I am SOOO excited!! Why you ask?? Well, I had a great week...a busy, but good week. My kids are still out of school, and we kept busy, but in between running them around and hanging out at the park, I finished a short story I’ve been working on for months, AND I read Lover Unleashed by JR Ward.
If you aren’t familiar with Ward’s Brotherhood, I suggest you stop right now and pick up Dark Lover (Wrath and Beth’s story). Once you finish it, you will want to either be able to download Rhage’s story or be near a book store because once you start, you can’t stop!
I began reading the series about three years ago, when I saw something about BDB on a forum. When I asked what the hell that meant, I immediately was bombarded with all the information about the Black Dagger Brotherhood. At one friend’s insistence, I picked up the first book in the series (see Wrath above!) and continued all the books in a matter of days.
At the time, there were only five books (the last one I could read before waiting was V’s book and it has the BEST sexing scene EVER!), and ever since that fateful day I have eagerly waited for each new book. Four new books later, I am still as pleased as I was from the moment Wrath fell for Beth!
Anyone who has read and loved the series will ALWAYS have a favorite. You don’t even have to ask them. As soon as you mention the BDB, they will swoon over Rhage, or shudder at the thought of V. I’ll tell you that my personal favorite is Zsadist. I just can’t resist a damaged warrior!(And I may or may not have a t-shirt that says, “Warrior Vampire Hussy” on the front and Zsadist in Old English lettering on the back…)
So, today I want to talk about the latest release, Lover Unleashed.
I will admit that I was worried about Lover Unleashed. Way back in Vishous’ book, we got a hint that Jane’s boss, Dr. Manny Manello , was going to be V’s twin, Payne’s happily ever after. This has never really been a secret.
The thing that I was worried about was that Ward was going to take us through the same route as Butch to get him to turn into a vamp. I read a lot of different series, and several of them have started to get stale and use the same thing over and over. My biggest fear was that I was going to have to give up my brothers.
Ward surprised me!! And I’m so thankful for that.
I’m going to start with my least favorite thing about the book, because it is tiny and I figure I’ll get it out of the way so we can talk about the GOOD stuff!!
So, I have to say that while Ward didn’t go the same road with Butch in Manny’s transformation or lack thereof, the whole Payne in the “hospital” while Manny “treated” her was VERY much like Butch being in quarantine and Marissa taking care of him. In both cases, the man was always concerned with the virginity of the female vampire and worked hard at everything but the actual act. I would have liked to see their courtship develop differently to make an even bigger distinction between Butch and Manny.
Now, let’s get to the good stuff!
I LOVED the V and Jane story that unfolded in this book! I will say that Jane is not one of my favorite Shellans of the group. I do think that she’s perfect for V, but you can’t function in a relationship if both of the participants can’t communicate. Someone has to be willing to talk. I think that Ward does a fabulous job of building that relationship and watching it fall apart was heartbreaking! But, getting to see Butch come in and help in the one way he knew would work was brilliant. From the time Butch was inducted and V gave the lingering bite, we’ve all wanted to see more of them together in an intimate way, and Ward definitely delivered in Lover Unleashed. (Not to mention throwing in a little nod to my favorite smexin scene of all time – V, Jane and a sink – that made me smile big!). I think that I’ll like the new and improved V.
And finally, how can we forget about Qhuinn and Blaylock?? Qhuinn broke my heart in this one. After Z and V, Qhuinn is my favorite of the boys. The fact that he knows what he wants, but doesn’t feel that he deserves it or that he can be enough of a male to admit it, made me hurt for him. I want him with Blaylock. I think that Ward did such an amazing job with showing how much pain Qhuinn was in, how he thought of himself, and how much he wanted to change for himself. I was a little disappointed that they weren’t resolved, but I’ve brightened this weekend now that word has gotten out that there will be a novella of Qhuinn and Blay’s story!! It can’t come soon enough!!
In the end, while it wasn’t my favorite brotherhood book, I did love it and couldn’t put it down.
And now the countdown begins for the next book…Tohr’s story.