Written by: Jeaniene Frost
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 372 (Mass Market Paperback)
The premise: ganked from BN.com: The night is not safe for mortals. Denise MacGregor knows all too well what lurks in the shadows—her best friend is half-vampire Cat Crawfield—and she has already lost more than the average human could bear. But her family's past is wrapped in secrets and shrouded in darkness—and a demon shapeshifter has marked Denise as prey. Now her survival depends on an immortal who lusts for a taste of her.
He is Spade, a powerful, mysterious vampire who has walked the earth for centuries and is now duty-bound to protect this endangered, alluring human—even if it means destroying his own kind. Denise may arouse his deepest hungers, but Spade knows he must fight his urge to have her as they face the nightmare together . . .
Because once the first crimson drop falls, they will both be lost.
Give It Away: I'm not sure that readers who aren't caught up on the Night Huntress books will get a lot of mileage out of this one, so I'll say this: unless you've read Frost's first four Night Huntress books, don't read this one. And if you ARE caught up, you may find yourself kind of disappointed anyway. But it all depends on how the characters of Spade and Denise impacted you when you read the Night Huntress series: if you liked them, or liked one of them, you'll have fun with this. If they passed under your radar, you might find this book lacking like I did. That said, it's a fast read that's got some enjoyable moments, and I'll certainly read the next spin-off, which features Mencheres. I just hope that Mencheres is more fascinating to read than Spade and Denise, because I never fully bought them as characters, and as a result, I never fully bought the romance. That might not have been a problem if this book were urban fantasy first and paranormal romance second, but the point of this book is getting its hero and heroine together, and the plot only serves to make sure that happens. So me not really buying the romance, even though I enjoyed some parts of it, isn't really a ringing endorsement. But then again, the only reason I read this book was because Frost wrote it, not because I was dying to see what Denise and Spade's story was, you know? So depending on how much you enjoy those characters in the Night Huntress series, you'll find your enjoyment of this spin-off might likely correlate. But like I said, I'll read the next spin-off. Of course I will: it's a Frost book! But I hope the romance is something I can sink my teeth into (pun intended).
Review Style: I'm going to make a better effort to keep spoilers OUT of the main review, so we'll see how this effort goes. For this review, I want to talk about the differences between this spin-off and the Night Huntress series, why you SHOULD NOT read this book without having read the first (and so far only) four books of the Night Huntress series, how this book feels more yet less like paranormal romance than the Night Huntress series, and lastly why the characters are a miss for me. Clear as mud? No spoilers, except for the Night Huntress series, particularly, Destined for an Early Grave. So if you're caught up on Night Huntress, don't be afraid of spoilers. If you aren't, however, wait to read this review until you are.
The full review, which is in my LJ, is linked below if you're interested. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome!
REVIEW: Jeaniene Frost's FIRST DROP OF CRIMSON
Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!
March: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
April: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia