Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2)
By J. R. Ward
Published 2006, Penguin Books
Paperback, 441 pages
Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetite. 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.First off, I enjoyed this book much more than the first book. I was familiar with the background, so I did not need to take time to understand everything, and I was already familiar with the main characters of the brotherhood, so I knew who I liked and wanted to know more about.
Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him. When Mary Luce is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world, she must rely on Rhage's protection. Knowing that Mary feels the same intense animal attraction, Rhage must make her his alone...
This book focused on Rhage and his love interest, Mary. Rhage is the one nicknamed "Hollywood" for both his good looks and promiscuous behavior. That, plus the violent habits of the brotherhood allow him to keep the dragon-like beast inside in check, but the appearance of Mary puts a new spin on an old curse. Just like the theme in the first book, the desire to claim Mary for his wife changes Rhage permanently - I detect a commonality throughout the series with this theme.
Rhage has a very frank and forward way of communicating, which I like, though it can sometimes throw me off in the reading. Mary sometimes got quite annoying with how low her self-image is. The way that the book ends and how the Scribe Virgin plays into Rhage and Mary's romance seemed a bit out of place and over-compensating, but it did cause things to work out well, so I won't complain.
The subplot of the lessers also progresses with the introduction of a secondary character under Mr. X, a Mr. O who seems to resent being a lesser and possesses a weakness. This, combined with a subplot dedicated to the brother, Zsadist, leads into the next book in the series, Lover Awakened.
The Cover: This cover is very similar to the first cover, only the color has changed. It would be nice to have a picture that is more specific to the plot.
First Line: "'Ah, hell, V, you're killing me.' Butch O'Neal mined through his sock drawer, looking for black silk, finding white cotton."
My curiosity about Butch was peaked in the first novel, so I love that Ward opens with his P.O.V. I have high hopes for this book.
Favorite Quote: "She smiled a little. 'You are a manipulator.'
'I like to think of myself more as an outcome engineer.'"
Read For: Black Dagger Brotherhood Challenge, 101 Fantasy Challenge