Dark Lover

J.R. Ward
Dark Lover
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Release Date
September 2005
Book 1 of Black Daggar Brotherhood
Paranormal Romance

The only purebred vampire left on the planet, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But when one of his most trusted fighters is killed- orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate - Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undeadÖ

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn't there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them bothÖ

Book Review by Silver (reviewer)
Oct 03, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
147 people found the following review helpful
"A decent start to what promises to be a great series!"

For the uninitiated, the Black Daggar Brotherhood consists of the best, the strongest and fiercest warriors (not necessarily siblings, though they do call each other brother), vampires bred for the specific purpose of protecting the civilian vampires from the lessers, who are de-souled humans that seek to exterminate the vampires under the direction of their leader, the Omega.

Immersed in his own personal hell, Wrath couldn't agree to his warrior brother's request to help his half-human daughter Beth transition into her vampiric nature. Darius made the request because Wrath is the only purebred vampire left, and Wrath's blood is strong enough to make sure Beth didn't die in the transition, as his other children had. However, when Darius was murdered, Wrath had no choice but to consent to his fallen brother's request and was shocked to find that Beth Randall affected him in a way no woman has.

As for Beth, growing up an orphan, she yearned to know her family and origins, but she didn't know if she should believe Wrath when he came to her with fantastic tales of vampires and stories of the man he said was her father. But when dark urgings wracked her body, she knew she had no choice but to put her life in his hands.

I like that Wrath, for all his being big, bad and powerful, has a vulnerability that tugs at your heart. It could be his physical defect or the way he refused to let it be a weakness or it could be his tormented childhood. Whatever it is, I ache for the moment when he would find happiness with Beth. I like that moment of his acceptance of his destiny, the way he stepped up to the responsibility that he was born for, even though he didn't want to. Such an action showed growth and maturity, that of an adult who had stopped running from the inevitable.

With Beth, one can sense her utter loneliness and her need to break free from her dead-end situation, but before she could make a move, the decision was made for her when Wrath came to find her and when her own hidden nature threatened to break free. She's strong and the perfect match for Wrath, and though I thought she might have believed Wrath and his tales a little bit soon, what she had seen and heard and experienced may have catapulted her that early into belief.

I wasn't really wowed by this book, but I thought it was a decent start to what promised to be a fascinating series. Certainly, I've never seen vamps depicted this way. For one, vampires are born, not made, and the vamp nature doesn't manifest until one transitions, which occurs around the age of 25 or so. Also, before the transition, the person's physical structure may be different. For example, Wrath was a weakling, but afterwards, he somehow acquired bulk and great strength.

I was also a bit put off by some of the dialogue, especially with the warriors calling each other "brother" way too often and in a way that didn't feel...right, like something was off. As much as this story is about Wrath and Beth, so too this provides the groundwork for other books in the series with the introduction of the other characters. Because there was a lot of them, I had to work hard at remembering who was who and looked like what. However, I'm excited to read the rest of the books, both because of the facinating characters that I've seen here and because I've heard lots of good things about them.
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Book Review by Belinda Boring (author,reviewer)
Oct 15, 2010
143 people found the following review helpful
If there's one thing that I don't need, it's another addiction to sexy hardened bad boy warriors. When I first read about the series, I was scared by the supposed "erotic" nature of the series and thought it would be too much for me to be comfortable with. *PHHFFT* A few times over the past year, I've picked this book up in particular, looked at it, put it in my book basket, looked at it again and put it back on the shelf. That's until yesterday when I was looking through the Kindle application on my phone. Up popped Dark Lover and without giving it a second thought I bought it. That was all it took to becoming INSANELY addicted to these incredible men. I seriously didn't stand a chance after the first chapter and now all I can say is how INCREDIBLY crazy I've been that it's taken me this long to read a Black Dagger Brotherhood book. Yep, I'm The Bookish Snob and I'm addicted to the Brotherhood. * nods in respect to all those who warned me that it wouldn't take long before I was hooked*

Nothing beats starting a new series than going for the top dog and turning his world upside down. Wrath was no where close to wanting a romantic interest in his life and was quite content on killing his way through his day. Even more, he doesn't want to get saddled with the daughter of one his most close and trusted member of the Brotherhood. He is fine with staying in the shadows and keeping people at arms distance. Surprise surprise one look at Beth and that steely resolve of his crumbles and fight as hard as he may, it never fully recovers. This was an amazing story of two people coming together, from different lifestyles, from different mindsets and falling in love. I loved being pulled into this story, of being part of some extremely beautiful scenes that really churned up my emotions. I couldn't get enough of the story and hated the fact it didn't just keep on going forever. I don't think I'd ever get sick of reading about Wrath and Beth - again a really BEAUTIFUL way to start the series.

