Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires Series #4)

( 412 )

Overview

Meet Merit, a "wonderfully compelling vampire heroine" (USA Today bestselling author Julie Kenner).

Chicago is beset by supernatural tensions, and Merit-vampire protector of a safe haven called Cadogan house-is worried that the humans will be reaching for their pitchforks any minute. It doesn't help that yet another vampire rave is broken up by the mayor, and a new inhibition- reducing drug is circulating through the community.

It's up to Merit...

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Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires Series #4)

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Overview

Meet Merit, a "wonderfully compelling vampire heroine" (USA Today bestselling author Julie Kenner).

Chicago is beset by supernatural tensions, and Merit-vampire protector of a safe haven called Cadogan house-is worried that the humans will be reaching for their pitchforks any minute. It doesn't help that yet another vampire rave is broken up by the mayor, and a new inhibition- reducing drug is circulating through the community.

It's up to Merit to put her house in order-literally. And if that takes getting a little blood on her hands, so be it.

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Editorial Reviews

ALAN Review - Judith Hayn
Merit dropped out of graduate school to become an Initiate at Cadogan House, home to 300 or so Chicago vampires, where Master heartthrob Ethan Sullivan engages in serious flirtation with the heroine. Vampire drama takes on a double meaning: the novel is filled with exciting adventures for Merit as she seeks to end the proliferation of V, a drug being circulated to spur vampires to violence and mayhem against humans, while the daily interactions of vampires, shape shifters, trolls, and fairies create angst and tension. Merit is engaging, entertaining, and an exceptional Sentinel for her House as she tries to save her friends from destruction. The city of Chicago—its history, politics, wheeling and dealing—emerges as both a character and setting as the plotlines ebb and flow, the kind of kinky chaos that mature teens will enjoy. This is the fourth in the Chicagoland vampire series. Reviewer: Judith Hayn
From the Publisher
"A wonderfully compelling vampire heroine." —-Julie Kenner, author of Nobody Does It Better
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451233325
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 5/3/2011
  • Series: Chicagoland Vampires Series , #4
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 147,661
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
MAGIC IS AS MAGIC DOES

Late August
Chicago, Illinois

We worked beneath the shine of floodlights that punched holes in the darkness of Hyde Park—nearly one hundred vampires airing rugs, painting cabinet doors, and sanding trim.

A handful of severe-looking men in black—extra mercenary fairies we'd hired for protection—stood outside the fence that formed a barrier between the blocks-wide grounds of Cadogan House and the rest of the city.

In part, they were protecting us from a second attack by shape-shifters. That seemed unlikely, but so had the first onslaught, led by the youngest brother of the leader of the North American Central Pack. Unfortunately, that hadn't stopped Adam Keene.

They were also protecting us from a new threat.

Humans.

I glanced up from the elegant curve of wooden trim I was swabbing with stain. It was nearly midnight, but the golden glow of the protesters' candles was visible through the gap in the fence. Their flames flickered in the sticky summer breeze, three or four dozen humans making known their quiet objections to the vampires in their city.

Popularity was a fickle thing.

Chicagoans had rioted when we'd come out of the closet nearly a year ago. Fear had eventually given way to awe, complete with paparazzi and glossy magazine spreads, but the violence of the attack on the House—and the fact that we'd fought back and in doing so had thrown shifters out into the open—had turned the tides again. Humans hadn't been thrilled to learn we'd existed, and if werewolves were out there, too, what else lurked in the shadows? For the past couple of months we'd seen raw, ugly prejudice from humans who didn't want us in their neighborhood and camped outside the House to make sure we were aware of it.

My cell phone vibrated in my pocket; I flipped it open and answered, "Merit's House of Carpentry."

Mallory Carmichael, my best friend in the world and a sorceress in her own right, snorted from the other end. "Kind of dangerous, isn't it, being a vampire around all those would-be aspen stakes?"

I looked over the trim on the sawhorse in front of me. "I'm not sure any of this is actually aspen, but I take your point."

"I assume from the intro that carpentry's on your agenda again this evening?"

