Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: 3/6/07
Rating: 4 stars
Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard living, ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world to engage in the turf war with the lessers. He's got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. If he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers... When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead but found by a miracle, the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him...
I wasn't particularly excited to start Lover Revealed. I was very excited to pick the series back up, but have never been especially into Butch or Marissa. I think it's likely due to how they're portrayed in Dark Lover. Butch wanted Beth, and Marissa was supposedly chosen for Wrath. And honestly? I wanted Butch with V.
I wasn't sure about Lover Revealed until I was halfway through. Butch is in a very bad place, morose over being a human in a vampire world. He can't feed the woman he loves, he can't sustain her, and he will die. It does become clear, though, that everything is about to change, and thank goodness for that. The turn the story takes was dangerous and surprising. Up until that turn, though, this book was a sad circle of self-loathing and wanting. Butch wants Marissa but doesn't feel worthy so he turns her away. Marissa wants Butch but doesn't understand why he keeps leaving her. Her inferiority-as-a-female complex didn't help things. The most interesting aspect was my hopes that everyone was playing an epic prank on me and Butch and V did, in fact, end up together. Boo.
Something I really love about the Black Dagger Brotherhood series is the fact I don't know how everything will go down and be resolved until the very end. Dark Lover was no exception. I was on the edge while reading the last one hundred pages. I have to say, I love how the story ended, and am excited to continue the series. I'm ready for Vishous.
V laughed in a short burst. "I can't decide whether you have serious balls or a death wish."
"Never underestimate the power of self-hatred, V. It's a hell of a motivator. Besides, we both know what the only other option is."
Yeah...it had all started here last summer...at this place. And yet as he felt the scratchy, damp bricks under his palm, he knew the real beginning was right now. His true nature was uncovered now. He was who he needed to be...now.
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: 9/25/07
Rating: 4 stars
In Caldwell, New York, war rages between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now the cold heart of a cunning predator will be warmed against its will... Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father's war camp he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that cannot include her...
Lover Unbound is THE book I've been waiting for since I began the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Yeah, I am a V Girl (except I'm a closet Rhage Freak). So I went into this book a little scared and with ridiculously high expectations. Expectations like....are V and Butch gonna ditch the ladies and admit they are each other's one true love? Those kind of expectations. I mean, I didn't think it would actually happen, but a girl can dream.
It was nice, but definitely sad, to finally get Vishous' whole story. I thought Zsadist's past was beyond compare, and I still mostly believe that, but V's was just awful, too. I was very curious to see who could pull his romantic affections away from Butch, and I do think Jane was fairly worthy of his love. (If there's such a thing) Their love story was sad throughout, given V's destiny. I knew that Ward would pull something off at the last minute, that's definitely her style, and I was happy that the two could be together.
My only gripe? That ending! WTHell was that? I get it, I guess. But no. Actually, I did not like how Jane was saved. I mean, I know I'm about seven years too late on this, but still.
Other than that weirdness, I really liked Lover Unbound. I did also like learning more about Qhuinn, Blay and John Matthew. I've already correctly guess John's big secret. I can't wait to see that play out over the coming books.
Terrific. A bisexual dominant vampire with kidnapping expertise. Man, for so many reasons she shouldn't feel like she did about him.
He looked at Jane curled up next to him and decided that, as far as he was concerned, tonight was when he'd finally lost his virginity. Though his body had done the act in many different ways to many different people, sex had always been an exchange of power-power that flowed in his direction... With Jane there had been an exchange: She had given something to him, and he had turned over a piece of himself in return.
He pulled back and pressed his lips to hers. "I love you. And I'm going to keep loving you even after you don't know I exist."
"You've always been there for me. Always. Even when I..."
"Even when you what?"
"Fuck. Even when I was in love with you. Or some shit."
"[...]Here's the deal, V. You and me? We're in this life together, and not just because of my curse... but there's a reason why we met. And as for the whole you-being-in-love-with-me thing? It was probably more about you just caring about someone for the first time."
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 3 stars
In this "frighteningly addictive" paranormal romance saga there's a war raging between vampires and their slayers. Here are the stories of a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now a dutiful twin must choose between two lives... Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.
As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love....
Hey guys, I didn't hate this book. Kidding. I kind of did hate Lover Enshrined, despite the fact I was really looking forward to it. A couple of my friends (Amanda and Karen) warned me, but I thought there was no way I wouldn't love a BDB book. The reason? Phury and his MotherBleeping Wizard. Just...if any of you think Ana Steele's inner goddess was an annoying twat, just read this book with Phury and the wizard who lives in his head.
