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Posted February 5, 2013
"House Rules" signals the official return to greatness for the series. While I enjoyed "Biting Cold," it was more of a transition book and due to its road trip nature I felt that things were missing. Book 7 brought us back on track. "House Rules" is a lot like the first few books in the series, but that doesn't mean it's repetitive or unvaried. Merit and Ethan have entered a whole new world. Not only in their political/vampire life, but also in their on and off romance.
Everything sort of speeds up in this book. We know where everyone stands and no stone is left unturned. That's what I enjoyed most about this book. Chloe Neill is not going to drag storylines on and on, spreading them thin until we roll our eyes from the monotony. The RG storyline plays a major role in this novel and I was glad to finally get there. From the first moment the RG was brought up, Merit has been straddling the line. She was kind of an RG member, but not. In this book it all comes to a head and it was as entertaining and stressful a situation for me, as it was for the characters.
"House Rules" is a huge success for Ms. Neill, because she will once again ensnare her readers. I promised myself that I was not reading these books because I still cared, but because I just wanted to see the ending. Wrong. I very much care about the characters in this series. I want them all to have HEA. It gets to the point where I am inwardly arguing with Merit on her choices. Whenever she does something that I feel will threaten her relationship with Ethan, I go insane. The reason? I want Merit with Ethan badly, because when Merit is with Ethan, I am with Ethan! :-)
In terms of the investigation, I am glad for any reason for Merit to interact with Jeff and Catcher, who are some of my fave characters. When the investigation started, I didn't really care. It was sad to me, but in the way that news reports are sad. By the end, the investigation evolved to the point where I was screaming for the killer's head!
Honestly, this book is not to be missed. If you gave up on the series after "Hard Bitten," it's time to come home. If you were resistant to reading this series, because of the fandom's devastation, you can now safely pick up the books. "House Rules," is filled with intrigue, action, romance and enough witty banter to fill a house. It's well written, takes you places you have been waiting a long time to go and reminds you why you fell in love with this series in the first place. A must read.
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Posted February 5, 2013
Merit, the Sentinel of Cadogan House, is back in the saddle again as all hell breaks loose in Chicago as there are rogue vampire murders and the GP is breathing down their back and at their door. When the GP comes to tear down the Cadogan Empire, will Merit and Ethan be able to keep themselves and their family together?
With a strong finish, House Rules will tempt readers for more and keep us at the edge of our seats as the characters struggle to keep themselves and their lives together as the universe tries them again and again. With McKetrick having a new position alongside the mayor, supernaturals are on the hit list when humanity chooses to forget the good that their community has attributed to their society. With being accepted into the Red Guard, but also being misinterpreted by a Master Vampire Merit may have to choose where her loyalty lies as the death toll is rising in Chicago on rogue vampires, a community now that Cadogan Vampires are a part of. Just getting Ethan back is not enough, keeping him is going to tear Merit apart, or she will have to tear some others apart to keep him.
A fast action plot, and the same character intrigue, betrayal, and lust that readers have come to love in the Chicagoland Vampire series, House Rules carries on in the deep fashion that we love to love from Chloe Neill. Merit struggles to keep her man and her house, even as the universe always seems to tear them apart and she may just have to kick a lot of arse to do it. Nothing is darker than our own souls when some situations tear us apart, and Merit is no newcomer to doubt and darkness when she is almost at the cusp of losing Ethan. Holding herself together and digging out from triumph from the ashes of a changing Chicago pulls our heartstrings. Keeping a strong face to keep her family together and overcoming and forgiving others is always a hardship for Merit but she may face a point in House Rules where is it better to ask for help when you really need it.
Coming in prepared and ready for a fight, Merit pulls House Rules through beautifully through the finish, leaving readers breathless for more. The conclusion is coming for Chicagoland in the coming years, will Merit and Ethan survive the storms headed their way? Biting Bad is next and I know that I will be pining for its release in August just counting down the days.
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Posted April 12, 2013
Posted March 8, 2013
Posted February 6, 2013
Cadogan goes ROGUE. Did I ever think this day would come? Wellll....possibly, but let me tell you...this series never ceases to entertain me. I've been a loyal Chicagoland Vampires fan for a long time. Well before I started blogging. In fact, this is my first formal review for any book in the series. But, as I said, despite the fact that we're now in book 7 in the series, Merit and crew still make me quite happy.
For those of you that don't know Merit, she is a somewhat recently turned vampire. She was minding her own business one night on campus, when she was attacked and turned into a vampire. Never fear, sexy Ethan Sullivan was there to help her through. Even though Ethan isn't the vamp that sired her, he welcomed her into his home, Cadogan. See...there are vampire houses set up around the world. Three of which are in Chicago and one is run by our blond hero, Ethan. So, bringing you up to speed (which of course there is loads of drama in between), Merit is the Sentinel of the Cadogan House. She is the sole protector of the Master of the House and is able to make decisions for the House's safety. Nice gig, right? Anyway, in HOUSE RULES, Merit has to find out who is killing rogue vamps in the city AND help Cadogan keep their House and break away from the GP. Heavy stuff. Yes, this book is action packed, but don't you worry...we get plenty of Ethan and Merit love. *sigh*
If you follow my reviews, you know that I love it when I can connect to the characters. Well Merit is not only a heroine that I've connected with, but admire as well. She sure has made mistakes, but she is fearless and takes ownership when she's wrong. Now, I happen to think that Ethan is the perfect compliment for Merit. I've always thought he was sexy, but once they really started to fall in love...I fell hard for him. He continues to deliver some truly swoony lines. Not only do I love Merit and Ethan, but I love the supporting characters as well (Especially Catcher and Gabriel). They all add value and entertainment to the series.
