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|Publisher||New American Library|
Chicagoland Vampires is a series of urban fantasy vampire romance novels by American author Chloe Neill which are set in the city and environs of Chicago. The series follows Merit, a 28-year-old English Literature Ph.D. candidate who has been made a vampire and joined Chicago’s prestigious Cadogan House. This series is published by the New American Library.
- 1 Works
- 2 The Chicagoland World
- 3 Characters
- 3.1 Caroline Evelyn Merit
- 3.2 Mallory Delancey Carmichael
- 3.3 Ethan Sullivan
- 3.4 Morgan Greer
- 3.5 Catcher Bell
- 3.6 Jeff Christopher
- 3.7 Chuck Merit
- 3.8 Joshua Merit
- 3.9 Meredith Merit
- 3.10 Charlotte Merit
- 3.11 Robert Merit
- 3.12 Lindsey
- 3.13 Luc
- 3.14 Peter (Spencer)
- 3.15 Juliet
- 3.16 Kelley
- 3.17 Malik Washington
- 3.18 The Breckenridge Family
- 3.19 Mayor Seth Tate
- 3.20 Gabriel Keene
- 3.21 Lacey Sheridan
- 3.22 Jonah
- 4 Book summaries
- 5 References
- 6 External links
- Some Girls Bite, Chicagoland Vampires Book One (2009) ISBN 0-451-22625-9
- Friday Night Bites, Chicagoland Vampires Book Two (2009) ISBN 0-451-22793-X
- Twice Bitten, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Three (2010) ISBN 0-451-23064-7
- Hard Bitten, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Four (2011) ISBN 0-451-23332-8
- Drink Deep, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Five (2011) ISBN 0-451-23486-3
- Biting Cold, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Six (2012) ISBN 0-451-23701-3
- House Rules, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Seven (2013) ISBN 0-451-23710-2
- Biting Bad, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Eight (2013) ISBN 0-451-41518-3
- Wild Things, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Nine (2014) ISBN 0-451-41519-1
- Blood Games, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Ten (2014) ISBN 0-451-41520-5
- Dark Debt, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Eleven (2015) ISBN 0-451-47232-2
- Midnight Marked, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Twelve (2016) ISBN 0-451-47233-0
- Blade Bound, Chicagoland Vampires, Book Thirteen (2017) ISBN 0-451-47234-9
The Chicagoland World
A host of supernatural beings populate the Chicagoland Vampires world: vampires, shapeshifters, sorcerers/witches, nymphs, fairies, angels, demons, and trolls. Vampires are the only supernatural beings who have announced their existence to the human public; however, almost all human governing officials know of the remaining supernatural species. Prior to Some Girls Bite, Chicago's Mayor, Seth Tate, created the Ombudsman’s office to funnel all supernatural issues into one office.
The Vampire world is organized through a feudal-like system with Masters in charge of each House. Vampires are to swear alliance to their Masters during Commendation ceremonies and from then on are to faithfully serve their Houses and Masters. There are 12 houses in the United States: McDonald, Cabot, Taylor, Lincoln, Washington, Heart, Lassiter, Murphey, Sheridan, Cadogan, Navarre, and Grey—the latter three of which are located in Chicago.
Navarre House, the oldest house in Chicago, was founded before the Great Chicago Fire by Master Celina Desaulniers. Navarre's current master is Morgan Greer.
Cadogan House, founded by Peter Cadogan, is the second oldest and only house in Chicago that still drinks from humans (there are two others worldwide). Cadogan's current Master is Ethan Sullivan who protects 380 vampire members nationally, 97 of whom live in the house located in Hyde Park.
Grey House, the youngest in Chicago, is run by its sports-obsessed Master Scott Grey.
There is also a faction of rogue vampires around the United States who do not have affiliations with any of the Houses; for political purposes, they are represented by Noah Beck.
Vampires in North America and Western Europe are politically organized/controlled by the Greenwich Presidium, a governing body headed by Darius West.
Vampires are evaluated on Phys (physical strength, stamina) Psych (psychic and mental abilities), and Strat (strategic and ally consideration) and fight with a mix of Judo, Iaidō, Kendo, and Kenjutsu, often using a Katana.
Chicagoland vampires' eyes silver when they are angered or excited. Unlike other vampire series, these vampires become unconscious when the sun rises and not only eat food but crave it.
Shapeshifters are the supernatural group with the largest numbers—over 3000 within the United States. They are born with the ability to shift freely from human to animal (usually with one specific animal and human form). They are politically organized into packs, four of which exist in the United States. The Central North American Pack is the most notable pack within the series. It is led by Apex Gabriel Keene.
Shifters and vampires have a tenuous relationship since the Second Clearings, when shifters purportedly retreated to Alaska, blended in with the Wilderness, and forced the vampires to fight for themselves.
Sorcerers and Witches
While all supernaturals contain elements of magic, sorcerers and witches have the ability to harness and manipulate that magic. Their powers are broken down into four classes (based on knowledge of the so-called minor and major Keys). They are politically organized under a large union—the Order (Union of Amalgamated Sorcerers and Spellcasters)—which is broken down into local chapters.
Nymphs are small, slim, busty, doe-eyed, moody females prone to tears and territorial behavior. They are known for their ability to control and manipulate men, and in Chicago, for their considerable control of the Chicago River’s currents.
Fairies comprise the external security company that protects the Cadogan Vampire House. This arrangement comes to a dramatic end due to the events of the seventh book, "House Rules".
Angels and Demons
"Messengers of Peace" and "Messengers of Justice", respectively.
Caroline Evelyn Merit
Known by her last name, Merit is a dark haired, blue eyed, 27 year old English graduate student at the University of Chicago, working on her dissertation (Romantic Medieval literature) when she is bitten. She is an avid fan of the Bears and the Cubs, musicals, and was a former ballet dancer. Her well-known fashion sense consists of T-shirts, jeans and Pumas rather than the fashion couture associated with Cadogan house. From the very beginning of Book 1, she fosters a mutual hatred and attraction/passion toward Ethan Sullivan, her Master. At the end of Some Girls Bite, Ethan names her Sentinel of the Cadogan house, a traditional role not utilized in the houses for quite a long time. Merit has a brother and sister, Charlotte and Robert. In Hard Bitten we learn that Merit had another sister that died in a car accident that nearly killed Joshua and Meredith Merit, as well. Her father gave Merit the name Caroline, her dead sister's name as a way to grieve and remember his lost daughter. Merit has always thought of herself as a replacement for the lost Caroline. Merit has been deemed a "strong-minded, sharp-witted heroine". Merit and Ethan got engaged in Midnight Marked. They got married in Blade Bound and had a daughter named Elisa.
Mallory Delancey Carmichael
Mallory is Merit's blue-eyed, blue-haired roommate and long-time friend. She lost her parents in car accident years ago and inherited the house she and Merit live in from her great-aunt Rose. In Some Girls Bite, Mallory worked as an ad executive for McGettrick-Combs. After Merit is turned, she begins to show signs of being a witch. She then becomes both romantically involved with and trained by Catcher Bell. She falls under the influence of powerful dark magic in "Drink Deep" and briefly turns evil, creating havoc until the dark magic object is destroyed in "Biting Cold". She served magical probation under the watchful eye of the North Atlantic Central Pack for a while. She and Catcher get married at the end of Dark Debt. They had a kid at the end of Blade Bound.
Ethan, sometimes referred to as "Darth Sullivan" by Merit and Mallory, is the 394-year-old Master of Cadogan House. He was turned during the Thirty Years' War at the age of 30 and is described in Some Girls Bite as being 6'3", lean, with broad shoulders, long legs, straight, shoulder-length, golden blond hair, knife-edge cheekbones, a firm jaw, and a strong brow. He is known for his impeccable black Armani suits. As demonstrated by the tension between the characters in Some Girls Bite, Ethan and Merit have an on again off again romance for a little while. They start officially dating in Biting Cold. He proposed to Merit in Midnight Marked. They got married and had a daughter named Elisa in Blade Bound. He also gave Merit the nickname "Duchess".
In Some Girls Bite, Morgan is revealed to serve in the position of Second in Navarre House. He has dark brown, cropped, vaguely wavy hair, a cleft chin, and a strong jaw. He is a Packer fan, born in Madison and operates the night club Red, which he inherited from his father. Morgan reveals his feelings for Merit in Some Girls Bite. He becomes head of Navarre at the end of Some Girls Bite. Morgan asks Ethan for the official right to court Merit, but to no avail; the relationship never blossomed. His sustained affiliation with the evil previous head of his house causes concern for Merit, especially considering that Celina is determined to kill Merit.
In Some Girls Bite, Catcher is introduced as a former sorcerer who works in the office of the Chicago supernatural Ombudsman. He is a "gruff" 29-year-old with a shaved head, tattoos, and pale green eyes. In Friday Night Bites, he was kicked out of the Order for unknown reasons connected to his desire to stay in Chicago. He is an expert in the Second of the Four magical Keys and becomes involved with Mallory Carmichael. Although this relationship is strained to the breaking point due to the events of "Drink Deep" and "Biting Cold", it is showing signs of recovering.
Jeff, introduced in Some Girls Bite is a tall, lanky, mop-topped, 21-year-old computer prodigy and shapeshifter of unknown shape. He is an employee of Chicago's supernatural Ombudsman. Becomes involved with Fallon Keene in Twice Bitten, though he still lightheartedly flirts with Merit relentlessly. It is later revealed that Jeff Christopher is a large white tiger, proving that looks can definitely be deceiving.
Chuck, Merit's Grandfather, is introduced in Some Girls Bite as a former cop and, much to Merits surprise, is currently Chicago's Ombudsman—-a liaison who links the human and supernatural worlds—for the city of Chicago.
Joshua is Merit's father, and is introduced in Some Girls Bite. He is tall and lean with chestnut hair and blue eyes. He is the CEO of Merit Properties, a real estate development company that manages high rises and apartment complexes throughout Chicago. He is a powerful (and manipulative) member of the Chicago Growth Council. Merit's father seems to have his own interests in the supernatural world, and is not above utilizing his own daughter to satisfy his desires. His relationship with Merit is strained. He offered to pay Ethan Sullivan to make Merit a vampire, but was denied. After Merit found out about this their relationship became even more strained. However, it is shown in rare moments that he does care for his daughter.
Meredith is Merit's mother, and is introduced in Some Girls Bite. A woman of propriety, she has blonde, well-coiffed hair and is always dressed perfectly.
Merit's sister, Charlotte, is introduced in Friday Night Bites. She is married to Major Corkburger. They have a baby, Olivia, and an older daughter Mary Katherine. While connected to the family's business and money, Charlotte is not terribly close to Merit; however, the sisters do foster a mutual annoyance with their older brother, Robert.
Robert, Merit's older brother, is referenced in Some Girls Bite and Friday Night Bites and is being groomed to take over the family business. Merit's father reveals that he wants Merit to assist Robert in making connections to Chicago's supernatural communities.
Lindsey is introduced in Some Girls Bite as a Cadogan house vampire. Lindsey has been in the House for 115 years and is the resident psychic. She is a blonde known for her stilettos and designer jeans. Originally from Iowa, she is an avid Yankees fan who maintains a rather confused relationship with Luc in Books 1 and 2 and finally begins dating him in Hard Bitten, having been brought together by grief. She becomes close friends with Merit from the beginning, and they grow close working together in the guard.
Luc is Captain of the Cadogan Guards and is introduced in Some Girls Bite, and quite the cowboy. He is a rule-bound dutiful Guard who is respected and trusted by Ethan. Luc is secretly interested in Lindsey, a fellow guard.
Peter is introduced in Some Girls Bite as a Cadogan Guard. He is approximately six feet tall, with a thin build and brown hair just past his shoulders. He has been in Cadogan for 38 years and is known for his "contacts." He betrays Cadogan House at the end of Friday Night Bites.
Another Cadogan Guard introduced in Some Girls Bite, Juliet is an 85-year-old, fey-like redhead who has been in Cadogan for 54 years.
Kelley is a 214-year-old, dark-haired Cadogan Guard known for her mechanical and software genius. She is introduced in Some Girls Bite.
Malik serves as Cadogan House Second. He has been a member of the House since 1883. He is introduced in Some Girls Bite, and in Friday Night Bites was revealed to have been changed with his wife, with whom he lives in Cadogan House. Said to have "a shaved head and clear green eyes."
The Breckenridge Family
The Breckenridges are family friends of the Merit family, and are introduced in Friday Night Bites. They include Michael Breckenridge Senior (Father), Julia (Mother), Nick (Son), Finley (Son), Michael Junior (Son) and Jamie (Son). The family owns a manufacturing company and, like the Merits, belong to Chicago's high society. They turn out to be shapeshifters.
Mayor Seth Tate
Named "America’s Sexiest Politician," Tate is a 36-year-old, darkly handsome man (later found out to be a messenger of peace gone bad A.K.A angel.) who, in Friday Night Bites is revealed to have mistresses throughout Chicago. While currently serving his second term, he founded the Ombudsman's office and has a particular interest in the political power of the vampire community. In "Hard Bitten", it is discovered that he is pushing drugs to rogue vampires, causing them to lose control and is also aiding Celina in her attempts to destroy Merit and Cadogan House. Arrested and imprisoned, he is freed by the prejudiced new mayor in "Biting Cold", where it is revealed that he is a "messenger of peace" or an angel, possessed by his twin brother, Domanic, who is a rogue "messenger of justice" or demon.
A former Cadogan House guard, Lindsey reveals in Friday Night Bites that Lacey Sheridan was the only Master vampire Ethan has nominated for Testing. She is currently the Master of her own house in San Diego. During her time at Cadogan, she was believed to have been involved with Ethan. When she returns, she tried to break Ethan and Merit up by stating that Merit is cheating on Ethan.
Jonah is member of Grey House and the Red Guard. When Merit was offered a place with the Red Guard, Jonah was to be her partner. Jonah works with Merit in Hard Bitten to convince her to become a member of the Red Guard. He falls for Merit but keeps his distance when Ethan comes back. He and Merit share a platonic relationship. He had crossed paths with Merit once before (when she was human) as her sister's boyfriend, although Merit doesn't remember him from then and he takes it personally (this was one of the reasons he doesn't like her in the beginning).
Some Girls Bite
At the beginning of Some Girls Bite, Merit lives with her roommate and best friend Mallory in their Wicker Park Brownstone. She is attacked on campus late at night on her way back from the library and turned vampire by Ethan Sullivan in order to save her life. She is given an invitation to join Cadogan House and about one week to decide her allegiances before the House's Commendation ceremony. As Merit attempts to adjust and understand the attack on her life, she learns that her grandfather works as a liaison in the Mayor's Ombudsman's office for the supernaturals of the city. As the Chicago police continue to investigate the vampire community's connection to the murders, Merit faces a slew of new and difficult situations involving her roommate, her new (hunky) Master, his "girlfriend/consort," the (also hunky) Second of the Navarre House, her grandfather and his co-workers, and the mysterious and sultry Celina. While coping with her new "vampire-ness," its thirst, and its required training, Merit must also decide where her new allegiances lie and who she can trust. English Graduate student no more, Merit must make a quick adjustment to her new existence—both her life and the lives of those around her depend on it.
