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Publisher's Summary

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?

©2014 Chloe Neil (P)2014 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A good ones for fans of GP Drama!

My Initial Reaction...
I love the books in this series that involve lots of GP BS, because it makes me so angry. Blood Games was no exception to that rule. So, of course, I loved it!

Note: some series spoilers to follow.

The Narration...
I enjoyed Sophie Eastlake narration for Blood Games as usual. She's Merit for me now and I think that if I were to read these books I'd hear her voice for Merit. For Blood Games, though, I noticed for the first time a lot of bleed over between Ethan and Jonah's voices, to the point where I got confused sometimes who was talking. I think it was Ethan's voice bleeding into Jonah's, which was unfortunate, because I felt like some of his personality was lost as result too at moments. But still a solid performance and I'll definitely continue listening to this series.

The Characters...
I think the characters are what captivate me about this series. I just love them all in Blood Games- from Merit and Ethan, to the Omsbudies and Merit's grandfather, to Jonah and Mallory and the Cadogan vampires. There's so many personalities and they're all so well-developed and unique.

Ethan and Merit are having troubles again and when I saw that coming my stomach about dropped. Thankfully, though, this was more of the kind of trouble you expect for any long-term couple, especially when one of the partners has hundreds of years of life history. So yeah, Ethan's past is rearing it's ugly head and neither one knows quite how to navigate those waters. Ethan is falling back on his go-to protect and exclude, while Merit is worrying and going on the defensive. I enjoyed watching them figure out how to navigate this aspect of their relationship, while still loving and being there for each other.

I'm a really big Jonah fan, so I was personally really happy with the time he got in Blood Games. His interaction with Merit was fun and increasingly more comfortable, we got to learn some fun new details about him, and I'm curious about what may be on the horizon for him.

The Omsbudies are doing so much better now that they have the support of the mayor again. I was really happy to see Merit's grandfather on the mend. I would always like a bit more Jeff, but I'm partial to him ;) Things between Mallory and Catcher are also so much better, I'm loving seeing their new relationship. I love the new Mallory, too. She's been healing slowly over the last few books and I feel like we've finally reached a point where trust is returned. She's learned from her experiences and is doing something about it for others, too, which I thought was great to see. I don't think her and Merit's relationship has (or ever will) returned to what it was, but it something new and equally great.

An unexpected treat for me was Lindsey, one of the Cadogan Vampire guards and Merit's friend. I've always liked her, but in Blood Games during the testing specifically we get to see a piece of her and her ability that I really enjoyed. It made me appreciate what life must be like for her a bit more and I felt it was a really nice touch.

The Story...
There's two big story lines to Blood Games as usual. One involves people turning up dead and the method of murders looks like it might be members of the supernatural community, or singling them out at least. For me, this very procedural element of the books is always just okay, but I'm just not that into procedurals. I didn't see the result coming, though, and there were some neat clues and elements that I really enjoyed.

For me, the real treat is the politics. I know for a lot of people it's the reverse, but I just love the drama with the GP. And seeing as Ethan challenged Darius for his position as head of the GP at the end of the last book we have GP drama in spades. I think Chloe Neill excels in this and I loved every twist. I did think that one element with Darius was fairly anticlimactic and a bit too easily solved, but besides that, nothing was easy. Which means it was great to read!

Concluding Sentiments...
I thoroughly enjoyed Blood Games and cannot wait for the next one. Especially because things ended with a bit of twist! Thankfully it's not a cliffhanger in the sense that things feel unresolved, but I'm definitely counting down to the next book!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just Keeps Getting Better!!

When you combine the creative mind of Chloe Neill AND the perceptive spirited narration by Sohpie Eastlake, you definitely have a winner. After 10 books, you'd think that the capability to sustain the Ethan/Merit romance, to keep the Cadogan House members and staff alive with character development and to create stories and plots that are interesting and intricate would wane. NOPE, NADA. NO WAY. This series just keeps getting better; the writing crisper and the dialogue just spectacular. Blood Games is no exception...and now I can't wait for the next one. I never go into the storyline detail...far more experienced reviewers do a much better job. But I will tell you that the level of maturity in Chloe Neill's writing is certainly on display in this work. AND you absolutely cannot go wrong with Sophie Eastlake. I am not only amazed at how Ms Neill THINKS of things to include in a conversation but also the ability of Ms Eastlake to bring that conversation to life. Do NOT miss this CV book 10...it's outstanding.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

DON'T CHANGE NARRATOR MID SERIES

DON'T CHANGE NARRATOR MID SERIES AND IF YOU DO, AT LEAST GET SOMEONE WITH THE SAME STYLE.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting twist!

