The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward

Now I wouldn’t usually review trashy romance novels because, as entertaining and fun to read as they are, they’re escapism and not something that dictates the way I write or really what I read. I do love the occasional romance novel because you don’t really have to think, you can finish it in a day (sometimes 2 in a day, the way I’ve been plowing through this series) and they’re easy to recommend to girlfriends because there’s something for everyone.

And the covers aren’t cringingly racy.

That being said I¬†absolutely love J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. The setting is Caldwell, New York and present time, however the men in the series are hundred-some year old vampires so there are some throwback memories. It revolves around an elite group of warriors and their various romantic interests and lives. It isn’t all bodice ripping, however, which is what really dragged me into the novels.

Let’s see. One vampire is going blind, one had a heavy history of abuse, another is addicted to drugs, another with more abuse, one is fighting his feelings for another male warrior, etc. They struggle and they fail, they aren’t all perfect which is what I’ve seen in many of the romance novels I’ve read. Each character is well-defined, interesting, flawed and eventually overcomes the obstacles (of course).

Another thing I appreciate in the series is that it doesn’t treat us like we’re stupid. Too many books take FOREVER to explain the setting, explain the characters motives, discuss the various politicalness in the world. Ward doesn’t do that. The characters act like real people who talk about their plans without over-explaining what they’re doing. Very refreshing.

Except maybe this one…

The real problem with the series is that there are tenbooks (plus a few novellas) so once you’re hooked you’re in it for the long haul. The next book comes out in March 2013 and I can’t wait.