Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.
Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…
In the second Black Dagger Brotherhood book, Mary Luce is dealing with a lot of issues. Aside from her leukemia returning, she volunteers for a suicide help hotline and meets John, an abused young man who can only communicate through sign language. Even though she and her friend Bella want to help him, Bella knows what John truly is and she contacts the Brotherhood for help.
When Rhage first meets Mary, he knows she’s different from any female he’s ever met. She calms his inner beast—the dragon tattoo on his back literally comes to life, takes over his body, and kills everything in its path—and he’s desperate for the bliss she gives him. Fighting and having sex releases the beast, but he’d rather fight than sleep around. After a century of meaningless flings, he wants something permanent. Unfortunately, he can’t control the beast when in bed with Mary, so he can’t sleep with her.
Mary is stubborn, willful, and wants to protect those she cares about. Her pain over the cancer, her low self-esteem issues, and her lack of trust in Rhage is all understandable and very sad. Rhage’s self-hatred eats away at him, and he’s determined to do whatever he must to keep Mary safe, even betray her. They have a big communication problem. She doesn’t share her pain about her past and the cancer, and he doesn’t tell her about his curse and the problems going on in the vampire world. Though Rhage gets upset with her, as he should, Mary often just accepts his half-truths and refusal to talk. I liked both characters—don’t get me wrong—but I had a hard time respecting them.
Even though I understood Rhage’s reasons and sympathized with him, I don’t like cheating. I thought what he and Mary needed to do in order to solve their intimacy problem was obvious, but they didn’t figure it out until the end of the book, after he cheats on her.
As with the last book, I found it hard to relate to the brothers. Yeah, they’re gorgeous, arrogant badasses, but they take the thug mentality too far. Also, I don’t understand their obsession with name-brand clothes. In fact, the brand name of every single outfit, including jewelry and luggage, that every character wears is always mentioned.
There are some unanswered questions, but they seem to tie directly into the next story. Yay, Z!
I noticed a few typos but nothing major. The writing is good, but there are some awkward word choices. For example, I interpreted the sentence “What’s doing?” as “What’s going on?”
Overall, I enjoyed the book and look forward to the next one.