Lover Eternal - J.R. Ward Before I had ever heard of this book series, I first stumbled upon the Black Dagger Brotherhood Role Players on Twitter. I was all excited to learn more about this series, but when I found out the author did not allow fan fiction, I resisted reading it because I think that is so limiting in the fan experience.Nevertheless, I got a copy of the entire series from a friend - who wouldn't let me be in my resolve to stay away (LOL) and I found that Book 1 was a great introduction to the series. I loved the sexy, hot relationship between Wrath and Beth, and so did Michele.See Michele’s review for Dark Lover here.The real shocker from Book 1 – to me at least – was the pairing between the human, Butch, and the vampire, Marissa. I honestly thought she deserved better since Butch is a human and doesn’t compare in any which way to Wrath. In my opinion, Butch was a total downgrade, and for the love of the Scribe Virgin, the man didn’t even have a job. LOLBook 2 – Lover Eternal – starts out with Butch enjoying the high life that hanging with the Brotherhood now affords him, finding no problem wearing designer labels and carrying more cash than an ATM. Though despite all this, Marissa refuses to see him. Smart girl – I heart her. But just when I was about to discard Butch entirely, we find out he’s been hitting the gym and has acquired a six pack. Hmm…no job, a complete moocher, but has a six pack? Okay, what the hey, I’ll give him a second chance LOL!But I digress, Lover Eternal is about the relationship between Rhage and Mary. We learn that Rhage has been cursed by the Scribe Virgin and has a tattoo of a dragon-like beast on his back which comes to life whenever he feels rage, pain, or extreme arousal. The beast can’t discern between friend or foe, so it’s best to keep your distance from it in a fight.Mary, a human who unfortunately has a life-threatening disease, finds her way into Rhage’s world and the warrior is never the same again. In order to get his girl, though, Rhage must overcome several obstacles: gain control of his raging inner beast, battle several lessers, and defeat the most formidable foe in the book – Mary’s over the top insecurity issues.I found Mary’s continued refusal of Rhage and insecurities a bit taxing, but I still enjoyed the book as there are always two types of characters I find irresistible in a book – an underdog and a bad boy. I can’t resist either, and luckily for me, J.R. Ward always has several storylines running at once and includes both of these types in Lover Eternal.First, we meet the underdog - John Matthew, a young man in his 20’s who has no clue he’s about to transition into a vampire. He’s alone, lives in a bad neighborhood, and cannot speak. I found myself rooting for him, and hoping he’d get out of there before something happened to him. Towards the end of the book, we get a sense that his story is just beginning, and I can’t wait to see how things develop with him.Then we get to the bad boy – Zsadist. Since book 1, he’s been brooding in the background, and I can’t help but be more than a little intrigued with him. We also meet Bella, a vampire who’s a friend and neighbor to Mary. Bella joins the Brothers in their mansion and is fascinated with Z and the many scars adorning his face. She wants to know more about him, and is inexplicably drawn to the warrior.The Brothers warn Bella to stay away from Z, but the inner force driving her to him won’t listen to anyone. *fans self* The scenes between Bella and Z were so hot and heartbreaking, I was completely enthralled with this couple. At the end of the book, we are left with a cliffhanger as the lessers have taken Bella, and Z makes a vow to rescue her. I can’t wait to delve into Book 3 – Lover Awakened – and see what transpires between these two.My favorite part of this book was when Bella has been taken and Z goes to her house to find some clues about where she could be. He stumbles on her diary and discovers Bella has been writing about him – though he has no clue what she’s saying as Z doesn’t know how to read *heart melts & sobs* He’s so broken – I can’t help but want to save him, too.