Chicagoland Vampires #3
By Chloe Neill
Author’s Website: chloeneill.com
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Daniele
Merit, Chicago’s newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene—and to spy for the vamps while she’s at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan’s offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.
Merit must accept the assignment, even though she knows that she’ll probably regret it. And she’s not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She’ll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals—not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries old master vampire. (Goodreads)
Twice Bitten is the third book in the Chicagoland Vampire series and, though I have not yet read the first two books in the series, I found the story easy to follow and get in to. And get in to it I did. It tells the story of Merit, who did not become a vampire by choice but was twice bitten to save her “life”, who is finding her place in her new reality as sentinel for the Cadogan House, governed by Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan. She is learning the skills needed to protect her fellow vampires with training by Ethan. She is also approached by her friend Noah, who is the leader of Chicago Rogue Vampires, to join the Red Guard, a vampire secret service of sorts. She is conflicted since being a member would mean spying on Ethan and put her loyalties to the test. The shapeshifters are coming to town to hold convocation to determine whether to make their existence known to the humans or retreat to Alaska. One of the pack leaders, Gabriel Keene, enlists Merit and Ethan to act as bodyguards because there have been rumors of an assassination attempt. Gabriel is right and, with the help of the vampires, find out who is behind the attempted coup d’état.
Sexual tension abounds between Ethan and Merit, and just when the reader thinks that their relationship will move forward, Ethan takes a step back because he is worried about his feelings for Merit getting in the way of taking care of his House. But, there is hope for their future with passages such as
“You undo me, Merit. Wholly and completely. You don’t take me at my word. You challenge me at every opportunity. And that means when I’m with you, I am less than the head of this House…and I am more than the head of this House. I am a man.” He stroked my cheeks with his thumbs. “In my very, very long life, I need you more than I have ever needed anything.”
Urban fantasy is my favorite subgenre of fantasy because I like the juxtaposition of a supernatural world with the familiarity of a real time and place. There is plenty of action among the vamps and the shape shifters and romance between Ethan and Merit. The supporting characters add dimension to the story and are interesting in their own right. Twice Bitten is chock full of intrigue, gunfire and hand to hand combat, jealousy, and sizzle.
I enjoyed this escape from reality and will definitely check out more books in the series. I recommend this to fans of Urban Fantasy with vampires.
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*