Don’t get me started on the six years I wasted on the television show LOST. As the series finale ended, and the credits rolled over a plane crash on the beach, my mind twisted like a pretzel as I tried to find the meaning in it all. Days later, I combed the internet trolling through message boards and blogs searching for the deeper meaning, only to find there was none. I’m guessing I’m not the only one that felt that way. Most people don’t want to invest their time in a show that will either get cancelled or leave them with more questions. TV shows like The Good Wife, NCSI and CSI:Miami are popular because they’ve created a continuing story line coupled with a “B” story that has a beginning, middle and end. Each week there’s a bit of a cliff hanger or an unanswered question, but you also have a crime that’s solved or a verdict that’s been rendered. People want answers, because we live in an instant gratification kind of world where at a moment’s notice you can pull out your phone and find the nearest take out place even if you’re stranded in the middle of a foreign country. And that’s why Chole Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire Series works for me.
The series centers on Merit, a graduate student who was savagely attacked by a rouge vampire on her way home from the University’s research lab. Left for dead, she’s rescued by Ethan Sullivan, the Master of one of four Vampire houses in the city. His only way to save her is to make her one of them and she soon becomes the Sentinel of Ethan’s Cardogan House. Merit moves into her new role as a vampire and becomes a true guardian of the house while maintaining her sense of humanity. We also meet the other magical and supernatural beings living in and around the Windy City. There have been fights, territorial disputes, and jockeying for power, in short, there’s all manner of back room politics, conniving and mysteries we’ve yet to solve. But through it all, each book has a mystery with a beginning middle and an end. Albeit the author leaves you with a cliff hanger each and every time – but it’s those cliff hangers that keep me coming back for more, and more and more. Her latest book in the series, Drink Deep is no exception. Just when I thought I had the over arching story line all figured out, the author threw in a curve ball that had me befuddled, mumbling to myself and slapping my head with the book a few times. BUT, again, I bought into it and I was completely satisfied. I am BEGGING FOR THE NEXT BOOK.
So here are the 10 reason why this series will suck you in:
1. The mythology is unique and it works. Her magical/paranormal creatures have a contemporary edge that has humor, wit and believability.
2. Merit is kick ass. Need I say more? I love a kick ass heroine. She confronts situations and solves problems.
3. The romance will keep you guessing…guessing…guessing. But it’s sigh worthy, even while you’re wondering.
4. Smart, witty dialogue.
5. Evil. A reason for the good guys to fight another day.
6. Story lines that keep you turning the pages. I have to admit, at no time am I skimming, or wondering when she’ll get on with. It’s fast paced action all the way.
7. The heroine figures it out. As the series progresses, Merit learns who she is and how far she can stretch herself. Underneath it all, is a woman who you can admire, because she doesn’t lose the best of herself.
8. Political struggle. I love a good mystery with a dash of intrigue.
9. Cliffhangers. If done well are pure magic. This series does them VERY well.
10. Each book brings Merit closer to the being she’ll find happiness with, but we’re never sure, and just when you think you know the answer, the author puts a ‘spin’ on it. Now, you may want your urban fantasy/paranormal romance to be nice and neat – and truth be told, I’m usually of that bent - however, the author makes the guessing game very, very interesting.
Unlike the television series LOST, Chole Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series is worth my time and I am totally invested. If this is a ‘new-to-you-series’, you‘ve got a lot to look forward to. If you’re already a fan, Drink Deep will take it to the next level.
What series has you completely obsessed?
Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader and an award winning television producer
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