Even if you’re not into vampire romance, you might be surprised by Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward.
From the Cover: Within the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Rhage is the warrior vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the deadliest fighter, the most voracious lover, the quickest to act on his impulses. He’s also been cursed with two hundred years of hell. Possessed by a beast, he lives in fear of the times when his inner dragon comes out and he’s a danger to everyone around him.
Mary Luce has unwittingly found herself in the vampire world, and under Rhage’s protection. With her own life-threatening curse to bear, she’s not looking for love. Besides, she’s stopped believing in saving grace and miracles long ago. But when Rhage’s intense sexual attraction turns into emotional bonding, he knows he must have her for his mate. As their enemies close in, Mary finds herself praying for something she fears she’ll never have: life eternal with the one she loves.
What I Loved: I don’t think of myself as a fan of vampire romance, but it’s one of those genres that can really sneak up on you. I can’t stand the sight of blood, and sometimes I can’t even stand the thought of it, but I was still thoroughly sucked in by Lover Eternal. (See what I did there? Sucked in? Anyway…)
The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is interesting not because it’s about vampires but because there are great characters and intriguing plots. Even though the ending to Mary and Rhage’s story was fairly predictable, the path they took to get there as they each dealt with their inner demons was relatable and gripping.
A great series will introduce more characters along the way and make you want to know more about them, and Lover Eternal does just that. I don’t want to give too much away, but let’s just say I’m eager to read more.
What I Didn’t Love: This is the second book in the series, and there’s one thing that has driven me crazy in both of them so far. The men of the brotherhood often wear boots, and they’re invariably referred to as shitkickers. It’s just one of those words that really stands out when it’s been used 30 times in a single novel. I get that there’s a specific type of footwear that’s being referenced here, but it just feels like the author is trying too hard to make the vampires come across as badasses. It’s just a little thing, but it bugs me.
There were a few typos, but otherwise the only thing I didn’t like about this book was that I was going to jump right into reading the third one and I realized I didn’t have one.
Rating and Review: I give this book 4 stars because it was great but not earth-shattering or life-changing. If you like vampire romance, or even if you don’t, you should check it out. (And just so you don’t have to hunt it down, Dark Lover is the first in the series.)
Have you read Lover Eternal or another book by J.R. Ward? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois. She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University. Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside Detective. Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous. Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world. You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.