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Dark Lover - J.R. Ward I have finally read my first BDB book and, man, did it please me to bits! I hesitated starting this series because

1. I was intimidated that there were so many books in the series out already. Knowing myself as I do, if I pick up a series, I tend to consume it without coming up for air. It meant that I'd be devoting my time and emotions to the series without reading anything else. And I like my variety. I usually alternate genres or subjects to fairly divide my attention to the books in my TBR list. I just wasn't sure if I was ready for a monogamous commitment.

2.Vampires. I have nothing against them per se. I do find them sexy! But in recent years, they've just been so overly used!

3.The HYPE. There were tons of raving reviews about this series, particularly from well-read reviewers of the romance genre. My problem is I still can't pinpoint what it is about a book that makes or breaks it for me. There were a handful of recent bestsellers and highly rated books here on Goodreads that didn't live up to my expectations and I didn't want this series to be one of those. I just didn't want to be disappointed.

But then, the latest book in the series just came out and everyone I follow on Goodreads and several members of one of the book clubs I belong to were buzzing with excitement. I figured it was high time I pop by BDB cherry and just see for myself what the hoopla is all about. And well... [b:Dark Lover|42899|Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1)|J.R. Ward|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1309209351s/42899.jpg|2158128] did NOT disappoint!

I didn't expect to like it as much as I did, seeing that the story didn't seem that original to me. Basically, there's this fraternity of vampire warriors who protect their race from a group of soulless former humans who call themselves Lessers. This enemy seeks to exterminate the vampire species with the guidance of a leader and the governance of a being called the Omega. The vampires, on the other hand, have a spiritual leader-type called the Scribe Virgin, but she is by no means, their leader. Unfortunately for their kind, their king by birthright, Wrath, has refused to relinquish his throne and lead. He is presently satisfied being the leader of the Brotherhood. However, things change when one of their brothers was murdered but not before asking Wrath for a huge favor. That is, to look after his half-human daughter, Beth, and protect her especially since she is unaware of her true being and she is nearing the period of her transition into a vampire, which can be a dangerous time for their kind. This is where things become complicated and what these people (or non-people) once held true are now questioned and tested.

Okay, maybe unoriginal wouldn't be the accurate word to describe the plot. There were elements and concepts that were unique to me. I guess it was more predictable rather than unoriginal, but there were still scenes and twists that took me by surprise. First of all, Butch! I was ready to hate the guy and wish his death before the book was over but I was just pleasantly surprised by the turn of events. Second, I loved the loyalty of, not just the Brotherhood, but the vampire race in general. When Havers attempted treason against Wrath he did it out of love and loyalty to his sister, and I found that really touching. And omigod! Zsadist! He is probably the most mentioned Brother when I hear of this series and he really intrigued me right off the bat. I can't wait to hear about his story and I hope he gets a really good match. I am such a sucker for the broken and I want nothing more than for him to have his happy ending. (Omigod, 1 book down and I'm already so emotionally attached to him. His book will wreck me, I just know it.) Lastly, I was drawn to the fact that the member of the hood were all imperfect in their own ways. Wrath's vision problem? I did NOT see that coming.

I also loved the substory of Marissa. I'm glad the author didn't create a bitchy competition and a love triangle to start the series. That might have turned me off. I really empathized for Marissa and I admired her to pieces. I probably like her more than Beth, hehe. Oh, and I loved Fritz! Seriously, he's the best butler ever!

There were some unrealistic moments and quite a number of cheesy ones but oh well, a little cheese can't hurt, right? It also wasn't as dark and as intense as I had expected it to be. It's not necessarily a bad thing but I also want those rip-my-heart moments. Although I did feel a heart tug when Beth took care of Rhage and Wrath was so touched with her actions. And call me sick but I actually felt bad for Mr. X (I told you I have a thing for the mentally unstable). I think he just really wants his boss' approval! He actually hasn't done anything cruel enough for me to loathe him yet so we'll see how I feel about him as the series progress.

Overall I found this book to be a great pilot. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I hope this becomes an addiction! I need a new series to obsess over!