Book: Lover Unleashed
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #9
Release Date: March 29th 2011
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Source: purchased from Audible
Length: 18 hrs & 37 mins
Links: Amazon | Audible | Goodreads
My Rating: 4 stars
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 her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either.
When she 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 he 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.
How could I let myself forget what a big fan I am of the BDB or of Ward’s writing? Seriously, if I had to describe this series or Ward’s ability to string together syllables in a single word, I’d say it’s BADASS! I mean, really? Who else but Ward could get away with writing about a tortured vampire than needs his best friend to beat the ever living daylight out of him just so he can reach that point of carnal release he needs so badly? Yet Ward does more than push and blur boundaries; she also makes sure each sentence she creates packs the right amount of power, or poignancy, or smexiness!
I remember when I first discovered this series in May 2010, yes I was late to the party, and read the books in quick succession. I also remember that as I grew more invested in the BDB and each brother’s HEA, I found myself getting really upset over the direction some of the romances took. What happened to Doc Jane and V, for instance, pissed me off more than I care to admit. I was so heartbroken and irritated after their story that I let my interest in the series fade. So when Lover Unleashed was released, I could hardly bring myself to care.
Lover Unleashed was just what I needed to remind myself that Ward has created something kind of special with this long standing series. Sure, she still has the ability to push my buttons, but as I eased myself back into the BDB world, I learned to get over myself and just enjoy the story for it’s entertainment value, of which it is bountiful.
When I finally decided to pick up LU, I allowed myself to just go with it, though I can’t say I was surprised to discover that V and Doc Jane were facing some serious problems that needed to be worked out. And yeah, in case you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m not a fan of that female, but before you start tearing me a new one, please remember that Jane is a freaking ghost, which is just redonkulous!
Anyhoo, not gonna go there. Gonna keep things light.
Payne and Manny’s romance was pretty vanilla, and pretty standard. She – a female of worth, he – a brilliant surgeon, but pitiful human nonetheless. And they want to be together but circumstance keeps them apart…yada, yada, yada. Sure, it’s more of the same stuff that romance readers have grown used to, but what’s different is that Ward uses her signature writing style to really amp things up. LU may have quickly fell into a comfortable, secure rhythm that alternated between quiet humming to violent wailing, but it didn’t take me long to realize that both choruses created a symphonic masterpiece.
What I enjoyed most, was the introduction of The Band of Bastards. It was such a relief to not have to read from the Lesser POV anymore. Instead, I enjoyed being whisked away to the old ways with Xcor and his warriors. Also, I lived for the moments between Qhuinn and Blay. They make me ache in such a heartfelt way.
Believe me, I will never again let myself forget that this is a series of worth. And, I have every intention of catch up as fast as possible so that I can be ready for Qhuinn and Blay’s book as soon as it hits the shelves.