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When A Vampire Met Mary (david boreanaz mention)

Jessica C. Coggins

Friday 3 March 2006, by Webmaster

She didn’t believe in vampires until she fell in love with one

The vampire. Is there any mythical creature that has so captured our society’s fixation?

I must admit that the vampire is a guilty pleasure that I can’t help but sink my teeth into. I can’t explain it. All I know is that I devoured Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles in middle school and I still keep a David Boreanaz (“Angel”) poster in my bedroom.

That said, I was somewhat intrigued by the prospect of J.R. Ward’s “Lover Eternal,” another addition to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. “Lover Eternal” chronicles the passionate affair between the vampire Rhage and the cancer-stricken human Mary Luce-it’s “Love Story” with fangs.

Rhage is an elite member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a group of warriors who have sworn to protect their species of vampires against the Lessening Society, an order of vampire slayers who are impotent and albino-esque. Clearly, these lessers lack Buffy’s beauty and charm.

A blue-eyed vampire with a sculpted physique, Rhage is your typical brooding, black trench coat-wearing creature of the night. While he has a face that “makes Brad Pitt look like a candidate for ‘The Swan,’” Rhage also possesses a vociferous appetite (and not just for blood) that stems from a beast living inside him-a curse bestowed by the Scribe Virgin.

When Rhage’s inner beast surfaces, all those around him are in mortal danger. Fighting and mindless sex keep the beast at bay, but Rhage still has a century until it can be exorcised from his body. Until then, his nightly regime involves searching for the Lessening Society and keeping busy with barely-clad women who he only uses for sex.

But everything changes the second he meets Mary.

Mary Luce is an average-looking woman and a cancer survivor. Volunteering as a telephone operator for a suicide-prevention line, she is thrust into the world of vampires after a chance encounter with a scrawny mute runaway named John Matthew.

Despite her non-glamour looks, Mary captivates Rhage. From her first words, Rhage is consumed by her presence: “The musical lilt of her voice, the rhythm of her speech, the sound of her words, it all spread through him, calming him, comforting him.” This drive pushes Rhage toward Mary, and the two begin an intense, yet somehow romantic, affair.

Their love-making scenes will make even the most sexually liberated student blush. Along with detailed depictions of a vampire erection, the sexual escapades include such gems as, “He wanted her nails in his back and her tongue in his mouth and hips rocking under his until he came so hard he saw stars.”

Given the scope of vampire depictions throughout literature, “Lover Eternal” is more Nora Roberts than Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Ward seems to gleefully move from sex scene to sex scene, sparing no opportunity to make the reader as squeamish as possible.

The writing is not so much erotic as unnervingly bawdy. When I came across one particular passage, I nearly burst into laughter in Lamont: “Mary wrapped her legs around his hips, trying to have him so far inside that he could stay with her forever.”

In attempting to create portrayals of wild, animalistic sexual encounters, Ward delivers passages that are completely devoid of sensuality.

These graphic sex scenes only highlight Ward’s weak writing skills. She lacks lyrical prose compared to other established vampirical writers like Rice. Even her sentence structure is more aligned with the simplicity of Dan Brown.

“Lover Eternal” also falters whenever the story strays away from Rhage and Mary. When Ward follows either John Matthew, who we learn is a vampire yet to transform, or the Lessening Society, the writing is pitifully boring.

Yet, there is a disturbing and haunting appeal to “Lover Eternal.” Perhaps it’s Ward’s attempt to unite the world of the vampire with modernity. For goodness sake, Rhage drives an Escalade and enjoys the “Austin Powers” franchise.

Lestat certainly would not approve.