Guest Review & Giveaway w/Crystal @RBtWBC

This Side of the Grave
Night Huntress #5
By Jeaniene Frost

Danger waits on both sides of the grave.

Half-vampire Cat Crawfield and her vampire husband Bones have fought for their lives, as well as for their relationship. But just when they've triumphed over the latest battle, Cat's new and unexpected abilities threaten to upset a long-standing balance . . .
With the mysterious disappearance of vampires, rumors abound that a species war is brewing. A zealot is inciting tensions between the vampires and ghouls, and if these two powerful groups clash, innocent mortals could become collateral damage. Now Cat and Bones are forced to seek help from a dangerous "ally"—the ghoul queen of New Orleans herself. But the price of her assistance may prove more treacherous than even the threat of a supernatural war . . . to say nothing of the repercussions Cat never imagined.

First line-
“The vampire pulled on the chains restraining him to the cave wall.”

To say This Side of the Grave was a highly anticipated book would be a major understatement. After waiting over a year for my favorite author to pop out the next Cat & Bones book, feeling jittery from withdrawal, I wanted to cry when I finally got it in my hands! Expecting another spectacular story from this magnificent series, author Jeaniene Frost did not disappoint.

Cat and Bones are back and they finally get a break, when it comes to their relationship at least. And after the hell they were put through in Destined for an Early Grave (that novel just twisted my heart) I think they more then deserved it. However, outside their bedroom door all is not well, the vampire world is on the verge of war. Just as Cat is starting to adjust to her new vampire self and her unexpected abilities, the ghoul Apollyon is trying to incite war between the ghouls and vampires. Claiming that if Cat’s heart still beats then she can still be transformed into a ghoul and take over as ruler for both vampires and ghouls. Cat’s death is the only acceptable outcome for him and his followers, and since he has succeeded in the past he has every confidence he will this time as well. *insert evil laughter*
Then we have the ghoul Majestic a.k.a. Queen Marie, who plays a major and fascinating role, manipulating both sides in the war, and adding an unexpected twist to the plot.

Full of dark, snarky humor and yes, loss; love and romance play a HUGE roll in This Side of the Grave. There were some incredibly heart-warming moments between Cat and Bones.
Cat has really matured, I know some readers found her annoying at times and I am included in that, but here her walls crumble and she has definitely turned into a fine woman that you can admire. And super sexy Bones is just as f’in hot as always; strong, badass, protective, sarcastic and funny. He really does it for me in this series if you know what I mean. ;) *sigh* Bones….. But back to TsoTG, Bones has come to accept Cat fully as an adept partner, and he proves this in both thought and action. There commitment to each other is really awe-inspiring and as a total romantic at heart I just melted over it.
Declarations of eternal love, hot-steamy sex, and though there wasn’t that tension and combustibility between them that we’ve come to expect from previous books the stability in their relationship was a nice change of pace. And several scenes were very emotional; I teared up quiet a few times.

Frost has also mastered the skill of writing intensely interesting side characters that I just can’t get enough of and she has proved that once again here.  Vlad, popping up in numerous scenes, just added to already entertaining dialogues with his dry humor, turning it into a riot. And a scene between Cat, Vlad and Mencheres had me about to wet my pants!

Though I did find this novel lacking where others in the series weren't. I felt in previous titles there was much more story packed into their small paperback packages, while This Side of the Grave missed that and seemed a lot shorter then it’s 300+ pages. There was a noticeable lack of action & suspense that I became addicted to from the first four novels. The reason being, I think, was usually Cat and Bones are dealing with so many different threats coming at them from all sides, it’s non-stop drama, but here we only have the one threat.
Also, there was a major plot point concerning Justine that I felt was huge in the over all story arc, yet it was only hit upon at the beginning of the book and never revisited in a in-depth way.
Regardless though, Frost continues the series with a bang; giving readers non-stop, page-turning entertainment from start to finish. A lot of questions were answer, new ones arose and a fun and exciting twist was thrown in at the end that left me squirming in my seat to find out what happens next. Luckily we don’t have to wait another year for book six, we get two more Cat & Bones stories this year! *squee*

Rating: I loved it!

Heat Factor: Steaming up the windows! CH21, need I say more? 

Favorite quote (btw, so hard to pick just one)- “…But the one things that I would never, ever recover from would be loosing you. You made me promise before to go on if that happened, but Bones” –here my words broke and tears spilled down my cheeks- “ I wouldn’t want to.” (Cat)

To celebrate Kelly’s book blog debut she is giving away one copy of any Night Huntress series book, winner’s choice, including One Grave at a Time (please keep in mind that this will not be released until August 30th)!
Print (US) or Ebook (INT).
I will also throw in a ‘Team Bones’ slap bracelet for the winner (US/CA).

