Narrator: Sophie Eastlake
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #8
Published by Tantor Audio on August 6, 2013
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Length: 10 hours 24 minutes
Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she’s already seen a lifetime’s worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.
Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.
Merit and her allies rush to figure out who’s behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there’s any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.
My Initial Reaction…
Chicagoland Vampires keeps getting better and better! After a couple disappointing books, House Rules and now Biting Bad are everything I had been missing!
Sophie Eastlake continues to be a breath of fresh air after enduring five books with Cynthia Holloway. Holloway gradually bothered me more and more; Eastlake is entertaining me more and more. She does a fabulous job with the voices and intonation depending on circumstances. If you stuck with the series on audio you’re now being rewarded. If you didn’t, now’s a good time to return/start.
For once Ethan and Merit don’t seem to be in any trouble – as a couple, that is. (There wouldn’t be a series if they were living happily ever after, now would there?) I was relieved that I didn’t have to spend the entire book waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now, I am like the only Jonah fan out there, but Ethan is re-growing on me. I say re-growing because I loved him initially, but after all his back and forth and excuses I grew pretty sick and tired of him. And there came in Jonah: strong, smart, sexy, and sane enough to KNOW he wants Merit. So Ethan, you snooze you lose. Except he doesn’t, because he’s Ethan. And with Biting Bad I’m starting to be okay with that again. He seems to have actually learned how to be both Master and her boyfriend, without falling into moments of totally assholery (yes, that’s a word!). And, to be fair, I think Merit has also grown a lot and is better prepared to be the live-in girlfriend of the Master.
There’s lot of relationship mending going on in Biting Bad too. Merit and Mallory are working on their relationship (yay! I love Mallory) and Mallory is working on herself. She’s come leaps and bounds since her imprisonment? with the Shifters – who it seems were doing more than just making her wash dishes! – and she’s ready to start wearing some big girl panties again. Oh and then there’s Mallory and Catcher – they are also mending. I think that Chloe Neill has done a really great job writing the interactions between Mallory and Catcher; you can really feel the hopeful tension mounting.
One of the things I love most about this series is that the secondary characters are almost as important as the principal ones and that continues with Biting Bad. Look forward to continuing developments with Jeff, Jonah, Lindsey, Chuck Merrit, etc.
The action all begins with a reunion between Mallory and Merit at their favorite pizza place, Saul’s. It’s supposed to be a chance for the two of them to have a normal girl’s night out like before Mallory went all psycho, but Chicago has different plans for them. Humans are rioting against vampires, starting by throwing Molotov Cocktails at the building that makes Blood4You and then rioting throughout the city. As you would expect, Merit is immediately caught up in the conflict and from the start it’s clear that Biting Bad will have the action we’ve come to love. The detective work is a lot more satisfying that it has been in previous books and I was pleasantly surprised quite a few times as pieces of the puzzle started coming together.
There are also several really great developments for Cadogan House as it continues its new life outside of the GP. The GP somehow manages to continue being a thorn in the side and I continue to want to reach in the book and slap them around. There’s some interesting developments on the GP front though and I think they’ll continue to be a pain for quite some time.
One of the things I appreciated most in Biting Cold was Neill’s ability to convey just how cold Chicago gets in the winter. It is a repeated thread of thought and, as anyone who has spent any time in the Windy City during the winter will confirm, that’s exactly what you’d expect. You can’t go through a Chicago winter without constantly thinking about how gosh darn cold it is and I loved the way Merit expressed that reality repeatedly.
Biting Bad is packed with action, sweet romance, twists, turns and even a few shocking to the point of tears moments. It’s one hell of a ride that leaves you hanging and ready for the next installment. Yep – it’s a cliffhanger ending and I’m just thankfully that Neill doesn’t plan on making us wait too long for the next book!