As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she's a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he's prince of the Pack and its future king.
When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.
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Vampires were made, not born.
All except one.
All except me.
I was the daughter of vampires, born because magic and fate twisted together. I'd spent nineteen years in Chicago. Tonight, I stood nearly four hundred feet above Paris, several thousand miles away from the Windy City and the Houses in which most of its vampires lived.
Around me, visitors on the second level of the Eiffel Tower sipped champagne and snapped shots of the city. I closed my eyes against the warm, balmy breeze that carried the faint scent of flowers.
"Elisa, you cannot tell Paris goodbye with your eyes closed."
"I'm not saying goodbye," I said. "Because I'm coming back."
I opened my eyes, smiled at the vampire who appeared at my side with two plastic cones of champagne. Seraphine had golden skin and dark hair, and her hazel eyes shone with amusement.
"To Paris," I said, and tapped my cone against hers.
It had been four years since I'd last stepped foot in Chicago. Tomorrow, I'd go home again and visit the city and spend time with family and friends.
For twenty years, there'd been peace in Chicago among humans and sups, largely because of efforts by my parents-Ethan Sullivan and Merit, the Master and Sentinel, respectively, of Cadogan House. They'd worked to find a lasting peace, and had been so successful that Chicago had become a model for other communities around the world.
That's why Seri and I were going back. The city's four vampire Houses were hosting peace talks for vampires from Western Europe, where Houses had been warring since the governing council-the Greenwich Presidium-dissolved before I was born. And vampires' relations with the other supernaturals in Europe weren't any better. Chicago would serve as neutral territory where the Houses' issues could be discussed and a new system of government could be hammered out.
"You look . . . What is the word? Wistful?" Seri smiled. "And you haven't even left yet."
"I'm building up my immunity," I said, and sipped the champagne.
"You love Chicago."
"It's a great city. But I was . . . a different person in Chicago. I like who I am here."
Paris wasn't always peaceful. But it had given me the time and distance to develop the control I'd needed over the monster that lived inside me. Because I wasn't just a vampire. . . .
Seri bumped her shoulder against mine supportively. "You will be the same person there as you are here. Miles change only location. They do not change a person's heart. A person's character."
I hoped that was true. But Seri didn't know the whole of it. She didn't know about the half-formed power that lurked beneath my skin, reveled in its anger. She didn't know about the magic that had grown stronger as I'd grown older, until it beat like a second heartbeat inside me.
Sunlight and aspen could kill me-but the monster could bury me in its rage.
I'd spent the past four years attending ƒcole Dumas, Europe's only university for supernaturals. I was one of a handful of vampires in residence. Most humans weren't changed into vampires until they were older; the change would give them immortality, but they'd be stuck at the age at which they'd been changed. No one wanted to be thirteen for eternity.
I hadn't been changed at all, but born a vampire-the one and only vampire created that way. Immortal, or so we assumed, but still for the moment aging.
The university was affiliated with Paris's Maison Dumas, one of Europe's most prestigious vampire Houses, where I'd lived for the past four years. I'd had a little culture shock at first, but I'd come to love the House and appreciate its logical approach to problem solving. If Cadogan was Gryffindor, all bravery and guts, Dumas was Ravenclaw, all intellect and cleverness. I liked being clever, and I liked clever people, so we were a good fit.
I'd had four years of training to develop the three components of vampire strength: physical, psychic, and strategic. I graduated a few months ago with a sociology degree-emphasis in sup-human relations-and now I was repaying my training the same way French vampires did, with a year of mandatory armed service for the House. It was a chance to see what I was made of, and to spend another year in the city I'd come to love.
I was three months into my service. Escorting delegates from Maison Dumas to Chicago for the peace talks was part of my work.
"How many suitcases are you bringing?"
I glanced at Seri with amusement. "Why? How many are you bringing?"
"Four." Seri did not travel lightly.
"We'll only be in Chicago for four days."
"I have diplomatic responsibilities, Elisa."
I sipped my champagne. "That's what French vampires say when they pack too much. I have a capsule wardrobe."
"And that is what American vampires say when they do not pack enough. You also have diplomatic responsibilities."
"I have responsibilities to the House. That's different."
"Ah," she said, smiling at me over the rim of her drink. "But which one?"
"Maison Dumas," I said, in an accent that was pretty close to perfect. "I'm not going to Chicago on behalf of Cadogan House. It's just a bonus."
