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I Belong

Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Unleashed Discussion

March 31st, 2012 Angela Posted in Read-a-long 1 Comment »

Welcome to the Lover Unleashed Discussion!  A few weeks ago we started the Black Dagger Brotherhood Read-a-long and today we’re focusing on Payne and Manny Manello.

While we see many of the Brothers in Lover Unleashed, for today’s discussion, we are only focusing on those events within Lover Unleashed and any characters that impact this story.  Many of us have read ahead in the series, but no spoilers please.

Here is the read-a-long schedule:

Dark Lover is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Eternal  is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Awakened is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Revealed is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Unbound is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Enshrined is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Avenged is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Mine – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Lover Unleashed – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

April 13th – Lover Reborn – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Note: Direct quotes from the book are in italics.

The Brotherhood & Vampire Society

Manny Manello,  M.D.

Manuel “Manny” Manello is head of Surgery at St. Francis Hospital in Caldwell.  It has been a year since he lost his friend and coworker, Jan Whitcomb.  His life is stagnant and his only joy is GloryGloryHallelujah, his race horse.  When she is injured in a race, he demands that she be healed and not put down. Manny was not about to lose his horse.  Over the last twelve months, he’d mourned the only woman he’d ever cared about, questioned his sanity, and taken up drinking Scotch even though he’d always hated the shit. / If Glory bit it now…he didn’t really have much left in his life, did he. [Manny]

When Jane returns to him and asks his help with a patient, he takes the job.  It is the first time he meets Payne.  All his life he’d wondered why he’d never fallen in love, and now he knew: He’d been waiting for this moment, this woman, this time. [Manny]

After he initially performs surgery on her back, Manny’s memories of the incident are wiped clean.  But Vishous restores Manny’s memories to him after it looks like Payne’s not getting any better.  V asks for his help with Payne, even though they don’t like one another.  “Careful human-you’re only alive because you’re useful to me.” / “She’s your sister?” / “Don’t forget it.” / Manny smiled by baring all his teeth.  “Then there’s something you need to know.” / “What.” / Manny rose up on his toes and met the fucker eye-to-eye.  “If you think you want to kill me now, this ain’t nothin’’ compared to how you’re going to feel when I see her again.” [Manny and V]

She wants to die and Manny is the only person Vishous can think of that can talk her out of it. He knew, she thought.  More than anything their mother could have done for her, he had brought her the one thing guaranteed to make her want to live. [Payne]

Manny shows Payne a potential for a full life, even if she is permanently paralyzed.  “Listen to me… and I want you to remember this.  Your legs are part of you, but not all of you or what you are.  So wherever we go after tonight, I need you to know that you are no less for the injury. Even if you are in a chair, you still stand as tall as you ever did.  Height is just a vertical number-it doesn’t mean shit when it comes to your character of the kind of life you live.” [Manny to Payne]

Even though Payne and Manny have a connection, they do not go “all the way.”  He also responses to her as a bonded male of her species would, not a human. Manuel put himself between the two of them, and took her hand at the same time both blocking the view and establishing dominion over her.  And that wasn’t all: Dark spices wafted up from him, the scent a warning to the other man that the female being admired was available only over Manuel’s cold, dead body. [Manny]

When Payne goes missing, Manny decides that she is the most important thing in his world and is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.  But at the center of it all, he felt so much for Payne… [Manny]

Manny also discovers that his father was a vampire, who also happens to be Butch’s dad.  The truth was in the bones. [Manny]

Payne

While Payne is in the ER at the Brotherhood mansion, she asks Vishous to kill her if her body cannot be healed.  She could not come here to this side only to replicate what she had been so desperate to escape from.  [Payne]

She is instantly attracted to Manny, but allows him to leave because she feels that it could not work out between them.  For truth, what future could they have?  She was a female who didn’t fit in anywhere, a warrior stuck within the tepid skin of a Chosen’s body-to say nothing of the paralysis problem.  Meanwhile, he was a vibrant, sexual male of a species different from her own.  [Payne]

Manny’s return is the reason she truly begins to heal, both physically and mentally.  “Let me make you feel good, Payne.  And we’ll see where this takes you.”  [Manny to Payne]

Manny takes her out on their last night together to meet his horse, Glory.  Payne then uses her gift to heal the horse’s leg.  “I wished not for you to lose her.” [Payne to Manny]

When Manny rejects them being together after she got approval from Wrath and Vishous.  “Love can conquer everything but reality.  Which will win every stinking time.” [Manny to Jane]

Afterward, she wanders around Caldwell.  Centered in the alleyway, a female in a billowing white robe was fighting a pair of lessers. [Xcor looking at Payne]  While being distracted with the fight, she is kidnapped by Xcor and his gang.

After telling Xcor the truth about killing the Bloodletter, and him not being a real son to him, she is released.  “I have no issue to settle against you.  Your actions directed unto my”-pause-“the Bloodletter… were taken for your own valid reasons.” [Xcor to Payne]

Only when she returns to the Brotherhood mansion, does she find out that she is not losing Manny after all.

As the wind hit her face, she laughed in pure exultation as they took, off in a streak of joy and freedom.  Yes…yes!  A thousand yesses! /To set upon the night. / To have freedom to move. / To have love waiting upon her. / This was more than just being alive.  This was to live. [Payne]

Vishous

Is having a hard time dealing with the stress.  Trouble was, life didn’t come with a “tilt” default to stop the fun and games when your pinball machine got too tippy.  [V]  After Payne asks him to kill her if she can’t be healed, he goes on a downward spiral of self-destruction. But it’s like looking into a dark room.  I want to tell you shit. But I can’t … I can’t see anything I feel.” [V]

He really doesn’t like Manny, V is resentful of him.  Not just because Manny used to have a thing for his shellan, but because he begins to show an interest in his sister.  V had wanted to be the one to save her-and he supposed by bringing in Manello, he might have, but why hadn’t he done it more sooner?  [V]

Vishous doesn’t know how he feels about sharing the twin he just found with a man he feels is unworthy of her.  “How dare you-it is for me to choose with whom I mate.” [Payne to V]

He does not talk about his feelings with Jane, even when she accuses his of cheating.  Except that rationale simply wasn’t enough.  At some point, the love they had deserved better than silence that was grounded in the past.  [Jane]

After getting himself beat up, V asks Butch to be a Dom to his Sub.  “I do not crave this.”  But he needed it before he became a danger to himself and others. [V]

Once Butch finishes breaking Vishous, V finally admits that the trauma of his childhood is still affecting his life today.  He screamed for all he had lost… screamed for the half male he was… screamed for Jane… screamed for who his parents were and what he wished for his sister… screamed for what he had forced his best friend to do… He screamed and screamed until there was no breath, no consciousness, no nothing. [V]

V decides that he will no longer hold his emotions in.  “And… you?” / “Yeah.  Me, too.” / “Cool.” / “Cool.” / Heeeeeeeeeeey, check his shit out with the relating.  Any more of this and he was going to get a gold star on his chart. [V to Butch]

He also gives his blessing to Payne for her to go after Manny, even though he is a human.  “You’re my sister.  And he’s what you want.” [V to Payne]

“You’re sister.”  Wrath put his elbows on all the paperwork, and leaned in, his cruel face grave.  “You need to prepare yourself for when she asks to go out and fight.” / Oh, hell, no.  “I’m not hearing that.” [Wrath and V]

V and Manny finally come to an understanding with one another.  The gesture was so very simple; its meaning very, very deep. / Manny grabbed for that palm with his own, and neither of them said anything.  No reason to have to because the communication was clear: Respect was paid and accepted on both sides. [Manny and V]

Jane Whitcomb, M.D.

