The third book in the series.The leader of the shifters, Gabriel Keene, and his pregnant wife Tonya visit the Cadogan House to ask Ethan, the house master vampire, and his sentinal Merit to act as security detail, providing protection when the four leaders of the shifters meet to decide if they should have a convention in Chicago or not. Ethan, the forever politically minded and a major manipulator, sees the proposition as an opportunity to form an alliance with the shape-shifters. Gabriel also reveals he can see the future and that Merit will play the role of protector for his unborn child. In addition, Merit is offered the opportunity to join the RG, an elite group of vampires that protect all vampires from political abuse from the governing bodies, work for the greater good of vampires and enforce check and balance, but Merit feels that Ethan will consider this as spying and an act of betrayal. Was I surprised by Ethan's actions? Hell no. He was nothing but a jerk in the first two books; a leopard doesn't change its spots. In my opinion, the inconsistency with his character wasn't in this book but the next one in the series - but I'm not going there yet. As far as inconsistency in the book subject matter goes that's nothing new. We have seen them in previous ones like when Luc is the only one wearing jeans and in the next page we learn Peter is also wearing a pair.Merit also makes up for her unreasonable behavior toward Mallory from the last book. Interesting how Ethan was the cause of the rift and after he dumped Merit his actions were also the cause of the reunion between the two best friends. My favorite is the sparring scene with Ethan, while the rest of the Codogan vampires watch along with his icy bitch ex-consort, the new master house vampire and, based on what all the vampires in Cadogen house believe, Ethan's current lover and the woman he dumped Merit for after a one night stand. This takes place after Merritt overhears Lacy calling her ‘ a common soldier’ to Ethan. After Ethan beats Merit for most of the sparring time, Merit gets right in his face and says ‘I’m just a common solider’ and then proceeds to knock him down and beat the hell out of him.Gabriel Keene is a true representative of an alpha male in this series, the kind of character you just can't help but love. I also enjoyed how most house vampires rally around Merit.