Frost, J. (2007). Halfway to the grave. New York, USA: Harper Collins Publishers.
Jeaniene Frost is an American author who has penned New York Times and USA Today bestselling fantasy – The Night Huntress series. Halfway to the Grave is the first book in the series.
The product of a non-consensual tryst, Cat Crawfield is different but not in the way most humans consider. She is born half-vampire, half-human. Filled with a vengeance towards the very undead that ruined her mother’s life, she crosses paths with Bones. Forced into a partnership, Cat trains under Bones, to hone her deadly skills and lure vampires to their death with her beating heat. Then pursued by a ring of human enslaving vampires, Cat and Bones must choose a side.
From the first paragraph, I was hooked. The first three chapters were all action, with backstory interwoven in small increments, so the flow of the story isn’t interrupted.
With all the action sequences, there is a building romance between Cat and Bones. It is fierce and primal. In the early stages, Cat is disgusted at the very thought of him, and plans to kill him the first chance she gets. What struck me most about this romance, was hate turned to love. In the end, she chose to run away, to protect him. The last line of the book, she hopes that Bones will come find her.
The complexity of their bond and the distaste between Bones and Cat at the beginning, reminds me of Jay and Stone. The moment Stone is attacked, Jay still hides his feelings for her from Velkan. From the relationship of Cat and Bones, I am going to rewrite the scenes following the attack, to insert Jay’s inability to hide his feelings anymore. Velkan will become aware of them, Stone will not. It will add conflict between the two men.
The language used, for the intimate scenes wasn’t explicit. I find it hard to write intimate scenes, but reading one is catapulting for me. Frost was able to enact scenes and movements, in a way that wasn’t crass. I will put the intimate scenes between Velkan and Stone, under the microscope. Tightening their touches, and intimate interactions, but keeping within my own voice. Forcing an intimate scene, is not what I feel comfortable with. It will bring the characters of Stone and Velkan closer together, and readers get a better sense of Velkan’s character.
The use of non-explicit language to lift the tension between Stone and Jay, when they fall on the couch together, by describing what Stone is feeling using touch sensory, the context could become electric.
It would change the entire dynamic between Jay and Stone; Stone and Velkan; Jay and Velkan; attributing to a building tension.