Phury and Zsadist's parents, though only inflicted on Phury (emotional abuse, neglect).
Vishous' and Payne's father, who was abusive in almost every imaginable way, including castrating his son by tearing off one of his testicles. His mother, alternatively, is also seen as abusive by ignoring her son's childhood plight and trying to force him into an arranged marriage. He spends most of his time acting as though he is unaffected by his childhood until it all comes to a head in Lover Unleashed, and his grief over the fact that his parents did not protect him is forced to the surface. He demands to know why his parents hurt him, as he did not ask to be born to them.
Jane's parents, though to a lesser extent. They were seen as cold and emotionally unavailable to their daughter after the death of Hannah, Jane's younger sister.
Butch's father who really isn't was physically and emotionally abusive, even blaming him for the death of his sister.
Qhuinn's father, because Qhuinn is born with heterochromatic eyes. After Qhuinn's transition they expected it to be magically cured. When it isn't, Qhuinn's dad decides he's going to punch Qhuinn in the face. He is excluded from family events with decreasing amounts of subtlety, eventually being disowned entirely.
Bella's father and Rehvenge's stepfather. He used to police his eight-year-old daughter's eating habits due to the petrifying fear she'd gain weight. This meant Bella went hungry a lot. Watching Bella pour herself another bowl of cereal is a very emotional moment in Rehvenge's life.
Saxton's father, who disowned him after Saxton came out. In The King we see Thyme forbid Saxton to address him as "Father."
Sharp pointy object in the chest of a Lesser and POOF!
Sunlight is this to pureblood vampires. Half-breeds range in tolerance.
Action Girl: Plenty of love interests do this, but this is Xhex's bread and butter.
After seeing Wrath shot, Beth brains a man with a blunt object. Then she crouches over Wrath with a small knife and kills an attack dog coming after them. When Butch and Vishous arrive to back them up, she is in full protector mode and hisses at them.
Vishous: She was standing over his body, ready to take the cop and me on with her bare hands if she had to. Like Wrath was her cub, you feel me?
Payne is the only vampire allowed to spar with Wrath.
Sola has a cat burglar vibe going on, and she's a definite criminal. Then in The King we watch her beat a man to death with a chain and then cut off his hand.
Action Girlfriend: Xhex, which given the extremely protective nature of bonded males, creates rifts between her and John.
Also Payne for Manny, who is a doctor.
After Action Patch Up: They're warriors, who fight. This happens between several characters. It actually makes up an important part of Vishous' book with him and Jane. Also happens between Rhage and Mary after he offers a rhythe, between Blay and Quinn, and between Marissa and Butch after he gets beat up in Rehv's club.
Beth first meets Rhage when he's giving himself stitches in her downstairs bathroom.
All Girls Want Bad Boys: All the canon couples. You know it's bad when the 'softest' guy in the bunch is an alcoholic ex-cop fired for police brutality.
Inverted with Xhex and John. He's damn near a saint compared to the rest of the brotherhood, and she's a maneating assassin with no qualms about killing for revenge or money.
Also inverted with Payne and Manny.
Alien Blood: Pureblooded sympaths sport blue blood, even after the stuff's been exposed to the air. Half-breeds like Rehvenge and Xhex have normal-looking blood but it tastes slightly different to other vampires.
Anti-Hero: All of them, but especially former nice guy Phury, who by the time we get to know him better is a drug addict, who hears voices in his head, and whose hobby is torture.
The Scribe Virgin: The Black Dagger Brotherhood is cursed. There are none left in it who do not suffer.
Zsadist's arc moves him from out-and-out bad guy to this through the healing power of love.
Anything That Moves: Rhage was like this before he met Mary, and more recently, Zypher, compared to a Lenihan, a beast known for its sexual prowess.
Qhuinn was like this for everyone except Blaylock, for whom he was Sleeps with Everyone but You. Blay actually lampshaded this at various points in the series.
Aristocrats Are Evil: The glymera as a whole. They may not necessarily be out-and-out evil, but you'd be hard-put to find any bunch of people more self-serving, cowardly, head-in-the-sand, hidebound, and obsessed with appearances than the vampire aristocracy. From plotting to kill the king and impose a fake democracy, to treating their own family members like shit for genetic flaws that they had no control over (like Qhuinn) or for perceived or actual behavioral transgressions (like Marissa), these people will make you root for the lessers to butcher them all and improve the vampire race's overall level of decency.
