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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetite. 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.

Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him. When Mary Luce is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world, she must rely on Rhage's protection. Knowing that Mary feels the same intense animal attraction, Rhage must make her his alone...

J.R. Ward has delivered again. I was most pleased with Dark Lover, the first book in her Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. There's nothing I love more than a tortured hero who's strong, fierce and absolutely a slave to love. Not the pansy, whiny, Feel Sorry For Me types, but the I'm big, I'm bad, I could eat you alive, but I'll Protect You With My Life Types. Just like Rhage.

We first meet Rhage in Ward's first book and I, for one, was immediately intrigued. A serious badass with a horrible curse to deal with, I wanted to see him get his HEA. But part of me was scared.

Scared that Ward would wuss out and not continue on as she began. Though it saddens me to admit it, I think Sherrilyn Kenyon did just that with Zarek from her Dark Hunter Series. He was scary and dark and mostly insane...until she turned him into a big fat teddy bear in his book. We saw none of the scary, Don't Fuck With Me guy from previous books, and instead saw a big, fat marshmellow who rolled over and played dead. Ok, ok, maybe that was a little harsh, but you get the idea.

Not so, Rhage. Though we saw that he had a softer side...and was willing to do whatever it took for his mate, he didn't turn into some teddy bear with a love complex. And he didn't play lapdog, either.

Which, I will admit, was a major turn on.

Our heroine, Mary, was a great counter part for him. She was strong, courageous and bold. But still tender enough to tame the beast inside of him (literally). Though I did have issues with her throughout most of the book, because (not to get too deep into it and spoil you) she was ill and afraid. Most of the time I was thinking, "You IDIOT! Here's a man willing to crawl for you and you shut him out? WTF?"

At one point, Rhage lays into her for being a coward and using him and I literally cheered! (yeah, MM looked at me kind of funny at that point.) I was so glad he wasn't willing to just settle for whatever scraps she was doling out.

But she redeemed herself. And once she commited, man did she commit! It was awesome! See, these are the best kind of romance novels, IMO.

In any case, this is a MUST READ! Not like..."It was good, you should check it out." But.."READ THIS BOOK NOW OR I WILL HUNT YOU DOWN WHILE YOU SLEEP AND DO BODILY HARM TO YOUR PERSON!" Yeah, like that.

Kudos, J.R. Ward. Kudos.

5 out of 5.

Dylan's Review:

Hero: Rhage
Heroine: Mary Luce
Grade: A+
Date: 3/22/06


J.R. Ward is truly a remarkable genius, because the whole concept of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is truly a genius idea. I love it.

I thought that Dark Lover was great and I still love that book to death, but I really liked Lover Eternal. I mean, I was intrigued with Rhage in Wrath's book and was more than happy to start his book, but I was unprepared for how much I was going to fall in love with him....and his beast.

I was totally frightened of the beast when reading about it in Dark Lover, but getting to know it, coming to grips with it really worked wonders and even though Beth got on my hot damn nerves a lot throughout the book, she more than made up for everything in the end. I was totally cheering her on because it was more than evident that she was Rhage's everything. Everything he went through because of her, talk about real love.

How he was so depressed because he didn't want to love anyone the way he loved Mary and how he didn't want anyone else to come and take up the space in his heart, because that space belonged to Mary? OMGosh, I loved it.

This is why I love romance novels because had this been a sci fi book or whatever, it probably wouldn't have ended the way it did, but boy am I glad that the ending didn't totally suck. All's well that ends well and this book most definitely ended well.

I'm so stoked for Z's book to come out in September. I'm practically biting at the bit. Now more than ever, I'm intrigued by that tortured hero. But, I've got to say, when I read about Z, it's like de ja vu, because he totally reminds me of Zarek from the Dark Hunters...and gosh, I love me some Zarek.

This book gets an A+....good on ya, J.R. Ward!

Isabel says:

This is the sequel to J. R. Ward's Dark Lover. Oh. My. God. Loved it.

Rhage is cursed. He has a beast living inside him as punishment. The only way to keep it in check is by fighting or sex. When Rhage meets Mary, he wants no other female. He wants Mary. However he's afraid he'll lose control and the beast will do Mary harm.

Mary, oh she bugged the hell out of me. She has leukemia, so I can understand she wants to push Rhage away. But damn, after what he did to allow Mary to stay with him. How could she treat him like that?

"I will not fall in love with you," she said. "I can't let myself. I won't."
"That's all right. I'll love you enough for the both of us."

He finally gets fed up with Mary pushing him away. What he says to her. Damn. But Mary does redeem herself. She proves herself worthy of Rhage. But what touched me, is when Mary tells Rhage she thought the beast was lovely. Rhage tells her he was afraid if she saw the beast, she'd think of him as a horrible monster. And he's fighting to hold back the tears. A big, tough, bad ass vampire showing his vulnerability is such a turn on. sigh....

I can't wait for the next book.

Grade: A

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