Book Review: Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #10)

Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment has been a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance, unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, isolated netherworld—Tohr turns to the angel Lassiter to save his former mate. The only way to rescue her is for Tohr to love another. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vie for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past and a hot, passion-filled future. But can his heart let go and set all of them free?

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review

Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review

Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review

Book 7: Lover Avenged review

Book 8: Lover Mine review

Book 9: Lover Unleashed review

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That’s right, buddy. Our future has come.

Blay is a user, so I love Qhuinn more.

This installment is second best to Lover Awakened. Naturally, Tohr is the next favorite brother, following Z.

Tohr is actually nice, and kind. Given the possessiveness of vampires in this series, I think he growled just once, and wasn’t that a joy! His true worth as a male has already been displayed in Lover Unleashed, and Lover Reborn is an extension of that. It was sad, seeing him torture himself over the loss of his shellan. It was sadder, seeing him fall in love with someone else but he cannot admit it because he cannot let go of Wellsie.

No’One was a surprise, but given her history with Tohr (and I love their back story!), it made sense. Her quiet strength unhinged Tohr, her submission wholeheartedly given to the male was something to be admired. But when push comes to shove, I am happy that she stood up and held her ground against that jerk.

John and Xhex are all over this book, as if I couldn’t get enough of their drama in their installment. Still, John bore witness to Tohr’s downfall, and it only goes to show that not all of the mating goes well once their installment has concluded.

But of all the pairings J.R. Ward has done, Layla and a very unlikely male is probably my least favorite. Meaning, whoever opposes Wrath and the Brotherhood, will never be in my favor, ever. Ha.

No threats of lesser here. Wrath is so badass, I’m liking him more and more as this series continues!

So now that I’m through with Lover Reborn, I’m so psyched for Lover at Last. Oh yeah!

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LOVER REBORN by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 617 pages

Published October 2nd 2012 by Signet

4/5 stars

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Book Review: Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #9)

Payne, twin sister of the Black Dagger Brother Vishous, suffers a devastating injury, and brilliant human surgeon Manuel Manello is called in to save her. Their attraction is instant, and as powerful as it is dangerous. But as human and vampire worlds collide, a centuries- old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in jeopardy.

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review        Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review     Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review   Book 7: Lover Avenged review

Book 8: Lover Mine review

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“And I say to you now, I killed my father, not yours.” Lifting her palm, she peeled back and slapped him across the face. “And do not insult my blood.”

Heh. Payne is badass. :))

Lover Unleashed featured more of Vishous than Payne. Why is that? I mean, I did not like Lover Unbound‘s ending, so I don’t want anything to do with V and Doc Jane anymore. *huffs* (Although it was here that I only realized that they were not formally mated in their book installment.)

Fine. Good thing I have patience to sustain me so I can continue reading this series.

Manello, I like. He’s funny, can stand toe-to-toe with V or Butch, and he’s undeterred by a strong female like Payne. She, on the other hand, has no inkling on worldly desires, and it’s kind of funny (for me) that she can trash Wrath, beat him to bits during their sparring sessions, and then not know what kissing was. 😀 But she’s cool. Her loyalty to her twin is scary, despite being separated for more than a hundred years.

The back story of the Bloodletter is the intriguing part. Imagine Payne who is not afraid to kill him, and now she is being hunted by the Band of Bastards that stayed loyal to him.

I was anticipating the showdown between Payne and Xcor… then nothing happens. WTH.

Lover Unleashed is all about Payne being introduced to the world other than what she was used to with the Virgin’s Scribe spiritual abode. It’s about her romance with the human surgeon, V’s drama, and a lot of non-action.

But… I feel for Qhuinn. 😦

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LOVER UNLEASHED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 537 pages

Published November 1st 2011 by Signet

3/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #8)

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review

Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review

Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review

Book 7: Lover Avenged review

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Wish I could skip the next books and go straight to Lover at Last. 😀 Qhuinn!

I am more tuned in to the story of John Matthew’s best friends, Blaylock and Qhuinn. Imagine me looking at each chapter, expecting to read more, only to see that it will take me 5-6 chapters before I see them again after the last chapter they had. No wonder I finished Lover Mine in no time! Blay’s full of longing, Qhuinn is full of ghosts inside his head.

