So my reading choices this year seem to be all over the place – my usual genre is historical romance and I haven’t read as many of those so far. My latest book took me back to the vampire world, a genre I’d read extensively a few years ago. This is the second book in the Chicagoland Vampires and features a young woman newly turned vampire in Chicago, where vampires and shape shifters are out in the open. I haven’t read the first one, but I don’t think it was a problem as I was able to get the drift of what happened despite feeling a little lost in the introduction of characters at the start of the book. The first book is Some Girls Bite, in case anyone is interested. At present, there are 13 books in this series – I’m not sure if I will try for all of them though.
In this book, our heroine Merit is about to move into Cadogen House where her master/maker Ethan Sullivan is leige over that faction of vampires. Merit was a grad student before she was turned, and she has been slowly adjusting to life as an undead. She has been appointed Sentinel of the house, which is a guard, and she is training for this position. It’s definitely not the life she expected. She is dating Morgan, head of the Navarre House, mainly as a way to get information from him while at the same time she is wildly attracted to Ethan. I admit, Ethan sounds like the most charming, seductive vampire in quite some time. He’s over 400 years old, blond haired and emerald eyed, and tempting Merit to give in to his allure. The chemistry between these two is scorching.
Footsteps, and then he was next to me, his body behind mine, his lips at the spot of skin just below my ear. I could feel the warmth of his breath against my neck. The smell of him-clean, soapy, almost discomfortingly familiar. As much as the want of it disturbed me, I wanted to sink back against him, let him envelop me.
Part of that, I knew, was vampire genetics, the fact that he’d changed me, some kind of evolutionary connection between Master and vampire.
But part of it was much, much simpler. “Merit.”
Part of it was boy and girl. I shook my head. “No, thank you.”
“Don’t deny it. I want this. You want this.”
The plot of this book revolves around stopping vampires that are gathering for Raves to drain humans of blood. Merit and Ethan have to spend time together, attending social events that make them more aware of each other than ever. Along the way, they discover that someone in their own house is plotting against them, and another centuries old vampire is out to get Merit. At the end of the book, there was an introduction to the leader of the shapeshifters and the next book will take Merit into their world.
It’s another different take on the vampire myth, which I’ve read my share of. There are some similarities in lore, but these vamps are more human looking and they need to consume food as well as blood to survive. In Merit’s words “Vampires were hardly the monsters we were made out to be in fairy tales and television shows. We were hardly different from humans, but for the genetic mutation, fangs, silvering eyes, and periodic penchant for blood. What? I said ‘hardly’ different!”
I’ve always enjoyed a good vampire book, there’s something endlessly fascinating with the sensuality of them. I’m curious to see where Merit and Ethan end up, so I’ll read a few more in the series to see how it goes.