Author: Chloe Neill
Published: April 7th, 2009 by NAL Trade
(Note: These books contain content that may be inappropriate for younger audiences such as scenes of sensuality)
Synopsis: First in a brand new series about a Chicago graduate student’s introduction into a society of vampires.
Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn’t exactly glamorous, but it was Merit’s. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker—and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.
Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she’s traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o’ the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries’ worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude—and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan’s attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone’s still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago’s nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood (from Goodreads.com)
Synopsis:The story of a young heiress's initiation into the dark society of the Chicagoland Vampires continues…
Ten months after vampires revealed their existence to the mortals of Chicago, they're enjoying a celebrity status usually reserved for the Hollywood elite. But if people learn about the Raves-mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle—the citizens will start sharpening their stakes.
So now it's up to the new vampire Merit to reconnect with her upper class family and act as liaison between humans and bloodsuckers, and keep the more unsavory aspects of the vampire lifestyle out of the media. But someone doesn't want peace between them—someone with an ancient grudge… (From Goodreads.com)
Title: Twice Bitten (The Chicagoland Vampires No.3)
Author: Chloe Neill
Published: July 6th 2010 by NAL Trade
Synopsis: Merit, Chicago’s newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene—and to spy for the vamps while she’s at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan’s offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.
Merit must accept the assignment, even though she knows that she’ll probably regret it. And she’s not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She’ll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals—not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries old master vampire. (From Goodreads.com)
This particular series was my third stop, in this past month, on my vampire tour. Okay, so it's not an actual tour in the blog tour sense as much as it's just in my head. However, I can tell you that these books are utterly, mesmorizingly to die for! No, really, if I could choose vampirism as my new life, I most definitely would.
All authors bring their own feeling to vamps when they write them. Meaning some vamps are industriously evil and have no humanity. Some vamps have partial humanity and some have quite a bit. In this particular series, the vamps retain some of their humanity, but that is kind of more by choice.
Now, I actually found this series on another blog and then after an author interview and another review of the series I just had to jump in and find out what this whole thing was about. And let me tell you, they were about awesomeness. The characters were spot on lovely and the story line was filled with action, tension and a little bit of steam.
That is to say, Neill had no trouble filling the book with enough sexual tension to kill a poor soul, but I guess that makes them all that much better. I mean, if you just got all the gooey goodness up front, what would the joy be in that?!
My favorite characters were Merit, Ethan and Morgan. Now, Merit is of course our heroine and kick ass new vamp with a hierarchy in the super strong physical fast range (which isn't always the case). Ethan is the Master Vampire of her house and also the Sexy Love God with gleaming locks *oh yeah baby*! Morgan is another vamp from another house who also becomes a Master vampire (Master vamps lead each house), but his personality was inherently human and sweet, but his Bedroom Eyes sounded quite tantalizing.
Merit: Merit is the point of view from which the whole story is told and she is such a wonderful character. Now I want you to take in mind that I don't always love the main characters of books, especially weak female characters, but since that is like the springboard opposite of Merit, she is fabulous! She has enough snark for a nation and doesn't take what she doesn't want to. She is strong physically and mentally and I love that about her character.
Morgan: Morgan comes into the picture in several different ways and since this is a series review I don't want to ruin it for anyone, so I will try not to. His personality is sweet and caring and he doesn't give up too easy for the things he wants. But, he also doesn't try to take what he can't have. He was a bit more of a sensitive character while still being sexy hot and delicious all over!
Ethan: Might I start off by saying that this vamp is delectable in all his hard ab glory. Yeah, he might be a total jerk off who can't figure out what he wants. And yeah, he is mad that he feels things for Merit because he doesn't want to. But in all reality, what can you expect from a 400 year old vamp? I seriously don't know what it is with me and men that tend to lean on the bad side, but they are just so much more appealing at times. Oh well, Ethan is still a sexy man beast who should be slapped for idiocy and licked for his deliciousness. Yes, ironic, but what is a book without irony?
And let me tell you, there were things like that all around in this book. Not bad irony, just little things like hating and loving certain characters all at the same time. I think that it makes for excellent characters and an excellent story. And this story was action packed with sexy ass kicking vamps and seriously hot sorcerers and shifters. That's right, I said sorcerers and shifters! Grrrrrruuff!
So, overall, I would heartily recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an excellent, well written vamp book with a powerful, fast action story line and tasty characters. Because with all the blood, fighting, swordplay, half dressed men (and women), magic and mayhem and enough sexual tension to cut with a samurai sword you won't want to put it down. (I couldn't, hence the 4 a.m. bedtime)
He paused, then tapped a finger against the box. “This is a wish,” he said quietly, “that even after four hundred years of existence, a man can be strong enough to accept the gifts he’s given.”
“Ethan—,” I began, but he shook his head.
“I’m prepared to wait for a positive response.”
“That’s going to take a while.”
Ethan lifted a single eyebrow, a grin lifting one corner of his mouth. “Sentinel, I am immortal."
“It should be illegal for smug vampires to look that good,” Lindsey said, clucking her tongue.
“That is so true,” I agreed, thinking a little less hotness would make my relationship with Ethan a lot simpler.
He stopped me with his hand at my jaw, thumb against my chin.“Sometimes, people must adapt. Immortality doesn’t make the things we love less important; it means we must learn to treasure them. Protect them.” I swallowed hard and made myself lift my gaze to him, fear and joy and more fear bursting in my chest."
"Stop. That was a mistake. It shouldn’t have happened."
I could offer you more.”
Power. Access. Rewards. You’d need be available only to me.”
Are you asking me to be your mistress?”
Oh, my God.”
Is that a yes?”
No, Ethan, Jesus. Definitely not."