Wild Things by Chloe Neill
Someday I should take a moment and explain my rating system. I’m sure it perplexes some of my readers from time to time when I give their favorite novels only 3 or 4 stars. Sometimes I even give critically acclaimed works with real redeeming social value only 3 or 4 stars, as well. And yet, I’m going to give Chloe Neill’s latest Chicagoland Vampires book a solid 5 stars. How can that be, you may wonder. Simple. In a word: enjoyment. I don’t much care how profound a book is, though that can be lovely. If I don’t enjoy the reading of it–if I can’t engage with the characters, and don’t really care how it all turns out–I’m not going to give the book a high rating. And there are a host of pseudo-intellectual works out there, filled with pontifications on every subject under the sun, that will never earn a 5-star rating from me. But Wild Things did.
I have enjoyed every book in this series from the start, excluding the ending to that ONE particular volume which made me hurl the book clear across the room. (If you have been reading the series, you’ll know which book I’m talking about.) I think the world-building is fun, the characters are colorful, the political structure is intriguing, and the heroine and hero, fun through and through. Especially the hero. Ethan Sullivan will go down in history as one of my very favorite vampity men. Wild Things moved this story along at exactly the right pace, setting things up for the big battles to come, which have been hinted at for some time. Forces are lining up on each side, and I can’t wait to watch it all unfold. All of the above–that’s why Wild Things gets 5 stars to me.
Of course, I would probably have given it 5 stars for the love scene in Chapter 2 alone, but don’t tell anyone. That will be our secret. Yes, there is a longer love scene, described in much more detail, later in the book. But for me, the power of that first one exploded off the page. I felt it to my bones! And I do love this couple together. They just plain make me happy.
I know that vampire books aren’t the new and exciting things they were ten years ago, but I don’t much care. Know why? Because they weren’t new to me then, either. I’ve been reading vampire stories well over 50 years, since I discovered Dracula at age 12, and I’ve always loved them. Having them become hot just meant there were more to choose from. But today, just like back then, there are those that rise to the top of the heap, and that makes them worth the read, even if the genre is currently overdone. The books in this series fall into that category. But don’t take my word for it. Grab the first book, Some Girls Bite, and read the series for yourself. Just know going in that it gets better and more complex with each book, and Merit, who stands Sentinel for Cadogan House, together with her Liege and love of her life, Ethan, are a couple to be reckoned with. I stand by my 5 stars!