I once read that J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) series is the measure by which all other paranormal romances books should be evaluated. The sentiment stuck in my head and played on repeat for quite some time. So later, years after I had heard first heard of BDB’s greatness, it wasn’t a shock when I fell horribly, madly in love with Ward’s world. I can still recall how I binged on the series right after my daughter was born, cruising through the books in the middle of the night, my desire to catch some sleep warring with the desire to continue reading about Wrath, Beth, and the entire BDB crew.
Although the series has ventured away from romance at times (I’m looking at you The Shadows), the vast majority of paranormal romance fans have delved, or have at least tried to delve, into the deep, deep world of Ward’s vampires. As a result, there are online communities entirely dedicated to the BDB world, its eccentricities and its inconsistencies. It’s therefore no surprise that this time each year, in anticipation of the next release of the series in April, I reread a few of the 400+ page books. It’s always a serious time commitment but always worth it in the end.
However, if you don’t have time to reread the series each year, or you don’t want to spend the inordinate amount of time it takes to undertake such a task, simply recalling some favorite moments is the perfect way to relive the entire series to date. Of course, quite a few BDB quotes are funny and sexy, per Ward’s irreverent writing style; there are plenty of sweet and swoon-worthy moments in the series as well, though. My very favorite quotes transport me back to the original Brotherhood days where the boys were experiencing growing pains and finding their footing as they fell in love and moved into the mansion.
WARNING: Spoilers abound below!
Dark Lover (Wrath and Beth’s Book)
“Does it hurt?”
“You’re going to feel—”
“Not me. Will I hurt you?”
Wrath swallowed his surprise. No one worried about him. Vampires and humans alike feared him. His race worshipped him. But none were ever concerned for him. He didn’t know how to handle the sentiment.
“You’re just too mean to find a grave and lie down.”
There was a loud scraping noise as five chairs slid backward. The men rose as a unit. And started coming for her.
She looked to the faces of the two she knew, but their grave expressions weren’t encouraging.
And then the knives came out.
With a metallic whoosh, five black daggers were unsheathed.
She backed up frantically, hands in front of herself. She slammed into a wall and was about to scream for Wrath when the men dropped down on bended knees in a circle around her. In a single movement, as if they’d been choreographed, they buried the daggers into the floor at her feet and bowed their heads. The great whoomp of sound as steel met wood seemed both a pledge and a battle cry.
The handles of the knives vibrated.
The rap music continued to pound.
They seemed to be waiting for some kind of response from her.
“Umm. Thank you,” she said.
The men’s heads lifted. Etched into the harsh planes of their faces was total reverence. Even the scarred one had a respectful expression.
And then Wrath came in with a squeeze bottle of Hershey’s syrup.
“Bacon’s on the way.” He smiled. “Hey, they like you.”
“And thank God for that,” she murmured, looking down at the daggers.
Lover Eternal (Rhage and Mary’s Book)
She smiled a little. “You are a manipulator.”
“I like to think of myself more as an outcome engineer.”
“My twin’s not broken. He’s ruined. Do you understand the difference? With broken, maybe you can fix things. Ruined? All you can do is wait to bury him.”
Lover Awakened (Zsadist and Bella’s Book)
“She is more beautiful than I have words for.” He lifted his eyes to Phury’s. “And last night, I was blessed beyond measure to serve her.”
“Maybe you can’t read it,” he said in a small voice. “I can do it over.”
She shook her head. “I can read it just fine. It’s…beautiful.”
“I don’t expect anything back. I mean…I know that you don’t…feel that for me anymore. But I wanted you to know. It’s important that you knew.”
“I was dead until you found me, though I breathed. I was sightless, though I could see. And then you came…and I was awakened.”
Lover Revealed (Butch and Marissa’s Book)
“Vishous, I smell like Obsession for Men, only I’m not wearing any, you feel me?”
There was silence on the line. Then, “Humans don’t bond.”
“Oh, really. You want to tell that to my central nervous system and my sweat glands? They’d appreciate the news flash, I’m sure.”
Well, wasn’t this a night for firsts. Sex. Arson. Pants.
“You’ve got some of me in you, cop.” Wrath’s smile stuck around as he slid his glasses back on. “I always knew you were a royal. Just didn’t think it went past the pain-in-the-ass part, is all.”
Lover Unbound (Vishous and Jane’s Book)
Butch was quiet for a time. Then he said, “I think that’s why I like Jane.”
“When you look at her? You actually see her, and when’s the last time that’s happened for you?”
V geared himself up, then stared hard into Butch’s eyes. “I saw you. Even though it was wrong. I saw you.”
“I tried to tell you no,” he growled as his hand buried itself in her hair and locked on, pulling her head back. “Tried to be nice.”
“Praying’s not going to help. Too late for that, Jane.” There was regret in his voice—as well as erotic inevitability. “I gave you a chance to have it on your terms. Now we’ll do this on mine.”
Lover Enshrined (Phury and Cormia’s Book)
She silenced him with her mouth, then pulled back. “You can’t change what I think of you.”
He reached up and brushed her lower lip with his thumb. “If you truly knew me, everything you believe would change.”
“Your heart would be the same. And that is what I love.”
Then Z spat, “For fuck’s sake get off the cross. Someone else needs the wood.”
Lover Avenged (Rehvenge and Ehlena’s Book)
“Well, I feel like such an ass for saying this.” She smoothed the front of her off-the-rack-and-then-some slacks. “But I wish I had better clothes. Then I’d be beautiful.”
And then he shocked the crap out of her by kneeling before her.
As he looked up, he had a slight smile on his lips.
