More Than Words
Our Favorite Chicagoland Vampires Quotes
by Barbara Bones and Zee the Terrible
We're still in a tizzy after our long awaited Biting Cold release day, and just not quite ready to let Merit, Ethan, and Chicago go until House Rules in February.
We know that Chloe Neill has had us in a thrall since the first few pages of Some Girls Bite. So we thought, what better way to celebrate our Chicagoland Vampires love than to revisit some of our most memorable scenes, with quotes that gave us chills and brought tears to our eyes, or just made us smile or sigh. Here are just some of our favorites from the series. (Not all of them of course, we'd need a lot more than one post to cover them all.) Keep reading to see if our favorites are also yours.
Some Girls Bite
I had a hard time choosing between First Hunger (SO sexy) and this. But ultimately, this won. I love the way Ms.Neill writes, and this paragraph just spoke to me. So clearly. I know EXACTLY what she meant, what Merit was feeling. The first time I read this, I had to pause. And read it again. I still have the page dog-eared. Even now, it has that same profound effect on me.
"Have you ever had a moment where you knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you were in the right place? That you were on the right journey? Maybe the sense that you’d crossed a boundary, jumped a hurdle, and somehow, after facing some unconquerable mountain, found yourself suddenly on the other side of it? When the night was warm, and the wind was cool, and a song carried through the quiet streets around you. When you felt the entire world around you, and you were part of it—of the hum of it—and everything was good.
Contentment, I suppose, is the simple explanation for it. But it seems more than that, thicker than that, some unity of purpose, some sense of being truly, honestly, for that moment, at home. Those moments never seem to last long enough. The song ends, the breeze stills, the worries and fears creep in again and you’re left trying to move forward, but glancing back at the mountain behind you, wondering how you managed to cross it, afraid you really didn’t—that the bulk and shadow over your shoulder might evaporate and re-form before you, and you’d be faced with the burden of crossing it again.
The song ends, and you stare at the quiet, dark house in front of you, and you grasp the doorknob, and walk back into your life."
Merit spends a good bit of time after her transition lamenting her lost life. She had a plan and it takes her some time to come to terms with the fact that that plan was not going to come to fruition. But Chuck expresses so beautifully the need to accept one's lot in life, and be the best possible in the new situation. True for Merit, true in real life.
"Sometimes," my grandfather put in, "even if you can't be what you want, making the most of what you can be isn't a bad second choice."
Friday Night Bites
There was no contest in this book. One of my favorite scenes in anything EVER. And has had me hoping for HOT library sex between these two ever since (Pretty please Ms.Neill!) I feel like Ethan is one of those men who is really good at both those grand gestures and the small ones. How he tries to fulfill Merit's food needs, and how he gave her beloved books! *sigh* I can not even put in words just how much I adore this scene.
He slid me a glance. “You’ve not been inside?”See Twice Bitten for my take on Merit's thoughts about what she wants in a partner...
I shook my head.
He seemed gratified by my answer, an oddly satisfied smile on his face, and gripped the door handles with both hands. He twisted, pushed, and opened the doors. “Sentinel, your library.”
"I wanted what most people wanted--love, companionship.
I wanted someone to touch. I wanted someone to touch me back.I wanted someone to laugh with, someone who would laugh with me, laugh at me.
I wanted someone who looked and saw me. Not my power, not my position.
I wanted someone to say my name. To call out, "Merit," when it was time to go, or when we arrived. Someone who wanted to say to someone else, with pride, "I'm here with her. With Merit."
I wanted all those things. Indivisibly"
This books was an angsty one, but there are a few great moments in it. Most of my personal favorites involve Gabriel (Can't help it, I'm a sucker for that man.) But this, this is a line that has earned it's place here. It is when Ethan comes to the realization of just HOW great he and Merit can be together, of what they can accomplish together. For each other and his beloved House. Everything changed for him after this realization. And I love that he HAS changed, grown, adapted, accepted his own mistake and tries time and time again to make it up to her, both in words and in actions.
“It is an apology,” he said, “for not believing in you . . . or in us. Yesterday, I thought I’d lost you, and then we fought together,” he said. “I pushed you away for fear of what our relationship would do, could do, to this House. And then we protected this House together. That is the true measure of what we could do.”
These two quotes (this together with my FNB quote) are not actually my stand-alone favorites from these books. But I love them so much because they are reflections of one another, and one pair of a million reasons why Ethan and Merit are so perfect for each other. The part from Friday Night Bites is Merit thinking to herself about what she wants in a partner, and realizing that she does not want these things from Morgan. The Twice Bitten speech is Ethan telling Merit how much he wants her, even though he's not yet able to put her, and put his own wants, above (or equal to!) his responsibility to Cadogan House. And essentially, they are both saying the same things, wanting the same things. Even if Merit and Ethan aren't yet ready to admit, to themselves or each other, how they feel, we, the audience, know. These two are meant for each other. Unequivocally.
"You think I haven't thought about what it might me like to return to my rooms at the end of the night and find you there--to find you in my bed, to have your body and your laugh and your mind? To look across a room and know that you were mine--that I'd claimed you. Me."
