Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Review: Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward

Title: Lover Eternal
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2
Date Published:
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Friend for my B-Day!

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 a 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 on 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.

My Thoughts:
So I know I'm coming late to the party when it comes to the boys of J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, but you know, sometimes there is a reason that a series can stay popular for years and years. I've become a die hard fan, and I know that I will not rest until I've read every single brother's story and can rest, happily knowing that they each have found their true love. So let's get down to the meat and potatoes!

First off, Rhage is one of my favorite brothers. I've got a little bit...okay, a lot...of a weakness for the players.  The Ladies-men. The guys who know how to get girls to drop their pants really make me...well...want to drop my pants! Add in a layer of tortured hero, and make this ladies man really want to find his one true love and well...
Yea...that's right. I'm attracted to a fictional vampire warrior with a sex addiction and an inner beast that will make a werewolf look like a werepuppy. What's that? You didn't know about Rhage's alter ego? Well, you see..when he gets too pissed off he turns into a Dragon-lizard thing. Yep. Talk about your fiery temper! Imagine trying to keep that thing calm inside you. So we've got a super hot demi-god, containing the power of dragons, all in a succulent man-casing. Imagine what THAT could do for you in the bedroom ladies....But he's not for you anymore! In true "Happily Ever After" fashion, Lover Eternal revolves around Rhage finally taming his beast because of what? A woman!  *awwww* Mary is a sweet, quiet girl, who has had a really hard life. She's got the heart and strength of a warrior which lets her keep up with the Black Dagger Boys and go toe-to-toe with their leader when he wants to kick Rhage out of the group for disobeying orders and keeping Mary safe. Definitely a great read if you love super hot men, tough heroines, and lots of different plot threads!

The best thing I found within the pages of this series is right in the title: Brotherhood. You get a sense of camaraderie, companionship, dare I say it...Bromance. You just get the vibe that these guys would die, and most definitely kill for each other. Their dedication and commitment to each other makes it that much easier to believe in the deep, almost worshipful devotion they have for their wives or "shellans". Even their wives and girlfriends sometimes get pushed to the side when it comes to the Brotherhood. You just get this primal and profound sense of dedication and commitment. I know I'm rambling, but it was just so amazing. JR. Ward did a wonderful job capturing not just the physical attributes of each character, but creating a unique and mesmerizing personality for each one as well. Definitely some excellent character development.

The writing style was great. I really enjoy it when I can get sucked into the world that the author creates and am able to just live with the characters for a while. Ward is really great at doing this, with maybe the exception of the chapters that deal with the lessening society. Though everyone else in the world may have already read the books, I will explain anyways. The lessening society is a group of mercenaries and soulless men (literally soulless...they had it sucked out by something called the Omega). These men make it their goal to kill all vampires, but particularly to kill the Brotherhood and the Vampire Royalty. They are pale, wear black, and disappear into smoke when you stab them in the heart. Sounds a lot like vampires to me...or the twin guys from the second Matrix movie (See right...) ..anyways, the chapters containing most of the lessening society were kind of hard to get through. The lack of character to the lessers is evident in the writing. This means JR is a master of her craft by making the chapters match her characters...but unfortunately didn't lend itself to a great reading experience for me. At the end, when Mr.O started to get a bit of a personality back, that was when things really got good, and when Ward craftily laid down the threads for the next book in the series and single-handedly got me to get out of my house and make it to the library to pick up Lover Awakened.
I give Lover Eternal a solid 4 and a half keys! There was so much greatness in the story and the series itself that it is hard to accurately capture with words. You've just got to go and read it for yourselves! There is this bizarre mix of supernatural and mystical characters with today's modern world. J.R. Ward is one of the only authors that I've read who has successfully blended the two genres in a way that seems natural, and realistic. I have to say that this was one of the funnest and sexiest books that I've read in a while. The BDB series is excellent if you need to get out of that "same-old-same-old" rut that can pop up when you read a lot of the same genre. This book offers originality, excellent writing, and a fun plot!

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