Guest Review: House Rules by Chloe Neill

Posted February 4, 2013 by Jen in 4.5 stars, Guest Review, Rating A, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , ,

Please welcome Wendy, who brings you today’s Guest Review of… 
House Rules
Author: Chloe Neill
Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013
Publisher: NAL
Chicagoland Vampires #7
ISBN: #978-0451237101
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.
At the tender age of twenty-seven, 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.
What Wendy is talking about:
As usual, there’s a lot on our girl Merit’s plate. We have a vampire serial killer on the loose at the same time Cadogan House prepares for the dissolution of its relationship with the Greenwich Presidium. Ethan’s ex-girlfriend and Master vampire, Lacey, is in town, stirring up trouble between Merit and Ethan. Oh, and it’s time for Merit decide whether or not to commit to the Red Guard.
I LOVE the direction that Merit and Ethan’s romance takes… They’re becoming a solid couple, able to handle issues, even big ones, without freaking out and breaking up. I like for my UF books to have a strong female protagonist and a male partner who believes in her and backs her up, no matter what and this is finally what we’re getting from this series.
Interestingly enough, much like its Master and Sentinel, Cadogan House seems to have found its footing. The GP presents a major challenge to the House, using trickery to lure away their Fairy Security and to attempt to pull their assets (including the actual house ) right out from under them. Ethan leads them as a team to work together to save their collective asses. (And besides, who wants to see poor, homeless vampires? It takes away a little of the mystique and glamour.)
This is the first of these books in a long time that I enjoyed from beginning to end. I feel like the series has finally settled down and found its groove. There was a much better balance in this book between romance and mystery, suspense and humor. Merit and Ethan just keep getting stronger as a couple. There’s enough conflict between them to keep it interesting but not so much that it overwhelms the book and turns it into a vampire romance novel. (Not that I don’t enjoy those too!) Can’t wait for the next one!
Wendys Rating:
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)
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