Reading the new release in most good series feels like visiting with old friends. Reading the latest for one of your favorite series is like visiting with family, and every time I crack open the binding on Cat and Bones’s newest adventure, it feels like going home. By now, Cat and Bones rank among my most beloved series characters, and the quirky cast that makes up their support system ranks right up there as well. While such affection for an author’s characters is a hallmark for any well-written story, it’s especially indicative of how well Frost has managed
to sustain the series, since it took me about three books to warm up to Cat. Yet, Frost has allowed Cat and the gang to mature so gradually and believably that even those who flaunt their flaws time and again have gained a special place in my heart, much like the eccentric cousin or uncle who you love despite all of the times you want to knock their head against a wall.
Some have complained that Frost is allowing Cat and Bones to become too complacent in their marriage, and in so doing has drained the series of much of the spark that infused earlier novels. I agree, the past two novels in particular have seemed a tad sedate compared to their predecessors, yet I don’t mind the change since, once again, it represents a believable maturation of relationship. Bones is still as devoted and deadly as ever, and Cat just as besotted and brave. However, after years of learning the hard way that love is not always enough, both characters have gained enough experience and trust to communicate with each other and think through their decisions from the standpoints of partners. While the books are no longer punctuated by fights resulting from Bones’s concealed past and Cat’s half-cocked decisions, I’m happy for the content state into which both have settled, since I actually enjoy reading about characters who are happy.
That being said, I do feel like One Grave at a Time read more like an urban fantasy than
a paranormal romance, whereas until at least the last book, it had been a pretty even split between the two genres. Still, I would rather receive a few sweet and sexy moments per book alongside an interesting new villain and hilarious sidekicks (I love Ian and the new addition of Tyler) than for Frost to manufacture another relationship-chasm a la Destined for an Early Grave. And I did enjoy the premise of this book more than the last, particularly as it allowed for many of the secondary characters to shine. Denise, in particular, is a complete badass in this installment. The book also features a subplot that will clearly create much of the drama in the next installment, unfortunately, as I didn’t quite care for that angle. Regardless, I am counting down the days until we get more Cat and Bones, which, luckily for us, is only a short month away with the release of a Cat and Bones novella in The Bite Before Christmas on October 25.