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Beth works in a dead end job at a newspaper as a journalist, and she just can’t seem to crack into the “old boy’s” club. Her boss is a pervert, more intent on sleeping with her than he is at letting her actually get any real, quality work done. On the way home from work one day, Beth foolishly walks home several blocks in a bad neighborhood after dark. Predictably, she is almost raped, and she gets away after fighting hard for her life. On that same night, a huge, mysterious stranger dressed in black leather and dark sunglasses shows up at her apartment to tell her he’s there to “protect” her. Figuring he’s been sent by her police buddies, she lets him in. What Beth doesn’t know is that the stranger is a vampire King named Wrath, and he’s there to tell her that she’s half-vampire and about to transition into a real blood drinking vampire herself.

I actually liked this book. I’ve been hearing about it for years, and I finally decided to take the plunge and read it. Yes, the male vampire characters all had rather silly names. That didn’t bother me as much as the fact that Beth slept with Wrath right after meeting him and right after her near-rape experience. Then even after Wrath insisted he wasn’t going to get involved with her, the very first time she bites him after her transition, he immediately asks her to marry him. Things developed rather quickly in several places in the story. I did like the characters, especially the Black Dagger Brothers, the detective (Butch), and the butler/manservant, Fritz. I liked them well enough to download and immediately start the second book in the series as soon as I turned the final page on this one.

I seem to have gotten into a bit of a vampire-centered reading binge. At the moment, I prefer this Black Dagger Brotherhood series over Rebecca Zanetti’s Dark Protectors series and Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. In the DP series, I like the good vampires, but they seem to do little that is vampire-like other than biting their mates, teleporting and being very fast and strong. The villains in that series are the rather cartoonish Kurjans. In the IAD series, we have too many different types of immortals to keep track of, and the chaotic interactions between the different species are confusing and over the top as they are constantly arguing with one another (during the every 500 year big interspecies blowup – the Accession).

The vampires in the BDB all seem to be cursed in one way or another, and J.R. Ward presents them in such a way that I want to get to know each of them one by one. This was a very good beginning to the series.