Title: Lover Eternal
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2
Pub. Date: March 2006
Genre: Paranormal/Romance/Urban Fantasy
From Goodreads: The Barnes & Noble Review
J. R. Ward returns to the shadows in Caldwell, New York, and the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood in her second intense paranormal thriller that will have new fans and old begging for more.
Once again, the plot revolves around a band of highly trained vampire warriors who have been targeted for extinction by the Lessening Society, but this time the spotlight is on Rhage, the best fighter, the most voracious lover. As a result of a curse by the Scribe Virgin, Rhage is left with an inner demon unlike all others; Mary, the mortal woman he meets falls in love with, has been cursed by her own kind of inner demon — cancer.
Readers will love their evolving relationship, at turns passionate, tender, and fierce, as well as the heart-pounding pace as the two try to escape their enemies. Again, a glossary introduces the reader to the structure and history of this new world. Ginger Curwen
My Reveries and Ramblings: I did not expect to love this book. I guess I thought that it would be too similar to all the other books I’ve read, even though I loved the first BDB book, Lover Eternal. I was so wrong. Rhage is different from Wrath as well as the rest of the brotherhood. He has his own demons to face, personality, and way of thinking. The character depth in this installment surprised me. There was definitely more of it in this book than in the first.
Lover Eternal is Rhage and Mary’s story. Rhage meets Mary when she and her vampire friend, Bella, take John Matthews, a 23 yr-old mute guy, to see the brotherhood. At this point Mary doesn’t know her friend is a vampire and that John Matthews will eventually turn into one. Since John Matthews doesn’t speak, Mary goes to be the translator using ASL. That is where she meets Rhage. Rhage immediately falls for her, but Mary pushes him away because she has cancer and will most likely die. Despite her best efforts, she falls for him and moves into the house. They have a very bumpy relationship. Mary is constantly having second thoughts, mostly due to her worsening health. Rhage’s inner beast/curse wants to come out whenever he is around Mary, putting her in danger. The lessers are also planning on taking Mary.
Goodness, I was gushing throughout the entire book. What Rhage does to keep and save Mary was just so amazing selfless. Now that’s true love! I’m not going to give anything away, but its just sooooo cute. Also, the mystery behind John Matthews, the pre-change vampire with the mark of the brotherhood begins. Zsadist story line with Bella starts out in this book and will continue in the next, Lover Awakened. There were many moments in this book that tore at me emotionally. I find cancer to be very scary, even though I’ve never had it. Mary’s struggle with the disease was frightening. Even though J.R. Ward didn’t go into too much detail with it, I still found myself getting nervous and scared. Rhage was there for her, which was so nice. Mary needed to stop pushing him away. At one point, I remember saying out loud “Come on! Stop it already. He loves you. Deal with it.” Rhage and Mary fought quite a bit, which annoyed me because he was trying to help her. At the same time it was realistic because couples sometimes fight no matter how much they love each other.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is about love and fighting for what you believe in. This isn’t just a romance novel (and series). J.R. Ward created complicated characters. That’s one of the best things about this series. I haven’t read too many romance novels, mostly because the characterization is just not there. Many have flat, clichéd characters. The mythology surrounding the world J.R. Ward built is multifarious. The characters inhabiting the world are full of personality and refreshing. Their decisions are ruled by their past and who they are as individuals instead of a formula created by an outline of what is in a romance novel. These books do have romance, don’t get me wrong. There is plenty of erotic love for everyone. But there is so much more to these novels then the sex. This is what makes them unique.
I thought this book was fantastic. I liked the first one a bit more, probably because it was the first and my introduction into J.R. Ward’s exciting and remarkable word of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. She created an engrossing story filled with love, pain, passion, and violence.