Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2) - US edition

Lover Eternal by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2) - Australian/UK editionLast updated: 5/12/2016

These cheat sheets summarise what we know so far about the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Click here for a round-up of BDB-related posts on Book Thingo.

This section contains information on:

  • Rhage (hero of Lover Eternal)
  • Tohrture, Rhage’s father
  • Bitty, Rhage’s foster daughter

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(Son of Tohrture)

In the years immediately following his transition, Rhage was extremely cocky and went wherever his mood took him. He got drunk, did drugs, fought a lot, and had a nasty habit of sleeping with other males’ shellans. He became interested in a female who didn’t want him until he joined the Brotherhood, so he showed off his weapons and his gun went off in her hand, killing a barn owl.

The Scribe Virgin considered this a special offence as she loves birds and the barn owl is her own symbol, so to teach Rhage responsibility for his actions, she sentenced him to 200 years with the beast. If he lets his mood get out of control, the beast would break out of his body, leaving a trail of devastation in its wake and Rhage with a hell of a stomach ache.

Rhage learned to control the beast by regulating his moods with regular fighting and sex wherever he could get it. His Hollywood-perfect looks ensured he had no problems getting it and his exploits became legend, but inside he hated what he had to do and frequently worried that the beast would eat his brothers. To deal, he tried to keep things light and goofy, but this kept his brothers from recognising that he can be serious and is a male of worth.

While recovering one day from the beast’s visit, Rhage heard a lovely female voice and feels compelled to listen to it speak. He tracked down the human woman, Mary Luce, who was brought to the compound to interpret John Matthew’s sign language, and set up a date. He discovered that the lovely voice belonged to an unremarkable looking woman with warrior eyes and wanted to get to know this woman of quality who wasvso different from the one-nighters who just looked at his body or his Rolex.

His attachment to Mary brings out his responsible, selfless side. He decided to give up all the other females he had sex with and feeds from one of the Chosen in Mary’s presence. This, along with the sacrifice he made in taking punishment from the Brotherhood to keep her at the mansion, eventually wore down Mary’s determination to be strong and let Rhage go. (Mary had watched her mother die from cancer and later battled the disease herself. When Rhage learned that she has died and come back, his respect for her grew even more. He finally managed to convince her that he genuinely wanted her, regardless of her quiet looks. However, much to his frustration, she continued to hold him at arm’s length emotionally because her cancer had returned and didn’t want to have someone watch her die the way she watched her mother a few years earlier.)

When Mary found lessers at her vampire neighbour Bella’s house, Rhage dematerialised as soon as the sun went down and having Mary so close to the line of fire brought the beast out. The beast saved the day and Mary stroked it and thanked it for protecting her and distracted it from eating the Brothers. When she asked to have Rhage back, the beast receded because it wanted to please her as much as Rhage did. Being on the same page allowed Rhage and the beast to live together more harmoniously.

Mary’s doctor told her to put her affairs in order. To save her, Rhage made the ultimate sacrifice to the Scribe Virgin: he would keep the beast indefinitely and give Mary up—only he would remember her. But Mary appeared at the mansion and the Scribe Virgin explained that since Mary was unable to have children, she won’t force Mary to give up Rhage as well. Mary is allowed to live without ageing as long as she chooses, although the Scribe Virgin suspects that will only be as long as Rhage lives.

Rhage and Mary are looking at alternative methods of having kids, but Rhage refuses to do anything that requires him to actually inseminate another female.

Rhage’s beast is the only one who can remain standing after being hit by one of Lash’s fireballs, unless it’s fired at point blank range. Then the beast is knocked out cold. Unfortunately, the beast’s fire has no effect on Lash.

Rhage noticed that Trez hasn’t been eating at the mansion and doesn’t look like he’d fed recently, so when the male was reluctant, Rhage told him how much better he felt after feeding from Selena. Trez attacked and tried to strangle him, forcing Rhage to try to hold back the beast that wanted to spring forward and protect him. V was barely able to pull the Shadow away from him. And that’s how Rhage discovered that Trez had bonded with Selena.

The Scribe Virgin appeared to Trez to get him to help Selena and Rhage and V helped him to bring her back from the Other Side.

After the revelation of Selena’s condition, Rhage felt bad for Trez and wished he could help. His mind is so often in his Mary and he frequently checks in with her to see how she’s going. He can’t understand how he was able to gain so much with her while males like Trez are doing it hard. I think he’s triggered by the fact that Mary was dying when they met and he fully expected to lose her.

