It's Friday, I'm In Love

Fangirl Fridays – Ethan Sullivan

Another week of Fangirl Fridays and another opportunity to share our love for a beloved character with you! 

Those of you who are familiar with us know we are impatiently anticipating Biting Bad (release date Aug 9th), since not all of us got our hands on the Advance Release Copy like Barb did! We adore SO many characters in that series, it's hard not to get carried away while talking about them! So why not take it one at a time! 

This week, Barb and I are going to tell you why we absolutely adore Ethan Sullivan! (Yeah, because it's such a secret. We've NEVER mentioned it before!)

**Warning--we simply cannot do Master Sullivan justice without discussing what has happened in the books. So if you haven't read through House Rules, be warned, there will be spoilers ahead!

Ethan, our favorite Master Vampire, is an alpha who keeps his spot on top through more than just brute strength. He is a more evolved, sophisticated alpha. The future of alphas! 

Not everyone fell in love instantly with Ethan. Which I guess I can understand. But his first actual scene DID make everyone sit up and take notice.

 He was tall, two or three inches over six feet, and lean like a swimmer—narrow waist, broad shoulders, long legs. His hair was straight, shoulder-length, and golden-blond. His face was chiseled—knife-edge cheekbones and a firm jaw, his brow strong, his lips worth calling home about. He was dressed in a black suit that fit his body like a glove, beneath which was an impeccably white dress shirt, top button unclasped, no tie.

“He’s prettier than Beckham,” Mallory breathlessly whispered. “Jesus.”

...(He) walked toward us, his stride confident and swift. Each step seemed to make him more handsome." ~~Some Girls Bite

I mean, come on. How can you not be completely intrigued by him? And our first encounter with him just gets better. When Merit challenges him, instead of being a condescending ass, he accepts. And he makes a deal with her. He lets her test her mettle, knowing who she is, a one-day-old vampire, and that she won't touch him. But he knows she needs to try and takes the challenge.

 We simultaneously looked over to where Ethan, half naked, was toeing off his black leather loafers. The muscles in his abdomen clenched as he moved. So did the lines of corded muscle across his shoulders.

      God, but he was beautiful.

I narrowed my gaze.

Beautiful but evil. Wicked. The repugnant dregs of foul malevolence. Or something.

“Jesus,” Mallory whispered. “I want to support your quest for revenge and all, but maybe you should just let him glamour you.” She looked at me, and I could tell she was trying not to laugh. “Either you’re fucked, or you’re fucked, right?"  ~~Some Girls Bite

At this point, I was already like "I LUST HIM." His quiet authority, his sense of fairness, his treatment of his novitiates and the obvious respect and loyalty he inspired in the vampires in his House. 

Blond, gorgeous, and sexy as all hell, Ethan was far from perfect early in the series (I know! Impossible to believe!). He broke Merit's heart RIGHT after sleeping with her for the first time, and of course in the process crushed us too. While his reasoning was something we could admire and respect, it still hurt. 

Then something happened that only happens in THIS series. Ethan won us over ALL over again. It takes a special kind of man to admit he was in the wrong, to admit he regretted his mistake. He put his pride aside, his position as Master, everything, just to apologize. And he apologized, repeatedly, sincerely, in creative ways, all the while telling Merit exactly why he was so taken with her, and exactly how perfect she was. We are suckers for a man who can say he's sorry and mean it on every level. 

“What’s this?” “An apology, of sorts.” I made a move, but slipped the lid from the top . . . and then my breath left me. Inside the box sat a baseball, its well-worn white leather marked by the signatures of every Cubs player from the team. It was just like the one I’d had—just like the one I’d told him about the night we made love.  

“But consider the possibility that I made a mistake I regret—and that I’ll continue to regret that mistake and try to convince you to give me another chance until the earth stops turning.” He leaned forward and pressed his lips to my forehead, my heart melting even as my more rational side harbored suspicions. 


“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.” ~~Twice Bitten
Ethan's growth as a character is the single factor that sets him apart from all other PNR/UF heroes. As Merit is becoming the vampire she was changed to be, Ethan has to toss out nearly four centuries of habits, ideas, attitudes, to understand what she needs, what he will need to be to make their relationship work. He makes mistakes, but he owns them, and he does everything in his power to make them right. He learns that he can love Merit and still protect his House, that they will protect it together, and that they are much better, much stronger as a team.

"I will never be far behind you." He tipped up my chin so that I could do nothing else but look back into his eyes. "Do the things you need to do. Learn to be a vampire, to be a warrior, to be the soldier you are capable of being. But consider the possibility that I made a mistake I regret--and I'll continue to regret that mistake and try to convince you to give me another chance until the earth stops turning." ~~Hard Bitten

Ethan made us swoon, he made us sigh, he made us laugh, cry, and more than anything, he made us root for him and Merit to make it through it all, against all the odds. Merit deserves only the very best, and clearly, that was Ethan!