Responsible for the attempted assassination of Wrath's mother, Ahna, because they didn't feel she was a suitable candidate for queen.
Aroused by Their Voice: Mary's voice is so appealing John calls the suicide hotline every night just to hear her talk, and Rhage is so attracted to her voice he practically assaults her on their first meeting, trying to get her talk to him.
Arranged Marriage: Vishous almost is subjected to this; Phury takes his place and falls in love with the Chosen he is mated to, Cormia.
Tohrment and Wellsie had one of these. Luckily, they fell in love all the same.
Wrath's parents. Wrath's father falls in love with Ahna on sight.
Wrath's first (unconsummated) marriage to Marissa, which made Marissa Wrath's Unwanted Spouse.
Better as Friends: Phury and Bella, though it was really only Phury who had the romantic feelings.
Beth and Butch. They made out in Dark Lover and Beth complimented his technique, but said she felt no chemistry. By this point she was already involved with Wrath, which made Butch something of a Hopeless Suitor.
Marissa and Wrath. After they dissolve their Arranged Marriage, it's clear that Wrath still respects Marissa very much, which is why he doesn't kill her brother for the assassination attempt.
Havers towards Marissa. Perceiving Wrath to be abusing Marissa, Havers calls a hit out on the king. However, he's younger than Marissa by five years.
Rehvenge and Bella are a textbook example.
Phury and Zsadist; ironically, Phury is the younger twin.
All of the Brothers have this with John Matthew.
Bigger Is Better in Bed: Zsadist's *ahem* hardware is treated in this way. He is repeatedly described as being "enormous" below the belt or otherwise regarded by others with a sense of envy and/or awe.
This is a running theme throughout the Brotherhood, but Zsadist is definitely a standout.
Bi the Way: Qhuinn. Other male characters may angst about their UST (cough cough Vishous cough), but Qhuinn is cool with the door swinging both ways.
Subverted in Lover At Last—turns out he's only cool with it because he's mentally repressed to the point that he's convinced himself that that sleeping with men doesn't mean he's not straight. When the truth is pointed out to him, he enters a Heroic BSOD.
Black Eyes of Crazy: Piss Zsadist off and his yellow eyes turn black. Everyone who knows him thinks he has naturally black eyes, until he falls in love with Bella and starts to mellow out. Everyone is baffled to realize that he and Phury actually have the same eye color.
Blind Mistake: Shortly after Wrath's vision finally fails completely he makes lots of these, dropping and breaking things and even falling down the stairs at one point.
Brains and Bondage: Vishous, who is well-read and the most intellectual of the brothers, enjoys bondage. When he reveals this to his surgeon shellan, she is highly disturbed. However, after a session in V's "penthouse," she comes around to the idea.
Break the Badass: Zsadist completely loses his shit over having to whip Rhage—presumably flashing back to his own abuse.
Break the Haughty: Rosalhynda was prideful about her beauty and her father's high place in society. After being captured and forcibly impregnated, committing suicide and being resurrected as her daughter's maidservant...not so much. In fact she takes to being very servile and takes joy in doing menial tasks that were beneath her before.
Car Bomb: How Darius dies, kickstarting the plot. Noted by the Scribe Virgin as being a "dishonorable" death.
Cursed with Awesome: Rhage's alter-ego is a fire-breathing dragon that likes to devour lessers whole, and can use its wings to fly. Eating lessers causes Rhage some pretty bad indigestion.
Dating Do-Si-Do: In the beginning of the series, Marissa and Wrath are mated. But then Wrath leaves Marissa for Beth, on whom Butch has a crush. Then Butch meets Marissa. In later books, this causes jealousy from Vishous, who has an If It's You, It's Okay thing going on with Butch. But then Vishous meets Jane. Jane worked with this guy named Manny, who asked her out once. Then it turns out that Vishous has a twin sister, Payne, with whom Manny falls in love.
Blaylock and Qhuinn have Unresolved Sexual Tension. Blaylock starts dating Qhuinn's cousin, Saxton. Qhuinn has an encounter with Layla, and they decide to raise a child together. Through this, there is continued Will They or Won't They? between Blay and Qhuinn. They do. Then Layla ends up in a love triangle between Throe and Xcor. Then Throe moves on, but the remaining two are on opposing sides of a civil war.