"You would be correct. Since you asked, I'm applying stain to some lovely woodwork, after which I'll probably apply a little sealant—"

"Oh, my God, yawn," she interrupted. "Please spare me your hardware stories. I'd offer to come entertain you, but I'm heading to Schaumburg. Magic is as magic does, and all that."

That explained the rumbling of the car in the background on her end. "Actually, Mal, even if you could make it, we're a human-free abode right now."

"No shit," she said. "When did Darth Sullivan issue that dictate?"

"When Mayor Tate asked him to."

Mallory let out a low whistle, and her voice was equally concerned. "Seriously? Catcher didn't even say anything about that."

Catcher was Mallory's current live-in boyfriend, the sorcerer who'd replaced me when I made the move to Cadogan House a few months ago. He also worked in the office of the city's supernatural Ombudsman—my grandfather—and was supposed to be in the know about all things supernatural. The Ombudsman's office was a kind of paranormal help desk.

"The Houses are keeping it on the down-low," I admitted. "Word gets out that Tate closed the Houses, and people panic."

"Because they think vampires pose a real threat to humans?"

"Exactly. And speaking of real threats, what are you learning tonight in Schaumburg?"

"Har-har, my little vampire friend. You will love and fear me in due time."

"I already do. Are you still doing potions?"

"Actually, no. We're doing some different stuff this week. How's the head honcho?"

The quick change of subject was a little weird. Mallory usually loved an interested audience when it came to the paranormal and her magic apprenticeship. Maybe the stuff she was learning now was actually as dull as carpentry, although that was hard to imagine.

"Ethan Sullivan is still Ethan Sullivan," I finally concluded.

She snorted in agreement. "And I assume he always will be, being immortal and all. But some things do change. Speaking of—and how's that for a segue?—guess who's now got a big ol' pair of spectacles perched on the end of his perfect little nose?"

"Joss Whedon?" Although it had taken her a little while to get used to the idea of having magic, Mal had always had a thing for the supernatural, fiction or otherwise. Buffy and Spike were particular objects of affection.

"Gad, no. Although wouldn't that totally give me an excuse to pop into the Whedonverse and, like, magically correct his eyesight or something? Anywho, no. Catcher."

I grinned. "Catcher got glasses? Mr. I'm-so-suave-I-shaved-my-head-even-though-I-wasn't-balding got glasses? Maybe this is going to be a good night after all."

"I know, right? To be fair, they actually look pretty good on him. I did offer to work a little abracadabra and hook him up with twenty-twenty, but he declined."

"Because?"

She deepened her voice into a pretty good imitation. " 'Because that would be a selfish use of magic—expending the will of the universe on my retinas.' "

"That does sound like something he'd say."

"Yep. So glasses it is. And I'll tell you, they are little miracle workers. We have definitely turned a corner in the bedroom. It's like he's a new person. I mean, his sexual energy level is just off the—"

"Mallory. Enough. My ears are beginning to bleed."

"Prude." A piercing honk rang through the phone, followed by Mallory's voice. "Learn to merge, people! Come on! Okay, I've got Wisconsin drivers in front of me, and I have to get off the phone. I'll talk to you tomorrow."

"Night, Mal. Good luck with the drivers and the magic."

"Smooches," she said, and the line went dead. I tucked the phone back into my pocket. Thank God for besties.

Ten minutes later, I had a chance to test my "Ethan is still Ethan" theory.

I didn't even need to glance back to know that he'd stepped behind me. The rising chill along my spine was indication enough. Ethan Sullivan, Master of Cadogan House, the vampire who'd added me to its ranks.

After two months of wooing, Ethan and I had spent a pretty glorious night together. But "together" hadn't lasted; he'd reversed course after he'd decided dating me was an emotional risk he couldn't afford to take. He'd regretted that decision, too, and he'd spent the past two months attempting, or so he said, to make amends.

Ethan was tall, blond, and almost obscenely handsome, from the long, narrow nose to the sculpted cheekbones and emerald green eyes. He was also smart and dedicated to his vampires… and he'd broken my heart. Two months later, I could accept that he'd feared our relationship would put his House at risk. It would have been a lie to say I didn't feel the attraction, but that didn't make me any less eager for a rematch, so I was warily standing my ground.

