In A Nutshell

  • Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Action, Contemporary
  • Notes: One of my all-time favorite paranormal romance books. When in a book lull, I always reach for this quick read.
  • Recommended for: Ward fans, Fans of paranormal romance, and anyone who is a sucker for angsty/yet happy books.
The book that turned me onto J.R. Ward’s wonderfully, delicious series The Black Dagger Brotherhood. The synopsis for this book always makes me chuckle, but that is half of what I love about this series:
Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetite. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin.Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him. When Mary Luce is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world, she must rely on Rhage’s protection. Knowing that Mary feels the same intense animal attraction, Rhage must make her his alone…
I read this book, while I was studying abroad in europe and was simply happy to find a romance novel in english that didn’t make me feel like I was reading a formulaic cliché book. And it is so much fun.
For all of you out there reading this looking for the next great american novel – I think I can assure you that this isn’t it. But then again if you thought it was by looking at the cover – you have bigger issues.
As for what really connected me to this book: Mary. Mary is the kind of romantic heroine that you admire because she reminds you of parts of yourself. I enjoy reading stories where the heroine is a strong, independent woman, but I can relate more to a character like Mary. Mary has had a life that you really can’t describe as “easy” and while she doesn’t have a low self-esteem, she doesn’t really trust it when Rhage (who is described as movie-star-hot) is attracted to her. In fact, when they go on their first date (blind-date) she doesn’t even trust that he’s in the right date. But she doesn’t feel this in a “oh woe is me, no man will ever love me.” But in a very relatable – I’m a 7.5 he’s a 20+.
As for Rhage – he is super attractive and he was a man-whore. Technically still is at the beginning of the book. But the curse that he has placed on him has made man-whoring as exciting to him as a doctor appointment.
The strength of these books are the way Ward writes this gang of brothers. They are warriors second, brothers first – but don’t tell them I said so.
This is definitely one of my favorite paranormal series and it’s still going on. I recently reviewed the most recent addition Lover Unleashed.
I recommend reading them in order – Dark Lover is the first one – with a big glass of wine on a rainy night when you have nowhere to be.