Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: Lover Unleashed by J R Ward

Genre:   Paranormal Romance

Release Date:  March 2011

Series:  Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book #9

Publisher:  NAL

Author Website:  http://www.jrward.com

Format Read:  Ebook

Pages:  512

Source:  Borrowed but feel I must buy for my collection

Reading ChallengeKick Ass Heroine

Rating:  4 flowers of love-really liked it and would recommend it

Read an excerpt
Book Blurb
Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself-only to face a devastating injury. Manuel Manello, M.D., is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can-but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birthright and the biology that separates them?

My Thoughts
I have really been on the fence about reading this one, so I waited before getting my hands on a copy.  I have had a love/hate relationship with this series because some books are better than others.  But just when I feel that the Brotherhood has lost its appeal, I get sucked back in and have to get caught up on the latest drama.

Lover Unleashed picks up right where Lover Mine left off.  I’ve read a lot of reviews where readers were not happy about the story focusing more on V and Jane rather than on Payne and Manny.  I didn’t feel that way because to me all of the BDB books have about four or five different stories happening simultaneously.  And that’s what I love about them.  There’s so much going on it keeps me glued to the pages trying to guess what’s going to happen next.

But back to the shift in focus.  I am glad that the book wasn’t totally focused on Payne and Manny.  While I liked both characters, they were kind of boring on the romance front.  I liked Payne but I was disappointed that she embraced her Chosen side more than the kick ass side she inherited from her crackpot parents.  Most of the time she was soft spoken and polite, but she did let it be known that it was in your best interest not to piss her off.

I liked Manny in the beginning because he wasn’t intimated by V or the Brotherhood.  I gotta respect his balls because each time V got in his face, he was right back at him.  Toward the end of the story, Manny lost his shine, though.  The sexual healing method or whatever it was was just corny.  And I didn’t like his growling and teeth bearing.  What, did his inner vamp demand to come out or something?  And why in the world does everyone have to be connected to somebody?  His connection to Butch was sooo convenient. Couldn’t he just be a regular ole human like Mary and still fit in? I’m pretty sure he still would have been okay without that little revelation.  But maybe that’s some foreshadowing for a later storyline…hmmm.
Now to the V drama.  I knew Payne’s appearance was going to take a toll on V’s mental state, but it turned out to be an even worse WTF.   If vampires have breakdowns, I’m guessing V should have been bouncing around in a padded cell with a straight jacket and all.   He just fell apart.  I always thought he was by far the craziest brother with his jacked up past.  I never bought him finding his inner peace by hooking up with Jane either.  I always thought there was more to his drama than Lover Revealed (which I wasn’t crazy about) could handle.  I guess having to deal with Manny first wanting Jane, then finding him cozying up to his sis just made him click.  I was totally disappointed in the way he handled himself, but in the end, he finally opened up to Jane and their relationship became unbreakable.   

What I did not understand was the foolishness that happened with Butch.  I have never been on Team “Vutch”, so I skimmed over their “therapy session”.  I thought it was wrong on V and Jane’s part to ask him to do that.  And I think Marisa should have shouted hell no.  She should have long told V to stop fantasizing about her man.  There should be no loaning him out for V’s messed up sexual whatevers.  

Jane, I've never really liked or disliked.  For some reason I just didn't care that she was there, but I actually liked her in this book.  She's put up with some serious shit from V since day one and it was about time he stopped acting like an ass towards her.  At several points in the story, I was rooting for her to leave his ass so he could stew and finally realize how much she meant to him.   But in the end, she believed in their love and everything turned out as it should.  

Oh, oh and back to the subject of sexual whatevers, the Qhuinn/Blay/Saxton situation is getting old.  They need to just do the damn thang or shut the hell up.  Qhuinn calling Saxton a slut made me laugh because it takes one to know one.  Qhuinn is just mad that his slutty cousin is Blay’s booty call.  It serves him right to know that Blay is getting his freak on with or without him.  

And on a side note, Layla has done her Chosen duty so I think she deserves some rewards…as in a man…of her own and not some hand me downs from Qhuinn.  I'm totally disregarding Qhuinn's premonition because it just wouldn't be fair to her.  I vote Tohr.  I just think they'd make an awesome pairing.  Crickets?  Yeah, okay.  Just a thought.
As for the band of bastards, I have to admit that I skipped over most of their storyline (like I do with the lessors) but I did read about their interaction with Payne and Xcor's plans for Wrath.  I have the feeling that they are going to have some interesting roles in the future and Payne will play a major role in keeping the peace.

The only real complaint I have about this series is that once each brother gets his HEA, the couple fade into the background like furniture and only show up briefly.  I miss my brothers and wish they could play more active roles in the new stories besides the fighting scenes and having dinner.   I’d love an update on Rhage (my Boo) and Mary, JM (my other Boo) and Xhex, and Z and Bella.  I digress on Phury and Cormia because they were the most boring couple evah!  And I still wish that Butch and Marisa would just go away because as long as Butch is around, V will always keep “what if” alive.  

Overall, Lover Unleashed was a wild ride.  Some parts I loved and others not so much.  I can say that this is one series that I will never get tired of.  Love it or hate it, when the next book comes out it will find its way on my TBR.

Other Books In This Series:
  • Dark Lover, Book #1 (September 2005)
  • Lover Eternal, Book #2 (March 2006)
  • Lover Awakened, Book #3 (September 2006)
  • Lover Revealed, Book #4 (March 2007)
  • Lover Unbound, Book #5 (September 2007)
  • Lover Enshrined, Book #6 (June 2008)
  • Father Mine, Book #6.5 Black Dagger Brotherhood Insider Guide (October 2008)
  • Lover Avenged, Book #7 (April 2009)
  • Lover Mine, Book #8 (April 2010)

Other Reviews Of This Book:

2 Talk to me!:

Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Great review! I wasn't big on the Manny/Payne relationship, but the V/Jane/Butch rehash. I was disappointed in this book. It rivals Phury's as my least favorite in the series. This was my take, if you're interested: http://redhotbooks.blogspot.com/2011/03/review-lover-unleahed.html

Yvonne said...

Yeah, Phury's book wasn't one I was fond of either, but it had Xhex/JM and Qhuinn/Blay happening in the background so I was able to distract myself from his foolishness.