"I look forward to meeting your parents. And I'm sure they'll be glad to see you."
"I'll be glad to see them, too. It's just-I've changed a lot in the last few years. Since the last time I went home."
They'd visited Paris twice since I'd been gone, and we'd had fun walking through the city, seeing the sights. But I still felt like I'd been holding myself back from them. Maybe I always had.
"It's not about you or Cadogan or Chicago," I'd told my father, when we'd stood outside the private terminal at O'Hare, in front of the jet that would take me across the world. I'd been struggling to make him understand. "It's about figuring out who I am."
In Chicago, I was the child of Ethan and Merit. And it had been hard to feel like anything more than a reflection of my parents and my birth, which made me a curiosity for plenty of sups outside Cadogan House who treated me like a prize. And the possibility I might be able to bear children made me, at least for some, a prize to be captured.
I'd wanted to be something more, something different. . . . Something that was just me.
"You couldn't fail us by living your life the way you want," my father had said. "It's your life to live, and you will make your own choices. You always have."
He'd tipped my chin up with the crook of his finger, forcing me to meet his gaze.
"There are some decisions that we make, and some that are made for us. Sometimes you accept the path that's offered to you, and you live that path-that life-with grace. And sometimes you push forward, and you chart your own path. That decision is yours. It's always been yours."
"I don't want you to go, because I'm selfish. Because you are my child." His eyes had burned fiercely, emeralds on fire. "But if this is your path, you must take it. Whatever happens out there, you always have a home here."
He'd kissed my forehead, then embraced me hard. "Test your wings," he'd quietly said. A suggestion. A request. A hope. "And fly."
I had flown. And I'd read and walked and learned and trained, just like everyone else.
In Paris, I'd been just another vampire. And the anonymity, the freedom, had been exhilarating.
"We all carry expectations," Seri said quietly, her eyes suddenly clouded. "Sometimes our own, sometimes others'. Both can be heavy."
Seri came from what the European Houses called "good blood." She'd been made by a Master vampire with power, with money, with an old name, and with plenty of cachet-and that mattered to French vampires. Seri had been the last vampire he'd made before his death, and those of his name were expected to be aristocrats and socialites. Unlike in the US, French vampires selected their own Houses. She'd picked Maison Dumas instead of Maison Bourdillon, the House of her Master. That hadn't made her many friends among Bourdillon's progeny, who decided she was wasting her legacy.
"Are you excited to see Chicago?" I asked her.
"I am excited to see the city," she said, "if not optimistic about what will come of the talks. Consider Calais."
The most recent attack had taken place in Calais a week ago. Vampires from Paris's Maison Solignac had attacked Maison Saint-Germaine because they believed they weren't getting a big enough cut of the city port's profits. In the process, four vampires and two humans had been killed.
The European Houses had lived together peacefully, at least by human standards, for hundreds of years. But after the GP's dissolution, all bets were off. There was power to be had, and vampires found that irresistible.
More than a dozen delegates from France, including Seri and Marion, the Master of Maison Dumas, would participate in the talks. Marion and Seri would be accompanied by nearly a dozen staff, including Marion's bodyguard, Seri's assistant, Odette, and me.
"Yeah," I said. "I don't know how successful it will be, either. But refusing to talk certainly isn't doing much good."
Seri nodded and drank the last of her champagne as two guards passed us-one human, one vampire-and silenced the chatter. They wore black fatigues and berets, and looked suspiciously at everyone they passed. Part of the joint task force created by the Paris Police Prefecture to keep the city safe.
The vampire's eyes shifted to me, then Seri. He acknowledged us, scanned the rest of the crowd, and kept walking, katana belted at his waist.
Vampires in the US and Western Europe used the long and slightly curved Japanese swords, which were sharp and deadly as fangs, but with a much longer reach.
Sorcerers had magic. Shifters had their animal forms. Vampires had katanas.
"There's Jav’," Seraphine whispered, and watched as they kept moving, then disappeared around the corner. Jav’ was a Dumas vampire doing his year of service.
These weren't the only guards at the Eiffel Tower. Humans and vampires alike stood at the edge of the crowd below, wearing body armor and weapons and trying to keep safe the tourists and residents enjoying a warm night in the Champ de Mars.
We turned back to the rail, looked over the city. So much white stone, so many slate roofs, so many people enjoying the warm night. But the specter of violence, of fear, hung over it. And that was hard to shake. No city was perfect, not when people lived in it.
