Audio Review | Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill

August 15, 2013 Reviews 6

Audio Review | Hard Bitten by Chloe NeillHard Bitten by Chloe Neill
Narrator: Cynthia Holloway
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #4
Published by Tantor Audio on May 13, 2011
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 368
Length: 10 hours 25 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals—and they're camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan, are tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.

Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn't help that she can't tell who's on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who's tall, dark, and part of an underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago's supernatural society—a world full of vampires who seem to be ready to fulfill the protesting human's worst fears, and a place where she'll learn that you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands.
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My Initial Reaction…

WhoaDid that just happen?? Ok so this book will shock the living daylights out of you by the end. I know I literally had to go back and listen again to make sure I heard right. Hard Bitten will entertain you from beginning to end – there’s humor, action, and sexual tension galore – and then it will pull the rug out from underneath you. I’m still recovering…

The Narration…
If you’ve read any of my previous Chicagoland Vampires audio reviews, you know that I find Cynthia Holloway just tolerable as a narrator, a view that seems to be generous in comparison with many of the reviews I’ve read. She doesn’t have the ability that great narrators have to bring characters to life beyond the written words, but in my opinion she also doesn’t destroy the characters. I do hear that there’s a new, better narrator starting with the next book and I look forward to the improvement.

The Characters…
Everyone is moving along pretty well considering the shapeshifters big reveal at the end of Twice Bitten, but surprisingly human feelings towards vamps hasn’t really changed for the better – in fact, it seems to be getting worse, which means our favorite Sentinel is busy. Merit is really growing up and we’re starting to see her act a lot more maturely in this book. Not only is she doing a lot better understanding and filling her role as sentinel, but she’s a full-fedged, competent member of the house guard. I also continue to enjoy Merit’s humor and sarcastic wit, it keeps me laughing and entertained.

Ethan is trying to earn back Merit’s trust – I’d say he’s matured, but can a 300 year-old vampire mature? I think it would be more accurate to say he’s learning to evaluate himself and his world a little bit through Merit’s eyes and while he’s still got a long ways to go, he’s getting it – I think. That doesn’t mean that things are better between these two. Quite the opposite. Merit is not ready to trust him after the way he hurt her in  Twice Bitten, resulting in some serious sexual tension for most of Hard Bitten. That, combined with Ethan’s efforts, will get your heart beating a little faster.

The Story…
In this book, Merit is dealing with yet another city catastrophe with her house right at the middle. Mayor Tate has blackmailed them with a threat to issue an arrest warrant for Ethan if they can’t find out (and stop) increases in vampire violence in Chicago. Merit hits the street to find out what’s going on, but has to do so with the GP breathing down their necks, blaming them for the negative publicity and forbidding them from investigation. I want to insert myself into the book and give the GP a piece of my mind – they are completely unreasonable and totally overlook Selena’s role in the Chicago Vampire’s publicity problems; instead it is Cadogan, and Merit more specifically, that are to blame. There’s detective work is fairly predictable for a good portion of the book, but some new culprits enter the scene to keep you on your feet. And, as I already said, watch out – this book throws in some unexpected twists that might just stun you.

Concluding Sentiments…
An action packed, shocking, gut-wrenching addition- this series just keeps getting better! Be prepared for the next book though – if you’re anything like me you will not want to wait!
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About Chloe Neill

Chloe Neill

Chloe Neill is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampires and Dark Elite series.

She was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest–just close enough to Cadogan House and St. Sophia’s to keep an eye on things. When not transcribing Merit’s and Lily’s adventures, she bakes, works, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys–her favorite landscape photographer/husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout. (Both she and the photographer understand the dogs are in charge.)

Chloe is represented by Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency. Chloe is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and the Romance Writers of America.

Photo by Dana Damewood


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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

6 Responses to “Audio Review | Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill”

    • Berls

      I have a hard time giving up on boos and I actually really liked the next one – I realized I may not be quite the Ethan fan that I thought I was. But I agree after that ending I was worried what the books would be like. I’m glad I stuck with it though – Biting Bad (the most recent one) was really good. You do have to whether a couple only ok ones though 🙁

  1. Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    This book broke my heart! And I have to admit the Chicagoland series never became the same for me afterwards 🙁 I’m really glad you’re enjoying it though!

    I agree, it’s difficult to find a narrator that really brings the characters to life, and that makes you want to know more about the story 🙂 I can recommend Slammed by Colleen Hoover – it’s the first audiobook I’m actually having a lot of fun listening to!

    Thanks for stopping by my FF post today. Have a fantastic Friday.
    Lexxie recently posted…Cover Reveal: Seven Years (Seven #1) – Dannika DarkMy Profile

    • Berls

      I was so shocked that my heartbreak was a secondary reaction. I liked the next book but I agree the series hasn’t been quite the same since. How far have you read? I just finished Biting Bad and I really think it had the feel of the earlier books (I’m behind on reviews).

      I’ll have to check out Colleen Hoover, I’m always looking for a good audio book. My favorite narrator is Amanda Ronconi – I’ve listened to her on the Soul Screamers Series and Jane Jameson and loved her in both.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      • Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

        I had trouble continuing to read after this one, and it all felt so not good later on… I can’t remember what happened in which book, so I’ll stay pretty vague here to make sure I won’t spoil anything for you.

        I can’t remember who the narrator is in Slammed, but she’s really good! I love how she brings Layken and Will to life.

        • Berls

          When I added it to my wish list on audible I think the narrator was Heidi something. But a narrator that brings characters to life is a real treat – so few are good at that.

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