Ok, here's the thing, this series is one of my all-time favorite Urban Fantasy series. I will follow Merit and Ethan to the end. And, despite their personal ups and downs as a couple, I have faith that they will make it last in the long run. As well as, keeping the peace in Chicagoland among all the supes and humans. Do I want you to get this series? Yes. Yes, you must! Chloe Neill has developed a truly spectacular series. I've become so intensely involved in these characters lives. I'm so glad that I found this series years ago. I highly recommend it.
*This series is in the adult age group and there are some mature scenes. However, they are not graphic and in my opinion, a mature late-teen reader could handle it.*
~"So you traded up?" I asked, walking toward the car and opening the door. "Do you treat your relationships in the same way?"
"Yes," Ethan gravely said. "And I spent four hundred years shopping before I met you."
It was comments like that that kept me around, even when Ethan was being otherwise insufferable. He popped them into conversation just often enough to make my heart melt.-pg 31
~A burst of pride filled my chest. The man was walking power and confidence, and he was all mine.
"Seriously," Lindsey whispered, "well done."
"I know, right?"-pg 110
~I glanced back, the House glowing gold in the darkness of Hyde Park, three stories of stone and blood and memories.
A GP issue we hadn't been able to fix.
Four murders we hadn't been able to solve.
A relationship I'd broken.-pg 259
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Posted April 26, 2014
Here I am with the Chicagoland Vampires, book 7. Its hard to believe that I am just about caught up with the series. Only 2 more book to go till I join those waiting anxiously for the next installment. After my disappointments with Biting Cold, I was happy that I was able to pretty much have a handle on all the voices and characters. Just a reminder, there will be spoilers for previous books in the series. Otherwise this review would be about 3 sentences long. :)
Our story starts with Merit and Ethan getting ready to deal with the fall out of choosing to leave the GP before they are thrown out. Ethan being the strong Strat that he is, has gotten together a team to help keep the figurative bloodshed to a minimum. One of the people on his transition team though gives Merit some serious pause, Lacey Sheridan - Ethan's former lover and current Master of Sheridan House. The woman who wants Ethan back.
But that's not all that is going on. Two rogue vampires are found killed in an old warehouse, in a hidden room. They are found decapitated, holding hands. Pieces of aspen found in the room leads them to think that McKettrick, the new Human Liaison and staunch Vamp Hater, had something to do with it. But there is also the drama of Merit's initiation into the Red Guard and Lacey's misinterpretation of it, which leads to Ethan finding out about Merit's involvement. Throw in trying to build back her relationship with Mallory and find a missing art piece before they are attached by the fairies and Merit is not having a good week.
Ethan showed some real growth in his relationship with Merit and I can honestly say that I only wanted to throttle him a few times in this book, versus other books where it was a nearly constant impulse. The GP continues to show that they are out of touch asshats and I keep wondering when exactly the rest of the Houses are going to clue in to this fact and revolt. This was an exciting book and I gave it a firm 4 stars.
I was thinking between 4 to 4.5 stars for this. But that ending, I was like, wow book you just got 5 stars. Good job. And yeah, I'm glad to be back into the series. Last book I liked but at the same time, wasn't feeling it you know? Then as I was reading this, I was sort of feeling the same but then the more I read, the more I was invested with the story and of course the characters (as always). The gang find themselves with a murder of vampires and have to find what is going on and well, put a stop to it. Easier said than done. There's moments in this, where you feel for the characters in this one. And moments where you're like, you've got to be kidding me or oh no, not again. Anyway, this one was much, much better and already want to read the next one. Loving this series more and more.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 28, 2013
Posted August 30, 2013
This was just....disappointing. I loved this series starting out, but this book was slightly boring...i kept skipping pages..or putting it down & going to something else... i will get the next book from the library, hoping this was just fluke..Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 31, 2013
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Posted April 22, 2013
Reviewed by Guest Reviewer/Sharon & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog
“The difference in this book was that I felt many things came together and solidified…finally.” ~Under the Covers
This is definitely not going to be the most objective review seeing as how I’m a total Ethan fan. As long as Ethan’s in the book (and even when he’s not), I’ve loved the book. I just love Ethan and Merit together and I’ve loved seeing them through all their trials and tribulations. The difference in this book was that I felt many things came together and solidified…finally.
