Title: First Drop of Crimson
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Page Count: 371 pages
Genre: paranormal romance
Copy for review was purchased by this writer
50 words or less: Denise swore she'd never get involved with vampires again after a horrible situation. Spade swore he'd never get involved with humans again after a horrible situation. My, how things change...
I love, and I mean LOVE, when books live up to their hype. I haven't met anyone yet who didn't at least like Ms. Frost's Night Huntress series, and I certainly know I was excited when I heard Spade was getting his own book. After the hellacious things that happened to her in the Night Huntress books, I'd say I was pretty happy to hear that things were going to work out for Denise too.
First Drop of Crimson did not disappoint. The characters were enjoyable, the story worked at a good pace, and the romance simmered at first and came to a boil pretty quickly if I do say so myself. I think having read the rest of the Night Huntress series helped, but it wasn't absolutely necessary for enjoying this book and the spoilers that were included here were mild and didn't really give away anything you couldn't glean from the backs of the other books.
It's hard to think of things to say about this book that haven't been said in other reviews but I do want to touch on the subject of Denise. A lot of people didn't like her because she really didn't want to be a part of the supernatural world and could be a little bit whiny at times. I agree with that assessment to a certain degree, but I think Denise was an unbelievably strong character who really cared about the people close to her, even if it left her alone to deal with pretty tragic and horrible things. Sometimes I find a vulnerable character a lot more easy to believe than a kickass lady, and I think that Spade was definitely drawn to Denise's vulnerability, since he likes to take care of people too.
Spade made an excellent lead for this book too- we get to learn a little bit more about him and his history and it becomes clear that if there's a perfect match for Denise out there, he's it. He's understanding and sympathetic when needed but also tough and take-charge, and they make a pretty good team all things considered.
I thought the ending of the book was especially sweet. I like how everyone stayed true to their feelings and dealt with things in a mature way that made sense, instead of pages and pages of agonizing over decisions that are pretty much a done deal anyway. Very well done.
There are cameos in this book too! The cast of the Night Huntress books make an appearance and their roles in the story, while not central to the main event, definitely enhance the feeling of the book overall. There's a definite lesson on good and evil and how neither thing is completely absolute, especially within a certain group, that was presented very well.
Cough cough there's shower action! cough cough and that's all I'll say about that.
Anyway, this book is a great way to spend a Saturday morning or a day at the beach. If you're a Night Huntress or PNR fan in general or just want to read a good book, you won't be disappointed.
Overall Grade: A
Blog With Bite Rating: 4/4
Denise and Spades chemistry sparks more than a firecracker on the 4rth of July. Did you like the chemistry between them and did you feel the development of the relationship work? I really enjoyed this facet of the story. I think both characters were authentic with their feelings, especially since each one had to kind of let go of the past in order to move forward. I think that made them ultimately coming out with their feelings for one another very sweet, and I really enjoyed that they were willing to compromise and work together to get what they needed to be happy. It's not something you see all that often in PNR and I felt it was very well done here.
Have you read the Cat & Bones series? Denise is such a different (wimpier) character than Cat... did that make a difference to you? Since I've taken up the banner of Cheerleader for Denise I'm especially eager to address this one. I have read the Cat & Bones series and I have to say there were a lot of times that I frankly did not understand or sympathize with what Cat was doing. I think Cat tended to make decisions without understanding their full ramifications and that caused a lot of heartache for herself and the people around her. I see Denise as someone who tends to think things through and doesn't want other people to get hurt, but who actually communicates what she's doing with the people around her, so when her ideas get overruled or shot down, it tends to be as the outcome of a discussion instead of a fight after the fact. So no, I don't think Denise is wimpier, I think she's less of a shoot now and ask questions later kind of person, and there's not a thing wrong with that.
LIGHTNING ROUND. Identify your top three favorite PNR series. "There are too many!" is not an answer. Neither is more than three. Name the top three. Ready.....go!
1. The Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole
2. The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
3. The Night Huntress World series by Jeaniene Frost (yes I consider this to be part of that series)
Sizzle or Fizzle? Sizzle. Definitely sizzle. Fans of Chapter 32 won't be disappointed here.