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.
Where do I even begin with this book? J.R. Ward is a big name in the paranormal romance circles. This book came out in 2005. There are now 18 books in the series, which does not seem to be wrapping up any time soon. Am I going to be reading any of the rest of the series, two more of which I own (but thankfully only paid e-book sale prices for)? Unlikely. I knew about Dark Lover long before I bought it, on sale, back in 2014. I enjoy a lot of paranormal fantasy, although the romance sub-genre frequently tends to feature the “fated mate” trope a lot more often than I like. It’s not a genre trope I am fond of. I like to believe that the characters I read about have some kind of choice about who they end up with.
I didn’t know too many details about the series, except that it’s been running for a long time, has a huge amount of devoted fans, and the vampire protagonists all tend to have implausible names, often featuring an unnecessary letter or two (seriously: Rhage, Zsadist, Vishous, Phury, Tohrment, the list goes on). In contrast, Wrath has a perfectly normal spelling to his name, but he does get to be the super-tormented king of the vampires. Wrath is a trademark alphahole hero. He is in fact even referenced in the very entertaining little essay that Ilona Andrews wrote and published on their blog. He’s nearly seven feet tall, and built like a tank and is all tortured because his parents were killed while he was hidden away and unable to stop the killers. The only feelings he allows himself are those of brotherhood and fraternity, anything softer is clearly far beyond him.
Elizabeth “Beth” Randall is a journalist who grew up in a series of foster homes. She never knew her parents. She’s also half-vampire and her father is blown up in a car bomb by vampire hunters at the start of this book. Vampires and half vampires don’t come into their full powers until they’re in their early twenties. Beth is clearly going to go through her transition soon, and a letter to Wrath, her father begs him to find her and help her through the change (which could be deadly for her). Initially, Wrath has no interest in this, but loyalty and honour to his dead friend compels him to seek Beth out, and once he sees her, it’s pretty much inevitable where things will be going.
Full review on my blog.