Would do anything for her hellren, Vishous.  She seeks out her old boss to get help on fixing Payne’s back injury.  “Is this some kind of joke?” / “No.”  She wished it were.  “I’m so sorry.” [Jane and Manny]

When she finds out that Payne asked Vishous to kill her if she remains paralyzed, Jane offers to do it in his stead.  That way, V will be less hurt.  And yet as she thought about her hellren and the time they’d spent together when she’d woken up with him, she knew she couldn’t let him come here and do what Payne wanted him to: He’d taken a small step back from the precipice he’d been about to jump off of, and there was nothing Jane wouldn’t do to keep him from the ledge.

When her relationship with V is on the rocks, she turns to Butch for help.  “I can’t do it,” Jane said roughly.  “And not just because we’ve got issues at the moment.  I just don’t have it in me.  He trusts you-I trust you… and he needs it.  I’m worried that if he doesn’t break through this wall he’s got going on that he and I aren’t going to make it-or worse.” [Jane to Butch]

She is there to take care of V after his “session” with Butch. “Will you let me hug you now?”she said roughly. / Her mate stretched out his massive arms.  “How about I hold you instead?” / As Jane leaped forward and dived into him, she countered, “It doesn’t have to be one or the other.” [Jane and V]

Butch

Is Vishous’s best friend and has concerns over his well being.  All you had to do was look at him and you could see that the lid on his Crock-Pot was bolting down hard over the heat and turmoil underneath.  All that pressure?  Had to get let out somehow, and in the past, it had been in the very messiest of ways. [Butch]  

He is willing to do anything for the male, including breaking him.  V stepped in close, bringing their faces to within an inch of each other.  “You don’t have the stomach for it.  Trust me.” / Those deep hazel eyes held his and didn’t blink.  “You’d be amazed what I would do to keep you alive.” [V to Butch]

“What are the rules?” the cop asked. / “There are none.”  Vishous spread his stance and braced himself.  “Do whatever you want… but you have to break me.  You’ve got to tear me apart.” [Butch and V]  Even though V believes that Butch is going to beat him physically, Butch uses physiological mind games to break him.

Butch feels bad about hurting V, even though V asked for it, but says that he would do it again if V needs it.  “One other thing.” / “What.” / “I think we’re dating now.”  As V barked out a laugh, the cop shrugged.  “Come on… I got you naked.  You wore a damn corset.  And don’t get me started about the sponge bath afterward.” [Butch to V]

Butch finds out that he and Manny share the same father.

Vishous spoke up-which was a good call.  Butch had lost his voice and so had Manello, evidently.  “Looks like this fine surgeon may be a relative of your, my lord.” / As Manello recoiled, Butch thought, Holy crap. / Didn’t that just throw another iron into the fire.

Qhuinn

Is having trouble adjusting to Blay having a relationship with is cousin, Saxton.  After sleeping with another man that is also a redhead, like Blay, Qhuinn decides to change is his life and go celibate.  Life was about to change.  Blay had changed.  John had changed. / And he was next on the list, apparently, because he couldn’t keep going like this. [Qhuinn]

Even though Layla wants him, he refuses her.  And for a while he’d been happy to show her some of the ropes. / Except it hadn’t felt right. / Well, she’d felt a lot that she’d thought was right, but her eyes had had too much in them and his heart way too little for things to keep going. [Qhuinn]

He admits to Layla the real reason why things will not work out for them.  “I’m in love,” he said hoarsely.  “With someone else.  That’s why.” [Qhuinn to Layla]

Qhuinn has a vision of his future: A daughter of his and Layla’s.  “I have seen the future,” he said from a distance. / Layla’s had lifted to her throat as if she were choking.  “Is it bad?” / “It’s… not possible.  At all.” [Qhuinn to Layla]

Even though he wants to be in Saxton’s place by Blay’s side, he still doesn’t do anything about it.  He wants the male he loves to be happy, even if it is with another guy.  The thing was, though, the ridiculous, pansy-ass saying was right: If you loved someone, you set them free. [Qhuinn]

Blaylock

Is happy being with Saxton, but he still is in love with Qhuinn.  But Blay is also jealous of Layla because he believes that he thinks Qhuinn and her are sleeping together.  He hates the idea of Qhuinn being with anyone other than himself.  Qhuinn, though… anything about that male unpeeled him and left him raw.  And for all he had learned to bandage himself up on the outside, the wound remained just as bad and deep as the moment it had been made-when it became obvious that the one male he wanted above all others was never, ever going to be with him. [Blay]

Layla

Confides to Qhuinn that she unhappy with only providing blood to the Brothers, and not her body.  “Well, I want you and I cannot have you.  That is not of my choosing.  At least by servicing you and the others, I have a purpose other than mourning the loss of something I dreamed of. [Layla to Qhuinn]

After talking with Qhuinn, she learns that there will never be anything more between them except friendship.  He encourages her to “Take my vein so you can stay longer on this side and figure out what it is that you want from life-not what you’re supposed to be or do, but what you want.  I’ll even help you if I can.  God knows I’m well-versed in being lost.”[Qhuinn to Layla]

Saxton

Knows that Blaylock and Qhuinn are in love with one another, even if they will not admit to it. “Qhuinn can’t handle what he feels about you.” / Blay laughed harshly.  “Let’s not talk about him.” / “Why not?” Saxton reached out and ran his thumb back and forth over Blay’s lower lip. “He’s here with us whether we do or we don’t.” [Saxton and Blay]

He is willing to bow out of Blay’s life if his cousin, Qhuinn, wishes him to.  “It’s okay,” Saxton said quietly.  “I know where we’re at.” [Saxton]

Lessening Society

The Lessening Society is recruiting at an alarming rate under the new fore-lesser.  The Caldwell Police Department has taken notice to the fact that so many people, mostly male, between 18 and 24 years old have turned up missing.  Many of the current lessers are new and therefore don’t necessarily follow the unspoken rules of combat: Don’t let the humans know about the secret war between the lessening society and the vampires.

Vampire Band of Rogues

Formally lead by the Bloodletter, these seven warriors fight against lessers even though they are not part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Each man would be considered unworthy to be a Brother.  In opposition to that lauded, secretive group of warriors, this band of bastards led by the Bloodletter were naught more than soldiers.  No ceremonies.  No worship from the civilian populace.  Nor lore or laudations. [Xcor]   After the Bloodletter’s death, Xcor takes up the mantle of leadership.  They choose to come to the New World, Caldwell, in pursuit of lessers to fight and kill.  They do not follow any rules, other than what Xcor says.  They are brutal, barbaric, and uncivilized.  Codeless when it came to killing as well: It mattered not whether the prey was slayer or human or animal or wolfen.  Blood would flow. [Xcor]   

Xcor

Was chosen by his father, the Bloodletter, to fight with an elite group of soldiers.  This group killed and pillaged and hunted lessers all across Europe.  When Payne “…hunted the Bloodletter down.  [she] held him to the ground whilst [she] burned him into ash.  And [she does] not regret it.”, he swore vengeance upon her.

After coming to Caldwell, Xcor makes a decision.  “I am well aware of what you seek, and the end goal is treason at best, suicide, at worst.”[Throe to Xcor]

When he captures Payne, he finds out that the Bloodletter was not really his biological father.  “He told me I was born unto a female he had visited for blood.  He told me… she didn’t want me because of my…” He touched his malformed upper lip, leaving the sentence unfinished.  “He took me and… he taught me to fight.  At his side.” [Xcor to Payne]   He admits that his grudge against Payne is pointless and releases her.

