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114 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2006
I am always on the look out for a good new author and when amazon recommended this book I decided to try it. And I am so glad I did! (Little tip - buy the second book at the same time)

These books are written exceedingly well, the plots are exciting, breathtaking and nervewracking (don't make any plans to do anything else until you have finished the book!!!), the characters well drawn, with many flaws but likeable, both guys and gals, mortals and otherwise and the baddies are mean but not too smart.

This first book in the series gives the reader a good background on who the brotherhood is, what and whom they fight, whom they love, starting with Wrath, their reluctant leader. The descriptions of the characters are so vivid, they jump of the page and one immediately feels a bond with them.

I am often astonished at the versatility of the Vampire novel writer and Ward has a great imagination. I read this book in one sitting (albeit until 3 am in the morning) and can't wait to get my hands on the next installment. I feel the urgent need to find out what happens next and for an author that must be the highest compliment.

I won't get into the story line, check it out for yourself and let me know if you think I have exaggerated. These books are keepers and you will read them again and again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I have only just read this. I have had the Black Dagger Brotherhood series sitting on my kindle for over a year and until now I haven't so much as looked at them. Being completely honest here, I think the reason I haven't picked them up yet was because I was scared. Every where I look people are talking about BDB, they are recommending it, not once have I seen anyone say anything negative about this series as a whole (until I started reading other reviews after finishing it) and I wasn't sure it would live up to the hype. Dark Lover was chosen as one of the reads for our book club on Goodreads and I decided it was now or never.... well I'm really glad I chose that first option.

I was supposed to be reading something else, but I fired up my kindle and figured I'd have a quick look at this. Before I knew it I was on chapter 11 and there was no way on this planet anyone was making me put the kindle down until the story was finished. Now that it is I am itching to read the next in the series. I don't know if I could cope with the book hangover I can already feel this series will leave me with.

I have read lots of vampires stories before now and I continue to be blown away by how unique each author has made them and J.R Ward is no different. Ward's vampires are unique, even amongst themselves. And while this book is clearly about Wrath and Beth, each member of the Brotherhood has become flesh and bone in front of the reader rather than a 2 dimensional side character which will have life breathed into it at a later date.

Wrath's character development is so cliché that I can't help but love it. At the beginning he is this cold unfeeling badass who keeps everyone at arm's length, even the other members of The Brotherhood. He falls fast and hard for Beth but tries to convince himself that he is only helping her as a favour to her father Darius (who is the only one of The Brotherhood with a normal name?). He knows that he's being an ass, wanting to protect her but not wanting any other guy near her (which kudos to him, because most Alpha male types in books refuse to acknowledge when they are being a jackass). I loved being able to see his inner turmoil, seeing his head and his heart warring with each other and then seeing his heart win out. Which lets face it we ALL knew right from the very beginning was going to happen. The Wrath we leave at the end of the book is still very much a badass, but now he is a badass with a leelan, no longer keeping everyone at arm's length, finally accepting who he is and what he needs to do. No longer the reluctant King.

Yes this book features heavily on the romance (and the sex), but there is so much more to come from this series. And I can't wait.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2006
I came across this book by mistake whilst searching amazon for new books. And i have to say, it was the best mistake i have ever made.
Not only does this book tell the story of Beth who is a half breed and Wrath who is King of the Vampires, it also incorporates other characters that seduce the reader into the addictive depths of the world created by J R Ward.
Amazingly this is J R's first book, and it delivers on every level.
Brilliantly written it is hard not to read this book at break neck speed, the pace is fast yet steady and every page is begging to be turned.
I lost sleep because i could not put the book down for wanting to know what happened next.
Beth is a half breed who doesn't know she is about to turn into a vampire and Wrath is a gorgeous, warrior, King vampire who must help her through the transition.
The attraction is instant and steamy and their story is aided by the adhering characters surrounding them.
Thankfully there is another installment of the black dagger brotherhood (i have already ordered my copy from Amazon) and i know there is going to be more as i have become so enthralled with this book i joined the fan club.
I would recmmend this book to anyone who likes a well written, fast paced, page turner. If i could give it a higher star rating, i would.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 3 May 2013
I LOVED this book and I'm already reading book 2. I cannot believe that I'm years behind in this series! I guess the good thing is that now I have the entire series to read as soon as I like.

Told from the POV of many (if not most) of the characters, Dark Lover introduces the world of The Black Dagger Brotherhood. It is very different from so many of the other vampire books out there. Importantly the vampires drink mainly from other vampires to survive.

The brothers, lead by the reluctant vampire king Wrath (yeah he totally suits his name) are a bad ass group of vampire warriors who defend their world from the evil 'lessers'. Lessers are magically altered former humans, who are soulless and charged with killing vampires, in particular the brotherhood.

I loved the book because we got to hear from the perspective of many of the brothers, not just Wrath and Beth. On to Wrath. He's 6 feet 6 inches of human hating, vampire hotness. Wrath has a vulnerable side, which the half human girl (or woman), Beth uncovers.