"Let us take a photo," Seri said, clearly trying to lift the mood. She put an arm around me, then pulled out her screen and angled the narrow strip of glass and silicon for a perfect shot.
"To Paris!" she said, and we smiled.
The moment recorded, she checked the time before putting the device away again. "We should get back. The Auto will arrive in a few hours." She slipped an arm through mine. "This will be an adventure, and we will be optimists. And I look forward to pizza and Chicago dogs and . . . Comment dites-vous 'milk shake de gateau'?"
"Cake shake," I said with a smile. "You and my mother are going to get along just fine."
We'd only just turned to head toward the elevator when screams sliced through the air, followed by a wave of nervous, fearful magic that rolled up from the ground.
We looked back and over the rail.
Even from this height, they were visible. Five vampires in gleaming red leather running through the green space with katanas in one hand and small weapons in the other.
Not knives; there was no gleam from the flashing lights on the Tower.
What was shaped like a knife, but held no metal, and would turn a vampire to dust?
Humans had been wrong about vampires and crosses, but they'd been absolutely right about stakes. An aspen stake through the heart was a guaranteed way to put the "mortal" in "immortal."
I didn't know which House the vampires were from. I was too high to see their faces, and the gleaming red leather didn't give anything away. Leather was a vampire favorite, and French vampire Houses appreciated fashion as much as the French fashion houses did.
But their intent was clear enough. They ran through the crowd, weapons drawn, and took aim at everyone in their path. Screams, sharp and terrified, filled the air. I watched one person fall, another dive to the ground to avoid the strike, a third try unsuccessfully to fight back against the vampire's increased strength.
Paris was under attack. My stomach clenched with nerves and anger.
I wanted to help. I was stronger and faster than most humans, and trained as well as any vampire from Maison Dumas would have been. But there were rules. There were roles and responsibilities. The Paris police, the task force members, were supposed to respond to events. I was just a civilian, and only a temporary one at that. I worked for Dumas, and should have been focused on getting Seri safely back to Maison Dumas.
But the screams . . .
The guards who'd walked past minutes before ran back to the rail beside us and stared at the scene below in horror. And neither of them made a move toward the ground. It took only a second to guess why.
"Can you jump?" I asked Jav’, the vampire.
He looked at me, eyes wide. "Quoi?"
I had to remember where I was, shook my head, tried again. "Pouvez-vous sauter?"
"Non." Jav’ looked down. "Non. Trop haut."
Too high. Most vampires could jump higher and farther than humans, and we could jump down from heights that would easily kill humans. But the trick required training, which I'd learned the hard way-believing I could fly from the widow's walk atop Cadogan House. I'd broken my arm, but vampires healed quickly, so that hadn't been much of a deterrent. My mother had taught me the rest.
Jav’ couldn't jump, so he'd have to wait for the elevator or take the hundreds of stairs down to ground level.
But I didn't have to wait.
I squeezed Seri's hand, told Jav’ to take care of her, and hoped he'd obey.
Before anyone could argue, or I could think better of it, I slid the katana from his scabbard, climbed onto the railing, and walked into space.
I descended through rushing darkness. A human might have had a few seconds of free fall before the deadly landing. But for a vampire, it was less a fall than a long and lazy step. Maybe we compressed space; maybe we elongated time. I didnÕt understand the physics, but I loved the sensation. It was as close to flying as I was likely to get.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Loved this book. Elisa is the best of both Ethan and Merit. Connor is amazing as well. Can't wait for more of the series.
It brings back old characters with new ones. So excited to see Merritts daughter grow and fall in love. Can't wait to see more from Elisa.
Awesome beginning to a new series!! I was so sad when I thought the Chicagoland vampires were done, thanks for bringing them back!!
I’ve been a fan since the beginning. I love the start of the next generation. Really good book.
Loved it...can't wait for the next book
Not impressed. I just couldn't get into this book. I love this author but to me, she just took Ethan and Merit and and made them younger all over again in the new characters Lulu, Elisa, and Conner. It is basically the same exact stories. So I won't be buying the rest of the series. I read this book this past weekend and have already forgotten how it ended, that is how unimpressed I am about the book.
Really enjoyed! It was a fun read but I missed Jeff, Catcher and Mallory. Keep the books coming !
Book was slow
Was sad to see Merit and Ethan end but Elisa has a good share of both. Cant wait to see how her and Connors story goes.
