Author: J. R. Ward
Released: September 6th 2005
Pages: 416 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
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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.
I don't like erotica, and I'm wary around vampire books - yet I've fallen absolutely head over heels for the Black Dagger Brotherhood? The novel was thick and the plot held depth, yet I devoured it like it was a piece of toast - reader, if you have not read this series yet, I implore you to try it. It's unlike any other.
Dark Lover is told from the point of view of many different characters, so it is kind of difficult to summarise it. The basic plot surrounds the lives of two characters: Beth, a half-human who knows nothing of her vampire side, and Wrath, reluctant king of the vampire race. After Beth's biological father's death, Wrath takes her under his wing as she undergoes the transition - but a strange connection binds the two together, and soon Wrath finds himself drawn to Beth against his will. However, darker problems are soon to arise for the Brotherhood, as a dangerous lesser begins to develop a plan to wipe them all out - starting from the top.
I honestly didn't know whether I'd like this read. So many reviewers have given it five star ratings, and I'm really not a big fan of erotica. Whether that's my age or the fact that many authors make it so tacky, I don't know. I won't lie - the sex was tacky, and every time it happened, I couldn't help but roll my eyes and think, This? Again? Really? Fictional or not, how does he manage this pace?! However, I didn't hate it, and the rest of the plot more than made up for the cheesiness (and I'll admit, some of the cheesiness was adorable - more on that later!)
I loved the entire Brotherhood! Kudos to Ward for creating such a range of amazing (and sexy) characters! I'm a bit of a sucker for bad guys and villains, so I immediately adored them all in their leather-clad badness - especially Zsadist. I mean, Z wasn't a main character in this book, but I completely fell for him, and I can't wait to read from his POV in book three!
There was a ridiculous amount of different POVs, and it was difficult to keep up with them all! However, Ward somehow pulled it off. Beth was a bit pathetic but surprisingly held her own, and for that, she was an okay protagonist. I liked Wrath a lot - but as I said earlier, I liked the entire Brotherhood, so that is no surprise. The chemistry between the two was thick and seductive, and it just pulled you into the story.
The characters I viewed as secondary were good too. I didn't like Butch very much, so it sucks that the fourth book is entirely dedicated to him - but maybe he'll prove me wrong between these two next books? I liked Marissa and hope to see more of her in future books, same goes for Wellsie. I didn't like reading anything from Mr X's point of view - he absolutely made my skin crawl, and I guess that again she deserves a congratulations for great characterisation. But ick. Nina no likey lessers.
For me, the plot was split into three parts; sex, action, and cheesiness. The sex and action is pretty self-explanatory - now on to the cheesiness. Beth and Wrath were sickly sweet with their romance, and so were Tohrment and Wellsie. But it was also absolutely adorable? At the end - not to post spoilers - I nearly started crying with how cute it was! It was just the kind of thing that gives your stomach the fuzzies and asdfghjkl.
There is something enticing about the Black Dagger Brotherhood, something that makes you keep coming back for more. I am already feeling withdrawal symptoms from this series, and need to get my hands on the sequel asap! I think a lot of young and new adult reviewers will like this.