Once again, this author has concluded her book differently than the HEA expectation. Granted, this ending wasn’t as shocking as Ethan’s death but, the good guy didn’t win, in the end. I admit, we lovers of romance novels, have gotten used to our HEA endings. However, the good and just, Ethan, was not rewarded for his heroics, as a matter of fact, the opposite was true. Had Ethan not done the honorable thing, he wouldn’t have lost the challenge to the despicable curse, from his past. One can only hope that, ultimately, after the next challenge is bested, the good guys will prevail.

I’m off to the next book to find out!
-V from Kansas

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A rating overall...

My Review:
Overall: 4.5
Performance: 4.5
Story: 4.5

I'll admit I'm running out of things to say about this series...mainly because I'm listening to the audiobooks right now back to back, but I love how the author has mastered Ethan and Merit's relationship in this series. Each book their bond becomes deeper, more. Each book I love the characters more and how they're evolving gets even better.

With most series, I begin to get tired of the repetition, but that hasn't been an issue with these. No, with this series, I just want to devour them faster and faster because the stories are getting incredibly faster. Wow...who would have thought it?

But this book also brought about some unexpected changes...I can't wait to see where Chloe Neill takes the series next. On to the next audiobook... (I'm going to be seriously crushed when I run out of the backlist of these books).

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Sophie Eastlake is wonderful

Ethan and Mirit continue their adventures. The American Houses have sepateted from the European Houses and all the American Lords have equal power..who is going to come out of the woodwork next time. Sophie Eastlake is very easy to listen to and weaves a wonderful audio story.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Exciting new story line for a fantastic series!

In this tale with Ethan and Merit, the two vampire lovers, are thrust into the battle of all battles, the GP Throne. While the vampires of Cadogan House are doing quite well on their own from the GP, their fearless leader Ethan Sullivan has challenged the current GP King Darius for his position. During a fun time activity for charity, someone has attempted to take Merit's life, and leave a nasty threat for Sullivan, turning the challenge for the throne, a cake walk compared to shaking loose a black mailer! Will Ethan and Merit's relationship survive his deep dark secrets? Does Ethan win the battle and take the throne? Will Catcher stop watching movies on the Lifetime Channel?

There was a lot going on in this book besides the race for the throne. While Ethan was keeping his black mailer a secret from Merit, her grandfather called her in on a murder investigation for help. This side job was a welcomed distraction for Merit, given if she hadn't been busy with something, she would have obsessed on Ethan's mysterious phone caller. Then to add to it, Darius shows up in the U.S. unannounced, and not acting himself. He stinks of magic, his eyes are glazed over, and he shows no sign of his true personality. Great, now they have to find out what the truck is going on with that, and is it connected to the threats Sullivan is receiving...

During the murder investigation Merit is helping her grandfather Chuck with, Mallory (Merit's BFF gone witch sheep crazy like Willow did on Buffy, but now reformed) comes into play. The murders are taking on the likeness of a witch at evil doings here see. So here is where Mallory tries to come back into the “inner circle” with Merit. Their relationship was severely strained after the stuff Mallory pulled, but now she has proven that she can be trusted again, the two besties try to mend fences, aww...
Mallory and Merit really need to get back into their relationship, because Merit is becoming way to whiny and narcissistic when left alone with just Ethan around.

We also have new players that are added into the fold of the story with Nicole, her Sentinel and second in command (unknown security officer #1 and 2). Ya, Nicole's Sentinel got a little snarky with Merit implying their would be a dual between them later, but nothing came of it and I never committed their names to memory! Nicole is another master in the U.S. and also challenged Darius. Ethan was unaware of any other challengers, and turns out Nicole will be the bain of his existence! I really enjoyed the newcomer to the party, because come on, both Ethan and Merit need someone to kick their booties at least once!

