Saturday, May 22, 2010

Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Revealed (Book 4)

Butch is a middle aged ex-homicide detective who inadvertently hooks up with the Brotherhood. The thought of a human hanging out with, and living with the Black Dagger Brotherhood is unheard of. Most vampires who aren't in the Brotherhood don't even do that. But, Butch is different. He feels like he belongs, and his Brothers feel the same way.

Butch falls for Marissa, the vampire who Wrath used to feed from, but she doesn't seem to return his feelings. When Butch is taken by the Lessers, tortured, and is given a piece of the Omega's evil, no one knows if he'll survive. After Vishous finds him, he is taken to Marissa's brother, Havers - a vampire doctor. As soon as Marissa realizes Butch is there and is in really bad shape, she finds his room and stays with him till he heals.

During his stay at Havers', it is revealed that Marissa didn't even know Butch had come to see her before, and they confess their love for each other. Havers is appalled that his sister, a member of the vampire aristocracy, would fall for a human, and kicks her out of his home - an hour before sunrise (and we all know what sunlight does to vampires). Not knowing where else to go, she ends up at the Brotherhood's mansion.

Odd things start happening that make the Brothers question Butch's origin. Blood samples are taken and reviewed, and they find out that Butch is actually a cousin of Wrath's. (Butch's mom had an affair with a vampire, and Butch was the result.) Since most half-breeds who are going to transition do it around their 25th birthday, Vishous finds another way to start Butch's. Marissa is there to help him survive, and he becomes a full-fledged member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Up Next:  Android Karenina

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Awakened (Book 3)

Of all the Brothers, Zsadist is by far, the most terrifying. He was kidnapped when he was just an infant, and when his kidnapper died, he was sold as a blood slave. After spending more than a hundred years being violently raped and abused, his twin brother, Phury, finds and sets him free. As you can imagine those many years of torture left both physical and more emotional scars than any one person should be burdened with. He's angry and violent, hates to be touched, and has provided plenty of basis for the rumors swirling around about him.

In the second book of the series, Zsadist briefly meets Bella. Although he pushes her away and terrifies her during both of their meetings, he is devastated when she is kidnapped by the Lessers. In Lover Awakened, the Brotherhood is able to find where the Lessers are keeping Bella and come up with a plan to rescue her. After the rescue, the Brothers decide that it would be safest for her to stay with them while her family works on finding another safe house for her.

During this stay, the attraction between Zsadist and Bella grows, and the harder Z fights it, the more Bella wants him...until she has finally had enough. While they work on getting back on track, the Brotherhood suffers a crippling loss that throws them all into a tailspin.

Like the others in this series, it's an easy read that is similar to a soap opera.

Up Next:  Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Revealed (Book 4)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Eternal (Book 2)

The second installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series tells Rhage's story. Rhage is known to be the best fighter within the Brotherhood, the one with the least amount of impulse control, and the one with the most (anonymous and random) lovers. He's also the one that carries a curse cast upon him by the Scribe Virgin.

Then, there's Mary. A woman in her early 30's who finds out her own curse is back. As she prepares to deal with that, her life gets turned upside down when she meets a mute named John Matthew and finds out her friend and neighbor, Bella, is really a vampire.

As Rhage and Mary begin to fall for each other, they are forced to not only deal with their demons, but also come to terms with Mary's immortality. Rhage has a monster inside, and starts to push Mary away, worried for her safety. When they realize that she is the one person the monster won't hurt, they receive devastating news about Mary's health. Rhage is given the opportunity to save her, but that would mean not having her in his life.

The lessers are still continuing their war against the vampires, and their lastest victim is Bella. Zsadist vows to find her, bring her back, and make those responsible pay for their crime.

I really wasn't sure about this series after I had finished the first book. While J.R. Ward includes many layers to her stories, there really isn't a lot of depth. The Black Dagger Brotherhood is like a darker, adult version of the Twilight Saga - oddly entertaining and unexpectedly addicting!

Up Next: Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Awakened (Book 3)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cannery Row

The only John Steinbeck book I recall ever reading is Of Mice and Men during my sophomore year. At the time (like most high school students who are forced to read a book), I didn't appreciate Steinbeck's story telling abilities.

Cannery Row surprised me. There really isn't much of a plot. It's just a book about the residents of a small California town, who are all down on their luck. We meet a variety of characters who rely on each other in order to make a living. Deals are made (although both sides of the agreements are not always kept) and some illegal acts are overlooked, but it all works together to keep the town going.

I love how Mr. & Mrs. Malloy moved into an old boiler, then rented out the larger pipes as sleeping quarters for the cannery's workers, and I got a kick out of Mrs. Malloy wanting to buy and put up curtains in their home even though there were no windows. Then there's Mack, Gay, Hazel, and Eddie. They had me shaking my head and laughing - a lot.

I am really glad that I wasn't forced to read this book in school. I don't think I would have appreciated it nearly as much, which would have been a shame. This is a very enjoyable book, and is on my Recommended list.

Up Next: Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Eternal (Book 2)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Black Dagger Brotherhood: Dark Lover (Book 1)

Is there a genre called "Vampire Smut"?  If so, this book definitely falls into that category.  I'm hoping that the more I read this series, the more I like it.  It's not that I hated the book, but it's not one I'd spend money on (good thing my local library carries the series).

Dark Lover is one of those light, lusty reads that portrays the vampires as the good guys.  The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a group of 6 vampires that have very little (if any) human blood in them.  They have unconventional names that kind of make you wonder if those are their birth names, or names they've given themselves.  There's Wrath, Tohrment, Phury, Zsadist, Rhage, and Vishous. 

Wrath is the leader of this group, the only purebred vampire left, and he has a chip on his shoulder.  Before his transition, he watched the Lesseners (a group of vampire slayers) slaughter his parents and servants.  His only mission in life is to wipe out these slayers.  But when one of his most trusted soldiers is killed, he feels a duty to honor his fallen brother, and not just by seeking vengeance on those responsible for the death.  Wrath is given a letter asking him to watch over the lost brother's half-breed daughter in case she transistions.  (Did I mention that the daughter grew up in the Foster care system and has no idea her father is a vampire?)

While this book is not at all a difficult read, you do have to remember a few things since you are following several different stories throughout.  You not only follow Wrath and his brothers, but also a reporter, a cop, and the leader of the Lesseners.

It appears that the Black Dagger Brotherhood series has quite the following, and if you enjoy paranormal romances, this would be a good one for you.

Up Next:  John Steinbeck's "Cannery Row"