Friday Night Bites
Friday Night Bites takes place about two weeks after the conclusion of Some Girls Bite; Merit is making plans to move into the Cadogan house, and the vampire community itself has gained a certain level of celebrity. There is word the shifter pack leader Gabriel Keene intends to hold a shapeshifters conference in Chicago, and there are also rumors that the Chicago World Weekly, and Jamie Breckenridge in particular, is taking a particular interest in the underground vampire raves (flash mobs of sorts that meet and mass feed). In order to quell any unsavory press and understand Jamie's motive, Ethan asks Merit to return to her family and their high society connections. As Merit and Ethan hobnob with Chicago's high society, a boyfriend from Merit's past brings new trouble for the vampire community. Merit's allegiances, strength, and willpower continue to be tested as human-supernatural relationship become increasingly tense and tenuous.
Twice Bitten starts where Friday Night Bites leaves off. Merit is adjusting to finally completing the change. Her attraction to Ethan Sullivan is being put towards the back of her mind. She is concentrating on much more important things such as protecting Gabriel Keene, the shifter's pack leader. Merit has a big secret in which she is keeping from everyone. A secret society of vampires is attempting to recruit Merit. They think she could potentially be a big help.
One night Merit and Ethan go on a mission to help bring the shape shifters to Chicago. It is at a bar. The leaders from all four shape shifter divisions are in attendance. At some point the bar is under the attack of gunfire. Merit, as Sentinel, is supposed to be protecting the House ruler Sullivan. In reality, Sullivan is the one to jump onto Merit and protect her from the gunfire. During the attack, Merit notices the cook is about to walk into the gunfire. She jumps out and saves the woman from any serious damage, sustaining a few injuries that heal quickly, but gaining appreciation and even respect from some of the shifters.
The romance between Sullivan and Merit really picks up at this point. They stop by and pick up a world-famous Chicago pizza. They take it back to Sullivan's room and open a bottle of wine. Merit has no thoughts in her mind about what is about to happen. They are enjoying the pizza when talk turns to how Sullivan put his life in danger for Merit. Talk leads to them finally sleeping together. That night everything is perfect between Merit and Sullivan. It's the next day that ruins everything.
The next day, Merit and Sullivan go to yet another shifter meeting. It is there that Merit encounters a rough shifter. The shifter starts to pick a fight with Merit. He starts to physically attack her when Sullivan steps in with a little to much power. This does not help the matters between shifters and vampires. The two leave shortly after the encounter. On the way home, Sullivan tells Merit that he can no longer have a personal relationship with her. Things are too complicated between the two of them. Sullivan is the leader of the House and needs to protect all of the vampires there. But Merit makes him only want to protect her. Ethan suggests that everything must be strictly professional between them.
Things get to be a little crazy between Merit and Sullivan. There is constant tension between the two. The day after the break-up, Sullivan's old mistress Lacey Sheridan shows up. This causes Merit to be pushed more towards the secret vampire society that Sullivan despises. Finally the day comes where the shifters decide to stay in Chicago. A number of different instances of violence come up. Merit helps put them to an end, but Sullivan speaks about his feelings towards Merit. Merit will have nothing to do with it. She tells him to stop. They are after all working strictly professional. The night ends, and Keene remains alive.
The next day, Sullivan is hosting a party for their guest Sheridan. Sullivan and Merit have another talk inside his office. He once again tries to share how he feels with Merit. He tries to tell her how much he loves her and that the visit from Sheridan has been planned for months. The talk ends a little rough between the two. Merit leaves to go for a walk. On the walk, Keene's brother tells her to get into the limo with him because Gabriel is in danger. Once there, Merit realizes that this is a setup. She talks Gabriel from killing her childhood friend and that his brother is setting them up. Merit witness's a shifter shifting into his animal. Gabriel and his brother get into a fight. Gabriel is the winner, but at the end of the fight Merit receives a 911-page from the House. There was a breach into the house. Gabriel's brother informs them that he has sent all the mad shifter's to attack Sullivan's house.