Now, having said that, I do get that the story did have some aspects going for it. It does have some good points on depression and addiction and how it destroys relationships. And I get that everything he goes through helps Phury bring about big changes with the Chosen. There's also a big shift with the disgusting lessers. So yeah, a lot happens, but Sad Sac Phury was the mother of all Debbie Downers.
The very best part of Lover Enshrined is John Matthew, Qhuinn, and Blay. I'm happy John finally goes through his transition, and am curious about his fixation on Xhex. But the biggie: Qhuinn and Blay. Now I know why readers lost their shit when Lover at Last came out. These two broke my little heart with their longing, acceptance, hesitation, denial and the true friendship. This is the ultimate example of the slow burn, and I hope it can power me through the rest of the series.
"Yeah. Go fig. Me in love with Qhuinn...a guy who, when he's not moody, is a slut and a smart-ass. Except you want to know what the most fucked-up thing is, though?... "He's right."
"Yup," Blay said. "That's why I could never get into the females all that much. None of them compared to him. No other guys do either, by the way. So I'm fucked royal, but then, that's my biz and not his or yours."
The yearning in the blue eyes staring up at him broke his heart. It totally did. And he couldn't imagine what it was that Blay saw in him that made him so special. "What is wrong with you," he whispered, "that you care so much about me?"
Blay's sad smile added about a million years to his age..."What is wrong with you that you can't see why I would?"
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #7
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: 11/24/09
Rating: 4 stars
J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood novels have introduced readers to a "different, creative, dark, violent, and flat-out amazing" (All About Romance)world. Now, as the vampire warriors defend their race against their slayers, one male's loyalty to the Brotherhood will be tested-and his dangerous mixed blood revealed...
Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It's also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious night club that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he's approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.
Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood-even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him-and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.
I really enjoyed Lover Avenged. Yay. I'm still not quite sure if it's because this book was just that good or that Lover Enshrined was so much of a let-down and anything after that would seem good. I'll go with the good and say that Lover Avenged was a really good book.
Rehv has been such a mystery throughout this series. He's always come across as a thug-with good reason-but it appears that the drug-dealing, prostitute-peddling half Sympath really does have a good heart. Of course, that good side is enhanced by Ehlena. Once again, we get another beyond perfect "female of worth". I like Ehlena, and appreciated how good she was with and how much she cared for Rehv. But...why are all the females the same? The males, too, for that matter. So far, the female vampires have all been pretty much perfect with not a lot to offer besides support to the Brothers. I get that the focus is on the Brothers, but would like to see some variety. I'm hoping the next two books with Xhex and Payne change things up on that front. And really, the same goes for the men. Every single brother talks the same, acts the same, thinks the same. The obsession on fine clothing and top-notch liquor is about to strum my last nerve.
So back on topic. Lover Avenged had a lot going for it, in my opinion. Mainly for two reasons: the legally corrupt but morally ambiguous (because he has reasons) Rehvenge; and the slow-brewing relationship between John Matthew and Xhex. Rehv's inner turmoil over the lies he's forced to tell, the self-loathing at the lengths he's forced to go to in order to protect his loved ones; and the way love seems to bring him out of the fog. And The Barb. Yeah.
I honestly don't know why the Xhex and John thing fascinates me like it does. Maybe because I know he has an unknown past that's likely closing to blowing up. I can't wait for that scene. Also, the fact that Xhex looks and acts kind of like a dude. I don't know what that says, if anything at all. It just seems like the half of the females (Beth, Bella, Marissa, Ehlena) are untouchable, perfect beauty and the other half (Jane, Xhex, Payne) are androgynous. There's, like, no middle ground here.
I should probably just stop over-thinking this series and take it for what it is: a sexy and intense paranormal series with super alpha heroes (with a love of swank clothing) backed by the women who stand by their man, ridiculous bad guys who aren't scary at all. The endings are always intense and in the end, the Brotherhood is the center.
Favorite QuoteLater, much later, she would reflect that those four words were the precipice. Are you there, Ehlena? Truly it was the beginning of everything that followed, the starting line of a harrowing journey disguised in the form of a simple question. She was glad she didn't know where it would take her. Because sometimes the only thing that got you through hell was that you were in too deep to pull out.
Ehlena turned away, and he opened the glass panel with his mind, not trusting himself to get too close to her. Oh, please don't go. Please don't, he thought. He just wanted to feel...clean for a little while.
He found her face by touch, and as he ran his fingers over her cheeks and nose to her lips, he saw her with his hands and knew her with his heart.
Xhex put the letter into Ehlena's palm and held on to it for a brief moment. In a choked voice, she said, "Rehvenge...has been my hero for years. He's a good male in spite of his sympath side, and he's worthy of what you feel for him. He deserves so much better than he's gotten out of life..."