Journalist Beth is unaware that anything supernatural exists, let alone that she's a vampire-human hybrid. She's spent 25 years as a human before going through the change (I've gotta admit that I kept thinking of menapose here). I really liked Beth's character because she's an awesome mix of spunky and determined, yet vulnerable and caring. The scene with Rhage was very sweet and I like her relationship with the brothers (even the scarily damaged Zsadist).

Beth and Wrath are smoking hot together, and oh boy there's definitely sex in this book! J.R.Ward incorporates the sexiness into scenes in a way which really works, and never feels forced. I won't say too much more because I noticed on Goodreads that a lot of people are just discovering this series like me. I will say that I loved Rhage (one of the brothers) and Butch (a human cop friend of Beth's).

This is a great fantasy book that I think even those who don't usually enjoy fantasy will enjoy!

5 Stars in my Sky! (Yep I loved it that much)!

My fav non-spoilery quotes:
*Welcome to the wonderful world of jealousy, he thought. For the price of admission, you get a splitting headache, a nearly irresistible urge to commit murder, and an inferiority complex...Yippee.
*The college turks were still fresh out of school and aching to compete in the Stupid Olympics.
*As far as he was concerned, there were only two good positions for a human. A female on her back. And a male facedown and not breathing.
*She couldn't quite recall how he'd come into her apartment. Or what he'd said to her. But everything they'd done horizontally was vivid as hell.
*Something had set him off. Big-time. Perfect date material, she thought. A vampire with the social equivalent of road rage.

This review is also on my blog! [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2011
Wrath is the last purebred vampire on the planet. After watching his parents slaughtered by members of the evil Lessening Society, Wrath found himself the reluctant king and leader of a band of warriors known as the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Now he's mourning the loss of his friend and warrior Darius, and finds himself with another unexpected responsibility. Darius has left a half-breed daughter, Beth, and he needs Wrath to protect her.

This is the first in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series which has been recommended to me so many times I've actually lost count. I've read this book twice now, and I'm happy to say I enjoyed it even more the second time through. The world is incredibly well developed with no info dumping, instead there is a glossary at the start of the book for all of the new terminology introduced - like Lessers (bad guys), Shellan (wife) and Doggen (butler).

Wrath and Beth are great characters that really come to life on the page, and I was completely glued to their story throughout. Their romance is realistic and the book is also grounded with other storylines, like the fight against the Lessers and the choices of one particular Lesser Mr X. The pacing of the book is excellent - managing to balance the slower emotional side of the story, with action packed fight scenes and a creepy view-behind-the-curtain of the Lessening Society.

The rest of the brothers are introduced, along with a human cop, and each is really unique. Introducing all the brothers here also means I'm now really looking forward to the rest of the series (especially Zsadist's book) so I can find out even more about them.

All in all this was a great read and I can't wait to get stuck into Lover Eternal.

Plot: 9/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Enjoyment: 10/10
Cover: 9/10

Overall: 48/50
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53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on 6 January 2007
Dark Lover is the first of J R Ward's "Black Dagger Brotherhood" series (followed by "Lover Eternal", "Lover Awakened" and "Lover Revealed" - the last of these will be released in March 07). It's good, but not necessary, to read these books in the right order as it gives you more of a framework for the world that J R Ward has created.

Her "Black Dagger Brotherhood" are a subspecies of vampire that are warriors - they are larger and stronger than your average vampire and spend their time fighting against the vampire slayers (known as "lessers") who are de-souled human beings. The vampires and lessers slug it out on a regular basis but try to avoid all contact with humans - it's like a parallel mini-culture running in Caldwell, New York, where the books are set.

Dark Lover introduces us to the Black Dagger Brotherhood characters. The book focuses on Wrath who is almost blind and is the king of the vampires although he doesn't actually seem to be doing anything with his position - he's just another warrior like the rest of the brothers. The other brothers are Rhage, Vishous, Phury, Tohrment and Zsadist. Yes, terribly cheesy names which really irritated me to start with although I've now got used to them.

Anyway, in Dark Lover, Darius (another member of the Brotherhood who gets killed just a few pages into the book) asks Wrath to take care of his daughter who is approaching her "transition". In J R Ward's vampire world, vampires start off rather weedy and then when they hit about 25 years old they have their transition which requires them to drink the blood of a member of the opposite sex as their bodies change into full vampire mode. Darius's daughter, being half human, is in danger of not surviving her transition; Darius asks Wrath to provide the blood for it as he is the last purebred vampire on the earth so his blood is the best. He refuses but when Darius is killed he realises he has to do this for the sake of the memory of his friend.

And so we meet Beth who's working as a journalist covering the crime beat - she has a semi-friend in homicide Detective Butch O'Neal (who actually pops up in the other Black Dagger Brotherhood books and is a great character). When she initially meets Wrath she is terrified by him - a leather-clad, colossally tall man who is armed to the teeth. But they seem to get along rather well fairly quickly and she finds herself on the run from the police with him, when they think Wrath is responsible. Will she survive her transition and will Wrath face up to his responsibilities within the vampire community?

