Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Published Date: September 6th 2005
Finished Date: December 14th, 2011
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Format: Paperback
Pages: 393
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
My Rating: 3.5/5

Blurb from Goodreads:
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.

My Review

I was expecting so much more from DARK LOVER due to all the raves and publicity it's having. Having that said, I did like it, but am also a little disappointed. There was a slow start, the shifting point-of-views weren't helping at all, and the romance wasn't really developed. But the ending was intense which saved it all, and that's why it didn't end up with a 2.5 or less rating from me.

**Spoiler minefield**

Wrath is the reluctant leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. He's the only purebred vampire left in the world, biggest and one of the mightiest. One of his Brothers, Darius, has asked him to be the one who will take care of and offer his blood to his half-breed daughter, Elizabeth, as she goes through her inevitable transition to become a vamp. Wrath's her best bet for survival cause no one's blood is gonna get any purer than his, but Wrath doesn't want the extra baggage and intimacy. But fate has it that he meets Beth, and when he does, he's all but willing to be her caretaker.

But trouble is stirring not far from home, and the lessers, people who traded their soul with the Omega to become immortal zombies, are now becoming a united front, and with them in their game, the Brotherhood is facing a much larger threat. It is Wrath's duty to protect his race, and to step up to his role as King of the vamps and lead them towards a safer future.

**End of spoiler region**

First things first, the description of Wrath was downright hilarious. I mean, yeah he's big and fearsome, but I thought that the exaggeration went too far. He has long, dark hair, shoulders as broad as an I-beam, arms and legs the size of a grown woman's torso... He sounds like Hagrid. I mean, come on, even vamps, whom I remind you, are humanoid creatures, have to obey the realm of  realism. Imagine if your boyfriend is twice your height, so your eye-level will be at the height of his dick. Now that's just disturbing.

The romance wasn't developed; It was more of lust-at-first-sight they've got going on, and they did the deed when they met the second time. I like the relationship between the protagonists to develop, so this aspect of the book didn't quite go along with me.

Two things that I found rather annoying about Ward's writing style were: 1) The shifting point of views (POV), and 2) her assumption that I know what the hell her abbreviations stand for. The pace of the book at the start wasn't very fast to begin with, and the way she alternated the POV between so many other characters was very irritating. I mean, I'm sort of only interested in Beth and Wrath, but she just kept switching to this lesser's POV and I'm like,"Shit, I don't give a damn!" Especially when there's something major happening around Beth and Wrath. And about the abbreviations. What, in the name of English, is SOP? I know SOB, POS, and all, but SOP? Not everyone lives in the same country and speak the same language (as in slangs and such) as you do. At least list it in the Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns at the front of the book.

Not to say that I didn't like the book, cause there was plenty of action, and I loved the idea of this secret band of brothers who were rather exclusive. Each of the brothers, Wrath, Torhment, Vishous, Phury, Zsadist and Rhage, each had their own curses, but they're really like boys when they're together. Example:

"Yo, cop, what time is it?" Vishous asked, groggy.

Butch reached for the bedside table. Next to his watch was a Red Sox hat, a gold lighter, and a black driving glove.

"Five thirty."

"Cool." The vampire rolled away. "Don't crack the drapes for another two hours. Or I'm up in flames and my brothers will leave you shitting in a bag."

Butch smiled. Vampires or not, he understood these guys. They spoke his language. Related to the world like he did. He felt comfortable around them.

It was damn eerie.

"You're smiling," Vishous said.

"How'd you know?"

"I'm damn handy with emotions. You one of those annoying, cheerful-in-the-moming types?"

"Hell, no. And this isn't morning."

The way they banter with each other is hilarious, and tension may arise sometimes due to the amount of testerone-filled, arrogant males in the same room, but they all really do treat each other like blood brothers. They're a tight group, and when they engage in battle with those lessers, let me tell you, they were hot. The way they fought, the way they moved! Cool.

I loved the characters, even the secondary ones. For example is Darius' doggen (who is something like a butler but more dedicated), Fritz, he is such a darling! He's so cute! Everytime someone rejects his offer to help, he'll seem like a crestfallen puppy. Hahaha, that's probably not very nice, but he really is very endearing. As for the main characters, I love all the brothers. And Beth. Even though Beth is the type of beautiful-but-I'm-absolutely-ignorant-of-that-fact girl, she's still strong, and she loves Wrath, so I like her. But it's a little ironic that Beth is drop-dead gorgeous but Wrath is partially blind so he can't really see her, don't you think?

One thing I found out after reading Book 3 in the series, Lover Awakened (yes, I've read Book 3 already cause I couldn't stand to be away from the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood), is that Ward can be brutal. I was feeling a little sad for Marissa in DARK LOVER. She was so callously used and, well, discarded. She didn't die, but the way she's been used and ignored after was heartbreaking. But I know that she will find her happy ever after, so I'm not overly upset.

DARK LOVER was a pretty above average read for me - I loved the Brotherhood's dark world, and I love the suspense, action, mystery and romance - and as I've read the next few books in the series, I can safely assure you that it gets better. Waaaay better, so I do recommend this book to readers, and highly encourage them to follow up with the series.

My Rating


  1. I could not put this book down I read it in one day, I have already stated the next in the series. I would definitely say this is one of my favorite books. A must read if you are into the vampires!

  2. Did anybody ever find out what SOP stands for?


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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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