J. R. WARD
Paranormal Romance Fiction
Sensuality Rating: Sexy
Available April 2009
Rating: 5 Enchantments
Rehvenge is an attentive son, a protective brother, a member of the Glymera and an exceptionally shrewd businessman. He wears his purple eyes and mohawk like a weapon and does not hesitate to make an example of people who cut into his business. His club is the hottest place in town and the women who solicit there are very well cared for. He is a drug dealer extraordinaire whose personal addiction is literally a matter of life and death. When a member of the aristocracy thinks Rehvenge makes the perfect pawn, he couldn’t be any more wrong. Rehv is ever the opportunist, although never at the expense of his family. And there’s the small matter of the princess who blackmails him with a secret that could bring the whole house of cards tumbling down.
Once upon a time Ehlena belonged to the beautiful world of the Glymera. An aristocrat by birth until an unfortunate change of circumstance saw her family lose their wealth, status, friends and home. These days she lives very modestly on the income she earns as a nurse. Her father’s illness leaves very little time to socialise and, from habit, she maintains a protective air of aloofness. Her contact with Rehvenge to date has been minimal, that of patient and nurse, until one day his conversation forces her to notice him as a man.
Secrets have a power, and Rehvenge’s secrets are a little bit different than those belonging to anyone else. They have the power to hurt his mother and sister, see his family cast from their home and have him imprisoned for the rest of his life. Not all as a result of his own actions. Up till now Rehv has kept his distance from the Brotherhood, in spite of his sister having married one of their warriors. His secrets cannot help in the war against those that would slay their kind, otherwise known as the Lessening Society. When members of the aristocracy seek him out as a possible candidate to kill their king, it’s not a total surprise when they add blackmail to the mix. In the middle of a regular visit to the doctor, Rehv makes his attraction to Ehlena very clear. While everything around them begins to unravel at an alarmingly fast pace, their feelings for each other seem to be the only bit of stability either of them can find. And even that seems uncertain when Rehvenge’s secrets are made known to Ehlena in the most terrifying way possible. When Ehlena starts to question what is and isn’t real it seems it may be too late.
“The king must die.” This eye opener of a statement kicks off the seventh novel in the darkly romantic Black Dagger Brotherhood series. And also manages to set the tone for the rest of the novel. While Rehv’s lifestyle may seem morally bankrupt, his own personal code of honour is deeply ingrained and, ironically enough, more honest than that of any of the aristocracy, and they’re the people who make the laws that everyone else abides by. Rehvenge and Ehlena’s story takes precedence over all else but, over and around that main theme, are other smaller supporting stories unfolding in their own way. Just when things begin to get interesting between Rehv and Ehlena the story would switch to John on a self-destructive streak, or to Xhex and her personal pain, or to Wrath and his deteriorating vision, or to Lasher and his perverted grab for power. While I found this extremely frustrating I couldn’t help but admire the way in which Ward very cleverly kept me on the edge of my seat. The sub-plots gave me hope that there would be other novels, if only for Xhex and John Matthew.
At no time did I think a happy ever after moment was a given. In fact, even when you think you’ve got a happy ending it comes with more food for thought. That’s not a bad thing – in fact it’s fantastic. I felt I had earned the ending because I had sweated blood and tears and nerves right along with the characters. My only regret is that the novel is finished and book 8 in this fantabulous series cannot come fast enough for me!
J. R. Ward lives with her husband and golden retriever in the American south, and spent years working as the Chief of Staff for an academic medical centre. For more information on the author and her books visit http://www.jrward.com/ where readers can choose to read the message boards or send an email: firstname.lastname@example.org