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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

Lover Unleashed by author J.R. Ward is the ninth book in The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. After the previous book, Lover Mine, told the story of John and Xhex, I didn't think the series could get any better. However, I do have major mixed feelings about Lover Unleashed. I liked the book but also felt it was nowhere near as good as Lover Mine. Here's why....


Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother. A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for Payne on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war either.

When Payne suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world. Although Manuel never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.

As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy.

I thoroughly enjoy how Ward writes, I love the way she gives each character a set of their own internal battles giving them incredible depth. Although each character has their own demons, when the team of Vampire Brothers have to fight they work like a well oiled machine. Some of the best male friendships that I have ever read, which you just don't get that often in books. These vampire bros are tight and I love it. The characters deal with jealously, drugs, rage, humor, handicaps and relationship issues.

The aspect of this, story which bugged me the most was how Payne changed as a character. In previous books Payne was a kick butt fighter, but now she's relegated mainly to the sidelines. Granted, she is recovering from a severe body injury but even after being fully healed I didn't get to read about her going back to the battle-lusty vamp that she was at times. Kinda missed that...

I hate to compare this book to
Lover Enshrined (book 6) because that was the worst of the series. I like to pass over that story as I am reading the series over and over, otherwise the black hole taints the rest. Never happened in my mind. ;) While Payne and Manny seriously lacked that "umph" for me, I did enjoy reading about the side stories. Almost more then the main couple.

On the positive side we get to hear more about Vishous and Jane, these two are one of my favorite book couples. No relationship is going to be happy-go-lucky 100% of the time, and Vishous and Jane definitely go through a rough patch. While it was hard to read about their struggles,
Lover Unleashed does bring a reward at the ending. Relying on the people you love can be hard, opening those old wounds can twist you up inside. When severe emotional scars run this deep, you're bound to have set backs on the road to recovery. And temporary fixes, no matter how short term, are never the long term solution to a problem. But Butch, Larissa and Jane are V's solid anchor during all this and I liked that the author touched on this subject.

The book for the most part is 1/2 Payne and Manny and the other V and Jane, with a little bit of plot building with a new boring enemy. I mean the
Lessers where coming to a dead end anyway so I get why she is creating the new threat. But. Is it time for the series to end? Maybe. I just don't see how this can get any better. It feels like the same stuff being rewashed but still coming out all messy. In the end a good read but lacking that usual sparkle that her other books create.

Getting 3 and 1/2 Brotherhood Sheep


  1. We got to learn quite a bit about him through Darius' diary. He needs a new shellan (poor Wellsie). I also think he will be the first to figure out the JM is Darius..eventhough I think all of the Brothers have an incling. Oh..and lets not forget that the Omega has Qhuinn's maybe my fellow reviewer is correct, maybe Qhuinn will get a novella, considering he isn't and will not become a Brother.

  2. JR Ward has said Quinn and Blaylock will get a their own story. She has said it would be a novella, but I am now thinking it will be longer than that. I think JR has said no one will ever know that Darius is JM. thanks for commenting :) We are all eagerly awaiting Lover Reborn next month!