Chicagoland Vampires #8
Adult Urban Fantasy
Releases August 6th
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.
Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.
Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.
The eighth installment of the Chicagoland Vampires series, Biting Bad returns us to a world that has become beautifully familiar, the cracking of the spine allowing us to wander into the waiting arms of Merit and company who simply radiate comfort and warmth after such a prolonged relationship with them. While Biting Bad doesn’t introduce any new villains to wreak havoc on Merit’s already infinitely complicated life, it does see the expansion of an already existing problem while giving us plenty of time to enjoy the new stability of Merit’s relationship with Master of Cadogan House Ethan Sullivan. It’s perhaps not the most dramatic or intense of the series, but there’s something hugely satisfying about this story just the same, the romance between Merit and Ethan that was previously defined by gratifyingly high peaks and frustratingly low valleys finally finding even ground.
Merit is someone whose shoes are easy to slide back into no matter how long it’s been since we were with her last, always a woman eager to help in any way she can as she continues growing into herself now that she’s both vampire and Sentinel of her House, as well as girlfriend to its rather stoic and undemonstrative Master. Her sense of humor is charmingly wearing off on Ethan though, the banter between the two of them laced with genuine affection free of the weight of their respective positions in the House, and it brings both relief and joy to see the two of them completely open in their communications, secrets and hidden feelings a thing of the past as they both work hard to ensure they have the future they so desperately want.
Though all is gloriously well on the romantic front for the two of them, things in Chicago continue to deteriorate as public hatred for vampires reaches a breaking point, and while the riots and the reason behind them are significant and have far-reaching implications, our happiness with regard to Merit and Ethan simply overshadows any worries the riot revelations cause. As a result, Biting Bad doesn’t feel quite as action-packed as some of Merit’s past adventures have been, remaining a bit more even keel and thus granting us time to breathe and focus on the two people who are the heart of this series.
We’re left with our couple in a rather precarious position, though it’s not a cliffhanger in the truest sense and given our trust in Ethan and Merit is at its all-time highest by the time we reach the last page, we have little doubt they'll sort out what needs sorting. Overall, Biting Bad is as enjoyable as always if a bit slower than previous books, Ethan and Merit finally shining from the pages in a way we’d been hoping for all along.
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.