Ethan LISTENS to Merit, he trusts her. With his life, with her secrets, he never pressures her, never pulls rank to get her to do stuff (past their initial, rough period). He STRIVES to be a better man for her. To understand HER world. He even tries food he would never have tried before for her. And who could resist his adorable attempts at getting food for her! Giving her blood with chocolate sauce in it to make her feel better? Come on! 

In a heartbeat!

There is so much to love about Ethan Sullivan, not the least of which is his way with words. He is not only a Master of vampires, he is also a Master of speechifying, as demonstrated at so many important Cadogan House ceremonies. And he is a Master at wooing our Merit with words...

"You undo me, Merit. Wholly and completely. You don't take me at my word. You challenge me at every opportunity. And that means when I'm with you, I am less than the head of this House...and I am more than the head of this House. I am a man." He stroked my cheeks with his thumbs. "In my very, very long life, I need you more than I have ever needed anything." ~~Twice Bitten

We have never, for a second, been bored in our complicated relationship with Ethan. He just keeps getting better. And we keep falling more in love. 

But it's not just Merit who makes Ethan an amazing character and a truly kick-ass alpha. He is powerful in his own right. Three hundred and ninety-six years old, he is the Master of the fourth oldest House of vampires in North America, commanding the loyalty of over three hundred vampires. This is not a position one holds if one is weak. A brilliant strategist, we cannot forget that Ethan was a Viking, a soldier, in his human life, that he was changed because of his skill on the battlefield, and that he continued to be a warrior as a new vampire. Recall the weapons and trophies that decorate the sparring room and Ethan's apartments at Cadogan House. Malik explains that they are not merely decoration, but relics, artifacts from Ethan's life as a warrior. 

We have mostly seen Ethan the master strategist, but he's a fighter at heart. Which is probably why he is so drawn to Merit, a warrior in training.  I've seen readers dismiss Ethan's power and strength, saying the Merit has all the skill in that relationship, but it's important to remember who trained her to be the vampire she is. Yes, Catcher began her training, giving her the basics in weaponry, but when Catcher was no longer strong enough for her, Ethan stepped in, teaching Merit not only katana skills, but also how to be a vampire, the extent of her abilities, and how to use them effectively. Only someone who possesses great skill can teach it to others. And Ethan has it.

Yeah, he took a stake for her.

In the past few books, we have fallen even more in love with Master Sullivan. We've always loved his arrogance, his loyalty, his leadership, and his eye-melting chemistry with Merit. But even we can admit that he started out more politically fearful than we would have liked, too critical of Merit, and even somewhat cold, standing separate from the vampires he made and led. But since his return, he is decisive and bold in his actions regarding the Greenwich Presidium (GP) and the supernatural shenanigans around Chicago. Before he would never ever have contemplated breaking with the GP, but he knew that his vampires would make the right decision and that they would survive together.  

Since Ethan's return, we also absolutely adore the development of his relationship with Merit. He has been complimentary and seductive ever since be realized that he could have her and protect his House, too. But we weren't fully prepared for the unmitigated joy that is Methan together. And we never knew we always wanted their playful banter. It is, quite simply, perfection.
"Does your ego know no bounds?" Ethan Sullivan, Master of Cadogan House, smiled wickedly and slapped my ass. "Not when it's well deserved. I'm ready when you are, Sentinel." ~~House Rules
  Is there anything this man/vamp can't do? He's an unparalleled fighter, a brilliant leader, a loyal friend, a wise vampire who is a skilled diplomat when need be, a fantastic lover, not to mention the most amazing boyfriend.

We can't imagine a world without Ethan in it.

As far as we're concerned, Ethan is perfect. 

We can't get enough Ethan Sullivan. And he just gets better with every page. Do you love Ethan as much as we do? Or do you tolerate him for Merit's sake? Who is your perfect Master vampire? Share your thoughts below!


  1. I adore Ethan. So much in fact that when he was staked, I had tears rolling down my face and I literally threw the book across the room. He and Merit are perfect together.

  2. I'm SO glad that I didn't pick up the books until a couple of months before the release of Biting Cold, because I don't know how well I would have handled Hard Bitten without being able to move right on to Drink Deep. Even still, I cried like I had lost my best friend when he died. And then all the way through DD. But now I love that particular bump in the road, and I believe the experience only made Ethan, and Merit, better and stronger for it.

  3. Swoon AH, no coherent thoughts, just swoon!


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