When I was first introduced to the Black Dagger Brotherhood by Book-Pimp Tyra in the fall of 2009, I devoured them quicker than I could race myself over to her house to pick up the next. It was my first introduction into the paranormal genre – I know, great way to say “hello”, right? But aside from Twilight and some other young adult, this was my first experience with such an erotically charged paranormal series. So when we decided to spend a week reviewing the latest in the series “Lover Unleashed”, the introvert in me had to reflect back to how my relationship with the brothers first started. And that brought me back to Wrath and “Dark Lover”.
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There also exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Among them, none relishes killing their enemies more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood...
Wrath, the only purebred vampire left on the planet, is still my favorite (and I still imagine myself as Beth, queen to a vampire society). Wrath is completely hot, arrogant, steamingly possessive and passionate. When the series begins, Wrath has a score to settle with those who killed his parents many centuries earlier. He’s angry as hell - less than a little unlikable - and has turned his back on the throne and his natural place in the vampire world. But he’s forced to rethink his direction when one of his closest friends asks him to care for Beth, his half-breed daughter. When his friend is killed that same night, Wrath's honor dictates that he protect her above all else. An interesting combination with Beth who is completely unaware of her heritage and Wrath who is less than pleased to have this responsibility.
Beth has spent her life as a human with no knowledge of her father’s genealogy. She’s lived a fairly average life until an unrelenting restlessness sets in. Experiencing changes to her body and feeling drawn to this mysterious man who begins to appear to her at night, Beth is helpless to fight her attraction though she senses danger. Her strength and sense of adventure drew me to her instantly – she is a perfect heroine for such a strong hero. I absolutely adored how she was able to keep Wrath in line and wrapped around her beautiful little finger. And though his stories of his world, the brotherhood and her new reality frighten her, she remained strong and willingly embraced her heritage. The first time they are together still makes me smile.
Speaking of stories about his world... this would be the part of the book that dragged a bit for me. Like all first books in any series, the author had to introduce her new world and provide the history behind the characters but it got a little dull at times for those of us less interested in history and more interested in romance. Also parts of the book were written from the pov of the lesser, a supernatural creature that hunts the vampires, weren’t a favorite for me. While I appreciated the role they played in the story, I didn’t enjoy the chapters that focused on them as much as those that included Wrath and Beth.
With that said, I still think the first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series was a perfect introduction to the brothers. This isn’t just because it brought me my favorite couple but because the heat (and ultimately the love) between the two main characters jumped off the pages and made my heart skip a beat or two. Dark Lover is a 5 chocolate-dipped strawberry book. I encourage you to indulge it in.
I’ve enjoyed following the evolution of Wrath and Beth as they return as secondary characters in the other books in the series. I’ve also enjoyed Ward’s “interviews” with the brothers, especially Wrath. Check out her website if you’re a fan of the series for more great snippits about Wrath and the other brothers. Ward is an incredibly talented author with a bursting creative genius - she's one of my favorite authors and I will now read anything she writes.Now, this wouldn't be complete without mentioning my favorite secondary character: Fritz! Give me a shout out (that means make a comment) if you are also one of the readers out there that absolutely adores Fritz… is he not great? I know others out there have to love him as much as me!