Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Friday Night Bites - Chloe Neill

Friday Night Bites
Chicagoland Vampires
Chloe Neill
New American Library


Note: If you haven’t read the first book in this series, SOME GIRLS BITE, this review contains unavoidable spoilers.

Merit has been a vampire, and a member of Cadogan House, for a short few months.  Due to recent events – including those that led to her being turned without her permission – she’s proven her skill and worth to Ethan, the Master of the House.  He’s named her Sentinel.  That means she’s part of the security team that protects the House.  Vampires came out to the public fairly recently, via a worldwide press conference.  The initial hysteria has mostly died down, but there are still plenty of mixed feelings about the vampires living among us.

When Cadogan House gets an anonymous tip that a journalist is planning an in-depth series of articles about the vampires, it’s not quite a surprise.  The downside is that this reporter is apparently planning to make so-called vampire “raves” public.  A rave is a gathering of vampires and willing humans.  The vamps take the blood the humans are willingly giving, but sometimes take more than they should.  And they offer nothing in return, despite the many and varied promises they make to the hapless humans.  These gatherings are considered illegal and immoral by most vamps.  If this knowledge becomes public, there will most likely be another round of fear, Congressional hearings, laws, and possibly the modern equivalent of villagers with pitchforks and torches.

Turns out, Merit knows the reporter in question.  He’s the brother of her childhood friend and high school sweetheart; the youngest son of a fabulously wealthy family that Merit has known all her life.  This gives her the perfect opening.  Ethan wants Merit to mend bridges with her (also very wealthy) family.  Her name and connections will give him entrée to the right parties and, thus, the right (rich, powerful, political) people.  They can investigate the family, the reporter, and possibly head off this potential PR disaster.  Of course, as with most disasters, this one is much more than it appears to be. 

I did read the first novel before this one, but I think that readers starting here will get the background information they need.  There’s a lot of continuation of characters and situations that made me glad I read the first book, though, so proceed at your own risk.  What seems like a pretty straightforward plot of protecting the House quickly becomes much more thorny and interesting.  It’s fun to watch Merit interact with her family and people from her childhood.  She was always more interested in literature than in cotillions, so she’s almost as much of a fish out of water as Ethan.  When she inevitably confronts her former boyfriend, the depth of hurt she feels is palpable.  Merit does a lot of growing up in this installment.  Not much of it is fun, but it’s all necessary.  There are many more installments in this series, and I’m so glad about that!

Rating: 8.5
October 2009

ISBN# 978-0-451-22793-5 (trade paperback)


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