by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.
As many of my followers know, I have worked my way through a backlog of series that have been on my eReader, bookshelf and wish list. I finally started the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Dark Lover by J.R. Ward was selected for Caffeinated Book Club‘s January read. We’d love for you to join us. This month we are reading Red Rising by Pierce Brown.
Dark Lover is a paranormal romantic suspense featuring the Black Dagger Brotherhood. They are a group of ancient, kick-ass vampires who defend their race and humans against the soul-less Lessers governed by the Omega. Wrath, Phury, Zsadist, Tohr, Rhage, Vishous and Darius make up the brotherhood. I loved these warriors they gave us humor, bonding, banter and fear. The Scribe Virgin aids them and I enjoyed their origins story and hierarchy. Wrath’s position and history was shared and we caught glimpses about the others. This is a dark bunch, who have witnessed some seriously messed up shit.
When we first meet Wrath, he is pretty much a heartless bastard. One might even go so far to say the man has a few issues. *winks* Darius his second in command and probably closest friend asks for his help. He has a half-human daughter Beth. She is nearing her transition and he wants Wrath to aid her. Ward’s vampires are not your typical garden variety. These vampires are conceived not turned and need vampire’s blood to survive. They feed infrequently and still enjoy food. Of course, Wrath refuses, but after an incident, Wrath feels the need to intervene and fulfill his friend’s request.
Wrath and Beth’s romance takes center stage but, Ward created a suspenseful tale as she introduced us to this world. She avoided information dumps and weaved key facts throughout the tale seamlessly. The suspenseful plot of Dark Lover involved local police, the Lessers and Wrath’s role in the brotherhood. I easily slipped into the story and enjoyed the darker vibes this story had to offer. I found the way Ward weaved in the lessers, and the local police to be clever and believable. Her world building is solid and while I want to know more I feel I have a firm understanding of their world.
Secondary characters from Z to the doctor added some freaky moments and interesting threads. The banter between the brothers and the friendship that developed between V and the cop was hilarious. I adored Darius’s butler and was excited to learn he will continue to aid the brotherhood. There was a sweet secondary romance and I was delighted with their thread.
I adored the romance and while it began with lust, it quickly moved to something deeper. Seeing Wrath turn into a puppy one minute and a bloody killer the next was wonderful. I enjoyed seeing his growth throughout, and any man who can apologize for being an arse is ok in my book.
Dark Lover ended in a good place while giving us a glimpse of the storyline for book two, Dark Eternal. Fans of dark paranormal romances with strong characters, suspense and plenty of heat will delight in reading this series.
The second book in this series, the one with Rhage and Mary, will make me bawl every freaking time. I love these books!
My review for that posts in soon and yep I cried too!
What’s your favorite one of the series?
I have only read the first two books, so not sure yet. My plan is to read one a month until I have caught up..LOL
So glad you liked it!! I got up to about book 8 or 9. I need to finish them, myself!
Glad to see you are still enjoying them Liz 🙂
I completely and absolutely felt in love with this series more or less one year ago.
Now I am at book #11 and I am still addected!!!!!
I hope the same also for you.
That is so awesome. I hope I love them all too!
I gave up on this series but I adored the early books. I hear the last book & spin off are better so maybe there’s hope 🙂
Karen @For What It’s Worth
I am going to try a book a month, and see how it goes.
Brandi Breathes Books
I couldn’t get into this one but good to hear you found the characters strong and enjoyable
Awe, I am sorry. It is a little dark, but I loved this messed up bunch.
I’m so happy you enjoyed this one! I love this series. Rhage is my favorite book, I think. I like all the brothers. Well, maybe not Phury. He’s kind of… eh. V & Butch’s bromance is one of the best things about this series. They are too cute! While the series does hit a speed bump, or two, Blood Kiss seems to be putting it back on track. Though honestly, I’ve enjoyed every book in the series. Can’t wait to see what you think of the others 🙂
I wish I could’ve read this last month, but I’m totally slacking on the reading front. I’m 3 books behind of GR. I will read this soon though, it seems to have such depth for a vampire book.
