Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward

Title: Lover Eternal
Author: J. R. Ward
Publisher: Piatkus
Released: March 7th 2006
Pages: 441 (Paperback)
Buy: Amazon UK / Amazon US
Add on Goodreads

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast, Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

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. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time 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. She lost her faith in miracles 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...

After reading Dark Lover, I didn't think that any of the other books would be able to hit the mark - well, the books and the couples! Because let me tell you something - I fell head over heels for Wrath and Beth. Despite their cheesy moments and Beth's occasional pathetic blip, there was just something about them that kept me reading on. However, I'm starting to think there's just something about Ward's characterisation that keeps me reading on, because I adored Rhage and Mary just as much!

One of the six brothers, Rhage is blessed with a curse. Whenever his emotions run too high, a dragon erupts from within him, dashing any sense of judgement and humanity he possesses, and making him a danger to all those around him. So what happens when cancer-survivor Mary enters his life? Not on the look out for love, Mary is stunned by Rhage's intense feelings towards her. As they both go through their own personal hells, all they have is each other - but will that be enough?

Ward's writing stirs up something within me. Her books are long and incredibly intricate, yet I get through them so quickly. The problem I end up having is being able to write a review that sums up all the different emotions that have been evoked within me. Despite the erotic twist, Ward's stories are very dark, very rich, and they deal with a surprising amount of difficult subjects - in this case, cancer and orphans. I really don't like romance/erotica novels that are just one-dimensional, as in my eyes a good story needs to hold so much more depth than that. The Black Dagger Brotherhood novels are a perfect example of escapism mixed with realism.

Mary and Rhage were a hot couple. And by hot, I mean I actually had to stop reading it on the bus in fear that someone would peer over my shoulder and become flustered. They certainly don't lack chemistry, that's for sure!

As an individual character, I admired Mary's spunk and feisty attitude, but at times it felt rather false. One moment she was meek and quiet, the next she was commanding this unreasonable beast as if it was a badly behaving puppy! I know paranormal isn't the most realistic genre, but this was pushing it into the Wrath and Beth cheeseball.

Rhage...I preferred Wrath, I must admit, if only a little bit. I think because Rhage just jumped on in there and was very sexually-orientated, whereas Wrath's character held a bit more depth. However, neither of them can compare to my love for Zsadist! I was so pleased that we finally got to see more of him, as well as the beginning of his own plot (DID I MENTION THAT BOOK THREE IS HIS BOOK?!)

Overall, Lover Eternal was a fantastic book. I often view sequels as the ones with the most difficult job, as they've got to live up to the expectations of the first book as well as proving that the series is worth being continued. Lover Eternal does both itself and the series justice, and for that, I take my cap off to Ward. I'm starting to view her as a very consistent author.
Rating: 4/5

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