Read with: iBooks for iPad
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1
Publisher: Signet Book
Heroine: Elizabeth Randall
Date of Publication: September 06, 2005
Started On: July 25, 2016
Finished On: July 28, 2016
Sampling J. R. Ward’s work through her latest series The Bourbon Kings had me intrigued enough to try out one of her books in the infamous Black Dagger Brotherhood series. If you are an avid romance reader, you would have come across recommendations of this series sometime or the other, be it even as the hottest book boyfriends that readers have identified with. Having read Dark Lover, the first book in the series, I can pretty much see and agree on why there are so many diehard fans out there when it comes to J. R. Ward and what she can deliver.
Dark Lover tells the story of Wrath, the only purebred vampire remaining in the world, the one destined to be the King of their race, someone who avidly avoids the said position with a vengeance. The Black Dagger Brotherhood are an elite force of vampires within their race, their purpose being to fight the Lessers who basically are soulless humans put to the task by their leader known as Omega.
When Wrath’s Brother and friend known as Darius approaches him about his daughter, a half-bred vampire who would soon be going through the difficult phase of turning into one, Wrath ignores the plea for help because he believes that he is not the best sort of person to handle what’s coming. However, Wrath’s best laid intentions of keeping his distance is shot to smithereens when Darius finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and pays for it with his very life.
Elizabeth Randall (Beth) has no idea the mess her life is going to become when Wrath turns up on her doorstep. Having never known of the fact that she is half-vampire, Beth finds the whole concept a laughable notion at best. But Wrath’s mere presence alone makes her throw all her sensibilities out the nearest window by turning her into a being of senseless want, where it becomes hurtful if she cannot be with him. Wrath too finds himself in a conundrum when he starts lusting after the daughter of his deceased friend and there remains no other option but to have her, which definitely does not earn him any brownie points for good behavior.
Putting together a colorful cast of characters with their own unique facets, J. R. Ward creates a spellbinding novel which pretty much has it all. Her take on vampires and the concept she brings to the table is unique when compared to a whole host of novels that takes on delivery of vampire romances. What makes her take stand out is the fact that there is a reason and rhyme to the way she tells the tale of the lives of these vampires that coexist with humans and strive to do away with the lessers, who in turn gets a new leader much more cunning in his operations of weeding out the Brotherhood by hunting the local neighborhood vampires.
The politics that governs the lives of these lessers are as much interesting as those of the lives of the Brotherhood, because the villains are not your usual cardboard variety of characters that have just one single dimension to them – that is to make your spine crawl. Rather, they have histories of their own, lives that they had led up to the point until they had become lessers, lives that were more often than not extremely difficult, perhaps even abusive, which alienated them enough to become ripe pickings for a mission that requires a soulless bunch.
Though the whole instant lust thing between Wrath and Beth hit me a bit strange at first, the inevitable result of it all seemed to jive with the larger than life vampires that makes up the Black Dagger Brotherhood. They are extremely well trained, lead lives that pretty much based on hunting the hunters, and of course have the pick of beautiful women as they see fit. Thus it stands to reason that such highly intelligent and brawn a sub-species within the race would definitely fall in love just the same. As hard and fast and for life. The possessive hero thing is done in a way that makes it quite appealing, all because you know that they don’t do it out of a need to control the heroine, but rather they are helpless in their need for their women.
Definitely looking forward to seeing where the lives of the Brothers take them and what surprises that J. R. Ward has in store for us readers.
Recommended for fans of urban fantasy and paranormal romances that delivers more than a happily ever after.
Final Verdict: Dark Lover offers a gripping read that delivers on all fronts!
“Darius, if he does it at all, he’ll do it because he owes you. Not because he wants to.”
“I’ll take him any way I can get him.”
“But what are you giving her? He’s about as nurturing as a sawed-off, and that first time can be rough, even if you’ve been prepared. Which she hasn’t.”
“I’m going to talk to her.”
