This is the first book in the urban fantasy series Night Huntress set in a modern day USA where vampires and ghosts are real but normal humans don’t know about them.

Catherine, Cat, Crawfield is a young woman who lives in small, rural town in Ohio with her mother and maternal grandparents. She’s also a half-vampire whose main work is to hunt and kill vampires. A vampire raped her mother who now encourages Cat to kill them. Cat has been a lonely outsider her whole life because she’s a “bastard” and also because of her vampiric powers: greater strength and speed than normal humans. One day, when she’s on the hunt she meets an English vampire and tries to kill him. However, things go awry and the vampire manages to capture her. The vampire Bones is intrigued by her and they soon find out that they have something in common: they both kill vampires. Cat agrees to work with Bones and in exchange Bones will try to find Cat’s father (so that Cat can kill him) and to train Cat to better kill vampires. Bones needs Cat to be bait for the other vampires to lure them is a place where Bones and Cat will be able to kill them.

Soon, Cat finds out that Bones is after a Master vampire called Hennessy and he’s tracking down Hennessy’s minions to get information from them. Cat has to conceal both her reluctant partnership and her growing attraction from her mother who firmly believes that all vampires are evil.

This is one of those books where vampires are just “differently abled” people instead of soulless or demon-possessed or evil. Apparently, vampires don’t have to kill humans to survive, just drink enough blood. (Animal blood wasn’t discussed.) Also, here vampires’ only weakness in silver, not wood or sunlight or holy symbols. Their hearing and smell is almost as good as a dog’s.

At the beginning of the book, Cat is very shy about sexual things and blushed often. However, Bones trains her to be a seductress right down to clothing and dirty talk. There’s a lot of sexual innuendo and sexy scenes but only one actual sex scene and one scene where drinking blood can apparently give a character an orgasm.

Cat is an entertaining protagonist but not very original: she’s independent (except that she still lives with her mother), stubborn, and is very strict about who she can kill. She’s also somewhat naive about the evil that perfectly ordinary humans are capable of. The biggest down-side is perhaps that Cat feels like a side-kick while Bones is the leader and the biggest bad-ass. (I didn’t mind much; after all Cat doesn’t know much about vampires at all and Bones becomes her teacher.)

Bones is English, has bleached blond hair, and the English accent. Any Buffy fan should recognize who Bones is modeled after. He even has a similar bad-boy attitude although his background is quite different from Spike’s. He tries to make Cat see that not all vampires are evil. Then again, he is the only vampire in the book who isn’t evil…

Most of the secondary cast is there just to be killed. The rest of them are usually characterized by one trait: Cat’s mother hated vampires, Tara (seen only briefly) was nurturing, the police officers suspicious, Timmie was shy etc. I did rather enjoy Cat’s encounter with the old ghost, though. He was fun! The villains were evil. There cast didn’t really come alive at any point but they were entertaining enough.

There was plenty of violent action in the book. Thankfully, the courtship romance didn’t last through out the book – unfortunately, Cat went from denial to 100% jealousy in just a couple of pages. I don’t much care for jealousy either; what’s the point of being with someone if you can’t trust them?

I was lured into reading this book by a promise that even though the first book contains the mandatory courtship romance (sigh), the rest of the series would be about an established couple. The book didn’t end in a promising note with that in mind (otherwise, the ending was definitely open and ready for many more books). Is there even one single (urban) fantasy book (or a series) about an established couple?? My hope is fading fast…

Overall: Light, fast, and enjoyable if you can get over the Spike reference.