Jeaniene Frost has created such memorable characters beyond Cat & Bones in her Night Huntress books that I felt like I already knew Charles and Denise before their spinoff story even began. Charles is a vampire, who also goes by the name Spade. He is best friend to Bones, while Denise is Cat’s human best friend. She lost her husband Randy in that zombie attack at the end ofAt Grave’s End. It’s been a year, but she still suffers from PTSD and wants nothing to do with the supernatural world. But the demon targeting members of her family missed that memo. Raum (the demon) is searching for one of Denise’s ancestors who welched on a deal with him decades ago. Vampires are hiding him. And if Denise doesn’t produce him, she and the rest of her family are toast.
When she can’t reach Cat & Bones, she calls Charles. He agrees to help her on her mission. And from the get-go he is fighting a serious attraction toward her. It goes against everything he stands for to have feelings for a human, since his last love was a human who died horribly. Now, he only dates other vampires. Adding a little more urgency to the search, Raum has infected Denise with part of his demon essence, which taints her blood and is changing her physiology.
I loved this book. The relationship build between Charles & Denise was great; the sexual tension and eventual payoff, off the charts. We got to see some old favorites like Mencheres & Ian — and even got a little face time with Cat & Bones. At first, I was annoyed that Jeanienne Frost was going the way of the spinoff, when I love Cat & Bones so much, but if they’re all this good, I’m happy to stand corrected. 5 stars.