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on 20 March 2013
Came across them by accident but they are a great series of books - well worth reading and very enjoyable.
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I'm going to assume that anyone reading this review has already read the first six books in the series so although this will be spoiler free for House Rules it will probably contain spoilers for the earlier books. If you are new to the series it's one I'd highly recommend but please don't read beyond this paragraph because you really do need to read the books in order starting with Some Girls Bite.

After the revelations at the end of Biting Cold I knew things were going to get even more interesting in this book and I wasn't disappointed. Cadogan House have decided to opt out of the Greenwich Presidium and stand alone but as you can imagine the GP aren't going to let them go easily. As the countdown to the split begins the GP make their presence known in Chicago and they really put the pressure on Ethan and the whole of Cadogan House to change their minds. As if that wasn't enough for Merit to worry about she is also asked to investigate the disappearance of two rogue vampires. Cadogan are trying to form alliances with the rogues since they'll all be in the same boat soon so they can't turn down the request for help even though the timing couldn't be worse. Can Merit figure out who is behind the attacks before they move on to targets even closer to home?

There really is so much going on in this book and it had me gripped from beginning to end. The GP are so sneaky in the way they go about things and it isn't going to be easy for Ethan, Merit and the others to find a way to fight them at their own game. They are threatened with losing everything and it looks like their decision to leave the GP could have been a mistake after all since it has earned them some powerful enemies. Neither Ethan nor Merit are the type of characters to back down from a challenge though and they definitely aren't going to be forced into changing their minds due to the GP's underhand tactics. If they can't win by playing fair then they're just going to have to play dirty too and thankfully they have a few tricks of their own up their sleeves. There are also some very interesting developments when it comes to Merit and the Red Guard. I've been fascinated by Jonah since he first appeared in the series so I enjoyed seeing more of him here and I can't wait to see the knock on effects that Merit's choices will have in the future - there are bound to be some unexpected ones!

Merit and Ethan's relationship has never been particularly smooth and there are definitely forces at play trying to keep them apart in House Rules. Thankfully they are both now more secure in their relationship and although they hit a few bumps along the way they managed to deal with them much faster than they would have in the past. We get to see both Merit and Ethan show a little of their jealous sides but we also see them talk things through like adults and actually learning to make compromises together. I never once felt that they wouldn't be able to work through their issues and come out stronger on the other side and it's nice to finally seem them in a better place in their relationship.

I think it was the action I loved most in House Rules, there is just so much going on but it never got confusing. Chloe Neill wove the different plots together brilliantly and gave us a little of everything - mystery, action, romance and of course the humour fans of the series have cone to expect. It was nice to catch up with some of the other side characters too, Jeff and Catcher had a bit more page time in this than they had in the previous book but we also get to spend time with Mallory who is still working for the shapeshifters as she pays her debt to society. I was really pleased with how realistic Mallory's interactions were with both Merit and Catcher. Mallory was Merit's best friend for so many years and she still loves her in spite of the things she has done but that doesn't mean she can trust her. They both want to rebuild their friendship but they also understand that it is going to take time and even then they may never get back to where they were before Mallory went off the rails. I think one of the things I love most about this series is how many layers there are to all of the characters, even the side characters have depths to them and it makes spending time with them even more enjoyable. I'm really happy that this series is still going strong and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.
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on 9 March 2013
We're well along in this series and we really care about Chloe Neill's characters. As ever, they are all "human" no matter how bizarrely supernatural. And oh dear, we see Ethan in a very human sulk in this book! Mind you, he has more than your average load of responsibilities to deal with, given that the Greenwich Praesidium is trying hard to bring down Cadogan House whilst still appearing to be the benevolent overlord to the rest of the vampire world. And did I mention that his girlfriend has signed up to an organisation dedicated to keeping an eye on the Masters? You can imagine how that revelation turns out. Ooh Merit, you're in trouble...

Once again, Chloe Neill has produced a thoroughly enjoyable book, grounding its supernatural goings-on in a very believable Chicago. This installment has less of the weird critters and more solid scheming and confrontation, making it probably a better read than Biting Cold (which I still enjoyed).

Counting down to the next book!
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on 28 April 2013
I love this whole series and this is one of the best stories.

Chloe Neill does an excellent job of blending the mundane with the fantastic to create something unique - a world where supernatural beings live with humans not just among them.

