by J.R. Ward
Published by Penguin Group USA
Book 1 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series
The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago.
But when his most trusted fighter is killed -- orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate -- Wrath must put down his dagger and usher the beautiful female into another world.
Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of the Brotherhood and blood frighten her. Yet his touch ignites a dawning new hunger one that threatens to consume them both…
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Paranormal Romance Dark and weird
TRIGGER WARNING: Attempted rape
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward is the first book in her huge Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and centers around Wrath, the King of the vampires, and Beth Randall, a beautiful, half-human, half-vampire. When Wrath is asked by one of his "brothers" to help his daughter Beth through her transition, Wrath refuses. Until his friend dies, and Wrath feels compelled to do this one favor for a friend. He didn't expect to feel the intense feelings he does for her right off the bat. And Beth, who had no previous knowledge of her heritage, doesn't expect the extreme feelings of lust she has for the terrifying Wrath. As Wrath pulls Beth farther into his world, will their lust for one another bring a king down to his knees?
Ugh. I was excited to start this series. For several reasons. First, some of my favorite authors, like Sarah J Maas and Jennifer L Armentrout, are fans of J.R. Ward. This series is constantly recommended on several reader groups I'm in, and mentioned in different #booktok recommendations. It's been on my TBR for a while now, so in an effort to try to whittle down that massive list, I took the dive .... into the pool of disappointment. I liked the originality of it. I will give it that. But the story was subpar. The romance was instant and boring. No chemistry between Beth and Wrath. The sex was literally the most cliché of romance book sex out there. I could care less about the characters. The bad guys ... Mr. X? Whaaaaaaa? Cheesy. And it felt very dated.
I'm so bummed out. I was looking forward to jumping into a fantasy romance series (because as you can tell by my other reads, I love a good series) and was proven once again that just because a book/series has a lot of recommendations, and even a high rating on Goodreads, doesn't mean it's actually good. After talking to several other people on a reader group, and finding out that a lot of the books are the same, it was easy to walk away from the series after this book. But it's too bad. If you don't mind cheesy romances, with a mix of fantasy, you might enjoy this book. But for me, it was a big nope.
The brothers scaring Beth when showing that they "like her"
Welcome to the wonderful world of jealousy, he thought. For the price of admission, you get a splitting headache, a nearly irresistible urge to commit murder, and an inferiority complex.
Beth: "Your language is beautiful."
Wrath: "There are no words worthy of you."
Wrath: "I'm going to let that pass, Z. But only because I know how much you like to get hit, and I'm not in the mood to make you happy."
Wrath: "Hey, they like you."
Beth: "And thank God for that."
Wrath: "I wish I could see your face clearly. Just once, I wish ..."
Beth: "I'll tell you what you'd see. I love you. That's what you'd see."
Marissa: "I did my hair for you. I thought maybe you would like it this way."
Butch: "I like it any way. All ways."
Marissa: "I chose this dress for you, too."
Butch: "I like it. But you know something, Marissa? You don't have to try with me."
Her eyes dipped down
Marissa: "I'm used to trying."
Butch: "So get unused to it. You're perfect."