26 April 2013

J.R. Ward Lover Eternal (The Black Dagger Brotherhood Book 2) Review

As I said with my Dark Lover review, I'm taking part in the Goodreads group SOS: Serious Overload of Series 'Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Read'. It's basically a challenge to read or re-read J.R.Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series in prep for the 2013 release of Lover At Last.

So next up is Book 2 - Lover Eternal!

What they say: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret bound of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant to Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves...

What I say: I cannot say enough how much I love this series, it's beyond addictive and gets better and better with each book!

Lover Eternal shifts focus from Wrath and Beth, to Rhage 'Hollywood' and Mary Luce. Rhage is struggling with his inner beast which frequently comes out to play (the Scribe Virgin really knows how to hold a grudge). Rhage uses sex and violence to banish the beast and control his urges.

New character Mary is human, and similarly to Beth in book 1, she is unaware of the hidden supernatural world. Mary has had a hard life and has just discovered that her Leukaemia has returned with a vengeance.

After meeting the small, damaged and mute John Matthew, Mary and Bella become involved with the Brothers as they battle the lessers again. There's a lot of mystery surrounding John as he has the mark of a warrior and is apparently an unchanged vampire. I have my own theories over John's real identity, but they're really spoilery so I won't put them here...!

The love story between man-whore hottie Rhage and fragile Mary is really sweet. You learn a lot about Rhage in this book and I felt really sorry for him at times. The good thing about their relationship is that they both need each other and struggle to trust and rely on others. They both have to learn this together.

As with the previous book we hear from many POVs. Rhage and Mary may be the primary focus but we also get a lot of back story into the twins lives, particularly Zsadist as he meets Mary's vampire friend Bella (don't worry the only thing she shares with Twilight is her name). Phury is really sweet, you can feel his desperation to save his twin and the guilt he still carries.

The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, setting up the next book ready for Zsadist's story. I loved that Mary was a fighter, she never gave up and I really respected her.

Book 3 here I come...!

5 Stars in my Sky!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
  • "I'm not cock-blocking for kicks and giggles. The mother ship called."
  • "I'm really not interested in enduring an hour of you taking one for the team."
  • "I'm the evil one, in case you haven't figured it out." "I wanted your name, not your calling." "Being a bastard's more of a compulsion, really."
  • My twin's not broken. He's ruined. Do you understand the difference? With broken, maybe you can fix things. Ruined? All you can do is wait to bury him."
  • He's king of cute, in a Godzilla sort of way.

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