- Title: Hard Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, Book 4)
- Classification: Adult Fiction
- Genre: Urban Fantasy
- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: New American Library; 1 edition (May 3, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 0451233328
- ASIN: B0064X80Q8
- Author's Website: http://www.chloeneill.com/
'Q: And then what happened, Mr. Jackson?
A: [Shaking his head.] The hunger, the lust it got them. Drove them. They killed three girls. Three of them. They drank until there was no life left.'
An accusation has been made against the vampires in Chicago. Vampire raves have reportedly been popping up all over town and, according to the accusations, mortals are being drained to death.
"I Want for you, for us, to do the right thing for the city of Chicago. I want for you and yours to have the chance to take control within you own community." Tate linked his hands on the desk and looked us over. "I want this problem solved. I want an end to these gatherings, these raves, and a personal guarantee that you have this problem under control. If it's not done, the warrant for your arrest will be executed. I assume we understand each other?"
Mayor Tate is not happy. He is holding Ethan, as the senior Master in Chicago, responsible for putting an end to the raves and any violence associated with them. With the tension between vampires and humans already high and talk of a recall election, Tate is trying to put an end to anything that could put political career in jeopardy. If they can't put an end to the problem, then Ethan will be arrested and Cadagon House might be closed.
Merit, with a little help from Johan, her RG (Red Guard) contact, will investigate and discover that a new drug has hit the streets. A white little pill with a 'V' inscribed into it's surface. They'll have to find out if it's for vampires or humans and what exactly it does. It looks to be the key to the violence that is happening within the city. Ethan's hands will be tied from investigating because Darius, the Master of the Houses is in town and is forbidding him from getting involved.
This is the fourth book in the Chicagoland Vampires series (the second book of the series that I've read) and I'm declaring this series a must read for me. I'm reading them out of order, but I tend to do that a lot with books. Luckily, I've had no problem figuring out what is going on.
I loved the relationship going on between Ethan and Merit. I was waiting for Merit's resolve to melt beneath statements like, "consider the possibility that I made a mistake I regret--and that I'll continue to regret that mistake and try to convince you to give me another chance until the earth stops turning." and "I'll have you in my bed again, Sentinel. And at my side. That is a promise." I loved how she held her ground because she still didn't feel as though she could trust him. In a prior book Ethan felt he needed to put the good of the House (Cadagon House) above all else and broke off their relationship.
New and old characters pop up in this book. McKetrick, the leader of a new militant style anti-Vampire hate group, makes his presence and hate known. He's stirring up trouble all around the town. Plus, Celina, who was supposed to be in Europe is back in town. McKetrick and Celina are both potential trouble makers who could be mixed up with the new drug being found about the town.
The ending was a complete shocker, or it would have been if I hadn't read the fifth book of the series first. *smirk* I adored all the action and twists and turns the author threw our way. I adore all the characters, both main and secondary, and the world Ms. Neill created. Plus, I'm originally from the Chicago suburbs and I found myself missing the city I took field trips to when I was in elementary school and whose bars I caroused on my 21st birthday. Mentions of Italian Beefs, Red Hots, Chicago pizza, etc all brought back memories, so if you're wondering if the books brings up true images of Chicago, I can attest that they do. Loving the series, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses.