by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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 a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times 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 on Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. Her faith in miracles was lost 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...
Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward is the second book of her wildly popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series and one that I totally loved. Each book shares a member of the Brotherhood’s romance and advances the overall arc while weaving in a suspenseful thread. I devoured this and shed a few tears.
Rhage is a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood ruled by the Scribe Virgin who band together to protect humanity and vampires from the Omega and his legion of lessers. Whenever Rhage gets upset, angry, or over stimulated he transforms into a Dragon beast. The beast is bloodthirsty and a danger even to his brothers.
Mary Luce a volunteer at a suicide prevention hotline finds herself entering the vampire world when she helps a young deaf man. Mary catches the eye of Rhage when her voice soothes his beast. The tale that unfolds was filled with danger and a complicated, sweet romance that had me shedding tears.
I mentioned how much I loved the banter between this motley crew and that continues in Lover Eternal. We get to know more about them and watching them tease and protect each other is an aspect I love about this series. The things we learn about Phury and Zsadist. Gads I
want need Z’s story. We get updates on earlier couples and learn more about the lessers, Mr. O. (David Ormond). The Omega terrifies me, but I am not in love with Scriber Virgin either.
Ward sets a delightful tone weaving side threads around central romance. She allows you to slip into the story and managed to keep me flipping the pages. I find the world she created fascinating and appreciated all the new things we learned. We alternate between the Brotherhood and the Lessers, particularly the thoughts of Mr. O. I appreciated Ward’s ability to balance all of these threads.
Rhage, dubbed Hollywood suffers because of his beast, but maintains a cheery, carefree persona even as he deals with the constant buzzing and need to unleash. Trying to keep his beast from Mary complicated the romance as he felt the change coming on when things got heated between them. This caused miscommunication that frustrated me, but once these two finally came together, I could not help but swoon over them. I was so connected I cried right along with them and flipped the pages hoping for a miracle.
Eternal Lover torn at my heart and further entangled me into this world and brotherhood.
Read an Excerpt
Four a.m. There’d be no going back to sleep. Mary pulled a fleece on over her T-shirt and boxers and went downstairs. On her way to the kitchen, she turned on every light switch she passed until all the dark corners in the house were illuminated.
Destination: her coffee pot. There was no question that answering some office email and getting ready for the break of Columbus Day weekend was better than laying in bed and counting the hours to dawn.
She filled the Krups machine with water and went into the cupboard for the coffee can. It was nearly empty so she took out her back up supply and the hand held can opener and –
She was not alone.
Mary leaned forward, looking out the window above the sink. With no exterior lights on, she couldn’t see anything so she went around to the slider and flipped the switch next to the door.
A massive black shape was on the other side of the glass.
Mary scrambled for the phone, but stopped when she saw the flash of blonde hair.
Hal lifted his hand in greeting.
“Hey.” His voice was muffled through the glass.
Mary wrapped her arms around her stomach. “What are you doing here?”
His wide shoulders shrugged. “Wanted to see you.”
“Why? And why now?”
Another shrug. “Seemed like a good idea.”
“Are you deranged?”
She almost smiled. And then reminded herself that she had no close neighbors and he was practically the size of her house.
“How did you find me?” Maybe Bella had told him where she lived.
“Can I come in? Or maybe you could come out if you’d feel more comfortable that way?”
“Hal, it’s four-thirty in the morning.”
“I know. But you’re awake and so am I.”
God, he was so big in all that black leather, and with his face mostly in shadow, he was more menacing than beautiful.
And she was actually considering opening the door? Clearly, she was also deranged.
“Look, Hal, I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
He stared at her through the glass. “Maybe we can just talk this way, then?”
Mary stared at him, dumbfounded. The guy was willing to hang around, locked out of her house like a criminal, just so they could chat?
“Hal, no offense, but there are about a hundred thousand women in this zip code who would not only let you into their homes, but would take you to bed. Why don’t you go find one of them and leave me alone?”
“They aren’t you.”
The darkness falling across his face made his eyes impossible to read. But his tone of voice was so damn sincere.
In the long pause that followed, she tried to convince herself not to let him inside.
“Mary, if I wanted to hurt you, I could do it in an instant. You could lock every door and every window and I’d still get inside. All I want is… to talk to you some more.”
She eyed the width of his shoulders. He had a point about the breaking and entering. And she had a feeling that if she told him the best she could do was a closed door between them, he would pull up one of her lawn chairs and sit down on the terrace.
She unlatched the slider, opened it, and stepped back. “Just explain something to me.”
He smiled tightly as he came in. “Shoot.”
“Why aren’t you with a woman who wants you?” Hal flinched. “What I mean is, those women tonight at the restaurant, they were all over you. Why aren’t you having…” Crazy hot sex. “Er- fun with one of them?”
“I’d rather be here talking with you than inside one of those females.”
She recoiled at little at his candor, and then realized he wasn’t being crude, just bluntly honest.
Well, at least she had one thing right. When he’d walked away after that soft kiss, she’d assumed it was because he hadn’t felt any heat. Evidently, she’d hit the nail on the head. He wasn’t here for sex and she told herself it was good he wasn’t lusting after her. Almost believed it, too.
“I was about to make some coffee, would you like some?”
He nodded and started wandering around the living room, taking note of her things. Against all of her white furniture and cream walls, his black clothes and heavy build were ominous, but then she looked at his face. He was wearing this silly little grin, as if he were happy just to be inside her house. Kind of like an animal who’d been chained in the yard and finally allowed indoors.
“You want to take off your coat?” she said.
He slid the leather from his shoulders and tossed it over to her sofa. The thing landed with a dull thump, crushing the cushions.
What the hell was in those pockets? she wondered.
But then she looked at his body and forgot all about the stupid coat. He was wearing a black T-shirt that showed off a powerful set of arms. His chest was wide and well defined, his stomach tight enough so she could see his six pack even through the shirt. His legs were long, his thighs thick-
“Do you like what you see?” he asked in a low, quiet voice.
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