Book Review: Chloe Neill’s Hard Bitten

Posted June 6, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Chloe Neill’s Hard Bitten

Hard Bitten


Chloe Neill

urban fantasy that was published by New American Library (NAL) on May 3, 2011 and has 350 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites, Twice Bitten, Firespell, Hexbound, Drink Deep, Charmfall, Biting Cold, House Rules, Biting Bad, Kicking It, Blood Games, The Veil, Midnight Marked, Dark Debt, The Sight, Blade Bound, The Hunt

Fourth in the Chicagoland Vampire urban fantasy series based in Chicago and featuring Merit, the Sentinel of Cadogan House.

In 2011, Hard Bitten was nominated for The Romance Reviews for Best Urban Fantasy and the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Paranormal Fantasy.

My Take

I do like that Merit is standing fast against Ethan. Sure, she’s being snarky with her constant agreement and the “Leige” thing knowing how much it irritates Ethan. Hey, it’s what he originally wanted, he shouldn’t complain when he gets what he insisted upon…snicker… The best part is that Ethan gets it. He understands exactly what and why she’s doing this.

I also love that Ethan shows her such trust. I love that Merit is introducing him to Italian beef sandwiches and Mallocakes, fabulous pizza and Chicago dogs, chocolate in all its glories. I love that he finally stands up for her in spite of the political fallout it causes. So, damn it, Neill better have a damn good reason for what she does to Ethan… All that joy Ethan takes in the momentous events in history that he’s experienced. Never again to love Merit again. Heck, an old guy who proves he can learn new tricks…

As far as the mayor and Darius are concerned…WTF. What happened to fair treatment? The mayor can’t penalize an entire species for criminal acts committed by a few. How can he possibly get away with threatening to incarcerate Ethan if he isn’t even involved? And Darius’ head in the sand attitude is in direct conflict with his own desire for vampires to blend. How can the Chicagoland vampires blend when they’re being outed through the drug?

While Merit has continued to mull over the idea of joining the Red Guard, with the playout of events in Hard Bitten, I suspect she’s going to get a lot more serious about it. There’s nothing really holding her to Cadogan House anymore. I suspect she’s taken Morgan’s full measure. And with the Greenwich Presidium’s stupidity in full play, I suspect that Drink Deep, 5 will see Merit joining the RG.

There’s that time at the fountain when Ethan asks Merit to give him another chance and she explains to him that she learns very quickly. That he taught her that he would betray her at any opportunity, always be concerned with appearances. Never be sure he wanted her for herself and not for what she could do for him. Never be sure he wouldn’t break off with her if it afforded him a strategic advantage.

If only we could all learn as quickly as Merit…

The Story

The repairs to Cadogan House are coming to a close after that devastating attack by rogue shifters in Twice Bitten, 3. Meanwhile Ethan is continuing his campaign for Merit with sweetness, hope, attention, and flattery. All of which are softening our Merit up, slowly, slowly, slowly.

Mayor Tate, however, is cracking down on the Houses. Threatening Ethan with arrest if he doesn’t fix the crimes occurring. It’s a threat that brings the Greenwich Presidium down the Houses…all except for Celina — it doesn’t seem to matter what Celina does or how she hurts vampires and humans.

The Cover and Title

The cover is perfect! Merit in her leathers, sword in hand watching over the city of Chicago. The title suits as well, as events do bite hard on Merit.