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Lover Revealed

The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, book 4

J. R. Ward

Dedicated to: You.

Man, you had me at Hard-ass, you really did.

But then there was your Here's looking at you, kid

Mad love to you.

With immense gratitude to the readers of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and a shout out to the Cellies—what couch are we on now?

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

Thank you, Cap'n Bunny a.k.a. the Pink Beast and

PythAngie the Pitbull Mod—seriously, Dorine and Angie, you take such good care of me.

Thank you to the Party of Four: MFN hugs…

M-F-N hugs. Don't know what I would do without you.

As always, with thanks to my Executive Committee: Sue Grafton, Dr. Jessica Andersen, Betsey Vaughan. And with much respect to the incomparable Suzanne Brockmann.

With love to my family and my writer friends.

Glossary of Terms and Proper Nouns

ahvenge v. Act of mortal retribution, carried out typically by a male loved one.

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.

the Chosen pr n. Female vampires who have been bred to serve the Scribe Virgin. They are considered members of the aristocracy, though they are spiritually rather than temporally focused. They have little or no interaction with males but can be mated to Brothers at the Scribe Virgin's direction to propagate their class. They have the ability to prognosticate. In the past, they were used to meet the blood needs of unmated members of the Brotherhood, but that practice has been abandoned by the Brothers.

cohntehst n. Conflict between two males competing for the right to be a female's mate.

Dhunhd pr n. Hell.

doggen n. Member of the servant class within the vampire world. Doggen have old, conservative traditions about service to their superiors, following a formal code of dress and behavior. They are able to go out during the day, but they age relatively quickly. Life expectancy is approximately five hundred years.

the Fade pr n. Nontemporal realm where the dead reunite with their loved ones and pass eternity.

First Family pr n. The king and queen of the vampires and any children they may have.

ghardian n. Custodian of an individual. There are varying degrees of ghardians, with the most powerful being that of a se- hcluded female, known as a whard.

glymera n. The social core of the aristocracy, roughly equivalent to Regency England's ton.

hellren n. Male vampire who has been mated to a female. Males may take more than one female as mate.

leahdyre n. A person of power and influence.

leelan adj.; n. A term of endearment loosely translated as 'dearest one.'

Lessening Society pr n. Order of slayers convened by the Omega for the purpose of eradicating the vampire species.

lesser n. De-souled human who targets vampires for extermination as a member of the Lessening Society. Lesser must be stabbed through the chest in order to be killed; otherwise they are ageless. They do not eat or drink and are impotent. Over time, their hair, skin, and irises lose pigmentation until they are blond, blushless, and pale-eyed. They smell like baby powder. Inducted into the society by the Omega, they retain a ceramic jar thereafter, into which their heart was placed after it was removed.

lheage n. A term of respect used by a sexual submissive to refer to her dominant.

mahmen n. Mother. Used both as an identifier and a term of affection.

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