I liked Beth alot. She refused to be bulldozed over by Wrath and was one of the first people to ever put him in his place or even tell him no. It must have been really hard to never know your heritage, to not know who your father was and to suddenly wake up to find out that not only did he love you but that unfortunately he died before you could meet him. So many things were happening with Beth, so many different twists and I really think she handled herself well because it'd have to be terrifying. I can't imagine how scary it would be to turn around to find Wrath in all his sexy bulky glory, totally dominating the space around him or to find out that your world and who you ultimately are is going to change. Beth shows an amazing amount of courage, especially in the face of fear when any other person would have run and hid forever.

Wrath. Sex on a stick Wrath *giggle* The very first opinion I had of him was that he was this cold and detached person, lacking any kind of emotion and warmth. I kind of got the impression that he was empty inside for whatever reason and it made me feel a little sad for him. There was no connecting to him as he kept himself at arms length from everyone and his sole focus was on killing and the incredible high that comes from it. What kind of life is that when that's all you think your good for? Wrath was a great warrior, revered amongst the Brotherhood and yet he felt unworthy of it. I could see a mile away how incredible he was and enjoyed watching the journey he went on. There were times I wanted to reach in the book and make out with him then hold him and then slap him because he drove me crazy with how he bounced back and forth. He had such a hard time resolving the feelings he had for Beth, craving to have her and to be had by her but also feeling that he wasnít good for her. The constant come to me and then push away and Beth, although very confused, was able to hold on tight and ride it through. I loved watching him come alive and slowly become more human (well as human as a vampire can be) and see him soften from a hardened warrior to one who knew how to be gentle and tender. He really did take my breath away and he was more than I could ever hope for in an Alpha male character. The man curled my toes.

Talking of toe curling, there were some INCREDIBLE scenes in this book that could melt even the hardest and most cynical of hearts. I'd just finish one sigh to be lead by the author into an even bigger sigh. You really got a glimpse at a powerful set of warriors and the camaraderie they had with one another. They truly were a brotherhood and my bad boy appetite has definitely been roused. An example of a few scenes you can look forward to that I LOVED were the ones where you get a glimpse at the vulnerability of Wrath. I can't tell you how amazing it was to watch the transformation he went through. The concern he had for Beth, how he hung on every move and emotion, always seeking to please her in anyway he could. The fear he had through her conversion and the total lack of control he had as he watched her suffer killed him. The marriage ceremony and ritual sent shivers down my spine and put tears in my eyes as my imagination worked over time trying to show me the scene as it unfolded. All I can say is a band of honorable warriors joined together to pay solemn homage, an adoring groom whose breath is stolen as he looks at the woman he loves and bride whose emotions get the better of her was definitely a scene worth remembering because it was just that moving. And just you wait to the barn scene where Wrath is revealed in all his masculine glory. *sigh* Good good stuff!

I desperately wanted to know who Mr X was (the resident evil) and found my mind looking at all the different characters in the book, wondering if they were him. It took a while for it to dawn on me that maybe we hadnít met Mr X yet and Iím telling you, I canít wait for the big reveal. My gosh what a sick bastard he was (sorry seemed like the only word to describe him). The way he manipulated people and totally messed with their heads made my stomach hurt. It didn't take long before I was ready for the show to be over, for the Brotherhood to get it over and done with and kill him. But unfortunately every story needs a villain and this guy, he's a doozy.

I am really glad I bought this book, that I finally stopped being stubborn and gave it a chance. It has set itself up to be a great series filled with AMAZING warriors that are guaranteed to kill you over and over again with their seductiveness and bad boy appeal. I highly recommend you check this book out. Don't be surprised if you find yourself just as addicted as I am. Enjoy!

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