Monday, April 6, 2009

Dark Lover - J.R. Ward

Dark Lover is one of the books I'm reading for the Love Bites challenge at Royal Reviews.

Dark Lover
J.R. Ward
Signet Eclipse
Copyright: 2005
9780451216953

From the cover of the book:


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...

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...


I found that the book got off to a bit of a slowish start, however, once I got into it, Dark Lover was one of those books that I couldn't put down, and I've already bought the next three books in the series. It's not perfect, but the writing is exciting, and the descriptions J.R. Ward uses are original and interesting.

The vampires Ward has created are very different from the 'typical' vampire: they live off of each other, and not by preying on humans, and she's gone as far as creating a religious type framework for their society as well. On the other hand, and this is really the only thing I found irritating (especially in the second book), the language Ward 'created' for her vampires seems mostly to consist of adding the letter 'h' to a word. Well, that and the names for the Brotherhood, which more or less just follows the same principle: ie Rhage. The stories are relatively violent, but no more so than say the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Dark Lover is centered on a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and a woman who, unknown to her, is the daughter of a vampire, one of the other members of the Brotherhood. Before her father was killed, he asked Wrath, the leader of the Brotherhood to take care of her, and the two end up falling in love, while trying to find the villains, the ones who orchestrated and carried out the murder of Beth's father. It's a fairly typical plot, at least going by the few romances that I've read, but it's a good book regardless.

Even more so, as the books are over four hundred pages each and the font is fairly small and close-packed, going against what seems to be the trend of large fonts and margins. No complaints of "I finished this book in less than four hours" here. Instead, Dark Lover kept me up past midnight at least once, and Lover Eternal, the sequel, is following the same trend (1:30 AM last night).

Each of the books in this series is going to be focused on one of the Brotherhood: book two, Lover Eternal is Rhage, and book three is Zsadist.

The books in this series are:
Dark Lover
Lover Eternal
Lover Awakened
Lover Revealed
Lover Unbound
Lover Enshrined
Lover Avenged
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