Opening Line: "Ah, hell, V, you're killing me."
LOVER ETERNAL is Rhage's story and oh man are we in for a treat. Continuing directly after DARK LOVER, we find The Black Dagger Brotherhood now living together in Darius's mansion. Wrath has stepped up to the throne with his Queen Beth by his side, as the battle with the Lessers continues.
One of the things I loved about the book is that we get to know all the brother's a whole lot better here, their unique personalities along with all their quirks, fears and flaws. The constant teasing and smart ass comments are hilarious and the bond between the men instills in us a true sense of family.
Rhage, as this books hero is a great character. With a boyish style of charm he's funny, sexy and fiercely loyal. Throw in the playboy model good looks and yes he's every woman's fantasy except for one small thing. Rhage has been cursed by the Scribe Virgin and now bears the mark of a dragon inside and out. The only way for him to keep the beast quiet is with violence or sex, and Rhage hates himself for it. Struggling each day to keep from harming those closest to him because once the beast gets out its so violent and unpredictable that even the Brothers fear for their lives.
Mary has been fighting a curse of her own and fears that the cancer which robbed her of her looks and youth may have returned. She is, in her own words nothing special, plain and past her prime with a body battered by chemotherapy. When she befriends a young mute boy named John Mathew her life changes forever. Bella, Mary's friend and neighbour recognizes the boy as one of her own, a pre-transitioned vampire and strangely baring the mark of a warrior. Acting as John Mathew's translator, Mary finds herself at the Brotherhood mansion where she meets Rhage. He is instantly attracted to her, coming on strong although she can't understand what he sees in her. On their first date Mary assumes he's being polite and just wants to be friends but as Rhage continues to pursue her she is thrown into the world of the paranormal.
For Rhage Mary is IT. Her voice soothes him and he finds her to be the most beautiful, interesting woman he's ever met, wanting her like no other before, but unfortunately his beast wants her too. After being told repeatedly to `scrub' Mary's memories and defying direct orders Rhage ultimately must pay the price for his insubordination and this is quite the scene as the Brother's are forced to perform a `rythe' (a ritual where the recipient is struck by a weapon without defending himself) However this turns out to be only the first of his many sacrifices for Mary.
Rhage and Mary's love story is well done, heartbreakingly sweet but also erotic as hell. As Mary attempts to `tame' the chained beast while Butch and V stand guard. I honestly didn't know if they were going to get there HEA until the last few pages and Rhage's final meeting with the Scribe Virgin contains an absolutely heart wrenching scene that kept me gasping as I know her enjoyment of sacrifice.
Throughout this story we have of course go back and forth to the Lessers who have set up a torture facility and a side plot develops which finds Bella irresistibly drawn to Zsadist. He of course pushes her away but not before allowing us a glimpse of softness within 'the cold one.' Phury warns her to leave him alone, explaining that his twin is "ruined not broken" but when the Lessers kidnap Bella's it's Zsadist who makes it his personal mission to find her. Setting up the premise for the next book in this fantastic series,LOVER AWAKENED and this story is not to be missed.
This series just gets better and better and if you like your paranormal romance than I can't recommend LOVER ETERNAL enough
My visual aid choices for Rhage, enjoy: