ARC Review & Giveaway: Biting Cold by Chloe Neill (Blog Tour/Scavenger Hunt)

Posted August 6th, 2012 in Blog Tour, book review, Giveaway / 70 comments

Biting Cold

Book #6 of the Chicagoland Vampires Series

Chloe Neill

Publisher: New American Library (August 7, 2012)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback (337 pages)
Source: Review Request by Author/Pub (Thanks Chloe!)
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 stars)

Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans.

Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed. No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on. ~Goodreads

At a Glance
I have to admit, the beginning dragged for me, but by one-third the way through I was hooked till the end. I love the progression of this series. The review below has references to events in past books in the series.

The Good
Here’s the Story…
Biting Cold starts where Drink Deep ends. Merit and Ethan are on their way to protect the Maleficium (a book full of evil) from getting into the hands of Merit’s former best friend, Mallory. Mallory, a witch turned bad, plans on unleashing evil upon the world. Merit won’t let that happen. But after the big confrontation, things only go down hill. Now there is another evil being to deal with. One that allows no mercy or forgiveness. One that is gunning after Merit. Now Merit and her fellow Cadogan vampires must figure out who and what this new threat is and how to stop him before he destroys everything Merit holds dear.

Merit has Merit…
Once this book got going, I was 100% in for the ride. I am a huge fan of the Chicagoland Vampires series, and I literally jump up and down in joy when each new book comes out. It’s not an action packed paranormal kind of series. Well, it has action, but the focus is Merit’s struggle with her new life. Being made into a vampire against her will and now having to follow the rules every vampire must. Becoming a protector of her new family while trying to figure out her crazy relationship the Master vampire of the house. In Biting Cold, Merit has just gotten Ethan back and now her best friend is pretty much evil. But Merit is a strong little vampire. She always takes things in stride and does her best to keep everyone around her safe. She has grown into her role as Sentinel and pretty much calls the shots most of the time. She is completely in charge of her life, even when her world is uncertain. Merit is my hero.

EEEE! Ethan…
I was so happy to have Ethan back in the fray. I missed him. I even missed him and Merit constantly fighting each other over everything. I was sad to see his same insecurities and reservations about his relationship with Merit come to the forefront once again. But I guess Ethan wouldn’t be Ethan without his quirks.

Our Poor Mallory…
I was simply blown away with how far Neill took Mallory as a character. I wasn’t expecting it at all, and that makes me respect Neill even more. I like authors who have no limits with the lengths they will go to keep a great story fresh. I think Neill handled Mallory’s story very well. I like the direction she is taking her.

I am also impressed by how much the world is changing in this series. So many things happen in Biting Cold that will change the course of the series forever. People are growing, the supernaturals are both coming together and falling farther apart at the same time. And the decision made at the end of the novel has guaranteed that nothing will ever be the same. Hopefully for the better.

I Just Love this Series…
The action was really intense in this book because the opponents are people we know and somewhat care about. The mystery was well thought out and it took me a little while to really figure out the secrets. I also loved the bouts of humor during the dark times. Neill really has her dialogue skill down. I eagerly awaited the next conversation the whole way through this book. There are so many little side plots that I can’t wait until Neill fleshes them out.

The Bad
The biggest problem was the beginning. I just could not get into the story. I kept putting the book down. But then we reached about one-third way into the book and it turned into pure freakin’ awesomeness. That’s what earned it four stars.

Ethan bugged me in this book. He was such a cry baby. He did get better, but for the most part he just irritated me.

The Snuggly
Neill really made us wait for the big moment. I assume you have read the rest of the series, so you know that Ethan is back from the dead. I pretty much expected him to jump Merit’s bones without a second thought. Oh, but I was wrong. His brain got in the way once again by overthinking the situation. But don’t fret fellow fans, the big moment does come. And it is HOT!

I was a little saddened to watch Ethan screw up his and Merit’s relationship for the 100th time. I was hoping he had learned his lesson. But I do see the possibility of a normal, healthy relationship in the future.

Even though it took some time, Biting Cold blew my socks off. It had all the elements of a great book. It was fun to read, it was exciting, and I loved every character, even the evil ones. I can’t even wait for the next book. Highly recommended.