"Sentinel," he said, using the title he'd given me. A House guard, of sorts. "They're surprisingly quiet tonight."

"They are," I agreed. We'd had a few days of loud chants, picket signs, and bongo drums until protesters realized we weren't aware of the noises they made during the day, and the denizens of Hyde Park would tolerate noise after nightfall for only so long.

Score one for Hyde Park.

"Makes for a nice change. How are things out here?"

"We're moving along," I said, wiping away an errant drip of stain. "But I'll be glad when we're done. I don't think construction is my bag."

"I'll keep that in mind for future projects." I could hear the amusement in his voice. After taking a second to check my willpower, I looked over at him. Tonight Ethan wore jeans and a paint-smeared T-shirt, and his shoulder-length golden hair was pulled back at the nape of his neck. His dress might have been casual, but there was no mistaking the air of power and unfailing confidence that marked this prince among vampires.

Hands on his hips, he surveyed his crew. Men and women worked at tables and sawhorses across the front lawn. His emerald gaze tracked from worker to worker as he gauged their progress, but his shoulders were tense, as if he was ever aware that danger lurked just outside the gate.

Ethan was no less handsome in jeans and running shoes while taking stock of his vampiric kin.

"How are things inside?" I asked.

"Moving along, albeit slowly. Things would go faster if we were allowed to bring in human construction workers."

"Not bringing them in does save us the risk of human sabotage," I pointed out.

"And the risk that a drywall contractor becomes a snack," he mused. But when he looked back at me again, a line of worry appeared between his eyes.

"What is it?" I prompted.

Ethan offered up his signature move—a single arched eyebrow.

"Well, obviously other than the protesters and constant threat of attack," I said.

"Tate called. He asked for a meeting with the two of us."

This time, I was the one who raised my eyebrows. Seth Tate, Chicago's second-term mayor, generally avoided mingling with the city's three Master vampires.

"What does he want to meet about?"

"This, I assume," he said, gesturing toward the protesters.

"Do you think he wants to meet with me because he and my father are friends, or because my grandfather works for him?"

"That, or because the mayor may, in fact, be smitten with you."

I rolled my eyes, but couldn't stop the warm blush that rose on my cheeks. "He isn't smitten with me. He just likes being reelected."

"He's smitten, not that I can't understand the emotion. And he hasn't even seen you fight yet." Ethan's voice was sweet. Hopeful.

Hard to ignore.

For weeks he'd been this attentive, this flattering.

That was not to say he didn't have his moments of snark. He was still Ethan, after all, still a Master vampire with a Houseful of Novitiates who didn't always please him, and to add insult to injury, he was nearing the end of a months-long rehab of that House. Construction didn't always go quickly in Chicago, and it moved even more slowly when the subject of the construction was a three-story den of vampires. An architectural gem of a den, sure, but still a den of night-walking bloodsuckers, blah blah blah. Our human suppliers were often reticent to help, and that didn't exactly thrill Ethan.

The construction notwithstanding, Ethan was doing all the right things, making all the right moves. Problem was, he'd shaken my trust. I hoped to find my own happily ever after, but I wasn't yet prepared to trust that this particular Prince Charming was ready to ride off into the sunset. Two months later, the hurt—and humiliation—was still too real, the wound too raw.

I wasn't naïve enough to deny what was between me and Ethan, or the possibility that fate would bring us together again. After all, Gabriel Keene, the head of the North American Central Pack, had somehow shared with me a vision about a pair of green eyes that looked like Ethan's… but weren't. (I know. "What the hell?" had been my reaction, too.)

I wanted to believe him. Just like every other girl in America, I'd read the books and seen the movies in which the boy realizes he made a horrible decision… and comes back again. I wanted to believe that Ethan mourned the loss of me, that his regret was real, and that his promises were earnest. But this wasn't a game. And as Mallory had pointed out, wouldn't it have been better if he'd wanted me from the beginning?

