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Adult, Review / April 23, 2012
Lover Awakened by J.R. WardLover Awakened
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Date: August 2010
527 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
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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 bound 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.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her...

WARNING: SPOLERS FOR BOOK 2

Oh Zsadist… **sigh** I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this book (or Zsadist) justice in this review but I’m going to try!

Firstly, this one is now my new favourite BDB book. Everything that was good about the first two is even more so in Lover Awakened. The action, the romance, the friendships and journeys these characters go on. It all made for such an epic story.

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By: Alison
Review, Young Adult / March 15, 2012
Bloodrose by Andrea CremerBloodrose
Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade #3
Publisher: Atom
Date: February 2012
416 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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Is true love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is.

WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS FROM BOOKS 1 AND 2

Firstly, this was definitely an improvement on Wolfsbane. There’s no question about that. Wolfsbane was too slow with too little action. But Bloodrose was jam packed with action. Literally from start to finish. I would have preferred it if this had been spread out into Wolfsbane as well. But in any case, I enjoyed the action in this book.

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By: Alison
Adult, Review / March 8, 2012
Lover Eternal by J.R. WardLover Eternal
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Date: March 2011
461 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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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 bound 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 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 to 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...

This is the second book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. And, for me, another triumph by J.R. Ward.

This time we have the story of Rhage and Mary. Rhage was an interesting narrator. Given that he has been cursed with transforming into a dragon-like beast whenever he loses his cool, his inner torment was both interesting and heartfelt. He can’t control the beast within and doesn’t want it to hurt any of his brothers… Enter Mary. She’s human, she’s ill and she’s very emotionally fragile. Together they made an odd, yet very compatible pair. They seemed to complement each other somehow. They both needed help with their lives and found a way to do that for each other. When Mary enters Rhage’s life, she becomes a target for the lessers, or ‘slayers’ and so for the first time ever the brotherhood have to take a human into their custody to look after her.

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By: Alison
Adult, Review / January 7, 2012
Dark Lover by J.R. WardDark Lover
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Date: July 2007
416 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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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.

Well! I don’t know what I was expecting from this book but what I got certainly wasn’t it! From the title and some reviews I had read I had thought that this would be an adult vampire story where the main focus was on the relationship between the 2 main characters. I had also thought, being an adult vampire book it would have a few sex scenes thrown in for the sake of making it an adult book and that would be that. But I couldn’t have been more wrong!

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By: Alison
Review, Young Adult / November 25, 2011
Wolfsbane by Andrea CremerWolfsbane
Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade #2
Publisher: Atom
Date: July 2011
400 pages
Source: Purchased
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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You're an alpha, a leader. That's what we need. It's what we've always needed. When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she's certain her days are numbered. Then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save her pack - and the boy - she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? Will Shay stand by her side no matter what?Now in control of her destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials love can endure.

I’m sorry to say that I didn’t like this book as much as Nightshade. I think unfortunately, like so many ‘middle’ books in trilogies, it served only as a gap filler.

At the end of Nightshade, Calla and Shay have been rescued by the Searchers and the rest of her pack are held by the Keepers. In Wolfsbane, the Searchers want to form an alliance with the Guardians and retrieve the rest of Calla’s pack. They know about Shay’s past and what it means to be the Scion. Calla and Shay therefore join forces with them now that they know the Keepers lied to them about the Searchers. Calla desperately wants to save her pack and Ren from the Keepers but ultimately she also knows that the Searchers will be valuable allies in the long run even if getting used to their ways is difficult at first.

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By: Alison