Tuesday 6 December 2011

Review: Hard Bitten - Chloe Neill

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals - and they're camping outside Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Behind its doors, things between Merit and her Master; green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are . . . tense, to say the least. But they have to work together when the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting: there's been a violent attack which has left three women missing. The mayor's message is simple: get your House in order.  Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it's not easy when she can't tell who's on her side. So she goes outside Cadogan House, secretly calling in a favour from someone who's tall, dark, and part of an underground vamp group which might be able to shed some light on the attack. It's not long before Merit finds herself in the dark, heady heart of Chicago's supernatural society - which seems to be full of vampires ready to fulfill the human's worst fears. She's about to learn that you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands . . .

Chicagoland Vampires Series:
Some Girls Bite
Friday Night Bites
Twice Bitten
Hard Bitten
Drink Deep
Biting Cold
House Rules
Biting Bad
High Stakes (Novella in the Kicking It anthology)
Howling for You (Novella)
Wild Things
Blood Games
Lucky Break (Novella)
Dark Debt
Midnight Marked
Phantom Kiss (Novella)
Blade Bound
Slaying It (Novella)

Heirs of Chicagoland Series:
(Spin off set approximately 20 years on from the end of the Chicagoland Vampires series)
Wild Hunger
Wicked Hour

Visit Chloe Neill's website for more information

Now that the humans have discovered the existence of the shapeshifters who had been living amongst them in secret it has made them become more wary of the vampires again and worried about what else could be hiding out there. Protesters have Cadogan House surrounded day and night and are determined to persuade the vampires to leave Chicago. It doesn't help that there are reports of a vicious attack and three women are missing. The mayor wants action taken and it is up to Ethan and Merit to find out what happened. With the vampire council also breathing down Ethan's neck he is stuck between a rock and a hard place and it is up to Merit to find a way to protect their house from both sides.

Hard Bitten is the 4th book in the Chicagoland Vampires series and I would strongly recommend reading them in order.  I'm a massive fan of the series though and Merit is one of my favourite urban fantasy heroines so I would definitely recommend checking out Some Girls Bite if you haven't discovered the series yet. As I've come to expect from this series Hard Bitten has plenty of action and some really good plot twists, there was a killer shock at the end of the book though - one I totally didn't see coming and am still completely gutted about.

Merit's relationship with Ethan took a real turn for the worse at the end of the last book so I was curious to see how things would play out in this instalment. It was really great to see how much Ethan changes in this book, he regrets his actions at the end of Twice Bitten and is determined to prove to Merit that he does love her and that he can give her what she needs. Although I appreciated the changes in Ethan I was pleased that Merit didn't automatically welcome him back with open arms. After the hurt he caused her she is understandably wary of getting her heart broken all over again so she stands her ground and is making him work at gaining back her trust.

Thinks are getting interesting with Mallory who is working hard at learning to use her magic. It was good to see her friendship with Merit back on track and I was pleased that Merit was there for Mallory when she needed a friend. I'm very interested to see how things develop with Mallory over time because I have a feeling she is going to have a larger role in future books. It was great to see Catcher, Jeff and Merit's grandfather again and I also really liked Jonas who we met briefly in the last book but didn't know much about until this one.

To go back to the shocker of an ending, I don't want to give spoilers so I'm just going to say that I felt like Chloe Neill had pulled out my heart, ripped it into shreds and then jumped up and down on the pieces. I just can not believe what happened at the end and really don't know what direction the series will take from here onwards. I had to read the ending twice because I didn't believe that could possibly have happened! I have to give Chloe kudos for creating characters that I feel so strongly about and I'm so relieved that the next book is already available - I don't think I could have coped with waiting for months to find out what happens next. Having said that I'm almost too scared to pick up Drink Deep, I have no idea what to expect and terrified that I won't get the outcome I'm desperately hoping for. I guess I'm going to have to trust that Chloe knows what she is doing & keep my fingers crossed that I'm not disappointed.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. Doesn't she have a younger book coming out with Indigo soon?

  2. Hi Viv, yes the Chicagoland Vampires series is her adult urban fantasy series. She also writes the YA Dark Elite series for Orion which starts with Firespell (that is definitely already available over here as I have a copy but it may be being re-released as an Indigo title next year?). I really need to start the Dark Elite books!



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