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on 20 February 2010
First Drop of Crimson is the first book in Jeaniene's Night Huntress World series, the spin off from her main Night Huntress series. It follows Denise, Cat's best friend, about a year after the traumatic death of her husband at the hands of vampires. She wants nothing to do with that world and just wants to be left alone to grieve. But a couple family members have died suddenly from heart attacks, and Denise issuspicious. She doesn't want to call Cat though, or her husband Bones, so instead she calls Bones long time friend, Spade.

Spade is a vampire who has lusted after Denise since he first laid eyes on her. But she was married, and his best friend's wife's best friends, automatically off limits. When he gets the call from her he first suspects she's seeing more than there is. But when he arrives at her house and finds a demon recently left, he realises that it's a whole lot worse than either of them knew. He's determined to help her and keep her alive, but the more he's around her, the harder it is for him to resist her. And that could be deadly for both of them.

I loved the first two books in Jeaniene's Night Huntress series, but I didn't enjoy 3 or 4 as much and I wasn't sure I'd like a book with Spade and Denise as the leads. I was wrong, I loved this book! I love Spade a lot more than I do Bones, and Denise has grown on me hugely too. The book is told in third person, but switching between Spade and Denise's perspectives giving the reader a clear view of what they're both going through and how they feel.

The action starts up pretty quick and doesn't really let up. I liked the plot and how it all worked out, along with how both Spade and Denise grew through the book as they dealt with their personal issues as well as the demon ones. They're both strong characters, but with painful pasts that consume them. I really felt for Denise as she struggled to come to terms with what happened to her husband and her feelings about the supernatural world. And I totally fell in love with Spade as more of him was revealed and his actions explained.

Overall, a really great book with some interesting hints at some other side characters already met in the Night Huntress books. I'd love to have more books about Spade and Denise in the future. It could probably be read just fine as a standalone book, but I think readers wouldbenefit from having read the first four Night Huntress books first (Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, At Grave's End, Destined for an Early Grave). There was real tension and feeling to the book, and I loved the ending. I'm looking forward to the next books in this series now, and theoriginal one.
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on 4 March 2010
I am a huge fan of Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series, following Cat and Bones' relationship and the supernatural problems they come up against. When I heard Jeaniene would be writing a spin off series of stand alone novels, and Spade would get his own story, I was seriously excited. One, it's Jeaniene Frost, and I just love her writing, two, it's still set in the same world as the Night Huntress series, and I love the mythology, and three, Spade gets his story - meaning it would be from his point of view. Jeaniene didn't didappoint; First Drop of Crimson is amazing!

Before I carry on with my review, I just want to clear something up for you all, which might be confusing to those who have yet to read any of Jeaniene's novels. The books following Cat and Bones - Halfway to the Grave, One Foot in the Grave, At Grave's End, and Destined for an Early Grave - are in the Night Huntress series. The stand alone novels in the spin off series are collectively called the Night Huntress World series. I thought it may be a bit confusing, because sometimes I even have to think about which is which.

Back to the review. The story was incredible! We come across creatures we've not met before in this world; demons. There's a whole new mythos to discover, and it's just so awesome! I can't really go into the demons because it'll be spoiling things for you, but the creatures are great, and the plot is just so unique!

There is plenty of action, like we're used to, a lot of suspenceful, edge-of-your-seat fighting several times throughout the novel, but the pacing is a little different. This one story spans about five weeks, where normally Jeaniene's stories span several days. Sometimes hours, even days, go by without us having seen the characters for that time, the time has just gone as nothing eventful or important happened. It made it a little difficult to keep track of how long the characters had been together, which sometimes made the feelings of the characters seem to come about really quickly. On the plus side, we also meet some other characters we love, including Cat and Bones! Just fantastic!

