Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I’m not usually a fan of ‘dark’ and ‘vampires’, but I picked this book up because I saw “fans of Black Dagger Brotherhood will love this” on another book’s cover. Admittedly, I mistakenly thought that 1) reverse should be true as well; 2) if publishers bothered to put something on the front cover it should actually make sense. (The two books had absolutely nothing in common.)
I gave this three stars because there were a few points and moments (like the blindness and cat communication) that I actually liked, but overall this was not a very pleasant experience.
First, I made up this book to be scarier than it was for about 60% of it. This would be because it started very low. Murder, rape, prostitution, psychopaths, a thick layer of immorality on every side, and a gathering of tortured souls with very disturbing pasts. From the very beginning it is filled with too much malice and violence.
Second, there is something very unsavory and ‘underdone’ about this book’s writing and language. The extra ‘kind of’s in descriptions, the fact that Darius’s name is the only one that didn’t fit into the pattern of the Brotherhood like he didn’t belong from the beginning, the cheesiest ‘Mr. X’, the ‘awesome responsibility’, the dialogs that felt like they needed a few more edits… I kept stumbling over these, and the reading didn’t feel smooth or nice, especially in the beginning.
And then also the ‘street/gang’ talk cops and Brotherhood kept using and the whole rap music and ‘we’re so bad and badass’ tone done in a way that just wasn’t my cup of tea.
Then we get an unappreciated-as-an-individual extremely beautiful heroine and a super-strong, super-inhumanly-hot main hero. Skip the insta-romance and jump into insta-lust. And ‘You’re a vampire, Harry.’ cherry on top.
I’m not sure if my perception is screwed by the fact that I couldn’t bring myself to read through the ‘Mr. X’ parts because of whole cliché-ism and distastefulness of them and skipped most of them, but I also felt like the main character suddenly lost most of her personality and just turned into ‘perfect wife and queen that says and does only the right things’.
About the same time, the book lost most of its scarinesses and it became clear that nothing as terrible as I imagined was actually going to happen. Which is actually a plus, because I liked the ending more that the beginning. Just still not enough to like the book overall.
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Dark Lover by J.R. Ward