Chicagoland Vampires Series:
Book #1: Some Girls Bite
Book #2: Friday Night Bites
Book #3: Twice Bitten
Book #4: Hard Bitten
Book #5: Drink Deep
Book #6: Biting Cold
Book #7: House Rules (Feb. 2013)

Biting Cold Scavenger Hunt:

The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win?

Below, you’ll find a key word. Each participant in the Biting Cold Blog Tour has one, and when you put them all together in order, you’ll find a quote from a Chicagoland Vampires novel.

That quote is the passcode you’ll need to enter the Biting Cold Scavenger Hunt Giveaway, which will begin on August 11, 2012 on Chloe’s web site. The giveaway will end at midnight on August 17, 2012.

What are the Scavenger Hunt Giveaway prizes?

  • A complete set of Chicagoland Vampires audiobook CDs (generously provided by Tantor Audio)
  • A $25 CafePress gift card you can use in the Chicagoland Vampires store
  • Autographed copies of DRINK DEEP and CHARMFALL
  • A Chicagoland Vampires tote bag with other Chicagoland Vampires swag, including a mouse pad, bookmarks, and stickers!

I am also hosting my own giveaway. Chloe is so awesome she is sending me some cool Chicagoland Vampires and Dark Elite swag:

– CV bookmarks
– CV postcards
– CV stickers
– “I survived Hard Bitten” button
– A CV mousepad (NAVR or “Keep Calm and Cadogan”) OR an audiobook (it depends on what Chloe sends me)

So enter the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. This is a US Only giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Tour, book review, Giveaway

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70 Responses to “ARC Review & Giveaway: Biting Cold by Chloe Neill (Blog Tour/Scavenger Hunt)”

  1. Ashley

    Awesome review Jennifer! It kind of sucks the beginning wasn’t great, but I’m so glad things picked up for you after that! 🙂 I think I might have to get into this series – it sounds pretty cool!

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Yeah, but they all can’t be perfect so it didn’t ruin anything for me.I think you would love this series. There isn’t that much sex, it could almost be a YA, but there are some sex scenes. But to me it kind of has a YA feel…with gorwn ups! 🙂

  2. Silverlight

    I only read the first book in this series, but it’s not because I don’t like it, because I own the first 5 books in the series, it’s because I have no time to continue reading them. I only skimmed your review, so I won’t be spoiled!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  3. Rhonda D

    I so totally agree with you about Ethan. I sometimes wish he would man up and just accept that he loves Merit and that it will all work out. Of course then the series wouldn’t be as much fun. I am so excited Ethan is back. I just cried in Biting Cold. I bookmarked the page and cried over and over. Thanks for your awesome opinion.

  4. Ashley Montgomery

    I’ve just recently heard about this series. I’ve always been a vampire lover and I added the all of the books to my TBR/Wishlist.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Julie S

    I usually have the same struggle with the first third of a book and I have to push through it until I finally get into a book. Ethan.. I don’t think we can expect him to be anything except his quirky feeling ignoring self.

  6. Elisa

    I just read the first book and LOVED it! I am so happy to hear that things stay fresh and exciting, even if you do have to work a bit to get into this particular book. Thanks for the fun swag giveaway!

  7. Sarah (saz101)

    It’s only because I love you that I’m avoiding calling you mean names. *grumble grumble* WANT TO READ IT NOW.


    “I was sad to see his same insecurities and reservations about his relationship with Merit come to the forefront once again. But I guess Ethan wouldn’t be Ethan without his quirks.”


    Sheesh, you’d think he’d learn >:(

    And Mallory… MALLORY! *SOBS* I really hope this all winds up well. One of the things I loved most about CV from the very beginning was the rock solid friendship between Merit and Mallory–even when they were at odds with each other. It’s rare you see such a real, solid friendship between women in PNR/UF, and *cries* I really can’t wait to see where Neill take sit.

    You’re TERRIFYING me with this talk of Ethan screwing up their relationship. AGAIN. ADKGHAJLDFHLFHA.

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      LOL, no I would have never guessed. 😉

      It will be fine, just breathe. What did you really expect from Ethan, death doesn’t even change that man. But it will be okay, I swear.

