Review: Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

Posted January 27, 2012 by Carmel in Carmel, Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 8 Comments

Lover Eternal cover
Title: Lover Eternal
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2
Author: J.R. Ward
Publisher: Signed
Format: Mass Market, 441 pages.
Published: March 7, 2006
My Copy: Bought from The Book Depository.
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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 bound 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 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 to 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

Even though Lover Eternal and Dark Lover are both Black Dagger Brotherhood books they couldn’t have been more different. The first installment was hot and intense while as this one is more subdued and a lot less naughty. I’d expected more action in the bedroom especially considering Rhage’s reputation for being a ladies man. I think Mary’s plight, as admirable as it is, was a bit of a downer for me. I enjoyed Zhadist and Bella a lot more than the two stars of this book. A close second was probably Butch with John Matthews coming in third. Rhage and Mary didn’t even make the top three…

I think one of the reasons that I struggled so much with this novel had a lot to do with Mary and her fight against cancer. This aspect of the story hit a little too close to home for me seeing how she has the same name as my mother who passed away from cancer a few years ago. Not the author’s fault but probably a good explanation as to why I preferred the scenes without Mary Luce. On the flip side, I also transformed into her biggest cheerleader. I held my breath for the entire novel hoping that Rhage would give her the gift of eternal life. At least someone should be able to get their happily ever after!

I was a little frustrated by how long Rhage kept Mary in the dark regarding his curse. They could have avoided so many misunderstandings if he’d have just come clean from the get-go. Although, who’s to say how she would have taken the news. Getting ripped out of her life and thrown into a house full of vampires is already stressful enough. Leaning about Rhage’s curse could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. But, he had to tell her at some point in time; best to be up front about it from the start in my opinion.

Zhadist and Bella were by far my favorite part of Lover Eternal. Fortunately for me, they’re front and center in the next installment. Yay! Butch is quickly becoming my favorite character in this series and he’s human! Weird. I normally go for the tall, dark and preternatural type. He’s just awesome! I hope the brothers decide to keep him around for the long haul.

Lover Eternal progressed at a much slower pace than its predecessor. When I hit the halfway mark I found myself wondering when the “good stuff” was going to kick in. It got marginally better after this point and I was happy with the ending but this book was no Dark Lover that’s for sure! Reviewers keep raving about how hot this series is but this novel was only lukewarm for me. Yes, there are one or two really sizzling scenes but other than that there’s not much nookie action.

I’m glad that Lover Eternal is the second book in this series. Had it been the first, I’m not sure I’d have been as gung ho to continue reading it. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the read but it just didn’t live up to the expectations I had after finishing the first novel. Oh well. I’m sure that Zhadist and Bella will make it up to me in Lover Awakened.

Books in this series:

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Carmel Signature

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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8 responses to “Review: Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

  1. This series gets more intense and addicting as it continues. Bella and Z’s story is super emotional and he was one of my favorite characters. I cannot WAIT for the new one coming out in March. Love love love this series and I hope you keep reviewing them! =)

    I actually liked Rhage’s story more than Wrath’s, due to the cancer fight (which is a gutsy thing for an author to tackle in a book like this) and because he wasn’t portrayed as a playboy even though that’s his reputation. His love for her made my heart melt, even as I was mentally thrashing him for not being more upfront with her. It had so much heart, and really made me feel. Rhage is still one of my favorite brothers!

  2. the series only gets better!! i’m addicted and wish she could write faster haha. I get where your coming from. It wasn’t quite as epic as the first. But I still enjoyed It 🙂

  3. I left the same way about Rhage and Mary not being hot enough. LOL

    Z and Bella are very intense. Grab a few tissues with that one! Make sure you read Father Mine afterwards.

  4. I can’t remember when exactly when I felt in-love with this series, all I know is that I did, and after revisiting on audio I went back and gave every book 5 stars ( I loved them on audio)
    I can see how the cancer story hit too close to home, I could imagine feeling the same way. I’m very sorry to hear about your Mom.
    I think the next book in the series is the best written one, even tho I enjoy that heck out all of them.

  5. I read book 1 of this novel back in August I think. I liked it I should read some more to catch up. Glad to know in advance that it’s a bit slow though.

  6. I can’t wait to see what you think of the next book. At least this story didn’t make you want to quit the series. 😉