Full Review (15th November):
Now that the humans have discovered the existence of the shapeshifters who had been living amongst them in secret it has made them become more wary of the vampires again and worried about what else could be hiding out there. Protesters have Cadogan House surrounded day and night and are determined to persuade the vampires to leave Chicago. It doesn't help that there are reports of a vicious attack and three women are missing. The mayor wants action taken and it is up to Ethan and Merit to find out what happened. With the vampire council also breathing down Ethan's neck he is stuck between a rock and a hard place and it is up to Merit to find a way to protect their house from both sides.
Hard Bitten is the 4th book in the Chicagoland Vampires series and I would strongly recommend reading them in order. I'm a massive fan of the series though and Merit is one of my favourite urban fantasy heroines so I would definitely recommend checking out Some Girls Bite if you haven't discovered the series yet. As I've come to expect from this series Hard Bitten has plenty of action and some really good plot twists, there was a killer shock at the end of the book though - one I totally didn't see coming and am still completely gutted about.
Merit's relationship with Ethan took a real turn for the worse at the end of the last book so I was curious to see how things would play out in this installment. It was really great to see how much Ethan changes in this book, he regrets his actions at the end of Twice Bitten and is determined to prove to Merit that he does love her and that he can give her what she needs. Although I appreciated the changes in Ethan I was pleased that Merit didn't automatically welcome him back with open arms. After the hurt he caused her she is understandably wary of getting her heart broken all over again so she stands her ground and is making him work at gaining back her trust.
Thinks are getting interesting with Mallory who is working hard at learning to use her magic. It was good to see her friendship with Merit back on track and I was pleased that Merit was there for Mallory when she needed a friend. I'm very interested to see how things develop with Mallory over time because I have a feeling she is going to have a larger role in future books. It was great to see Catcher, Jeff and Merit's grandfather again and I also really liked Jonas who we met briefly in the last book but didn't know much about until this one.
To go back to the shocker of an ending, I don't want to give spoilers so I'm just going to say that I felt like Chloe Neill had pulled out my heart, ripped it into shreds and then jumped up and down on the pieces. I just can not believe what happened at the end and really don't know what direction the series will take from here onwards. I had to read the ending twice because I didn't believe that could possibly have happened! I have to give Chloe kudos for creating characters that I feel so strongly about and I'm so relieved that the next book is already available - I don't think I could have coped with waiting for months to find out what happens next. Having said that I'm almost too scared to pick up Drink Deep, I have no idea what to expect and terrified that I won't get the outcome I'm desperately hoping for. I guess I'm going to have to trust that Chloe knows what she is doing & keep my fingers crossed that I'm not disappointed.Immediate thoughts (11th November):
I can't decide if this should get 1 star for literally pulling my heart out & ripping it into tiny little shreds or 5 stars for the exact same reason! I mean kudos to Chloe Neill for making me so emotionally invested in the series that she can practically kill me with one tiny little sentence.
Full review to come when I've had time to process things, I'm just grateful my copy of Drink Deep is on its way