Lover Eternal by J.R. WardBlack Dagger Brotherhood #2
Published on March 7, 2006 by Signet
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Urban Fantasy
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast, Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. 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. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.
Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves...
Now that’s what I call a beast.
I read the first few Black Dagger Brotherhood books back to back because I just couldn’t put them down. In book 2 we get to know a new Brother, Rhage. Whereas the first book,Dark Lover, set up the world of Caldwell, New York in terms of the vampires and lessers, Lover Eternal jumped right in with the action. It’s time for Rhage to find his destined mate and if the back of the book is any indication, Mary Luce is in for the ride of her life.
Adjusting to the new characters didn’t take as long as I expected. Ward weaves the lives of the characters from each book into the next so that familiarity allows you to just fall right into the story. I found Rhage’s story to be even more interesting than Wrath’s with his unusual curse. Mary, while more soft-spoken and mousy than Beth, held her own in this book but couldn’t measure to Beth or the new female vampire introduced, her friend Bella. She was just a little boring for my tastes but I grew to like her I liked that the idea of love in these stories transcended the vampire race with Mary being a human (vampires can’t just go around turning people into more vampires in this world). Her quiet, somewhat timid nature balanced nicely with the rash Rhage who did what it took to keep his beast under control before it took over. His dark past mixed with her troubled life made for a deep story of trust and survival.
I loved the subplots of this book that tied the events of Dark Lover into the story while introducing new plots for the next book. While the story revolved around Rhage and Mary, I still got a taste for what the other Brothers were doing. After reading Dark Lover, I was attached to Wrath and Beth so it was nice that they didn’t disappear completely. The rest of the Brothers gained a little more depth too as we get to go inside the Black Dagger Brotherhood HQ. Pretty secret stuff, if you ask me.
Lover Eternal was a good sequel to Dark Lover. While I didn’t like it as much as the first book, I still enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down. This is a fantastic paranormal romance series that satisfies action and romance all in one. I’m looking forward to reading Lover Awakened next!