I get much love from JR as she sends me ARCs of these books after I sent her a desperate fangirl letter back when Dark Loverwas first released. Apparently, I must have been one of the first desperate fangirls back then, because I think she gets a shitload of those letters now. Sometimes, it’s good to be first I do keep expecting to be replaced in the ARC bonanza though. I hope that doesn’t happen soon, because I’m sure I’ll eventually be able to auction off one of these ARCs and make my car payment. Okay not really, but I would be sad, since I do have a nice collection of Brotherhood ARCs going. A matched set next to my collection of the real thing. But enough babbling.
I have to start with an aside about something, I know that Bam’s review caused a stir a few weeks ago, and I think Janine reviewed this book yesterday. But I don’t read reviews under two circumstances: 1) if I know I’m absolutely going to read a book, I never read the review because I don’t want to be swayed or read spoilers and 2) If I’m going to be writing a review, I don’t read it. Because I don’t want to unconsciously mimic someone else’s review. So after I write this, I’m headed to Bam’s to see what the big fuss was about (if I can make my way through the whole review because, damn, Bam, wordy much? Need a good editor? )
On to the blurb:
Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. And if he can’t have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.
But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.
What didn’t work for me: Okay, let’s just put this out there. I mentioned I’m a fangirl, right? And I love me some Brotherhood books, but sometimes, the things these macho guys say? For mercy’s sake. “I’m outtie?” I am stating here and now, in this public venue, that I’m going to send JR a copy of Clueless and force her to watch it, so she too can have the vision of Cher and Dionne in her head every time “I’m outtie” comes out of one of the Brother’s or lesser’s mouths. It’s just not right. And that leads me to my second point about the language–the fact that both the Brothers AND the lessers use the same slang, the same yo-yo-yo-boooooy way of talking. The uniformity of that really got to me in this one. In books past, I’ve rather looked over it, but once both sets of peeps start talking the same smack, well, it threw me outtie the story a little.
Something I noted that was different about this book, was the missing of Phury. While most of the other Brothers, and some other secondary characters get page-time, I felt that Phury was noticeably not in this book too much. Maybe it’s because I have special feelings for him and can’t wait for his story, but I noticed dammit 😉
Edited to add: After I read Janine’s review and the comments there, someone said that Marissa has been named as people’s favorite heroine. Not true for me. In fact, I was thinking as I finished this book that I’m every other book with liking the heroines. Liked Beth, didn’t like Mary so much. Liked Bella, don’t like Marissa so much. I didn’t even mention Marissa in the original draft of this review, I had to come back and add this in, that’s how much she didn’t cross my radar as “likeable”
One other thing I should mention here, though it’s not something that doesn’t bother me, so it’s not a “didn’t work for me thing” but something I think might disturb other people; yes, there are some homoerotic overtones. I can only believe they’re deliberate because they’re unapologetically there and part of the story. .
What worked for me: The whole damn book with the exception of the somewhat uniformity of character voice that I mentioned above. Otherwise, no matter what the issues with the book, no matter that a character says “I’m outtie” or some other ridiculous thing, this story is amazing. And that’s why JR is at the top of the game, why people move past what doesn’t work for them and ignore it. Because she’s a good storyteller, she sucks you in, grabs you by the throat and keeps you turning the pages to find out what’s going to happen next. I’ll tell you now, I let this ARC sit for a few weeks because I was one of those doubters who rather wrinkled my nose and said “Butch’s story? Eh.” Boy, do I feel like a schmuck. I should have read it right away. Why didn’t someone tell me to sit down and read it. Because once I did? I didn’t go to bed until it was done. JR takes the reader deeper into the world of the Brothers, gives more mythology, more background and introduces some intriguing new twists.
Overall: Clearly I loved this book despite what I didn’t like. I don’t CARE about that stuff because I loved the story just that much. I know people think that sometimes the main romance gets short-shrift somewhat to fit in the secondary characters as well, but I think the cast of characters and all their page time is what makes these books great. Oh, and you Vishous lovers out there, who can’t wait for his story? He plays a key role in this book so you get to see a lot of him and find out some things you might not have guessed. In other words, if you like these books at all, don’t miss this book.
And if you want to find out more about JR, you can visit her at her website.
Don’t forget, everyone who comments today will be eligible to win a copy of this book, which I’ll have sent to you via Amazon. Winner will be chosen on Thursday.