He approaches his men and asks if they will still follow him.  If he was not the son of the Bloodletter, who was he?  And would he still lead his males?  Would they follow him unto battle e’er again?” [Xcor]

And if they will be a part of a mutiny to overthrow the Blind King, Wrath, from his throne.   “I have a larger purpose than fighting parallel to the Brotherhood,” he said in a quiet tone, so that the female on the lower level could hear naught.  “My ambitions are a death sentence if discovered by others.  Do you understand what I’m saying?” [Xcor]

Throe

Is much more cultured than the other members of Xcor’s men.  He follows Xcor because of a vow he took long ago.  Throe had sold himself to Xcor to get the deed done.  Back then, the male had been too much of a dandy to commit the murder with his own hand, and so he had forced himself into the shadows to seek what he would never have invited in through even the service entrance of his mansion. [Xcor]

Throe has a problem with women getting hurt, like his sister was had been.  He wants to hunt down a serial killer in Caldwell that has been preying on women.    “We must needs depart,” Xcor said.  “Come with me now and I shall grant you leave to find the man.  Agree?” [Xcor to Throe]

Caldwell Police Department

The CPD have noticed a rise in violence in their fair city.  They are getting closer to uncovering the underground war between the lessening society and the vampire community.  It is unclear if they will connect the dots between the rise in missing person cases to all the new inductees of the lessening society.  With the war heating up, it is unclear if the CPD will uncover the truth of all their existences or not.

Jose De La Cruz

Homicide detective with the CPD working on a serial murder case.  “Eleven women have been found like this in the past year.  Chicago, Cleveland, and Philly.” [De La Cruz to Veck]

His realizes his old partner, Butch O’Neal, whom he thought dead, is still alive after hearing the man’s voice on a 9-1-1 call related to his case.  Now though, after he’d given up all hope, after he no longer woke up in the middle of the night with the wonders…now this recording. [De La Cruz]

He also realizes his new partner, Veck, is just as big of a loose cannon as Butch had been.

Thomas “Veck” Del Vicchio, Jr.

Is new to the CPD homicide department.  Veck was one of those types women gravitated to, as the last two weeks had proven: Down at HQ, the females were all over him. [De La Cruz]

After getting into an altercation with the paparazzi, his partner Jose notices his darker side.  Veck looked entirely capable of killing in a very calm, competent way. [De La Cruz]

Veck’s father is a well known serial killer.  De La Cruz worries about the effects of a crazy dad on his partner.  Thomas Del Vicchio had a lot of things going for him: He’d gotten straight As in his criminal justice major… top of his class at the police academy…His three years on patrol were spotless.  And he was so good-looking he never bought his own coffee. / But he was the son of a monster. [De La Cruz]

When Veck stumbles upon their serial killer being torn apart by a vampire, his memory of the event is erased.  Veck has no idea what happened and is worried that he killed the man himself.  Because Veck was a sinner.  And he’d joined the police force to drain that out of himself. [Veck]

Veck’s full story and the events that follow after his discovery of the serial killer’s body are in the novel Envy, the third installment of The Fallen Angels series, by J.R. Ward.

Discussion

  • How do you feel about the series so far?  Are you still planning to continue to follow the Brother’s story?
  • How do you feel about Manny?  Is he a strong enough character to stand up alongside the other Brothers?
  • What do you think about Payne?  Do you think that she will make a good soldier?
  • Do you think that Vishous’s reactions about Manny being with his twin are authentic?  Do you believe that his strong reactions about them being together are too strong for a sister he just learned he had?
  • How do you feel about Vishous’s need to be beaten?
  • What do you think about the new dynamics in V’s and Butch’s relationship?
  • Do you think that Vishous and Jane are going to be okay in the long run?
  • Do you think that Qhuinn’s changes are for the better or worse?
  • Do you feel sorry for Saxton for being in a relationship with a man who loves another?  Why or Why not?
  • Do you think that Layla will take Qhuinn’s advice and learn to live for herself and not others?
  • If she does decide to no longer be the go-to blood donor for the Brothers, who would you like to see take her place?  Should the Brother’s continue to look to the Chosen for blood or should they look elsewhere?
  • What do you think about Xcor and his band of bastards?
  • Which male do you think would win in a fight, Wrath or Xcor?
  • Does Xcor stand a chance overthrowing Wrath?
  • Which Brother do you like best?  Which male in Xcor’s group?
  • How do you feel about females fighting with the Brotherhood?  What should they change their name to if they do decide in include women in the BDB?
  • Favorite scene?  Least favorite?
  • Favorite one liner?

Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns

Vocabulary from the previous novels can be found on their discussion pages:

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Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Avenged Discussion

March 10th, 2012 Angela Posted in Read-a-long Comments Off

Welcome to the Lover Avenged Discussion!  A few weeks ago we started the Black Dagger Brotherhood Read-a-long and today we’re focusing on Rehvenge, son of Rempoon.

While we see many of the Brothers in Lover Avenged, for today’s discussion, we are only focusing on those events within Lover Avenged and any characters that impact this story.  Many of us have read ahead in the series, but no spoilers please.

Here is the read-a-long schedule:

Dark Lover is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Eternal  is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Awakened is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Revealed is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Unbound is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Enshrined is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Avenged is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Mar 16th – Lover Mine – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Mar 23rd – Lover Unleashed – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Mar 30th – Lover Reborn – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Note: Direct quotes from the book are in italics.

The Brotherhood & Vampire Society

Symphath Culture

Symphaths are a sequestered people along the border of Canada.  They were relegated there after a brutal battle for the safety of both the human and vampire communities.  They prize intellect and subterfuge over brute strength.  Their bodies are hermaphroditic and fragile looking.  All symphaths were built like chess players, not quarterbacks, which followed their preference to battle with the mind, not the body.[Rehvenge]

Their psychic powers include mind manipulation and mind reading, both emotional and visual images.  They main objective in almost any situation is self-preservation.  Vampires, by law, must inform the king of any symphath found outside of the colony lest they too receive punishment.

Rehvenge

Rehvenge, son of Rempoon, is half symphath and half vampire.  Also known as the Reverend, a local drug dealer and club owner of Zero Sum, local hang out of the Brotherhood.  He ingests large amount of dopamine to curb his sympath nature.  He first encounters Ehlena in Haver’s clinic when he goes to get his monthly allotment of dopamine and antivenin.  She was lonely, too, and in the same way he was. [Rehvenge]

While he has kept his heritage a secret from all but his mother, top employees, and the Brotherhood, he must pay the Princess of the symphath colony hush money.  That includes $250,000 worth of rubies and the use of his body on the first Tuesday of every month.  Truth was, as much as Rehv hated coming here, sometimes he didn’t want to leave.  He liked hurting the princess, and she was a good opponent.  Smart, fast, cruel.  She was the only outlet for his bad side, and, like a runner starved for a workout, he needed the exercise. [Rehvenge]

Rehv’s past catching up with him.  Montrag, member of the glymera and aristocracy of the vampire community, is trying to persuade him to kill Wrath, the king.  Montrag also knows that Rehv killed his stepfather many years ago and is planning to use that information to frame Rehv for the King’s death, and allow Montrag the opportunity to take over the vampire community.  It was intricate maneuvering, but it was going to work, because with the king gone, the remnants of the council would be the first place the race would go looking for the murderer, and Rehv, a symphath, was the perfect scapegoat. [Montrag]

Rehv feels unworthy of any female of worth.  He feels that his job, his past, and his nature are all insurmountable obstacles for him to become a male of worth.  Even though he knows he must keep people at a distance to insure his secrets remain that way, he still feels an undeniable pull toward Ehlena.  “I wish I were different,” he said, which was as close as he could get to speaking the truth that would separate them forever.   “I wish I were a different male.” [Rehv to Ehlena]

When his secret is out, he chooses to fake his own death and return to the colony and take out the princess.  For that, he would cripple her, even if it killed him. [Rehv]

When Ehlena, Xhex, and all the Brothers realize that he is not dead, they storm the colony to rescue him.  “Gentlemen, these lovely ladies want to make a trip up north.  I’m prepared to let them go up there to bring Rehv home to us, but they’re not going in alone.” [Wrath]

By killing his uncle and half-sister, the other symphaths choose Rehv as their next leader, whether he wants it or not.  “…news flash – all kings are blind, buddy.  But if you get your heart in the right place, you can always see your way clear.” [Wrath to Rehv]

