J. R. Ward


Dark Lover

The first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, 2005

Dedicated to:

You, with awe and love.

Thank you for coming and finding me.

And for showing me the way.

It was the ride of a lifetime, the best I've ever had.


Acknowledgments

Thank you so very much: Karen Solem, Kara Cesare, Claire Zion, Kara Welsh, Rose Hilliard.

To my Executive Committee: Sue Grafton, Dr. Jessica Andersen, Betsey Vaughan. Burning up the Internet, the phone lines, and the Hutchins and Seneca Park ring-arounds with you has kept me focused, sane, and smiling.

With love to my family.

Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns

Black Dagger Brotherhood (pr. n.) Highly trained vampire warriors who protect their species against the Lessening Society. As a result of selective breeding within the race, brothers possess immense physical and mental strength as well as rapid healing capabilities. They are not siblings for the most part, and are inducted into the brotherhood upon nomination by the brothers. Aggressive, self-reliant, and secretive by nature, they exist apart from civilians, having little contact with members of the other classes except when they need to feed. They are the subjects of legend and the objects of reverence within the vampire world. They may be killed only by the most serious of wounds, e.g., a gunshot or stab to the heart, etc.


blood slave (n.) Male or female vampire who has been subjugated to serve the blood needs of another. The practice of keeping blood slaves has largely been discontinued, though it has not been outlawed.



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