Ms. Neill has created an interesting world. Where the Vampires had a “coming out” in Chicago. But other supernatural creatures have decide to stay in that so called closet, but they are still there & keep popping up in the books she has written (so far).
Over all I enjoyed the book. But … yea, isn’t there always a “but” … I didn’t much care for so much back story in this book. I, honestly, don’t mind back story added to a story but this time it was a bit over kill. Now, that being said & out of my way … on with the rest of the review.
Merit has been keeping a secret from everyone. The one time she tried to discuss the subject, with Catcher, he pretty much blew her off. Leaving her believing & feeling that if this secret got out, it would end her existence. To be a vampire that was able to hold her predator nature back, as it was a separate part of herself. Not an easy task for anyone, but for a Novitiate … it’s impressive.
As are the powers that she has, some still in hiding, while others are showing the world just how different & special she is. Merit has the ability to overcome glamour, one of the reasons that she is the Senitial of the Cadogan House.
Tension between Merit & Ethan are at there all time high in this novel. Investigation the threat of an article being published by Jamie about the “raves” that have been held. Merit must step into the position she has always fought to stay away from. Pulling her out of her library, is more of challenge than Ethan knows. Having her attended functions, to investigate & form alliances. That just adds to the tension, already present.
But where does that leave Morgan, the Master of the Navarre House? And, of course, Morgan does not handle any situation that involves Ethan too well. Instead of using his head and discussing the situation fully with Merit. But then that would have left out all the drama & interest that it builds.
In this book, Merit’s life is changing. Those who were closest to her, might not always be that way. Those she thought were friends, turn their backs on her.
Mallory is leaving, for training, and turns to Merit. Who does her best to be there, but sadly fails because of the investigation & internal personal conflicts. A huge argument occurs, then ending results are not what Merit & Mallory may want. (Plus Catcher goes off on Merit because of it.)
One of my favorite parts of this story:
‘It was a dagger created for me. Personalized for me. “Thank you,” I said, thumbing the disk.
“There’s one more item in the bag.”
Brow arched, I reached in again and pulled out a holster— two leather straps attached to a thin sheath.
No, not just a holster— a thigh holster.
I glanced down at my skirt, then over at Ethan. I really wasn’t eager to strap on a thigh holster, much less in front of him. Maybe because I didn’t want to flip up my skirt for my boss. Maybe because a few-inches-long dagger wouldn’t be nearly as effective in a rumble as my katana. Not that I anticipated an attack by society mavens, but stranger things had happened. Especially recently.
Besides, I was Ethan’s only guard for the event, and I’d be damned if I was going to return to Cadogan House with a wounded Master in tow. Even if I lived through the attack, I would never live down the humiliation.
I sighed, knowing when I’d lost, deciding that the dagger would be better than nothing.
“Keep your eyes on the road,” I ordered, then unfastened the buckles.
“I’m not going to look.”
“Yeah, well, keep it that way.”
He made a disdainful sound, but kept his gaze on the windshield. He also gripped the steering wheel a little harder. I enjoyed that crack in his facade probably more than I should have.
I was right-handed, so I slipped the poufy skirt of my dress up a little on the right side and extended my right hand, trying to figure out where I’d want the blade positioned if I needed to grab it in a hurry. I settled on a spot about midway up my thigh, the sheath just to the outside edge. I fastened the first buckle, then the second, and twisted a little in the seat to make sure it was secure.
The sheath had to be tight enough to stay taut when I pulled out the blade. That was the only way to ensure that I could release the knife quickly and safely. On the other hand, too tight and I’d cut off my own circulation. No one needed that, much less a vampire.
When I was satisfied it was secure, at least as sure as I could be in the front seat of a roadster speeding toward the suburbs, I inserted the blade. A tug brought the dagger out in a clean swipe, the holster still in place.
“Good enough,” I concluded. I straightened my skirt again, then looked over at Ethan. We were coasting through relatively light traffic on the interstate, but his expression of blandness looked a little too bland. He was working very hard to look very uninterested.”
You can just feel the tension rise anytime Merit & Ethan are together. Will she kill him (or try to), kiss him or tell him off?
“…“Come with me.”
I arched a brow at him. “You can’t order me around in my own house, Sullivan.”
Ethan’s gaze dropped to the medal at my neck. “This is hardly your house any longer, Sentinel.”
I made a sound of disagreement, but when he turned and walked away, I followed. He strolled across the room like he owned it, like there was nothing unusual about a Master vampire sauntering through a crowd of Windy City bigwigs. Maybe, in this day and age, there wasn’t. With those cheekbones, that sleek tux and the unmistakable air of power and entitlement, he looked like he belonged.
We reached a gap in the crowd, and Ethan stopped, turned, and held out a hand. I stared at it blankly, then lifted my gaze to his.
“Oh, no. This is not part of my assignment.”
“You’re a ballet dancer.”
“Was a ballet dancer,” I reminded him. I glanced around and saw the multitude of eyes on us, then leaned toward him. “I am not going to dance with you,” I whispered, but fiercely. “Dancing is not part of my job description.”
“It’s one dance, Sentinel. And this is not a request; it’s an order. If they see us dancing, perhaps they’ll adjust to our presence a bit faster. Perhaps it will soften them up.”
The excuse was hokey, but I could hear the mumbles of the people around us, who were wondering why I was standing there, why I hadn’t yet accepted his hand.
I had the strangest sense of déjà vu.
On the other hand, I was at home, which meant a meeting with my father was imminent. My stomach was beginning to knot. I needed something to keep my mind off of it, and dancing with a ridiculously handsome, if often infuriating, Master vampire would probably do the trick.
“You owe me,” I muttered, but took his hand, just as the quintet began to play “I Could Have Danced All Night.”
I slid a glance to the members of the quintet, who grinned like they’d made their very first vampire joke. And maybe they had.
“Thank you,” I mouthed to them, and they nodded back at me in unison.
“Your father hired comedians,” Ethan commented, …”
Ok, yea I think Merit & Ethan are an interesting couple. But only because of the tension, personalities and (short) history they have. Which means Ms. Neill did an amazing job creating that situation between them.