Ehlena

Ehlena works as a nurse in Dr. Haver’s clinic.  She is the caretaker of her father, who is mentally unstable, and has no other family to help her out.  Her family was once part of the glymera but was shunned from their society after her father was duped by the wrong person.  After her mother’s consequential suicide, Ehlena’s fiancé public denouncement of her character, father and daughter moved away from high society and they were barely staying afloat. [Ehlena]

She has been hurt in the past, but feels it is time for her to start to want things for herself.  She loves her father and will continue to care for him, but she longs for more in her life, passion for one thing.  And Rehvenge really wants to be the one to give it to her.  They begin to get to know each other over the phone.  Destiny had a 518 area code.  Who knew. [Ehlena]

Ehlena loses her job at the clinic because she steals some medication for Rehv’s infected arm. The outcome was moral even if the method was not. [Ehlena]

Ehlena feels betrayed when she finds out about Rehv and his past.  “Why did you bring me down here?” she said.  “You could have just told me over the phone – no, never mind.  I’m going home now.  Don’t ever contact me again.” [Ehlena to Rehv]

The Princess

Married to her uncle, the king of the symphaths, and half sister to Rehvenge, the princess is obsessed with Rehv.  She wants him for herself and will not stand for Rehv to fall in love with anyone else.  The princess spills the beans about Rehv to Ehlena.  She had wanted to do damage and had calibrated her words accordingly. [Ehlena]

She also forms an alliance, disguised as the king, with Lash and the lessers outside her husband’s knowledge.   “You and I are rather well matched.  I believe we shall both get what we want from this alliance.” [Princess to Lash]

The princess is given to Lash as part of her punishment for betraying her king and conspiring to have him killed.  “She presumed she could best my succession plan that way, which was vastly overestimates her capabilities.” [Symphath King to Rehv]

XHEX

Xhex is the reason that Rehv must pay the princess’s hush money every month.  He does it to protect her and has “… been paying for my mistake month after month, year after year.” [Xhex to Ehlena] 

She is still conflicted about her feelings for John Matthew and shuts him down, hard.  It ends up making him emotionally cold and distant from all those around him.  Xhex tried not to see the change in him for what it was and failed.  She had done this to him.  Maybe she wasn’t the only reason he’d turned to stone, but she was a big part of it. [Xhex] 

She leads the charge to rescue Rehv for Ehlena.  “If you want to go up there, I’m in, but wee do it my way.” [Xhex to Ehlena] 

Trez and iAm

iAm and Trez liked the same things.  Always.  Though they weren’t twins by virtue of birth, they dressed similarly and were always armed with identical weapons and consistently shared the same thoughts, values, and principles. 

These two are brothers that work for Rehv.  They watch over him when he must go to the princess and care for him afterward.  Trez ignored his pathetic attempts to fend off help, and after the sable was wrapped around him, his friend picked him up and carries him out like a broken piece of equipment. [Rehv with Trez] 

The Moors’ loyalty is unquestioned to both Rehv and Xhex.  “Xhex, we already lost him tonight. You make it two for two and I’m going to kill you all over again.” [iAm to Xhex]    

Tohr 

Even though he has been returned to the Brothers, Tohr is not doing well.  He has no will to live.  The spells had been coming with increasing regularity and strength, and he wished to hell they’d just get organized and help him wake up dead. [Tohrment] 

When he finds out that Wrath is fighting out in the field alone, like he did before he accepted the mantle of King, he has an epiphany. Tohr had expected…something.  Not a thank-you, but an acknowledgement or… something.  Hell, Wrath was a gruff son of a bitch now, but back then?  He’d been downright toxic.  Even so…nothing?  After he’d saved the guy’s life? / Kinda reminded him of the way he’d been treating John.  And his brothers.  Tohr realizes that he is not only hurting himself all this time, but John Matthew as well. 

He goes to the vault at makes the commitment to avenge his Wellsie instead of longing to die so he may see her again.  “I’m ready,” he said to no one and everyone. [Tohr] 

Lassiter

Though he is not well loved by the Brothers, he stands by Tohr and tries to snap him out of his funk. As the towel changed hands, the angel said with gravity, “Time to wake up, Cinderella.” [Lassiter to Tohr]

He admits to Tohr that he was sent Wellsie-sent to help him out.

John Matthew

Is still hopeful that Tohr will get better.  The boy, who was no longer a boy, came in bearing a tray heavily laden with food, and a face full of baseless optimism. [Tohr about JM]

John Matthew is still hung up on Xhex.  And when he discovers that she is a symphath, he doesn’t care. Here was the thing: Xhex was his female, whether she wanted to be or not.

When he realizes that Xhex doesn’t return his feelings, he goes into a downward spiral.  He didn’t look up at her, but not because he was shy or embarrassed.  He simply did not care that she was in the room, and it wasn’t an act.  His emotional grid was… empty. [Xhex]

After JM finds out that Tohr is missing, his decides that he can no longer can make any emotional commitment to the man he views as a father, because he no longer wishes to get hurt.

When John had done to talk with the Brother and found the guy had disappeared again, and without word again, something had shifted in him, like a boulder being rolled from one side of his yard to another a permanent change in the landscape. / John was alone. [JM]

Qhuinn and Blaylock

There is no more further development between the two in terms of a relationship.  “Nah, I’m cool,” Qhuinn muttered before finishing off his Corona.  “I’m not into redheads.” / Blay looked away sharply, taking an abrupt, feigned interest in a brunette woman.  Truth was, he was into only one person, and that person had shut him down as kindly and solidly as a best friend could. / Qhuinn evidently really, truly didn’t do redheads. [JM with Qhuinn and Blay]

They continue to be friends and watch out for JM and each other.

Wrath and Beth

Wrath feels like he’s not doing enough for his subjects in the war with the lessers.  With a mad shuffle, they got to their feet and bowed to him, the deference resounding in his gut like a kick in the balls.  Here he was delivering the latest, but far from the last, casualty in the fight, and these two still paid him respect. [Wrath]

He has been fighting in the field without anyone knowing.  When he gets caught, Beth is devastated that he has been lying to her for months.

“This thing with you?  The lying?  I don’t feel like I can trust my reality again.  I just don’t feel safe.  I man, my whole world is about you.  My whole world.  It’s all based on you, because out mating is the foundation of my life.  So this is about so much more than you fighting.”  [Beth to Wrath]

Wrath’s eyesight continues to decline until one day, he losses it permanently.  He becomes depressed and angry about being blind, and goes to the Scribe Virgin to find out if he is being punished for fighting in the field.  “What was going to be was going to be.  Your fighting had nothing to do with your loss of sight, and neither did I.” [SV to Wrath]

Wrath’s depression turns around when he meets Payne, and she kicks his ass.  Funny, he enjoyed the ache in his legand the sting in his shoulder and the pounding pulses of each and every one of his bruises.  They were all familiar, part of his history and his present, and what he was going to need in the unfamiliar, frighteningly dark future. [Wrath]

He realizes that by becoming blind, he can now be a better king for his people.  And a better hellren for Beth.

Door closes, window opens.  What if losing his vision was exactly what he needed in order to be… the true king of the race.  [Wrath]

Payne 

Payne meets Wrath on the Other Side.  He is feeling sorry for himself and so she forces him into a fight in order to show him that he is not weak.  She was honestly having a good time, even though she must have known she was about to pass out from the kind of pain he was going to inflict on her. [Wrath about Payne]

She offers to spar with him anytime he wants.

Lessening Society

The Lessening Society is going into the drug business to finance their war.  They start off by killing other drug dealers in order to clear the field for their takeover.

Mr. D

Is still looking after Lash.  The little Texan who had been Lash’s entrée was now his disciple. [Lash]

He is in charge of babysitting their new partner, Bobby G, who is a small time drug dealer and wanted in the murder of his girlfriend.  She used to work for Rehv as a hooker and Xhex and her boys are out hunting for him along with CPD.

