Review: Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill

Posted October 25, 2011 by Carmel in Carmel, Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 7 Comments

Title: Hard Bitten
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #4
Author: Chloe Neill
Publisher: NAL Trade
Published: May 3rd, 2011
My Copy: Won from Moonlight Gleam
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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

Hard Bitten has all of the same elements that I’ve come to love about the Chicagoland Vampires series. Meaning, an intriguing story, snaky characters and a dash of romance but where this one differs from the rest is in the area of most ballsy moves made by an author. I couldn’t get over the size of Chloe Neill’s kahunas in this book! I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m a sucker for happy endings and that I get upset when a writer decides to swim against the current and instead opts for a non-traditional finale. Luckily for us, this is in fact a series, so amends may still be made before all is said and done. I admire Neill’s bold move but I can’t help but hope for the impossible to happen in Drink Deep.

Merit is still her good ol’ rebellious self in this fourth installment but her obstinate nature is taken to a whole new level. Instead of just defying her family, Cardogan house and her master as is usually the case; she’s giving the finger to the absolute vamp authority too! This girl just doesn’t know when to back down from a fight! She wouldn’t be Merit if she did but at times I genuinely feared for her immortal life. Ethan isn’t much better with his encouragement of her although, I was glad to see them at long last presenting a united front and that finally, FINALLY, Cardogan’s belligerent master vamp has her back. I really warmed up to Ethan in Hard Bitten. Instead of demanding Merit’s trust and allegiance he’s working hard to earn it and ultimately deserve it. I guess you can teach a 400 year old vampire new tricks!

The story this time around was kind of a reverse take on True Blood’s V drug. Not a completely original idea in itself but reworked enough so that it becomes Chloe Neill’s own. Merit’s investigation of the problem takes readers on so many twists and turns that I really could feel the urgency and importance of things ending well. Morgan played a small role in the plot and boy did his actions ever make me happy that our girl decided to dump his ass! What a piece of work he is!

In the final chapters everything seemed to be going as planned and setting us up for a happy ending that is of course, up until Chloe yanks the rug out from under us! WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED!? In the span of mere seconds I went from being happy, to wanting to chuck the book across the room, to questioning whether I’d just wasted four books worth of precious reading time to finally being curious as to what surprises Drink Deep might hold. That’s not to say that I’ve forgiven Neill for this but I’m willing to give her a chance to try and make things better. Do I admire her neve? Absolutely! Am I going to stop sulking about the way that Hard Bitten ended? Not bloody likely! Ask me again after November 1st.

As upset as I am about how Hard Bitten ended I still have to give credit where credit is due. I think Chloe Neill definitely earned a five star review from me. Although, I reserve the right to take it back if she doesn’t do something to fix this mess in the next book! Thank goodness that I’ve already received word from the publisher that my review copy of Drink Deep is in the mail!

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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7 responses to “Review: Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill

  1. I love this series!! I was so so so sad at the end of this book. You are nicer then me because I couldn’t give it 5 stars because of that ending. Great Review.

  2. @Mocha ღ Latte(Cupcake and a Latte) – I just got Drink Deep in the mail today. The wait is finally over!

    @Amber I @ Awesomesauce – Haha I COMPLETELY understand! 😛

    @Jen at Red Hot Books – It didn’t quite bring me to tears but I was definitely caught off guard!