Friday, March 21

Flashback Friday: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Flashback Friday is a weekly tradition started on Bookshelf Fantasies. It's focus is on showcasing a book from at least 5 years ago that holds a special place in your heart and on your shelf.

The year was 2005. It was the of year of Hurricane Katrina and the H5N1 strain of Avian Flu. Lance Armstrong wins a record seventh straight Tours de France, Million Dollar Baby took the Oscar for best picture and Matthew McConaughey was People's Sexiest Man Alive. Kelly Clarkson, 50 Cent and Gwen Stefani were all chart toppers for the year.


This book was originally published by Signet  in September of 2005. But has been translated into many languages and even was reprinted in 2014.

From the back of the book:
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood…

The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago. But when his most trusted fighter is killed—orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate—Wrath must put down his dagger and usher the beautiful female into another world.

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of the Brotherhood and blood frighten her. Yet his touch ignites a dawning new hunger—one that threatens to consume them both....

Why do I like the book so much that it has earned a spot on my keeper shelf? This was a book that my sister insisted that I read. I had it in my desk drawer at work for over 6 months before I finally took a chance and read it. I fell in love with the store almost immediately. It was raw and gritty, and I hadn't read anything like it before. Ward's take on Vampires was inventive and addictive. I fell immediately in love with the series. Below is one of my favorite scenes from the book.

The instant she appeared in the doorway, all talk ceased. Heads turned; eyes stared. Hard-core rap expanded to fill the silence, bass thumping, lyrics chanting.

My God. She'd never seen so many big men in leather before in her life.

She took a step backward just as Wrath shot to his feet from the head of the table. He came at her, looking intense. No doubt she'd interrupted some kind of sacred guy time.

She tried to think of something to say to him. He was probably going to want to play it cool in front of his brothers, do that whole I'm-a-tough-guy, this-broad-is-just-a—

Wrath wrapped his whole body around hers, putting his face in her hair.

"My leelan," he whispered in her ear. He ran his hands up and down her back. "My beautiful leelan." He pulled away and kissed her on the lips. His smile was tender as he smoothed her hair. Beth grinned. Evidently, her man didn't have a problem with public displays of affection. Good to know.

She tilted her head, looking around his shoulder.

And they were definitely in public. The men were gaping. Positively gaping.

She nearly laughed. Seeing a bunch of guys who looked like violent offenders sitting around a table set with silver and china was incongruous enough. But having them be so totally flabbergasted seemed downright absurd.

"You want to introduce me?" she said, nodding at the group.

Wrath put his arm around her shoulders, tucking her against him.

"This is the Black Dagger Brotherhood. My fellow war-riors. My brothers." He nodded to the blindingly handsome one. "Rhage, you know. Tohr also. The one with the goatee and the Sox hat is Vishous. The Rapunzel over there is Phury." Wrath's voice dropped to a snarl. "And Zsadist has already introduced himself."

The two she'd spent some time with smiled at her. The others nodded, except for the scarred one. He just stared.

That guy had a twin, she recalled. But she'd have been hard-pressed to pick out his real brother. Though the one with the absolutely delicious hair and the fantastic yellow eyes did look a little like him.

"Gentlemen," Wrath said. "This is Beth."

And then he switched over to that language she didn't understand.

When he ended, there was an audible gasp.

He looked down, smiling. "Do you need anything? Are you hungry, leelan?"

She put her hand on her stomach. "You know, I am. I have the weirdest craving for bacon and chocolate. Go figure."

"I will serve you. Sit down." He indicated his chair and then headed off through a swinging door. She eyed the men.

Great. Here she was, naked in a bathrobe, alone with well over a thousand pounds of vampire. Pulling off the nonchalant thing was impossible, so she just headed over for Wrath's seat. She didn't get far.

There was a loud scraping noise as five chairs slid backward. The men rose as a unit. And started coming for her.

She looked to the faces of the two she knew, but their grave expressions weren't encouraging.

And then the knives came out.

With a metallic whoosh, five black daggers were unsheathed.

She backed up frantically, hands in front of herself. She slammed into a wall and was about to scream for Wrath when the men dropped down on bended knees in a circle around her. In a single movement, as if they'd been choreographed, they buried the daggers into the floor at her feet and bowed their heads. The great whoomp of sound as steel met wood seemed both a pledge and a battle cry.

The handles of the knives vibrated.

The rap music continued to pound.

They seemed to be waiting for some kind of response from her.

"Umm. Thank you," she said.

The men's heads lifted. Etched into the harsh planes of their faces was total reverence. Even the scarred one had a respectful expression.

And then Wrath came in with a squeeze bottle of Hershey's syrup.

"Bacon's on the way." He smiled. "Hey, they like you."

"And thank God for that," she murmured, looking down at the daggers.

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

Available at the following retailers:
Amazon     BN     Kobo     ARe


  1. Great Flashback Friday pick! I have a couple of friends who swear by this series -- I have to admit that I've never read any of the books, but I keep hearing good things!

    Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies

    1. I have to admit that I drug my feet reading this one as well. I had recently read a really dark vampire book and thought this was another in that genre. It is dark, but its really full of Sexy Alphaness. Once I finally started it, I was absolutely hooked.

  2. Loveeee this book! Need to catch up on the series though.

    1. I am so psyched waiting for The King coming soon. Another book about Wrath and Beth, it should be AWESOME!!

  3. I really enjoyed this one too! But my favorite will always be Zsadists book. *swoon* I've read that one so many times now lol

    1. Have you read Qhuinn's book, Lover at Last? I have never been a fan of M/M love scenes, but O.M.G! That book was so awesome I couldn't believe it.

    2. No I quit the series with the one before that. I've not really enjoyed all of the secondary warriors and really didn't like Qhuinn as a character. I love the early ones in the series but with the writing style change and feeling meh over the younger generation I just haven't felt like shelling out that kind of cash for each book. Maybe one day I'll give them a go again.

    3. I really loved reading about Payne, Vishous' sister. Book 10, Lover Reborn was about Tohrment and really felt like a reboot of the series. We have the new villain introduced in Lover Unleashed and that is a new story line that is being fleshed out and filled in. Personally I can't wait to read The King and get back to Wrath in the next book. There are still so many holes in the backstory that I want filled in. :)


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