In the meantime, while I weighed the new Ethan against the old Ethan, I played the dutiful Sentinel. Keeping things professional gave me the space and boundaries I needed… and it had the added benefit of irritating him. Immature? Sure. But who didn't take the opportunity to tweak their boss when they had the chance?

Besides, most vampires were members of one House or another, and I was immortal. I couldn't exactly sidestep working with Ethan without damning myself to an eternity spent as an outcast. That meant I had to make the best of the situation.

Avoiding the intimacy in his voice, I smiled politely at him. "Hopefully he won't need to see me fight. If I'm brawling in front of the mayor, things have definitely gone south. When do we leave?"

Ethan was quiet long enough that I looked over at him, saw the earnestness in his expression. It plucked my heartstrings to see him look so decided about me. But whatever fate might have in store for us down the road, I wasn't taking that exit today.

"Sentinel."

There was gentle reprobation in his voice, but I was sticking to my plan. "Yes, Liege?"

"Be stubborn if you wish to, if you need to, but we know how this will end."

I kept my face blank. "It will end as it always does—with your being Master and my being Sentinel."

The reminder of our positions must have done it. As abruptly as he'd turned on the charm, Ethan turned it off again. "Be downstairs in twenty minutes. Wear your suit." And then he was gone, striding purposefully up the stairs and back into Cadogan House.

I swore quietly. That boy was going to be the death of me.

s ¢ s m PF ¢nB id, gesturing toward the protesters.

"Do you think he wants to meet with me because he and my father are friends, or because my grandfather works for him?"

"That, or because the mayor may, in fact, be smitten with you."

I rolled my eyes, but couldn't stop the warm blush that rose on my cheeks. "He isn't smitten with me. He just likes being reelected."

"He's smitten, not that I can't understand the emotion. And he hasn't even seen you fight yet." Ethan's voice was sweet. Hopeful.

Hard to ignore.

For weeks he'd been this attentive, this flattering.

That was not to say he didn't have his moments of snark. He was still Ethan, after all, still a Master vampire with a Houseful of Novitiates who didn't always please him, and to add insult to injury, he was nearing the end of a months-long rehab of that House. Construction didn't always go quickly in Chicago, and it moved even more slowly when the subject of the construction was a three-story den of vampires. An architectural gem of a den, sure, but still a den of night-walking bloodsuckers, blah blah blah. Our human suppliers were often reticent to help, and that didn't exactly thrill Ethan.

The construction notwithstanding, Ethan was doing all the right things, making all the right moves. Problem was, he'd shaken my trust. I hoped to find my own happily ever after, but I wasn't yet prepared to trust that this particular Prince Charming was ready to ride off into the sunset. Two months later, the hurt—and humiliation—was still too real, the wound too raw.

I wasn't naïve enough to deny what was between me and Ethan, or the possibility that fate would bring us together again. After all, Gabriel Keene, the head of the North American Central Pack, had somehow shared with me a vision about a pair of green eyes that looked like Ethan's… but weren't. (I know. "What the hell?" had been my reaction, too.)

I wanted to believe him. Just like every other girl in America, I'd read the books and seen the movies in which the boy realizes he made a horrible decision… and comes back again. I wanted to believe that Ethan mourned the loss of me, that his regret was real, and that his promises were earnest. But this wasn't a game. And as Mallory had pointed out, wouldn't it have been better if he'd wanted me from the beginning?

In the meantime, while I weighed the new Ethan against the old Ethan, I played the dutiful Sentinel. Keeping things professional gave me the space and boundaries I needed… and it had the added benefit of irritating him. Immature? Sure. But who didn't take the opportunity to tweak their boss when they had the chance?

Besides, most vampires were members of one House or another, and I was immortal. I couldn't exactly sidestep working with Ethan without damning myself to an eternity spent as an outcast. That meant I had to make the best of the situation.

Avoiding the intimacy in his voice, I smiled politely at him. "Hopefully he won't need to see me fight. If I'm brawling in front of the mayor, things have definitely gone south. When do we leave?"