Slacker. No seriously you’ve been sick. Yes, this does have DEPTH and the world is wonderfully developed.
I started this series many years ago and then once I started blogging I struggled with them more. The sex was never my thing but I was able to skim it. Now I think it might actually bother me more. I’ve been spoiled with YA too and these are just really long for me. Maybe one day I’ll finish the series.
I get it, I am glad you enjoyed some of them
I read the first eleven so I got pretty far before I stopped. I have The King on audio and it’s something like 25 hours to listen to.. I have heard that a lot of people didn’t like The King so now I have put it off for quite awhile now-not sure if I am going to go on with the series or not.But all the first ones shouldn’t be missed-they really are good reads. Glad you loved this one 🙂
Glad you are so far in, I am going to try one a month
Fabulous review! I love this series so much. I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I love the brotherhood and how all the guys are with each other. And of course the romance!!
I liked their interactions and loyalty Angel 🙂
I still love the BDB! Glad you enjoyed book 1!!!
Yay..so glad you love them too 🙂
I’m glad that you enjoyed your first BDB read! I have read a chunk of this series, but am still a few books behind. I just loved Wrath, like you said, gentle on minute, killer the next. Great review!
Thanks Naomi, I had fun and look forward to going back!!
The Bibliophile Babe
Fantastic review! I read and enjoyed book 3, but need to get around to the rest of them!
Yay, I hope you do!
Glad this was a good read! JR Ward is on my list of authors to check out. I’m a bit intimidated by the number of books in the series, but it’s also nice when there’s many to enjoy! Lovely review, Kim!
I have been working my way through my wishlist one book at a time, one month at a time..so far I have finished/caught up on Kate Daniels, White Trash Zombie, Georgina Kindcad. I am working on BDB, Chicagoland Vampires and Psy Changeling.
I really enjoyed the early books in this series. Lover Eternal is my favorite because I love Rhage and his beast. I do agree that Wrath was a jerk at the beginning of this book. Beth sure does change him. I should go back and revisit the beginning of this series. Glad you enjoyed it.
I am curious about Z, but excited in general. I have book two
Z is probably my second favorite brother. Rhage’s beast sent him a little ahead. I mean, he is basically a dragon. I love dragons. 🙂
I was so addicted to these…until I wasn’t. This series is like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups to me — I can gorge on them until I make myself sick and then I don’t want to read them for a long while. But I do enjoy those badassed vamps and their shitkickers.
I am going to try reading one a month, and take breaks if needed.
I’m excited to see someone getting through their back pile of books. Gives me hope for myself. Haha! Actually, I’m doing the same thing through Eileen Wilks’ World of the Lupi series.
Ah yes, I think I got around to this series two years ago? Hmm, think so. I was enthralled with the blend of elements and read through the early books quickly. Glad you loved it. Look forward to your thoughts as you go forward since it will be a refresher for me.
Hehe….I started with Kate Daniels and have been knocking um off the list, one book a month!
This series is catnip to me. I’m reading ‘Blood Kiss’ right now.
Catnip is good!
I always find these vampire books “really deep.” Thanks for the post!
I think you’d be surprised. Thanks Angela
This has been on my list for a while, but I really didn’t know there were so many aspects that I’d love. Bumping it up immediately! Awesome review, my caffeinated friend 😀
Yay so glad you are bumping it up!!
Holy Moly you finally went to the Dark Side 😉 he he he
Yes. and it’s fun over here!
OMG, I love this series! I only made it through the first six but loved what I’ve read. Z….I love that damaged man!
So happy you love it Kathy and oh yes I am excited for Z’s story.
One of my favorite series but I haven’t read the past two books.
Yay so glad you love this series Mary 🙂
This is one series that I’ve wanted to try for years. I think I’ll grab this from the library. Great review!