Wrath watched his parents murdered in front of him when he was a pre-trans. He was locked in an air vent at the time, and deals with a lot of guilt because he stopped screaming so his parents' murderers wouldn't be able to find him and kill him too.
Zsadist is the biggest one. To sum up: stolen as an infant, enslaved, raped, beaten, gang raped, beaten and raped some more for a couple hundred years before being horribly mutilated in the course of his rescue and reunion with his brother. Oh, and his parents are dead.
John Matthew was abandoned as a baby, raised in an orphanage and then sent out into the world at 16, with no idea what or who he is. As a young adult, he is raped by a large man in the hallway of his apartment complex.
Vishous spent his childhood in a warrior camp run by his ruthless warrior father. He dislikes the combat, preferring to read. He is punished for this. When he comes into his empathic powers, he tells his father of his own death. Disturbed, his father has him tattooed as an outcast, and partially castrated.
Butch grew up emotionally and physically abused by his father who wasn't his biological father, and knew it, and was blamed by his entire family for the rape and murder of his older sister, Janie. It's pretty obvious throughout the books that this has messed him up a bit psychologically.
Dating Catwoman: Xcor and Layla become this to each other—whilst neither is a villain, per se, they're closer to this than anything else, what with him trying to kill her king and all.
Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: Highly averted with Zsadist. His past as a sex slave is written very darkly, and he suffers a great deal of psychological damage as a result. Nobody faults him for killing his "Mistress" and keeping her skull. A little out of the ordinary for a series that portrays males as "macho" and always concerned with looking "weak" in front of their mates. In fact, Zsadist is probably one of the most staunch observers of these gender rules (likely stemming from his abuse), but shows just how seriously these issues are taken when he tells John Matthew that his own rape was not his fault.
Dystopia: Vampire society is deeply patriarchal and has very rigid gender roles. Their religious beliefs can be crazy and cruel. And the general social fabric is decayed.
Evil Albino: While not technically having albinism, the lessers gradually lose all pigmentation in their bodies.
Again, not technically albinism, but the Shadows get tattoos by using poison that will kill the melanin in their skin. The more you have, the scarier you are.
Evil Smells Bad: Subverted by the lessers, who give off a smell of baby powder.
Extreme Melee Revenge: When John finds out where Xhex is being held, and why, his vision reds out and his claws extend. He comes to himself hunched over on the floor which is now slick with lesser blood—the lesser's severed head sitting on the countertop staring at him in horror.
Fantastic Racism: Wrath towards humans, before falling in love with the half-human Beth.
Wrath: (thinking) Cattle, all of them.
Wrath: (thinking) There are only two good positions for a human. A female on her back. And a male facedown and not breathing.
Lessers, towards vampires. Mr. X thinks of the race as a good excuse to get away with a murder spree.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: Subverted. Their eyes glow only in the presence of their mates or people they love.
God's Hands Are Tied: Miracles from the Scribe Virgin don't come free, and the price does not seem to be negotiable even for her. For Darius' reincarnation he willingly sacrificed his voice, but in order to grant Vishous' prayer for Jane, the goddess herself gave up her beloved songbirds.
Wrath: (thinking) Welcome to the wonderful world of jealousy. For the price of admission, you get a splitting headache, a nearly irresistible urge to commit murder, and an inferiority complex. Yippee.
Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Marissa is this trope. Beautiful? Check. Kind? Check. Innocent? Check. She gets past the naive stage pretty damn fast though.
Half-Human Hybrid: Beth, Butch, and Manny. Only Wrath is full-blooded of all the vampires. And since most of the narrative is from the vampire POV, the vampire-sympath hybrids function in the same way.
A big sticking point for the glymera, who use this as a reason Beth is unworthy to be queen in The King. Their logic is that any children she has with Wrath, and therefore any heirs to the throne, will be too human.
Happily Married: Most of the mated main couples, though Beth and Wrath hit a rocky spot in Lover Avenged and The King. So do V and Jane in Lover Unleashed.
Tohr and Wellsie. For a while.
Xhex and John have a lot of issues with Xhex being in the field. They get better, though.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: It's always noted just how large male vampires are, but how large they are in comparison to their female lovers is mentioned a lot. Averted with Payne and Manny, and Xhex and John.
