REVIEW REDUX: BLOOD GAMES with Audiobook Giveaway!!




I received the audiobook for BLOOD GAMES from the lovely peeps at TANTOR AUDIO after I had read and reviewed a print galley. So, I am re-runnung my recent review and Q& A with Chloe!



Blood Games by Chloe Neill

Chicagoland Vampires #10
by Chloe Neill
New American Library/Penguin Group US
August 5, 2014
Trade Paperback 0 363 pages/e-Book Formats and Audio Book 10:20

Print Galley provided by publisher for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own.


While Merit didn’t choose to become a vampire or Sentinel of Cadogan House, she vowed to fight for her House and its Master, and she’s managed to forge strong alliances with powerful supernaturals across Chicago. But even though Merit has had wild adventures, this may be her deadliest yet….

A killer is stalking Chicago, preying on humans and leaving his victims with magical souvenirs. The CPD hasn’t been able to track the assailant, and as the body count rises, the city is running out of options. Vampires and humans aren’t on great terms, but murder makes for strange bedfellows. Can Merit find the killer before she becomes a target?


square "my take"

Merit is a real heroine: She is aptly named and has all the attributes that a real superhero is supposed to have: strength, honesty, courage, integrity, hard work, training, and a really hot boyfriend who’s also a superhero. She’d rather get a box of Mallocakes than a bouquet of flowers, making also the perfect kind of non-fussy woman we can all like.

Vital to my attraction to the characters, is a lack of “super-hero attitude.” They are not completely indestructible, as we know, but, their speed, strength, telepathy, supernatural status, and ability to recognize magic bring them pretty darn close.

And, the world is not filled with enough truly noble heroes anymore. A lot of the heroes and heroines written these days are antiheroes, or have a dark side. Ethan has a savage vampiric past, but Merit’s only fault when human was being too bookish. The bookishness certainly assists bibliophiles like us in identifying with her. And, there is simply no one who can beat her well-educated snark.

I was thinking about how surprising, how rich and complex this novel is, and wishing I could review it using one of those charts with pictures and lines like cops on TV use to solve crimes. There are at least a couple of story lines being followed here.

  • The strange supernaturally-themed killings occurring which put her friends at risk.
  • Merit’s newly resurrected friendship with Mallory, her BFF. I missed the closeness these friends shared and the strength it gave Merit, especially in the absence of sibling support.
  • And, of course is her relationship with Ethan is central (both the working relationship and the romantic one).
  • The long standing series’ issue with the Greenwich Presidium is also huge.
  • But, at least the image of vampires and the attitude of Chicagoans has definitely improved, to the point of fandom.

It’s so interwoven that it never feels like too many things are happening nor that Chloe has lost the thread of what makes this series tick. I always vibrate with the tension of the story. I dive in, come up for air and go back under for more action.

Has the series become boring, does Chloe rest on her laurels, is the relationship between Ethan and Merit old hat? No, No and Hellah no! Especially not the latter. I cannot say why — much of the story is spoiler and I may have said too much already.

And, I have to mention that Chloe’s continuity is outstanding. I don’t think I have ever “caught” her in an error. That makes her a writer heroine in my mind.

With Merit’s snark and Ethan;s smouldering it is at times funny and at others quite hot. Then at times you feel the frustration of a young woman in a good relationship; although one with issues that require negotiation. It’s really interesting to see Ethan being insecure in this book as his past comes up to bite him in the ass. It brings up the questions of how the past influences how we are seen in the present.

I just love the series and like that it strikes a great balance between Urban Fantasy and Steamy Paranormal Romance. It has a lot more story than sex and Chloe’s characters work out how they are feeling through discussions and mental processing. I can’t really think of a series I enjoy more, or about which I am more thrilled when a new book comes out (there are a couple I get equally excited about though). This series is a must read, and this book is a must read in the series!

interview labelI had a chance to ask Chloe a few questions and I kind of tried to sneak in more, Chloe saw past my ruse though — read on:

1. If you had a chance to interview Ethan and Merit. what would be the top four questions you would ask?

Literary Escapism (and me) are interviewing Ethan in a live Twitter chat on Thursday, July 31. So you’ll have to tune in to
see which questions we ask! Use #askethan to follow and participate.

As for Merit, I don’t really need to ask her questions. Since she lives in my head; I already know all the answers!
Although I’d probably see if she has a recipe for Mallocakes, since I don’t.

2. What would their answers be?

See above. 🙂

Catcher's T-Shirt
Click shirt to go to Cafepress

3. What’s Catcher’s favorite T-shirt?

He loves all of them, and has a collection of hundreds that he hasn’t yet cycled through. But he really relates to the “It’s
not me, it’s you” shirt. (Which is available for purchase here:

4. What T-shirt would Mallory throw away if she dared?

Probably his “Public Enemy No. 1” shirt. It makes her nervous when he wears it–like he’s asking for trouble.

Thanks for having me today!


So, since I don’t even have time to read the paper, I thought I would give it away to a lovely reader! It’s a brand new, unopened Tantor Audio CD-MP3 of BLOOD GAMES by Chloe Neill narrated by Sophie Eastlake.

To enter:
Use the rafflecopter form and comment here on the blog. Extra points for following (old or new) and sharing (need the link).
SUGGESTIONS for comments. You can say anything you like that is relevant and meaningful. But is you need an idea here are a couple – no need to comment on all unless you want to:

  • Who would you rather go on a date with and why: Ethan, Luc, Jeff, Catcher or Jonah?
  • What series do you go nuts for, besides this one of course.
  • Merit is a junk food fan — what’s your favorite junk or comfort food?

Open to US shipping and you must be over 18 to enter. Entry constitutes verification of age.
All information provided must be complete and accurate. If I can’t find the follow or comment or shared info it doesn’t count.
I will take reasonable care in packaging the items but cannot be held responsible for damage or loss in shipping.
Winners have 24 hours to claim their prize by responding to my notification.
Don’t cheat.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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