Review: House Rules by Chloe Neill

House Rules Chloe NeillThis review assumes you are up to date with the series. Review may be considered spoilery if you are not.

I don’t want to keep rehashing my disappointment in the previous books when this series took a very wrong turn for me and I nearly stopped reading it, but it seems necessary for comparison when deciding how I feel about where the series is and where it may be going. In the last book, Biting Cold  I felt this series was on its way back to its previous glory and I very much looked forward to reading House Rules. I am once again very excited about this series and I’m glad our little “rough patch” is over. I think after reading House Rules it’s safe to say the Chicagoland Vampire series and I have kissed and made up.

There is a lot going on in this installment of the Chicagoland Vampires series. The blurb talks about the mystery of the two rogue vampires from another house that have gone missing. I was a little disappointed when I read this because I really didn’t care. I wanted to read about the relationships, the state of the House, and I wanted to get on with the business of getting things back on track. Luckily that’s exactly what I got and the mystery was really not the main focus of the story and in the end it was ok.

The Romance – Ethan and Merit have never had an easy relationship and I wasn’t sure if the former sparkle of their relationship would ever return. Things are not exactly easy for them in House Rules, there are problems, there is a great deal of tension (both sexual and otherwise) and there is drama. The relationship is tested but what makes it ok is we see some resolution…finally. Although things do get very tense, I never thought it would all blow up. There was hope, and that’s what’s been missing in this series for a while for me. Even with their conflict Ethan and Merit seemed to be on solid ground. I’ve always enjoyed Ethan’s cool alpha male style we get a nice demonstration of this when jealously rears its ugly head. Very enjoyable.

In House Rules we see big changes for Cadogan House and its vampires. Codogan House officially separates from the GP but of course that does not go smoothly. Vampire politics are slimy and it’s a struggle for Cadogan House stand on its own and remain intact. Ethan, Merit and their trusted circle work tirelessly for their house against great odds and although their future is not entirely certain, they are strong as a House. Their fate remains in the balance up until the end making for an un-put-down-able read.

House Rules brought me back to the Chicagoland series completely. I liked it and I’m excited to see where we go from here. In the end we’re left with a reminder of about a prophecy. I won’t remind you what it was, I’ll let you discover, or remember it for yourself, but after reading it, I’m dying to know what’s in the future for Ethan and Merit.

Favorite Quote:

“As you’ve lost your army and your battle, I suggest you get the hell off my lawn.”

Rating: B+
House Rules by Chloe Neill
February 5th 2013 by NAL Penguin
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  1. sara says

    I think I’m the only person in the world who would have rather Ethan stayed dead. I think my bigger grievance is how the wonderful friendship between Merit and Mallory ended up going down the same stereotypical road as most other depictions of female friendships.
    I may give this one a try but like everyone else, I’m still a bit cynical.

    • says

      I felt that way at first. I’ve over it now.

      I deeply miss the friendship between Mallory and Merit. There wasn’t much progress there in this book either.

  2. Abby says

    Nice to hear the series is back on track. I was very disappointed in the direction of the series as well for a bit in some areas. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  3. says

    This book was good but sadly I am ending my relationship with Merit and Ethan. The past books made me realize that it wasn’t going to change and no amount of visions could save me this series. I do enjoy catcher & Jeff & Jonah . I have been with the series since it started…there was snark and romance . But I found that comment totally thrown out there and finally there is mention of it :(

  4. Mzcue says

    Well I loved it. I didn’t experience the same falling-out reaction to Ethan’s temporary demise, so I had no problem to get over. However, I did read this latest installment with my heart in my mouth all the way through. Once an author shows that she’s willing to off the hero, you never know how far she’s willing to go in future episodes. For other faint-of-hearts like myself, let me assure you that there’s no misery awaiting you at the end of House Rules. Just the right balance of sexiness and suspense in my book.

    What I’m stunned that no reveiwer or commenter has mentioned is the appearance of handsome, mysterious Jeff in his shifted form toward the very end of House Rules. Totally worth the wait as far as I’m concerned. Please, Ms. Neil, pretty please! Put more sexy shifter Jeff into coming installments.

    • says

      Just the right balance of sexiness and suspense in my book.

      Yes, totally agree.

      Please, Ms. Neil, pretty please! Put more sexy shifter Jeff into coming installments.

      Agree on this as well. :)