The Cadogan house is breaking its ties with the GP and while there’s lots of uncertainly, the house vampires have really come together. They are also having lots of support from the Rogue vampires, the Shifters and Merit’s grandfather’s group. But the GP has some moves up their sleeves and causes some problems. (I loved when Merit found the ‘object’ but I’m a little sad about the fairies.)
Ethan and Merit finally have a bit of down time for their relationship but of course, there has to be trouble and her name is Lacey. Yep, that wicked witch is back in the picture. Unfortunately, she is not the only problem…just the catalyst. Even though there was tension, I enjoyed seeing Ethan and Merit work through things and I think they’ve come out stronger because of it. (I loved when Ethan and Jonah was sparring!)
Naturally, there has to be some mystery and that starts with two vampires being killed in a type of ritualistic set up. I was really intrigued by how everything came together and was surprised at who the killer actually was. I love how CN sets up all the puzzle pieces and seeing the light click on for Merit.
Things are also coming together with/for Mallory. She’s not out of the woods yet but I’m happy that her and Merit are mending their fences. I wish there would’ve been more of her and Catcher but maybe next time.
There were lots of interesting new things that came out especially the one about the Tiger. I quite enjoyed that one as well as the Shifters poker game!
Overall, I really enjoyed it though I wish we had a more detailed account (or even some details!) of Merit and Ethan’s smexy times…I almost feel cheated about that. And even though I liked the ending, the end crept up on me!
♥ “So you traded up?” I asked, walking toward the car and opening the door. “Do you treat your relationships in the same way?”
“Yes,” Ethan gravely said. “And I spent four hundred years shopping before I met you.”
♥ “You may begin impressing me now.”
♥ “I walked into his arms, and he embraced me with relief, as if the act of touching me removed the weight from his shoulders. That might have been the most flattering compliment I’d ever received from him, nonverbal as it was.”
♦ “ETHAN EATS TOAST WITH A FORK.
It took a moment before she responded. DARTH SULLIVAN = PRETENTIOUS HOTTIE, she responded.”
♥ “You are mine and mine alone, and it appears you need reminding. I suggest you return to our apartment; otherwise you’ll be ravished here and now where you stand, and the door is open.”
♥ “I will have you. Body, mind, and soul. And I won’t share you with anyone else.”
*ARC provided by publisher
Posted April 18, 2013
House Rules is a huge disappointment. After the past few books in this series, I didn't even have high hopes for this novel. I just thought it'd be an interesting and fun read. I was wrong. The Chicagoland Vampire series used to be one of my favorite series, but ever since Ethan died and came back, the story lines just keep getting worse. This one was the worst one yet. There was no character development. The pacing was slow as molasses. The plot was ridiculous, and a lot was going on yet I didn't care about any of it. This was just a bad book. I'll check out the next installment from the library, and if it's no better than this was, then I'm officially done with this series.
Merit has turned into a crying pansy. She got on my nerves so bad. She teared up at the drop of a hat, and more often than not, she just "didn't know what to do." Well you know what, honey? No one ever knows what to do in tragedies, but we make due. Merit needs to grow up since she's supposed to be 28 years old. Ethan was equally childish and jerky. I didn't even like him in this book. Also, his archaic relationship views were annoying, not sexy.
Speaking of characters, if Neill didn't insist on checking up on every single character she'd ever thought to create, then maybe the actual story could have started before page 75. The first 75 pages could have easily been condensed into 25, and there were other extremely useless scenes throughout the novel that completely messed up the pacing. Also, the first 75 pages were spent reminiscing about previous books. If Neill keeps this up, then before long she'll have entire books simply recapping the previous one and not adding anything new to the series.
In addition to the slow pacing, the plot itself was just stupid. I'm sorry, but if an author wants the reader to care about what's going on, then kill off a character we know. There are too many characters in this series anyway. It wouldn't hurt anything to lose a few. I knew that no one close to Merit would be hurt because if anyone close to her dies, they magically come back to life. Neill is obviously afraid to kill off any of the characters she knows, and that took away from the sense of urgency in this novel. Also, instead of witty, funny dialogue and intense situations, we now have idiotic, useless situations that do nothing for the story and cheesy, immature dialogue. I don't think I laughed once while reading this book. Merit's sarcasm resembled that of an 8 year old, and it just wasn't funny.
Overall, this book was just bad. The only reason I finished it is because I loved the first 4 books of the series and liked the previous 2; therefore, I plan to give this series one more try before officially breaking up with it. I know a lot of people enjoyed this book, but unfortunately I wasn't one of them. I'd say check it out from the library before buying if you haven't been a fan of where this series is going since Ethan died.
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Posted March 2, 2013
Posted March 1, 2013
I love this series. I love Chloe Neill for writing this series. And this book didn't change either of those facts. If you've read the series, yes, this book is worth the read. If you haven't read the series, what are you waiting for?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 1, 2013
I looked forward to this book release and wasn't disappointed. It's a fun read in the continued story of Merit, Ethan, and the house struggles. If you've read the earlier books, you need to read this one too. If you've not read any of the "House Rules" books, you should.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.