When Layla broke her arm during an encounter with Xcor, returned to the mansion and passed out in the doorway, Rhage found her and had a panic attack, unable to breathe.

He pushes himself physically and emotionally, rushing into dangerous situations and surrounded by trauma caused by war with the lessers ramping back up, investigating the Bastards’ old safe house (which could well have been booby trapped), a young at Safe Place about to lose her mother, the war attracting police attention, and watching Trez slowly lose Selena the way he almost lost Mary. Mary is back at Safe Place with the young and he is having trouble being away from her, despite knowing it’s only temporary. He doesn’t understand how he qualified for a miracle while so many suffer.

After Assail was busted dealing to the lessers, Rhage and V followed him back to his house and staked the place out, but didn’t see anything of note.

He felt that iAm was suffering from “Phury Syndrome – a condition whereupon one brother was so fucked-up that the other fell into a black hole trying to save him.” He smelled a female on iAm for a change, but had the tact to keep quiet, only for Lassiter to make a big announcement about it.

Rhage was having another panic attack and tried to pull his shit back together so he can do his job, but he’s in denial over what’s happening to him and thinks he might be getting sick. But that was cured by seeing Mary and having sex with her in his GTO.

At nightfall after Selena’s passing, he was the one who felled the trees to build her pyre. He needed something to do, a sentiment echoed throughout the house. While she burned, he had to physically remove Trez to a safer area, so he didn’t catch fire as well. He is not aware of his body being cold on a freezing night and would prefer to freeze, but he can’t refuse Mary’s care.

He saw Layla looking kind of shell shocked, but when he checked in with her, they were both so far up in their own heads to see how much the other was hiding.

Rhage was with his Brothers, Assail and his cousins preparing to raid the lessers’ stronghold at the Brownswick School for Girls when V tells him to go home. He’s seen this before and recognises that this is the night and place Rhage will die. Rhage argued back that V could be wrong and that the Scribe Virgin gave Mary the gift of the longevity of her choosing, so if anything happens to him, she’ll just meet him in the Fade and everything will be fine, completely glossing over any impact his passing might have on anyone else around him.

Rhage jumped the gun and ran toward the school ahead of schedule and without warning. They all have to race to catch up. V had his back for as long as he could. Rhage was out of control, shooting at anything and everything. A lesser thought dead fired a shot straight into his chest. V tried to save him, but the bullet hit home.

He felt no pain from the bullet, but realised just how much he would miss here when he died. The beast started to come out. He regretted that he and Mary would never have kids in any way, not that he had ever wanted them before. And what if the Scribe Virgin was wrong and Mary couldn’t follow him to the Fade? There is so much unresolved between them.

The beast emerged and, with very few exceptions can’t tell friend from enemy, so he eats them all, even targeting Assail, who was rescued by his cousins and V.

While Rhage was fighting, Mary felt for a young female staying at Safe Place whose mother was dying at Havers’ clinic. She had to tell Bitty that it was time to see her mother. She drove the young to Havers’ where Annalye was dying, but unconscious. Mary pushed Bitty forward and told her that her mother could still hear her. Bitty reached out and told Annalye not to go, and she passed immediately. Bitty thinks she killed her mother and Mary blames herself for Bitty’s distress.

One thing she could take consolation from was absolute belief that Annalye would be waiting in the Fade for Bitty, having met the Scribe Virgin and being a miracle herself. She regrets pushing Bitty to say goodbye. Bitty is quiet and remote, but at least she speaks to Mary, however self-contained she seems otherwise.

They left the clinic and Mary almost took them back to the mansion instead of Safe Place.

Bitty told her that her uncle would come for her. He’s her mahmen’s brother and doesn’t live in Caldwell, which is entirely plausible, since many families left Caldwell for their safe houses after the raids.

Butch called Mary from the school and she raced over there to calm the beast. It picked her up with its tail and continued devouring lessers. At least she didn’t see any vampire remains. She asked the beast to let Rhage come back and was confronted by with hole in his chest.

She watched the medics give up. She promised to find Rhage in the afterlife. But who would stay with poor orphaned Bitty if Mary left as well?

She told the medics to roll Rhage onto his side so she cold get to the beast and ask it to save him. In a whirl of colour and heat, the dragon knitted him back together and Rhage coughed up the bullet.

When they got home, Mary told Rhage about Bitty and Annalye. He said that Annalye probably only held on long enough to hear Bitty’s voice, prolonging her own suffering for the sake of her young. She could have also heard Mary’s voice and known that her daughter would be OK.

