Black Dagger Brotherhood Summer: Thoughts on Dark Lover
During Black Dagger Brotherhood Summer I revisit the BDB books I read a year ago, read the ones I haven’t yet, and provide some cool guest posts and giveaways.
Instead of doing one of my (admittedly) rigidly structured reviews for the BDB books, I’m just going to ramble a bit about them.
My first encounter with the BDB books was through Goodreads. I’m a member of a lot of paranormal romance and urban fantasy groups, and the BDB books are often recommended for paranormal readers. I’m usually more of an urban fantasy reader, but I thought I’d try out those books I heard so many people raving about. This was in June 2011.
In quick succession, I read the first three BDB books. I’d recently graduated from high school (damn, I’m getting old), and summer was my time to read. I devoured them. I can still remember how I read the third book, Lover Awakened, in front of our tent in Italy. But as it always does, summer came to an end, and so did my free reading time. During the first months of university I barely had time to read, and I forgot about those leather-clad brothers.
Fast-forward three years. The box set of the first six BDB books has been on my wishlist for years, and on my birthday this year I finally got it. Almost exactly three years after I first read the books, I’m rereading them. I totally forgot why I enjoyed these books – was it just my teenage self fascinated with hot vampire loving, or was it more? After rereading Dark Lover, I find out: I still love these books just as much – and I have no idea why.
They’re not my usual genre. I do enjoy vampire stories, but I’m definitely not very much into romance. Most romance books bore my to death (sorry) and I just can’t make myself to care about their push and pulling around. Neither am I much into macho stuff. All of which the BDB books do have: they’re lovey dovey stories with guys exhaling testosterone built like body builders. They call their women “females” and once they have their eyes on you, you will be “theirs”. They listen to hard core rap and casually talk about killing humans. None of which would qualify them in any way as “my type”.
Feminism aside, there are plenty of problems with the world. It has often been called classist, elitist, and I personally would like to add that the vampire – human relationship is also kind of racist. Humans are to be used, and killed when they’re in the way. Plenty of people have wrote about these issues in better ways than I ever could, so I’m not going further into that here.
There are two factors that can explain my enjoyment of Dark Lover. First of all, all male alpha-ness and killing aside, the core of these books is super cute romance. All brothers are big wussies underneath all that aggression, and all they want is to find their mate. They’re often very contradictory in their ways of seducing said mate, but in the end they’re big teddy-bears. They’re always there for their loved ones. The second factor is that they’re such a close group of friends. I love all the banter between the brothers and moments of bonding. I really appreciate that Ward manages to keep them into character, yet lets them talk about their feelings in a non-weepy way. It’s done in a very realistic way that I can imagine guys actually talk like.
Although Wrath isn’t my favourite character, Beth totally makes this story for me. She knows when to let Wrath do his vamp protectiveness thing, but she also knows when to say no. It helps that she’s also a very nice person, and she fits perfectly within the Brotherhood. I’m really looking forward to see more glimpses of her in books to come.