He drummed a finger against his chest. "Me. Ethan Sullivan. Not the head of Cadogan House, not the four-hundred-year-old vampire, not the child of Balthasar or the Novitiate of Peter Cadogan. Me. Just me. Just you and me."
This book, put us all through hell. I have never wanted the female lead to forgive someone as badly as I did in HB. I wanted her to give Ethan another chance. And by the end of it, every single time I read it, I am unfailingly in tears. There are so many beautiful things, heartfelt things Ethan has said, but this one particular thing always resounds with me. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. My heart belonged to Ethan long before this, but it is so easy to fall in love with a character and the author again and again when you read words like these.
He looked away, then sighed haggardly. “This feels like a battle I cannot win.”
“Love shouldn’t be a battle.”
“And yet, if it wasn’t worth the fight, what would be the point?”
One of my favorite things about this series is that Merit is not the only one who grows. In so many UF books I've read, the hero is the anchor of the story; unchanging, providing constancy for the heroine to grow into the awesomeness she is meant to be. In CLV, Ethan grows, too. And I LOVE that. Merit has to grow into the vampire she was reborn to be, but Ethan has to grow emotionally to be the man worthy of Merit. And he does. It takes time and tragedy, a monumental mistake and subsequent amends, but he is finally the perfect partner for Merit.
"Against all odds--and every bit of relationship advice handed down by mothers and girlfriends through the centuries--he honestly seemed to be changing. He'd moved from taking advantage of the chemistry between us to wooing me with words, with trust, with respect.
That wasn't something I'd expected, but that made it all the more meaningful...and frightening. As a girl with good sense, how was I supposed to react to a boy who'd done the unthinkable and actually grown up?"
Drink DeepTo say we all suffered the anguish and torment of Merit's dreams and her pain over losing Ethan is putting it mildly. I read a lot of this while sitting around people, and even that didn't stop my eyes from tearing up and me from sniffling. Neither did the fact that said people were making fun of me. I'm sure all of us Ethan lovers were heartbroken. I do not exaggerate when I say I could barely go on reading this Ethan-less world. But bless Chloe Neill, she made it all better and then some. We got Ethan back. And he was himself, only more determined to make Merit his. What more could one ask for? This line always makes my heart smile and my stomach flutter a little. To say this, in his "death" Merit was the only real thing to him. And he tried to be the same to her. That their connection was alive even when he was not. That plucked at my heartstrings like few other things have.
"To me, there was only a vague dream of darkness… and occasionally your
voice. You kept me bound to earth, and I called your name to do the same for you."
Considering the ending of this book, the emotions, the sentiments, it's a surprising choice for me, this quote. But this is a line, that the mere thought of brings tears to my eyes. Not only because of what it means to Merit, but because I know that pain, and I'd wager we all know that pain. It is an incredibly powerful line, and revelation for Merit. She assumed they would have all the time in the world, and was willing to wait until her hurts healed. And then he was taken from her, causing her to realize exactly what he meant to her, exactly what she wanted. This was necessary for her to realize, and accept, how she felt about Ethan.
But more than fiction, this line speaks to me soul-deep. I know what it's like to have the entire world change at the loss of one person. Even years later, to know that my world will never be the same, will always have something missing. This one line speaks to the heart of me, and I am awed, once again, by the magic of Chloe Neill's words.
"There are nights when the world is completely askew because he's gone."
Biting ColdThe one we were anticipating, biting our nails for. And Ms. Neill did not disappoint. I know this has already been mentioned in the Biting Cold review we did. But I feel it bears mentioning again. For the feeling of hope it left me, and others I'm sure, with. This contentment. This feeling that is put perfectly into words in the quote I mentioned from Some Girls Bite "Have you ever had a moment where you knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you were in the right place? That you were on the right journey?" Merit and Ethan are exactly in that right place, despite all the chaos and troubles to come. Kudos, Ms. Neill, for a great ending.
I was going to try and choose another quote, since we've already used this one as a Quote of the Day. But this is, far and away, my favorite quote of Biting Cold. Ethan Sullivan is a very private, surprisingly solitary man for being the leader of over 300 vampires. And Malik is arguably his closest friend and confidant. It is one thing for a man to express his love, but it is quite another for said man's best friend to do so. I love Ethan for letting Malik know exactly what Merit means to him, and I love Malik for emphasizing to Merit how much his friend cares."I stood still in the midst of the chaos and kept my eyes on Ethan’s. For a long moment I held his gaze. I thought about how far I’d come and where we might be going next. I thought about Ethan and the life he was intent on giving me, even if that life existed in the midst of a new kind of chaos. A new reality for Cadogan House and its vampires. For now, with his emerald eyes locked on mine, where I was going didn’t seem so scary."
"There are few things in the world that he loves more than this House, Merit. Possibly only one." At the knowing gaze in his eyes, my cheeks flushed. "And in all the world, he entrusted one girl, one scholar, with the right to defend it."