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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  SugarMags on February 13th 2010, 11:45 pm

DARK LOVER
DARK LOVER is the first novel in the “Black Dagger Brotherhood” series by J.R. Ward, first published in 2005. It is considered a “paranormal romance” novel. As this is the first novel in this series, DARK LOVER inducts the reader into a completely new world, hidden to humans. Vampires are a separate species – born, not created. They have their own language, religion, and monarchy. They exist in our world, yet remain apart and hidden. Vampires are hunted by another type of undead – the Lessening Society. The vampires weapon against the “Lessers” are the Black Dagger Brotherhood – vampire warriors bred and trained to protect the race. This particular novel centres around Wrath, the reluctant and unascended vampire king, and Beth, the half-breed daughter of Wrath’s fellow Brother, Darius.
The story opens with Darius requesting Wrath’s aid in helping his daughter through her vampire transformation. Beth is unaware of her father, and therefore her vampire heritage. Beth is also the last of Darius’ children who remain alive. Wrath is the last full-blood vampire in the world, and his blood would greatly increase her chances of surviving the transformation into a vampire. Wrath hates humans and does not want the responsibility of being the leader of the vampires. He is an aristocrat, as well as a fierce warrior. Wrath turns down Darius flat – only to assume the responsibility when Darius is assassinated by Lessers.
Beth is a reporter for the local Caldwell, NY newspaper. She is in a dead-end job, and feels that there has to be more to life for her. She has grown up in foster homes her whole life, never haing a true family or connection to anyone. She has a few friends on the police force including Detectives Jose De La Cruz, and Butch O’Neal. Although beautiful, she has no love life to speak of, and doesn’t feel a sexual attraction to anyone.
Beth is attacked by Billy Riddle and barely escapes. Butch finds out about this and roughs up Billy in the hospital – thereby losing his job as Billy is the son of an important polititian. Wrath and Beth’s first meeting is a disaster, and Wrath erases that memory from Beth. The second, on the otherhand (Wink, wink) goes much better. The instant attraction is incredibly surprising to the both of them. These feelings are new to the both of them.
Wrath tries to introduce Beth to the vampire world – showing her that she wasn’t truly alone; her father Darius was always keeping watch over her. While getting to know Beth, Wrath allows himself to care about someone, and starts to realize that he needs to step up to the role that he has denied for centuries. When Beth finally starts to go through her transition, she is alone in her apartment. Butch finds her, and rushes her to Wrath at Darius’ house, allthough he doesn’t trust him, and doesn’t realize what she and Wrath are. At Darius’ home, he meets the rest of the Brothers – Rhage, Zsadist, Vishous, Phury, and Tohrment. Most importantly, Butch meets Marissa, Wrath’s ex. It is instant attraction between the two. Wrath sees Beth safely through her transition, and asks her to marry him.
The Scribe Virgin – the spiritual founder of the Vampires – agrees to the union, only if Wrath agrees to step down as head of the Brotherhood, and ascend the long-neglected Vampire throne. This Wrath readily agrees to – and the two are married. The day after the ceremony, Beth is kidnapped by the Lessening Society. The brothers and Butch join together not only to save Beth, but deal a deadly blow to the society. During Beth’s rescue, Wrath is mortally wounded. With Beth’s help, Wrath makes it through, even though it is a long, hard struggle. He accepts his role as King, and knows that he can do it with Beth’s help. The Brothers agree to all move under one roof so that they can truly be a cohesive unit.
From here on in, I’m moving to the first person. I have to. I love these books, and to quote Burke, I need to “wax poetic”.
What impresses me most about this book is the way Ward presents this world. Beth is the perfect springboard into the Vampire world. As she is unaware of her heritage, not only as a vampire, but the daughter of a Brother. We learn as she does. The pacing in this book is amazing, in that I never felt information was being pushed at me too quickly. I never felt bored either, feeling the need to skip a few paragraphs. The idea that vampires are born, not made is a great new take on the vampire mythology. The race is out in the open, but hidden. Cool. So with the vampires being a race, that means they have a whole separate religion, language, monarchy, and heirarchy. That’s a lot of stuff coming your way! But, Ward has created a world with an amazing amount of depth – I never felt I needed to question anything or go back to see what I may have missed.
Next, I have to squee on Wrath. He has to be one of my favorite characters. My favorite description of him comes from page 3: With a face that was both aristocratic and brutal, he looked like the king he was by birthright and the soldier he’d become by destiny. Yummy. I love his dry sense of humour, ability to out-swear a trucker, and intense loyalty. He really does a 180 in this book. From complete loner to a true king, bringing the Brotherhood under one roof. Maybe this reflects on a theme of destiny that happens several times in this book. Many characters are trying to come to grips with who they are, whether they like it or not. Wrath has been fighting is role as the vampire king, and denying his people and the brotherhood a true leader. Beth helps him step up to this role. Beth is unhappy in her place in life and wants more; and boy, does she ever get it! She also discovers her true identity as a vampire, with Wrath’s help of course. Butch’s destiny is just starting...
Finally, my favorite thing about this novel is Wrath and Beth together. They just work. Wrath is pure strength and Beth stands up to him. She makes him want to be a better person. The best scence of them together is on page 248 – “Wrath dragged her into his arms and hugged her hard talking in that other language again. When he pulled back, he ended the monologue with something like leelan.
“Is that vampire for bitch?”
So, how can we not love alpha males with scarred backgrounds and an intense bonding instinct? Works for me! J.R. Ward has created an intense, full, and dangerous world that’s so easy to fall into.
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Renee on February 14th 2010, 2:31 am

