 (US)
Series: Night Hutress, Book 1
Source: My own personal copy

From Jeaniene Frost's website:
Flirting With The Grave…
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father – the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unlikely partnership.
In exchange for help finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner – are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn't have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side … and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.

We are thrown into this series following Catherine 'Cat' who is half vampire, half human (though she's not known as a Dhampire...something I've not seen before). Cat is the product of rape...her newly turned vampire father brutally assaulted her mother and Cat is conceived. Unsurprisingly Cat's mother hates all vampires, and actively encourages her 22 year old daughter to hunt these 'dangerous monsters'. We follow Cat as she evolves from an amateur vampire hunter, to one of the best. Despite Cat's utter hatred of all things vampire she teams up with 240 year old master vampire Bones. It's his training, which is certainly a new style since most training doesn't include how not to blush at 'nasty talk', that takes the skills she was born with and brings them to the front. The exchanges between Bones and Cat are hilarious, Bones and Cat could not be more opposite. Cat is really quite prudish and Bones is extremely ...erm...open to say the least. But it is brilliantly written and totally believable. Anyway, as the training progresses and this unlikely couple start to notice the spark between them...but Cat's prejudice is still strong, will she ever be able to see past it and see Bones for who he is inside, not just his vampiric exterior?
'My body was still curled around his, taunting him. This was so unlike me, but something felt as though it had taken over. My earlier concerns were a faint memory not even worth dwelling on. The lights caused deep hollows to form  under his cheekbones, making them look even more pronounced. The heat in his eyes should have made me break free and run, but all it did was entice me.'

I will admit that at first I was a little unsure whether this could actually work, a vampire hating woman partnering with a 240 year old master vampire, and to be honest I don't think I could have handled the relationship when it blossoms if it had happened out of the blue. However, the way Jeaniene Frost has written it means you can see Cat slowly begin to fall for the enigmatic Bones. Though how could you not. I love him! He's British and handsome and extremely loyal...sigh...but Cat would kick my ass so I can't have him unfortunately.

Cat and Bones make quite a impression on the vampires they meet. Cat's unusual genetics mean that she has some of the characteristics of a vampire but she also has a heartbeat. Funnily enough, this shocks most people. And Bones...well Bones just threatens people really well, and has the reputation to back him up. Together they investigate a vampire gang running what is basically a take out service i.e. capturing young women and brining them for others to feed on...as well as other things. They question parts of the gang but Cat has a nasty habit of killing them before they get enough information from the vampire...a constant frustration to Bones.
"Lucifers bouncing balls, Kitten, not again!" Uh-oh. I squirmed, instinctively also trying to block Tony's body from view. As if that made him any less dead. "She was going to stab you," I said in my defence. "Look in her hand!" He was looking at the ground near my feet instead. "Him too?" I nodded, sheepish. "He jumped me." Bones just stared. "You're not a woman," he said finally. "You're the Grim Reaper with red hair!"
I love the dynamic between Bones and Cat. They both have the same 'job' but do it for different reasons, and both have their own scarred pasts. The relationship between Cat and Bones is rocky and has all the pitfalls of a normal relationship. Heck, Cat won't even introduce Bones to her mother...can't imagine why. Cat has a habit of running away when things get too complicated between them and often can't handle the honesty and the truths Bones tells. I think their relationship is extremely well written and kept me guessing the entire time. And the end!! Oh Lord my heart broke...though since there are other books, I'm assuming this will be resolved...please God let it be resolved! I love Bones and Cat too much for it not to have a happy ending. 

The humour in this definitely appeals to me because it is subtle and more in the way that Cat and Bones play off each other. The romance is also well worked in and does not detract from the stroyline at all. 

I will definitely be putting this in my Favourites pile, I know I will be re-reading this many times! I cannot wait to get my hands on book 2.

My Rating: 4.5/5

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