What makes this series different from all the others I've read (and there's a lot!) is that these vampires are pretty normal, they have some very antiquated rules and ceremonies but they're daily lives, although nocturnal, are like anyone else's. They go to work, they go out drinking with their friends, they fall in and out of love.
As anyone who's read any of the other books will know the main character is a slightly rebellious, food loving, nerdy, English Lit. major, with a serious chocolate addiction. And that's who she remains to be, just because she happens to have a few physical enhancements, a sunlight allergy and a need for "Vitamin B" doesn't suddenly make her a different person. As several characters say a vampire is what you are not who you are and this is the only series where this is true, where not everything is about the differences.

The other thing I like about these books is the mystery side of the stories and the way that the investigation is a mix of magic and science. Think Sherlock Holmes with fangs.
What makes the investigations even more interesting is that vampires have long lives and longer memories so you could be looking for a centuries old motive that leads back to another country, or a mugging gone wrong you never know.
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on 17 February 2013
If you haven't read this series but are an Urban Fantasy fan then I urge you to read these books. Basically we have Merit a 27 year old woman who was turned into a vampire in order to save her life. The majority of vampires belong to groups of Vampires known as Houses and Merit belongs to the Cadogan House whose master is the handsome yet arrogant vampire Ethan Sullivan. There have been so many ups and downs between these two but things seem to be on an even keel with House Rules that is until the Grenwich Presidium roll into town, Ethan's ex turns up and vampires are being murdered. Will Merit ever have a boring peaceful life?

The first four books in this series are amazing in my opinion. I love them and have in fact read them more than once. Then at the end of book 4 there was a HUGE shock which was followed by two very weak books the last one in particular was not good. So it was with trepidation that I started book 7 House Rules. Would Ms Neill be able to capture the story that I used to love so much or would the series continue in the weakened state that was book 6. Well I am pleased to say that Ms Neill has got the Chicagoland Vampires back on track.

The characters seem to have developed some and Merit and Ethan's relationship has finally been sorted out. The plot was very easy to work out but I enjoyed it none the less. It did help that there was some awesome vampness going on with silvering of eyes and Ethan being particularly delicious. I have once again been captured by this series and I'm excited for the next book Biting Bad to be released in August. I am going to give House Rules 4 stars.
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on 11 March 2013
Loved this book as much as the previous ones in the series. The story this time is both a murder mystery and a continuation the House Cadagan from the last book. Well written as expected and I can't wait for the next one.
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on 18 March 2013
Once again an excellent read. Compares well with previous books and I am enjoying the continuing series. At the rate I read though - I wish author could write quicker! Can't wait for the next installment
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on 26 January 2016
Very annoyed. I ordered this book thinking it was a new story in this great series, but it's not. I actually already own a copy of this book with a different looking cover from years ago. Buyer beware!
I would have given only 1 star due to this annoyance, but it is still a great story and I couldn't do that to one of my favourite authors. All her books are amazing, I just don't want multiple copies of the same thing!
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on 4 March 2013
I have read this series and have enjoyed the characters and the storylines which have never failed to disappoint. Unfortunately I felt this book was just a stop gap to what is a new chapter in the Chicagoland new beginning. Nothing really much happened in this book which was a bit disappointing, the storyline was a bit see through from the beginning for me, maybe its just I have read something similar recently and found this book left me a bit wanting. I am not saying that if you are a fan you wouldnt enjoy this book. it just seems that Ms Neill was maybe just using this book as filling time until the next book is out which is a bit of a let down and not what you would be used to from Ms Neill as her writing has always been consistently good.

I did enjoy the book but it wasnt half as good as the previous releases. Think we need a bit of action and a bit of fire in the next one please :)
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on 21 December 2013
Many changes are taking place in the lives (or should that be deaths?) of the Windy City Vampires and Merit is in the thick of it again. The characters have grown well over the series so far, but I have a feeling that some are being slowly dropped by the wayside, only time and maybe the next book will tell us!
I found the main plot enthralling whilst the major sub-plot was a bit of a 'just to prove we are the good guys' bolt on . Still well worth the reading and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
If you are coming fresh to the Chicago Land Vamps, please start from the first book, you will enjoy the unfolding story all the more.
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