Book Review: J. R. Ward’s Dark Lover

Posted March 9, 2011 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: J. R. Ward’s Dark Lover

Dark Lover


J.R. Ward

paranormal romance in Paperback edition that was published by Penguin on September 6, 2005 and has 393 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, Covet, Crave, Lover Revealed, Lover Unbound, Lover Enshrined, Lover Avenged, Lover Mine, Lover Unleashed, Envy, An Irresistible Bachelor, His Comfort and Joy, Lover Reborn, Rapture, Lover at Last, Possession, The King, The Shadows, The Bourbon Kings, Blood Kiss, The Beast, Blood Vow, The Chosen, Blood Fury

First in the Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal romance series based in Caldwell, New York.

In 2006, Dark Lover won the All About Romance Annual Reader Poll for Best Alt Reality/Paranormal and the DABWAHA Romance Tournament for Best Paranormal: Vampires, Werewolves, and the Supernatural; in 2005, it was nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Vampire Romance.

My Take

Dark Lover is a new twist on vampire culture in that vampires can only feed on another vampire for true sustenance. In this opening story, we’re introduced to a group of vampire warriors — try not to giggle at the names now — Wrath, Vishous, Phury, Zsadist, Darius (where did this one come from?), Tohrment, and Rhage.

Wrath is the only one of them who is a pure-blood vampire and is supposed to be the king, but he’s not happy with the idea so he’s been avoiding it to the detriment of the vampires as a whole. There’ll be a sea change for Wrath on being king as well as his decision to train the Brotherhood with a great deal more precision. Life is just going to get more interesting.

I am looking forward to reading the next in the series, Lover Eternal. I like the characters in spite of their names.

The Story

Beth is beaten and almost raped the night her father dies. A father who never told his daughter of her heritage, and now Wrath must step up and reveal the world hidden within the human one of Caldwell, New York.

The Characters

Beth Randall is a reporter at the Caldwell Courier Journal and has friends in the police department.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is…
…a band of six vampire warriors (I think there’s a height requirement of at least 6’4″ for these handsome, extremely well-developed, black leather-wearing vampires lethal with fighting skills) who protect their people against the lessers. They’re led by Wrath, the Blind King. The rest include Vishous who gets visions and has a very lethal, tattooed right hand, which he keeps safe in a glove; Phury is known for his gorgeous hair and vow of celibacy who is addicted to a street drug known as red smoke; his twin, Zsadist, was rescued by Phury from being a blood and sex slave over a hundred years ago — Zsadist is feared even amongst the brothers for his sadistic approach to all, but especially toward women. Z’s cruelty is particularly aimed at himself; Darius is of Wrath’s father’s generation and one of his advisors; and, Rhage, a.k.a., “Hollywood” for how incredibly beautiful he is. Tohrment alone does not live on the estate and is happily married to Wellsie who is pregnant.

Marissa is the very genteel lady who has been betrothed to Wrath for centuries, and Wrath has avoided her most of that time. Her brother, Haver, is a doctor, researching constantly as he cares for the medical needs of the vampire community.

Caldwell PD
Detective Butch O’Neal is particularly unhappy about Riddle’s actions. There’s another, fellow policeman concerned about Butch’s whereabouts.

Billy Riddle is a young thug whose senator father is always rescuing him from his actions.

The Lessening Society is…
…the vampires’ main enemy. A group of men, lessers, who give up their souls and their names to the Omega, a godlike being from another plane of existence, in return for material support as they hunt down the vampires. The psychotic Mr. X is the leader of the society on this plane.

The Cover

I like the cover — it’s subtle with a gorgeous tattoo.