The 8th book in the Chicagoland Vampires series and I still approach each one of them with caution. Chloe Neill has shown that she is not afraid to go there and that has kept me on the edge of my seat each time I open one of these books. We all know what caused this trepidation in me and I am truly hopeful we never have to go through something like that again.
Merit and Mallory are still trying to repair their BFF status. It is amazing what trying to burn down the city will do to your interpersonal relationships, but Mallory is working at it. They meet for dinner in hopes of dissolving some of the remaining tension but they are interrupted by a vampire hating mob.
“Once upon a time, I tried to have dinner with my best friend, and the apocalypse happened.”
They have a near escape without the mob realizing Merit is a vampire and without Mallory releasing extreme magic. She does use a small amount to create a diversion but it isn’t anything like what she has done in the past.
With Mallory safe Merit returns to Codogan House to find out that the General Presidium is up to their old tricks. They have declared any Codogan vampire an enemy of the GP and enforced strict punishment upon anyone that associates or does business with the house. It doesn’t seem to matter that Codogan was responsible for saving Darius, someone else is pulling the GP strings and they have decided Codogan vampires are the bad guys.
The two main conflicts for Biting Bad are established pretty early in the book and I was thankful that Ethan and Merit were going to be left out of this one. Certain threads that were left open with the GP in previous books were addressed here and partly answered. The book ends on a cliffhanger that while not like books of the past, it does have me looking forward to what will happen next. McKetrick is mostly the other main conflict and we see a lot of him. His part of the story was resolved and I won’t say how but I will say that I was satisfied.
I really needed a book where Ethan and Merit were solid and that is what I got. They are so solid that Ethan even goes to a family dinner as Merit’s significant other. I won’t pretend that their future will be all roses but for it to be like that for now, I was happy. There are still some important questions that are left hanging, one being the green-eyed child Gabriel saw in Merit’s future. That subject matter is something that is on every reader’s mind and was not advanced in Biting Bad. Ethan was as smooth as ever though, pulling out some really great lines and some serious sigh worthy moments.
‘Sentinel, you are always the most beautiful woman in the room, irrespective of what you’re wearing. And most especially and preferably when you’re wearing nothing at all.”
Overall, I thought this was a book where not much happened but I still enjoyed it and I think most other CV fans will too. The overall arc was progressed nicely but we also had some questions answered. Frankly it was nice to have Ethan and Merit in a good place and to watch a real romance progress for them. My poor heart will never forget Hard Bitten and I hope to never relive something like that again. Final grade- B
“I’m rarely good, Merit. But I’m often spectacular.”