Lash

He is establishing his new drug trade.  He steals and kills off dealers and sells the drugs they once had.  Lash liked making big entrances.  When he came out to the vampire world, it was going to be from a position of dominance.  [Lash]

Lash meets with the symphath king to make a deal.  He kills someone for them, they help him find vampires because Allies were the third prong in the wheel of war. [Lash]

Lash discovers that the king he has been dealing with is really the princess.  She is given to him as a gift for the misunderstanding and a punishment for her.  He ties her up and uses her.  He was going to use her until she broke, and then he was going to take her out and make her find him vampires to kill.  It was the perfect relationship.  And if he got bored with her or she couldn’t perform either sexually or as a divining rod?  He would get rid of her.  [Lash]

When the princess escapes, he goes after his female at the colony.  That’s when the Brotherhood finds out that Lash lives.  “Well, look at it this way.  At least we get to kill him again.” [Qhuinn]

When Xhex kills the princess, Lash takes her instead because “He’d come for a female and he was leaving with one.  [Lash]

Discussion

  1. How do you feel about the new twists in the series?
  2. What do you think of Rehvenge?
  3. What are your feelings about his symphath and vampire sides?
  4. How do you feel about Rehv’s secrets?  Do you think that it was inevitable that they be revealed?
  5. What do you think about Ehlena?  Is she a strong heroine?
  6. How about her father and his illness?  Do you feel there is a correlation between that and Ehlena’s life?
  7. Do Rehvenge and Ehlena make a good couple?  Do they have enough in common to last?
  8. What do you think about the relationship between Xhex and John Matthew?
  9. Do you think John Matthew and Tohr can reconcile?  Will their relationship last as father/son or will it be more of friends/ brothers?
  10. How do you feel about the change in John Matthew’s attitude?
  11. What are your feelings about Wrath’s “moonlighting” and his lying about it?  Do you feel he was justified?
  12. What do you think of Wrath’s blindness?  Do you think that it will be permanent?
  13. How do you feel as Lash being the new villain?  Think he has staying power?
  14. Most favorite scene?  Least?
  15. Favorite one-liner?

Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns

Vocabulary from the previous novels can be found on their discussion pages:

 

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Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Unbound Discussion

February 20th, 2012 Angela Posted in Read-a-long Comments Off

Welcome to the Lover Unbound Discussion!  A few weeks ago we started the Black Dagger Brotherhood Read-a-long and today we’re focusing on a brother that I started out really liking, having such high hopes for his story, and ended up sort of feeling so-so about, Vishous.

While we see many of the Brothers in Lover Unbound, for today’s discussion, we are only focusing on those events within Lover Unbound and any characters that impact this story.  Many of us have read ahead in the series, but no spoilers please.

Here is the read-a-long schedule:

Dark Lover is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Eternal  is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Awakened is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Revealed is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Unbound is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Feb 24th – Lover Enshrined – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Mar 9th – Lover Avenged – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Mar 16th – Lover Mine – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Mar 23rd – Lover Unleashed – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Mar 30th – Lover Reborn – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Note: Direct quotes from the book are in italics.

The Brotherhood & Vampire Society

The war has taken a turn in favor of the vampires.  Butch’s power is decimating the Omega’s ranks and is giving hope to those that long for an end to the fighting.  Tensions between the Brotherhood and Havers, the vampire doctor, is making it complicated for the males to get proper medical treatment.  There is a growing dissension between those that would see traditions maintained, and those who look to change it,  for the continuation of the vampire community as a whole.

Vishous

Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, is one of the more darker members of the brotherhood.  His feelings toward his best friend, Butch, have taken him to a crossroads.  He can no longer sit and watch Butch and his female, Marissa, be blissfully happy and not feel the knife turn in his heart.  The truth had kept him mercifully awake: V was attached to his roommate in ways that complicated things and yet changed nothing at all.

If that wasn’t enough to deal with, Vishous learns that his mother also happens to be the mother of his race; The Scribe Virgin.  A god to his people and the reason for his unusual gifts.  She springs this on him at the same time as demanding that he become the next Primale of the Chosen, one of the Brotherhood that will mate with chosen females of the Scribe Virgin to create the next generation of warriors.  ”Wait, wait… So you’re going to do, like, IVF?” [Butch]  V dragged a hand through his hair and thought how good it would feel to put his fist through the wall.  “It’s a little more hands-on than that.”

While he spends his last days with the BDB, Vishous gets shot and taken to a human hospital where he meets Jane.  Jane called out the heart-failure protocol and leaned down to the patient.  “Don’t even think about it ,” she snapped.  “You die on me and I’m going to be really ticked off.” 

Jane

Dr. Jane Whitcomb meets Vishous for the first time while he’s bleeding out from a gunshot wound on her operating table. She ends up being kidnapped by the Brothers in order for her to continue to keep Vishious stable, both physically and mentally.  There was a moment of silence.  And then in a rough voice, the man whose life she saved spoke four words that changed everything… changed her life, changed her destiny:  “She. Comes. With. Me.” [V to Rhage, Phury, and Butch]

Her entrance into their world is first forced.  She’s kept prisoner in the BDB mansion; secluded with her sole patient. After a time, the relationship between Vishous and herself bloom into something beyond doctor/ patient and into more man/ woman territory.  He so totally loved her.  “You would have made a fine warrior, you know that?” / “I am one.  Death is my enemy.” / “Yeah it is, isn’t it?”  God, it made such sense that he’d bonded with her.  She was a  fighter… like him. “Your scalpel’s your dagger.” / “Yep.”

Jane stands up to Vishous, which only succeeds in bringing out the dominate tendencies in him.  V settled back against  the pillows and measured the hard line of her chin.  “Take off your coat.” / “Excuse me?” / “Take it off.” / “No.” / “I want it off.” / “Then I suggest you hold your breath.  Won’t affect me in the slightest , but at least the suffocation will help you pass the time for you.” / His arousal pounded.  Oh, shit, he needed to teach her that disobedience carried a price, and what a session that would be.  She’d fight him tooth and nail before she submitted.  If she submitted at all. [V to Jane]

Dr. Manuel Manello

Manny is chief of surgery at St. Francis Medical Center and Jane’s boss.  He also has an interest  in Jane that goes past professional.  His escape planning came to a  crashing halt as his instincts fired up, took the  wheel, grabbed control. / It wasn’t the fighter in him coming out, though.  It was all those possessive male impulses that had always been dormant, the ones he’d read about or heard about or seen with others, but had assumed he’d been born without.  The trigger was a scent in the room, the scent of a  male who wanted sex… with a female, with V’s surgeon. / Mine. [Vishous while in the hospital]

John Matthew

John Matthew finally goes through the transition, a super growth spurt that’s a young vampire’s version of puberty.

When John woke up, the first thought that went through his mind was that he wanted a hot-fudge sundae with bacon bits on top.  Which was just nasty, really. / Except, damn … chocolate and bacon would be heaven right about now.

Xhex

Xhex, introduced in over Revealed, is the head of security at ZeroSum, a nightclub and local hangout for the Brothers.  John Matthew is drawn to her from the first.  Her walk was one of power and confidence, like she was stalking prey, and men who weighed more than her got out of her way quick as mice.

The Scribe Virgin

As the creator of the vampire race, the Scribe Virgin acts as their deity.  Her one shot at creating life wasn’t enough to satisfy her needs.  She wished to bring forth life from her own body.  Creating a body and selecting a father turned out  to be a bad idea.  The male she chose, having desirable traits like strength and cunning, was a cruel and ruthless leader. They bargained for the life of Vishous and what his role would be in the future. Having reached our accord, he forced me beneath him for hours, until the form I was in nearly died from it. He was possessed by the need to conceive, and I endured him because I was the same. [The Scribe Virgin to Vishous]

In the end, like all good parents, the Scribe Virgin gives Vishous his freedom to choose his own fate instead of dictating one for him.  “I renounce you as my son.  You are free of me and I of you.  Live well, warrior.” [Scribe Virgin to Vishous]

She does not reveal to Vishous that he has a twin, Payne.

