Lover Eternal

J.R. Ward
Lover Eternal
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Signet Eclipse
Release Date
March 2006
Book 2 of Black Dagger Brotherhood
Paranormal Romance

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover—for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships, is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. Her faith in miracles was lost years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…

Book Review by Silver (reviewer)
Oct 03, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
118 people found the following review helpful
"A great improvement over Dark Lover! Lover Eternal makes me a solid fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood!"

I've said that there was nothing remarkable about Dark Lover, but I sure can't say the same for Lover Eternal. From the moment Rhage met Mary, I was hooked and caught. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. J.R. Ward is truly a remarkable author in the way she was able to get me to be invested in her characters. She is also very good at twisting the characters' emotions (like when Rhage was first rejected by Mary) and making me feel his hurt and her insecurity.

Rhage was so sweet as he tried to court Mary in a way that wouldn't alarm her. I like his persistence in pursuing her, despite her "rejection" (sort of) of him, and I like the way he treated her with care, the way he savored her. There was something very tender and precious about the start of their relationship, like the slow blossoming of flowers, specifically in their first dinner scene and later on, when he went to her house.

And Mary...Mary was so very human--her insecurities, her fears, her panic and her incredulity that a gorgeous guy like Rhage would be interested in her. It is so easy to identify with her and feel with her and for her. Yet, she is also amazingly brave in face of her sickness and in protecting people she cared about. So unselfish. I especially like the way Rhage described her eyes: "Gunmetal gray, surrounded by lashes the color of her hair, they were grave, serious, reminding him of males who fought and survived battle. They were staggeringly beautiful in their strength." Truly, despite Mary's insecurities, she is a warrior and a fitting mate to Rhage.

However, I was frustrated with her insecurities by the last one or two times (it went on way too long at the expense of Rhage's feelings) and she started to be annoying, especially with the way she hurt Rhage with her comments. I would've thrown down the book were I not felt compelled to know how it turned out in the end for them. But the scene after she pushed Rhage away and he came after her at Bella's farm house and she stoically held on to her position and Rhage turned away, ready to leave her....when she ran after him and his arms came slowly around her...sigh. Good sigh.

Rhage did something in the middle of the book that would've broken any woman's heart, especially one who was in love with him. I tried to understand why he did what he did, and the most I could come up with was because he cared too much about Mary to hurt her. Yet, at the same time, he was also in a quandary. Whatever he did or did not do, he would be hurting her. I feel that he needed to go through it to realize he was never going to do it again, that it was unbearable for him, that it also hurt him. He also seemed to accept his feelings for Mary after that, that whatever she hurled at him, he would still continue to love her and stay by her side (instead of leaving the way he did previous times).

And oh, of course, I'm totally curious and eager to know what's gonna happen to John Matthew. (Can't wait for Lover Mine. I love it when I start a series late, so now I have all the next books to look forward to without having to wait!) He should be Darius come back to life, isn't he? But why is "Tehrror" the name that he dreamed of?

And with this book, I'm solidly a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. *grin*
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Book Review by Belinda Boring (author,reviewer)
Oct 15, 2010
124 people found the following review helpful
When I finished book one and sighed deeply over Wrath, I didn't think it could get any better. Then I started reading Lover Eternal, met Rhage and every romance book crush I've ever had flew out the window and paled in comparison. I have three words for you ... OH. MY. GOSH. I've only just finished reading the book and still my heart is racing, my insides are melting and I'm pretty sure I'll still be sighing this time next year. All I can say is this book has to be THE most erotically sensual, sexy as hell, beautifully romantic, gut wrenchingly raw book I have read in a very long time. Heaven forbid I suddenly become illiterate and the world of books was closed to me but if it did, this would be the book I'd hope would be my last. The story was AMAZING. I instantly fell into the story and it seriously became a burden to have to do anything that prevented me from reading. My addiction to the Black Dagger Brotherhood has become very permanent and it's all because of this glorious warrior.

So who do I talk about first? Rhage or Mary? I love knowing that alot of the books I've been reading lately, the female lead has been strong. Not strong as in indestructible but strong in character and in their ability to deal with anything and everything asked of them. I adored Mary. She's my favorite because even though her body was failing, her spirit was strong and she handle each situation with grace with very real reactions. I loved reading her responses to Rhage and how she had her insecurities about being with him. Once she was solid on the sincerity of his love for her, there was no going back. She embraced him fully, beast and all, to the complete astonishment of the brothers. I understand her resolve to be strong and not show vulnerability and equally cheered for her when in the face of losing it all, she didn't let that vulnerability deprive her of her heart and Rhage. She was a pure JOY to read.

*Insert GUSH here* When I see Santa this year, I know what I'm going to ask him for Christmas... Rhage. What a MAGNIFICENT MAGNIFICENT character. That man pulled on my heart strings HARD right from the beginning and all throughout the book I wanted desperately to swap places with Mary. Rhage broke my heart because from the first book, he was painted as the “whore” of the Brotherhood with a new girl every night, sometimes even two. He was forever commented for his gorgeous appearance, earning the nickname "Hollywood”. It made me wonder a little just how seriously he’d been taken and wondered whether it phased him a little. For that brief moment talking with Tohrment, he revealed himself honestly and it really set the tone for the rest of the book. One of the things he struggled with was the curse of the beast within him and it was amazing to watch the reaction he had to it. You would think with that kind of power he would use it to his advantage and it definitely helped him in his fight against the lessers, but there’s that vulnerability that he may eventually hurt the people he loves. In fact, it was the very first thing he asks, despite the pain, when he becomes himself again. There was so much that I loved reading about him, his devotion and protection of Mary, the frustration he had as she kept him at arms distance, of the hurt he felt when he needed to protect his heart but most of all I couldn't get enough of the sheer sensuality that just OOZED off him. It was intense to read how Rhage could be this senseless killing machine but be incredibly sensual the next. There were so many scenes that had me melting or extremely flushed (I told my workmate one scene and almost had to excuse myself for a moment) but the way he talked to her, the way he seduced her was breathtaking. I think one of my favorite scenes was just little into the story when she fed him breakfast - goosebumps and fever worthy. Do I really need to go on? I loved peeling back the layers and learning not everything is as it seems.

Aside from falling hopelessly in love, there was something in the book that I wasn't expecting- Zsadist. You want to read about a tortured, hostile, EXTREMELY misunderstood bad boy? Look no further because he IS the poster child for it. My first impression was "Wow, scary much?" but I really started seeing there was a method to his madness and that nurture instinct kicked in so hard I wanted to reach in and hold him (chances are if I did he'd eat me...literally LOL) I can't begin to tell you how excited I am that book 3 Lover Awakened is his book. Sigh .... I smell another phenomenal read ahead.

The only thing left to say is to please don't be like I was, don't hold yourself back from reading this book. Regardless of whether you love the hot sensuality of romance or you skim over it, Lover Revealed really is a fantastic read and incredible story. It's a book full of sexy romance and an absolute MUST READ. If it wasn't for the fact I'm devouring the books every chance I get, I'd be kicking myself for being so stubborn. Enjoy!

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