      I think you will be satisfied with what happened with Mallory. It’s still sad but it was what should have happened in the end.

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Okay, in retrospect, I didn’t phrase that very well. Mallory is fine. I am just saying not all goes back to happy and normal at the end. There needs to be a healing period.

      I always get flak for using asshat in my book from my critique group, but I just say, my friend Sarah uses it all the time so I know it’s a word. hehe.

    • Sarah (saz101)

      In Mara Dyer, Mara call Noah an ‘asscrown’. As in he’s the crown that sits on the hat on his assholery 😀

      I don’t even know why I like that one so much. I have a potty mouth. NO problem swearing. But I can’t bring myself to say OMG with the normal ‘G’. It’s either ‘gosh’ or I say it in my head as ohemgee. Nor can I say ‘damn you’ or ‘damn person‘… I’ll day DAMN IT, but seriously. I’ll say anything, except taking the lord’s name in vain 😛

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Oh man, oh man, tears, freakin tears are running down my face from laughing so much. “Assholery” I can’t. I think I died a little, or maybe I just peed a little. Either way, I’m having a good time.

      Yeah, I can see the “lords name in vain” being bothersome. I kinda do it sometimes then I always feel bad. I am pretty liberal with the OMG’s though. They are just so dang convinient.

      I have learned to only cuss on paper because my mom has declared that my whole family can cuss except for me because I am a “lady.” Yeah, seriously. Now I kind of have it engrained in me not to swear out loud. Which is probably the reason I cuss to much in my book, lol.

    • Sarah (saz101)

      AHAHAHA! Oh goodness, that’s kind of hilarious. But you do seem so ladylike. It’s the hair ^__^

      I’m a BIG on the OMGs–but only because I don’t identify the ‘G’ the same as everyone else does. And… I get epic guilt with the Oh. My. NOT GOSH.

      Ahaha! Assholery is so a thing. I’m paraphrasing–the way Mara says it is different (assholery is mine, DAMMIT. I AM THE ASSHOLERY QUEEN. QUOTE ME ON IT), but… seriously, one of my fave parts of the book 😀

      Ha! Here:

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Damn hair, always getting in my way.

      I like Oh My Goodness. hehe. It’s so cute sounding. I use to say Oh My Gosh when I was a kid.

      OMG, that quote was the bomb. I must remember it.

      And don’t worry, I will not fight you on being the Assholery Queen, but you might want to rethink the name. It’s so naughty. hehe

    • Sarah (saz101)

      No, no… I’m pretty sure I’m sticking with the name. I like it. So many ways to take it *cackles*

      Hahaha! I still say oh my gosh XD
      I say goodness a lot. I recently started saying ‘for the love of godiva,’ but it doesn’t have the same ring to it ;D

      As for your hair, you know… you COULD cut it… just let me know… because I’ll steal it and wear it around myself XD

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      my new thing is just making noises. Like “Mehr” That’s how I spell it anyway. That’s pretty much my answer to everything, mehr. It annoys people, but I like it.

      For The Love of Godiva, now that’s a good one.

      I can’t cut my hair, I am a part of this club of no hair cutting. It’s very hush, hush. The first rule of No Hair Cutting Club is that we don’t talk about No Hair Cutting Club. O_o

    • Sarah (saz101)

      Ahahaha! Seriously, you’re like a teenager, communicating in grunts and noises. I do this to. ‘meh’, or ‘ieno’, which has been abbreviated from ‘ierno’, from ‘idunnoknow’ and 😀

      I think I pinched for the love of Godiva from Janet Reid 😀

      Oh goodness… and the second rule of the no hair cutting club is that you don’t talk about the no hair cutting club? I know it breaks the rules, but are you expelled from the club if someone forcibly cuts your hair and wears it around themself? 😀

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Like OMG, I am totally a teenager. Super cool. MEHR!!!


      Okay, I will make an exception just for you because you are so damn adorable and you make me laugh. You are talking about Hair Usurping. It’s more an urban legend. But I have heard that one can cut another’s hair, wear it, and join the No Hair Cutting Club by default. But beware. A person with long hair that loses it has been known to gain the powers of “Super Speed Throat Punch” You would never see it coming.