Payne

Payne is briefly introduced in Lover Unbound.  No one but the Scribe Virgin knows of her and she remains in stasis in the other realm, where the Chosen and Scribe Virgin live.

The Scribe Virgin stared at her daughter’s face. Payne was not like other females, hadn’t been since birth.  She had her father’s warrior instinct and urge for battle and was no more content to dally with the Chosen than a lion could be caged satisfactorily with mice. [Scribe Virgin]

Phury

Phury is continually plagued by his desires for his twin’s shellan, Bella, and realizes that something needs to change.

In the end, Phury agrees to become the Primale in Vishous’ place.

Lessening Society

Lessers

The lessers, as a whole, are in disarray.  The emergence of Butch and his ability to grant them true death  have left them, for the most part, struggling toward retreating and regrouping.

Discussion

What did you think of Vishous?

What did you think of Jane?  Do you think she’s a good match for Vishous?  Can she hold her own with other shellans?

Do you believe in Vishous’ and Jane’s relationship?  Think it will last?

What do you think Vishous’ sexual practices?  The Bloodletter’s punishments and practices?

Is Vishous a product of nature or nurture?

What do you think of change in dynamics between Butch and Vishous?

What is your guess for John Matthew’s future in the brotherhood?

The Scribe Virgin believes that the bad things that happen to Vishous are because of her choice to break the rules and giving birth to him and his twin.  Do you think she’s right?

Favorite scene?  Least?

Favorite one-liner?

Who was your favorite character in Lover Unbound?

Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns

Vocabulary from the previous novels can be found on their discussion pages:


attendhente (n.) Chosen who serves the Scribe Virgin in particularly close manner.

ehors (n.) A Chosen trained in the matter of sexual arts.

leahdyre l(n.) A person of power and influence.

lheage (n.) A term of respect used by a sexual submissive to refer to his or her dominant.

transition (n.) Critical moment in a vampire’s life when he or she transforms into an adult.  Thereafter, they must drink the blood of the opposite sex and are unable to withstand sunlight.  Occurs generally in the mid-twenties.  Some vampires do not survive their transition, males in particular.  Prior to their transitions, vampires are physically weak, sexually unaware and unresponsive, and unable to dematerialize.

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Black Dagger Brotherhood: Lover Awakened Discussion

January 27th, 2012 Angela Posted in Read-a-long 1 Comment »

Welcome to the Lover Awakened Discussion!  A few weeks ago we started the Black Dagger Brotherhood Read-a-long and today we’re focusing on one of the most talked about characters, the one and only Zsadist, our lead brother from Lover Awakened.

While we see many of the Brothers in Lover Awakened, for today’s discussion, we are only focusing on those events within Lover Awakened and any characters that impact this story.  Many of us have read ahead in the series, but no spoilers please.

Here is the read-a-long schedule:

Dark Lover is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Lover Eternal  is now posted over at Literary Escapism

Lover Awakened is now posted here at Dark Faerie Tales

Feb 10th – Lover Revealed – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Feb 17th – Lover Unbound – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Feb 24th – Lover Enshrined – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Mar 9th – Lover Avenged – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Mar 16th – Lover Mine – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Mar 23rd – Lover Unleashed – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Mar 30th – Lover Reborn – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Note: Direct quotes from the book are in italics.

The Brotherhood & Vampire Society

Vampire society is starting to take precautions due to the new warfare tactics of the Lessening Society.  Civilians have been cautioned to travel in pairs.

Zsadist

A member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. He was kidnapped by his nanny when he was was a baby and sold into slavery. He spent 100 years as a blood slave, being abused in every way possible until his brother came and saved him. Thanks to his hundred years of careful training with the Mistress, there was no level of shit he hadn’t survived. Physical pain, mental anguish, cringing depths of humiliation and degradation, hopelessness, helplessness: Been there, sweated that.

Because of his past, he is emotionally closed off and feels nothing until he meets Bella. He was clearly having an emotional reaction, although damned if he knew what it was. All he picked up on were the ancillary symptoms. Inside himself there was nothing,  no feeling that he could identify. When she was kidnapped, he becomes obsessed and goes on a savage manhunt to find her.

He falls in love with Bella.  She makes him feel …alive. Awakened. He opens up about his past and bonds with her. When Bella leaves him, he decides to better himself and become worthy of her love. He learns to read and write. He mates her properly.

Bella

Bella is a female of worth, she is on the highest level of aristocracy. She is sister to Rehvenge.

She was abducted by Mr. O in Lover Eternal. He was obsessed with her because she reminded him of a past girlfriend that was killed. “I love you he said. I love you so much…I can’t live without you.” Bella was rescued by Zsadist and taken to the Brotherhood’s mansion.

Bella was drawn to Zsadist in Dark Lover when she saw him in the training center and she had been praying that he would save her. She knew what she wanted and she went after him. After her abduction she seeks Zsadist for comfort. For her, he was…the one. She doesn’t back down when he tries to push her away. No one had ever took that tone with him. The anomaly alone would have gotten his attention, but the fact that it was her stunned him out.

Bella becomes pregnant and returns to tell Zsadist. When she learns that he wanted her back and tried to better  himself for her, they decide to be mated.

Phury

Zsadist’s twin brother. He is celibate and addicted to red smoke. His dealer is The Reverend.

Phury is consumed by the guilt over Zsadist’s kidnapping as an infant and the tourture that he went through as a result of being a blood slave. He has given up having a life of his own to watch over and keep Zsadist in line. Zsadist murmured, “You live less than half a life. You always have.”

Phury wants Bella for himself and resents Zsadist. It should be me in there with her. Washing her, Easing her. Caring for her. Its this feeling and the hatred he has for himself that he decides to move up to Heroin.

John Matthew

John Matthew is his human given name, Tehrror is his warrior name. He was born in a bathroom stall at a train station. He was raised by nuns at Our Lady of Mercy Orphanage. Bella introduced him to the Brotherhood when she realized he was a pretrans male. He is mute and communicates by sign language.

He was taken in by Tohrment and Wellsie and went to live with them. He feels like he belongs somewhere for the first time in his life. He finds out that he is a descendant of Darius and is most likely his son and that he has a sister, Beth, the Queen.

He begins classes with Brotherhood’s training school and is picked on from the start. He knew he was tripping all kinds of social wires, setting off land mines right and left, what with his names and the raised-by-humans thing and his inability to talk. He had a feeling this school day was going to be one hell of an endurance test, so he might as well save his energy.

Tohr & Wellsie

Tohrment and Wellsie are mated and are expecting their first child. They take John Matthew in and see him as a son.

Tohrment is a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. He is in charge of the brothers since Wrath ascended to the throne. He has a violent reaction when he hears of Wellsie’s death. A raw scream shattered the air…the burst of energy that followed was so strong it shattered the glass door…one by one down both lengths of the hall, the fluorescent ceiling lights exploded…energy vibrated up through the concrete floor, leaving cracks that ran into the cinder-block walls… Tohrment disappears.

Wellsie is shot and killed by  Mr. O, as she visits a spiritual leader in reference to planning a winter festival.

Butch

Butch has adjusted to his new life with the Brotherhood. The former homicide detective was an anomaly in their world, the only human who’d ever been let into the Brotherhood’s inner circle. Butch was V’s roommate, Rhage’s lifting partner in the gym, Phury’s clothes-whore buddy.

He still pines after Marissa, wanting to be with her. He sure as shit didn’t understand why Marissa had gotten to him as much as she had.

Marissa

Marissa still lives with her brother. She calls on Rehvenge, for feeding. She has never feed from anyone but Wrath. “I’m rather embarrassed, actually. I just don’t know what to do.”

Marissa runs into Butch in the clinic and asks him to call on her but he refuses.

Rehvenge

Rehvenge is six foot six, with a Mohawk and amethysts eyes. He is Bella’s overbearing older brother. As soon as he got her back, she was never going to be allowed out without his approval. He takes care of his mother and sister and would do anything for them.

