My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over 2 days
Pages - 441
Publisher - Signet Novel
Source - Bought years ago
Blurb from Goodreads
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 band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Possessed by 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 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...
Rhage is one of the Brother hood, a vampire who is strong, aggressive, burns through human female lovers like a hungry person on an all you can eat buffet. He has to keep the monster at bay, cursed to literally have a huge beast burst from him if he gets too he up (kind like hulk but less green) and the women/sex help that. He forms no attachments and that is how he likes it, until he meets Mary. Mary is a human, been through more hardship than most and is such a caring a lovely soul. When Mary gets drawn into the vampires world she is in grave danger from their mortal enemies, The Lessening Society, trying to protect herself from her feelings and Rhage trying to keep her safe from harm the odds are against them.
So this is book two, you could pick this up and read as a standalone, I did (this is a reread) but I would suggest reading book one first so you get a better scope of the background. I really like Mary's character, she is so caring, selfless and brave, she has survived cancer, cared for her mother until death, volunteers for the most vulnerable in society and sees herself as a plain Jane. When Rhage can't leave her alone she is confused, standoffish but cannot deny her feelings but she won't admit them. Amongst the relationship stuff we have The Lessers trying to bump off the vampires, Rhage's inner monster, a dragon, that when unleashed puts anyone in the vicinity in danger of loosing their lives.
Action packed, some graphic sex scenes, romance, courting however some of the behaviours of the males is questionable, aggressive, rude, imposing, forceful however when they get up close the females swoon. That did irk me a wee bit but if we remember the old Christopher Lee vampire movies of that time just a look was enough to render a female swoony. We see a softer/vulnerable side of Rhage as him and Mary circle around their new "relationship". We flip between that, the violent clashes/fights with the Brotherhood and the Lessers although I found some of the pages on the Lessers slowed the pace down a wee bit of the story. I do want to learn more about the how and why of them and I think each book may focus on one particular warrior, book one was Wrath, two Rhage, three Zsadist so I am sure the rest of the books may follow suit. I have a fair few of them on my TBRM so will be reading the rest, also this book left me on a bit of a cliffhanger so I really need to know what happens next. 3.5/5 for me this time, each of the warriors are so different and with each book I have gleamed a bit more info on the origins and or Lessers so I look forward to getting my questions answered!