May 3, 2011

Posted by in Reviews | 13 Comments

Review: Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampires #4)

Urban Fantasy
May 3 2011
Trade Paperback
350 pages
NAL Trade
Received from publisher

Kick Ass Chick – Merit

From Goodreads
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 of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan are … tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn’t help that she can’t tell who’s on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who’s tall, dark, and part of underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago’s supernatural society–a world full of vampires who seem too ready to fulfill the protesting human’s worst fears, and a place where she’ll learn that you can’t be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands…


OMG and holy hell and WTF all wrapped into one.  If you are as invested in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series that is what you’ll be thinking when you finish Hard Bitten, the fourth book in the series.  Well, that and WHY WHY WHY? thrown in for fun.

Before talking about how you’ll feel when you close the book, let me talk about how you’ll feel while reading up to the dreaded chapter.  You will love this book!  Merit is still spunky and smart, but a little more grounded this time around.  She is fully comfortable with her position as House Sentinel and is doing a great job with it.  She is also fully comfortable with being a vampire so we’re not getting the ‘woe is me’ stuff that tends to sneak in once in a while in the other books.  And she knows that she needs time from Ethan to get some perspective.  I totally respect her for that too.  Do I think she’s nuts not jumping all over that game?  Well yes, yes I do.  But I understand her and respect her for her decision.  😉

And Ethan?  Well, he has softened!  It’s almost like he’s more approachable in this installment.  He’s still very much in charge, but he’s not afraid of showing a little vulnerability when it comes to Merit…and I for one am really liking this new and improved Ethan.  Since he’s not worried about showing and telling Merit how he feels about her, he is saying some spectacularly *swoon* worthy lines!

We also get little glimpses here and there of the other characters we all have grown to love over the course of this series.  Catcher (love!), Jeff (love!) and Mallory (love!).  Jonah, who we met in the last book, plays a more important role in this one.  There was Team Morgan, Team Catcher, Team Jeff and Team Ethan.  Will there soon be a Team Jonah?  I really liked him and I wouldn’t be surprised if a Team would pop up sooner rather than later.  (It’ll be hard to thwart Team Ethan though)

Even the mystery in this book is cool.  Chloe does a good job with it.  You really don’t have any idea where it’s all headed until you finally get there and you’re thinking “Ooohh. Well that does sort of make sense.  That evil buggar.”

The whole book is great!  It’s just that ending!  Did the author write that Ethan slept with another vampire?  Did she write that Merit married someone from another House?  Did she write that Ethan married Celine?  Well, as if I’d tell you.  But just trust me in this:  Read it expecting one hell of a shocker.  Hopefully that will lessen the blow for you once you reach Chapter 24.  I ache just thinking about it…  It’s just so…mean!

We must have faith.  Chloe has said that we need to trust her.  Even though I do not agree with what she did in this book, I am willing to do that…as long as she fixes this in the next book, Drink Deep, in November 2011.  Otherwise, I think I may just lose faith in this series.  But even with the jaw dropping ending, I loved this book.  As usual, Chloe gave us a great story with great characters you can’t help but adore.

5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“In case you’ve forgotten, Ethan Sullivan trained me.  And in case you didn’t know, Catcher Bell schooled me in sword craft.  I was raised on ‘difficult to work with.’”
“Why did everyone keep demanding ‘evidence’ and ‘facts’?  I swear, cop and courtroom dramas were ruining the good name of gut instinct.”

Swoon worthy quotes

“You can run.  You can keep running to the ends of the earth.  But I won’t be far behind you.”

Books in the Chicagoland Vampires series –
Some Girls Bite
Friday Night Bites
Twice Bitten
Hard Bitten
Drink Deep (November)

  1. I’m afraid of reading this book. ahhhhh ahhhhh
    Great review!

  2. Chloe Neill says:

    Thanks for reading!! 🙂

  3. I am starting to think that it’s a good idea that I haven’t started this series..I should wait it out 😉

  4. Dude, if someone cheats or marries someone else I’m going to cry! When I get it, I’m reading the last page first. Lol

  5. Bookaholic Cat – You know you’re going to and I know you’re going to tell me all about it when you are done. 😉

    Chloe – Thanks for writing!

    blodeuedd – It is definitely worth checking out. It’s a fantastic series…but maybe waiting until November is not such a bad idea. LOL

    Skye – Um…I did read the last pages first (don’t hate me) and when I got to the ending the “right way”, it still shocked me! lol

  6. I haven’t read any books in this series, but it seems to be garnering a lot of reactions. I just had to post my 2cents – you freaking read the end of the book 1st? I’ve never done that in my life. I can’t even skip ahead – gotta read every page in order.

  7. I so need to read this!

    I do know the big shocker cause Im a spoiler whore, and I am scared for the series LOL

  8. Judi – You have to try these books. They are awesome! And yes, I read the ending of books first. It does not ruin them for me. Well, only twice has it ruined it for me…but that was because the endings were just dumb. 😉

    Larissa – Don’t worry. Even if you know what the OMG twist is, you’ll still be affected by it. The scene is that profound!

  9. Dot S. says:

    I’m about half-way through and I have to go out to dinner with hubby. DRAT!!

  10. Dot – Darn those hubbys…always getting in the way of our reading. LOL

  11. I finally got around to reading this and I’m going to trust Chloe. It just can’t be permanent.Like you said, if things aren’t cleared up by the next book then I might just really cry. The ending wasn’t as bad for me as Shadowfever where I cried myself sick in the beginning(I finally read those too. So Awesome!)
    Another thing I didn’t expect was liking Jonah. I really liked him…and if the dreaded incident really is final, then Jonah it is.

  12. Skye – I really liked Jonah! And I am so glad you finally got to reading this book. And the Fever series too! Woot!

  13. Heather Henderson says:

    *spoiler warning* *spoiler warning*
    Ethan dies what the hell I am not going to read anymore books until I know what is going to happen in the end


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