Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4
Author: J.R. Ward
Pages: 480 (Kindle edition)
Release Date: March 6, 2007
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. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers. But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. 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, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.
I'm glad we're getting to know Butch, the only human with the BDB, this time around! I've loved his humor in the previous books and I was looking forward to more of him. But his book does not start out happy. He's questioning how he fits into the vampire world, since he isn't able to fight along side the brothers, but he also can't go back to his human life (he knows too many vampire secrets). In fact, the start of his story made me squirm and get a little queasy. Almost right off the bat, poor Butch is captured and tortured by the Omega! The Omega even leaves a small piece of himself within Butch, slowly poisoning him. This leaves Butch quarantined in the vampire clinic, not exactly an ideal situation to start a romance.
And of course the lady of his affection is Marissa, another outsider even though she is a vampire. I felt so sorry for her, since vampire high society wants nothing to do with the untouched, former shellan of the Blind King. She even believes Butch no longer wants her, but rushes to his hospital bed anyway. I absolutely love these two as a couple! He's so sarcastic and fun, while she's perfectly composed and proper. They definitely balance each other out and are exactly the what the other one needs. Both of them came so far in their lives by the end, and I was so happy for them.
While I loved Butch and Marissa's stories and how they were trying to find their niches within the Brotherhood's world, the subplots were lacking. Mr. O's plot in the last two books was fantastic, but now that he's gone Mr. X is back with a new recruit. It just wasn't interesting at all, even with the added prophecy. Even John's story was missing a spark, but I'm glad he's starting to feel more comfortable with himself and making friends, even though he's missing Tohr and Wellsie. Overall though, this was another excellent installment to the series.
One final note, I just loved this line: "Well, wasn't this a night for firsts. Sex. Arson. Pants." :)