To enter just be a GFC follower and leave a comment answering this question:
What is one of your reading secrets?
Do you judge a book by its cover? Are you embarrassed by some of your reads? Do you prefer ebooks because no one can see what you’re reading? Are you a horder? A spinal crease freak? Do you try to get your significant other to act out certain book scenes? We want to know you’re deepest and darkest!

Make sure to leave a way to contact you with your comment. Giveaway will end at 11:59pm April 10, 2011. A winner will then be chosen at random and announced.
Good luck! 
Crystal @ Reading Between the Wines


  1. I am proud of what I read and I do not hide unless its erotica- don't want my son seeing that but other than that I don't hide, love the covers and if someone has something to say I usually just reply well i don't criticize what you read.

    Yes I am a self professed cover junkie - that usually attracts me to a book - if I don't know the author that is.


    I am a follower-BLHmistress

  2. I pick up a lot of new books just by looking at the cover. That is one thing alot of people dont know.

    I am a follower Lisa McGeen


  3. Hmm, one of my reading secrets is I skim ahead and sometimes I cheat by taking a look at the last page. I know I know, I try not to, but it's become a habbit. If I'm loving the characters some part of me has to know that yes, they will be together in the end. If I'm at a part in the book where the characters are in danger or the hero and heroine just walked away from eachother, to keep me from having heart palpitations I skim ahead and not really read the pages, but just skim. Bad habbits :)

    I try not to judge a book by it's cover, but I am always drawn to the cover of a book first

    I actually have a kindle and mostly read indie books and erotic books on it. So, maybe ya, it's nice to hide some of my more erotic books, but I still prefer having a paperback copy in my hands

    LOL, I am a book horder. I love my books and love them sitting on my bookshelf even though it's stuffed and my overflow is in a giant box. I can't seem to get rid of them, even if I wasn't that crazy about a certain book

    Yes, I hate spinal creases and hate knicks on the cover and most importantly I hate coming across words, or paragraphs that are faded or missing a part of a letter. I come across that often and it drives me nuts!!

    I've never had my husband act out a scene, but I have made him read a few sexy parts just so he can see what has got me soo excited LOL :)

    Thanks for the chance to win, I just bought the first book in this series and can't wait to get started, I've heard such amazing things and can't wait to catch up with everyone else :)

    GFC follower

  4. What first gets me to pick up a book is the cover. If the book has a crappy cover then more than likely I won't pick it up. I know it's horrible to say that but it's true.

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    GFC Follower

  5. I am a follower and email subscriber. I am constantly buying or getting books. I am very interested in reading more erotic books. I wish my sex life was like it is in books lol. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  6. Thanks for the great give away!

    Do you judge a book by its cover?---- OMG Yes, I admit I love the trashy looking books!

    Are you embarrassed by some of your reads? Do you prefer ebooks because no one can see what you’re reading? ----- I love trashy books and have no shame in reading them, better to be honest with my self and others then try to hide what i'm reading!

    Are you a horder? -- My husband would consider my a hoarder... I have around 400 trashy romance novels, but i've been looking online and this one face book group of readers and they put me to shame with all the books they have!

    A spinal crease freak? -- For me it depends on the book, some I definitly am, and others that arent on my all time fav list i'm not.

    I also love to read when a movie or tv show is on in the back ground, I don't like reading in total silence it buggs me for some reason.

    I'm a GFC Follower.


  7. Eeeek, I'm so glad we only have to wait until AUGUST for the next Cat and Bones book! But now, August feels so far away *Sigh*

    My book secret is.. well, yes, I'll admit it - I do judge books by their cover. I know you shouldn't, but when browsing a bookstore it's hard not to. I have been burned by that, though. The Young Adult book "Halo" had a beautiful cover, and I couldn't even finish the book. I'm super glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it!

    Thanks for the giveaway! I'm a GFC follower.
    ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

  8. I love this series, thank you for the review!

    I'm a new follower and my deep dark secret is that I DO judge a book by its cover and I am usually reading three books at once: one audiobook, one ebook, and one paperback.

    Please enter me in the contest too. Miranda
    mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

    I'm holding a contest too for Dust to Dust by Heather Graham - Ends April 7th

  9. Congrats on your blogging debut Kelly! I have so many book/reading issues/secrets. I'm a major book hoarder. Not only print but ebooks as well. I'm addicted to blogging giveaways so I can get more books without having to go bankrupt LOL! I read erotica on my Nook so nobody can see what I'm reading because I'm embarrassed. My family would kill me if they knew some of what I read. I'd be getting that "look" all the time. Especially if they knew that I was experimenting with M/M books!