Mary needs to go into work and make sure Bitty is OK. Rhage struggles with having made Mary watch him die. He essentially committed suicide out there and wonders if he is even sane, having done that while he has so much good in his life.

While Rhage was asleep, Mary thanked the beast for saving him and told it to get some rest as well because it had worked so hard. She opened the door to find the entire Brotherhood waiting outside. Wrath formally thanked her for her service of valour to the throne, presented her with a ceremonial sword and owes her a debt of similar size as the service she rendered. They all embraced her and showed her their respect. Z as the last, but he opened his arms to her, despite his issues with physical contact.

Mary pored over the handwritten files in Safe Place, but could find nothing n Bitty’s uncle. Bitty says his name is Ruhm and that Annalye had contacted him, but couldn’t say when. Mary noticed that the name is similar to Rhym, Safe Place’s intake supervisor. She got Bitty’s permission to make a post in the closed Facebook group, so that someone who knows him can let him know that Bitty needs him.

Bitty doesn’t want to talk because it won’t change anything and firmly but politely shut Mary down.

Beth cut herself and was bleeding profusely. She handed LW to Rhage while she went to find Jane. Rhage held onto the crying young with no idea what to do. He finally settled and grabbed onto Rhage for comfort. Rhage saw the future in the young in his arms. LW would continue after his parents were gone and grow and be strong. Wrath and Beth made this together.

Marissa told Mary to go home and be with Rhage after his recovery instead of being at work. Mary wants to look after Bitty, but Marissa warns her not to let Safe Place take over her life.

Rhage realised that his and Mary’s disconnect and what he was trying to escape was a desire for kids. He’ll never tell Mary because it isn’t her fault that they can’t. He’s determined that things will go back to normal.

Sex with Rhage that emptied Mary’s head made her recognise how heavy her stress is when it’s not there anymore. She tried to ask Rhage what was wrong, but he was called away to a meeting before he could give her a non-answer anyway. He swore that he loved her.

Mary figured that the queen would know what is going on with the Brotherhood, so she went to Beth for answers.

They need to find somewhere else to keep a comatose Xcor besides near Layla and Luchas, which gives Qhuinn the creeps. Rhage has an unorthodox solution.

Mary now knows that Rhage cried while holding LW and started the raid early. He admitted that he only now worked out that he wants a kid, but absolutely does not want to have sex with anyone else to get one, because Mary matters more. He promised her that he would get her a child if she ever wanted one, but he never expected to be the one who wanted one.

Her inability to bear children is what allowed them to be together. She would have forgotten him, while he would have remembered exactly what he had lost. “Life without you is a tragedy. Life without our young? … it’s just a different path.” His conscious recognition actually made Rhage feel better. It may not make everything better right away, but regaining perspective and being grateful for what you have will help.

Mary acknowledges that although her infertility allows them to be together, it’s still a loss they need to deal with.

Bitty wants Mary to take her to her old house. Mary notices, not for the first time, that Bitty talks like someone older than her 9 years and is quite matter of fact about disturbing matters.

Mary told Bitty that the only way they were going to Bitty’s old house was with Mary’s hellren, and Bitty agreed. She couldn’t stop staring at Rhage’s GTO and he fell in love with her when she said his engine smelled nice. Mary was surprised to see her so comfortable around such a large male. Sure, she’s jealous of Rhage’s easy success in getting Bitty to engage, but is glad that something is working.

Bitty’s old house is now an empty lot, recognisable by Annalye’s ivy and apple tree. Rhage remembered the house and that Bitty’s father was left for the sun. She was hoping to get her old clothes so she wouldn’t be a burden on her uncle.

Rhage invited her out for ice cream the following night.

V and Rhage find it harder to hate Lassiter because of how conscientiously he guards Xcor.

Mary tells Rhage that the reason why she asked the beast to save him was that she didn’t want to leave Bitty and feels as though she betrayed him by factoring someone else into her decision. He tells her not to apologise for not wanting to leave behind a newly orphaned young and he hadn’t wanted to leave his brothers either, as long as she still would have found him in the afterlife. He doesn’t expect her life to revolve around him.

Mary, Rhage and Bitty go out for ice cream. Bitty doesn’t have much experience with ice cream flavours, so their server suggests a sampler and mistakes Rhage for Bitty’s father. Bitty calmly said he wasn’t her dad. Rhage was a little hurt, but noticed that Bitty and Mary have similar colouring, and he predicted the choice she would make, which was the same way Mary has her ice cream.

