Chicagoland Vampires Series, #7
by Chloe Neill
Publisher: NAL Penguin (Feb. 5, 2012)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback (352 pages)
Source: From Publisher for Blog Tour
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository / Books-A-Million / IndieBound
Rating: ★★★½☆ (3.5 stars)
At the tender age of 27, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal—tested like never before.
It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined.
At A Glance
I had a love/hate relationship with House Rules. I loved the concept but I often put the book down. It took sometime for me to really get into it.
Let me start off by saying I really do love this series. I like how the vampires in this world aren’t creepy or scary. They are normal like you and me, but they just have some special powers. They are relatable and in essence live normal lives except for a few vampire type problems. I can’t think of any other vampire series like this one. That being said, though House Rules didn’t have the pizazz as the previous books in the series, it was still very much enjoyable.
I think many fans have been dying to see what happens next after Ethan and his House of vamps decided to finally leave the horrible GP, the ruling group of vampires who make all the rules. It’s an understatement to say the GP are no longer out for the good of all vampires. They are out for themselves only. As they say, absolute power, corrupts absolutely. And though I am proud of Ethan for finally removing his House from under their thumb, it was hard to see the lengths the GP would go to bring down these innocent vampires. If it wasn’t obvious in the past couple books, the GP have no limits, no reservations in their cruelty. And to add more crap to an already ceiling high crap pile, some psycho is going around killing vampires. And of course it falls to Merit to find the killer before his list of victims grows any bigger.
Merit had so many obstacles in this book it’s hard to keep count. I truly don’t know how she can stay sane dealing with everything she has on her plate. I think she did a pretty good job of keeping it together. I love how Merit always takes the initiative. She makes the hard decisions when no one else can. She is the kind of person that would do anything, even take a stake to the heart, to save a friend. And with her and Ethan finally starting to build a life together, I can see Merit opening up, becoming whole. Not that she needed Ethan to make herself whole, she just needed someone to finally love her for her, not her connections. When the inevitable fight came, I was so worried that we would see the same Merit and Ethan as before. They still frustrated me in many ways, with Merit’s insecurities and Ethan’s pig-headedness, but I also saw a change in them. They didn’t break-up right away, they let each other have space while they figured out what was the right thing for them as a couple.
I do love where the series as a whole is going. Now, with Cadogan House free from the GP, I hope their relationship with the Rogue vampires becomes even stronger because they need allies. I am still pissed off at the other Houses for using Cadogan’s House as their personal helpers but never returning the favor in fear of GP’s reprisal. But I see a change coming, and I can only hope things get better from here.
The writing was well done and the side characters were, as always, entertaining in their own ways. It’s nice to see Mallory doing better as well. Though I feel like Merit in that it’s hard to forgive what Mallory did, I am finding myself warming to her more and more. Mallory use to be one of my favorite secondary characters ever. I hope I feel that about her again sometime soon.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get into this book for the longest time. It was too slow and the whole Merit being a detective thing just wasn’t working for me. I know she is often investigating crimes in each book, but this time around I didn’t find it engaging.
Ethan annoyed the crap out of me in House Rules. His attitude in past books has bothered me before so I wasn’t really surprised when it happened this time, too. He really knows how to act like a baby when he doesn’t get his way. It’s so weird how he can come across so pompous and “mature” as the Master of the House, then act like a child when Merit doesn’t follow his every command or reveal every single aspect of her life.
It’s nice to see Ethan and Merit finally together. They don’t have much time together because of all the chaos, but the few stolen moments they get are both sweet and sexy. And we actually get a semi-sex scene that I just loved. Ethan can be so naughty and flirty. I love that side of him.
House Rules is not the best book in the series, but for fans, it is a must read. The Cadogan vampires are making huge progress in their bid for freedom. I am dying to see what is going to happen next. Recommended for fans of the series.
Ethan grinned and crooked a finger at me.
“I don’t perform on command,” I reminded him.
He unsnapped the top button on his jeans.
My eyes widened. “Sneaky Bastard.”
“Yo,” Jeff answered, his voice ringing through the Bentley’s impeccable stereo system.
“Hey, it’s Merit.”
“Merit. Have you finally decided to ditch the zero and get with the hero?”
Ethan cleared his throat–loudly–while I bit back a smile. I didn’t see anything wrong with reminding Ethan that I had other options, even if they were slightly goofy options I’d never actually take advantage of.
“Jeff, you’re on speakerphone in Ethan’s car. He’s driving.”
There was an awkward pause.
“And by ‘zero,'” Jeff quickly corrected, “I meant, you know, you should…um…start liking the White Sox. Go, Sox,” he weakly added.
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Want more chances to win? You can also enter Chloe’s House Rules Grand Prize Giveaways, which will run January 30 through February 7 on Chloe’s web site.
What are the Grand Prize Giveaway prizes?
Prize One: The Paper Prize
- A complete set of autographed Chicagoland Vampires novels
- A $50 gift card from Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice)
- A set of personalized bookplates, courtesy of Felix Doolittle
- A Chicagoland Vampires tote bag