Ethan was quiet long enough that I looked over at him, saw the earnestness in his expression. It plucked my heartstrings to see him look so decided about me. But whatever fate might have in store for us down the road, I wasn't taking that exit today.

"Sentinel."

There was gentle reprobation in his voice, but I was sticking to my plan. "Yes, Liege?"

"Be stubborn if you wish to, if you need to, but we know how this will end."

I kept my face blank. "It will end as it always does—with your being Master and my being Sentinel."

The reminder of our positions must have done it. As abruptly as he'd turned on the charm, Ethan turned it off again. "Be downstairs in twenty minutes. Wear your suit." And then he was gone, striding purposefully up the stairs and back into Cadogan House.

I swore quietly. That boy was going to be the death of me.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 412 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(240)

4 Star

(88)

3 Star

(46)

2 Star

(21)

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(17)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 416 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Wow killer of an ending but still have hope!!

    ok first off i prepare myself for the emotional roller coaster that I'd be having in this book having read previous reviews from those who were lucky enough to get advance copies i knew that the ending of this book will leave me chewing on my nails till there is nothing left but stubs and boy did it!!
    To start off Neill builds a world of a budding romance, none stop action, laugh out loud humor and suspenseful mystery that will leave you breathless for more. Trust me when i say this series is amazing. she gives a new take on vampires specifically of a newly turned vamp "Merit" coming to terms with being changed against her will and her new position in Cadogan house as there Sentinel. What i love about Neill is that you never know what to expect from her (*ehem the ending ehem* ). I LOVE LOVE LOVE this series. Her plot run smoothly and Neill seems to make it her job to squeeze out such gut wrenching emotions from her readers though out each book. I'll admit that i laughed and cried and even got a little frustrated with certain scenes in this book and that's why i loved it so much. You see how Merit grows though out each book to such an amazing heroin and how she struggles with her emotions like any other person and not just jump into sex and death. I love Merit, she's kick ass, witty, sarcastic, determined and she refuses to let people walk all over her especially a certain drop dead gorgeous *cough cough* ; ) master vamp Ethan. U sees their love- hate relationship grow in each book into something beautiful and new .This book you get a chance to see Ethan finally admits his true feelings to Merit. *sighs*. I also love her secondary characters which you get to see more in this book Mallory/Catcher, Jeff and the pack, Lindsey and Luc, Grandpa Chuck and a certain Jonah which i can't decide whether i love his sexy self yet or hate him. But a certain green eyed vamp will always be my number one ; )
    The story line is fresh and new. Hard bitten leaves off shorty after Twice bitten. Merit in this book shows her true colors as sentinel of the house and is determined with the help of her friends to find out who the culprit is in this drug distribution that is ruining the vampire world. i couldn't figure out who it was till latter on in the book which was great because it kept me reading till the wee hours of the night. It also tied up some loose ends I had of Merits past and why she became a vamp against her will.
    Now drum roll please..... The ending... ok I'd like to start out by saying .... GOOD GOD FROM THE HEAVENS ABOVE WHAT THE HECK KIND OF ENDDING IS THAT!!!!!! breathe in breathe out ... now that i got that off my chest. I was this close (pinching my index finger and thumb together with only a millimeter of space between them) to ripping each page out the book and burning the remains and stomping on the ashes!!! i had to read that section of the book over a good couple of times because i could of sworn my eyes were playing tricks on me but NO that was not the case so after my little fit with said book (thank god it's still in one piece) i went to Neill's blog to see if there are any answers as to what possessed her to write such an out of this world ending and there was only 2 words said "trust me" soooo that's what I'm going to do I'm going to trust Neill and pray real hard that there will be some serious magic and resurrection happening in Drink Deep!! other than that little nugget i LOVED the book and the series

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A twist I'm not sure I appreciate

    While I really enjoy the arthor's writing style and characters, the ending of this book makes me unsure of whether or not I want to continue with the series. Don't get me wrong, I understand she can take the series in any direction she would like, however this twist nearly makes me want to throw my hands up. The main characters are higly relatable in their sarcasm, emotions, and flair. All in all I say it is a well written book with a shocking twist at the end. Don't read this book if you don't want to be surprised, shocked and a little dumbfounded. It will definitely leave you shaking your head and wondering what can possibly happen after this.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    so dissapointed...

