One Foot In The Grave is the second novel in The Night Huntress Series by Jeaniene Frost. Half human, half vampire Cat Crawfield works for a secret government agency that was established in order to track and kill rogue vampires. Because a half human, half vampire is extremely rare, vampires are unable to sense her true nature, yet Cat is still able to detect them by their aura. This unique trait puts Cat at a great advantage as she is able to hunt vampires by baiting herself, and then using the element of surprise along with her part-vampire enhanced strength to go in for the kill. It is for this valuable trait, and her kick ass fighting skills, that the government hired Cat as leader of this new agency's field team four years ago. It was also four years ago that Cat claimed to have killed the master vampire called Bones. Unbeknownst to the agency, Bones was both her personal trainer, partner and lover. By making that claim, Cat walked away from their love forever, thinking she was protecting his life. She has not seen or heard from him since.
In the four years since Halfway to the Grave, Cat has settled into her job and has dedicated herself unconditionally to her men and the agency, despite the fact that some of them doubt her. At the opening of One Foot in the Grave, Cat is on assignment and about to make her kill when in a moment of despair her victim reveals his true name-- that of Bones' sire. In a moment of reverence for he who gave Bones the immortality to have lived long enough to have eventually come into her life as the only man she has ever loved, Cat allows him to escape. This act may prove to be a life threatening mistake, as Cat then becomes the target of several assassination attempts. Shortly thereafter, Bones returns to Cat's life and will stop at nothing to be at her side. Still on personal mission to hunt and kill her father, and in need of serious protection, Cat may have no choice but to accept his help, and in the end his love, too. He's that irresistible.
One Foot In The Grave is full of surprises and plot twists that had me at one moment wanting to rush through to find out how all the complications got sorted out, and at the next moment wanting to read it slowly so that I could savor Cat and Bones and all their predicaments. Cat is a fighter and a survivor, but often impulsive which usually gets her into trouble. Which in turn usually brings out her frankness and sarcasm, interjecting a good dose of humor into the otherwise tense story line.
Cat has also grown more mature and less discriminatory against any and all vampires or other creatures of the night. She is learning to judge individuals on their actions, not soley on whether they're human or other. In fact, in a heated discussion with one of Bones' ex-lovers, Cat defends Bones by stating, "We are who we become, not who we start out as." And the best part is that I think she finally believes this about herself, too.
Bones is a fantastic hero. As a master vampire, he is one of the most powerful and impressive vampires, yet he never flaunts it-- especially to Cat. He never uses his power as a means to win her over, and in fact, he actually holds back whenever possible, just to make her feel comfortable. His love for Cat is steadfast and unconditional. He's sexy, romantic and will do anything to protect her. And let's not forget that he is an amazing lover. ;)
One Foot In The Grave is an entertaining combination of intense action and sexy romance splashed with laugh out loud witticisms. Surprise turn of events and Cat's stubbornness to let Bones back in her heart kept me captivated by the story. At times, though, I did find myself waiting for the conflict of the story to have a more profound impact on the vampire-human world and the mission of the agency--not just on Cat's personal well being and agenda. However, it is a Night Huntress novel, hence centered on Cat and even told from her point of view, so it does make sense that the storyline would focus strongly on Cat. Still, I do look forward to future conflicts in the series that threaten their entire world and put Cat and her team into action. I also look forward to Cat and Bones' relationship getting more intense, which I'm sure is inevitable because there's already a whole new complication between them by the end of this story. I can't wait to find out what's next on the horizon for the endearing Cat Crawfield, the delicious Bones and Cat's supercharged team!
Edited to Add: Jeaniene Frost's third Night Huntress novel titled At Grave's End is scheduled to be released in January 2009!