Tuesday, February 5, 2013

House Rules by Chloe Neill

Title: House Rules
Author: Chloe Neill 
Genre: Urban Fantasy 
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #7
Publisher: NAL Penguin
Number of Pages: 352
Source: Publisher 

In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps. At the tender age of 27, 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.

The Chicagoland Vampire Series by Chloe Neill will always hold a special place in my heart. This was the series that made me love reading about vampires again. Merit was the first Urban Fantasy heroine that I really liked and could relate to. She was just all around cool. I loved the early books in this series with a passion, and I was all aboard Team Ethan. However, the last few books had a different feel then the first few and after Biting Cold I was at a crossroads with the series. Did I stop or go on? I decided I just couldn't break up with Merit and Ethan and as the release date grew near, discovered I was super excited to read House Rules. 

I am glad that I gave House Rules a chance, because it was immediate from the beginning that the series was almost back to it's original form.  While the plot of the missing vampires didn't completely hold my attention, the characters themselves did. I loved the reappearance of the shifters, (I would love Gabriel's pack to have a spin off series) and watching Merit struggle with trusting Mallory again. I also liked that Catcher and Jeff Christopher seemed to have more of a role then what I remembered them having in the last couple of books. 

Merit and the Red Guard still play a pretty big role in this book, and I am happy to say that Jonah was involved a lot in this story line. I was afraid that his character would go the way of Morgan, and was glad that didn't happen.  (I'm still not over the fact that he has pretty much disappeared from this series after being so involved in it in the beginning.) 

There were times I wanted to shake Ethan and Merit senseless for being so stubborn over certain things. I just felt by this point in the series there could have been other ways to keep their relationship interesting other then the great misunderstanding plot. This bugged me because of (mouse over to see spoiler) Merit spent the whole book worried that Ethan would be upset over her involvement with the Red Guard. He finally found out because someone saw Merit with Jonah and she had to tell him. Merit told him why she joined the Red Guard, but he just got upset and they ended up breaking up for a bit. I just thought that Ethan should have trusted Merit's motives on this one after all they have been through.

Other then the great misunderstanding though, I loved seeing Merit and Ethan together again, and feel that this book really made up for the last two.