There were a few things I didn't expect in this novel. All the books in the Night Huntress series are writing in first person from Cat's point of view, but this book is written in third person from both Spade's and Denise's points of view. It was a little jarring at first reading third person, simply because I was more used to Jeaniene's first person style. I don't have a problem with third person generally, it just wasn't expected. As I said, I loved the book, but I do think I prefer first person, simply because these characters are just so awesome, I want to be right in their heads and have them tell me the story - rather than have the story told to me by "someone" who seems to be able to read everyone's mind. It's not a big deal, it certainly didn't make the story less enjoyable, it's just my own preference.

Despite being in third person, we get into a Night Huntress World's vampire's head as much as we can, and that is what I was most looking forward to! It's odd reading Spade's story - or rather Denise's - because I've always imagined Spade as pretty easy going from the other books, but he is really quite intense. It was great to get to know the real him, his backstory, and how he fits into the circle of undead friends. It was also really awesome to get to know Denise; she had always been this small secondary character, who wasn't that important of a character to me, so it was great to get to know her as more than just Cat's best friend, and the woman who lost her husband. She's an incredible character, seriously amazing but so complicated, I can't really go into her in much detail without spoiling the story.

But the most enjoyable part of this new structure is that Spade is British, and so uses a lot of British words where Denise would use American. A lot of the Urban Fantasy novels I read are written by American authors, and normally I don't notice when American words are used - until a British character is introduced and starts talking. Don't ask me why, but I always get excited, with a stupid grin, and think "You talk like me!" What was really great in First Drop of Crimson, however, was how well Jeaniene kept up her British words and slang for when we were following Spade the whole way through, and had Denise use American words and slang when we followed her. It was just so cool! The only thing I noticed is that, if I remember rightly, Spade took off his "pants", not his "trousers", but it's no big deal! I just loved it!

I really loved this book, it was brilliant! Fans of Jeaniene Frost will love this book, and there's enough explanation in First Drop of Crimson for new readers to understand the world and who the characters are. I highly recommend it, and I can't wait for Eternal Kiss of Darkness, the second in the Night Huntress World series, which will be released 27th July.
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(WARNING - THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS)

First Drop of Crimson is the first novel in the Night Huntress World series, a spin off series from the Night Huntress series starring Cat Crawfield. The Night Huntress World series are novels, I think are, introducing us to the other characters that you would have met if you have read the Night Huntress series and giving us a more in depth look at their history.

I'm not sure that I knew what to expect from this book or what to make of it. The beginning felt a bit off for me with Spade's automatic lust and feelings towards Denise. This was probably because I am used to reading about the emotions flitting back and forth between Cat and Bones, and haven't really thought much about the other characters and their lives/feelings out with Cat's knowledge before. I certainly didn't catch the look that they gave one another in the Night Huntress series - come to think of it, I don't think it was actually mentioned (I could be wrong, don't have the book in front of me to check).
The plotline was rather interesting as the Night Huntress series, so far, hasn't dabbled with demons so that put a nice new spin on things. The demon is quite essential to the plotline because he is the one of the reasons that Denise and Spades cross paths.

I liked that we found out more about Spade's rather unfortunate and sad past and what happened to Denise as she was hardly mentioned in the fourth book of the Night Huntress series. It's a shame that she blamed herself for everything that happened.

I felt bad for Denise for being dragged into this whole mess with the demon. Denise's family's past has created some serious bad karma for her and has caused some of her family members to end up dead. The demon threatens to kill the rest of her family unless she brings him what he wants, and believe me it's nothing short of simple. His sought after toy has been hidden deep within the vampire world. This demon business has a bad affect on her and she has to learn how to control herself.

Spade craves Denise like he craves blood, ever since the first time he met her, but was warned to stay away, which he has done. But when she calls him requesting supernatural help, he wilfully obliges. He never realised what he was getting himself into when he agreed to help. As the story progresses, Spade doesn't want to let Denise go. He ends up falling for her and because of what has happened in his past, he is determined not to let her die. The only thing stopping him carrying out his plan is that Denise doesn't agree with it one bit.

