Liked It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“My Initial Reaction…
“Another great read in the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill! If you haven't read any of the previous books in this series, then what are you waiting for? This series does not disappoint! It fixtures Merit - a kick ass sword wielding heroine, former college student turned vampire, and Ethan, a sexy Master Vampire who had turned her to save her life.. And the complicated relationship that ensues between them. It also has shapeshifters, witches and sorcerers, all set in the heart of Chicago! I love that these vampires still get to enjoy food, even though they need blood to survive. Merit's eating habits are a constant in this series, along with her love of Mallo Cakes.
House Rules picks up where Biting Cold left off... With Cadogen House making a major decision about wether to split from the European governing force of vampires or wait on the council's ruling where their house is concerned. Support comes in the form of Lacey, a former protege turned Master of her own house in California, who still has a thing for Ethan and finds ways to undermine Merit's confidence in herself and her relationship with Ethan. It is very easy to hate this character!
Merit also became involved with the Red Guard when Ethan had sacrificed himself for Merit in a previous book. Her best friend Mallory, who had caused all kinds of havoc with dabbling in black magic, brought him back, see Biting Cold on the complications that was a part of the spell. A certain green eyed Lacey causes problems for Merit in more ways than one... But another problem arises in the form of double murders of vampires taking place, and Merit is on the case to find out who could be behind it. Could it be a new public official with a vendetta against vampires and all supernaturals?
They also have to find a way around a contract that would keep the European Vampires from taking everything away from Cadogen House within a 24 hour period!
This story is a fast paced, emotional roller coaster of a ride. It has some great characters that you care about and want to see succeed, especially because of all the obstacles in the way! Loved it!”
“2.5 stars-** Spoiler** Oh I am so close to quitting this series. I get very little excitement or joy out of it anymore. It just falls flat for me. No, not just flat it pissed me off.
The first 40 % of the book was dull, political babble. Ethan and Merit had a few moments of love but it was just, meh. There was a weirdly placed murder that got me away from the house drama. Why was it weird ? Well, major developments are happening, the house is going under and another house comes to them for help before they really try to help themselves ? I didn't get that.
I was so grateful when I made it to 60 %, Merit was sneaking off, playing Sherlock, and being a green eyed girlfriend. At least things were happening. Then it all went to the toilet, with a major flush. Ethan,(aka) Mr. Wishy-Washy, turned on a dime and betrayed her/their "love" by being a complete jerk. He ignored, he talked down to her, he stayed out all night, he turned on her in public, he doubted her without a conversation. (This is not the kind of man I call sexy) What did she do about it, she took it. When he was over his hissy fit she opened her arms and said it was ok.?!?!?! No, this is not the first time he has turned on her. Really ? What is this ? She used to have one hell of a backbone, when did it wither.
Best part Jeff- he was awesome. ^-^”
“Chloe Neill and her Chicagoland Vampires are certainly firing on all cylinders in this 7th installment! And that’s saying something considering that I was all but ready to give-up on this series after the last couple of novels. House Rules is the book that keeps on giving with lightning fast pacing, a masterful web of plot lines and a steadfast heroine who refuses to give up.
To say that Merit has her hands full in this installment would be the understatement of the year. Pick your poison, take a number and get in line behind: a killer on the lose, a love sick master vampire moving in on her turf, Cadogan’s upcoming excommunication from the GP, allies turned enemies and RG secrets. The fact that all of these events unravel over the course of a mere 72 hours is extraordinary. It’s been a while since I’ve stayed up late into the night to finish a book but House Rules was simply impossible to put down.
Ethan and Merit’s relationship has been a point of contention for me since Drink Deep and when trust issues surface between them I couldn’t help but roll my eyes and think “here we go again”. With so much going on in this book I found it difficult to understand why Neill chose to go there. Again. I was really hoping for a drama free installment but this time around their relationship woes actually added to my overall enjoyment of the story. It’s sad that it’s taken them 7 books to reach their happy place but I guess even vampires aren’t perfect.
I’ve always loved Merit as a character and House Rules was her moment to shine. I’ve never witnessed a heroine stick to her guns as adamantly as she does in this book. She finds herself forced to choose between her House and the well-being of all vampire kind while at the same time trying to make Ethan understand that she’s actually picking both. The resulting argument plants doubt in Merit’s mind but despite her internal struggle she makes the right call, consequences be damned. That a girl!
