by: J.R. Ward
Here is J.R. Ward’s latest addition to her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, which feature a group of warrior vampires with six-chambers heart and a weirdly accelerated puberty process (don’t ask.)
I wrote a post about this a little while back – this book is her first foray into the gay vampire romance story business. It’s – well, honestly I think most of her work is entertaining but dreadful. I mainly read them just to see how far Ward’ll push the envelope of the romance genre. I only read about 1/3 of the novel; generally I ignore any plot lines that don’t involve romantic interaction between the two main characters or whatever characters she’s prepping for the next novel. But everything is so over the top that it’s great fun. And she does write fairly hot scenes most of the time, with a good balance of character interactions and sex scenes – about 3-4/400-600 page book, though keep in mind I don’t read the entire book. (This is important in considering one’s steamy romance novels. Whatever your personal preference is, too little sex and you feel like you’re missing out and too much and you feel like there’s not enough significant character interaction to justify a happy ending.)
Honestly, if I paid attention to the books I would feel obligated to think about the fact that all the females are exceptionally nurturing and submissive, with the exception of one that’s somewhat well-written (she dies and comes back as a ghost though?) and one that basically has the male personality in a female body. All the men are testosterone poisoned territorial alphas who “prove” their love with big romantic gestures. (except a couple of the gay men, who are normal men). Seriously!
And the fact that these several hundred year old vampires refer to their shoes as “shitkickers”. And say things like “his hand ten and twoed on the steering wheel hard.” Please stop making verbs out of my nouns, world. Please. And when she referred to fantasizing about another person while masturbating as cheating on your significant other. And that the king seems to rule by threatening half of his people and ignoring the other half. And how love magically heals everything and calms the beast and the touch of the women fixes all the mens…
Okay. Well, suffice it to say that these books are highly entertaining as romance novels should be and great escapism, as they’re meant to be. And while they have a lot of problems with gender roles, it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying them! I really do enjoy seeing how outside of the mainstream she’ll get. Kudos to her for stepping outside of the box! If you’re into over the top vampire stories, you’ll enjoy these and I almost guarantee you’ll find whatever kind of tortured male/healing female story is your particular favorite. (My personal favorite is the literally tortured and abused by former female abuser/never known love. My psyche…Sigh.)
So, this is less of a book review and more of me rambling about this series. But whatever. Like the books? Hate them? Leave your thoughts in the comments!