Rehvenge is also known as The Reverend, although he keeps this a secret from his family. He is the  owner of ZeroSum and a drug dealer and pimp.

Rehvenge is a sympath.

Lessening Society

The lessening society has amped up its war on the Brotherhood by continually abducting civilian vampires in an effort to locate the Brothers.  The persuasion techniques used by Mr. X in Dark Lover have been introduced to other Lessers and Mr. O has become the lead interrogator.

Mr. X

Is not seen as much in Lover Eternal, but his influences are definitely present.

Mr. O

David Ormond, a lesser. He hates paling out so he dies his hair to stop from losing himself to the anonymity.  He becomes second in command to Mr. X and in charge of the persuasion center’s training.

He kidnaps Bella because she reminds him of his ex-girlfriend, Jennifer. Jennifer was killed in a car crash by a drunk driver. He killed the driver and then joined the Lessening Society right after.  He [Mr. O] knew it wasn’t Jennifer in that hole, but the vampire was so close to what had been taken from him, and he wasn’t going to be picky. He’d accept the gift he’d been given and guard it well.  This time no one was going to take his woman from him.  No one.

Mr. U

Is brought in by Mr. X since he has been responsible for building compounds in the past.

Is paired with Mr. O during the construction of the persuasion center and then becomes Mr. O’s partner at its completion.

Lessers

De-souled humans who are created by and serve the Omega. Enemies of the vampire race. They are chosen specifically for their capacity of violence and stripped of their souls in order to gain strength and longevity to hunt and kill vampires. They bleach out the longer they are in service, becoming pale skinned with pale hair, smell like baby powder and are impotent.

Discussion

What is your take on Zsadist falling in love with Bella? Do you believe in their relationship?

What is your take on Bella? Did you think she was a strong heroine?

How do you feel about the multiple conflicts in the book?

Which character are you most looking forward to learning more about after Lover Awakened?

What did you like most about Lover Awakened? Least?

Do you have a favorite quote or scene in Lover Awakened?

How would you rate the book overall?

Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns

Vocabulary from the previous novels can be found on their discussion pages:

ahvenge (n.) – Act of mortal retribution, carried out typically by a male loved one.

cohntehst (n.) – Conflict between two males competing for the right to be a female’s mate.

ghardian (n.) – Custodian of an individual.  There are varying degrees of ghardians, with the most powerful being that of a sehcluded female.

glymera (n.) – The social core of the aristocracy, roughly equivalent to Regency England’s ton.

mahmen (n.) – Mother. Used both as an identifier and a term of affection.

nalla (n.) – A term of endearment meaning “beloved”.

sehclusion (n.) – Status conferred by the king upon a female of the aristorcracy as a result of a petition by the femlae’s family. Places the female under the sole direction of her ghardian, typically the eldest male in her household.  Her ghardian then has the legal right to determine all aspects of her life, restricting at will any and all interactions she has with the world.

symphath (n.) – Species within the vampire race characterized by the ability and desire to manipulate emotions in others (for the purpose of an energy exchange), among other traits.  Historically, they have been discriminated against and during certain eras hunted by vampires.  They are near to extinction.

tahlly (adj.) – A term of endearment loosely translated as “darling”.

whard (n.) – Equivalent of a godfather or godmother to an individual.

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Black Dagger Brotherhood: Dark Lover Discussion

January 6th, 2012 Angela Posted in Read-a-long 6 Comments »

Welcome to the Dark Lover Discussion!  The teams from Dark Faerie Tales and Literary Escapism created this snapshot for the Dark Lover discussion.  In this first installment, JR Ward introduces readers to the gritty and dangerous world of Caldwell, New York.  We get a taste for the insatiable and irresistible Black Dagger Brotherhood and the evil cabal they must defeat.

For purposes of today’s discussion, we can only focus on the events from Dark Lover. Many of us have read ahead in the series, but no spoilers please.

Here is the read-a-long schedule:

Jan 6th – Dark Lover – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Jan 20th – Lover Eternal – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Jan 27th – Lover Awakened – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Feb 10th – Lover Revealed – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Feb 17th – Lover Unbound – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Feb 24th – Lover Enshrined – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Mar 9th – Lover Avenged – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Mar 16th – Lover Mine – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

Mar 23rd – Lover Unleashed – Discussion hosted by Dark Faerie Tales

Mar 30th – Lover Reborn – Discussion hosted by Literary Escapism

The Brotherhood & Vampire Society

Brotherhood

Warriors who protect the vampire race against lessers and the lessening society.  Selective breeding produces warriors who are stronger mentally and physically and heal faster after being injured.

Current Members: Wrath, Darius (dies in Dark Lover), Tohrment, Vishous, Rhage, Phury, and Zsadist.

Following Wrath’s ascension to the throne, the Brotherhood will undergo restructuring.  Tohrment will lead the brothers and they will all live, train, and fight together.  They will start a  recruitment  and  training center to better facilitate the war against the Lessening Society.

Vampire Society

Hierarchy of the vampire race includes 1) King/Queen and First Family 2) Chosen 3) Princeps 4) Civilians. The Scribe Virgin is the creator of the race and councils the King.

Scribe Virgin

Analisse. Creator/Mother of the vampire race. Resides in the Fade, a non-temporal world with her Chosen.  She provides council to the King and was close to Wrath’s father.  It is unacceptable to ask her a question.  She is draped in black silk from head to toe with a white, blinding light visible underneath.

Wrath

The last purebred vampire on the planet and the vampire race’s king.  Essentially blind, he is the leader who was  not willing to lead until he is forced to care for a half-breed he falls in love with.

Witnesses his parents murders at the hands of lessers before he transitioned.  He blames himself for their deaths. Wrath went through his transition in the late 1700s after surviving among humans for a time.  He lived in the slums before finding work as a servant in a merchant’s stable.

Wrath offers Tohr a rythe for bringing Wellsie into an argument and pretty much making fun of their relationship.  Even though it’s considered a treasonous offense for attacking the King, Tohr would be exempt from punishment because of the rythe.

Before his change, he was “…whip-thin, scrawny and weak, and easy prey for human boys looking for fun” (pg 72 [pgs per Nook])

Beth

Elizabeth Randall is the half breed daughter of Darius.  She’s works at the Caldwell Courier Journal as a beat reporter. She is attacked and almost raped at the start of Dark Lover.  She is unaware of her vampire heritage as she was raised in the foster care system and never knew anything about her parents.  Wrath decides to honor Darius’ last missive before death and help her through her transition and they fall in love.  She becomes the Queen of the vampire race.

Beth inherits all of Darius’ holdings and provides the brotherhood with a place to live.  She can venture into the sunlight because of her half breed nature.

Darius

He’s a Black Dagger Warrior and highborn princeps.  Asks Wrath to help his half breed daughter through her transition because with his pure blood she will have a greater chance to survive.  Killed by lessers in a car bombing before ever meeting his daughter.

In the Fade, the Scribe Virgin offers him a chance to return and he accepts even with the trade off of not remembering his previous life and losing one token of faculty.

Butch

Brian O’Neal, homicide detective for the Caldwell police department.  Described as a hard-ass.  He was suspended after using excessive force on the man who tried to rape Beth.  Protective by nature he takes things to the extreme in the name of protecting victims and the innocent.  Forms a bond with Vishous and leaves his life behind after learning about vampires as he feels that he fits better in their world.

Marissa

Wrath’s shellan, in name only.  Lives with her brother, Havers, because she doesn’t have a true relationship with Wrath.  She feels worthless because Wrath doesn’t want her as a true mate but still holds close the hope that he will come to love her.  Comes to see that Wrath was never hers and broke her covenant to him.  She develops a thing for Butch when she meets him while coming to confront Wrath for the way she has treated.