(WARNING - SPOILER'S FOR NIGHT HUNTRESS & NIGHT HUNTRESS WORLD SERIES IN FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH)
It was a nice surprise to see Cat and Bones in this book. I didn't think they would appear what with the story focusing on Denise and Spade and their problems, but I suppose Spade has helped them quite a bit in the past. Once they turned up, if felt like everything would be okay, they would take over and save the day. They didn't take over, but they did help a lot. I was constantly wondering when Denise would find out that Cat had finally gone all the way to the other side - seemed like Spade wasn't going to tell her.
(END OF SPOILER WARNING)

Overall, I thought the story was very good and there was a fine balance between romance and the plot. There quite a lot of scenes that contain sexual content. It's not too explicit but I would recommend the book for more mature teens and adults. First Drop of Crimson was definitely a page turner and I had trouble putting it down at certain bits, so I had to keep reading, even until the late hours of the night, luckily it was a weekend.

Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money and I am not receiving money in for this review. Everything I have said is of my own honest opinion and wanted to share it with you.
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on 29 November 2016
She is such a high maintenance woss that I nearly didn't finish the book, in fact I got fed up and speed read the last 20%. We are supposed to believe that a rational adult falls for teenage angst, hysterical ranting and ravings, drama to the max, an incoherent ditz with no redeeming features other than - of course - she's beautiful. JF is one of those writers who mistakes poor cognitive skills, noise, stroppiness and tantrums for strength. She was irritating but I guess aimed at the teen market (Who Are supposed to like it???)
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I recently discovered this author and have tracked down and read all of the Cat and Bones books, so when I went looking for the next, only to find that it's still a whole year away, I thought I'd try this one, as I liked Spade from his appearances. Based on reviews, I thought I'd be in for a treat, but what I got was just an ok tale.

I'm not going to go into full details, as other reviewers have already done this so well, but this book was lacking in the tension of the Night Huntress novels, and the leads were not evenly matched. Spade - cheesy cover and all - looks to die for (I actually found myself turning to the cover time and time again, and tilting it to see if he looked even better at different angles!) and his description and what we know of him so far make him an interesting, loyal and charismatic character, and in contrast, Denise seemed very ordinary and frankly I couldn't see what had attracted Spade to her so badly from when they first met. They don't really get together until maybe 65% of the book has gone, and even then it's not a case of passion build-up...but rather tame.

Yes, there was a storyline after a bit of a weak and rather obvious start, which I suppose had to be there to actually get the leads together, but it kind of didn't flow like the NH books, but it was decent enough. Spade is by far the most interesting character, and yes, at times Denise was a bit of a silly fluffy female, and it kind of seemed that the love scenes were included in the tale just because readers love lovers, but I think that Spade could have had this 'love' with any other female, not just Denise, as there just didn't seem to be that strong an attraction and that deep a bond between them. Yes, I liked that they both admitted their feelings, even if the declarations came a bit out of the blue, and were too frank for the way in which the book had gone so far.

Still, I have preordered Mencheres' tale, out in July, as again, he is a strong enough and intriguing enough character to make me want to know about his background and how he'll continue to feature in the NH series.

Overall, an OK read, but not an absolute must.
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on 5 November 2011
Denise MacGregor knows all to well the dangers of the vampire world. Her last foray there ended in the death of her husband so since then she has shunned the vampire world, including her best friend Cat Crawfield. When a demon shapeshifter marks her and threatens her family, Denise has no choice but to reconnect with it. She calls Spade, a mysterious vampire who has been fighting his attraction to her since they met and together they must fight to save Denise and her family.

This is the first book in the Night Huntress world series that has spun off of the great Night Huntress novels (which started with Halfway to the Grave). Falling after the fourth book in that series, this features two of my favourite characters - Cat's best friend Denise and Bone's best friend Spade so I was really looking forward to reading it.

The plot is well-thought out but surprisingly simplistic compared to the Night Huntress books. At first the book had difficulty keeping my interest as it just felt like the characters were going through the motions, but it then picked up and I really enjoyed the second half. There were some clever twists and a brilliant ending.