This is my report on the second book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Lover Eternal

Lover Eternal is the second book in J. R. Ward’s paranormal romance series The Black Dagger Brotherhood first released in 2006. This novel continues the story of the protectors of Ward’s race of vampires and their hidden world first introduced in Dark Lover. This book has at it’s center Rhage, the largest and most beautiful of the warriors, and Mary, the human woman who wins his heart and soothes his troubled soul.

We first meet Rhage preparing to go out with his brothers hunting lessers, this world’s version of slayers, and partying at one of the clubs the Brotherhood frequents. Rhage is something of an enigma to his brothers, he is absolutely irresistible to females and uses this attraction and them to his own ends much to his disgust and complete self loathing, a fact that the others completely do not understand. Rhage is a being carrying a large burden, he has been cursed by the Scribe Virgin. A curse that forces him to share his being with another, a beast that once awakened through anger, fear, or pain he cannot control and puts the lives of all including his brothers at risk. He keeps the beast subdued by using human women and fighting, Rhage desires nothing more than to have peace within himself and would trade anything, even being ranked among the Brotherhood, to be free.

Mary Luce is a woman who also carries a burden, she too has been cursed after a fashion - she is a cancer survivor, her body carries the scars of her furious battle with the disease and now she is facing the possibility that the leukemia has most likely returned. The disease that changed so much in Mary‘s life, she was forced to leave the job she loved, caring for autistic children, as well as her ability to have children, the damage the aggressive treatments dealt upon her body has taken her confidence within herself, she does not feel attractive at all and believes that no man will find her desirable. To fill in the void in her life Mary volunteers at a local suicide prevention hotline and through this hotline she meets another pivotal person in the chain of events leading her to the vampire named Rhage, a young man named John Matthew.

Rhage and Mary’s story cannot be told without the introduction of John Matthew, a young man with a disability, who is drawn to Mary after listening to her voice on the hotline and Bella, Mary’s nearest neighbor and friend who is also a member of the vampire society. John Matthew, an orphan boy who is in fact mute, has become entranced with Mary’s voice and has called her several times at the hotline and followed her home as well. On the night she learns that the leukemia may have returned, John Matthew follows her home and finds, to his surprise and delight, that she can communicate with him using sign language. As the two converse, Bella joins them at Mary’s pool and observes that the young boy could possibly be a pre transitional vampire male. Her thoughts are confirmed when she notes a bracelet he has made himself and bears the name Therror, an ancient name, a warrior’s name, in the old language that is completely unknown to humankind. Bella contacts the Brotherhood as soon as possible to arrange a meeting between John and the warriors as well as Mary, who will act as translator.

On the same night, Rhage and his companions encounter a group of the lessening society and the ensuring battle entices the slumbering beast within Rhage into action. When the battle is over and the beast subdued once more the brothers bring Rhage, who suffers intensely after each appearance, to his room in the compound and leave him to recover. The next evening he staggers from his room to seek some respite from his discomfort when he hears a woman’s voice. A voice that draws him nearer, that soothes the pain within his body, a voice that arouses him as no female has ever before and makes him feel that he will do anything within his power to continue to bask within the comfort she brings. He has found Mary.

Mary has accompanied John Matthew and Bella to the compound of the Black Dagger Brotherhood to act as translator. She has absolutely no idea as to who she is meeting or the fact that these men are of another race. While she waits in a corridor a man, a very tall, very large, extremely beautiful man stumbles into her. When she speaks, he becomes entranced with her voice, demanding she continue to speak, not caring what she says needing only to hear the sound of her voice, his arousal apparent. Mary finds herself responding, however she is grateful when Bella and the brother named Tohr interrupt the encounter.

