J. R. Ward's Dark Lover is a wonderfully guilty pleasure. My motto is that if I'm going to read 'trash', I might as well read quality 'trash'. Dark Lover falls smack into that category.
Dark Lover is the first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and it introduces readers to a tightly-knit band of warrior vampires known as the brotherhood. The brothers, all of whom are fearsome, tough and extremely hot, keep the vampire race safe against the soulless human vampire hunters, known as lessers. Wrath, leader of the brotherhood, considers himself a hardcore, hard-bitten warrior who is beyond tender emotions like love. That is, until he meets the half-vampire/half-human Beth.
The story is very well written, and the plot moves swiftly. Beth, the heroine, may only be a weak half-vampire, but her fearlessness and determination make her a strong character and a good match for the warrior-with-the-heart-of-gold, Wrath. Ward also manages to give each of the brotherhood vampires a unique personality and an intriguing back story that makes me eager to read the rest of the books in the series. Finally, there are also several sub-plots that keep things interesting.
I'd heard a great deal about Dark Lover, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it lived up to its reputation. Be warned, however. The book deserves an R rating for language and sex.