Good story and characters. Hopefully this will be a long running series.
Great read. Can't wait for the next one.
I wasn't sure if I was going to like the spinoff series, but it is great and can be read without having read the original series.
wild hunger kicks off a spin-off series to the chicagoland vampires series—which full disclosure i haven't read—and features the only vampire child ever born, elisa sullivan. after years in paris, she is back in chicago for peace talks that are intended to solve the violence erupting between the vampires in europe. the supernatural community is unsettled. and the fairies seem to be in the thick of things. when one of elisa's long-time friends is falsely accused of murder, she starts investigating even as this act could threaten the fragile peace the chicago vampires enjoy with their human counterparts. if this weren't all, elisa is finding herself drawn to connor keene, her childhood nemesis. the self-proclaimed prince of werewolves, connor is cocky and knows exactly how to push her buttons. connor is also the one person in the world who knows her secret. elisa isn't a normal vampire. there is a magic locked within her, a monster that increases her power and strength and aptitude for violence. she is afraid of this part of herself, but with connor's help, she might possibly learn to accept it and use it to her advantage. a fast-paced start to an intriguing urban fantasy series, i can't wait to see what is next in store for elisa and connor and their friends. **wild hunger will publish on august 14, 2018. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/berkley publishing group (berkley) in exchange for my honest review.
This was good. I decided to read this book largely because I have been enjoying Chloe Neill's Devil's Isle series and I noticed that this book was the start of a new series. I didn't initially realize that this series is a spin off of the Chicagoland Vampires series so I was a little nervous after I made that discovery since I have only read the first book from that series. I am happy to report that this book works perfectly fine as a starting point and there is no need to have read the Chicagoland Vampires series to enjoy this novel. This book starts out very strong. Elisa is in Paris with a friend when the area is attacked and she springs into action. Tensions are high among the European vampires so representatives from the areas go to Chicago to discuss peace. Elisa hasn't been home to Chicago in years but she is determined to help make these peace talks successful. I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Elisa was very smart and resourceful. She knew how to handle herself and was willing to take necessary risks. She did have fears and worked hard to hide certain things from others. Connor was absolutely wonderful. He is the son of the local werewolf pack and has known Elisa since they were kids. He was smart, tough, protective, and incredibly sexy. Lulu, Elisa's best friend, added some laughs to the story. She was very competent and seemed to be exactly what Elisa needed at times. Theo worked very well with Elisa and proved that even humans could hold their own with all of the supernaturals in the area. There was a really well done mystery at the core of this story. There is a murder that needs to be solved but nobody in charge seems to want to look beyond the surface. Elisa knows that there is more to the story so she works to figure out what is really going on. There is plenty of excitement and a few twists and turns that kept me guessing. I thought that there was a really nice balance of creativity, action, character development, humor, and a touch of romance. I would recommend this series to others. Elisa and her friends were all really strong characters trying to solve a rather complex mystery. I do look forward to future installments in this series. I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.
Like the basic story line. Looking forward to more in the series.
Chloe Niell has started a new series with the next generation of a vampire in Chicagoland. Elisa the daughter of Eathan, and Merit, is all grown up and loving in Paris as the story starts. She does't, however stay there very long. She's goes back to Chicagoland as the guard of one of vampires from the house she was staying at. There are peace talks in the states, but they don't go on very long. A vampire delegate from Spain is murdered and a shifter is the lead suspect. Elisa spends the rest of the book looking for the real killer. With the story set in Chicagoland Elisa interacts with her parents (who are supporting charactors) , while she goes about her investigations. Ms Noell has succeeded in starting a new series, and we can look forward to more, of Elisa.