Enjoy. It has been on my list for years too.
Melissa (Books and Things)
I’m so behind on this series. I did enjoy it even with the snort-worthy names. After a while the speech and names didn’t bother me. Glad you liked it!
I love the names/nicknames too Melissa!
Lover Of Romance
oh I just loved this book so much. Beth and Wrath are fantastic, but I also loved how Ward introduces us into this world and the brotherhood!! Although I will say Rhage’s story is probably my favorite of them.
I am excited for all of them. Z has me curious 🙂 I love a damaged hero.
I really meant to get to this one for the book club, but Time got away from me. I have heard so much about this series, but always hesitant to try it. I am glad you enjoyed it even if the romance did start out as lust.
I am really glad I did and hope to read one a month. Now as for this month’s selection I hope you are reading Red Rising!!
I always come back to this series and re-read. Dark Lover is one of my favs.
I can see why..I adore Wrath
This is one of my all time favorite series. We’very had some bumps, but overall the Brotherhood remain at the top of my list. I’m so glad you read it!
I am so glad to hear that Tanya, despite the bumps. I am excited to start the next book and plan to read one a month!
*throws confetti* YA HOOOO!!! I’m with Jenny!! I read this waaaaay back when I first started reading in earnest, before I was blogging and following authors. This series is a sentimental favorite of mine and my FIRST foray into PNR!!! Talk about eyes wide open!!! “I can smell your desire” – say what?!?!?! That shocked the crap out of me at the time. Look at me now 😉
My favorite book is the next one and Rehvenge’s (whatever # he is). I’m so glad you enjoyed this oldie but a goodie!!!!!!
I am so glad I have been going through my wishlist of old series..so far it’s been for the win!!
I’ve heard so much about these books and while I love the genre, I just don’t think they would be for me but I love that you are trying and liking them Kim!
Thanks Ali, these are dark vampires, and the world is well done.
I need to dust this one off and finally read it. It’s been sitting on my TBR pile since it was released. I’ve been kind of hit and miss with this series and I really need to fix that because these have to be some of my favorite vampires. I too love her ability to create a strong world without it coming off as an info dump.
I am glad I finally started them, and yes i love the vamps 🙂
YEAH KIM!!!!! I’m so glad you’ve finally gotten to this series! It’s one of my all time favorites. It faltered a little bit for me after John Matthew’s book (you’ll meet him in book 2), but the early books will always be ones that I read again and again. Can’t wait to see what you think of Rhage and Z’s books!
Eep everyone is saying after books 7 there are issues. Grr, I am going to try to read one a month, so we shall se! Ooo Z is already one I want!
I haven’t read any book from this series yet, but I do love vampire stories. And I must confess I have a thing for heartless bastards – there’s something appealing about them that I can’t explain 🙂
Bwahaha..me too Rosa, especially if beneath that he is a teddy bear!
A Voracious Reader
I was disappointed with this one. 🙁
Awe, I loved Wrath and I like how dark and messed up the vamps are 🙂
I remember reading a couple of these books way back before I joined the blogging community. Those were the days when we read whatever! The romance sounds terrific, Kim even though it stars off with lust. That’s usually quite believable.
Great review, Kim!
Oh, Kim, I might join your book club! I’ve been wanting to read Red Rising. 🙂
Oh it was fun..yes join Nick Red Rising rocks!
I know many have loved the series and I have the 3 first ones in French for years but I still need to get into them! One day I’ll do that!!! definitely!
I am finally at my one day!
You have me wanting to re-read this one, Kimberly. It’s been so long – and this is a series I’m woefully behind in, so maybe I will re-read them all and get caught up. 😉 I agree with you in that Ward did an excellent job in setting up this series and it characters. I’m glad you enjoyed your intro to the BDB!
I am glad I started, I love the world and darker vampires..no sparkles here!
I used to like this series, until book 7 or so, sigh, those days
Oh that scares me. I am hoping to read one a month.