These books aren't for the fainthearted who don't like reading about swearing, sex and violence. But they're not just saucy romps, there is quite a lot of characterisation as well as an understanding of human nature and an emphasis on honour and shared brotherly commitment. Although excellent in itself, the next two books are even better as J R Ward got into her stride writing them, but this is a very worthy beginning to the series and I recommend it to the not-faint-hearted.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 2 July 2007
This is by far one of the best 'supernatural romance (a desciption I dislike)' books I have read in a long time. JR Ward has succeeded in turning good and evil on its head in a most creative and successful way. Here we are shown a dangerous and violent 'Brotherhood' fighting to protect the innocent, in this case vampires, against the evil and corrupted human 'lessers'.

Unlike many other series in the genre Dark Lover does not need the graphic sex scenes to keep it's audience entralled, instead it uses a superb story and real gripping tension to keep you turning the pages. When the author does allow her characters to seccumb to the urge she cleverly lets the anticipation build until you know precisely how they feel allowing your imagination to expand on her descriptions. A technique that is extremely effective.

All in all I cannot recommend this book enough especially to those of you who enjoy Kelley Armstrongs 'Women of the Otherworld' or Charlaine Armstrongs 'Sookie Stackhouse' series.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 15 January 2009
I bought this book after reading the reviews on Amazon, and I have to say it did not disappoint!
This story follows Wrath the king of vampires, who feels that it his duty to look after a friends daughter when he is killed, but instead falls in love with her.
The story is a romance novel, but the storyline is great also, which makes this book better than the average romance book.
I have to say that the worst thing about this book is the cringe-worthy names (sorry!), and to make matters worse, of the six brothers their names are wrath, tohrment, phury, zsadist, rhage, and ....darius. Just seems odd that he didn't get an odd name too!
If you can see past the awful names though, this is a really great read, I will definately be reading the others in the series, and I would recommend this to anyone who likes paranormal romance.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 22 August 2010
I liked it, I didn't love it.
Things I liked.

1. The world which these novels inhabit. You can tell a lot of thought and energy went into the world building here.

2. The actual Brotherhood and the easy banter of the Brothers. They felt like comrades, brother-in-arms.

3. Beth. For once I liked the female character more than the male protanginist. She was smart, capable and although she fell madly in love with no reason at all (apart from all the fabulous orgasms!) not stupid.

4. That the Vampires were modern. I'm not a big fan of the vampire myth, I've never been fascinated with them. I like that that have chosen to live in the present instead of wallowing in the past. They speak in a modern way (except when in ceremony) they listen to modern music and wear modern clothes (although the biker leathers and tight muscle shirts are a tad stereotypical and not my thing baby!) I'm so glad they aren't all wearing white shirts with lace at the throat and trying to de-flower virgins. It's sooo Bram Stoker! :)

5. Butch. I love Butch. Nuff said.

6. The butler. He was sweet and funny

What I didn't like.

1. First and foremost, the names. Man this author needs to do something about naming her characters. They are just AWFUL. Wrath, Rhage, Tohrment, Phury, Zsadist Vishous...I mean COME ON! It took me out of the narrative every time a name appeared. Awful, awful names.

2. Wrath. He did absolutely nothing for me. Biker leathers and long hair. Nope. So the romance part was a bust. For me. I was much more intruiged by Marissa & Butch.

3. The baddie never felt like a threat at all. Not once. And he had a crap name. Again.

4. The sex was beyond weak. But maybe that was because I wasn't into Wrath.

But for all it's sins, it was an entrertaining read which I enjoyed and it was enough to keep me going onto the second book, but more to see how the plot unfolds and hoping to bump into other characters again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 November 2011
Well what can I say! What an amazing start to the series.

Dark Lover is the first in a long line of Black Dagger Brotherhood Novels. Wrath, (The only purebread vampire left on the planet)is the king of the vampires. Labelled 'The Blind King,' as he has extremely bad eyesight but not completely blind. He is more of a soldier than a king, and goes out with his band of brother to fight 'The Lessers' the enemy. Who have murdered his parents centuries ago. His most trusted fighter and friend (Darius) is killed after asking Wrath to help his half-breed daughter through her transition, which he declines. He is then forced to seen Darius's orphan daughter 'Beth' out. To help her through her transition, because it was her fathers last request of him.

Beth has been feeling restless within her own body for a while now. But when a dark stranger turns up one night her life changes forever. Beth finds herself caught up in a frightening world.

All the characters in this book are captivating. I want to know them all individually.

The ending of this book leaves me wanting more. Beth has the strength to take all of these strong warriors in hand. I cannot wait to read the next instalment "lover Eternal.'

J.R. Ward has brought a fantastic new Paranormal-Romance series to the table and I am officially hooked.

Carly :)
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