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Review: Dark Lover by JR Ward

Publisher: Signet Eclipse

Where did you get this book: Purchased

Release date: Available now

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This review contains spoilers!

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Blurb taken from author’s website:

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There also exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Among them, none relishes killing their enemies more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood…

The only purebred vampire left on the planet, 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- orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate – Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undead…

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both…

This series was recommended to me a couple years ago, but I only recently purchased the first set of books. I’m always afraid when multiple people tell me to read something and insist I’ll enjoy it that there’s no way it can measure up to the hype. For better or for worse, I started this after a DNF novel. I’m not sure if that last book altered how I viewed Dark Lover, but I’d like to think not.

Overall, my first foray into the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood was a good time. The brothers are strong and interesting, and I look forward to getting to know the rest of them better. I almost found myself wishing the books were more urban fantasy than paranormal romance because I am a little afraid they’ll start becoming formulaic after a couple, but for those who like their books more romance heavy than I do it probably won’t be a problem. But I developed some serious like for Zsadist and Vishous through this novel. I’m looking forward to their stories a lot.

The basic battle between the vampires who come from the Scribe Virgin and the lessers who are changed into near immortals by the Omega is a solid good versus evil conflict. I do hope (again) that this is shaken up a bit in later novels so it doesn’t become been-there-done-that, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops. I am curious how, if the brothers are as strong as this novel implies, the lessers manage to survive at all, and I hope it’s addressed at some point.

As for the romance between Beth and Wrath, I’m still torn. Beyond the whole sort of guardian-child set-up that was going on (which I could get past since Beth was an adult), I felt the romance was rushed. I love a happily-ever-after as much as the next person, but Beth had only known Wrath a short time before they got married. Coupled with the facts he had to essentially get rid of his first shellan (wife) and she had the whole guess-what-you’re-turning-into-a-vampire thing to deal with just made it difficult for me to believe in fully. The sex was good enough though I was willing to mostly overlook the brief timeframe.

But before we got to that, I had serious problems with Beth going from being the victim of attempted rape one night to banging the guy lurking outside her apartment the next. I mean, I get the raging vampire hormones and how their bodies kind of called to each other, but it was just really hard for me to swallow that there weren’t really any lingering sex-related effects of the assault. It took quite a while for me to not think about it and sink into the rest of the story.

All that and I’m still looking forward to the next book in the series. So even though I had issues with parts of the book, I can’t judge it too harshly. Therefore, I give Dark Lover a B-.

4 replies on “Review: Dark Lover by JR Ward”

I’m “re-reading” this series by listening to the audio books. I’m just finishing up Dark Lover and the sleeping w/ the random stranger after having been assulted kind of bothered me too. I don’t remember it bothering me the first time around but it kind of annoyed me…not much but kind of! I love this series though! Hope you continue to enjoy the books!

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