Review: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Posted November 15, 2011 by Carmel in Carmel, Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 13 Comments

Dark Lover cover
Title: Dark Lover
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Author: J.R. Ward
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Published: September 9, 2005
My Copy: bought
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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.

Dark Lover is what Paranormal Romance is all about! I’m kicking myself for not having taken up this series before now. This isn’t your typical vampire read. Yes, there’s blood and sex but it’s of a different variety. Vamps are far from being the dominant race that they’re normally portrayed as. In Dark Lover they’re actually bordering on extinction. Their feeding habits are different, the hierarchy of the undead undergoes an overhaul and the main crime fighting unit is comprised of a group of cursed bandits. Nope, definitely not your typical vampire book.

Getting to know all of the brothers was a treat in itself. They each have their own story to tell and their personalities are very diverse. This book stars Wrath, the blind vampire king. He’s a very conflicted character. On one end he wants to fulfill his duties towards his dying race but on the other, he’s a fighter and would rather be out on the front lines dodging bullets than playing politics. Beth brings out a completely different and up until this point unknown side to this vamp. I enjoyed watching him waver between being a cold blooded killer and a cuddly puppy dog. Who would have thought that he was such a softie! Then again, that’s what soul mates do. They bring out the best in us.

I liked the idea that drinking blood isn’t just about sustenance for these preternaturals. It’s intimate, proprietary even and poses no threat to your average joe humans. I also enjoyed the few glimpses that we get of the Scribe Virgin. She’s quite the mystery and I’m interested in learning more about her. Who is she? What’s her purpose? Hopefully more will be revealed in future books! Butch was also a neat addition. This rough and tough cop is suddenly and inexplicably thrown into the Brotherhood mix. He handles himself very well and I loved his blasΓ© attitude. Butch’s whole world is turned upside down and he might not make it through the night alive but he just rolls with it. What a guy! It’s a shame that he doesn’t get the girl in the end but then again, it was expected and second place turns out to be not too bad after all!

The action in Dark Lover is intense and so are the romps in the sack! The story will get your adrenaline pumping in more ways than one. I expected both but not at such mind blowingly high levels. Oh my! You’ll definitely find yourself feeling hot and bothered after this read! You might even consider taking a cold shower. Be advised, this book’s not for the faint at heart. There’s lots of blood, carnage and gore but it’s not over the top. I thought that the story achieved a nice balance between naughty and nice.

What a brilliant start to the renowned Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It satisfied my need for violence and passion tenfold. I can’t wait to discover Rhage’s story in Lover Eternal and I think that I’ve found my newest series addiction.

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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13 responses to “Review: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

  1. Deffo not typical vampires. I think after seeing so much buzz last year I had to start reading this series.
    Great review πŸ™‚

  2. Love this series. After I read Twilight series I moved on to these and I’ve not looked back. LOL
    Great balance of action, romance and SMUT.

  3. @Mary – Me too! LOL πŸ˜‰

    @prangon – Book buzz can be a pain but at least in this case it’s justified!

    @Jennifer@The Book Nympho – The Brotherhood is definitely a step up from Twilight… πŸ˜›

    @Tynga – Sounds like a good plan to me!

    @Melliane – I’ll be happy to squeeze in book 2 sometime soon, nevermind the rest!

    @Karen – Hehe, thanks and good to know! πŸ™‚

  4. I read this earlier in the year! Glad you liked it. The only thing that bothered me was the faux gangster-speak and slang. I kept cracking up laughing πŸ˜€

    I’m really looking forward to reading Z’s story πŸ˜€

  5. Yup. THIS is THE book that got me into reading PNR. The Brothers and their chemistry alone…you are right in saying it’s great getting to know them. They are what this series is about. The action and the plot and the smex, of course. But mostly it’s the Brothers. I am so stoked you liked this. The next two books are just as, if not more, amazing. I can lend them to you if you like. πŸ˜‰

  6. @Melissa – That seems to be the general consensus!

    @Sarah (saz101) – Bah, my guy is a part-time wanna-be rapper so it wasn’t a deterrent for me. πŸ˜‰

    @Julie – Thanks for the offer but I think this might be a series that I want to own!