“That guy,” Lindsey said, “is a douche. Asterisk, I hate him. Footnote, he can suck it.”
House Rules by Chloe Neill
Synopsis: Now that Cadogan House is going rogue, there is a bit of an upheaval in the life of the vampires. They have to deal with the GP and their arrogance, Lacey, Ethan’s ex, is back in town, and someone is beheading vampires. Don’t forget that Merit is in the Red Guard, and Ethan doesn’t know…
Review: Oh yes, the fun Chicagoland is back. This book is packed with politics, action, and some lighthearted humor that makes Chicagoland great.
The world wasn’t enhanced in this book, as it’s already established, and nothing new was introduced. I did enjoy the politics and conflicts of this novel. The chaos of the book and the “who dunnit” mystery was kept the book moving at a fast pace. I liked the new vampire registration scheme, and McKetrick is the new big bad. I think the underlying prejudice that some humans and the mayoral office hold is a pivotal theme that I hope will be explored in future books. A significant plot point surprised me, smacked me in the face, and it explains the title a lot.
There were new characters introduced, and some nasty characters returned. However we did find out what kind of shifter Jeff is… and it’s magnificent and fearsome (mental sigh)! We saw Gabriel a few times, and I enjoy it when he is on the page. Everyone got a fair amount of page time, and we saw relationships that were strained move forward into some peace. Due to the various plot points, there was not much character development, but characters like Mallory, Merit, Lacey, and Ethan showed change. I think the book could have taken more risks, but I enjoyed what we got.
I’m sure you know what I have a problem with: Ethan and Merit’s relationship. I did not like how “Merit is in the RG” was handled at all. SPOILER AHEAD–highlight to read: I’m probably the only one who thinks this, but I believe that Merit took an oath of loyalty, and she should have kept to it. She could have told Ethan “Trust me, I am not cheating on you. But telling you what I was doing would have broken confidences.” And they way Ethan treated her while they were fighting, sitting so cozily with Lacy? Sure he told her off later on, but it doesn’t negate the fact that he was throwing it in Merit’s face. I would expect a 400 some year old vampire to be more mature. Ethan and Merit had a lot of sweet moments, especially in the beginning of the book. But their relationship should not take front page anymore because it is starting to get stale. And frankly, I’m tired of Merit becoming all weak because of her boyfriend and Ethan treating her like crap. I’m tired of Merit talking about their relationship as if she is 16 years old. You’re “nearly 28”–be an adult. Rather, I would have liked if the books focused on a strong relationship and the grown up aspects of relationships. Also, I wish there were some Catcher and Mallory page time, I think they always have fun scenes.
I can see that the series is winding down, so threads are being closed off. That’s great. But I don’t like it when a series ends with everything tied up neatly like a bow. I am already seeing a trend of “everyone needs to be paired off” happening, and I don’t see the point of it. Would it be so terrible if Morgan, Jonah, etc. stayed single by the end of the series? I don’t think so, and it would be more believable.
But ignoring the childish romance, House Rules is a formidable addition to the Chicagoland series. I am looking forward to the future books if it continues this trend!
Sex: One sex scene and lots of sexy scenes
Violence: Beheadings, a fight between two very sexy vamps, and explosions. Nothing too graphic.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Series rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The next book,Biting Bad, comes out August 6th, 2013.