    why? that is my question... there will be a twist in the next book i am sure but i can not believe chloe would end this book this way... so very dissapointed. i am not sure i want to continue reading or not.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2011

    hated the end

    I agree wih the others - horrible ending. If it isnt fixed I will not read this series anymore. Disappointing and depressing!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2011

    If you're looking for depressing

    I loved the first three books of this series. Full of suspense and emotion. My conflict with this book is the fact that I read to take my mind off my own troubles. Relieve some stress and get wrapped up in feel-good fantasy. It's irritating to me that authors think they're doing their readers a favor by throwing in the unexpected just for the sake of unpredictability. Its a cop out. I waited anxiously for this book to hit my nook at midnight. I read late into the night and every free moment after until I finished tonight. Now I'm angry and upset over a fictional story. Very disappointed that through 3.95 books the author pulls you in one direction only to wipe it all out. In two or three sentences. I don't understand why it's cool to rip out the reader's heart. I can watch the nightly news for that. Thanks Chloe Neill for nothing. At least on this one.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The fourth Chicagoland Vampires is an exhilarating entry

    As anti-vampire protesters picket Cadogen House, three women go missing. Chicago Mayor Tate warns Master vampire Ethan Sullivan head of the Cadogen House that he will go to jail or worse if he fails to catch and hand over the serial killer of humans. Ethan assigns his young Sentinel Merit to investigate the homicides.

    To keep her master from spending time in prison, Merit and the underground vampires team up to find the killer. However, Merit knows she must watch her back with the underground who have their own objectives. She is unprepared as to the direction the clues lead at the same time humans demand she and her associates mind their own business or else.

    The fourth Chicagoland Vampires (see Twice Bitten and Friday Night Bites) is an exhilarating entry as the lead vamps and the Mayor face difficult issues. The story line is fast-paced with a sort of amateur sleuth feel to the plot as the heroine explores the human and paranormal species links while hot heads from both sides want her staked. With a great stunning late twist Chloe Neill continues to rock the urban fantasy sub-genre with her strong thrillers.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2011

    Shocked

    I absolutely loved the first three books and couldn't wait for this one to come out. I literally just got done reading this one and I loved this one until the end. I do not know how she could have possibly ended this book the way she did. I am hoping something happens in the next book that will change the outcome. If not I do not know if I will continue to read the rest of the series.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2011

    Wow

    All I can say is Wow. I did not expect that ending at all and I'm not really liking the book right now because of it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

    Great series, but....

    I have never felt the urge to write a review before, but considering that this series has kept me from studying for finals for the better part of a week, I feel as though I should. I absolutely love the first three books. They are great, filled with witty sarcasm and enough action to keep everything alive and interesting. However, this book throws readers for an absolute loop. The characters really progress in Hard Bitten, and I was completely enthralled in the book...until the end. Needless to say, when that curveball is thrown, I pitched a fit, and if I hadn't pulled myself back at the last moment I quite possibly would have thrown my nook. I will read the next book, with hopes that certain issues will be ammended, but I advise everyone to read ahead with caution.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2011

    Huge letdown

    After enjoying the last 3 books,I eagerly awaited Hard Bitten. And I am sad to say it was not worth the wait. Merit lacks maturity,she's a grad student who often acts and thinks like a teenager.

    And the ending which I am not sure if it was to be for 'shock' and hope to bring readers racing back for the next book,left me not wanting the next book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2011

    Disappointed because Chloe kills off a main charactor

    I very much enjoyed the Chicagoland Vampire Series until Hard Bitten. I think Chloe made a big mistake in killing off Ethan Sullivan. Chloe's website indicates we should trust her, so I am going to try.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2011

    Im not sure whether I enjoyed or really hated this book.

    I loved this series, but this book broke my heart.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

    Not What I Expected...

