Narrator: Cynthia Holloway
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #3
Published by Tantor Audio on July 6, 2010
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Length: 10 hours 15 minutes
Merit, Chicago's newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene - and to spy for the vamps while she's at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan's offering some steamy one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission. Merit must accept the assignment even though she knows that she'll probably regret it. And she's not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She'll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals - not least between her and a certain centuries-old green-eyed Master vampire. Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 3)
My Initial Reaction…
This series keeps getting better & better. I thoroughly enjoyed this book – the relationships between Merit and Ethan, Merit and Mallory, Mallory and Catcher are all developing with some fabulous twists and turns. This book came complete with sexy steamy moments and heartbreaking ones.
Cynthia Holloway has been a less than stellar narrator since the series started and she continues to be sub-par. For me, she’s tolerable – in that her narration doesn’t ruin the book. But she isn’t going to make the story any better either. There’s little inflection when characters speak and no differentiation between characters. For some this is intolerable. Since I have had much worse narrators (such as Joyce Bean), I’m just thankful that she doesn’t do absolutely horrible accents.
Merit is really coming into herself in this book. Now that she has completed the turn properly, she’s gotten much stronger and more skilled with her katana. Merit is fast and strong – a true force to reckon with. She’s also much more confident and now feels like she fits in with her fellow novitiates, a least a little bit. She’s also learning how to handle herself around Ethan and I’m loving their interaction.
In fact, I take back everything I said about being on the fence between Morgan and Ethan. It’s all Ethan, all the way. In this book the sexual tension between Ethan and Merit escalates to an all-time high. Between the training sessions (Ethan has replaced Catcher in this arena), their time together working on official Cadogan buisness, and just day-to-day Master and Sentinel interactions it’s one hot, sizzling scene after another. And there is a lot of sexual frustration just leaking through the pages (or in my case the headphones), leaving you just waiting for THE moment. Personally, I just wanted to reach into the book and shake Merit to her senses. I also wanted to slap Ethan.
I’m also really loving Gabriel Keene, Alpha of the US shifters. I’m a big fan of the shifters in general, thanks to Jeff, and Gabriel Keene is an equally cool character. He’s mysterious and clever and powerful as all hell. What I love about him though, is that he isn’t flashy. In a lot of ways he comes across as this gentle fatherly type, but you can tell that’s just a mask for a man you wouldn’t want to mess with.
In Twice Bitten the shifters are meeting, holding a convocation, to decide whether or not to stay (and as a result potentially come out to the public) or to run away to their retreat in Alaska. Tensions are high among the packs and not made any less tense by the invitation extended to Merit and Ethan to participate as security for their convocation. See, shifters and vampires have this long history of hatred, which is mostly centered on this very issue: the packs retreating when things got rough, leaving the vampires to deal with humans on their own. So Gabriel’s decision to bring in Merit and Ethan is a huge decision and not one without some controversy. And of course the shifter convocation isn’t without internal conflicts. There’s a lot of action, intertwined with vampire/shifter politics, mystery, and not to mention the tension between Merit and Ethan.
This was my favorite book so far in this series. It’s much faster paced, more shocking, and very emotionally complex. The ending is a shocker that will leave you anxious to pick up the next book.