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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O.M.G
I'm still recovering from this one. There is (get ready for the understatement of the century) a big surprise towards the end of the book. Not a cliffhanger - you know exactly what's happening - it's just a surprise turn of events. Actually, more like a cardiac arrest inducing turn of events. I kept waiting for the punchline...even tried rubbing my eyes, turning my...
Published on 24 May 2011 by The Demon Librarian

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel (Chicagoland Vampires Series)
***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.***

This is book four in the series. It starts off with Cadogan House putting their house back together after the aftermath of the shifter battle in the last book. The battle didn't do the vampire's of the town any favours and there are anti-vamp protesters camped outside Cadogan house.

Things are tense between Merit...
Published on 24 Nov 2011 by carly


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O.M.G, 24 May 2011
This review is from: Hard Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel (Chicagoland Vampires Series) (Paperback)
I'm still recovering from this one. There is (get ready for the understatement of the century) a big surprise towards the end of the book. Not a cliffhanger - you know exactly what's happening - it's just a surprise turn of events. Actually, more like a cardiac arrest inducing turn of events. I kept waiting for the punchline...even tried rubbing my eyes, turning my eReader off and on again (that always works, right?). But no, apparently I did read it correctly the first time.

So, what can I say without giving anything away? Lets see... The storyline for the rest of the book was very good as always. Easily as good as the previous three. The characters you have grown to love are all moving along nicely after the shapeshifters came out of the closet and are trying to deal with the new human antagonism towards vamps. Merit continues to show a lot more maturity and I really feel like she's coming into her role as Sentinel. She may have been thrown in at the deep end with the on-the-job training, but she is now a competent member of the Cadogan House security force.

I did get really cross when some bigwigs from the Presidium got involved in things and started trying to blame everything that's ever happened since the dawn of time on Cadogan House. Don't you just hate those types? The pretentious, jumped-up suits from some governing body, that deign to come down from their ivory towers once in a blue moon to tell you how rubbish you are and to judge you on the black and white facts without knowing the first thing about you or the possible reasons behind your actions. Gah!

But, it's no good, all of that got overshadowed by the end of the book. I have no idea what's coming next for the characters of this brilliant series, but I really hope it goes the way I want it to or I will be seriously pi- um...seriously cross!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stunned....., 9 May 2011
By 
sharon "I listen to my books while working, a... (Falmouth, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hard Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel (Chicagoland Vampires Series) (Paperback)
This is book four in the series, so I suggest you start off with Some Girls Bite: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel, Book 1 (Chicagoland Vampires Series). This was my favourite series last year & well I'm just going to have to trust CN on where she's going next, after reading this explosive edition.
Merit is Sentinal and takes her job seriously, she's determined to keep Ethan at arms length, & he in return is determined to win her back,I loved the banter & sizzling repressed tension between the two . Now the weres have come out, it's kicked up mistrust & insecurity from the humans & with political manoeuvring Cadogan house find themselves between a rock a hard place , stuck in the middle between doing the right thing, the mayor & vampire bosses.
A twisty knotted plot that is unravelled one thread at a time. Very exciting finale with well drawn protagonists & just when you think it's all over a shocker occurs, well several really, it all feels so final so where I wonder is she going next?

Personally I can't wait, gutsy move but I can see why so many readers are up in arms, we'll just have to see eh?
What I love about this series is the politics, love angst, premise & plot, the author is not afraid to go off a well worn urban fantasy path & make her own way, even if it will upset a few people... Great series & worth picking up...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel (Chicagoland Vampires Series), 24 Nov 2011
By 
carly (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Hard Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel (Chicagoland Vampires Series) (Paperback)
***THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.***

This is book four in the series. It starts off with Cadogan House putting their house back together after the aftermath of the shifter battle in the last book. The battle didn't do the vampire's of the town any favours and there are anti-vamp protesters camped outside Cadogan house.

Things are tense between Merit and Ethan, but they come together when The Mayor Tate calls them in to discuss a rave problem, where there was a human eye witness account of killings. Tate ever the Politician has to secure votes and be seen to be publicly handling the situation. So he says if the rave problem is not sorted out soon he has a warrant for Ethan's arrest.

On top of that Darius The head of the GP is coming on a visit to the house. Merit is trying to figure out more about the raves and try to shut them down. She calls in help from Jonah who accompanies her to a rave, they found out about from a text message on a phone left in Grey House Bar. Arriving at the Rave Merit notices something is wrong when a vamp bumps into her causing her to bump into two male vamps, they cause all sorts of trouble and are extremely aggressive. Merit makes her way through the crowd away from the two crazy vamps and finds a girl, a human, sitting on the floor. She takes the girl with her when she leaves, and gets some info from her, pills with a V on them, a description of the bloke who invited her to the Rave who is with a woman named Marie.

