“Dark Lover” by J.R. Ward

“Dark Lover” by J.R. WardDark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Published: 6 September, 2005 by Penguin Group (USA)
Genres: Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 393
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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During the summer, I’m always on the lookout for a lighthearted feel good beach read. And I’m picky about my romance novels, because I want to see relationships where both characters really are good together and respect each other, but that doesn’t make much of a story. Enter: the vampire romance, where there’s enough going on outside of the characters’ relationship to drive the plot forward. Or at least, that’s always my hope.

J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series is a twist on the traditional vampire mythos. There are vampires, and they live parallel to humans in the modern world. They aren’t undead creatures, but rather, a different species. And they don’t feed on humans, but rather, they drink from the opposite sex of their own species. The vampires are constantly at war with the lessers, an undead soulless race headed by a shadowy creature called The Omega. To protect against the lessers, a group of powerful warrior vampires called The Brotherhood train themselves to defend vampire society.

Wrath is the head of the vampires, and of The Brotherhood. He’s supposed to be their king, but he hasn’t fully taken the throne yet. He’s muscular and handsome, always dresses in leather, and wears slick sunglasses to hide the fact that he’s nearly blind. But his lack of sight doesn’t stop him from being an effective fighter, because his other senses are all super sharp, and he’s got the strongest and most purebred vampire blood of anyone alive.

When Wrath’s friend Darius is killed, he is asked to fulfill a deathbed promise. All vampires start out living much like humans, but then at the age of 25 or so, they fall ill, drink for the first time, and transition into full vampires. Darius had a daughter with a human, and she’s about to be old enough for the transition. Because her blood is so diluted, there’s a chance she won’t survive the transition, but Wrath’s strong blood would give her a greater shot at survival.

Beth is a reporter who is feeling stifled in her career. She’s been feeling general malaise for a while now. One night, she meets a mysterious and sexy stranger who seems to know things about her parents, whom she has never met. And even though it’s against her better judgement, she trusts him, and they have instant chemistry.

Dark Lover is a quick read, and I was immediately sucked into the Brotherhood’s world. As I’m writing this review, I’m already three books deep in the series. It’s sexy, fast-paced, and nothing that involves too much thought–the perfect beach read.

That said, I found it a bit challenging to write this review, because even though I enjoyed the book, I think it’s the weakest of the three that I’ve read in this series so far. Compared to the later characters, Wrath and Beth are a bit bland. But Dark Lover does a good job setting up the world and the characters, and I like that the books just keep getting better and better instead of starting strong and going downhill.

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