    • Sarah (saz101)

      OMFG. IT’S LIKE THE OPPOSITE OF SAMPSON. I cut your hair, THEN you get super powers? THIS IS NO FUN.

      *pouts* why don’t *I* get super powers? HUH? HUUUUUUH?

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      You get my freakin’ hair, is that not enough? You are spoiled!!!! *Sighs* Fine. I now bequeath you the power of…THE SILVER UNICORN. (a Jenna Marbles reference, she’s from YourTube, you’d like her)

    • Sarah (saz101)

      OMFG. When I was a kid I must have watched The Last Unicorn a KABAZILLION TIMES.

      Then I couldn’t find it again for YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS to the extent I started thinking I imagined it. THANKS TO THE MAGIC OF AMAZON AND IMDB I NOW KNOW I’M NOT HALLUCINATING! WOOT!

      Oh goodness… did you ever watch The Neverending Story? I’ve been dying to re-watch 😀

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      Okay, The Last Unicorn is not something I watched, but now I am interested.

      But hell yes I have seen Neverending Story. It’s like my fav movie ever. Watched it so many times it is now ingrained in my head.

    • Sarah (saz101)

      YES! But it didn’t matter how many bloody times I watched, the creepy ass black dog scared the shit out of me. I’m dying for a rewatch. And the Last Unicorn? SO MANY FAMOUS VOICES! It’s an animation.

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      LOL. Yeah, that dog gave me nightmares. I use to have a lot of nightmares of Neverending Story. I don’t know why. It is kinda creepy for a child though. But then I would watch Freddy Kruger and not have one bad dream. *Bad brain, start working right*

      Is amazon the only place I can find Last Unicorn?

    • Sarah (saz101)

      Seriously, me too. And I had recurring nightmares for YEARS starring the great big woolly dog from Sesame Street. And Gremlins *shudders*

      Amazon’s the only place I’ve looked. I’m sure it could be elsewhere? It seemed to be a bigger deal in the US than AU 🙂

  8. Michelle

    So glad you enjoyed it! I would hate if it was disappointing. Do you think Chloe will write a spin off series? If so who would you like to read about? Personally I would love to read more about Jeff because he’s so cute.

  9. RedRose

    **spoiler** for those who haven’t read***

    One thing I wonder about though is if Mallory’s powers get stripped will Ethan live or die? My other thought on this is if her powers are stripped will there be a way for Merit to bring him back? Or is Mallory even bad? Could the guy who’s been mentoring her actually be behind it? All these quesitons and still a long time to find out. Or is it a long time? :p

    **spoiler** for those who haven’t read***

    • RedRose

      You know what makes this funny is I had a hard time getting into this too and now I can’t stop thinking about what will happen next. Too bad all the books aren’t out yet. And then again we wouldn’t have Ethan and Merit to look forward too. 😛

    • Jennifer L. Bielman

      I think that’s what Chloe had in mind. She left us with a bit of uncertanty so that we would think about the book long after we put it down. I ask myself the same questions too.

      I don’t think Mallory is evil persay but she now has the capacity for the trait. I think Ethan is no longer connected to Mallory, so even if she loses her magic, he will be fine.

  10. Liz S.

    Merit and Ethan are wonderfully complex characters. Watching their relationship evolve is sometimes gut wrenching, but well worth the ride. Just got my copy today of Biting Cold and hope to try and understand Mallory at little more. I enjoyed your post very much.

  11. whitewolfreads

    OMG the wait to get my hands on this book is killing me! Besides more Ethan 😛 I’m really looking forward to reading more about Mallory and where Neill takes her. Thanks for the review (even though it makes me want to read this book even more)!

  12. Maris

    Hi Chloe, I absolutely love your series. I was wondering if you have any alternate scenes or deleted scenes that didn’t make it into your books? If so, are any plans to post them?


  13. Sizzle C

    I love Chloe Neill and I can’t wait to read this book! I need to know what happens with Ethan and Mallory, and all of them! 🙂

  14. Dynie

    I wanted to start on this series a while ago but there are so many good books coming out all the time I can’t seem to get to it. It would be great to win this so I can get going on it after all I can see Chicago from my house. Thanks for the chance to win. Lately I’ve started with audio books so this would be great.

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