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.
First Drop of Crimson was a great addition to the Night Huntress series. I thoroughly enjoyed Denise's - Cat's best friend - story and how she fell in love with Spade - one of Bones' best friends.
I was really worried for Denise after her husband had been killed in a previous attack by formidable supernatural foes, but it was genius how Jeaniene Frost gave Denise her own set of supernatural powers, and ensured her a beautiful Happily Ever After in this book.
Nathanial - an ancestor of Denise's makes a pact with a demon, Raum, way back in the 1860's. Nathanial double-crosses the demon and now Raum is back determined to collect Nathanial’s soul. After killing several of Nathanial's descendants in revenge, Raum finally sets his sites on Denise and enlists her to find her ancestor and bring him to Raum.
To ensure Denise's cooperation, Raum 'brands' her with his power, making it easy to track her and control her. Denise, desperate for some help, goes to an unlikely source for help - Bones' friend, the vampire Spade.
Spade turns into her unlikely savior - in more ways than one. Not only does Spade help her with her PTSD episodes, Spade also gives Denise a reason to live and feel alive again, even though he is battling with 'demons' of his own.
This book is fun, sexy, and such a great, enjoyable read - totally classic Jeanine Frost at it's best. Plus if you're a die-hard Bones and Cat fan - they make a special appearance and save the day at the end.
Probably the best part of this book for me - beside Denise's shapeshifting abilities was Ian. He was so hilarious and awesome in this book - even though he's described as a scoundrel, I want him to have a book with a woman who can tame his bad boy ways and a happy ending of his own.
I also loved that I could totally get into these character’s names and I could definitely say ‘Spade’ in the bedroom – a total plus for immersing myself in this story! Plus we got two sexy scenes in one book – doesn’t get any better than that!
First Drop of Crimson is paranormal romance at its best, and a definite must read! I promise you won't be disappointed.
“Central Park,” Spade said, nudging her forward. Denise hadn’t even noticed that she’d stopped. “Our hotel is right down the next street, in fact, so not far if you get too cold. With all the snow, you can’t see everything that’s still living in the park, but it’s there.”
Denise smiled, some of the anxiety leaking from her. “It’s perfect.”
She let Spade lead her into the park, marveling that she didn’t feel the slightest bit afraid. Under normal circumstances, it would be the height of stupidity to wander through here in the dark, wee hours of the morning. Still, there was nothing normal about having a vampire at her side and demon marks on her skin. Potential muggers beware, she thought wryly. Spade hadn’t gotten his dinner before. He’d probably eat the first person who approached them in a threatening manner.
“How old were you when you died?” she asked, going off the path in favor of walking in the snow.
Spade followed behind her, his steps sounding so much surer than hers in the dark.
Denise sighed. “I’ll be twenty-eight on my next birthday.”
“I’ll be two hundred and fifty-seven on my next birthday,” Spade replied, an edge of something she couldn’t name in his voice.
Giving him another once-over, Denise couldn’t help but laugh. “You look pretty good for such an old man.”
He grinned, his smile a white, wicked flash in the night. “Flattery will get you everywhere, darling.”
She had to turn away quickly, because if she didn’t, her gaze would linger too long on all the evidence of her statement. Spade did look good. Too good, especially with his shirt blowing behind him, showing a chest that looked like carved moonlight. His long black hair also rustled in the breeze, taking turns hiding or revealing his face, but it wasn’t hard for her to see his eyes. Their depths glowed with green specks, drawing her gaze even though she knew it was dangerous to keep looking.
Denise sat down, pretending to draw something in the snow, ignoring the cold seeping in through her long skirt. She had on tights and knee-high boots underneath her skirt, but that wasn’t enough to protect her from the freezing earth. Still, better to shiver from contact with the snow than reveal the tremble that had swept through her while she’d stared at Spade. This isn’t you, she reminded herself. It’s just the demon marks.
The crunching of snow announced that Spade was walking over to her. Denise didn’t glance at him. She felt her heart speeding up and cursed herself for it.
“Denise.” Spade’s voice was lower, and he drew her name out in a way that made her heart speed up even more.
Still, she kept her attention on the random pattern she’d drawn, even when she felt him kneel down next to her. It’s just the demon marks, just the demon marks…
His hand slid across her back. Shivers rippled through her that had nothing to do with the cold. Then Spade’s shoulder brushed hers, followed by his leg touching her thigh as he moved even closer. Everywhere he grazed her, her flesh felt like it was vibrating. Denise kept her head bent, her hair covering her face, hand quivering as she continued to blindly trace her fingers through the snow.
It’s just the demon marks, just the demon marks!
Spade brushed her hair back with a light, caressing stroke. She wished his fingers felt lifeless and cold, but they didn’t. They felt strong, supple, and knowing. Like he realized exactly how she was reacting to his touch.
“Denise…” His voice was so deep, and the breath he’d used saying her name touched her cheek in its own caress.
Denise closed her eyes. Everything in her wanted to turn toward Spade and abandon the last, thin thread of control she had. The need surging inside her had to be from the demon marks. She’d never felt such a strong pull toward anyone before, even Randy…Randy. Murdered because she’d thought it would be fun to spend New Year’s Eve with vampires.
And now here she was, a scant fourteen months later, about to throw herself into a vampire’s arms. No. She wouldn’t let herself.
”You must be hungry.” Guilt and grief had thrown a much-needed bucket of ice water on her emotions. “I interrupted your dinner by running off, so let me make that up to you.”
Denise flipped her hair back, able to meet Spade’s eyes without the same shivery need as before. She had to stop thinking of him in any way except a vampire—and she would not let herself be lulled into another false sense of security about what the vampire world entailed. Having Spade bite her was the surest way to remind her of what he was; a vampire who lived in a world filled with blood and death.
Spade’s eyes were all green, lighting up his face with a hazy emerald glow. Denise didn’t want to know if they’d been that way before her offer, because she knew what else could have drawn such a response.
“You want me to bite you?” he asked, low and rough. “Just days ago, you were stuffing yourself full of garlic trying to prevent that very thing.”
“You’ve made it clear that you won’t let me pay you back any of the money you’ve lost helping me, so giving you blood is the least I can do, right?” Denise kept her gaze challenging as she tilted her neck. It would hurt being bitten. She knew that
from experience. It was how Denise had met Cat, when Cat rescued her from a vampire trying to drink her to death. A little pain now would go a long way toward reminding her of why she needed to stay away from Spade—and all the undead—once she found Nathanial.
Spade’s voice was very soft. “Get up and walk away from me, Denise, or I will take you up on your offer.” His gaze pinned hers, that green glow penetrating. She knew he wasn’t using his power on her, because her mind felt clear, but she was drawn in
She had to end this bewildering attraction she felt for him. Now, before it got any stronger. If she was lucky, she’d have a PTSD attack on the spot. “Go ahead, vampire,” she replied, equally soft.
Spade’s mouth was on her throat before the last word left her.
* * * * *