Monday, July 4, 2011

HARD BITTEN by Chloe Neill

A Chicagoland Vampires Book 4
Publisher: New American Library
Date published: May 2011
ISBN: 978-0451233325
Urban Fantasy
Reviewed by Tammy
Obtained via: publisher

The fourth book in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series, HARD BITTEN, has new vampire Merit investigating raves where vampires are violently attacking and draining humans. If she can’t solve the problem quickly, an arrest warrant will go out for her maker Ethan Sullivan.

From the moment humans learned of the existence of vampires and shapeshifters, fear has them rallying against the supernaturals. With protesters lined up outside Cadogan House, vampires turning feral at raves could not have come at a worse time. Especially since the Mayor has decided that Merit and her maker are the ones to put a stop to it, or else.

HARD BITTEN is the fourth book in Chloe Neill’s Vampireland series, but the first that this reader has picked up. Although it probably would have been nice to start at the beginning of the series, other than a small amount of confusion remembering who was who with some of the characters readers must have learned about in earlier books, HARD BITTEN was able to easily stand on its own. This reader found this book to be fast paced, intriguing and filled with tension.

The story’s heroine, Merit, is new to being a vampire, but has thrown herself into her new circumstances with everything she has. She is strong, smart, determined and witty. Her maker and sometimes lover Ethan Sullivan, has saved Merit’s life, turned her, wooed her and then left her heartbroken. In HARD BITTEN, Ethan is doing everything he can to win his way back into Merit’s heart. The secondary characters in the book appear to have been introduced in earlier books and only play small parts in this book. This reader feels certain we will see them reappear in future books.

The relationship Merit has with Ethan is interesting and heated. He broke her heart in a prior book, but seems to be working his way back into her heart in HARD BITTEN. Of course, he is not the only supernatural vying for her affections adding interest to the story. The tension rises significantly when Ethan’s boss comes to town intent on taking over Cadogan House in the middle of Merit’s investigation into out of control vampire raves. And then just when this reader was pretty sure of what was going on and where the book was going, Ms. Neill threw in a very large and emotional surprise at the end of the book that had to have left fans of the series shocked and confused. After wiping my eyes and reading the final pages, this reader has to give kudos to Ms. Neill for keeping her readers guessing. The next book in the series, Drink Deep, is being released this fall. This reader has to think sales will be strong.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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