Merit makes a quick call to the secret society of vampires and then heads over to the House. Once there, she moves her way slowly towards Sullivan. At first she cannot get through their special vampire connection of minds. Once through, Sullivan thanks God that she is safe. Merit fights her way into Sullivan's office. The two fight back-to-back. They take out all the shifters and humans who pose a threat to them. Merit turns to Sullivan when he pulls her into an intense kiss. Later outside, Gabriel is making a public statement about shape shifters being real. There cover was blown by a fellow shifter healing himself. Now the world knows about shifters and vampires.
At the end of the novel, Sullivan visits Merit in her room. He goes into how he was wrong about them never being able to be a couple. Last night proved that they have great chemistry fighting together. Merit turned down the offer to join the society. Her heart belongs to Sullivan's house and no other.
Cadogan House is being picketed by protestors and an ex-military man named McKetrick. During this, Ethan is summoned to Mayor Tate's mansion at Creeley Creek to discuss reports of an illegal rave that turned violent, leading to the deaths of three women. Tate threatens Ethan with an arrest warrant if any more humans should be killed. Merit, with the help of Red Guard member Jonah, visits a rave, and finds a new drug called 'V' that wipes away the inhibitions of vampires making them moody and volatile. When she returns to Cadogan with news of more illegal raves, she bursts in on a meeting of Ethan and the Greenwich Presidium representative, Darius. Darius insists no one take any action that will make the House, the GP, and the vampires look bad, but Merit and two other Novitiates go to Temple Bar to try to ferret out the drug and its makers/distributors. A fight breaks out because of vampires using 'V,' and Merit is caught up in it, and questioned by the CPD and the Ombud's office. Using Jeff's computer skills and the surveillance cameras, Merit is led to a criminal named Paulie, who works for Celina distributing 'V.' After chasing down Paulie, and getting Celina arrested for admitting her part in the scheme, Merit finds that Paulie has been working with Mayor Tate the whole time, as has Celina. She goes to confront them, and the mayor tells her her father paid Ethan to turn her into a vampire. Ethan tries to explain, and Celina, high on 'V' and controlled by some unknown magic, tries to stake Merit. Ethan jumps in the way, and is killed; Merit then stakes Celina, killing her, as well. Paulie and the mayor are both arrested for their part, and Cadogan House mourns the loss of their Master. After a week of self-pity, Mallory convinces Merit to ask her father if he paid Ethan off. Her father admits that he offered, but Ethan did not accept. Celina heard about the offer and was jealous; she found a Rogue to kill Merit, and Ethan turned her. At the end, Merit visits Malik, the new House Master, after Ethan passed away, to return to her job.
Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can't tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city itself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven't been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and try to let the mortals calm down.
That's when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly.
Chicago's mayor insists it's nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She'll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who's behind this, and stop them before it's too late for vampires and humans alike. You discover this is the work of Mallory and unfortunately this ultimately leads to her betrayal to Merit. The book ends with a resurrection and Ethan comes back to life.
Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago's vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans.
Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed. No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.
Hunting Mallory, Merit and Ethan are briefly met and engaged by Seth Tate, released by the mayor. After forcing them off the road, Tate leaves and hunts the book also. Reaching the safety of the Orders Archivists house, Ethan and Merit face down a vengeful Mallory, who wreaks havoc before teleporting away. Realizing that Mallory and Tate have teamed up, and that Mallory was serving as a distraction for Tate, Ethan and Merit head back to the bunker, where they engage in a heated battle with Tate and Mallory but are unable to prevent Mallory from completing her spell and destroying the book, causing Tate to split in two. After handing Mallory off to the shifters, who arrived to take the book, Ethan and Merit, along with the Archivist, hunt for clues to Tate's heritage. Eventually learning that Seth Tate was an angel possessed by a demon, his twin brother Domonic. As they hunt for Domonic, and come under closer scrutiny from Chicago's prejudiced major, Merit learns of an affair between Domonic and the queen of the fairies. Eventually, with the queens help, they corner Domonic and together with Ethan, Mallory, and Catcher, Merit manages to capture Domonic, but before she can kill him, Seth stops her and requests that he do it himself, feeling responsible for the lives that Domonic has destroyed in his brief reign of terror. The book ends with Seth killing Domonic with Merit's blade.
