*This title will be released on February 5, 2013*
by Chloe Neill
Genre: Urban Fantasy |
Excerpt: Yes | Book Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Julia | Source: Publisher
Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.
Kissing, references to sex.
In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.
At the tender age of 27, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal —tested like never before.
It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined.
After the cataclysmic events of BITING COLD, HOUSE RULES starts in the eye of the storm. The Chicago government remains hostile to supernaturals, Cadogan House is one the eve of succeeding from the Greenwich Presidium, and a pair of young Rogue vampires go missing. The ominous building of events had me twisting in my seat, so much so that it was a relief when the dominoes began to fall.
And oh is there a lot to fall. Malice, politics, and love triangles, Merits life is dramatic on multiple levels. I still find the general douchebaggery of Chicago’s mayor and the GP beyond frustrating, to the point where Lacey’s zealous pursuit of Ethan seemed almost pure by comparison. However much delusion and self-righteousness goes into Lacey’s efforts, compared to the underhanded self-interest and politicking of Merits more deadly enemies, I’d pick Lacey any day. That worked out well in HARD BITTEN, because while most of the story focuses on Merit working her network and pounding the pavement, Lacey is the villain that gets the most page time.
Beyond the murders and politics, the most interesting and nuanced issue facing Merit is her membership in the Red Guard. It’s impossible to divorce Merit’s relationship with Ethan from the power and politics of their environment. Merit truly believes in the mission of the Red Guard, but keeping secrets in any new relationship is a recipe for disaster. Caught between the earnest value of her membership in the Red Guard and an oath of secrecy that leaves Ethan on the outside, I enjoyed Merits efforts to be honest and effective in her roles as Red Guard, Sentinel, and girlfriend.
And as ever, don’t pick up a Chicagoland Vampires book while you’re hungry. I could argue that Chicago’s cuisine is the actual third wheel in Merit and Ethan’s relationship, and that’s one love triangle I’d never want to see end.
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