Thursday, August 5, 2010

Review: Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill

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. (from chloeneill.com)

Man. This series just gets better and better. I feel pain every time I think about the whole stinking year that has to pass before I get a new Merit read.

Friday Night Bites was about Merit and her internal struggles; Twice Bitten is about her external ones. Merit's finally getting a grip on her vampire and is training to actually be one (her blood requirements notwithstanding). She's working solely with Ethan now to hone her skills. Merit also gets wrapped up with the shifters after Gabriel Keene, Alpha of the region, requests her help as a bodyguard during the upcoming Shifter Convocation, a gathering of all shifters under Gabriel's jurisdiction. The shifters are facing a decision like The Clash: should they stay or should they go? Do they want to get involved with the vampires and their war looming on the horizon or will they leave and go to their territory in Alaska and stay uninvolved? The shifters also toss a mystery to solve in Merit's lap. It was a bit of a relief to see the vampires and their machinations take a back seat here. Merit definitely has enough on her plate.

Merit broadens her familiarity with other vampires in Cadogan House this time. She's still feeling like an outsider but is starting to become more accepted. There's less of her non-vampire friends, like Mallory and Catcher, but with all the new people Merit meets here, I didn't miss them all that much. Nice Poltergeist reference by Mallory though.

The best part of Twice Bitten is Merit's relationship with Ethan. Ethan Sullivan reminds me an awful lot of Eric Northman from Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series: They are both incredibly handsome yet relatively old vampires who hold a measure of power in a bigger scheme. They are both involved with women who they desperately want but don't want to let themselves have. They are both good leaders who will use whatever and whoever they need to be successful. They are both decent and well-meaning but are frequently thoughtless. They have both chosen women who are appealing on their own but possess talents that make the men look better. Eric has his mind-reading Sookie and Ethan has his ass-kicking Merit.

I wish I could say that Merit should just dump Ethan for good since he breaks her heart in all three books but I can't because Ethan and Merit are good together. I just wish he wasn't such a putz each time. There are some awesome scenes in this book between Merit and Ethan and I loved every word in them. I have a feeling that Merit won't make things easy for Ethan in book four, Hard Bitten (working title), coming next July.

I just love this series and have been kicking myself for giving away my copy of Some Girls Bite last year. There is no ebook available that I've been able to find anywhere but amazon so I bought a new paperback copy again. I never do that - buy books twice - but I wanted a set of the three to keep. By next summer, I'll probably have to reread them just to remember what happened but there is one thing I won't forget - Merit's first name :)

Other reviews:
http://www.larissaslife.com/2010/07/review-twice-bitten-chicagoland.html
http://www.bewitchedbookworms.com/2010/07/review-twice-bitten.html
http://yummymenandkickasschicks.com/?p=1863
http://moydrook.blogspot.com/2010/07/blog-post.html

3 comments:

Jen the bibliophile said...

This book was awesome! I love, love, love this series! I actually picked the first 2 up from the library and then I ended up buying Twice Bitten because by that point couldn't wait for the library.

I thought I was going to somewhat murder Ethan at times and at other I wanted nothing more than to rip off his clothes. I definitely had a love hate relationship with that man, but you're right... I don't think Merit works with anyone as much as Ethan. I'm terribly upset that I have to wait a whole year for Hard Bitten to be released!

Jen
In the Closet With a Bibliophile

Jen the bibliophile said...

We can only hope for a short story... LOL! I wish, that would be definitely awesome.

I was surprised at her first name too. I really wonder what the story is behind that one. I mean, they made it seem so bad and then it turned out to be nothing of the sort. It was really sexy when he said it though. Who knew saying someones first name could be so hot?!

(also, I gave you an award HERE)

Jen
In the Closet With a Bibliophile

jane gallagher said...

nice meaty review...totally agree with all points. ethan is definitely a putz a lot of the time...but that's part of what makes him so irresistible mmmm. and merit sure puts up a good fight. they are so well matched! how are we going to last a full year before the next one?!?

also i think jen beat me to this but i am passing on the versatile blogger award to you...link here: http://moydrook.blogspot.com/2010/08/versatile-blogger-award.html

happy saturday!