Rhage invited Bitty out for dinner in 2 nights’ time, where he and Mary had their first date.

V searched for Bitty’s uncle, but found nothing., which only means that he isn’t on the radar. He wants to adopt Bitty, but hasn’t brought it up with her or Mary yet. V tells him to talk to Saxton about the legalities.

Bitty told Mary the truth that she is actually 13 years old instead of 9. Her mother told her to lie to prevent them being separated. May is concerned by how small the young is, because she made a very convincing 9 year old.

Annalye’s ashes were delivered to Mary, who is holding onto them until Bitty knows what to do with them.

Rhage and V are downtown on patrol when they find Throe, who claims he was looking for them to ask whether they sent Assail to seduce him, or if the male is doing it of his own volition. Oh, and Throe is straight. He just wants to make that clear. Because he completely is.

V told Rhage he got the adoption papers from Saxton for him, but didn’t look him in the eye, as though he was risking too much closeness or something. Rhage recognised that V is always there for the people he cares about, even if he has to throw in a load of distance.

Bitty opens up to Mary about how her father abused her and Annalye, and how she would sometimes stir him up to make herself the target, figuring that she was faster than her mother and had a better chance of escaping him.

Mary found Rhage’s adoption papers, raising an option she’d never allowed herself to consider. She thought that by saving Bitty she was trying to save her old self that was cutting ties and preparing to die alone. She never let herself consider parenthood, but Rhage thinks she would be the best mother for Bitty. They know in their hearts that they want to adopt Bitty, but it won’t be easy. Mary isn’t a vampire, Rhage has the beast and Bitty may not want to live with them. There needs to be a framework in place for cases like her, so as long as Bitty’s uncle doesn’t get in touch within 6 months, she is free to be adopted.

Rhage, Mary and Bitty go to dinner. More aware of how isolated Bitty’s life had been to date, Rhage warns her that the restaurant will be noisy with lots of sights, sounds and smells. If Bitty feels overwhelmed, they’ll leave, even if the food has just arrived. She threw her arms around Rhage.

Rhage has been putting Bitty at ease by telling her about the people he lives with, and he and Mary tell a filtered version of how they met. And he orders lots of food, both for him to eat and for Bitty to try.

Mary sees Tohr waiting while Layla is in labour. Autumn is away and he doesn’t want to tell her what waiting for the young is doing to him. Mary tells him that he needs to share this with Autumn.

Rhage tells Mary that if anything happens to him, he’ll wait for her while she stays with Bitty. Bitty can’t lose another set of parents.

The Brotherhood Little Mermaid’s Rhage’s room after he overflowed his bathtub and he swears revenge on all of them, especially Lassiter, who replies that one day they’ll respect him.

He advises Rhage on his and Mary’s upcoming meetings with Rhym to determine their suitability as foster parents and tells him to keep the faith.

Rhage aced his interview and now it’s time for Mary’s. She and Rhym know there is a lot of ground to cover in establishing adoption procedures. Mary admitted that their desire to adopt Bitty seems sudden, but Bitty’s been in her heart for 2 years. She never considered the opportunity because, being unable to have kids, she was afraid to think about it and make things worse.

Rhage told Wrath about his intention to adopt Bitty and has the king’s support.

Mary stood in a parking lot while Rhage showed Bitty how to drive his GTO. A gang of scrawny wannabes approached her. Bitty drove back, Rhage got out of the car and called Mary to safety. One of them had a knife and held it to her throat. Big mistake. The beast forth in front of Bitty.

Mary tried to get Bitty to safety, but while dodging the humans, she hit a dumpster. Bitty ran out of the car to say hi to the dragon, who … thankfully likes her. She thinks of the dragon as a big pet.

Rhage accidentally let the plan for Bitty to live with them out of the bag in a ham handed way, but she was overjoyed and threw her arms around him.

Bitty asked if she could call Mary Mom.

Mary told Marissa that there was a female outside Safe House who was seriously injured and needed treatment, but none of the female medical staff were available.

After the female passed away, Mary checked in on Marissa to get her to talk instead of bottling things up. Although Marissa thinks Mary has her shit together at all times, Mary says that she talks to people about what’s going on, but she still struggles with communication. She’s not always as together as people assume.