From this point onward Rhage becomes so totally enamored with Mary that he moves heaven and earth to spend time with her, to the point of contacting Bella to arrange a date. The path of their relationship is less that smooth, the primary one being that Mary is human and Rhage vampire. After an encounter with the Lessening Society that places Mary in permanent danger, Rhage moves her into the compound and into his room, much to the chagrin of his brothers and the anger of the Scribe Virgin who demands the rythe as punishment for his temerity. With this sacrifice, the brothers recognize Mary as Rhage’s shellan and she is now permitted to remain. Mary’s feelings of inadequacy also act as a barrier in their relationship as well as Rhage’s fear of his otherness, the curse he carries with him constantly. There is also Mary’s illness, which looms over the pair making their relationship bittersweet as the fragility of human life compared with the longevity of the vampire race becomes more and more evident.

We are also permitted a further view into the world of the Scribe Virgin and her handmaidens who as the “chosen” are available to feed the Brother’s who do not have a bonded mate. Nothing makes this part of their society clearer as the encounter between Rhage, Mary, and the chosen Layla, her frankness as to her purpose in her discussion with Mary and her absolute willingness to mate with the Brother in the hopes of pregnancy as a part of her directive as the chosen. Also, her willingness to accept the strictures that the couple place upon their connection and her pleasure at being the one that they will choose when the need for blood returns shows clearly that she is a servant to the Scribe Virgin and the Brotherhood.

The Scribe Virgin herself does not appear to be a deity who is given unto softness, her punishments are immediate and often savage, yet within each there is something that is given as a gift. Rhage has become a male of worth with the lessons learned from the curse of the beast and has gained a maturity that he possibly would not have found had he not suffered for his earlier behavior. The removal of the beast during his rythe also allowed Rhage the freedom to be with his Mary in every way he desires without fear of losing control, a true gift to both.

During this time Bella, Mary’s friend encounters the brother Zadist, twin of Phury described by him as “not damaged, ruined”, and quickly becomes fascinated with the warrior who is so very different from the others. John Matthew is recognized as a pre transitional vampire and is “adopted” by Tohr and his mate Wellsie who begin to aid his assimilation into the race of vampire to which he has been born.

Mary learns the truth about Rhage’s curse and is accepting of the beast who is in turn enamored with her to the point that his desire for her becomes and issue that causes Rhage great emotional conflict. Mary, herself provides the answer to the conflict and the angst felt by her lover becomes a moot point as allowing the beast expression through Rhage provides a peace between the two entities that has not been felt before.

The Lessening Society has been regrouping and gathering it’s tattered ranks together during this time. Their new leader has decided to approach the removal of the vampire race by the capture and torture of civilian vampires. This decision leads to the construction of a special compound and through a series of mishaps stemming from an encounter with Rhage and Mary, Bella the vampiress is taken, much to the horror of the brotherhood particularly Zadist.

While discovering the capture of Bella, the Brotherhood is attacked by lessers with Mary in attendance causing the beast to emerge in order to protect her. Mary’s love for Rhage allows her to view his other form with gentleness and courage and this acceptance in turn makes the transition from one to the other less than the painful process it has been previously. With the taming of one beast, the beast that is Mary’s cancer roars into life and places everything they hold dear at risk. Decisions must be made, sacrifices offered and accepted with, at the culmination, blessings beyond comprehension granted by the one who showed mercy when it was not expected, the Scribe Virgin.

Once again J. R. Ward has brought us further into this world of her creation, developing further the Brotherhood and their relationship with the creator of their existence, the Scribe Virgin and conversely the Lessening Society and their leader, the Omega. Once again we are left wanting. Wanting more of the Brotherhood, more of the world they live in and, of course, answers as to the fate of Bella and Zadist.

To factor in my personal opinion of Rhage and Mary’s story. Of all the books this one is my favorite, a spin on the age old tale of Beauty and the Beast. Although, in the individual eyes of the lovers, who is the beauty and who is the beast is questionable. Rhage is the vampire who draws my attention, perhaps because of the beast, I have to admit I find his duality entrancing or it could simply be that he’s big, beautiful, and blond. The fact that Mary is able to subdue and seduce the beast within as well as the vampire despite her own feelings of inadequacy due to the scars of her illness is touching and despite this, she allows herself the freedom to love Rhage and be loved by him. How often do we deny ourselves that which we desire because we feel undeserving and unworthy to reach out. This is something I completely understand.

These males, with the intensity in which they interact with the females they love are completely captivating. Rhage is no different, from his love of the human Mary to his addiction to Tootsie Roll Pops and perhaps most endearing of all, to me at least, what he can do with a cherry and his mouth. I’ve always been a sucker for a guy with a sweet tooth.

Renee
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Only1JenB on February 14th 2010, 9:44 am

I'm going to get GS to sticky our reports to the front of this post...or something. That way if someone wants to jump in mid way they can catch up there.

So tonight 9pm eastern? Chatbox?
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Renee on February 14th 2010, 11:12 am

Only1JenB wrote:I'm going to get GS to sticky our reports to the front of this post...or something. That way if someone wants to jump in mid way they can catch up there.

So tonight 9pm eastern? Chatbox?

