The third installment of Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series (Twice Bitten follows Some Girls Bite and Friday Night Bites) finds Merit continuing to try to balance her personal life and issues with the more public one of being the Cadogan House Sentinel, a lead guard of one of the three vampire houses in Chicago. The vampires are growing in popularity, causing shifts in the supernatural world that was once hidden away. The shapeshifters are now convening in Chicago to possibly make themselves public, plus heal old wounds with the vampires from years past. Merit's master vampire, Ethan Sullivan, has offered her services to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene. No problem, right? Wrong - Merit not only has to deal with the assassins who are after Gabriel, but also a master who wreaks havoc with her senses and emotions, a best friend (and sorceress) with whom she is on the outs, and finally an offer from an outside group that could put Merit's loyalties to her house in question.
I have read all three of this series and am happy to say that the storyline is steadily being built forward and sideways where Merit is concerned. The dialogue Neill has created, especially between Merit and Mallory, her best friend before and after her transformation, is quick, chuckle-causing and normal to any two twenty-somethings. Age is a definite factor in the vampire world, as those who look young have been around for centuries, and power increases with age. Merit's quick rise to Sentinel of Cadogan House has caused some challenge since she is so new, and as the relationship between Merit and Ethan continues to heat up, Merit finds that the age difference is still a factor with her master's near four-hundred years of walking the earth.
As a librarian I am really enjoying that she tends to fall asleep with books, does a lot of research again in the House library, and in this book actually runs into the House librarian for the first time.
Neill does a nice job of having the characters give quick snippets of backstory in the first chapters so a reader picking up this book wouldn't be leaping into a pile of unknown characters and history, but who would want to miss any of the rise of this English literature graduate student turned feisty vampire elite?
Title: Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #3)
Author: Chloe Neill
Publisher: NAL Trade
Date: July 2010
Read: Library Book