Havers

A physician to the vampire race, he runs the underground clinic underneath his mansion.  He sees over 1,000 patients a year.  His shellan and infant son died during child birth.  He is starving and weakening because he refuses to feed due to the intimacy involved as he didn’t want to betray his dead wife’s memory by taking pleasure in someone else’s blood.  Feels that Wrath is a barbarian and that he has tarnished Marissa’s honor by refusing her. Plans to have him killed.

Even though Havers approached Zsadist to kill Wrath, he is not convicted of the treasonous act due to Wrath’s treatment of Marissa and thus the reason for Havers actions.

Fritz

Fritzgelder Perlmutter is a doggen in service to Darius for over a hundred years.  After Darius’ death he is in service to Wrath and Beth.  He can go out in the daytime and handles all sorts of things for the vampires he serves including cooking, cleaning and driving.

Vampire Facts

They have the ability to demateralize to any location unless they are trapped by heavy metals.  They can’t transport any heavy objects with them.   They are fast and have super human strength.

They are unable to walk in the sun, which is really the only vampire myth that applies to them.  They consider all other vampiric folklore to be ridiculous.

They have a very long life span, but can die as any human.  Shot, sliced, blown up – there’s no special way to kill a vampire.  If it will kill a human, it’ll kill a vampire.

They have no chest or lower body hair.

They are generally very attractive with their own specific traits.

When a vampire warrior weds, he has his mates name carved into his back by the Brotherhood.  Each warrior takes turns at carving until the name is complete.

They can only drink blood from the opposite sex and only from other vampires.  They could drink from humans, but they wouldn’t find true nourishment and would be hungry soon after.  They do not need to drink often and a seasoned vampire could wait months between feedings.

They can consume human drinks and food, etc.

When bonding, a spicy and dark scent is released to mark their mate.  This is to warn off other males/females as the bonding pair tends to be aggressive and protective regarding their mates.

They can breed with humans.  Any offspring may inherit various vampire traits. It depends on the strength of the vampire and not all offspring may turn.

Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns

  1. Black Dagger Brotherhood pr n. Highly-trained vampire warriors who protect their species against the Lessening Society. As a result of selective breeding within the race, Brothers possess immense physical and mental strength as well as rapid healing capabilities. They are not siblings for the most part and are inducted into the Brotherhood upon nomination by the Brothers. Aggressive, self-reliant and secretive by nature, they exist apart from civilians, having little contact with members of the other classes except when they need to feed. They are the subject of legend and the object of reverence within the vampire world.

  2. blood slave n. Male or female vampire who has been subjugated to serve the blood needs of another. The practice of keeping blood slaves has largely been discontinued, though it has not been outlawed.

  3. The Chosen n. Female vampires who have been bred to serve the Scribe Virgin. They are considered members of the aristocracy, though they are spiritually rather than temporally focused. They have little or no interaction with males, but can be mated at the Scribe Virgin’s direction to propagate their class. They have the ability to prognosticate.

  4. doggen n. Member of the servant class within the vampire world. Doggens have old, conservative traditions about service to their superiors, following a formal code of dress and behavior. They are able to go out during the day, but they age relatively quickly. Life expectancy is approximately five hundred years.

  5. The Fade pr n. Non-temporal realm where the dead reunite with their loved ones and pass eternity.

  6. First Family pr n. The king and queen of the vampires and any children they may have.

  7. hellren n. Male vampire who has been mated to a female. Males may take more than one female as mate.

  8. leelan adj. A term of endearment loosely translated as ‘dearest one’.

  9. needing period n. Female vampire’s time of fertility, generally lasting for two days and accompanied by intense sexual cravings. Occurs approximately five years after a female’s transition and then once a decade thereafter. All males respond to some degree if they are around a female in her need. It can be a dangerous time with conflicts and fights breaking out between competing males, particularly if the female is not mated.

  10. princeps n. Highest level of the vampire aristocracy, second only to members of the First Family or the Scribe Virgin’s Chosen. Must be born to the title; it may not be conferred.

  11. pyrocant n. Refers to a critical weakness in an individual. The weakness can be internal, such as an addiction, or external, such as a lover.

  12. rythe n. Ritual manner of assuaging honor granted by one who has offended another. If accepted, the offended chooses a weapon and strikes the offender who presents him or herself without defenses.

  13. The Scribe Virgin pr n. Mystical force who is counselor to the king as well as the keeper of vampire archives and the dispenser of privileges. Exists in a non-temporal realm and has extensive powers. Capable of a single act of creation which she expended to bring the vampires into existence.

  14. shellan n. Female vampire who has been mated to a male. Females generally do not take more than one mate due to the highly territorial nature of bonded males.

  15. The Tomb pr n. Sacred vault of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Used as a ceremonial site as well as a storage facility for the jars of lessers. Ceremonies performed there include inductions, funerals and disciplinary actions against Brothers. No one may enter except for members of the Brotherhood, the Scribe Virgin, or candidates for induction.

  16. transition n. Critical moment in a vampire’s life when he or she transforms into an adult. Thereafter, they must drink the blood of the opposite sex to survive and are unable to withstand sunlight. Occurs generally in the mid-twenties. Some vampires do not survive their transitions, males in particular. Prior to their transitions, vampires are physically weak, sexually unaware and unresponsive, and unable to dematerialize.

  17. vampire n. Member of a species separate from that of homo sapiens. Vampires must drink the blood of the opposite sex to survive. Human blood will keep them alive, though the strength does not last long. Following their transitions, which occur in their mid-twenties, they are unable to go out into sunlight and must feed from the vein regularly. Vampires may not ‘convert’ humans through a bite or transfer of blood, though they are in rare cases able to breed with the other species. Vampires can dematerialize at will, though they must be able to calm themselves and concentrate to do so and may not carry anything heavy with them. They are able to strip the memories of humans, provided such memories are short term. Some vampires are able to read minds. Life expectancy is indeterminate.

Lessening Society

Recruits into the Lessening Society tend to be social delinquents with a tendency towards violence.

Mr. X

Full name is Joseph Xavier.  He is the Fore-lesser of the Lessening Society.  He was born in the 1950s and was around 17 when he was recruited.  A real juvenile delinquent, he stabbed his father in the chest for beating him.  He killed the warrior Darius and decides to take the Lessening Society in a different direction by actively hunting down and taking out the Brotherhood instead of focusing solely on civilians.

Omega

Created the Lessening Society as a way to get back at the Scribe Virgin for creating the vampire race because he resented that he could not create new life.  He removes the souls of  humans to use in his personal vendetta of killing all  vampires.

Lessers

De-souled humans who are created by and serve the Omega. Enemies of the vampire race. They are chosen specifically for their capacity of violence and stripped of their souls in order to gain strength and longevity to hunt and kill vampires. They bleach out the longer they are in service, becoming pale skinned with pale hair, smell like baby powder and are impotent.

Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns

  1. Lessening Society pr n. Order of slayers convened by the Omega for the purpose of eradicating the vampire species.

  2. lesser n. De-souled human who targets vampires for extermination as a member of the Lessening Society. Lessers must be stabbed through the chest in order to be killed, otherwise they are ageless. They do not eat or drink and are impotent. Over time, their hair, skin and irises lose pigmentation until they are blonde, blushless and pale-eyed. They smell like baby powder. Inducted into the Society by the Omega, they retain a ceramic jar thereafter into which their heart was placed after it was removed.

  3. The Omega pr n. Malevolent, mystical figure who has targeted the vampires for extinction out of resentment directed towards the Scribe Virgin. Exists in a non-temporal realm and has extensive powers, though not the power of creation.

Discussion

What do you think about the world that Ward has created?

What were your first impressions when you met Wrath and Beth?

What is your favorite scene in Dark Lover?

How do you feel about the multiple points of view throughout the book? The multiple subplots?

Which character are you most looking forward to learning more about?

What did you like most about Dark Lover? Least?

How would you rate the book overall?

Have you ever wondered why Darius felt the need to put his affairs in order?  How did he know that he might not be around for Beth’s transition?

Did we miss anything? Any thoughts before we head into book two, Lover Eternal?

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