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Trashy Tuesday Book Review: Dark Lover

By Mswicegood @MeganSwicegood
Trashy Tuesday Book Review: Dark LoverDark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood
Pages: 393 (Mass Market Paperback)
Publisher: Signet Eclipse, 2006
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Goodreads
Description: (from Goodreads) In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.
The only purebred vampire left on earth, 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-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.
Thoughts: This book had been on my radar for awhile - I even borrowed this book from the library a few times, but just never read it. Finally, I bought it and dived in. I’m kicking myself for waiting so long (and secretly cheering because I have several to read in a row instead of waiting impatiently for the next one to come out).
My experience with “romance novels” was pretty slim. I’d read a few of Karen Marie Moning’s Highland Series and Fifty Shades of Grey before finally picking this series up, my exposure to paranormal romance was all in YA. I’m not 100% sure I’d classify this as “romance”, though the main plot point certainly was Beth and Wrath’s relationship. For me, these books are more fantasy/action books with strong sexual content, but when you go to the bookstore, you’ll find them in the romance section. I guess I'm getting an education in what constitues a "romance novel".
J.R. Ward’s world is rich and complete. While there are great characters, plenty of action and very steamy sex scenes, the highlight of this book is the world building. It’s an awesome setup for a kick-ass series. I love that she doesn’t stray too far off of traditional vampire lore - there’s no glittery vampires in this series. I’m a purist in the horror genre and nothing pisses me off faster than totally ignoring well known/accepted folklore.
Wrath, the reluctant (and semi-blind) King “inherits” his fallen brother’s daughter and inadvertently falls in love. His relationship with Beth kicks off a series of events that sets the entire series in motion.
We meet all the current members of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, as well as, key members of the human world.
I loved Wrath’s gruffness and reluctance. It was a great contrast to Beth’s “full steam ahead” approach to life. Beth is such a great character - tough, smart, and strong willed. I loved their relationship. I also dug how despite Wrath being a total alpha male, it’s still Beth who is ultimately in control. They have such a great balance and partnership.
I thought the Wrath/Marissa relationship was a little odd/creepy. I know it gets explained/resolved later on in the series, but at the time I was reading it, I was pretty much WTF? I didn’t paint either character in a great light, though it’s a nice change of pace to read about truly flawed characters.
The supporting cast of characters were great too. Butch cracked me up as did V and Rhage. I’m glad there are so many brothers - give us lots of books to go through.
BDB is a great kick-off to a series and I’m definitely glad to have picked it up.
Trashy Tuesday Book Review: Dark Lover

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