Happily Never After by Jeaniene Frost is technically #1.5 in the Nighthuntress series, but really it could take place at any time.

Isabella is a restaurateur, Italian, and forcibly engaged to an up and coming mob boss to save her brother’s life. Unbeknownst to her, Isabella’s grandmother was once a member of Bones’ household staff, serving his blood needs and receiving food, shelter, and education in return. And grandma is no fool.  She knows her grandchildren are in trouble, so she calls an old friend to help.

Bones makes a brief appearance, and gives nothing away with what he is currently doing aside from the fact that he can’t help his old friend himself. Instead, he’s sending someone else he trusts to take out the godfather wannabe.

And Chance is that vampire. His methods are interesting, he allows himself to get shot several times, buried, and dumped over the side of a boat cement shoes and all.  Though whether this is his motis operendai or just using it as an excuse to see more of the lovely human, who can tell.

This is a short, sweet, to the point and amusing story. Not overly interesting in that there is no solid tie or ‘ah ha!’ moment that explains something from the Nighthuntress series, but it was fun seeing the reactions of the goons when the dude they killed twice over kept coming back!

This is another couple I wouldn’t mind seeing more of. After going into the undead version of witness protection, will Chance and Isabella actually stay together until Isabella lives her natural life span?  Will she return to her human life with him?  Or will she want to turn undead like her lover to never leave his side?

Questions questions questions. Doubtful they’ll get answered, but that’s ok.  Gives my imagination room to roam.

Almost done with the quickies (heheh). Home for the Holidays is next, and if it’s not the last one there should only be one more…two max…we’ll get there eventually lol!

‘Tis the season to join Cat and Bones for some holiday cheer!

They were looking forward to a normal holiday—at least as “normal” as it gets for vampires Cat and Bones and their otherworldly friends and family. But their yuletide plans are shattered when a mysterious stranger shows up and reveals long-buried secrets that threaten to take a bite out of their holiday cheer … and lives.

Originally appeared in the print anthology The Bite Before Christmas.