Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
**Please note, this review assumes you’ve read the first BDB book, Dark Lover. If you haven’t, please check out our review here.**
The second Black Dagger Brotherhood novel, Lover Eternal, focuses on Rhage. He’s the one all the brothers call Hollywood. He has that leading man look with golden locks. (I picture him as a much bigger — they’re vampire warriors, after all — Brad Pitt from the ’90s.) He also has quite the reputation with the ladies. It turns out his love ’em and leave ’em M.O. is more out of necessity than desire. Rhage fights a curse that turns our boy into a vicious beast. Fighting and sex are his only ways to sate the creature’s needs.
Rhage meets Mary. She’s sweet, has battled cancer and volunteers at a suicide prevention hotline. And she’s not interested in the vampire in their first encounter. At all. Women are always after him, so the rejection only makes Rhage curious. She fights his attempts to charm her; she sees it as pity. Mary thinks a guy like that shouldn’t be interested in a plain woman who stresses about medical tests.
The lessers (vampire slayers) may see Mary as a way to get to the Brotherhood. So, despite her protests, Rhage stays at her side to protect her.
The tension in Lover Eternal is wrought with the self-conscious natures of Mary and Rhage. Her accidental insults and his controlled sexuality bode frustration because as a reader one knows how much they want to be together, even though Mary is human. (The aggravation at the two is worth it, though. Really.)
Expect Rhage to make huge sacrifices for Mary and hope she’ll let her walls come down for him. Also, this time out we get a cliffhanger at the end which points clearly to who will be featured in the third book. Though the main focus of Lover Eternal is on Rhage and Mary’s story, we still keep tabs on the other brothers and are introduced to a few new characters who will be pivotal farther down the road.