Xhex does not need John to save her, and when she escaped from hell out of her own resources, I was electrified with her success. A true female of worth, as the brothers would say. She’s one of the strongest female characters in this series.

John has a lot of baggage from his past life as a human. His blindness perfectly complimented Xhex’s symphath nature, and wasn’t that something for me smile about. He’s not intimidated by Xhex’s strength, so plus points for him. Although his connection with his best friends went out the window when Xhex stepped into his life.

Darius‘ and Tohrment‘s back stories are some of the best parts, I think (after Blay & Qhuinn, of course). Not all Brothers are good to their offspring, or doomed to a life of loneliness.

I’m thinking, have I seen the last of Lash? I like Payne, too.

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LOVER MINE by J.R. Ward

Hardcover, 512 pages

Published April 27th 2010 by NAL

3/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #7)

Caldwell, NY, has long been the battleground for the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and notorious nightclub that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King, and leader of the Brotherhood. Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood, even though his sister is married to a member. Because he’s a sympath, his identity is a deadly secret- the revelation of which will result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. And as plots within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll against Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in a darkening world- Elhena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him- and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

Book 1: Dark Lover review     Book 2: Lover Eternal review     Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review       Book 5: Lover Unbound review       Book 6: Lover Enshrined review

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Rehvenge will not be a favorite, but he’s okay. It’s like him and me have come into a civil agreement: “You’re okay as long as the Family/Brotherhood is okay.” Ha.

Ehlena is also okay, not quite rising to the other heroines in this series. I do have to applaud her brass balls, because she stands up to Xhex, and knowing Rehv’s personal guard, that is not easy.

The ending rankled my chains in protest, but it’s a good protest. It just means I need to pick Lover Mine soon. Man, I hate Lash. Someone needs to teach that traitor a painful lesson.

Rhage is still funny. Wrath and Beth’s growing relationship is nice to see. and Z is so gentle 🙂 still my favorite brother! I have to mention Trev and iAm, because they are really interesting characters, more intruiging than Rehv IMO.

Lover Avenged is a slight improvement over the last book, Lover Enshrined. It might not be as stellar as the other books, but compared to Phury’s lame story, Rehv’s is much better.

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LOVER AVENGED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 642 pages

Published Nov 24th 2009 by Signet

3.5/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #6)

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love….

Book 1: Dark Lover review     Book 2: Lover Eternal review     Book 3: Lover Awakened review       Book 4: Lover Revealed review       Book 5: Lover Unbound review

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…So six books in, and I’m still for Zhadist. Woot! Oh, there’s Qhuinn. and Blay, too. *hot*

Lover Enshrined showed Z’s brother, Phury, as a whiner. He is mister hey-look-at-me-i’m-helping-everyone-but-myself drug addict. Phury’s attitude was a disservice to what the Brotherhood was all about. Where is the strength, man?

Zhadist‘s scenes were more enticing to read than Phury’s. It surprises me that Z’s character is consistent to that of Lover Awakened. No matter how brief his appearances in this installment, he outshined Phury by a freaking mile. Although I did love the bromance between the two. It was full of loss, pain, the need for redemption and forgiveness.

I liked Cormia better than Phury. Trained to serve the vampire race and the Scribed Virgin, to think of oneself was a sacrilege for the Chosen Females like Cormia. And yet, she slowly began to accept that being different from her sisters might be the key to her happiness. Her character was slow building, but it was just right to temper Phury’s grumpiness.

So did love triumphed over duty? The importance and difference between the two were naturally resolved but for Phury, it was snail-paced. Crap, I resent him. He’s not fit as a Brother anymore!

If not for Qhuinn‘s POV snippets, Lover Enshrined would be a total flop for me. I was excited to start the next book, Lover Avenged, so see more of Q! But then again, I paused. Rehvenge is the lead here, and I’m not that into him. Not yet.

In the meantime, I want more Qhuinn!!!

#19 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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LOVER ENSHRINED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 534 pages

Published June 3rd 2008 by Signet

3/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #5)

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father’s war camp he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn’t choose takes him into a future that cannot include her…

Book 1: Dark Lover review     Book 2: Lover Eternal review     Book 3: Lover Awakened review       Book 4: Lover Revealed review

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… and I am happy to say that Zhadist is still my favorite Brother. *fist pump*

The ending of Lover Unbound was totally ridiculous. I think it was the flimsiest excuse for a wrap-up of a Brother’s story. And to think that Vishous is so strong in character! Disheartening, really.

