Thursday, July 13, 2006

Dark Lover - J.R. Ward

Dark Lover
J.R. Ward

Paranormal - Romance

Beth Randall, at 25, is wondering if perhaps a life change is in order. Raised in foster homes, she’s living and working in Caldwell, New York. She works at a middle-quality newspaper, covering the police blotter. Her colleagues are, variously, has-beens and never-weres. Maybe it’s time to leave the paper, and Caldwell, for something more exciting. ‘Be careful what you wish for’ would seem to be appropriate advice here. Unknown to Beth, she is a half-breed vampire. Although she’s living as a human, she’s beginning to notice various changes that she can’t quite explain, even to herself.

Darius is Beth’s father. He’s also a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a small group of vampire warriors whose mission is to protect vampires from those who seek to kill them. The last remaining pureblood vampire is Wrath, the powerful leader of the Brotherhood. He’s got a lot of anger and a score to settle. When Darius asks Wrath to help Beth attempt a transformation to vampire, he refuses. He has neither the patience nor the desire for it, even though he realizes he’s bitterly disappointed Darius.

When Darius is killed, almost immediately after making the request, Wrath feels bound to carry out his old friend’s last wish. It would be an understatement to say that the half-breed human (who has no idea what she really is) and the pureblood vampire whose only joy is killing those who oppose him have a profound and surprising effect on one another.

This is the first in a series, followed by “Lover Eternal,” also available now. The author creates a dark, vicious, and very realistic world for these characters to inhabit. In this series, the vampires are not cute or conflicted. They don’t despise themselves for their nature. They kill. They both have to kill and want to kill, and they’re fine with that. There’s a good deal of gore and profanity here, which may scare off some readers. For readers who enjoy horror, however, this is an excellent introduction to the popular world of paranormal romance. This book sets the bar quite high. “Dark Lover” is a fun, violent, sexy, compulsive read. Here’s hoping that future books live up to the incredible promise shown here. I plan to find out in the very near future, so watch this space.

Rating: 8 ½
September 2005
ISBN# 0-451-21695-4 (paperback)

Rating Scale = 1-10


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