My love/hate feelings towards these books have officially been put to rest thanks to House Rules. For the first time in a long time I’m actually looking forward to the next Chicagoland Vampires installment.”
“My Initial Reaction…
This is the Chicagoland Vampires I fell in love with! I’m so glad I stuck with it, despite the last couple books being a bit sub-par. The mystery was so much better, I loved the relationship dynamics across the board, and the action was fantastic as usual!
Sophie Eastlake is such a relief after so many books with Cynthia Holloway. I was one of the few out there who could tolerate Holloway, but after so many books I was ready for some quality reading and Eastlake delivers. I particularly love her accent for Berna – it’s just fantastic. If you weren’t listening to the series before, House Rules is a good time to start.
Merit was extremely frustrating for me in the first 80% of House Rules – she finally has some semblance of a stable relationship with Ethan, which is great to see and exactly what she wanted, but it’s like the result is that she’s turned off her think switch! She made so many rookie moves in my opinion; I just wanted to reach in and shake her. She does redeem herself in the last 20% though, not only turning back on her think switch but pulling out some really kick ass moves that I couldn’t help but cheer out loud for while listening.
Ethan starts off the book so sweet, it was cute but I also seriously didn’t trust it. Ethan is many things, but sweet just doesn’t seem to fit him and I was ready for the shoe to drop. Well it does (in many ways because of the above comments about Merit), and I also wanted to reach into the book and slap him (notice, I wanted to shake Merit, but I wanted to slap Ethan. Yes – he was more frustrating)! I do think I like the person he’s growing into though – he may be hundreds of years old, but he’s still growing and changing in marvelous ways. He has some really quotable moments in House Rules - his speechifying is only getting better :-)
The supporting cast continues to really make these books for me. I’m a huge fan of Mallory and she’s coming back with this book – it’s still a work in process, but I loved seeing more of her and that she’s still trying to overcome her recent, um, setbacks. There’s a truly fabulous moment in House Rules with Jeff – we finally get to see him in action and – well I don’t want to spoil it, so I’ll just say it’s 100% worth the wait!
There’s two main threads to the plot in House Rules:
(1) Cadogan House is finally leaving the GP and the GP is not making it easy on them. Nope, they are the child kicking and screaming for not getting it’s way. Ethan is on the offensive from the start, but they still manage to get one over on him and their house is in real danger. Everyone’s working around the clock, including Merit’s not-so-favorite master vampire, Lacey, Ethan’s ex. Lacey adds to the drama in some really fabulous, piss-you-off ways; let’s just say she’s there to help protect the house and her claims on Merit’s boyfriend! Between Lacey and the really despicable moves the GP makes, this book will make your pretty angry (in the best way).
(2) Someone’s killing vampires and the only apparent motive is fun. It started with the disappearance of two rogues, who were universally liked and last seen registering as vampires – so not causing waves of any kind with the human population. Merit gets on the case right from the start and as the danger escalates, it becomes clear that rogues are not the only targets – any vampire could be in danger.
I have only two complaints about House Rules, the first is really really minor, the second is just personal preference. First, I’m just sick and tired of hearing that “so and so was truly a Master Vampire” or “so and so was a Master among men.” It seems to be the fall back way of describing anything really great that Ethan (or Malik lately) does and I’ve gotten so used to it that I feel it coming and can almost say it with the narrator. Let’s find a new way to describe them, huh? Secondly, I’m in love with Jonah. Yes, I know – Ethan is the one that I’m supposed to be cheering on, but he burnt too many bridges for me to be rooting for him 100%. I like Ethan. I love Jonah. I want more of Jonah and I want him with Merit. I seem to be alone on this, but a girl can dream!
Both plots are full of twists and turns and very unpredictable. Some of the earlier books had been pretty predictable, but I didn’t call anything in House Rules. In fact, I found myself 100% wrong on several counts! A lot of fun and great action scenes, not to mention a really great scene on Ethan’s desk ;) , make this a must read!”