    I'm a GFC follower!


  10. Congratulations on your Blog!
    I am trying to get through this series. I have only read the first book and yes, I love Bones! I am not embarrassed by what I read. If I'm at work and someone asks me what am I reading. I usually say "A smut novel" and they get embarrassed and leave me alone. ;-)
    asiancocoa94 at aol dot com

  11. I am a follower. And my secret is my boyfriend is a die hard Twilight fan.. it's super embarrassing since he's a 36 year old man.. i always beg him not to tell people..

  12. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I totally judge a book by the cover...a great cover will always grab my attention....not embarrassed by what I read...and most definitely a hoarder (print and ebooks)...
    I'm also a spinal crease freak....I won't let my aunt borrow my books because she is so rough with hers...drives me crazy when someone breaks the crease and leaves the book open face down :(

    I am a GFC follower!


  13. I get embarassed by some of the stuff I read and I have this really bad habit where I'll start reading at like 10:30 and plan to only read a chapter or two but then stay up till 2am finishing the book. It's always worth it but I'm sooo tired the next day. I get really protective of my books as well, like one time I wouldn't let someone borrow my book because I didn't trust them enough and I always bug my friends about keeping my books really safe.


  14. i do judge a book by its cover, a good cover will grab my attention. and i'm a total spine freak! my books have to in the most prefect condition, i get really angry when someone bends my books.

    i'm a gfc follower


  15. i definitely judge a book by its cover. If the cover doe not appeal and I have not heard that many great things about it or don't even know what the book is about I will just pass right over it.

    I am a GFC follower


  16. I hate to admit it, but I'm a book hoarder. I really need to get rid of some of my books.

  17. I admit it! I'm guilty. I judge books by their cover. It's how I get interested because the way I see it, if the author didn't put effort in their cover, then why would they put effort in their actual book.
    I have quite a collection of books. Some I'm not proud of, but it's like I just can't rid of them. I've got books from kindergarten.
    My books are bad! They're destroyed and most covers are bent (dogs don't like my books). But at least I don't have folds on the corner as a bookmark. My biggest pet peeve is when my friends don't use bookmarks. A random piece of paper will do.
    Lindadao2060 at yahoo dot com

  18. Great review! These books are very high on my tbr-pile, well, once I have bought them, that is.

    My reading secrets?
    Since I'm into fantasy big time and don't discriminate within the genre - I read Terry Goodking and Erikson as well as Kim Harrison and Laurell K. Hamilton - I tend to read some strange books from time to time, but I'm not ashamed of it. I add them on goodreads and since it's linked to my facebook, well, ashamed or not, all my friends see it :P

    When it comes to the books I buy/read, I don't judge by cover, I actually don't judge at all. I just buy something when it seems like a good read and others think so too. That way, I ended up buying 12 Robin Hobb's before cracking one open. The list of authors of whom I've got tons but read none is quite long *blush*

    Another secret? I tend to forget time when reading, so all of a sudden, it's like 2 or 3am and I have to get up early... Damn you, school/work!

    When it comes to my books, well, they're sacred! When I've got a new one, I add it in my excel-sheet, add it on Goodreads, download a .jpg of the cover for my screensaver, tell about my book on my online bookclub and most freakish of all, I make a personalised bookmark with title, author etc. on it.



  19. Well, I always read the first three or four chapters to get a feel of the storyline, and then I read the ending. Somehow, getting the hea settled, I can then just kick back and enjoy the story. Weird me....lol. And I used to dog ear the pages of my books, but finally broke myself out of that very bad habit.

    caity_mack at yahoo dot com
    gfc follower

  20. Oh my I am a hoarder, so I hope now that I have a kindle my need for bookshelf space will be reduced heh. If I win I'd like the first book in the series.


  21. i do sometimes pick up books based on their covers..but only becuase the covers are soo pretty i can't help myself...though the story is just as important..it should be able to keep my interest..
    the night huntress series is awesome!!!
    thanks for the giveaway!!!

    justjanhvi at gmail dot com
    gfc follower

  22. My secret is that I sneak chic lit in between book club reads! lol

    mk261274 at gmail dot com

    I am a GFC follower.

  23. I am a GFC follower.

    My reading secret is that I keep the current book I'm reading with me at all times. You never know when you'll have a spare minute to fit in a few pages!

    thanks for the giveaway!
    jcross719 at yahoo dot com

  24. I'm actually embarrassed to let my friends know that I read romance novels because they think it's cheesy. And I don't show them the books because the covers with the hot men make them giggle.

    GFC follower


  25. Did you heard what Rob Matts said about that?

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