Early Review: House Rules by Chloe Neill

, by Kt Clapsadl

House Rules by Chloe Neill
Chicagoland Vampires #7

In a city full of vampires, trouble never sleeps.

At the tender age of 28, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she’s become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal —tested like never before.

It started with two . . . Two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago’s vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined.

Merit and the rest of her fellow Cadogan House vampires lives are about to be forever changed as they prepare to formally break from the GP and their oppressive reign. But despite all their preparations they know they can't possibly predict everything, so their is a cloud of worry hanging over their heads. They've taken steps towards making peace with the rogues of Chicago, but that relationship is fragile at best. So when two rogues go missing, Merit and Ethan both know they have to provide all assistance possible despite their own House turmoil. With everything crumbling around them, Merit and Ethan will have to rely on one another more than ever if they are to have any hope at saving their House and the vampires of Chicago.

Merit and Ethan have come leaps and bounds in their relationship. Before whenever they were tested, one or the other one would panic and run. There was so much push and pull, I was starting to get whiplash. So, when some nasty issues of betrayal and the green jealousy monster reared its head I instinctively braced myself for impact. Much to my surprise, they seemed to have broken that pattern and didn't immediately run for the hills. Not that I'm saying their behavior, nor the way they lashed out at one another was exactly healthy, but at least they stuck through the rough times. I still think they have a very long way to go to build their relationship to the point where they can fully trust one another. Of course, Merit would have to get over a whole lot of her insecurities first, and Ethan, well he'd have to stop being such a meat-head at times. Hopefully these bumps along the way will only serve to strengthen them. That being said, I absolutely love the chemistry between them and really think they are perfect for one another.   

One of the most impressive things about these books is that while each one has a clear and concise plot, there also are other things going on as well to further the overall plot, or set things up for the next book. In HOUSE RULES there are actually two main plots, one being the murders, and the other being the separation from the GP. I will say that the GP issue had me much more on the edge of my seat as I figured out the identity of the murderer rather early on, so the suspense just wasn't there. There are times where I really hate my ability to see plot twists coming as it can sometimes make it hard to catch me off guard, and I don't get the full effect of some parts of the book. But getting back to the GP issue, even though I knew they weren't going to let Cadogan House get away scott free, I just didn't expect them to go as far as they did. Be prepared for some pretty major shock and awe as their actions left both the characters and myself reeling. Speaking of shockers, we finally find out what Jeff's animal form, and let me just say that he only became more awesome in my eyes. I love that boy something fierce and I hope he gets his own happy ever after!

I'm an incredibly huge fan of this series, so much so that I've given each book five stars across the board. So, when I realized that I couldn't give HOUSE RULES that same rating, there was a whole lot of internal debating going on since I hated to have to find fault in this series. Unlike the previous installments, I just felt a bit disjointed from the characters as I just didn't get sucked into the world like I normally do. Don't get me wrong, the book was still very good, it's just that it didn't have the all consuming nature that I have come to expect from this series. Perhaps a lot of that had to do with my worry over whether or not Merit and Ethan's relationship woes would wind up in a repetition of history, and also the fact that I missed out on the suspense of the murders, so I think it's more of a personal issue rather than any real fault on the book itself. So, in the end, minus my slight issues, overall the book was a very good read in one of my all time favorite Urban Fantasy series. A delight for fans of the series, HOUSE RULES is not to be missed!

(Received a copy from the publisher)

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Other Reviews:
     Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust
     Reading and Writing UF & PNR
     a GREAT read

Previous Books:
     1. Some Girls Bite
     2. Friday Night Bites
     3. Twice Bitten
     4. Hard Bitten
     5. Drink Deep
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