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“I'm having a hard time with my review of Hard Bitten. I had notes about what I wanted to point out but when I got to the last few chapters, it's all I can think about. Not sure if that is the way it was supposed to be, but that is the way it is, at least with me. I'm not completely sure what...”see full review » see other reviews »
“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! ”
“My favorite in the series so far. Merit has really grown into her Sentinel role. I loved Ethan so much more in this book, he was doing everything right this time. I was so shocked by what happened in the end, I am assuming what happened didn't really happen??? I have seen things mentioned from future books to feel somewhat relieved, but the way it was at the end still has me extremely worried. :-(”Tracyseb wrote this review Sunday, September 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I think this book may run the gamut for emotional responses! It's heart warming, funny, eye opening and jaw dropping. And the Ending? Oh My!”Dianne wrote this review Monday, August 5, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Loved this book and the series gets better with each new book. It was hard for me to put it down.”Riann wrote this review Saturday, July 27, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“After a short break from this series, reading Hard Bitten was a lot of fun. I continue to enjoy Merit's humor and sarcastic wit. In this book, Merit is dealing with yet another problem putting her house right at the middle. Mayor Tate has blackmailed them with a threat to issue an arrest warrant for Ethan if they can't find out (and stop) increases in vampire violence in Chicago. Merit hits the street to find out what's going on, but has to do so with the GP breathing down their necks, blaming them for the negative publicity and forbidding them from investigation. The action is fun and the sexual tension between Ethan and Merit is at an all-time-high. It's more than that though; seeing Ethan try to earn back Merit's trust will make your heart beat a little faster. Watch out though, this book throws in some unexpected twists that might just stun you. A really fun read. 4 stars!”Kimberly (Berls) wrote this review Monday, June 24, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I have several different feelings about this book. No worries, i wont give out any spoilers. I feel mostly angry. I am in disbelief, stunned, sad, bewildered. the information given in this book was amazing. The story line followed a good arc as well. We saw some characters from prior books and a couple of new ones that you know will cause issues in the books to come. Morgan got what he deserved from Merit, Joshua is just a selfish a$$, Jeff always comes through and you have to love Mallory for being a brutally honest BFF. The book has scenes that where heart warming, funny, eye opening and jaw dropping. Again i say, i am happy i started this series this year.
Has its ups and downs.
The first half drags due to the focus on recapping events from the previous books and explaining, once again, who the various players are. By this point, readers should be aware of these details and even newcomers might want to read and find out for themselves rather than having everything told to them.
Things starts to liven up once the focus shifts to the story revolving around the vampire raves/drugs and the political issues amongst the vampires. The mystery and subsequent investigation are intriguing and the romance between Merit and Ethan ratchets up. Ethan completely redeems himself by demonstrating his love, respect and appreciation for Merit who, in turn, is still wary of his motivation but is ultimately willing to meet him halfway.
Now on to the big surprise that made numerous fans want to destroy their copy of the book and lynch the author. Thankfully, I was aware of the ending beforehand (one time I actually appreciated a spoiler) and could, therefore, prepare myself and not be completely overwhelmed. It is an emotionally tense scene and definitely opens new directions for the series whether we appreciate it or not.
The next few books are already out so I don't have to wait "forever" to find out what happens next. If this were not the case and I didn't know that Neill sorts things out satisfactorily, this book would probably be a deal breaker for me. As things stand, there is much to be done in Drink Deep in order to live up to my expectations.
On a final note, the narration is still awful. Cynthia Holloway has ONE voice only and speaks with a single accent regardless of whether a character hails from Texas or England. She also lacks emotional inflection, which detracts from the intensity of some of the scenes.”
“Okay. What the hell was that?! I need a moment. ”LiquidLucidity wrote this review Wednesday, February 13, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Neill's Chicagoland Vampire's just keeps getting better. Merit grows & learns, becoming more comfortable in her position & faces challenges that will make her grow further. ”Celtic_Witch wrote this review Friday, January 11, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I have no words :( I can't even believe what I just read. I am, however, grateful that I did not read this in May. So glad I made the decision to wait until Drink Deep released. Hell, who the f**k an I kidding, I should have waited until Biting Cold releases. Unbelieveable!
A better review, hopefully, will follow - as soon as I can find the heart that this book just snatched from my chest.”