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review 2016-12-27 00:00
Lover Eternal
Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward 3.5 stars

I liked this book better than book one. I'm liking getting to know everyone and how they interact with each other. The romance isn't my favorite, but I really like how the brotherhood are so connected. I'm interested in finding out more about The Scribe Virgin and The Omega and seeing where the series storyline goes. All the mythology details make me definitely want to continue the series.
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review 2016-09-08 15:17
Lover Eternal By J.R. Ward
Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward

I really like Rhage. He stood out from the rest of the Brotherhood in book one, and I was excited to see his story come so soon in the series. He's a cursed vampire - cursed with an uncontrollable beast that is triggered by extreme emotions (paid, anger, lust). And once the beast is released, he only goes away after destroying (and eating - ew) everything around it.

As a human, Mary is a bit shocked when she is dragged into the vampire world through a young man that she meets when he calls the Suicide Hotline she volunteers at. This boy is something special, and I have some strong suspicions he's a result of something from the first book, but I didn't find out and I think I may be waiting awhile for his story. But he plays a fairly prominent role in Lover Eternal and makes a great character. Anyway, Mary, she's an interesting study in opposites. She's a strong woman, but her illness makes her weak. She's incredibly intelligent, but she finds herself immersed in a world where she has everything to learn.

Her and Rhage have an interesting start to their relationship as he is ordered to erase himself from her mind. But there is something about the way she speaks that Rhage needs to have. I love that something so simple as the sound of her voice is what initially draws him to her, not her looks, or having to rescue her, it was a great way to make their start different than what I usually see out there.

We get to see a lot of the Brotherhood and a few of the characters from book one still pop up and I love being able to see the whole group in both books. The Lessers are still on the hunt and looking for a fight and we are introduced to a new civilian, Bella, that a friend of Mary's that seems to have more of her story to tell.

A great second book, but I feel the Mary and Rhage's solution was a little contrived. It felt like Ward had written herself into a corner and used the "but then the rules changed" option instead of playing within what she had already written.

Source: www.bittenbyromance.com/2016/09/lover-eternal-by-jr-ward.html
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-05-05 15:00
Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

 

 

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

 

Goodreads Summary:

"In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by a deadly beast, Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He's the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage's protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage's intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves..."

 

Overall Thoughts:

 

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward was an enchanting read. The idea to read this series started when I was watching Kassidy Voinche's book review of the first two novels in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series; Dark Lover and Lover Eternal. After listening to the review I immediately looked up the series on Goodreads. The key words that I took from it were: vampires, hot, steamy, and sexy. This was just what I was looking for. I've never been a fan of contemporary romance due to for some reason not being able to get into it at all. Every time I've started a contemporary romance I have set in down after a few chapters from boredom. However, adult romance I have found to be extremely entertaining. I love the darker adult romances...and better yet a paranormal romance makes it that much more enjoyable for me. I don't think I'll grow out of the paranormal genre for a long time because I love romance with a twist. Normal romance bores me most of the time and I love a romance with a little something extra.

I read Dark Lover a few months ago and I loved it. I was in a book hangover and didn't know what was going to get me back into reading. Once I thought of the next book in the series I knew it was perfect. I listened to the first book as an audio book so I knew I wanted to experience the book the same way. As soon as I started the book I knew it was just what I needed. Of course right once I got the the part where you knew Mary and Rhage were going to meet I had to go to work.  At that point my feelings were:

description I wanted to keep listening to this book so badly. Of course it had to be right before the two main characters were going to meet. Fortunately, as soon as I got home I kept listening and listening all the way to 2 in the morning. The next day I didn't have to work which turned out great because I was able to continue listening to the book. I listened to it all day while I got some laundry and dishes done. Then I got to the scenes in the park, which is the beginning of one of my favorite parts of the book, and I was like: description All the way through Rhage and Mary going back to her house and him spending the night I loved. YES I enjoyed all scenes between the two; but, like all books there are always parts that you enjoy even more. Than I got to the part where Rhage turns in front of Mary. description I was so excited when Mary finally saw Rhage in his cursed form, which is a dragon. I had been waiting for this moment for so long while listening to the audio book.  I knew it would happen at some point but I was so happy when it finally did.  I loved the way it happened also.

 

Mary runs away and Rhage comes to Bella's house to find her.  Only when Rhage goes to take Mary home there are lessers waiting for them. Rhage turns into the dragon to protect her and so on.  

Then I got to the end of the book. I was so bummed because I enjoyed the book so much I wanted more.  I wanted so much more of Rhage and Mary, but at the same time the book was wrapped up so nicely I was happy with the ending.  Although I had many emotions, the one that overpowered was:description

 

Characters:

 

 

Mary: Our lead female of the novel I enjoyed. She is struggling with an illness and at the same time is swept away by an eternal vampire whom is beyond her wildest dreams. Although at times I found her to be slightly annoying I could understand why she acted the way she did. What would you do if you knew you weren't going to live much longer. I also enjoyed the journey of Mary's personal growth throughout the book. Mary at the begging is a much weaker character than she is towards the end in my opinion.

Rhage: Our lead male I loved. Rhage is also struggling with personal issues as is Mary. However, Rhage has a much more dangerous problem than Mary. Rhage has a curse that turns him into a dragon. I never found myself annoyed by the character at any points in the book. The character makes a lot of personal sacrifices for Mary because he loves her and wants to protect her. I love a character who has undying love towards another. Especially when it is coming from a man.

Bella: Mary's best friend and neighbor is a secondary character in this novel, who ends up becoming the lead of the third novel and has her own story line. I kept picturing Bella as Elena from The Vampire Diaries, at least the TV show. I would love to have a friend/neighbor like Bella. She is a fun character to get to know.

  

 

Would I recommend this book to others?

If you are an individual like myself who loves; paranormal, supernatural, at times erotic, adult romance reads than this is definitely the book for you.  This book is the second book in the series and as of now my favorite. I have read the first three books in the series and Rhage and Mary's love story is my personal favorite.  

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review 2016-03-20 20:02
Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward
Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward

Note: This is Book 2 in the series but stands pretty well on it’s own. There are a handful of scenes that are enhanced by having read Book 1 (Dark Lover) first.

This modern-day vampire romance centers on Rhage, a warrior in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Contained within him is a beast and occasionally Rhage must let that beast out. Thankfully there are evil-doing Lessers (lower-caste vampires) that need taking out. Then he meets Mary Luce and he finds himself wanting something more out of life. Mary will be the catalyst for change, and not just change for Rhage.

I was luke warm about Book 1 but I hear that this series gets better and better. The female characters started off with more detail than in Book 1. Mary works at a law firm, volunteers at a suicide hot line, has a battle with cancer, and a bit more. She comes into the story with a full life and depth. However, once she meets Rhage and her hormones kick in, most of that depth goes out the window. As with Book 1, the main female character gives up her life to be with her vampire lover, however Mary does sigh over it once or twice. Bella is a secondary character and Mary’s neighbor. She serves as a source of info to the reader about vampire society. However, we learn very little about her, so she’s a one-dimensional character. Also, the ladies spend quite a bit of time cringing over this or that, including the mere sight of weapons. Sigh.

The most interesting character in this book was John, a young vampire. However, he doesn’t know what he is and he’s use to staying away from people in general to protect himself. This book definitely gives more info on the vampire caste system and how they interact with one another, along with how things have changed over the years. There are non-warrior vampires that do no harm to humans, meanwhile the Lessers have given up their heart and soul for near-immortality and do plenty of harm when they can get away with it. Then there are the women that serve the Scribe Virgin. I really enjoyed learning about all these different types of vampires as John was learning about his origins.

So Rhage is the big, gorgeous, muscly warrior and main love interest in this book. Prior to meeting Mary, he used sex as a way to let off some steam and keep his inner beast in check. He’d turn on his vampire mojo to get a woman interested, ramping up her libido while removing her inhibitions, have some sexy times with her, and then wipe her memory clean of the encounter. Does this sound like the vampire version of a date rape drug to anyone else? So this is pretty standard behavior for some the vampire warriors and totally acceptable to the Brotherhood. Yeah. I think the Brotherhood needs a full weekend seminar on what constitutes sexual assault.

I found it hard to root for Rhage and hope he had a good outcome. I think this is why I didn’t become totally engrossed in the story. I definitely connected with Mary because she has all this interesting stuff going on; she’s got depth. Meanwhile, Rhage has that man child thing that all the Brothers seem to suffer from. For instance, he’s been alive for hundreds of years but has never had a female friend. I can suspend my disbelief over vampires but not over the main character’s lack of experience.

The naughty bits were long in coming. We had plenty of teasers leading up to the coupling, which was steamy and sweet. The sex scenes become a bit more robust as the story continues.

I will be continuing on with the series as I heard Book 3 is where things get really good. The vampire society and it’s history are very intriguing. Also, I want to know what happens with John.

The Narration: Jim Frangione did another good job. I’ve really become fond of his voice for this series. When an individual male character is talking or doing the inner monologue thing, the voices are distinct. However, when a group of the guys get together and are chatting back and forth, the distinctness disappears. 

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review 2016-03-20 03:48
Love Tames the Beast
Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward

This definitely gets five stars this time around. JR Ward wrote her own version of beauty and the beast but with some important changes. The beauty is the beast and the heroine is a 'Plain Jane' in her own eyes. I loved how hard Rhage fell for Mary. He heard her voice and dropped like a ton of bricks. His steadfast love for her throughout this book was so appealing. Mary didn't want to believe that she could have a man who loved her that way, not with all the loss in her past, and the loss sure to come. She didn't know how to live in the day. Rhage had learned the hard way to temper himself and to show self-control, and along comes the one female who makes that even harder than it's ever been.

The Beast itself was such an interesting idea to the story, and risky. I mean, you don't think of that outside of high fantasy, but it's such an integral part of Rhage's story and the way it's written sells itself. I love the Brotherhood books, always will, and it was such a treat to go back and revisit one of the early stories. I didn't really have time for a reread, but I had to do it, and boy and I am glad I did. I will end up rereading through Lover Mine, I think. Not a hardship for me, since I love those books. It was so much fun going back and seeing how the original brothers: Wrath, Rhage, Vishous, Tohr, Phury and Zsadist expand their circle. Zsadist as before got my attention and stole my heart and had me on a high as I saw the genesis of his story and where it goes (he stole the book away from poor Rhage the first go around, to be honest). Butch makes me sigh (what a guy), Vishous is so fascinating and has this wow factor, and Phury, oh my darling Phury. And let's not even talk about how much I love John Matthew. Okay, let's. I adore him so much. My heart was breaking for JM as an abandoned pre-trans. I wanted to hug him so bad. I'm glad he found the Brotherhood. My heart is wrenched thinking about all the anguish he is soon to face, but happy that he will find his mate in future books as well. I realize how much I under-appreciated Rhage. He really is a lovely guy (on the inside). What he was in the past, he's learned the hard way, wasn't the best he could be, so when Mary comes along, he grabs at her with both hands (even though he has logical fears that his curse could hurt her and keeps a distance as much as he can).

Mary, wow, what a woman. What she's gone through. First nursing her dying mother, and then herself facing an illness that robbed her of so much, even her hope and faith. When Rhage comes along, she doesn't have anything left to believe that a gorgeous guy like that could want to be with her. I had forgotten how low her confidence was in her appearance. It was hurtful to see that, but the fact that Rhage was all about her (she was it for him, sigh) really compensates for that. I can certainly understand. While most of us aren't ugly, we'd think we were on a Candid Camera show if a gorgeous guy like Rhage showed up and was intensely interested in us too. Let's be honest. So the fact that she pushes him away for a significant part of the book I felt was understandable.

The Lesser storyline has not ever been my favorite, but it feels more solid than it does later on in the series, more thought-provoking. While not my choice of villain, it works for this story. It is the bane of the vampire species and the reason why the Brotherhood exists.

I can see that these characters are real for Ward. Because she believes in them, they feel so real to me. I loved the thoughtful way she has written this story, with a lot of pop culture, but deep true things about humanity and the feelings that are universal to the human existence. Who would have thought that a story about vampires and other so-called mythical things could be so authentic. They are treasured characters to people who consider themselves Black Dagger Brotherhood fans, flaws and all. I feel like I've gone through a family album with this reread.

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