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.”
Great review! I’m slowly working my way through the series, too. I’m going to start the 4th book soon. My major complaint is Merit’s immaturity. I was glad to see I’m not alone in thinking she acts spoiled.
Yes Jen I agree. I am hoping that she grows and quickly.
I’m glad that you are continuing to enjoy this series Kimberly. I’m about to pick up Midnight Marked… I really like this series!
I am glad to hear that. I am hoping it improves for me, although elements I love
I think if I remember correctly, I felt the same way about this book. I think I liked the first one better.
Thanks Melanie, I am enjoying aspects, but not completely sold on the series yet.
I need to start this series!!! Great review 🙂
I am enjoying the banter and chemistry 🙂
I really love the relationship between Ethan and Merit. The other side characters were great. I was concerned we were going to get into a triangle and am so glad we didn’t. It worried me twice though. I would love to know how you get quotes when you are listening to the audiobooks.
Yes, I was glad the triangle resolved. LOL, as for the quotes if I love it. I stop, rewind and then say it into my phone voice to text or write it down.
You’ve got me curious about this series! I definitely like those quotes! 🙂
There are so many great quotes. Thanks Michele
The Bibliophile Babe
I need to get on to book 3! The slower, more political and less action packed aspect of it makes me lazy with picking it up. Completely agree with your review!
Thank you. I am hoping three picks up and I slip right in.
I remember loving the first three books I think and then for some reason not picking them up again, I think because I was spoiled on something big that happened and I didn’t want to read it after that. I do remember loving these characters though and all the tension between Merit and Ethan.
It happens Ali. I am glad you liked Merit and Ethan
Gosh I really need to get into this series. I’m glad that you are enjoying the series! It’s definitely up my alley, but of course so many books so little time. :/
Completely true…which is why I am trying to read series off my tbr/wishlist.
I get that! I’m trying to clear out some of my TBR pile as well. It’s insane. 😛 Good luck clearing up hours a bit!
Melissa (Books and Things)
I’m trying to remember if I got used to her narration quickly or not. I guess I’ll find out when I do more of this series later on. 🙂
I do know that there is a new narrator with book 5.
Lover Of Romance
oh I need to pick this author up soon. I have heard many great things.
I really like her new series, that starts with the Veil set in NOLA
I liked these to a point where she started to annoy me
You are not the first to say this, I am curious
I like to read a paranormal every once in awhile. And the fact that it is in a city I’m close to might make it interesting, too.
Agreed, I like when I am familiar with the city 🙂
This is one series I’m not sure I want to start now. There are so many books!
LOL, I know. I have been working my way through series, one book at a time.
Not sure but I think I have the first one of these in my massive tbr pile and I think it’s been there a very long time. I really need to pull it out and try out this series and your review makes me want to! Thanks 🙂
I am slowly making my way through series on my forever wishlist..LOL
I truly loved the first books in this series, Kim, I was a little hesitant in the very beginning, like you, but then, I came to love it. The snark is fabulous, and the sexy, light banter is very well done. I hope you’ll continue to enjoy the Chicagoland vamps and the other beings in this series 🙂
I love aspects, and plan to continue. I just learned there is a new narrator with book 5
“I assume you’ll need feeding soon?” “I’m a girl, not a pet.” haha, I love that quote!
This is a new series to me! Glad this was an enjoyable listen! The romance sounds nice (: Lovely review, Kim!
LOl, that made me giggle. I love the snarky comments.
Aah! This is another series I’ve always meant to start but haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m glad you enjoyed this second installment even if you wanted a bit more from it. I can see wanting the interactions between the group of characters and wanting a bit more on Ethan. It also seems a little uneven development-wise with Merit being so strong and yet acting like a spoiled child. I’m glad you liked it overall though, Kimberly. After I get caught up on a few other series, I’ll get started on this one…so I can be behind in it as well. *haha* 😀
I am working my way through a huge backlist of series on my wishlist ..one series at a time, one-two books each month..it is working too! I caught up on Kate Daniels and White Trash Zombie, finished Georgina Kincaid, started Psy-Changeling series and Dark Lover.
I read or listened to the first book some years back but I didn’t really love it. I know that’s the case often with first in series for me so I should try the second and see if I enjoy it more.
I figure with so many books and fans it has to be doing something right. I love the chemistry, I think the narrator is holding me back on my enjoyment a little.
Another series I’ll eventually get to. Looks like book 2 pulled back somewhat so hopefully it will regain the stride of book one. Love the salt and vinegar chip quote.
Isn’t that a great quote 🙂
I never got used to Holloway and welcomed the change in narrators to Sophie Eastlake (I think it’s #5 or #6). It’s now SO much better!
Oooo that is so good to know. I will hold on a little longer!!!
“The tale is filled with political issues, house squabbles and threats.” — sounds like a university campus sorority. Thanks for the post.
LOL, sort of!
Quinn's Book Nook
I’ve never read Chloe Neill before but I have heard good things. I’m just not super into paranormal romance. I think Merit might frustrate me, though. I hate when characters hold grudges and act ridiculous.
Thanks for the review.
I really like her new series, that begins with The Veil. It is set in New Orleans.
Ha!! I rated this one exactly the same! I read it so long ago, I never wrote an entire review but I did say in my GR review that I liked the first one better. I own the next two books so I had every intention of continuing. I love her best friend!! Great review!!! I love that you’re reading the “old” UFs!!!
I love elements of this series and want more in other areas. I will give it another audio to really grab me
This really looks cute, and I might have giggled a little at your “howling good” tag.
Ha..there are shifters too, but yes it was a good time 🙂
I’ve read a couple of books in this series and have really liked them! Nereyda LOVES this one, so I should probably get back to the series.
And yes! Ethan & Merit’s sexual tension was off the charts and a great part of the series!
Lovely review, Kim!
I am enjoying them and love the chemistry between Merit and Ethan!
Gah, I can’t believe I still haven’t continued this series after reading the first one years ago. I almost bought the first book on audio when it was on sale last week, just to restart the series. I didn’t and I’ll probably regret it.
I will let you know, I enjoy it but not like the KD series.
Sharon - Obsession with Books
This is a series I really need to catch-up on! I’m pleased you enjoyed this Kimba,I agree about Merit and the other characters.
I enjoyed the quotes you shared.
Glad to hear you felt the same way Sharon 🙂
I’m so late with this series but I’m glad yo see you’re having a nice time. I have the 3 first books in French and I know I need to read them!!!!