V was trying to get over a relationship. Getting drunk on Goose, mindless kinky sex, pissing off even the Vampire King. His carelessness got him seriously injured over a fight with the lessers, rendering him in Dr. Jane Whitcomb‘s care. And the rest, as they say, is history.

It was incredulous to think that for someone so jaded, so afraid of intimacy as Vishous, he would be quickly smitten over a mortal. Didn’t he say before that humans are just mere casualties of the war against the lessers? I didn’t get it! In a matter of days he was declaring his love and possessiveness for Jane. What. The. F.

Jane‘s character is clearly forgettable. Her supposed steel strength that enamored V in the first place looked forced, or discreetly formulated. Whatever happened to her in the end? It was utterly ludicrous. I was appalled on how J.R. Ward handled the situation.

Lover Unbound was supposed to be amazing, darn it! I was so looking forward to it after Lover Revealed, for V was so addicting there. Major sigh. Where did your personality go, V?

#18 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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LOVER UNBOUND by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 502 pages

Published September 26th 2007 by Signet

3/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #4)

Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. And if he can’t have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.

Book 1: Dark Lover review     Book 2: Lover Eternal review     Book 3: Lover Awakened review

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…never mind Butch. Vishous owned this one. owned it. So it goes to say that the 4-star-rating is for V alone. *grins*

Marissa was not the heroine I envisioned. Except for telling off her brother in the end, she was pretty much weak and useless for a female vampire (even an aristocratic one). She was even dwarfed in inner strength by Rhage’s human wife, Mary! And then there’s Butch. Too tortured, too wasted, too lucked out. What a shitty life he has. The notorious banter between him and the Lessers is the only fun thing about him. Oh, and with Rhage and Vishous, too.

Vishous… what a sneaky surprise he was. I didn’t mind him in the first three BDB novels. But here, he was… stunningly magnetic. O_o His character began to build up tumultuously, up and up, until I have nothing but my jaw slacking in awe before my mouth spread into a satisfying smile. That was some sh*t, J.R. Ward! Vishous is coming close to usurping Zhadist as my favorite Brother. *happy, happy sigh*

And the Fore Lesser was jarring, too. The reason why he’s pursuing Butch? It was twisted but understandable. Poor Mr. X. Somehow there’s still a little humanity left in him, huh?

Rhage is so fun when I read about him through Butch’s eyes. See, I can enjoy him as long as it is not in his POV. 😀 Rehvenge is intriguing, and Xhex, too.

HIGHLIGHT: One tender, vulnerable moment between two Brothers during the induction ceremony rendered all sexual interludes of Butch and Marissa dull and totally forgettable. That’s how strong Vishous’ character was! My favorite scene to date.

Lover Revealed is all about V, man. Forget the human cop. His role among the Brothers is too convenient.

#11 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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LOVER REVEALED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 455 pages

Published March 6th 2007 by Onyx

4/5 stars

Book Review: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #3)

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

Book 1: Dark Lover review | Book 2: Lover Eternal review

*****

DARK. SENSOUS. LIBERATING.

Lover Awakened proved me right when I picked up Zhadist as my favorite among the Brotherhood (back when I was still reading Dark Lover). Man, I could not put this down! Zhadist and Bella sucked me in to their story – original and refreshing, brutal and honest to the core. Hands down it is one of the best vamp stories i’ve read. I demand more, J.R. Ward!

Zhadist is complicated but one thing is clear: he relishes the fear he incites to everyone, even his Brothers. I love how he reacts to things: instantaneous and powerful. I love how he covers his emotions from Phury and Bella that his only way to show it is to be distant and aloof. Most of all, I love how he finally he came to terms with his past, tried his very best to improve his life at present, so he can have a wonderful future with Bella. Oh, Z is not perfect. But his struggle to overcome the ugliness of his past and the hard-sought victory that came in the end – such a joy to read. I guess i have a thing for tortured guys who eventually triumphs. =)

Bella is extraordinary! She goes for what she wants (which is Z) and she fights for it. Finally, a heroine who is strong enough to pursue her happiness even if the object of that happiness does not know joy, or love, for that matter. She is smart, too. The way he handled that lesser was amazing. Yep, the power of a woman and persuasion!

