Following the events in Biting Cold, book six of the Chicagoland Vampires series finds the occupants of Cadogan House understandably nervous as they await formal dissolution of bonds with the Greenwich Presidium, the ruling body with control over all the vampire Houses. Those vampires not affiliated with a recognized House are considered Rouges and can be hunted with impunity should the Presidium choose to do so. At the ceremony marking a break with the Presidium, the fairies paid to protect Cadogan House betrayed them by spiriting off an ancient artifact but there is little time to spare to investigating why. Rouge vampires are missing, killed by entities unknown at a time when anti-vampire sentiment is running high throughout Chicago and Cadogan House is without adequate protection. As House Sentinel, Merit does whatever is necessary to protect her Master and lover Ethan, the House and all those who depend upon her, a task made more difficult by her association with the Red Guard. Time is running out for Cadogan House and Merit must unravel what’s going on before it is too late for them all as attacks come from without and within.
Betrayal runs deep and cuts hard as Cadogan House learns in this fast-paced urban fantasy. Merit remains a strong, capable woman/vampire trying her best to do what is right by her House, Master and friends even when that means doing things the hard way. There are enough plot twists to keep readers guessing and the romance between Ethan and Merit is beginning to deepen despite her ties to the Red Guard and interference by an ex-lover. One thing is for certain, with Cadogan House’s change of status and missing artifacts, there will plenty more challenges ahead for Sentinel Merit.