Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It Came. I Read. I Reviewed

First Drop of Crimson
Night Huntress World, Book 1
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon
Available at Indie Bound, Powells, Barnes & Noble

First Drop of Crimson (hereafter known as FDOC) has been talked about and anticipated since last summer when many of us read an except from the author. As the release date got closer, and ARCs started showing up, we heard even more about the book. I decided not to read any reviews or excerpts other than that first chapter. I love the author's books, and I didn't want to jump the gun on reading FDOC from start to finish with only my own opinion in my head. However, I did start to hear raves and even grumbles on Twitter. My copy came while I was out of town. I started reading it yesterday, finishing it this afternoon.

Right off the bat, I will say I loved it. Did I love it as much as her other books? Not quite, but only because it was a different type of romance. I would give her other books all a 5, and give FDOC a 4. However, I'm willing to bet than when I reread it in a few months I will love it a bit more. It's going on the shelf with my other five Jeaniene Frost books, right after the fifth one. To me, they should be read in order to really appreciate the characters and what they've been through.

FDOC is a paranormal romance, though a bit gritty, to me, it's more of a love story than an urban fantasy. I think this is due to the characters personalities. Spade, the hero, has been in all five of the Night Huntress books. I think of him as the loyal friend, the calming influence when everyone around him is chomping at the bit, or fighting tooth and nail. He comes in and says "Wait a minute, let's talk this out." His loyalty to Bones and Cat is NEVER questioned because he never gives them reason to question. He's also not a "bad boy" like the other vampires in the Night Huntress books. He was strong, smart, and loyal before he was turned and remained that way afterwards. I find him incredibly sexy.

Denise is Cat's best friend, and a human. She's also loyal, smart and strong, though she doesn't feel that way when the book begins. I love her character with her "human" traits. She's thrifty, has common sense, doesn't want to "owe" anyone. She has panic attacks after a horrendous experience where her husband is killed, and she's been mourning for a year when she discovers she needs Spade's help.

Their story is not as intense as the ongoing story of Bones and Cat, or some others I've read, but I think it's romantic and sweet, despite the danger. To me, it's a story of healing, of acceptance, and love wrapped up in a kick-ass plot with demons and vampires. While it's not an erotic story per se, there are steamy scenes that made me sweat and others that made my heart swell.

I have to comment on how the author kept this story within the Night Huntress world. I wondered when reading if she would have Denise and Spade handle their situation solo, not involving their friends. I don't want to give any spoilers, but she handled it in such a cool way that I wanted to stand up and clap my hands like a little kid. Let's just say, Cat and Bones, always called on their friends when they needed help and they weren't about to let their two best friends go it alone. This really made the book extra fun for me since I love all the Night Huntress characters so much.

I truly loved FDOC. I loved that Ms. Frost kept Denise and Spade in character, not changing who they were just to spice it up or make the book more "hard core". I can't explain that as well as I'd like to, because there was spice, and it was steamy, but in a way that fit with the couple's personalities. I love them even more now, and can't wait to see what Spade and Denise do the next Night Huntress books.

To read my review of the other Night Huntress books go here: