Title: Dark Lover (A Black Dagger Brotherhood Novel, #1)
Author: J. R. Ward
Genre: Erotica, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Piatkus (3rd February 2011)
In the shadow of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There also exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Among them, none relishes killing their enemies more than Wrath, the leader of the BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD . . .
The only purebred vampire left on the planet, 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 – orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or fate – Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undead . . .
Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunder that threatends to consume them both . . .
Rating: **** (4 stars)
J. R. Ward’s series the BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD is considered one of the series to read if you are a fan of the paranormal romance genre. I have been a fan of the paranormal romance genre for a while, but for various reasons haven’t read Ward’s series yet. DARK LOVER is the first book in the series it tellls the story of Wrath the king of vampires and Beth Randall the half-human daughter of one of Wrath’s fighters.
Having read quite a few of other books and series in the paranormal genre I was curious to see how Ward’s BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD would hold up. To be honest, I found the beginning of DARK LOVER to be pretty typical of the genre – a strong alpha male, and a female in need of rescuing. Although to be fair, I never saw Beth as weak it was pretty clear from the start what sort of role she was going to play. So kudos to Ward for playing with these expectations of mine. The further I read into DARK LOVER the more I enjoyed the book, but if you’re looking for an a-typical paranormal romance then this book and series are probably not what you are looking for.
The plot of DARK LOVER is, as I have mentioned, pretty typical for its genre but don’t let that put you off. Ward does a brilliant job with characterisation, particularly with the way the interactions between the members of the Black Dagger Brotherhood are written. The women were also pretty interesting, if a little two-dimensional at times. I’m particularly curious to find out what happens to Marissa as the series progresses. Ward also has an interesting sub-plot threaded through the main plot of the book which I am hoping will be expanded upon in later books in the series. I also thought Ward has an interesting take on vampires in this series – there are some interesting hints about a different culture which I’m hoping will be explored further in later books.
Overall I really enjoyed DARK LOVER and thought that it made an interesting beginning to the BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD series. I’m not particularly sure that the book adds anything to the genre, but I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series.