The showdown for the throne! So it turns out their were several people up for the challenge, but Ethan and Nicole were the only ones from the U.S., so they were tested together by Ethan's inside GP supporter. The build up of the tests were so great that I was on pins and needles waiting to find out what they were going to have to do! OMG, I was so disappointed! I mean really, the physical challenge could have been way more sinister and nail biting scarier than it was. Total let down, but what happened next blew my hair back and took my breath away! Now that I have had time to digest what happened, what has happening, and what is to come I say this, can we get on with the prophecy now? We know Ethan and Merit love each other, duh! We know what is in their future, well some of it, so come on! Stop teasing with the nipple twists and drive it home already! Give me at least one instant gratifying moment, please!


Narrator Review

Sophie Eastlake narrates Blood Games, and has read for all the Chicagoland Vampire books thus far in the series.

So let's keep it real. Sophie is a professional grade, top notch narrator. She has a lot of books under her belt for various authors that I have had the pleasure of listening to as well. Sophie is the narrator that you either love or hate in my opinion. She is fantastic! I absolutely love her! If you want quality audio with perfect pitch, tone, and various accents then Sophie is your lady! Hands down I give Sophie 5 stars all day long.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tere
  • Antioch, CA, United States
  • 07-10-15

YET ANOTHER FABULOUS/WONDERFUL ADVENTURE!!!!!!!!!

Would you listen to Blood Games again? Why?

Absolutely would - because it's that good of a book!!!!

What other book might you compare Blood Games to and why?

Hard to compare Ms. Neill to other writers but if I had to I would say: Vampires in America is a very close 2nd - this is because it's on the Same Type of Story Line & Characters!!!

What about Sophie Eastlake’s performance did you like?

Ms. Sophie is ALWAYS Great to listen to - she makes the book become an adventure - she bring's you into the book with the way she reads the Characters!!!!

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Loved it when Jonah & Merit were at the Convention and Merit was not recognized as Merit and when she saw the Ladies Underwear with Ethan's Face on it!!!! FUNNY!!!!!!!! Also when Merit set Ethan's Ex STRAIGHT - it was good to see Merit with some Fierceness and it was good to see Merit kick some Bottom's - She's getting much better at her Skill for Fighting!!!!

Any additional comments?

Cannot Thank Ms. Neill enough for having such a FANTASTIC imagination and for her Skill as a Writer to bring it all together - Thank you Ms. Neill - Thank you!!!!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The formula is getting old.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No. I started reading these books. I liked them much better as a read. I am better able to suspend disbelief. Several books ago I started listening. I think this may be my last one.

These books are getting very formulaic. And the formula is getting old. The dialog is very square and predictable. Attempts at being cute and witty are forced. The author should retire the word snarky. She should also layoff the introspection from the main character. Her thoughts are even less viable than the predictable plot.

The intimate nature with which the characters interact is more due to the author's familiarity with them than their familiarity with each other. No real people, including fictional ones act this way. The relationships between male and female is one series of generalizations after another.

(Don't get me wrong I couldn't write it better but...)

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending of the book was somewhat redeeming.

What didn’t you like about Sophie Eastlake’s performance?

Half the performance is decent. She reads the female characters fairly well. But all the male characters sound like someone is stepping on the narrators chest. I think it is an attempt to make her voice lower, but it just sounds bizarre. And all the male characters sound the same.

Do you think Blood Games needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I think the characters and situation could support more stories if the author would break up the formula and stop having the characters wining and sniveling all over each other.

Any additional comments?

The narrator just gained serious kudos by pronouncing Glenmorangie properly.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kim
  • Auburndale, FL, United States
  • 05-07-15

Chloe does it every time!!! A superb story

This story kept me interested the Entire time...NON of her characters are tiring or boring!!
I recommend this supernatural story to ANYONE who is interested in a good "mystery" with a little romance and yet a few good laughs...
Loved this book and have already downloaded the next