I hadn’t read any of the books in the Chicagoland series, but since this is a spin off it wasn’t necessary. The story was a bit slow to start, but once the conflict got underway the story picked up the pace and kept it up. All of the characters were likable, and the villain was just heinous enough for a starter heroine. There was one minor issue and one major issue for me. The minor one being semi-instalove. I say semi because Elisa and Connor did grow up together. However it was instalove because they went from being contemptuous to hard core making out. But there was no event that prompted the shift in their relationship. It would’ve been nice to have a moment between their fighting and kissing. It didn’t need to be sappy, just something a bit deeper than wow you got hot. Especially since Connor had a girlfriend, who he just dumped again without us seeing any reasoning or motivation to do so. The major issue was Elisa. She was likable, but her whining was annoying from the start. Her being a young adult trying to figure out her place in the world was normal. Her whining about her privileged background as if it was some obstacle was annoying. Her childhood was loving in a peaceful Chicago. Her parents are awesome and encouraging. She did not grow up in a gilded cage bogged down by expectations. She had great friends and an extended family of amazing aunts and uncles. Her family is rich, so money was never an issue. When it was time for her to spread her wings no one held her back, and she left at the same age her peers who finish HS do to head off to college. So what was her damage? I know that many of the characters that made an appearance are beloved from the original series, but she could’ve used a major loss. She needed something to snap her into reality. Her life is amazing, she needed something to make her appreciate it not complain about it. Also considering who her parents are I had a hard time believing that they had no idea about her “monster” and that she never felt comfortable talking to them so they could figure out as a family what exactly was going on. But that aside I did enjoy the book and will be reading the next in the series.
Great first book really enjoyed this series will be every bit as fantastic as the rest of her books.Great job can't wait for book 2
Since this is a spin-off, I do suggest that anyone interested in reading this series read at least the first couple of books from the Chicagoland Vampire series since that will explain the dynamics and relationships between a lot of key players we meet in this story. However, I only read up to the fourth or fifth book of that series and never made it to the portion where they had a daughter. With that being said, I didn’t feel like I missed too much by jumping into this series without seeing Elisa as a baby or toddler in the previous series. The author actually includes a prologue of Elisa and Conner as kids so that you get an understanding of their history. I felt like Wild Hunger follows the same theme and story arc as Chicagoland Vampires. Someone attacks a vampire, and it’s a mad dash to not only find the killer, but figure out what their master plan is and stop them before it’s too late. One thing that I really liked about this story was probably the romance element between Elisa and Connor (the shifter prince and her childhood annoyance). They are reunited in this story and while they bicker and argue a lot, you can clearly tell that Connor always has an eye on Elisa and always has her back. I’m surprised it took the girl so long to figure it out. This story not only had a budding romance, but there was a lot of action. Between the attack in France and the attacks in Chicago, there was never really a dull moment in the story. I really liked that the author didn’t skip over the fight scenes. There’s a lot of turmoil between the houses and species of this world, and I’m glad that we not only got to see the tension but we witnessed the chaos that is caused by all the prejudices. Wild Hunger is a great start to a new generation of Chicagoland characters. I absolutely loved Connor, and I really liked Elisa’s character. Most times I find heroines reckless or annoying, but she was neither. She understood the position she was in and tried to do all that she could to solve a deep-rooted problem. I also really appreciate that there wasn’t any cliffhangers. We’re left knowing that there is more to these character’s story, but no one is left dangling from a cliff, or battling the clutches of death before the book ends. Which, I don’t know about you, but that really bothers me. We get a nice beginning, middle, and end to the story with the understanding that their story has just begun.
Always good , didn't disappoint
Wild Hunger is a spin off or second generation of the Chicagoland Vampires Series. Elisa Sullivan has escaped Chicago to Study in Paris, partly for an education and partly to slip away from the notoriety for being the first child ever born to vampires. Her Parents, Merit and Ethan Sullivan are the focus of the original series and this is the first book in the Heirs of Chicagoland, which introduces us to Elisa, as well as Lulu the daughter of a very powerful witch, and Connor the son of the Apex to the Shifters. The storyline starts with a literal bang and a then a jump, when Elisa is forced into the conflict between house and countries, on the Eve of a trip home to attend a peace conference, hosted by her parents, Once she arrives home she is faced with one challenge after another, some personal and some public. A friend is accused of murder, peace talks are side tracked and there are some not so friendly fae on the loose.. Elisa and Conner must make choices between loyalty and friendship to save Chicago and themselves. If you were a fan of the original series, you'll feel right at home, even though twenty years have passed, somethings have changed but the characters are the same. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading the original series you can still start here. There are lots of references to prior battles and characters but there are also enough details given that you won't be lost. But I do suggest to pick them up as soon as you can so you can truly enjoy this book. Chloe Neill knows how to write action but the romance, friendship and loyalty still shine through. Strong and smart female leads with some violence but an interesting read for most any age. Thanks to Netgalley for a free copy for an honest review
In the Chicagoland Vampire series, and every novel, protagonist Merritt and her fellow vampires have to solve something plaguing the city of Chicago. 20 odd years later, her daughter is doing the same thing. Therefore, if you like the original books this one is just an extension of them.