Most definitely! I'm looking forward to it.

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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  SugarMags on February 14th 2010, 2:07 pm

Renee wrote:
Only1JenB wrote:I'm going to get GS to sticky our reports to the front of this post...or something. That way if someone wants to jump in mid way they can catch up there.

So tonight 9pm eastern? Chatbox?

Most definitely! I'm looking forward to it.

Renee

And we can meet 2 weeks from now as well... Fairy is going to take over McM's book - Lover Revealed (Butch).

Thanks bunches, Fairy!!

See you all tonight!!
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Only1JenB on February 14th 2010, 10:49 pm

Had a great little chat last night. Can't wait till next time! Bring on Butch!!! Very Happy
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Renee on February 15th 2010, 9:25 am

Yes, it was fun for sure Jen. We'll have to schedule it earlier for you so we can squee longer. I'm looking forward to the next installment too.

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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  SugarMags on February 15th 2010, 9:57 am

Definitely will have to schedule it a little earlier! Had a great time last night, ladies...

I cannot wait to hash out Butch! I love his dirty pillow talk! Twisted Evil
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Renee on February 16th 2010, 3:00 pm

He is extremely yummy isn't he.

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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Fairy on February 16th 2010, 7:40 pm

Hate to have missed the Sunday chat. Couldn't get to a computer. I suppose I've been drafted for Butch's story. I loved it. Talk about a transformation!
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Renee on February 16th 2010, 8:27 pm

Yes Fairy, you get to tell us all about the wonderful Irishman. I'm looking forward to it.

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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Fairy on February 16th 2010, 8:50 pm

Will give it my best shot. I didn't get to read much this weekend either. Now that I'm back home I can get back into my routine.
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  SugarMags on February 16th 2010, 9:03 pm

Fairy wrote:Will give it my best shot. I didn't get to read much this weekend either. Now that I'm back home I can get back into my routine.

We missed you last Sunday! I'm thrilled you took up Butch for us. study

What do you think of the 28th? Is that OK for you?
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Fairy on February 17th 2010, 12:02 pm

Sounds great. I'm about halfway through V's story, Lover Unbound. Can't wait to finish it. bounce
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Only1JenB on February 18th 2010, 8:44 am

Butch's story is so good! I can't wait to chat about it!
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Fairy on February 18th 2010, 11:09 am

I am so in love with this series. I just finished Lover Unbound, V's story. Cried buckets. Every time I finish a book I think it is my new favorite. This afternoon I will start Lover Enshrined. Have to get my reading done before school starts again next week. We have this week off. Will also start to work on writing Butch's story. Loved that one, too. Jen, I see what you meant when you said you liked this series better than the Sookie series. I love that one, too, but love these book just as well. I appreciate the way Ward give us insight into each of the major characters. Just can't put these books down.

P.S. I still love Eric! hehe Viking
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  SugarMags on February 18th 2010, 1:31 pm

Still love Eric, of course. Viking But the Brotherhood... **swoon**
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Fairy on February 20th 2010, 1:28 pm

Just finished Lover Enshrined. Loved Phury's story. He could be my No. 2 man if he's not careful! LOL Can't wait to discuss his story.
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  SugarMags on February 20th 2010, 5:18 pm

Now, I'm not all that fond of Phury... I wanted to slap him upside the head too many times!!
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Renee on February 20th 2010, 6:35 pm

You and me both Sugar. LOL

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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Fairy on February 20th 2010, 9:33 pm

Phury could definitely be frustrating sometimes, but I really felt sorry for him. He has a good heart. He was his own worst enemy, but he seems to have gotten himself out of his head ef. He had a bad case of survivor's guilt. I like what he did with the Chosen, finally giving them free will.
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  SugarMags on February 23rd 2010, 11:56 am

Don't forget our meeting this Sunday! 8 p.m. est. in the chat box!

I can't wait to - ahem - tackle Butch! :)
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Only1JenB on February 23rd 2010, 2:16 pm

So I was telling GS that they should make a movie about BDBH and the I was thinking about a tv series like TB and I posted that suggestion on The WARDens website. I was told that speculations were that they were in talks with a cable network. I was like "no effing way!!!" what are your thoughts?
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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Renee on February 23rd 2010, 5:32 pm

It would be absolutely fan bloody tastic! I think the BDBH would make an excellent series particularly given the fascinating culture that Ward has developed so rich with nuances that would keep things going for quite a while.

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Re: Black Dagger Brotherhood

Post  Fairy on February 23rd 2010, 6:10 pm

Holy Jebus! That would be fantastic. I've seen a couple of fanvids on Youtube about the Brothers and their shellans. Interesting choice of actors. I really hope they can do a series. Wouldn't it be awesome to be able to watch The Brotherhood while True Blood is on hiatus? Uh oh. Two TB's. LOL
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