“And how’s that going to go? You’re just going to walk up to her and say, ‘Hey, I know you’ve never seen me before, but I’m your dad. Oh, and guess what? You’ve won the evolutionary lottery: You’re a vampire. Let’s go to Disneyland!’ ”
Beth’s neck jacked back up as she met the man’s steady, feral gaze. She couldn’t see the color of his eyes through the glasses, but his stare burned.
And then the extraordinary happened. As he stopped in front of her, she felt a blast of pure, unadulterated lust. For the first time in her life her body got wickedly hot. Hot and wet.
Her core bloomed for him.
It was chemistry, she thought numbly. Pure, raw, animal chemistry.
Whatever he had, she wanted.
She wrapped her legs around his hips, and he hissed as her heat burned his erection.
He used what was left of his strength to pull back and look down into her face.
“Don’t stop,” she breathed. “I want to feel you inside me.”
Wrath dropped his head into the fragrant hollow of her neck. And slowly drew his hips back. The tip of his erection slid into place beautifully, and he sheathed himself in her body with one powerful stroke.
He let out a bellow of ecstasy.
Heaven. Now he knew what heaven was like.
His lips brushed the side of her neck. And then his tongue licked her skin lightly. “Now, we can be civilized and wait until we get home. Or we can get down to it right here. Either way, I’m dying to come inside of you again, and you’re not going to say no.”
Beth gripped his shoulders through his leather jacket. She was supposed to push him away, but she didn’t. She brought him closer, arching her breasts to his chest.
A sound of male desperation broke free of him, halfway between a groan of satisfaction and a dark plea.
He had her on the bed and under him in a flash of movement, and he pushed up her skirt and tore off her panties with vicious impatience. He didn’t treat her blouse or bra any better. There would be time to savor later. Now was all about raw sex.
While he worked her breasts with his mouth, her hands were rough as she pulled his shirt from his chest. He left her only long enough to undo his pants and spring his erection. Then he linked his forearm behind one of her knees, stretched her leg up, and plunged himself into her body.
He heard her gasp at his powerful entry, and her slick heat grabbed onto him, pulsating as she came. He froze in place, absorbing the sensation of her release, feeling her core stroke him.
A low sound shot through the room, growing louder and louder, until he realized the growl was coming from him. As a fevered heat broke out all over his skin, his nose registered that dark fragrance of possession.
He was powerless to stop himself.
His lips peeled off his teeth as his muscles churned and his hips thrashed against her. Drenched in sweat, head spinning, mindless, breathless, he took everything she was offering him. Took it and demanded more, becoming an animal as she became one, too, until they were nothing but wildness.
He came violently, filling her up, pumping into her, his orgasm going on and on and on, until he realized she was climaxing right along with him, the two of them holding on to each other for dear life against shattering waves of passion.
It was the most perfect union he’d ever known.
Wrath breathed in deeply. “You have a perfume to your skin that makes me hard. Instantly. All I have to do is smell you.”
She arched in his arms, rubbing herself against his thighs, thrusting her breasts up. Her head fell back, and she let out a little moan.
“God, I love that sound,” he said, moving his hand up to the base of her throat. “Make it for me again, Beth.”
He sucked her neck. She obliged.
“That’s it,” he groaned. “Sweet heaven, that is so it.”
She leaned into his wrists forcefully, holding him still. “Relax. Let me be in control.”
Wrath could only stare up in disbelief and breathless anticipation as she pressed her lips to his.
“I want to do you,” she whispered.
In a silky rush, her tongue entered his mouth. Penetrated him. Slid in and out as if she were fucking him.
His whole body went rigid.
With each one of her thrusts, she got farther inside of him, into his skin and his brain. Into his heart. She was possessing him, taking him. Leaving her mark on him.
“Take me,” he moaned. “God, please.”
She slid him inside of her, and his whole body felt the sensation. Tight, wet, hot, she enveloped him. She began to move in a slow, pumping rhythm, and he didn’t last long. When he came, he felt like he’d been ripped in two, the bursts of energy creating a shock wave that went through the room, shaking the furniture, blowing out the candle.
On the slow float back to earth, he realized it was the first time anyone had ever taken such care to pleasure him.
He wanted to weep that she would still have him at all.