First in a brand new series about a Chicago graduate student's introduction into a society of vampires.
Sure, the life of a graduate student wasn't exactly glamorous, but it was Merit's. She was doing fine until a rogue vampire attacked her. But he only got a sip before he was scared away by another bloodsucker—and this one decided the best way to save her life was to make her the walking undead.
Turns out her savior was the master vampire of Cadogan House. Now she's traded sweating over her thesis for learning to fit in at a Hyde Park mansion full of vamps loyal to Ethan "Lord o' the Manor" Sullivan. Of course, as a tall, green-eyed, four-hundred- year-old vampire, he has centuries' worth of charm, but unfortunately he expects her gratitude— and servitude. But an inconvenient sunlight allergy and Ethan's attitude are the least of her concerns. Someone's still out to get her. Her initiation into Chicago's nightlife may be the first skirmish in a war—and there will be blood.
In this first book by Chloe Neill, we meet Merit, a literary graduate student, who is changed into a vampire against her will. Merit is full of sarcasm and rebellion against the yummy master named Ethan who changed her and now expects her unquestioning loyalty. Of course that sarcasm gets herself into plenty of hot water, but I was glad to not see her just roll over. I have to say that I absolutely LOVE Merit, her attitude and sarcasm, as well as her determination and willpower. Her rebellion against being turned are very realistic. I found it refreshing that she didn't immediately accept this new lot in life, as most people would have to take time as well.
I found the friction and sexual tension between Ethan and Merit to be frustrating, but not in a bad way, ultimately making this book an even better read. Neill has created two characters with such strong wills there is no chance for an easy progression in a relationship between them. As much as I may have wanted to see them together, their love-hate relationship makes better sense. I think there is great potential for those two if either learns to give a little.
The most admirable thing about Merit was that she knew when to put the rebelliousness behind her and step up to do what is right. As her acceptance grows, she quickly learns she is stronger than most and takes steps to use this power to protect. Her transformation from mild student to a kick ass, katana wielding, heroine is nothing short of amazing. Merit has the potential for greatness and I cannot wait to see how she develops in future books.
This is not a book to start late at night as you will not be able to put it down. I made this mistake and paid for it dearly the next day due to my lack of sleep. Neill has surely delivered an amazing read and will be sure not to disappoint.