Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1
Author: J.R. Ward
Pages: 416 (Kindle edition)
Release Date: September 6, 2005
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood. The only purebred vampire left on earth, 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-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.
Sexy vampire warriors? Yes, please!
In Dark Lover we meet the men that make up the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but the story follows Wrath, their leader. Wrath is attempting to carry out the last wish of a dead brother, which is to help his half-human daughter, Beth, survive her transition. Wrath is a damaged hero and keeps others at arms length. I was rooting for him to find some peace in his life. He meets Beth and it's lust (and maybe love) at first site for both of them. Naturally, Beth is hesitant about getting close to Wrath until she learns about her father and her unknown heritage. From there it's a sexy, exciting ride as their relationship grows and Wrath fights to protect her.
I was also interested by the murder mystery side plot, involving the mysterious Mr. X (cheesy bad guy name alert!) and the "lessers," soulless humans who kill vampires. But I wish those parts had been their own chapters from the beginning, rather than smaller chunks mixed in with the Beth/Wrath storyline. It sometimes felt out of place, when it took me out of the romance scenes.
Havers' storyline felt like filler to me, but I really enjoyed Marissa and Butch. They were great characters on their own, and I liked what they added to the story as a whole. I hope to see them again in the following books.
Was the most well-written book ever? No, especially with random phrases such as "off the chain" and "I'm outtie," as well as the references to musicians of the 90s. But was it entertaining? Yes. Intriguing? Definitely. Fun and sexy? Heck yeah! There was the right mix of romance, mystery and suspense, and the story moved at the perfect pace. I'm definitely excited to read more about the vampires who make up the BDB (especially Zsadist) and their journey towards love.