I really like Rhage. He stood out from the rest of the Brotherhood in book one, and I was excited to see his story come so soon in the series. He's a cursed vampire - cursed with an uncontrollable beast that is triggered by extreme emotions (paid, anger, lust). And once the beast is released, he only goes away after destroying (and eating - ew) everything around it.
Title: Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood #2)
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 7, 2006
Heat Rating: 3
Reviewed by: Jasmyn
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast, Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.
Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves...
As a human, Mary is a bit shocked when she is dragged into the vampire world through a young man that she meets when he calls the Suicide Hotline she volunteers at. This boy is something special, and I have some strong suspicions he's a result of something from the first book, but I didn't find out and I think I may be waiting awhile for his story. But he plays a fairly prominent role in Lover Eternal and makes a great character. Anyway, Mary, she's an interesting study in opposites. She's a strong woman, but her illness makes her weak. She's incredibly intelligent, but she finds herself immersed in a world where she has everything to learn.
Her and Rhage have an interesting start to their relationship as he is ordered to erase himself from her mind. But there is something about the way she speaks that Rhage needs to have. I love that something so simple as the sound of her voice is what initially draws him to her, not her looks, or having to rescue her, it was a great way to make their start different than what I usually see out there.
We get to see a lot of the Brotherhood and a few of the characters from book one still pop up and I love being able to see the whole group in both books. The Lessers are still on the hunt and looking for a fight and we are introduced to a new civilian, Bella, that a friend of Mary's that seems to have more of her story to tell.
A great second book, but I feel the Mary and Rhage's solution was a little contrived. It felt like Ward had written herself into a corner and used the "but then the rules changed" option instead of playing within what she had already written.
Black Dagger Brotherhood