Author: J.R. Ward
American release date: September 6, 2005
Format/Genre/Length: Novel/Paranormal Romance/400 pages
Publisher/Industry Age Rating: not rated/mature readers
Overall Personal Rating: A+
Similar series or titles to check out: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series
Darius has a situation that he needs help with. His half- human daughter Beth is about to transition—into a vampire! He contact Tohrment, in order to arrange a meeting with one of the other brothers. Darius wants Wrath to help Beth with her coming ordeal, although she has no knowledge of her own father, of what he is, or of what lies in wait for her! Wrath, however, wants nothing to do with the situation.
An unexpected tragic occurrence changes Wrath’s mind, although he isn’t exactly enthusiastic about it. Things get complicated when he actually sees Beth, and is drawn to her, very much. The feeling is quite mutual on the part of the female reporter, who has no knowledge of vampires or the Black Dagger Brotherhood—a group of highly skilled, highly advanced, elite vampires who protect the backs of their kind against the lessers who would harm them.
Beth is amazed how drawn she is to Wrath; it’s not her style to be like that. The darling of the police station she gets her tips from, she has an especial admirer in the form of Butch O’Neal. He might be good looking and all that, but she’s less than impressed with him, and thinks of him more as a friend or an acquaintance. When Butch catches wind of her and Wrath, his jealousy combines with his protective instinct.He isn’t afraid to step in to protect Beth from what he perceives as the danger she is walking into.
Wrath has a shellan named Marissa. From her he derives nourishment in the form of blood—vampires don’t feed on humans, but on other vampires—but he does not take her in any other way, to her chagrin. The other shellans are mated to their hellrens in ways that she can never be, and it wears on her, as well as on her brother Havers, who is the physician for the vampires, and who is constantly working on solutions to the blood situation.
Beth fights against her feelings for Wrath, and the attraction to him which causes her to do things she never ever dreamed of before, but when her time comes, he must take care of her, and to do so, he abducts her and takes her to Darius’ home. Well one of them. And they all belong to Beth now. Along with the faithful butler Fritz.
Meanwhile Mr. X has ideas of his own for getting rid of the Brotherhood, and he doesn’t care who he hurts—or kills—to do it. The lessers are no longer human themselves, having gone through a ritual with the Omega. They don’t wear their hearts on their sleeves—they keep them in jars!
Butch finds himself involved with the Brotherhood because of his concern for Beth. At the same time, he’s running what career he has left into the ground because of some of his unorthodox methods. What will he do when he learns the truth about the men who hold Beth “hostage”? And what of Marissa and her needs? Will her brother do something foolish to avenge her “dishonor”?
The first volume of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood hits a home run right off the bat! I was wondering if it was going to be an imitation of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, but on the contrary, the similarities are only superficial—hot vampires and the women they fall in love with. J.R. Ward has definitely created her own world, and she has her own way of saying things. At the beginning of the book is a glossary of the terms she uses, which definitely comes in handy for easy reference as you read.
The boys in the Black Dagger Brotherhood are no one to fool with, but the lessers they have to contend with are not necessarily fools either. I like to see battles where the outcome is not assured because of uneven odds between the protagonists and the antagonists. There is no clear-cut area of good and bad either—everyone is judged on his own merits, and what you perceive as one or the other might change.
I loved everything about this book. The characters were very believable, and people you could care about. The evolving romance of Beth and Wrath definitely caught my interest from the beginning. And the love scenes are smokin’ hot! The only problem I have with this book is that it ended! The saving grace of that is that it’s just the first book in the series. I am so looking forward to the next one!