Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood) – book review

Dark Lover
by J.R. Ward
Release Date: February 19, 2005
Publisher: Penguin Group
Book #1 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series
Number of Pages:  419
Paranormal Romance
Ages 15 and up
CW: sexual assault, murder, violence,
police brutality, misogyny
———————————
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.


This book has been on my radar for a very long time. It comes up in a lot of discussions of paranormal romance and it’s been recommended to me by various people. A couple of years ago I even purchased the book when I saw it was on sale. Well, I’m glad I finally got around to reading it because I believe I’m going to enjoy this series.

Of course, because it’s over 10 years old, there are some problematic elements to the writing. Things like police brutality and there are some elements I found to be homophobic. It wasn’t in your face so it was hard to know for sure if the author was using these elements to show how terrible certain characters are or if it was a product of how blind many of us were to such things and how we spoke 15 years ago.

That being said, there were a lot of surprises to this story. There were a few characters that I really, really, really did not like at the beginning that I ended up liking (and in one case even loving) by the end. The way the author integrated all of the characters by the conclusion of this book was genius. About a quarter of the way in I was a bit concerned about how everything would come together. There were a lot of threads to follow, not just the stories of Beth and Wrath. I was afraid it was too much, although I knew there was a lot of story building needed in the first book of a paranormal series. I quickly forgot my concerns as the author wove an intriguing tale.

Every author who writes about vampires, or any other paranormal type creature, puts their own spin on the lore. These vampires have heartbeats, are more easily killed than most vampires I’ve read about, and don’t live forever. That was something I found myself to be keen on. It added a different element to this story I wasn’t expecting.

Of course, this is also a romance and that part of the story was also delightful. In the beginning, I wish Beth and Wrath would have spent more time together. I wasn’t sure if I’d feel the payoff if they didn’t. Yet when the two of them were in the same room all of the chemistry would light up. And, although Beth was knocked for a loop by what was happening and had a ton of questions, and needed some time, she didn’t wait long to jump in with both feet and allow those that could help her to do so.

There are well over 20 books in this series, not including those still slated to be published and the books from the different spin-off series. I’m looking forward to working my way through them.

4 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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1 Response to Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood) – book review

  1. Pingback: Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood) – book review | All In Good Time

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