Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
J.R. Ward is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She lives in the South with her family.
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Praise for the Novels of J. R. Ward
“Now here’s a band of brothers who knows how to show a girl a good time.”
“Terrific…explosive…exciting…. Ward has outdone herself.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The newest in Ward’s ferociously popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series bears all the marks of a polished storyteller completely at home in her world…. This fix will give Brother addicts a powerful rush.”
“These erotic paranormals are well worth it, and frighteningly addictive…. It all works to great, page-turning effect…. In just two years, the…series [has] earned Ward an Anne Rice–style following, deservedly so.”
“Best new series I’ve read in years! Tautly written, wickedly sexy, and just plain fun.”
—Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Hide
“Utterly absorbing and deliciously erotic. I found myself turning pages faster and faster—and then I wished I hadn’t, because there was no more to read…. The hottest collection of studs in romance, and I can’t wait for the next one!”
—Angela Knight, USA Today bestselling author of Master of Dragons
“Ward wields a commanding voice perfect for the genre…hold on tight for an intriguing, adrenaline-pumping ride…leaves readers begging for more. Fans of L. A. Banks, Laurell K. Hamilton, and Sherrilyn Kenyon will add Ward to their must-read list.”
“[An] extremely intense and emotionally powerful tale…. Ward’s paranormal world is, among other things, colorful, dangerous, and richly conceived…intricate plots and believable characters.”
—Romantic Times (top pick)
“It’s not easy to find a new twist on the vampire myth, but Ward succeeds beautifully. This dark and compelling world is filled with enticing romance as well as perilous adventure. With myriad possibilities to choose from, the Black Dagger Brotherhood series promises tons of thrills and chills.”
—Romantic Times (top pick)
“A dynamite new vampire series—delicious, erotic, and thrilling! J. R. Ward has created a wonderful cast of characters, with a sexy, tormented, to-die-for hero…a fabulous treat for romance readers!”
—Nicole Jordan, New York Times bestselling author of Touch Me with Fire
“J. R. Ward has a great style of writing and she shines…. You will lose yourself in this world; it is different, creative, dark, violent, and flat-out amazing.”
—All About Romance
“An awesome, instantly addictive debut novel. It’s a midnight whirlwind of dangerous characters and mesmerizing erotic romance. The Black Dagger Brotherhood owns me now. Dark fantasy lovers, you just got served.”
—Lynn Viehl, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowlight
BY J. R. WARD
The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider’s Guide
NOVELS IN THE BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD SERIES
A Novel of the Fallen Angels
J. R. Ward
With thanks to:
Kara Cesare, Claire Zion, Kara Welsh, Leslie Gelbman, and everyone at NAL. As always.
Thank you also to Steven Axelrod, my voice of reason.
With love to Team Waud: Dee, LeElla, K, and Nath—without whom none of this would be possible. Thank you also to Jen and Lu and all our Mods and Hall Monitors.
And with total gratitude to Doc Jess (aka Jessica Andersen), Sue Grafton, Suz Brockmann, Christine Feehan and her wonderful family, Lisa Gardner, and Linda Francis Lee.
And with all love to my husband, my mother, the better half of WriterDog, and my whole family.
EXCERPT FROM RAPTURE
Demon was such a nasty word.
And so damned old-school. People heard demon and they conjured up all kinds of Hieronymus Bosch helter-skelter—or worse, Dante’s stupid-ass Inferno crap. Honestly. Flames and tortured souls and everyone wailing.
Okay, maybe Hell was a little toasty. And if the place had had a court painter, Bosch would have been at the head of the pack.
But that wasn’t the point. The Demon actually saw itself as more of a Free-Will Coach. Much better, more modern. The anti-Oprah, as it were.
It was all about influence.
The thing was, the qualities of the soul were not dissimilar to the components of the human body. The corporeal form had a number of vestigial parts, like the appendix, the wisdom teeth, and the coccyx—all of which were at best unnecessary, and at worst capable of compromising the functioning of the whole.
Souls were the same. They, too, had useless baggage that impeded their proper performance, these annoying, holier-than-thou bits dangling like an appendix waiting for infection. Faith and hope and love…prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude…all this useless clutter just packed too much damn morality into the heart, getting in the way of the soul’s innate desire for malignancy.
A demon’s role was to help people see and express their inner truth without their being clouded by all that bullshit, diverting humanity. As long as people stayed true to their core, things were going in the right direction.
And lately, that had been relatively true. Between all the wars on the planet, and the crime, and the disregard for the environment, and that cesspool of finance known as Wall Street, as well as the inequalities far and wide, things were okay.
But it wasn’t enough and time was running out.
To go with a sports analogy, Earth was the playing field and the game had been going on since the stadium had been built. The Demons were the Home Team. Away was made up of Angels pimping that chimera of happiness, Heaven.
Where the court painter was Thomas Kincaid, for fuck’s sake.
Each soul was a quarterback on the field, a participant in the universal struggle of good against evil, and the scoreboard reflected the relative moral value of his or her deeds on earth. Birth was kickoff and death was game-over—whereupon the score would be added to the larger tally. Coaches had to stay on the sidelines, but they could put different complements of players on the field with the human to...