Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Review - Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2) by J.R. Ward (4/5 stars)

Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2)Reading level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Size: 464 pages
Publisher: Signet
Release Date:March 7, 2006
ISBN-13: 978-0451218049
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in Black Dagger Brotherhood series
Source: Paperbackswap.com
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is the 2nd book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood by Ward.  I enjoyed this book, though not as much as the first book.  The characters are very engaging and there is solid world-building; although the focus is definitely romance for this novel.  I listened to this on audio book and it was very well done.

This is the story of Mary and Rhage.  Mary is fighting with Luekemia and loosing the battle; she is drawn into contact with the Brotherhood as she serves as translator for a young boy that she helped through her volunteer work for the Suicide Hotline.  Rhage is the most beautiful of the Brotherhood and is in constant battle with his Beast.  When Rhage offended the Scribe Virgin she cursed him to 200 years bound to the Beast.  Rhage is inexpilicably soothed by Mary's voice and is determined to make her part of his life.  Around these events the war between the Lessers and the Brotherhood rages on.

Ward has again created captivating characters that have wonderful chemistry together.  I did like that Mary and Rhage take a little more time to develop their relationship than the two main characters in Dark Lover did.  It made the romance between them seem a little more realistic and romantic.  Mary and Rhage have huge obstacles to overcome in their relationship as Rhage fights to control the Beast in Mary's prescence and Mary fights for her life against Leukemia.

I like Rhage as a character, he had some awful choices to make in this book and it was interesting to see him battle through them.  I wasn't sold on Mary as a character because she seemed just a bit...cold to me or something.  At points I felt like they interacted like children; they would argue about stupid things and neither was ever willing to be honest with or listen to the other.  In the end their chemistry worked, but there were points mid-book when I wanted to smack them both.

I really enjoyed how Ward started to set up the story between Bella (Mary's vampire friend) and Zsadist for book 3.  Zsadist is the most damaged (and most interesting of the brothers to me) so I am eager to hear his story in the next book, Lover Awakened.  The story between Butch and Marissa is mentioned but not really developed any more.

This book did drop a lot of the plot to concentrate on the romantic development between Mary and Rhage.  That irritated me a little.  I felt like the overall story of the battle between the Lessers and the Brotherhood definitely took a back seat to the romance; much more so than it did in Dark Lover.  I am hoping that book 3 picks up the story more and puts a little more urban fantasy into the paranormal romance.

Ward's writing is lovely and captivating.  There were a couple of eye-rolling moments for the over-the-top romantic descriptions; but for the most part the writing sucks you in.  This is a guilty pleasure and definitely more romance than paranormal.

Overall I ended up enjoying the book, but not as much as the first book.  This book definitely focuses on the romance and doesn't spend as much time developing the world and moving the plotline forward.  The characters and writing are still very engaging and the book was hard to put down.  I look forward to reading more about Zsadist and Bella in the next book, Lover Awakened.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:

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