I already liked Spade and Denise and I really enjoyed reading their story and learning more about them. My enjoyment was dented a bit by the fact the tension stopping the pair from getting together is almost completely down to misinterpretation. There were times where I wanted to reach into the book and knock their heads together. One simple conversation and their relationship problems would have almost entirely disappeared.

One thing I really enjoyed was that there are cameos from other Night Huntress characters, including Ian who I have always loved. He is his usual arrogant rude self but he helps to ground the story and to create a counter point to Spade.

All in all this was a good read and I'm looking forward to Eternal Kiss of Darkness.

Plot: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Cover: 7/10

Overall: 42/50
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on 6 April 2010
'First Drop of Crimson' is a spin off novel in the Night Huntress series (which focused on Cat and Bones) but was a really good read in its own right.

As the book starts we meet Denise MacGregor, a woman who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder following events a year before when her husband was killed by a group of vampires. The whole idea of vampires and death and blood is too much for Denise and she has withdrawn from her friendship with Cat (a half-vampire) and is trying to go about her life, recovering from her husband's death, away from supernatural creatures.

But one of Denise's cousins tells her he believes his family are being killed - and when he is next, Denise realises something is going on. She meets Raum, the demon responsible for the deaths, and has to make a bargain with him for her life and that of her family. She needs to find one of her relatives, Nathaniel, but doesn't know how to go about it without involving Cat and Bones. But then she remembers Spade, one of the other vampires, and contacts him.

Spade isn't interested in humans but finds himself agreeing to help Denise. He gets more than he bargained for, finding something about her that draws him, and also discovering the seriousness of her situation. Can they together find Nathaniel? Can they keep each other safe?

I enjoyed this book whilst reading it, finding it always interesting and not particularly predictable. The setting moved from America to England to Monaco and more, although the author doesn't particularly spend time setting the scene and aiming for authenticity. In fact, our English hero speaks in a rather odd way at times (he seems to use 'quid' as a synonym for 'money' where it doesn't work in English most of the time), and the principality of Monaco seems to have been elevated to the status of an island, but these are minor niggles in what was overall a good story. I thought the cover was dreadful but this is par for the course in this kind of book, but Denise and Spade were both good characters and I enjoyed reading their romance.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2010
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on 11 July 2016
I really enjoyed Denise and Spades story. Reading it in line with the authors order of things and amongst Bone and Cats on going series was a good idea. Yet again the story had thrills and spills. I wasn't quite as hooked as I get with C&B but it still had a can't put it down quality and all the love, intrigue and comedy you'd come to expect from this author. 5 easy stars and highly recommend.
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VINE VOICEon 16 August 2010
This is the first in a new spin-off series from the Night Huntress series, set in the same world and featuring a lot of familiar faces.

I was really looking forward to this because the glimpses we'd seen of Spade in the Cat and Bones books made me want to know more about him. Sadly, actually knowing more took some of his mystery and dark sexiness away from him, but that was ok. Denise was the leading lady and she did ok, but their relationship just didn't do much for me.

Because the book was a stand alone it meant the two characters had to meet, fall in love, overcome a big bad guy and live happily ever after, all in one book. The fact that the two characters had already met helped but still, it's a bit much for one book and it makes the story line follow the same old romance formula. I'm very tired of this routine as it makes everything so predictable. That's what's good about the Cat and Bones series, you don't get that formula and there's more action, suspense and just plain sexier.

So on the whole not as good as Cat and Bones, but still better than some other paranormal romances out there.
You'll enjoy this and Frost's other books if you like such authors as Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, J.R.Ward, Charline Harris.
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on 30 September 2015
I find the Nighthuntress books a compelling, lightweight and slightly guilty pleasure. They're a fun, easy read. But, being lightweight doesn't let the author off the hook for poor basic research! Describing Monaco as an island, referring to Spade learning the waltz as standard when growing up well before it reached popularity. And... most annoyingly.. the constant misuse of british slang words, especially 'quid'.
But, it's ok. Extended world novels are the books you read when you like the central characters and want a bit more. This feels, secondary, but it's ok and has some good moments.
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