Thursday, December 27, 2012

Review: First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World #1)

Because once the first crimson drop falls, they will both be lost.

First Drop of Crimson, by Jeaniene Frost, is the first novel in the Night Huntress World books, a spinoff series within the same world of the Night Huntress books featuring Cat Crawfield and master vampire, Bones. The story takes place a year after the events in At Grave's End and Destined for an Early Grave. Denise McGregor became a widow after her human husband died in a gruesome and terrifying ghoul attack. As a result, she wants no part of the supernatural world as she tries to resume a normal life. The night is not safe for mortals, and Denise knows all too well what lurks in the shadows.

Unfortunately, her family has a dark secret. An ancient ancestor stumbled upon dark magic and became an immortal shapeshifter. He escaped his demon master, who has marked Denise as prey. The demon orders Denise to find her missing ancestor if she does not want to suffer more human loss in her family. She turns to Spade, Bones' best friend and a mysterious master vampire, for help. He has walked the earth for centuries vowing never to love another human again. He grudgingly accepts her request, and travels across continents to search for clues on her missing ancestor. What Spade does not realize, though, is Denise may arouse his deepest hungers. Before she can become his mate, they must survive the nightmare together.

This spin-off book exceeded my expectations with a surprising twist. I was afraid that the author would go the cliche route with Spade turning Denise into a vampire against her will. In that case, there would have been no originality in the plot. Instead, Denise made the choice to become a supernatural being so that she can live an eternal life with Spade. That was both romantic and innovative on the author's part. The beginning is dull, but it becomes more interesting in the second half of the book. The other main cast--Bones, Cat, and Mencheres--make cameo appearances and help Spade with the critical mission.

I am delighted that Frost made this spin-off series so that fans of the Night Huntress series can get a flavor of the supporting cast. After reading five back-to-back novels about Cat's adventures (who finally turns into a vampire), it was time for a change. Denise and Spade share painful secrets but with their resilience they will make a great couple. Overall, I highly recommend this novel.

Stay tuned for the next novel in the Night Huntress series, Eternal Kiss of Darkness. This spin-off book focuses on Mencheres's love life.

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