“Well done. Good revelations but thought the end wrapped up a bit quickly. ”Linsey wrote this review Sunday, August 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“I enjoyed this book in the series more than the last. I think it had a lot more action and suspense in it and while Ethan and Merit seem to be having a lot of the same problems both in the relationship and in the world you get the sense that as characters they are growing and evolving and have more of a maturity than they have in recent books when it comes to handling things.”Heather P wrote this review Thursday, August 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“The book opens to Merit and Ethan acting like any other couple. It was nice to start reading and know that they were together and happy, even with all that is going on with Cadogan House. Merit finally puts her position as Social Chair to good use and is throwing a party for the house and Chicago's Rogue Vampires, so that they can get to know each other more and hopefully become friendlier. The party starts and Noah (the unofficial head of the Rogue's) informs them that two rogue vampires are missing. To show that Cadogan House is willing to help the Rogue Vampires in anyway Merit takes on the task of figuring out what happens.
I was happy that Merit and Mallory's relationship seems to be improving in this book. The last book seemed a little off since they almost refused to talk to each other. The mystery of the rogue vampire killings was well developed and kept me interested. The ongoing storyline with Merit and the Red Guard is a nice twist to the story.
It is full of unexpected twists and every emotion you can think of. I really enjoyed this book and am glad I read it.”
“Chicagoland Vampires is one of those weird series that you can't help but enjoy. The writing is cliched, the dialogue is immature and the plots are predictable. Nevertheless, the characters are engaging, the actions scenes exciting and the story entertaining.
The plot in this installment focuses on two separate threads - Merit's investigation into the disappearance and subsequent murder of two Rogue vampires, and the politics surrounding Cadogen House's decision to leave the GP. Both are well integrated into the overall story arc although the resolution for each is glaringly obvious, especially the identity of the serial killer who stands out from the moment he appears on the scene.
Ethan and Merit's chemistry is as intense as ever and their relationship goes from strength to strength perhaps due to rather than despite the challenges they face from Lacey Sheriden's machinations to [spoiler]Ethan's discovery of Merit's association with the RG[/spoiler]. Thankfully, the angst surrounding both issues doesn't last long, and Ethan and Merit manage to overcome their differences and become the couple they are meant to be.
The secondary characters flesh out the cast very well. Once again, we have appearances by Gabriel, Catcher and Jeff (whose animal form is finally revealed in a really BIG way!). Merit's father finally comes through for his daughter (albeit not without some self-interest) and Lacey Sheriden seems to have finally been put in her place (we can only hope for good). Mallory is apparently back to her old self, which is somewhat unfortunate as the previous developments in her character actually made her slightly interesting but now she is simply Merit's wannabe sidekick again.
Overall, the series is improving with each book and is fun to read - what else could you really ask for?”
“I think Chloe Neill has finally brought the series back around to where I can be excited about it again.”Jennifer (a.k.a The Book Nympho) wrote this review Wednesday, June 19, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This is the most recent installment of the Chicagoland Vampire series. This particular book adds a bit of different element than the previous books in the series have. In this addition we find Merit, Ethan, and Cadogan House on the brink of eviction. The Greenwich Presidium or GP is hell-bent on making an example of Ethan and his house and are not afraid to stoop to increasingly low levels to prove their point. Amongst the stress of trying to thwart the GP, the vampires of Chicago are on alert due to a number of vampire deaths committed in a strange way. As always, Nancy Drew, eh, Merit is on the case and does her darnedest to stop a killer and save her house.
I really enjoyed this book. I will admit that it took me longer to read than a Chloe Neill novel usually does, but it was still a decent read. Like many other fans, I live for the moments between Merit and Ethan, mostly because I'm in lust with Ethan, I love the interaction between the two even when they're fighting. I especially enjoyed their problems in this book. Jealous Ethan is twice as hott as uber-confident Ethan! I'm glad that truth came out about Merit's extracurricular activities. It seems that the downfall of most relationships, at least literary ones, is a lack of communication. Drives me absolutely nuts. I'm also glad to see that Merit and Mallory are starting to work through their Everest-sized mountain of issues.
All of that aside, I did have a few problems with this book. I'm not sure if I just wasn't in the right mind-set, but this one just did not grab me. Usually I have a Chicagoland Vampire novel done within twenty-four hours. This one took me like three days to finish. The story line about the GP trying to take the house wasn't terribly compelling. I was a bit lost as to why this topic got an entire book. I was also sad that the story line about the the psycho-vampire-killer was kind of an after thought. It didn't feel like it was even supposed to be there. No one, save Merit and Jonah, seemed to care very much about what was going on until after Merit saved Cadogan House. That whole story line just felt a bit empty.
Overall, the book was a decent read and will hopefully lead to really awesome developments in the next book. ”