Black Dagger Brotherhood #1: Dark Lover
by J.R. WardJ.R. Ward is no noob when it comes to characters and romance. I know I am severely late on beginning this series, but this Black Dagger Brotherhood series just knocked out all my other Vampire novels back a few notches on my shelf. I was half expecting this as her other books have captivated with me a thrill of heart flutters and sighs and cheers!
I absolutely love her version of Vampires. You have to have been born a vampire. As simple as that. Maybe a human woman fell in love with a male vampire, and they got the dirty down, and conceived, or maybe the mother was bitten while pregnant and the blood circulates to the womb, though, not all females survive pregnancy/birth. But under no circumstances, can a human be turned into a vampire. The half-breeds, however, will not transition into becoming a vampire until they are in their mid-twenties, but when they transition begins, their survival during the change is not guaranteed. They must drink the blood of the pure vampire to have a better chance at survival through the change. Not all civilian vampires are lucky enough to have that leisure, though. Wards vampires also live off the blood of other vampires, not humans, and do not kill humans under any circumstances. Sometimes, humans whore themselves out to vampires to be sucked off of, the saliva gives them a high equivalent to any other drug, but the blood of a human is not strong enough for a vampire to survive off of. Blood drinking is also common during naughty times, ;) The one common vampire trait you will find in Ward's world is that they are indeed sensitive to light and will incinerate if caught in the sun.
This first instalment, we learn: There is only one pure blooded vampire left to this day, and his name is Wrath. The king who refuses to take “throne” but leads his warriors, The Black Dagger Brotherhood, warriors who protect the race from hunters called the Lessening Society. These lessers have sold their soul to the Omega, to live long and fight, causing a multiple century war amongst each other.
So, with this little background and history lesson for ya, I bring to you the butterfly’s in your tummy and those lungful sighs by speaking of the dirty and romaaannnce.
I am absolutely captivated by this series, which is a given since I am a total fan-girl for J.R.Wards style of writing. J.R. Ward does an outstanding job of providing us stories of love-at-first site, though, there was one scene I could only think of that infamous quote with Will Ferrell’s head shot, “Well, that escalated quickly.” Nonetheless, I am still head over heels for our main protagonists Beth and Wrath.
Beth is a half breed vampire who doesn’t even have a clue that she’s anything other than human and has grown up in foster homes her entire life. She robotically lives her busy and boring life day to day when all of a sudden, it seems like everyone out in the world is out to get her. Her father whom she believed to be dead just as her mother is, is alive and part of the Brotherhood. He has watched over Beth covertly, and realizes that she is nearing her transition. He’s begged Wrath to get to his daughter and feed her his blood to help her survive; Darius is afraid of being alone and is ready to approach Beth, to have her in his life. Wrath declines but alters his decision after a turn of tragic events. He decides to honor his brother, and grant his last wish. He will help Beth transition. Though, the man who has never loved is at a loss of words when he sees this dark haired beauty. He struggles with his emotions. After some hilarious and thrilling encounters of Wrath trying to approach Beth to explain what she is, she finally accepts the truth, (and not easily) and agrees to live with him and the other Brothers.
Wrath struggles with his feelings for her. He is afraid to love, yet, afraid to hurt her. Watching him gather his emotions, deciding whether he wants to stick around or not after she’s done with him as he offers his blood to help her survive the transition, is a beautiful story in itself. This powerful monster melts with every touch and embrace from this beautiful girl.
The plot turns and other occurrences blow up, leaving the Brothers on guard and ready to battle. The mysteries given in this book will have you thinking one thing, but out of the blue you'll be slammed with a revelation far beyond your guesses. Ward does a fantastic job letting the reader attach to each and every one of her characters.
There are SO many characters in this first installment, but there was not a single character left without a perfect back story to help the reader identify and understand, love or hate each of them. Perfectly done! I will probably rewrite this review as I read further into the series.
--Update: 5-16-2013: I am on book 7, and will be adding more and more reviews as the day goes. I still plan on re-writing this eventually. There is so much going on, and things that make more sense as you read further into the story.