“Don’t you get it Ehlena.” With gentle hands, he stroked down her calf and brought her foot forward, balancing it on his thigh. As he undid the laces of her cheapo Keds sneaker, he whispered, “No matter what you wear…to me, you will always have diamonds on the soles of your shoes.”
“I, ah…I chose him…” The doggen cleared his throat. “I chose him over the Labradors because he sheds more.”
Wrath’s blind eyes blinked. “Why would that be a good thing?”
“Because your staff enjoys vacuuming. I thought it would be a lovely gift for them.”
From behind him, Beth said, “Do you want me to get you a coat?”
He smiled a little and looked over his shoulder, imagining her standing in the mansion’s great portal, the glow of the lights from inside framing her.
“You know,” he said, “this is why I love you so much.”
Her tone was heartbreakingly warm. “What do you mean?”
“You don’t ask me to go inside because it’s cold. You just want to make it easier for me to be where I want to stand.”
“Ehlena…” He released a long, slow breath. “I can’t go back to the way things were.”
“If you mean a drug lord and a pimp, somehow I’m not crushed.”
Lover Mine (John Matthew and Xhex’s Book)
“I miss you. I miss you so fucking bad it hurts, but I don’t know how to find you even though you’re right in front of me.”
You never knew the last time you were seeing someone. You didn’t know when the last argument happened, or the last time you had sex, or the last time you looked into their eyes and thanked God they were in your life.
After they were gone?
That was all you thought about.
Day and night.
What about your end game? John signed.
She took a deep breath. “I think I’d like to change my plans.”
How? Oh, God, he thought, please say—
“I’d like you and me to be my end game.”
Lover Unleashed (Payne and Manny’s Book)
“I came to you, Jane. Every night this week, I came to you. I didn’t want you to be alone. And I didn’t want to sleep without you.”
“You are perfect for a female.”
“Not where I come from,” she muttered.
“Then they’re using the wrong standard.”
“One other thing.”
“I think we’re dating now.” As V barked out a laugh, the cop shrugged. “Come on…I got you naked. You wore a damn corset. And don’t get me started about the sponge bath afterward.”
“To the end.”
Payne clasped her hands to her mouth as tears formed. The horse was mincing with grace, her sleek coat shining in the light that bled from the house, her strength and vitality returned to her.
“What…whatever is she here for?” Payne said hoarsely.
“Human men give their fiancees something as a token of their love.” Manuel smiled broadly. “I thought Glory was better than any diamond I could buy. Means more to me…and hopefully, to you too.”
Lover Reborn (Tohr and Autumn’s Book)
Life was short, no matter how many days you were granted. And people were precious, each and every one, no matter how many you were lucky enough to have in your life. And love…love was worth dying for. Worth living for, too.
“Text me when you want to see me again,” he signed. “I’m giving you your space, but know this: I will wait forever for you.
Because there was a lesson in this Fade ceremony tonight: You could lose the ones you loved in the blink of an eye—and he was willing to bet, when it happened, you weren’t thinking about all the reasons that could have kept you apart. You thought of all the reasons that kept you together.
And, no doubt, how you wished you’d had more time. Even if you’d had centuries…
Lover at Last (Qhuinn and Blay’s Book)
In the Old Language, she hissed, “If any harm shall befall him, I will come after you, and find you where you sleep. I do not care where you lay your head or who with, my vengeance shall rain upon you until you drown.”
That last word was drawn out, until its syllable was lost in more growling.
Until Doc Jane said dryly, “Annnnd this is why they say the female of the species is more dangerous than the male.”
“You’ve always had me…and my heart. My soul. My everything. I wish it hadn’t taken me this long to man up.”
“I can smell you,” he groaned against her ear as he ran his fangs up her throat. “The most beautiful thing in the world—except for your taste.”
“If I got to you once, I can do it again. And maybe next time I won’t waste my breath trying to prove the fact that I’m your equal.”
“I am the King, you realize.”
“And I’m the daughter of a deity, motherfucker.”
“A very wise person once told me…lie to anybody you want, just never to yourself.”
Rhage cleared his throat. “My lord and ruler, Wrath, son of Wrath, blooded father of Wrath, I present you with Throe, Piece of Shit.”
Be present. Love her until the end. Never leave her side until the last breath.
That was how he was going to honor her with his heart and his soul, even though he wasn’t worthy.
There were a hundred thousand ways to detail his mate’s physical attributes, and not one single sentence, or indeed an entire book, that could come close to describing her presence.
“What do humans call their mahmen? What is their name for a mahmen?”
Mary flicked her eyes over to Rhage’s as he froze. Then she cleared her throat. “Ah…we call them Mother. Or Mom.”
“Mother.” Bitty stared into her ice cream. “Mom.”
After a moment the little girl looked right into Mary’s eyes. “May I please call you Mom?”
“With all of my black and withered heart, I love you, my female. I deserve not the earth beneath your feet, nor the scent of you in my nose, and never the gift of your blood, but I…I am e’er grateful for the change that you wrought upon me. You have saved me, and the only thing greater than my love for you is my gratitude.”
“You know something?” she said to the three of them. “I really believe…that it’s all going to be okay. We’re going to work it out, together, because that’s what families do.”
As she rose up on her tiptoes and kissed her male, she said, “Love has a way of fixing everything…even your daughter starting to date.”
“Which is not going to happen,” Xcor countered. “Ever.”
“My man,” Qhuinn said, backing him up. “I knew I liked you—”
Have any favorite BDB quotes that I missed? (I’m sure I missed a zillion good ones.) Let me know your favorite moments and quotes in the comments.