Title: Twice Bitten
Author: Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, Paranormal fantasy, Vampires
Publisher: New American Library
5th sentence, 74th page: Maybe I was getting used to the sensation.
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 centuries-old green-eyed Master vampire.
Ethan honestly irritated me – a lot in this story. I understand the tension between the characters, and his damage does make the tantalising love story in the background all the more spine-tingling and breath-taking. But, he was kind of an ass throughout. Partly that very frustration kept me turning the pages of the book, but it also made it easier to put down and walk away from. Being so frustrated with a literary character that you kind of want to hurl the book across the room might indicate that I get a little too attached, but it is also a great indication of how crappy they are being.
Ethan’s irritating quirks aside, this book was just as wonderful and pleasurable as the first two books in Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series. Merit continues to be an astonishingly relatable and vulnerable heroine with a sassy attitude to boot. Although there is a lot of supernatural drama constantly threatening her way of life, her worries and concerns are still so damn mortal. We’ve all had an unobtainable crush, a ridiculous fight with our best friend and feelings of incredible insecurity in our lives. Merit too undergoes these trials – just with a side of bloodsucking.
When you’re talking about vampires, the idea of werewolves, or shapeshifters will undoubtedly raise its head. It is just so ingrained within the mythos of these creatures. As with her revival of the vampiric tale, Neill manages to include shapeshifters within her urban fantasy in a way that is still refreshing. Yes, they are at odds with the vampires, but the details of this are all Neill’s own. A fact that I greatly appreciated – it was hard to predict how these two peoples would come together and relate to one another, and embarking on the journey of discovery with Merit was all the sweeter for the unpredictability.