Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill (Chicagoland Vampire Book #3)
July 6, 2010
Trade Paperback, 355 Pages
Why I read: One of my favorites series!!
Favorite Quote: “On the other hand, they’re the ones creating this pec-tacle.”
I slide her a glance, arching an eyebrow. “Pec-tacle?”
”You know, like spectacle” – she paused to point at her breasts – “but with more dude nipples.”
The werewolves are in town and tensions are high. They are in Chicago for a convocation to decide if they are going to stay in their respective territories, which ultimately means they would be around violence erupts from rogue vampires. Or if they would ALL retire to their ancestral home in Alaska. Sorcerers are spouting prophecies of upcoming battles. Underground anti-vampire groups are forming, and the werewolves are nervous about their part if there is an upcoming war. They are still secret to the public, the only supernatural species out to the public are the vampires.
Gabriel, head werewolf has asked Ethan, head vampire of Cadogan House and Sentinel Merit, to be in their meetings for security purposes. Ethan is afraid if violence is to come, and the shifters have all left, the vampires won’t be able to stand on their own. He is very serious about trying to get on the shifters good side. The shifters are afraid if they ever become public, they won’t be feared or thought of as cool like the public thinks of vampires, but used for experimental purposes and research.
First let me say this is a hard review to write because I don’t want to say anything to spoil – yet most of what happens in Twice Bitten and what I want to talk about veers right into that category. Chloe Neill gives Ethan a lot of page time in this book, which I loved. Mallory and Merit are on the outs from the previous book, and Merit finds herself having to work closely with Ethan for the werewolf matters. In the first two books we have seen lots of sexual build-up and a few kisses to relieve that tension. In this book things get taken up a notch.
There is almost a perfect scene between Merit and Ethan – one where their defenses are stripped. 400 years of Ethan’s wall slowly crumbles down. They must reassure each other and it is a very emotional moment.
Ethan can be all business, but when he looks at Merit, and his eyes turn to that swirly, sexy silver, all know he has other thoughts on his mind. In this book we see a softer side of Ethan – although still quite conflicted.
“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 that the head of the House. I am a man.”
Can Ethan let go of control, slip out of “Head of Cadogan” mode and let his human needs take over? More importantly, can he give Merit what she needs? His entire life is one political balance with the other Houses, with the humans, with the shifters. Everything is so preciously balanced if he lets Merit in, the scale is tipped, and he must decide if he can live in an unbalanced nature.
BUT, I also need to say – this is an urban fantasy. HEA’s (happily ever afters) are not presented to us in an easy fashion and this is only book three in the series. There are moments I wanted to hold Merit and Ethan and squeeze tight. There were times I wanted to shake my fists at them. But this is why I love urban fantasy. Some events really surprised me. Some events made me smile. Some frustrated me – at first. There were times I became very frustrated, but as I continued to read, good explanations and reason are given and eventually I understood the decisions that were made. This is the book where we get a glimpse into the “real” Ethan but it is also the book where we must remember he has not been human for a very long time and he has enormous responsibility.
Because Mallory is absent in the beginning some of that humor I love so much from Chloe Neill is missing, but it makes a triumphant return later on. We get a great glimpse into werewolf culture and there is a scene where Gabriel “calls the pack” that gave me goose bumps.
I really, really enjoyed this book. This is one of my favorite series and I think Twice Bitten really moves along the story line and makes for an extremely entertaining read. I am very curious to see where Chloe Neill takes us from here.