Review: Hard Bitten by Chloe Neill

Posted November 30, 2020 by Kate

Review: Hard Bitten by Chloe NeillCheck out on Goodreads | Buy on Amazon
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, Romance
Also by this author: Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1), Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2), Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3)
Series: The Chicagoland Vampires #4
Publisher: Berkley Books
Source: My shelves

Times are hard for newly minted vampire Merit. Ever since shapeshifters announced their presence to the world, humans have been rallying against supernaturals—and they're camping outside of Cadogan House with protest signs that could turn to pitchforks at any moment. Inside its doors, things between Merit and her Master, green-eyed heartbreaker Ethan Sullivan, are tense. But then the mayor of Chicago calls Merit and Ethan to a clandestine meeting and tells them about a violent vamp attack that has left three women missing. His message is simple: get your House in order. Or else.
Merit needs to get to the bottom of this crime, but it doesn't help that she can't tell who's on her side. So she secretly calls in a favor from someone who's tall, dark, and part of an underground vamp group that may have some deep intel on the attack. Merit soon finds herself in the heady, dark heart of Chicago's supernatural society—a world full of vampires who seem to be ready to fulfill the protesting human's worst fears, and a place where she'll learn that you can't be a vampire without getting a little blood on your hands.

I’m… quite speechless actually. I JUST finished this book, and now I’m sitting here trying to decide what I want to say, and how I feel. Wow.

Well, as a general introduction, hello! Welcome to book four of the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill :) If you’re new to the series, I recommend you start with my review of book one here :) This book was very political… in a very interesting way. I also really missed Ethan!! Especially after finishing it ?

Anyway, this book follows Merit (newly turned vamp, very strong, is Sentinel of her Vampire House charged with the protection of its occupants. Basically the Warrior in Charge / private investigator) as she’s investigating a new problem presented by the Chicago Mayor. According to the Mayor, Tate, if Merit and Ethan don’t stop the “rave problem” soon, he will arrest Ethan. But when someone from the vampire government (stationed in the UK) comes in for a visit, Merit is left to investigate the case alone. Turns out, someone is feeding the vamps drugs to make them super-aggressive, to the detriment of the humans. And Merit’s the only one with the balls to go against the vampire government to find answers.


What I liked: 

✨ Merit has a TBR ???!!! I know I loved her for a reason!! She literally has a stack of books in her room, which she dubbs her “TBR” ? The House librarian also often drops off books outside her door. I want a book faerie!! Totally fine if he also sucks blood :) Bonus points for the cute factor ? I’m getting off-topic…

✨ I continue to adore the sorority feel of the Vampire Houses!! Merit often comments on the living arrangements in the House, which she calls “dorm-style” with very small, simple rooms and shared common areas. But really, it feels like one big sorority sometimes <3 Boarding school stories are my favorite, and this definitely feels like one for adult vampires! Here for it ??

“I will never be far behind you. Do the things you need to do. Learn to be a vampire, to be a warrior, to be the soldier you are capable of being. But consider the possibility that I made a mistake I regret – and that I’ll continue to regret that mistake and tr to convince you to give me another chance until the earth stops turning.”

✨ Jonah!! My guy ? We get to hang with Jonah quite a bit in this book, and I have to say, I do quite ??? enjoy Jonah. Actually, Gray House in general seems like a pretty fun place to be!

✨ Ethan really stepped up his game here. Thus starts Ethan’s courtship of Merit… let the woo-ing begin! He was so gentle and affectionate in this one. He won me over, that’s for sure. I love a good nickname game and the way he calls her “Sentinel”??? Hullo. But … well, no spoilers, but this ended in a fiery ball of despair. If you’ve read this book, please let me know in the comments because I MUST TALK.


Point’s of Discussion:

✨ Calling all boys and girls! There are no men and women in this book. No males and females. Everyone is either a boy or a girl and it definitely just rubs me the wrong way ? We’re not in high school, please.

✨ The last 10 pages were like a one-two-punch + roundhouse kick in the face. One of the things I like about this series is how laidback and casual Neill’s storytelling is. It flows pretty naturally and isn’t a rush of action and deadlines and against-the-clock scenario’s. But there was a whole lot crammed into the end of that story, and it tied things up a bit too quickly and neatly for me. I was holding on for dear life.

✨ Merit deserves more credit. I know that she’s technically just doing “her job,” but Merit really goes above and beyond her call of duty and doesn’t get much acknowledgment for it.

It was time to get back to work.

✨ Can we talk about <the spoiler>? I’m completely desolate. This was never something I expected or thought would ever happen in any realm. It’s not uncommon for these things to… undo themselves later (can you tell I’m trying to be vague and un-spoilery?) and I can’t decide if I’m hoping that happens. On one hand, this could take the series into a very exciting new direction, and I think it might need that sizzle of change. But on the other hand… that was devasting. Shock, disbelief, dismay… ?? incredibly well-written.

✨ Darius is a complete asshole?? I love some political intrigue mixed into my fantasy books. I LOVE it ?? But the whole thing with Darius just seems so stupid. There’s no way such a powerful vampire is such a moron, right? What, are they expecting to rule vampires all over the world and manage their city relations from the UK? For everyone? What a moron. Really hated him. Granted, these are things I’m supposed to feel… but grrr. I guess we have a new villain?

✨ Malik. I’m sorting my thoughts on this new development and his sudden involvement in the series. Hmm.



To be honest, I’m struggling to remember my thoughts on the rest of this book. The last 20 pages really pulled the rug out from under me, and I’m still trying to decide if it’s a good or a bad thing. That said, Chloe Neill’s writing has been amazingly consistent throughout all these books so far!! It’s really pretty rare for me to read books like these so back-to-back, and I’m finding the transition absolutely seamless and absolutely captivating. I miss vampires, apparently :)

Series Reading Order


< Check out all my reviews from this series here! >

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Have you read a Chloe Neill book? Are you a vampire or a shifter lover? Let me know in the comments down below, I’d love to hear from you!

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