DARK LOVER - J.R. Ward
Here we have it, another entry into a very crowded literary market. Jessica Ward has leaned her new series towards paranormal romance rather than gory vampire fiction, which does tend to lighten the plot load considerably while giving more of the good stuff with the relationship scenes of her gorgeous (of course!) characters. All credit must be given for the successful introduction of yet another variation on vampire lore, which is no easy task given there are that many of them. A thoughtfully included glossary at the beginning of this book makes it all that much simpler to process the vampire rules and regulations as you encounter them throughout the read.
It is difficult to pin down what it is that made these books a better prospect. DARK LOVER can be happily described, at the very least, as flat-out adorable. Not in the cutesy-pie way of other writers who have made vampires into vacuous dilettantes, but in the earnestness of the writing. It is impossible not to smile at some of the dialogue, though unfortunately not for the reasons, we're sure, intended by the writer. The men in this book behave like overgrown kids and what they say seems to have come straight out of "Speak and Act like a Gangsta for Dummies". Detailing so much what the characters listen to in popular music, for example, dates the read terribly. The Black Dagger brotherhood, despite whatever atrocities they inflict on others, manages to come off like a bunch of frat boys trying to act all tough and manly on us. There is something very TMNT about this lot, which is not necessarily a bad thing, if you prefer to your reads to be light on the angst. There is also something very dainty in new euphemisms being found for the erotic scenes, though this does reduce in subsequent series entries.
Each novel in this series centres around one of the brotherhood so unless new characters are introduced, there will only be six of these books for the series. Ward threads DARK LOVER with leads for the next, LOVER ETERNAL and provides worthy teasers of what might be expected in each future character study.
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.