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Rhage a warrior of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is the brother with Hollywood good looks and the greatest appetite, the most feared of all the brothers. Cursed by the Scribe Virgin, he bears a dragon like beast within him that if unleashed will threaten those around him. He uses sex and rage to keep the monster lurking in him at bay as he helplessly yearns for peace.
Mary Luce works as an executive assistant at a law firm and lives in her personalized barn. Having gone through many hardships; watching her mother die of illness and struggled past two rounds of leukemia treatment is, she is steeled but is now afraid that her illness has returned, thus she will be needing all the strength left in her to fight another battle. One night when she meets John a mute guy who calls for her at the Suicide Prevention Hotline she volunteers, Bella her neighbor who's also a vampire recognizes him as one of her own nearing transition.
At a supposedly training academy Bella takes John and her as a translator, she meets a beautiful blond guy that ignites her fear as well as renders her knees weak. Rhage is captivated by the voice of Mary the human whom he meets at the mansion; a voice that stirs and soothe him inside out like a drug. With her memory of the visit to the mansion erased, Mary innocently readies for a date Bella set up for her with Hal not knowing she had met him before and he makes her uncomfortable with the attention he gives her and given his striking good looks she finds it baffling because she'd never got that kind of treatment from any guy. Rhage had decided that he wanted Mary the night he met her but a foreign sensation in his chest put his plan to halt, then he decides that she can't be for him one of the countless females he used for sex. He goes to her home in attempt to get closer....
"...And tonight? You're going home to Wellsie. I'm going home alone...
The whoring isn't fun for me, and its been killing me for years"
The heat and lust Rhage calls out of her is too powerful, tempting her of something she couldn't have more so at this situation that Mary pushes him away and avoids any move he makes to get to know her which frustrates him..
"Christ, you're like a stray dog I can't get rid of. Why don't you
go pester someone else?"
Mr.O a member of the Lessening Society that is at war with the vampires had gotten into this deal with the Omega after losing his love but somewhat regrets it now and the Society is set on building more effective facility for their mission. Rhage is struck by her strength and finds himself bonding with Mary and becoming possessive of her, but he has to erase her memories as an expected precaution against humans. He prolongs it though but when he was forced to erase the recent memories after a lesser attack the sense of betrayal hit him hard. The incident with the lesser and them being in possession of Marys purse gives him no choice but to protect her from the danger she would face from them.
Mary is startled to find out that Rhage is a vampire but quickly gets over it and handles it well as she treats him after the sunlight scorches him while at her house; her inadvertent intimacy tugging at him. As he proves to Mary who undermines her worth how much he truly desires her, she gets overwhelmed by the fact that her scars has no ill affect on Rhage, tearing her up. Rhage forces himself away in the middle of pleasure when his beast threatens to come out.
Wrath, their king reluctantly agrees for Mary to stay with the Brotherhood after a whole lot of argument but there will be a consequence. The beast seems to get stronger whenever he gets sexually intimate with Mary, so with no other way to appease the beast he eventually goes out for his sex dose while Mary is hurt that he's out with other women and decides to leave when he gets back. Rhages refusal to let go of her leads to an argument and that fuels their desire driving him to marking her as his mate....
"Why are you doing this to me?"
"Because I love you"
"I know you're angry, scared, hurting. Take it out on me Mary."
Rhage offers a rythe (a ritual where the recipient is struck by a weapon without defending himself) for defying his brother and bringing a human into their home and gets battered from the punishment. Later after he is cured of the wounds, he uses the temporary absence of his beast to truly make love with Mary, cherishing every moment of it until she throws him a curve ball; she is ready to move back to her old life and begin the battle with her illness alone but finally accepts that she indeed needs him and lets him share her burden. Rhage decides to drink from the chosen of the Scribe Virgin since he can't take from Mary. Meanwhile, John settles with Thorment and his mate to train and prepare for his transition. The beast is back and Rhage realizes that Marys cancer is at a dangerous state.