Hurting Hero: Rhage in his book mentions how thanks to his Beast he needs the constant sex he has, in order to keep himself under control enough to not attack his friends, and how it was just emotionless, connectionless grinding to him—he feared he neither deserved nor was capable of truly loving someone or being loved.
In Lover Unleashed Jane tells V she'd be okay with him cheating on her, as long as it was with Butch.
Immortal Procreation Clause: Vampires are only fertile once every decade, and pregnancy is very highly likely to result in miscarriage or death of the mother in childbirth. As Tohrment puts it, 'It's a goddamn shellan-robber'.
The reason Wrath is so resistant to having children with Beth.
Incompatible Orientation: Initially between V and Butch, with V coveting Butch who was in love with Marissa. Recently, it's been Quinn and Blaylock with Blay covering Quinn who doesn't seem to know what the hell he wants.
As of the latest book, Qhuinn has actually gotten his head out his ass and realized that he is in love with his best friend- cue their scheduled HEA in 2013 and many fangirl squeals.
Instant Drama, Just Add Tracheotomy: In Lover Reborn, Tohrment has to do this to Wrath after he's shot in the throat and bleeding out. In the back of a moving car, with a pocketknife and a straw, no less!
Intimate Healing: Vishous does this with Butch, after the latter sucks up a lesser. To the point that Jane initially assumes Vishous is gay.
Manny finds that sexual arousal is the way to heal Payne's paralysis in Lover Unleashed. He even makes reference to the Marvine Gaye song "Sexual Healing"
Interspecies Romance: Technically, humans, vampires, doggen, and sympaths are distinct species that only occasionally successfully cross-breed.
Involuntary Shapeshifting: Rhage's curse turns him into a dragon whenever he loses control of his emotions. When he's in human form, it forms a tattoo on his back.
It's Personal: This is pretty much how all the males react if someone hurts their female, but it is especially apparent in Lover Mine, when John finds out that Xhex had been raped by Lash. It's personal because he, too, had been raped, though by a stranger, as a pre-trans. John's drive to kill Lash goes from a 10 to a 20 on a scale of 1-10, and even his friends remark that by raping Xhex, Lash had signed his own death warrant.
Mooks: The unnamed lessers fit this trope to a T, being about as disposable as used tissues.
My Girl Is Not a Slut: Although most of the male characters have been around the block a few thousand times, their love interests are either virgins or women with limited and/or previously only unsatisfactory experiences.
Xhex is an aversion. It is mentioned that she had an affair with Rehvenge and a liaison with Butch; and Lover Mine revealed she was once happily mated to a brother named Muhrder (yes, Muhrder), before he found out about her sympath half.
Bella gender flips this; in her case, it was Zsadist who was sexually inexperienced (outside of his abuse) and it's Bella who teaches him.
Phury also gender flips this, though Cormia was also a virgin.
"Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Lash uses this to taunt John Matthew with, having raped his Love Interest Xhex while holding her in captivity. When Xhex vehemently denies that the sex was consensual, John Matthew is reminded of his own rape and mops the floor with Lash.
Odd Name Out: Among the Brothers there is Tohrment, Wrath, Rhage, Vishous, Zsadist, Phury, and... Darius. Guess who dies...
Our Ghosts Are Different: One woman was killed by lessers and was stuck in limbo for awhile before the Scribe Virgin brought her back as a ghost. She's transparent in appearance, but can become corporeal if she tries. To her hellren, she is always solid.
Our Vampires Are Different: They're a separate species from humans, to start — you're born a vampire, you don't get "turned." Unless you have some vampire DNA...
Rags to Riches: Beth starts out Dark Lover having been through the foster system and then an orphanage. By the middle of it, she is revealed to be a high-ranking aristocrat in the vampire world, thanks to her father's rank as princeps. And she inherits a lot of property as well as a butler.
Rags to Royalty: Butch finds out about two-thirds of the way through his book that he is of Wrath's bloodline.
Rape as Drama: Treated with remarkable sensitivity in a series otherwise very tongue-in-cheek. Ward showcases almost every form of it, from coercion to physical force, and in every gender combination. In all cases the trauma is taken seriously, and each character responds and copes in their own way.
Rape and Revenge: Happens twice. Zsadist gets revenge on his rapist by killing her and taking her skull, though it was not planned. Xhex gets revenge on her rapist, Lash, by killing him.
Wrath puts his wedding to Beth on hold until he can avenge her honor by murdering her would-be rapist, Billy Riddle.
Tohrment: And you've been dead for hundreds of years. You're just too mean to find a grave and lie down.
Royal Blood: Wrath is the king of all vampires, Butch is his cousin, and Rehvenge becomes King of the Sympaths.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: Wrath maintains (secretly) an active role in the war with the lessers, and Rehvenge goes to meet with the colony every so often to keep the peace.
Kicked Up to Eleven in The King, when Wrath begins to hold private audiences with civilians who had previously never seen him in public. It wins him the popular vote for leadership in their new democracy.
Scarily Competent Tracker: If a vampire has had your blood, he (or she) can find you forever, no matter where you are or how far you run.
Secret War: By unspoken agreement, vampires and lessers will stop fighting and move the battle to a less human-populated location. As it's explained, having human cops poking around is bad news for both species.
Self-Surgery: Rhage used to do this all the time before Jane came along.
Rhage: When you can use your large intestine as a belt loop, that's how you know you've hit the pros!
Semi-Divine: Vishous is the son of the Scribe Virgin, the deity vampires pray to in his universe. He also has a twin sister named Payne.
Separated at Birth: Phury and Zsadist were separated as infants; their nanny kidnapped Zsadist to be sold into slavery. Phury takes it upon himself to find his twin (who is the favored first-born twin), and takes a vow of celibacy after he finds him.
Vishous and Payne. Vishous was sent to his father's training camp, and Payne stayed with their mother in the realm of the Chosen.
Servant Race: The doggen. Distinguishable from vampires in that they don't seem to need to feed and they can go out in the daylight, but are highly involved in vampire culture.
Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Vampires are a highly patriarchal society. Bonded males are highly protective of their mates, which in terms of the Brothers means they stay safely in the mansion, away from the fighting. Most of the women are fine with this (or mostly fine), but Xhex takes major issue with it. Xhex and John spend most of Lover Reborn separated over this issue. She wants to fight, but John's protective instinct means he keeps babying her in the middle of battle and putting himself in harm's way. Xhex, being highly independent and a skilled fighter, naturally gets pissed off.
There's also another vampire-like society out there that completely flips this on its head; women seem to be in charge of almost everything with any men in positions of power being religious leaders or those with positions that must answer to women. The society is ruled by a queen whose consort must live in total isolation in the Palace grounds, with the only visitors being servants and family. One of the characters lives in terror of this fate.
The Sociopath: All sympaths are believed to be this, since they tend to have a total lack of morals and empathy. Half-breeds like Xhex and Rehvengecan subvert this, though they have to constantly battle their Superpowered Evil Side throughout their lives.
The Speechless: John Matthew, who was born without vocal chords. He alternately uses pen and paper and sign language to communicate with those around him.
Phury was the second-born twin, which in vampire culture is ingrained as The Unfavorite because it signifies a curse upon his family. After his twin is kidnapped, Phury is alternatively ignored and abused by his parents. He mentions that they did not notice when he left to find Zsadist, and that he did not attend their funerals.
Butch is the un-favorite of his father, being cast aside and beaten as a child. He also blames Butch for the murder of Butch's older sister.
Jane was this in comparison to her terminally ill sister Hannah. After Hannah died, the situation turned into Abusive Parents.
Title Drop: Done in Lover Mine, page 482. Also somewhat done in Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, and Lover Enshrined.
Implied with Wrath's parents. The King makes it seem as though their relationship and their love for one another was this, as it doomed them to be murdered.
Took a Level in Badass: This seems to happen to all vampires upon their transition from pre-trans into full vampires. After the awkward, getting-used-to-new-larger-limbs phase. Especially notable in John Matthew between his transition and Lover Mine, owing to the fact that his Love Interest was kidnapped by his enemy.
Totally Radical: Younger John, Quinn and Blay's slang is a little anachronistic.
Will They or Won't They?: It drives the plot of the couple featured in the book, but that is pretty much cut and dry, since they're romance novels with a fairly predictable formula. The real "Will They, Won't They?" couple would probably be Qhuinn and Blaylock.
Eventually, They Do; it just takes them a looooong time.
Now it's looking like it's going to be Layla and Xcor.
Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Payne and the Chosen throw around a lot of "verily"s, along with the occasional "thine" (used ungrammatically) and reversed verb-noun order. It is also seen in the flashbacks.