Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward The second installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series certainly did not disappoint me. I was enthralled and captivated from page one and wore my emotions for the world to see. One of Ward's strengths in writing is her ability to weave together the lives of many characters, giving each of the depth and a fascinating personality. The author's attention to detail and layers within this piece make it a very accomplished piece of work, as well as a truly beautiful story. She even manages to work in the roots for her third book throughout the second half of Lover Eternal in ways that only contribute to this story, instead of over-complicating it.

Lover Eternal is the story of Mary Luce and Rhage. A human woman and a warrior vampire. Circumstances puts Mary in Rhage's path, he is immediately struck by her bravery, strength and beauty. I didn't have any trouble understanding or sympathizing with these two, and through the course of the book I shed tears for both of them.

Rhage is exotic, tortured, and a wholly sympathetic warrior who is emotional without being a Nancy’s boy; extremely dangerous without being a sociopath. Also known as Hollywood to the Brothers he was given a nasty curse by the Scribe Virgin. At anytime he is unable to control himself, he becomes his curse. Although the curse is useful in battle, Rhage controls it by having lots of empty, meaningless sex with which takes a toll on him in his private grief.

Here, both wearily carry inner demons: his will kill anything and anyone around him; hers, while lethal only to herself, is killing her nonetheless. As a result, they have more obstacles to overcome, more territory to give up and at greater cost, although they are very much equals and each provides the pieces the other is missing.

This novel was about sacrifices, redemption, love, loyalty, and miracles. Not to mention some good ole' lesser ass kicking thrown in for good measure. My heart broke when Rhage found redemption in the very person he was trying to save. Because, in order for Rhage to find redemption, he must make the ultimate sacrifice to the Scribe Virgin.