Review: Blood Games by Chloe Neill

*****MINOR SERIES SPOILERS*****

Blood Games by Chloe Neill Chicagoland Vampires series #10Book nine in the Chicagoland Vampires series, Wild Things, left us with Ethan challenging the head of the GP for leadership.  Cadogan House is sitting in a sort of limbo waiting to hear what will happen with the challenge.  They are killing time with fun stuff, like House races and some not so fun stuff, like a pseudo magic serial killer.

While waiting to hear about the challenge Merit and Ethan are put in the position of rescuing the current head of the GP.  Kept under the power of a magical object, the current leader decides to resign and leaves the position open to all challengers.  There will be a two tests for all challengers and the top three scorers will be put to the vampire population as a vote.  The winner will then be the new head of the GP.

While this is going on we have our main couple, Ethan and Merit, locked in a battle of wills.  Ethan found a note and refused to share its contents with Merit.  She might not know what the note is about but she does know it is causing Ethan to pull away from her.  In the familiar rote of Ethan he says he is doing it to protect her but this theme might be getting old for the reader.

He stood silently for a moment before glancing back at me.  “I’m afraid you’ll be hurt.  Afraid you’ll be targeted.”

“Why would they target me?”

“Because I love you.  Because love, to some, is a weakness.  A pressure point.  Because I would give up anything for you, including the GP.  And because I don’t mean to give up either.”

Merit has to dig deep and find a way to get Ethan to open up to her all the while making sure he is focused and ready for the upcoming tests he will face.  When a woman from his past appears for the challenges, Merit learns that she is someone who was with him at the time in his life he will not talk about.  Nicole, this woman, brings back memories and things Ethan doesn’t want Merit to know for fear she will leave him.  Between struggling with Merit to protect her, this new threat from his past, and handling the GP testing, Ethan has a lot on his plate.

In Blood Games, Ethan and Merit are pretty solid so why I continue to feel like I am on the edge of the cliff with them, is perplexing.  I always get this sense their relationship is fragile and that at any moment Ethan could up and decide he doesn’t want to be with Merit.  I don’t know why that is because for several books now he has said and done the right things, but I still feel like that.  I suppose it could be because the first four books in this series had Ethan choosing his house and other things over Merit and that has made me wary?  Once bitten, twice shy?  I wish I knew what it would take in order to make me feel these two are completely solid but I don’t know what would make that happen.  Maybe something will happen in the next couple of books to change my feelings.  A grand gesture (other than the aspen stake, of course), perhaps?  Something to let me know he values her more than the GP or his house.

On the green-eyed child front, there is now one more person who knows!  Lindsey is forced to suffer through Ethan’s psychological testing as he does because she is a powerful empath.  During the testing she sees his fear at the loss of Merit and the child.  Yay!  Some progress on that big secret!  We also see resolution to the issue of the GP and I was shocked by what happened.  The next book will surely not be boring!

Overall, I really enjoyed Blood Games.  Chloe Neill is at the top of her game lately with this series.  She has me completely hooked on this plot arc and it has been moving at a blazing pace.  I love that we aren’t left hanging on what is happening in the Chicagoland Vamps world but that at the end of each book I look forward to something new and exciting.  I know there are crazy things in Merit and Ethan’s future and I cannot wait to read them!  Final grade- B

Favorite Quote:

“It wasn’t my idea.  The other vampire did it.”

“If I had a nickel…..,”

Rating: B
Blood Games by Chloe Neill
August 5th 2014 by NAL Trade

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