Review: Lover Eternal by JR Ward

Posted October 12, 2020 by Kate

Review: Lover Eternal by JR WardCheck out on Goodreads
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance
Also by this author: Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1), Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3)
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2
Publisher: Signet
Source: My shelves

12 Audio Cassettes / 14.25 Hours
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And 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 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.
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...

I remember the Black Dagger Brotherhood series as my best find of 2015 – and I wrote as such, in all my numerous BDB Goodreads reviews that year. The first book, Dark Lover, is definitely the most … well, it suffers from first book syndrome. It’s still awesome and unique and I loved it, but it’s clearly the worst book of the series in its inherent basic-ness, comparatively.

Rhage is a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a group of warriors who fight for their race’s survival every day against the Lessening Society. Lessers are corrupted psychopathic humans whose sole purpose is the extinction of the vampire race. In Dark Loverwe learned that Rhage pissed off the Scribe Virgin (the vampire’s “God” figure) and she cursed him with a Beast. Far from a helpful companion, when Rhage gets too worked up (physically, emotionally, mentally), his Beast rips free and slaughters everything near.  He lives in terror of harming one of his Brothers, and his daily routine of booze, fighting, and women is the only thing that takes the edge off and makes him even barely “safe” to be around.

“Hollywood,” as he’s referred to throughout the book (due to his model-like looks), meets Mary, a human, when she gets embroiled in a situation involving the Brotherhood. So intrigued by this human, he doesn’t wipe her memories as he should, and he starts to court her. But Mary has entered a devastating point in her life, just as she’s getting the news that the Leukemia, which she’d previously beat into remission two years ago, is back.

“You know, you were never the possessive type before.”
“That’s because I never had something I wanted to keep.”

Rhage’s book is nothing like I expected. Even though I’ve read this one before, years ago, I remembered none of the emotional tenderness that permeates this story. At times, it was a bit of a hard read, and I was genuinely worked into knots, unsure how there could be a Happily Ever After in this heartbreaking story.

Rhage completely broke my heart, he’s nothing like the cocky womanizer we learned to know and love in the first book, Dark Loverhe’s so much more. Mary was such a strong character – a survivor, and a fierce woman, far from meek and the perfect mate to put Rhage in his place and/or talk him down when necessary. They were a beautiful couple, and their story had me tearing up often. 

It was just such an incredible installment. Even though Dark Lover is still one of the better PNR’s, compared to its contemporaries, Lover Eternal widened the scope of the world, and pivoted the series to a more emotional route. The Brothers are all severely damaged and/or cursed in one way or the other, and it’s clear that Ward isn’t afraid to go there when it comes to the vulnerability of these males. Watching the Brothers come together and lean on each other when needed was powerful, and the love between them so evident ? I’m so excited to continue, especially with Zhadist’s book!!

Series Reading Order


< Read all Black Dagger Brotherhood Reviews here >

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Do you enjoy paranormal/urban fantasy reads? Have you read a Black Dagger Brotherhood book? Let me know in the comments down below, I’d love to hear from you!

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