by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #2
Narrator: Cynthia Holloway
Length: 11 hours and 44 minutes
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 3 cups
You'd think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we're enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite—fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross- and stake-wielding slayers. Don't get me wrong. Joe Public isn't exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven't stormed the castle...yet. All that will change once they learn about the Raves—mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior—but that doesn't make good copy for a first-time reporter looking to impress his high-society family. So now my "master"—the centuries-old yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan—wants me to reconnect with my own upper-class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires...and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn't want people and vamps to play nicey-nice—someone with an ancient grudge
I am continuing my audio listen of the Chicagoland Vampires series and in January, I listened to book two Friday Night Bites by Chloe Neill narrated by Cynthia Holloway. This urban fantasy series takes place in the Windy City where Merit and the Cadogan House investigate underground feeding parties and spies among their midst.
- I love the world Neill has created from the houses to vampires. The author does a wonderful job of explaining their hierarchy and rules that govern them.
- Merit is living in Cadogan House and adjusting to vampirism. We see growth in Merit as she accepts her roles, and also see how it affects her. We learn more about her vampire side and I am curious about the potential Merit has. Her friendships and such too a hit as she adapts into her role particularly her friendship with Mallory.
- Friday Night Bites delivered a darker tale than its predecessor Some Girls Bite. The tale is filled with political issues, house squabbles and threats. Celina is a villain you will love to loath and she provided some intense moments. She has a huge vendetta against Cadogan House. Merit’s Dad was interesting. *raises eyebrow* Can you say political shark? The investigation and conflicts between Merit and well…. EVERYONE kept things interesting.
- The relationship between Ethan and Merit added a lighter, sexier, and fun element. I enjoyed their banter and the snark was fantastic. We see them begin to respect each other but I hope they never lose their BITE. While both may deny it, you cannot miss the sexual tension. I thought Morgan was fun-loving in the first book but I found myself wanting to smack him. The vamp needs a timeout. Ethan can floor you with a look or jaded remark but I still want to LICK him! I worried about a love triangle in Some Girls Bites, but things are resolved by the end of installment.
- Cynthia Holloway continues to narrate and while not a favorite, she is growing on me. I cannot quite listen at a comfortable speed. On normal speed she speaks to slow and bumping it up some characters sound like they’ve enjoyed one too many coffees.
- In Some Girls Bite we had this gang of characters interacting but as Friday Night Bites moved the series forward we lost the interaction between this motley crew. Sure, the banter between Ethan and Merit helped, as did all the drama in her personal life, but I missed this close-knit group.
- While we see growth in Merit, we also see her hold grudges, and act like a spoiled child. I wanted more of the powerful, strong determined woman we witnessed in book one.
- As much as I like the world, I want more details on Ethan and other characters. I am hoping Neill shares their stories and history with us.
Quotes I Loved
“I assume you’ll need feeding soon?” “I’m a girl, not a pet.”
I wanted what most people wanted- love, companionship. I wanted someone to touch. I wanted someone to touch me back. I wanted someone to laugh with, someone who would laugh with me, laugh at me. I wanted someone who looked and saw me. Not my power, not my position. I wanted someone to say my name. To call out, “Merit,” when it was time to go, or when we arrived. Someone who wanted to say to someone else, with pride, “I’m here with her. With Merit.” I wanted all those things. Indivisibly.
“But I’ll admit that he’s kind of offensively delicious.”
“Like salt-and-vinegar potato chips.”
“Exactly,” I said, then sat up again. “Here I am, an upright vampire who owes my allegiance to a liege lord I can’t stand. And it turns out you’re some kind of latent sorceress who can make things happen just by wishing them. We’re the free-will outliers– I have none, and you have too much.”
She looked at me, then blinked and put her hand over her heart. “You, and I’m saying this with love, Mer, are really a geek.”