Series: The Black Dagger Brotherhood
Author: J.R. Ward
Narrator: Jim Fragione
Genre: Paranormal Romance
What's Doing....Hey, my brother? Those are just a few of the hilarious sayings that Ward created for her sexy as hell band of vampire warriors in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. Dark Lover is a very special book to us because it was our very first Adult Romance novel and my introduction into the wonder of Jim Fragione, who narrates the audiobook for the series. Coming from Twilight and Vampire Academy type books, I was completely blown away when I listened to Dark Lover and even more in love with the Romance novel genre because I had finally found a book that led to more "adult" topics and relationship issues, as well as something that really had some steam. Oh boy does this book have some steam! I found myself repeatedly checking to make sure no one could hear what I was listening to, and I'm sure I was quite red in the face a couple of times my boss came into my office (hee hee).
The first book features Wrath, King of the vampire race and leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood which is a group of the toughest, strongest, and best of the breed selected to fight against their sworn enemies known as lessors. The book begins with Wrath being approached by Darius, a member of the brotherhood, requesting Wrath to add his half-breed daughter in her transition to becoming a vampire because he is the oldest and the last pure blood vampire in the race's bloodline. Wrath being a mean, vicious son-of-a-bitch immediately says no, however when Darius is brutally killed in a car bomb, he feels obligated to honor his brother's final wishes and aid his daughter.
Beth is the heroine of the book and I loved her from the beginning. She has spunk, a strong sense of independence, and doesn't take Wrath's crap even when he uses his vampire features to frighten her. One of the things I liked most about Beth was her sense of optimism and her brutal honesty with both Wrath and herself about how she felt. Even when he confronts her or belittles her, Beth has no qualms about telling Wrath exactly as it is, even going so far as to admit she is ashamed of his power over her body.
While the deep sense of family and bonding that exist among the warriors does not bleed through in this first book, Ward does set the stage for later books where she spends more time focusing on the inter-relationships between the warriors and the king. One of the things that I liked most about this series is that the vampires featured are not your typical vampires and they don't really follow the same model as other vampire books. Yes, they will burn if they go out into the sun, however they do not feed on humans, they can eat food, and they only have to feed about once every couple of months. Added to the fact that they are not your ordinary vamps is the fact that they listen to rap music, drive cool as hell cars (with booming systems I might add), and they speak the street lingo! What more could a girl want? Well for the book to be read by the awesome and deep voiced Jim Fragione. I have never actually read a Black Dagger Brotherhoood book because I listened to the first one and just couldn't imagine continuing the series without the add of Fragione's voice. He breaths life into the characters and thus brings the books to life. So if you enjoy paranormal romance, like vampires, and would love to fall in love with the series, pick up a copy of the audiobook and let reality melt away. I'm giving this one 4 notes and 5 flames!