New American Library a division of Penguin Group
512 pages - ISBN 13: 9780451233165
In case you’ve been raised by wolves, or for some other reason have never read J.R.’s fabulous series this intro is for you, for her fans, well read it anyway. Welcome to Caldwell NY, home of The Black Dagger Brotherhood, ancient order of warriors bonded together to protect their species, oh you didn’t know. They’re vampires. Now don’t go picturing Béla Lugosi, these are modern day males right up to the head thumping rap music they prefer, and forget about the pale skin and slight frame, these guys are huge with a capital H and there’s nothing pale about them, except maybe the faces of the humans they unexpectedly meet.
Payne, twin of Vishous and daughter of the Scribe Virgin has suffered a horrible injury while sparring with Wrath, and her only hope is the very human Dr. Manny Manello. Manny has mourned Jane’s death for more than a year, but his life is about to do a 180 when she just appears to him, she has a request that is too bizarre to even consider, a request that will literally change his life forever. Manny and Payne have an instant and irrevocable reaction to each other, but sometimes lives are just too different to mesh and obstacles are too many to count.
Ms. Ward takes us kicking and screaming back to her world with this excellent next installment of her series, with her ubér-urban narrative that fits these men so well, mixed with the softly refined speak of the chosen and the everyday lingo of the rest of the gang of brothers and their posses. Her plot is as fantastic as her characters and one of the exceptional things about this series is the multi-layering of the tales. Yes this is Payne’s and Manny’s story, but in the midst of it she weaves other pertinent stories through it so we’re not just experiencing one tale but the continuation of some and the beginnings of others. Her characters will never cease to amaze me in their complexity, their vulnerability and their depth and Payne and Manny will not disappoint but will live up to every expectation. The love story is touching, is raw and it’s emotional. The love scenes are just as visceral as we’re used to, just as physical and intimate as ever. Another characteristic that I love about this series and about Ms. Ward is her unbiased and loving approach to a relationship that is not heterosexual, the way she treats it and the characters involved in it and I for one cannot wait for the culmination of this particular drama.
If you’ve lived under a rock, come out and meet the brothers here for the first time but don’t kid yourself into thinking you won’t be loading your cart with the rest of the series and for fans like me be prepared to do nothing for the entire length of the novel because this is one you cannot put down.
Ms. Ward you just keep getting better and better, thank you.
Visit her website here.