Once finishing J.R. Ward’s first book, “Dark Lover,” I had to jump off into the next. “Lover Eternal” is book two in this series, Black Dagger Brotherhood.
As I stated in my review of “Dark Lover,” the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, written by J.R. Ward, is about an ancient order of warrior vampires who defend and protect their race from vampire slayers known as lessers. These lessers are de-souled humans, recruited by an evil supernatural being known as the Omega. There are six warriors in the Brotherhood who stand between the extinction of their vampire race and the Lessening Society.
In this series, the author creates a vampire race, which is separate from the human race. In fact, to be a vampire, one must be born with vampire DNA. Vampires are born like humans, looking like humans, acting like humans, and in some cases, unaware of the changes the must go through in their mid-twenties, when their bodies go through dangerous changes. Surviving this transition, they must drink the blood of vampires of their opposite sex to survive. Living as vampires, they can drink any blood, human or animal, but to stay strong and live healthy, they must consume the blood of their opposite gender.
In this book, “Lover Eternal,” J.R. Ward brings to life the brother “Rhage,” also known as “Hollywood” to his friends. Rhage is the brother/vampire with the biggest appetite and he seems to be the best fighter of all the brothers. He has a dark side that lives inside him. The Scribe Virgin (the vampiric goddess of sorts), casts a curse on him that is to last two hundred years, a curse that forces him to live his life not feeling love. Sex and violence are his only means to keep the beast within him under control. When Rhage loses control, everyone around him takes cover as his beast bursts out and consumes every thing in sight. One day, Mary comes into his life and Rhage finds that he is drawn to Mary.
Mary is a human who suffers from leukemia again. Through circumstances brought in with other characters connected with Mary’s life, she meets Rhage. He’s handsome, strong, and he’s interested in her. She knows this time she will most likely die from her affliction. So now, she wonders if her life will end happily.
Mary is brave on so many levels. She fights for her on life, gets mixed in with the vampire race because of a secondary storyline within this book, and learns to understand the beast in Rhage.
I loved this story very much and in some ways felt, I could relate to Rhage the most. His constant battle with his own demons and the lack of control of his beast seemed to connect with me in many ways. It seemed that the more he pursued Mary, the more capable he was able to cope with his beast.
This book was a definite page-turner! It was dark with moments of sadness, yet a romantic sensual love story. J.R. Ward cleverly weaves a secondary storyline that introduces the next book in the series.