Reviewed by: Chelsea
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: This review is spoiler-free for the current novel, but assumes you’ve read the previous books. If you have yet to start the Chicagoland Vampires series, please start with my review of Some Girls Bite.
I missed Ethan Sullivan. And after reading Biting Cold I want to leap on the stubborn and oh-so-sexy master vampire all over again. (I won’t because I so don’t want the wrath of a jealous Merit.)
I hadn’t realized how much I missed his cool control and wry wit. I actually came to enjoy Jonah in Drink Deep as a balance for Merit, but he is no match for Ethan. The dynamic between the Cadogan vampire and his sentinel pops on page. However, just because he’s back from the dead doesn’t mean things are easy for them. (Have they ever been?) Ethan has a realistic fear of hurting Merit due to the residual effects from the magic that brought him back. This forces Merit to finally take more control in their relationship. She no longer lets Ethan dictate when they’re on or “halting.”
Biting Cold showcases Merit’s growth as a character. She’s a stronger woman. Her confidence shines throughout the novel. She learned to exist in the worst case scenario without Ethan, and he’s returned to find her more capable than he realizes. Additionally, she isn’t in any rush to forgive Mallory for damn near destroying Chicago (more on that at Heroes & Heartbreakers). Or for the other craziness she causes in Biting Cold.
When we started this journey in Some Girls Bite, Merit complained about her new lot as a vampire. In Biting Cold we finally see her as a truly powerful, capable woman. Hell, I’d let her lead a House, if I were in the GP.
Speaking of those bothersome vampire politicians, things are still jumbled within Cadogan. The GP isn’t pleased with them and refuses to reinstate Ethan as the Master of the house. (He did die.) Expect political tensions within the vampire world as well as with the fae. We see Claudia, the fae queen, more than once, and she continues to be a fascinating ancillary character.
Chloe Neill delivers another engaging plot, but better yet Biting Cold reminds us this urban fantasy series is about strong, well-developed characters. Ones we can get invested in and wish were real so we could indulge in a pizza and sing-along movie night at their place.
If you’ve been on the border about continuing Chicagoland Vampires, I encourage you to read Biting Cold. Neill has brought the series back to the core we fell in love with — and there’s a lot of Ethan. Shirtless. You do want to read about a Mr. Sexypants Vampire without clothing, don’t you?
Sexual content: Sex (and sexual frustration)