When Merit reports back to Ethan she doesn't realise that Darius is standing behind her and has heard the whole thing. Darius is not pleased with the situation and decides to put Cadogan house in receivership by the Presidium until Chicago is back under control.

Merit finds out that V is a drug for vampires, that makes them more violent, to let out their true natures. Merit believes Celina is behind the making and distribution of V, but she just needs the proof.

Ethan and Merit attend a party in grey house which Darius has set up, while there someone puts V into the wine and things turn messy. The man Merit met, who sells the V, sets Merit up for a meeting with his boss Celina. Merit is waiting for Celina to arrive in a very crowded place, when she does arrive Merit grabs her wrist, but Celina is genuinely shocked to see her. Celina admits to everything, the making and distribution of V the raves in front of everyone. The Police show up and arrest Celina and everyone is happy Merit finally got her, apart from Darius and the GP.

Now the ending, I was not expecting. I'm still not sure how I feel about Ethan dying in the way he did. It was not how I expected A master Vampire to go out. It took me three books to warm up to Ethan and then he is ripped away. He died in place of Merit which shows how much he loved her. I never suspected Tate at all, so i was pleasantly surprised. The book was good and I enjoyed it as a whole, but I felt like nothing really happened until the end. The ending for me was a little rushed for me.

The ending leaves me eager to find out what's going to happen in the next book DRINK DEEP. This is a must read if anyone has read the series so far. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chicagoland Vampires book 4, 15 Nov 2011
By 
Sarah (Feeling Fictional) (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hard Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel (Chicagoland Vampires Series) (Paperback)
Now that the humans have discovered the existence of the shapeshifters who had been living amongst them in secret it has made them become more wary of the vampires again and worried about what else could be hiding out there. Protesters have Cadogan House surrounded day and night and are determined to persuade the vampires to leave Chicago. It doesn't help that there are reports of a vicious attack and three women are missing. The mayor wants action taken and it is up to Ethan and Merit to find out what happened. With the vampire council also breathing down Ethan's neck he is stuck between a rock and a hard place and it is up to Merit to find a way to protect their house from both sides.

Hard Bitten is the 4th book in the Chicagoland Vampires series and I would strongly recommend reading them in order. I'm a massive fan of the series though and Merit is one of my favourite urban fantasy heroines so I would definitely recommend checking out Some Girls Bite if you haven't discovered the series yet. As I've come to expect from this series Hard Bitten has plenty of action and some really good plot twists, there was a killer shock at the end of the book though - one I totally didn't see coming and am still completely gutted about.

Merit's relationship with Ethan took a real turn for the worse at the end of the last book so I was curious to see how things would play out in this installment. It was really great to see how much Ethan changes in this book, he regrets his actions at the end of Twice Bitten and is determined to prove to Merit that he does love her and that he can give her what she needs. Although I appreciated the changes in Ethan I was pleased that Merit didn't automatically welcome him back with open arms. After the hurt he caused her she is understandably wary of getting her heart broken all over again so she stands her ground and is making him work at gaining back her trust.

Thinks are getting interesting with Mallory who is working hard at learning to use her magic. It was good to see her friendship with Merit back on track and I was pleased that Merit was there for Mallory when she needed a friend. I'm very interested to see how things develop with Mallory over time because I have a feeling she is going to have a larger role in future books. It was great to see Catcher, Jeff and Merit's grandfather again and I also really liked Jonas who we met briefly in the last book but didn't know much about until this one.

To go back to the shocker of an ending, I don't want to give spoilers so I'm just going to say that I felt like Chloe Neill had pulled out my heart, ripped it into shreds and then jumped up and down on the pieces. I just can not believe what happened at the end and really don't know what direction the series will take from here onwards. I had to read the ending twice because I didn't believe that could possibly have happened! I have to give Chloe kudos for creating characters that I feel so strongly about and I'm so relieved that the next book is already available - I don't think I could have coped with waiting for months to find out what happens next. Having said that I'm almost too scared to pick up Drink Deep, I have no idea what to expect and terrified that I won't get the outcome I'm desperately hoping for. I guess I'm going to have to trust that Chloe knows what she is doing & keep my fingers crossed that I'm not disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slow and lacking intelligence, 29 Sep 2011
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I have enjoyed this series as light reading trashy vampire nonsense, but found it more and more irritating that the author spent about 1/3rd of the narrative telling you what happened in the previous books, the odd reminder is fine but it's far too repetitive. Add to that how often you hear how much the lead character loves hot dogs, pizza and baseball, then add on the repetitive banter between the main characters, the does he doesnt he really love me and oh how blue is mallory's hair and how much does my father hate me and you are left with actually very little fresh story or plot. If it hadn't been on my kindle I would have thrown it in the bin. Read the first couple with a light heart and go no further is my recommendation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable, 6 Jun 2011
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I bought the first book in this series and read it in one day, needless to say I downloaded books two and three straight away. I just love these books and find the story and on off relationship between the two main characters Ethan and Merit fantastic. It is great that Merit is very independent girl and this only adds to the story, I found it quite whitty and comical in places. This fourth book is by far the best and I couldn't put it down. The relationship between Merit and Ethan is great and you can't help feeling sorry for Ethan, however all said and done the ending left me speechless, I found myself completely and utterly devastated. November is going to be a long time to wait for the next installment to be released, I have already pre-ordered and will be reading it as soon as it is released.

