May 6, 2011

Retro Friday (12) - Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward

Retro Friday
Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! 

This week I chose Lover Eternal, the second book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

RhageAt First Sight: Rhage is a member of the elite fighting group The Black Dagger Brotherhood, and he and his brothers are the warriors of their race - they are all vampires - and while all of them are extraordinary in their own way; Rhage stands out in his own ways. First, he's movie star handsome, second he's the best at hand to hand combat, and third he's inhabited by a Beast that comes out whenever he gets worked up. 

The Beast is his punishment for pissing off the deity that rules over the race, it's something that literally comes out of inside of him and rarely knows friend from foe, always causing a lot of damage and leaving him useless for a few days afterward - he usually has lots of sex and fights a lot to work off his excess of energy and stress and prevent the Beast from coming out. 
One time he was recuperating from a visit from the beast, Rhage was wandering the mansion where he lives with the rest of the brotherhood and came across a human named Mary. He doesn't know why she's there, but he's immediately attracted to her, even if he can't see her properly and mostly is just enchanted by the sound of her voice, and from that moment on, Rhage will stop at nothing to be with her, no matter what if he has to go against the brotherhood, that she might be sick, that she might not be his destiny.

Mary was just trying to deal with the possibility of being sick again - she beat cancer once before -and was doing a favor to her friend and neighbor Bella - who is also a vampire, though Mary doesn't know it - when Rhage happened to find her. She doesn't want a relationship, she's okay being alone, but Rhage won't take no for an answer.

Second Glance: I think pretty much everyone has heard of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by now, and this one is my favorite. My favorite brother and my favorite book. I don't know what is it about Rhage but I've always liked him best, I think that in some ways, because he's the youngest in the brotherhood (at this point), he's also the most fun, the most 'lighthearted', and at the same time he's pretty intense. 

Rhage goes after Mary with complete determination, even when Mary rebuffs him. I loved him right away. 

Mary was a bit harder at times, she was really not looking for a guy and she can't believe Rhage likes her since he's gorgeous and she's pretty much average looking, and has a few scars all over because of the medical procedures she has gone through. She's a tough girl but she's also very caring underneath, and I think Rhage needed just that. 

Now there are a lot of sub plots going on here - I just focused on the romantic pair - and it can be a little mind-bogging. There are scenes with the lessers (the vampires' enemies), and the beginnings of Bell and Z's story (which takes center stage in Lover Awakened), and John Mathew shows up for the first time too. Over all, I think the universe was still quite manageable at this point so I didn't mind it.

Bottom Line: As I said, Rhage is my favorite and I love re-reading this book. There is no logic to it, just the way it is.

Favorite Quote: "You can be a real pain in the ass, you know that? No impulse control but totally single minded." - Tohr about Rhage.

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