Lover Eternal – Black Dagger Brotherhood #2
by J.R. Ward
Lover Eternal is the second book about the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series of romance books that feature a different kind of vampires. These vamps don’t hunt humans (usually) and can’t make humans undead through a transfer of blood. Instead, they get nourishment from the blood of a vampire of the opposite sex. The brotherhood hunts lessers, a group of former-humans who traded their souls for eternal life and the chance to hunt vampires.
Rhage is a vampire with a curse… a real, very nasty curse. If he doesn’t keep himself calm, he turns into a beast so violent that even the other warriors in the Black Dagger Brotherhood fear him. When he meets Mary, a human woman, he is fascinated by the way she makes him feel—until he realizes that the feeling means not only does his body want her, his beast does too.
This second book is up to par with the first one, and I think I probably enjoyed it more. Not because I necessarily like Rhage better than Wrath (how to choose?) but because I was already familiar with the world. There was less need to set up the details of the race, and more opportunity to delve into the individual characters.
Like Dark Lover, this book does feature prominent sex and swearing. The violence is also present, though again I didn’t find it gory. This book does tug at your heart-strings a little more than the first one. Mary has cancer; she’s going to die. She knows it. And, while thinking about her coming death, she reminisces back to her mother’s death for some very poignant scenes.
Ward manages to keep the romance hot while not sacrificing any plot or character development. The action is non-stop, as is to be expected when you get so many warrior males together in one place, but again she manages to use it as a plot device instead of using random action in place of plot. Most of the characters from the first book return, at least for a cameo, with the addition of a few new characters.
Fans of dark romance/fantasy will enjoy this book, so long as they don’t mind sex and language. (For that reason, I would call it a book for mature readers.) However, I highly recommend reading Dark Lover first!