When Bella decides to tell Zsadist about her desire for him, she never expected for him to behave as he did. She is later captured by the lesser Mr.O who intends to keep her because she reminds him of his wife. After finally figuring out that the beast wanted Mary, he tells her the truth and to his surprise, she accepts it and they both figure out a way around the issue. Another miracle baffles everyone; Mary manages to tame the beast when it came out to protect her during a fight with lesser. With these issues cleared, the cancer stands in the way waiting to take her away from Rhage. They both broke down at the news, bringing Rhage before the Scribe Virgin, making a deal with her to let Mary live with a price; an ultimate sacrifice on his part. She will not know of him and their world but he will remember her and if they meet, she dies...
Now this is a stunning book I enjoyed to the core. It was far better than the first one; I got sucked into it from the first few pages. The plotline was solid, unique and engaging with brilliant character building on textured three dimensional personalities with depth... I just loved everything about Rhage; he has the mixture of wild and tenderness in him that made his personality so breathtaking, Everyone thinks he has it all with the good looks, the strength, the sex and he acts the show but no one know what he really goes through on the inside. His brothers may have guessed that he constantly worries about accidentally hurting them but they never have thought that behind the arrogance and fun he was supposedly having, there was a guy aching for love; his one true mate. Marys character was shaped well too, making her a regular looking female, a woman with inner strength who struggles with her health and add a touch of a little attitude and cockiness. She wonders what a gorgeous, sexy, and powerful guy wants with her. I think her character was very relatable.
These two are amazing together. It was truly magical to watch them struggle to overcome their fears and insecurities as they get a grip of their irrevocable love for each other. How they see past the superficial, imperfections, inner struggles and faults of the one they love is powerful; that's what love is about and should be. I loved how Rhage was persistent in pursuing her despite her initial resistance and the harsh words she used and he fights every obstacle that comes in between his love from Mary herself, the brotherhood, the lesser, the curse and the Scribe Virgin. And, Oh My! The way he loved her from the very depth of his soul, it was raw, passionate and deeply emotional. There was so much tenderness and intensity and the way he treats her like she's so precious to him.... I'm so awed. He even makes so many sacrifices for her along the way to the gut-wrenching one that will cost him his life. There is a scene where Rhage goes out for other women but considering the situation he was in I think it's forgivable. For me, Rhages beauty was truly in his essence.
Although Mary resisted his affection in the beginning, she still cared for him and was compassionate towards him. I also enjoyed her stubbornness and resistance to Rhages affection as it was the most appropriate and realistic reaction from someone who knows that she is most probably dying. I see many readers dislike this but getting into such relationship will be the last on the persons mind as it would only leave both parties hurt. As we see, Mary was helpless and eventually gave in to her heart; Love always has a way of blooming through. When she eventually shares her pain and burden with Rhage, that's when the wall she built around herself had completely collapsed. The love making scenes indubitably enriches the story. They were steamy, titillating, and overflowing with love at the same time. I think Ward did an awesome job here without making it seem too much....
Weaved together in this story were equally interesting and entertaining secondary characters and the author gives an idea of their personality as well a glimpse into their minds and life as well without overwhelming the story. The camaraderie and humorous one liner between them were enjoyable. Now the Scribe Virgin I find hard digesting. She comes off hard and irrational at times. There seems to be some holes in her characters. Firstly, I am still confused as to why Mary is infertile if her health is restored. Then, if I'm not mistaken, she was talking as if there should be balance, hence consequence that implies she has no choice but to ask the price she asks of Rhage but then decides otherwise because Mary is infertile? I find that contradictory. My concern is that it seems like there would be a pattern where the Scribe Virgin comes and solves the problems of the characters in the climax. I hope it's not the case.
Of course there are the common drawbacks of the names and the slang, songs references but all these were overshadowed by all the other impressive components.
All the scenes especially the ones between Rhage and Mary were priceless. The conversation he had with Thorment was so heartbreaking and I loved the scenes that came after when he got burned by the sunlight and Mary found out the truth about him; it was full of tenderness, intimacy, romance and later passion. As well when he confesses his love for her for the first time and asks her to take out her anger on him...
If you're looking for a heartwarming love story, you mustn't miss this book. It's a tale of two distinct people on a path to finding hope and true love that defies everything else and their devotion to each other. I usually crave adventure in my paranormal reads but the love and passion and the depth as well the importance shown in subtle gestures overrides that.show more