Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill
I like this series. A lot. "Twice Bitten" is proof number three of how much I enjoy it.
This is a unique kind of urban fantasy. It is unlike "Kate Daniels"'s intricate and action-packed plots and reduced amount of romantic interactions. "Chicagoland Vampires" isn't about having a complex plot of deceit, but about the social interactions. Chloe Neill turns the most uneventful parts of vampire lives into something fascinating. I actually wanted to know which bar Merit went to and which outfit she was going to wear, to hear the gossip her friends spilled, to be made aware of both the human and inhuman aspects of her life.
The romance in this series is also written in an unconventional manner. Neill doesn't burden you with three chapters' worth of sex scenes. Instead, she provides the reader with a breathtaking build-up, an assortment of actions you normally have no reaction to. But when it comes to Ethan and Merit, even the smallest gesture carries an enormous amount of significance. And when their time finally came, the aura of magic that was described felt palpable, real. Ethan and Merit do not shag. They make love. Which is anything but a cheesy description. In this case, the expression is completely called for.
The world-building is yet another otherworldly feature of this series. The amount of surprising paranormal traditions in these books that I had never encountered in my experience in the genre never ceases to amaze me. I particularly loved, in "Twice Bitten", to come in contact with the shifter community and learn all about their hierarchy and rituals.
I haven't yet decided whether I'll proceed to the fourth book right away. I'll need some emotional stamina to face what's coming, so I must gather up my strengths before immersing myself in Sentinel-Master interactions.