During all this, Cadogan House must decide whether they truly need the Greenwhich Presidum.
At 28, Merit became a sword-wielding vampire. Since then, she's become the protector of her House, watched Chicago nearly burn to the ground, and seen her Master fall and rise. Now she’ll see her mettle—and her metal—tested like never before.
It started with two rogues vanishing without a trace. Someone is targeting Chicago's vampires, and anyone could be next. With their house in peril, Merit and her Master, the centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, must race to stop the disappearances. But as they untangle a web of secret alliances and ancient evils, they realize their foe is more familiar, and more powerful, than they could have ever imagined.
The Greenwich Presidium is inventorying their house and is determined to leave Cadogan penniless as an object lesson to any other house wishing to leave or disobey their rules. When they are not satisfied with what they can wrangle out of Cadogan legally, based on the treaty signed by Peter Cadogan, they turn to force. Bribing the fairies assigned to guard Cadogan onto their side with the promise of returning to them the Dragon's Egg, a item of great importance to the fairies that has been in Cadogan's possession for centuries, they attempt to bully Ethan and Merit and all their vampires out of their very home. In the midst of this, Lacey Sheridan is back and determined to undermine Merits relationship with Ethan, Merit's affiliation with the Red Guard is revealed to Ethan and a crazed killer is on the loose and his target of choice is vampires.
Juggling many crisis's at once, Merit uses her RG contacts to suss out the location of the "Dragon's Egg", returning it to Ethan, nullifying the fairies deal with the GP. Ethan uses the attack to break out of the contract signed by Peter Cadogan by pointing out that the GP broke its word when it raised arms against Cadogan before Cadogan was officially outside the GP's protection, allowing him to keep everything. Without allies and with the law on the side of their enemies, the GP leaves. Meanwhile, Merit uses her fathers contacts to hunt down the vampire killer, eventually uncovering a dark story of forced changes and torture leading back 95 years and that the killer is none other than the security consultant Ethan hired to protect Cadogan vampires against GP hostility. Just as they realize this, they receive an urgent phone call from the GP; Darius and another GP member have been captured by the crazed vampire and it is up to Merit, Ethan and Jonah to save them.
Merit has been a vampire for only a short while, but she's already seen a lifetime's worth of trouble. She and her Master, centuries-old Ethan Sullivan, have risked their lives time and again to save the city they love. But not all of Chicago is loving them back.
Anti-vampire riots are erupting all over town, striking vampires where it hurts the most. A splinter group armed with Molotov cocktails and deep-seated hate is intent on clearing the fanged from the Windy City come hell or high water.
Merit and her allies rush to figure out who's behind the attacks, who will be targeted next, and whether there's any way to stop the wanton destruction. The battle for Chicago is just beginning, and Merit is running out of time.
Since Merit was turned into a vampire, and the protector of Chicago's Cadogan House, it's been a wild ride. She and Master vampire Ethan Sullivan have helped make Cadogan's vampires the strongest in North America, and forged ties with paranormal folk of all breeds and creeds, living or dead ... or both.
But now those alliances are about to be tested. A strange and twisted magic has ripped through the North American Central Pack, and Merit's closest friends are caught in the cross hairs. Gabriel Keene, the Pack Apex, looks to Merit and Ethan for help. But who—or what—could possibly be powerful enough to out-magic a shifter?
Merit is about to go toe to toe, and cold steel to cold heart, to find out.