Worth every penny and would recommend to all my friends, this is why it deserves the five stars. I hope the next book brings us a happy ending after the current book and I am still reeling from the finish.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not many thrills, 6 July 2011
By 
Potterywhizz (Dorset) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hard Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel (Chicagoland Vampires Series) (Paperback)
I was a little disappointed with this one. Not a lot of action but a HUGE amount of vampire politics. I got slightly bored. One plot strand seemed like a reworking of a True Blood theme. I would have enjoyed more exploration of the other supernatural characters like the weres and fae. The surprise late in the story felt more like the author hearing the kerching of the cash drawer- why tie down heroine with long term love prospect in a series that the author presumably wants to run and run. Whatever, it meant a rather downbeat damp squib ending.In short this book doesn't move the plot on. I won't be as hungry for the next book. And Merit continually talking like a teenager rather than the academic she is supposed to be doesn't work for me either
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 15 Mar 2014
By 
Ms J. P. Squire "Triquetra Babe" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hard Bitten: A Chicagoland Vampires Novel (Chicagoland Vampires Series) (Paperback)
a fantastic book in the series, I have the whole series & am an avid collector/ reader, I will continue to read these as long as I have eyes in my head!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The ending!!, 31 Oct 2013
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It's going to be hard for me to talk about anything other than the ENDING *sobs*, but I'll try.

In terms of Merit and Ethan: After their *ahem* session in the last book and Ethan's subsequent 'freak out', Ethan spent the rest of Twice Bitten and most of Hard Bitten trying to win Merit round again. The blame for this turn-around I put entirely with Ethan, and I can understand why Merit wants to distance herself from him. It will take a lot of work from Ethan to regain Merit's trust, but it was nice to see him trying. I did get sick of all the half-truths and lies he told her, but I suppose he has a lot at 'stake' (sorry couldn't resist)!!

I enjoyed seeing Merit call Morgan out on a few things, because let's be honest he NEEDED to hear them. I still like Morgan in a I'm-sure-he's-shifty kinda way. So if Morgan's out as competition for Ethan, than hello Jonah!

The whole "Merit is mine" scene he provoked was brilliant.
I find all the stuff with Merit's father sort of distracting, but I wasn't expecting the level of involvement he actually had had with the vampires from the off. Clever and sneaky Chloe Neill!

I'm starting to sense warning signs about Mallory. I'm thinking her inner bad witch may come out to play soon.
A LOT happens in Hard Bitten and the Red Guard involvement has increased. It was also interesting to see the changed human opinion concerning the vampires; less as sexy and mysterious and more as evil, we must stake you all.

THE ENDING!! Er well, it would have massively ruined my day if I had read the Chicagoland series back when it was first published and didn't already have some semblance of what's going to happen. BUT reading the event actually unfold was really sad. Neill must have been expecting some kind of fallout from the ending and I wonder how far in advance she planned the series.

Much better than Twice Bitten, but also really frustrating. Hard Bitten is a good edition to the series in terms of world building and helping Merit grow.

4 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:

*Sometimes hanging out in pyjamas with a good book sounded like a phenomenal idea.

*Only a four-hundred-year-old vampire would wonder if a grad student could understand procrastination.

*"Be stubborn if you wish to, if you need to, but we know how this will end."

*It was my TBR-my To Be Read stack. The usual subjects were there. Chick lit. Action. A Pulitzer Prize winner. A romance novel about a pirate and a damsel in a low-cut blouse (What? Even vampire enjoys a little bodice ripping now and again).
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5.0 out of 5 stars ...., 19 Dec 2012
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I am still processing the end of this book, my heart is literally still racing. I'm intrigued to see where it will go from here. Can't really say much else, still In shock, all I can say is read it!
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