I had to include Phury in this, because even though this is not yet his time, i feel for him. The irony of it all is devastating to him and it made me sad. Still, Z is the lead so yes, I’d take even Phury as a casualty. 😦

Lover Awakened is about redemption. It took me to a journey so dark and hurtful, i thought there could be no happy ending for a tortured soul like Zhadist. But there is! Z, after claiming love and life, was rewarded with the blessings he thought was impossible for him. *hugs Z* i love you, vampire.

#22 Off-the-shelf Reading Challenge 2011

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2: Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

Rating: StarStarStar

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #2)

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 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 to 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…

Book 1: Dark Lover review

*****

“I will not fall in love with you,” she said. “I can’t let myself. I won’t.”

“That’s all right. I’ll love you enough for the both of us.”

DRAMATIC.

Lover Eternal is one step better than Dark Lover. I expected more from Rhage because i adored him on the first book, but I was turned off when he got emotional. Mary Luce is not that special. The main reason i liked this book is because this is where Zhadist and Bella’s story began. =)

Rhage is THE force among the Brotherhood. Nobody can take him especially when the Beast is unleashed. I really, really like him because despite the strength within him, he’s afraid of himself. Mary Luce is an innocent bystander – her meeting the Brothers accidentally brought her to Rhage’s attention. I am really not a fan of her. I hate the way she treated Rhage, like she’s the only one hurting. Rhage deserves better. Well… there is this one time where Mary stood her ground against the brothers when Rhage was seriously hurt. You do not read everyday a female (much more a human!) reprimanding the Brothers’ lack of care to Rhage.

Rhage’s and Mary’s story was so buried when Ward begins to build Zhadist’s and Bella’s story. I was pumped up when they started to show up in the scenes! Thank goodness the third book is about them, else i wouldn’t finish this book that fast. =P

Lover Eternal is just an okay book for me. Moving on, i already started Lover Awakened. 😉

#21 Off-the-shelf Reading Challenge 2011

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Rating: StarStarStar

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going 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 their enemies more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood…

The only purebred vampire left on the planet, 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 – orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate – Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undead…

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both….

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #1)

I’m not crazy over Dark Lover but i liked it enough to continue the series.

The idea of male vampires feeding off female vampires (and vice versa) is new to me, but very effective for my taste. i had enough of those bloodsucking vamps whose only intent are to hunt humans.

Wrath is considered the King of Vampires, having the pure blood of a true vamp. Beth is a half-human, half-vamp who unknowingly is nearing her transition to vampirism. Wrath doesn’t want to help Darius (Beth’s vamp dad) because of reasons of his own but he felt guilty over Darius’ death so he had no choice but to take Beth in. From there, Beth was thrown into the middle of a world that she never would’ve imagined exists.

The 2nd time Wrath and Beth met was almost laughable. well, a person visits you in the middle of the night, then suddenly you have this urge to have sex with him?!?! i don’t blame Beth, maybe Rhage is that gorgeous? or maybe it’s the vamp thing in her that made their relationship that charged with lust.

After Beth transitioned, the story kinda scattered. What happens now that she has successfully embraced her vamp heritage? and she transitioned in the middle of the book. that left me hanging, the story was almost finished, but what could the author possibly fill in the next half of the book?… i dunno. i just felt lost after the conflict of the story was resolved (Beth’s transition).

Still, i love the concept of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Their names were fancy derivatives of negative emotions: Wrath, Rhage, Vishous, Phury, Zhadist. it was fun. and then there’s the coined terms shellan (feed/fuck buddy), leelan (beloved wife), hellan (beloved husband). These things made me liked the book.

My fave part: the bonding (marriage) rites of Wrath and Beth. The ceremony includes an affliction of pain to Wrath over and over again to remind him of his commitment and love to Beth. i kinda love it!

but Wrath’s and Beth’s love story is simple, nothing new there.

i wanna know about Rhage and Zhadist! they are far more interesting (i think) than Wrath.

that’s why i will add the Black Dagger Brotherhood series on my TBR series pile. 😀

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”