    Alright. I loved the other books - especially the growing relationship between Ethan and Merit. But this book simply did not live up to what I expected. The ending I hated. Completely changed the environment for the next book, which I will read and hope for the best.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2011

    She Better Fix This

    I'm not as angry or as disheartened as the other reviewers because I'm late to the series and I checked out the reviews for this book before I read it so I was already mentally prepared for what was gonna happen. That being said, the last 2 chapters will mind rape you and have you going, "what the f..." It was a pretty good book, royally eff'd up ending and an annoying new character from the GP. I'm curious to see how she's gonna fix and according to her blog she wants us to "trust" her and she knows what she's doing. Though I don't really see how you can reverse something like that.. With all the betrayls, the twists, cliffhanger... I would recommend trying to space or wait this book out so you don't have to be as anxious and riled as the rest of us for the next one.... The least she coulda done was make the 5th book come out sooner if she was gonna end it like that....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Good reading, sad ending

    I have really enjoyed the series--having a difficult time putting each book down. This book was great, but very sad, I actually shed some tears. I am crushed by the ending and can only hope she finds a way to make up for it in the next book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

    Wonderful!

    I read a lot of different series i am a huge kresley cole fan, patricia briggs, jac frank etc and now huge fan of ms neill! Series is a must read unlike anything ive read keeps u on the edge highly recommend

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2011

    OMG

    I ripped through the first three books in the series in a week and salivated over this 4th book. My heart has a hole that has not vanished for the past 3 days since I read the ending of Hard Bitten. I am a die hard vampire series fan caught pleasantly off guard by Chloe Neill's candid and refreshing works. I hate to wish my life away but no question that November can't get here soon enough! Talk about a teaser....

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2011

    Well...

    I was totally unprepared for this ending because I bought based on my love of the other books in the series and didn't read the reviews. I sincerely hope that Ms. Neill has some magical trick up her sleve to undo the completely unnecessary ending to this book. Please. How can someone come back from ashes? I hope that we get to find out or I will stop buying this authors works.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2011

    Conflicted

    I have read all the books in the series, with increasing love and interest as the series has progressed. All of the books have great writing style, witty commentary, and awesome character development.

    While Merit is the heroine of the series, this was certainly Ethan's "story" or book, if you will. It was intriguing to see their relationship evolve and how that acted as a springboard for Merit to become the Sentinel that she has become. It's what all good relationships are made of, how we make one another better.

    The end was totally shocking. And still totally worth reading, just saying, it's gonna be a long 6 months till Drink Deep.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This is the fourth book in the Chicagoland Vampire Series by Chl

    This is the fourth book in the Chicagoland Vampire Series by Chloe Neill and narrated by Cynthia Holloway. All of our favorites are back and once again, Merit has been placed into the role of investigator trying to keep Cadogan House clear of any blowback from supernatural shenanigans. 

    After the asshattery of Ethan Sullivan, the master of Cadogan House in Twice Bitten, I was happy to see that Merit hadn't simply forgiven him. Merit was making Ethan work for her forgiveness.  Her simply calling him Liege, and acting with the "Grateful Condescension" at all times, is making Ethan crazy. Add in the Mayor extorting Ethan into investigating and a claim that 3 young women have died in what sounds like a Vampire rave, plus the GP showing up unannounced from England and poor Ethan is not having a good week. The topper is the GP telling Ethan that he is not to give into the demands of the Mayor and let the humans figure it out for themselves.

    Merit knows that this isn't something that is just going to go away on its own. When a drug called "V" starts turning up, the stakes become even higher.  As the Sentinel of Cadogan House, Merit knows that to protect her House, she needs to put a stop to it before something happens that can't be fixed. Merit ends up working closely with Jonah, the Head of the Guard for Gray House, as well with her grandfather's Ombudsman office. 

    This book takes us deep into Vampire Politics. Turns out its not so different from Human Politics, just much more entrenched in the past and they have longer to scheme and manipulate events.  As plain spoken as Merit is, this is a world that she fights to understand and navigate.  There is a shocking event towards the end of this book that I did not see coming. I was totally floored, but have faith in the world that Ms. Neill is building that I will be pleased in the end.  This was a fantastic book and really a pivotal book in the series.  I gave it 4 stars.

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