Unlike Marissa, Mary was dying and had no ties to her old life, so she had nothing to leave behind when she mated Rhage. She urged Marissa to make peace with her brother, Wrath and the glymera.Mary told Marissa that there was a female outside Safe House who was seriously injured and needed treatment, but none of the female medical staff were available.

After the female passed away, Mary checked in on Marissa to get her to talk instead of bottling things up. Although Marissa thinks Mary has her shit together at all times, Mary says that she talks to people about what’s going on, but she still struggles with communication. She’s not always as together as people assume.

Unlike Marissa, Mary was dying and had no ties to her old life, so she had nothing to leave behind when she mated Rhage. She urged Marissa to make peace with her brother, Wrath and the glymera.


He proved his loyalty to Wrath the Fair King when he advised the king that his mate’s illness was the result of poison, as the former king’s fingernails were as blue as the queen’s. He took Wrath to meet a witness to the conspiracy and gave the bare minimum assistance when Wrath insisted on avenging his blood with his own hands.

He swore fealty to Wrath and promised to train him, and that the Brotherhood would ensure his food was safe.

Tohrture was among the party who collected Darius from the camp. He assigned territories and tasks to the Brotherhood, much like Tohr did before Wellsie’s death.

Rhage told Mary on their first date that his parents were old when they died.


We didn’t get this little girl’s name when we met her in Lover Revealed, but her mother (later identified as Annalye) was being abused by a male and rescued by Rhage and at least one other Brother. Her mother was taken to Havers’s clinic and she spent most of her time watching Dora the Explorer with her stuffed tiger Mastimon.

She talked to Marissa, who thought they would be unable to pay for their medical care, and showed her that Mastimon was hiding a gold wishing plate. Marissa refused to accept it, but showed her how she could make requests of the Scribe Virgin without asking a question, by writing a note like, “I would be grateful for my mahmen’s happiness.”

I believe she and her mother, as well as Marissa’s own experience of being thrown out of home shortly before dawn inspired Marissa to establish Safe Place.

Her mother is dying and Mary really feels for her. While she is staying at Safe Place, her mother is being treated at Havers’. Mary tells her it is time to see her mother, and there isn’t much time.

Annalye is unconscious when Bitty arrives, but Mary assures her that her mahmen can still hear her. Bitty reached out to her mother and told her not to go. Annalye passed away and Bitty thinks she killed her.

She tells Mary that her mother’s brother Ruhm will come for her. Annalye used to comfort and distract Bitty with stories of when she and Ruhm were kids.

Often she doesn’t feel like talking and says that it’s because it won’t change anything. It seems to be a side effect of the abused she suffered and a survival mechanism her mother taught her.

Over time, she slowly opens up to Mary and Mary notices that she doesn’t speak like your average 9 year old and has more maturity, and is very matter of fact about things others might find disturbing.

She loves Rhage’s GTO and is comfortable with such a large male.

Bitty’s old house is now an empty lot, recognisable by Annalye’s ivy and apple tree. Rhage remembered the house and that Bitty’s father was left for the sun. She was hoping to get her old clothes so she wouldn’t be a burden on her uncle.

Before Rhage invited her, she’d never had ice cream before. She was mistaken for Rhage’s daughter, but calmly corrected the human server.

When Mary dropped her off at Safe Place, Rhage invited her out to dinner in 2 nights. She didn’t want to socialise with any of the other residents, but she quickly hugged Mary before returning to her room.

Bitty told Mary that she is actually 13 years old. Her mother was afraid they might be separated when they moved into Safe Place, so she picked the youngest age she felt Bitty could convincingly play off, so she told Bitty to say she was 9 and to play with a doll to cement the perception.

Mary has Annalye’s ashes and is keeping them until Bitty knows what she wants to do with them.

Bitty was 11 when her mother has pregnant with another young, a male who didn’t survive to term.

She told Mary about how her father abused her and Annalye, and how she would draw his attention so that he’d go after her instead of her mother, because she was faster and had more chance to escape.

The three of them went to dinner and Rhage showed her a huge consideration by trying to prepare her for the atmosphere of the restaurant and putting her comfort above whether they would even stay long enough to eat. She hugged him.

He taught her how to drive his GTO and turned into a big friendly dragon to save Mary and then he told her he wanted her to live with him and Mary. Bitty was utterly overjoyed.

Because of Rhage’s stories she knew who everyone was and they all loved her. Lassiter told her he knew she was moving in as soon as he met Rhage and Mary.

Bitty wants to call Mary Mom.

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