Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1) By J.R. Ward Review
Set in present day Caldwell, New York ‘Dark Lover’ is the first in a series of novels about the Black Dagger Brotherhood. The Black Dagger Brotherhood is an ancient order of warrior vampires who defend their race against the lessers, vampire slayers who have been recruited by the Omega (an evil supernatural being who wants all vampires destroyed.) There are six warriors in the Brotherhood and these warriors are all that stand between the civilian vampires and the extinction of the vampire species at the hands of the lessers.
In the Black Dagger novels the vampires are a separate species to humans, to be a vampire you have to have been born carrying vampire blood. At the start of their lives vampires seem like humans, they have no special strengths and can go out in daylight but they go through a dangerous transition to vampire hood in their mid twenties. Although vampires can drink the blood of humans it has little nutritional value for them and they need to drink the blood of other vampires (of the opposite sex) to survive. A human bitten or drained by a vampire doesn’t rise as a vampire - they are just dead.
The vampires are few in number due to the legions of slayers hunting them down over the centuries, high infant mortality and the rigors of the transition to vampire hood that not all vampires survive.
The story focuses on the romance between Wrath, the only pure blooded vampire left on the planet, and Beth a human/vampire half breed who is about to undergo the transition from human to vampire but isn’t aware of her vampire heritage.
There are a lot of obstacles in their path. Wrath hates humans and doesn’t want a mate. Beth finds it hard to believe in her vampire heritage and doesn’t want to need Wrath. That would make their relationship difficult enough without them being the prime target for the lessers who are hatching a new strategy for wiping the vampires off the face of the earth.