Reviews: Black Dagger Brotherhood

“Dark Lover” by JR Ward

In some ways this book takes itself seriously. It's an OK romance novel with characters the author has obviously thought about and there's some nifty world-building. What with this and the legitimately fun subplots I found it way better than most romance novels.

But with all this going for it, it still manages to be self-aware, tongue-in-cheek crack. Intentionally.

So at the beginning, we meet three killers at a nightclub. Two are named, no kidding, Tohrment and Wrath. All are members of a leather-clad, scarred, tattooed, pierced, hard rap-listening vampire brotherhood dedicated to fighting the forces of evil. The rest of them have names like Vishous, Phury, and Zsadist (no, no, I'm not kidding!). All of them hang out in this fancy mansion, listening to rap music, drinking gallons of scotch, wearing leather, and being super tortured. And they use totally bleeding-edge slang, except the impression is more Cher Horowitz in Clueless than John Mc Clane trying not to get shot in a ventilator shaft. HILARIOUS.

They can smell emotions, so every time a woman walks by, whoever's narrating mentally notes the fact that she wants to sleep with him.

They're all about seven feet tall and built like Windsor Castle. Except Wrath. Wrath is seven and a half feet tall, and he's built like the Great Wall of China. Also he has this aura of scary that accompanies him everywhere, so when he barges into half-vampire-and-doesn't-know-it heroine Beth's apartment one night to make her acquaintance, she gets the impression that she's being attacked by two billion tons of menacing Mongolian masonry.

Beth is about to transform into a real vampire and Wrath intends to help her through the transition, so he comes back the next night with a ton of anti-depressants. This time, instead of fainting in sheer terror, Beth swoons into his arms and the first words she utters to him are a demand for sex. Because he is a romance novel character, Wrath complies. He can't resist!

I won't go so far as to say Wrath's you-know-what has a nickname and the ability to crack bad jokes, but in all other respects it might as well be the main character. Keeping it happy requires a lot of hard work on both Wrath's and Beth's part, until they decide to spend the rest of their lives nurturing it faithfully.

Don't tell me you didn't see that coming.