Friday 5 July 2013

Dark Lover review

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1)Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Book Synopsis:

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.
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Shona's review 5 of 5 stars

I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I have only just read this. I have had the Black Dagger Brotherhood series sitting on my kindle for over a year and until now I haven't so much as looked at them. Being completely honest here, I think the reason I haven't picked them up yet was because I was scared. Every where I look people are talking about BDB, they are recommending it, not once have I seen anyone say anything negative about this series as a whole (until I started reading other reviews after finishing it) and I wasn't sure it would live up to the hype.  Dark Lover was chosen as one of the reads for our book club on Goodreads and I decided it was now or never.... well I'm really glad I chose that first option.

I was supposed to be reading something else, but I fired up my kindle and figured I'd have a quick look at this. Before I knew it I was on chapter 11 and there was no way on this planet anyone was making me put the kindle down until the story was finished. Now that it is I am itching to read the next in the series. I don't know if I could cope with the book hangover I can already feel this series will leave me with.

I have read lots of vampires stories before now and I continue to be blown away by how unique each author has made them and J.R Ward is no different. Ward's vampires are unique, even amongst themselves. And while this book is clearly about Wrath and Beth, each member of the Brotherhood has become flesh and bone in front of the reader rather than a 2 dimensional side character which will have life breathed into it at a later date.

Wrath's character development is so cliché that I can't help but love it. At the beginning he is this cold unfeeling badass who keeps everyone at arm's length, even the other members of The Brotherhood. He falls fast and hard for Beth but tries to convince himself that he is only helping her as a favour to her father Darius (who is the only one of The Brotherhood with a normal name?). He knows that he's being an ass, wanting to protect her but not wanting any other guy near her (which kudos to  him, because most Alpha male types in books refuse to acknowledge when they are being a jackass). I loved being able to see his inner turmoil, seeing his head and his heart warring with each other and then seeing his heart win out. Which lets face it we ALL knew right from the very beginning was going to happen. The Wrath we leave at the end of the book is still very  much a badass, but now he is a badass with a leelan, no longer keeping everyone at arm's length, finally accepting who he is and what he needs to do. No longer the reluctant King.

Yes this book features heavily on the romance (and the sex), but there is so  much more to come from this series. And I can't wait.

Lisa's Review - 5 out of 5 stars

Yes, that's right, Lisa gave a review 5 stars! It takes a lot for me to give 5 stars to a book, but to be honest, I would have given this a 6 if I could have.

Shona being embarrassed about not reading Dark Lover must surely put me in a corner marked 'Shame'. Because, I hadn't even heard of these books. And if it wasn't for the fact that it was picked as one of our Monthly reads on our Goodreads group, I may have never discovered the Black Dagger Brotherhood series at all.

The whole Twilight phenomenon was what first brought out my love of the supernatural world. Since reading the Twilight books, I can't begin to list all the vampire/werewolf/witches and so on I have come across. But if a supernatural world were to exist, this is as close to perfect as I could imagine it. No pretty boys sitting in school cafeterias (sorry Edward) but big, strong, menacing beings carrying an array of weapons, of course still managing to make them gorgeous and sexy, too.

The main story line to Dark Lover is Wrath and Beth's love. It may have been slightly predictable - Wrath starts off this cold, mean ass of a vamp, who falls fast and hard for Beth, and even though he attempts to resist, you know he is going to crumble and make Beth his own. But the way J.R Ward writes it, you don't get that yawnsome feeling of 'oh I know where this is going' instead you cannot help but will Wrath on to sort himself out so he and Beth can be together properly.

Aside from that, there is a whole array of Brotherhood vampires to get to know. They may not have huge storylines, but already we start to get to know enough of each of them that you can't help but love these guys too. Other characters, even the bad guys, are intriguing and so well written that even though you want them taking down you enjoy their parts of the story.

One of my favourite parts of this book, though, was Beth's reaction to discovering that vampires are real. All these years that I have been reading supernatural books, I get so frustrated that more and more a supernatural being is accepted as easily as being told the grass is green! Come on - if you were looking at some guy who then turned round and said I'm a vampire, here is my fangs, or I am werewolf, watch me morph into a giant hairy wolf, you wouldn't sit there, nodding and smiling sweetly, I know I wouldn't! A real person would run for the hills screaming, at the very least! So Beth's reaction to finding out that Wrath is a vampire had me jumping up and shouting 'FINALLY!!!' like a loonie, and made me love Beth even more.

One thing I have discovered about myself over the last 6 months or so is that I am in now way whatsoever a fan of any erotica type books, and although I wouldn't class as Dark Lover as an erotica type book, there is a fair bit of sex in it. I don't mind the odd sex scene in a book, as long as it isn't weird, or stupid, and fits in with the story. I don't think I have ever said that a book sex scene is 'hot' but blimey I can now! J.R Wards writing style for her sex scenes are perfect, they are hot and sexy, they don't go too smutty or over the top. I think the characters definitely helped with this, but for once I didn't find myself willing it over or skipping pages ahead to be done with it!

There is so much more I could say about Dark Lover that I could literally write for another hour and still not be done. But lets just say this is now my favourite vampire book EVER, the Brotherhood are the best vampires, and if you still haven't discovered the series yet you need to read it! I just went and added all 11 books from the rest of the series to my to-read list, (although book 12 isn't released until next year so I'm going to have to attempt to stretch these out a bit, which won't be easy!) and J.R Ward is going up to one of my top 10 writers as she just gets it SO right.

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