In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war raging between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret bound of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed bu a deadly beast Rhage is the most dangerous of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
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 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 to 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...
Rhage, son of Tohrture, is the best looking member and the strongest of the Brotherhood. Hands down. He's blonde, with neon blue eyes and a to die for body. They call him "Hollywood" for his movie star good looks. He's also the most annoying and talkative of the lot. Everybody loves him and hates him at the same time because Rhage just can't shut up. Yep, you guessed it right. Rhage is the resident troublemaker in the Brotherhood. It was because of his naughtiness/cockiness/devil may care attitude that he was stuck with the Beast, a punishment given by the Scribe Virgin for what he has done when he was still young. The Beast, once it resurfaces is a threat to everyone. Rhage keeps it in check by wearing himself out, usually through fighting or sex with countless women as a form of release. As a result, Rhage's sexual exploits are legendary within the Vampire world, but its not something he's proud of.
Looking back at how Rhage is as a person, it was hard to believe how he fell for Mary, who's far from having the looks of a woman deserving to be Rhage's shellan (mate). Okay, I admit that my first impression of Rhage is that he's a drop dead gorgeous shallow guy who'd never take anything seriously, but I was wrong. Rhage was attracted to Mary because of her voice! Of all the things/qualities she had to attract Rhage, it was her voice... which leads me to thinking that Rhage, despite his good looks, doesn't care much for a woman's appearance. Okay, maybe to him Mary is the most beautiful creature he has ever laid eyes on, my point is, he sees beyond the superficial beauty, but what's inside.
It was always a delight to read their encounters, mostly of Mary denying Rhage's advances & not believing anything he says, and Rhage going after her, which was, in every sense, very cute. Mary had learned to be skeptical of people. She had seen a lot and dealed with a lot throughout the years, volunteering in a hotline for people needing help, being a teacher to children who are differently abled, and losing her mom to an illness that slowly took her from Mary was too painful. Mary is a survivor. She's been battling with leukemia for years and it has suddenly relapsed. The last thing she wants is to be noticed by someone as breath taking and mysterious as Rhage. Mary sees the attention Rhage gives her as some sort of pity towards her.
It's amazing to read about Rhage mostly because he has defied all my expectations. As a member of the Brotherhood, and the strongest, you'd think he's also one of the toughest. Maybe he is, but he isn't really especially when it comes to love. Everyone might think that Rhage would be the least serious when it comes to that, so imagine how surprised I was when he wasn't. He felt like the most realistic character in the book. He wept for Mary! Goodness, in what vampire novel have you seen a vampire CRY his brains out for a girl when he left her? Where? Rhage wept for Mary because he fell so hard for her, and yet she was afraid. Mary was afraid to fall in love because she knew she going to die. And she was afraid of dying, more so now that she fell for Rhage. That there is that one person who will weep for her once she's gone...
In more ways than one, I guess Mary has transformed Rhage. For the better, I would definitely say yes. Rhage has finally understood why the Scribe Virgin gave him the beast, what it was for. He's learned to love, obviously, and with a human too! He knows its going to be a difficult road for him and Mary but he's willing to take chances. And lastly, Rhage had discovered that he can sacrifice anything, and I mean anything, just to have Mary by his side for as long as he lives.
I admired Mary more than I did Beth. Mary was able to tame Rhage and his beast (which I think made her fearless in my eyes), and despite her illness, she's trying to be strong. She accepted Rhage for what he is, and I think, that's what made her so precious to him.
This love story, of course, happened while the Brotherhood is in the midst of their battle against the Lessers, so its a bonus really to read such an amazing love story with action packed scenes!
Again, I'm a sucker for happy endings, and I sighed with relief when I finally found out how this ends. Let's just say that The Scribe Virgin can be merciful at times to those who are deserving. :)
More characters are introduced in this book, like Bella, Mary's neighbor and friend who is a vampire (to whom we should thank because if not for her, Rhage and Mary never would've met) and the very mysterious John Matthew.
Vishous, the next brother to be featured in the next book, plays an important part in this story. I will not spoil you further than what I have already written in this review, but... Nice going, V!
Rating: ★★★★★ : AWESOMENESS! MORE! MORE! - I can't believe such a book exists!