JR Ward continues her super-sexy Black Dagger Brotherhood series, with the love story of Rhage and Mary. Rhage is warrior vampire, who has pledged his life to protect the civilians of his species from soulless hunters called Lessers. He is suave and gorgeous, but carries a curse. When he is overcome by emotion or excess, he turns into a raging beast. He can stave off the change with frequent fighting and sex. But that keeps him from making a real emotional connection with a woman.
Mary is human. When she takes the young John Matthew under her wing, neither she nor he know that he is about to transition into a vampire. Neither knows such a thing exists. But when Mary introduces John to her vampire neighbor Bella, the lovely civilian vamp calls the Brotherhood to take the young man under their wing. John can’t speak, so Mary goes with him to meet the brothers and serves as in interpreter. It there she meets Rhage –and he becomes entranced by the sound of her voice.
Rhage worms his way into Mary’s life and the two go on a few dates. He is completely captivated by her but worries what his beast will do to her if he loses control. Circumstances force Mary under Rhage’s protection, which draws the two of them closer and closer. But there are serious obstacles in their way, like the beast, the Lessers, Mary’s ignorance of the vampire world, and the recurrence of the illness she is fighting. It’s lovely to watch this obscenely beautiful man fall so completely in love with an ordinary woman. (Though I must acknowledge, I don’t know if I could forgive him as she did for his one flagrant indiscretion. I felt kicked in the stomach just reading it. Not only did she not leave him, she stuck around and boffed him instead.)
As with all books in this series, Ward does a great job weaving the other brothers into the story. We have the set-up firmly in place for Z’s story, which is my absolute favorite in the series. I love, love, love this series. And good gravy, Ward writes some steamy sex.