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J.R. Ward is the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series of vampire books. She is a winner of the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for Best Paranormal Romance and is a multiple RITA nominee. A graduate of Smith College, she was a double major in History and Art History with a medieval concentration in both and she still longs at times for a return to those days sitting in dark lecture halls, looking at slides of old triptychs and reliquaries. Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was a corporate attorney, serving for many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard Medical Schools premier teaching sites. Her idea of absolute heaven is a day filled with nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot and the Brothers, of course.
Lover Mine picks up a few weeks after Lover Avenged left off, where Xhex has been abducted by Lash, the evil son of the Omega. She is being held in Lash's brownstone bound by a magical spell. She is trapped in a bedroom invisible to all except Lash. She is determined to fight him with everything she has in hopes of finding a way out or until the brotherhood finds her. Lash's purpose for abducting Xhex is vengeance. Xhex killed his lover and he plans to take his revenge on her slowly and painfully. But Xhex puts up a vicious fight and he finds himself falling for her in his sick sadistic way.
John Matthew is hell bent on finding Xhex. He is not sure if she is alive or dead but he is determined to bring her home one way or another. He has never openly shared his feelings for Xhex with others but when he gets Xhex's named tattooed on his back in the old language, his boys Blay and Qhuinn have a good idea of his feelings for her. Still, John Matthew does not ask the brothers for help in finding her, choosing instead to do it his own way, on his own terms.
Qhuinn and Blay have shared a deep bond of friendship since before their transition. But this relationship is complicated by Blay's feelings for Qhuinn that go far beyond friendship. He has come to terms with the fact that he is gay and he is in love with Qhuinn. Qhuinn has always been promiscuous even knowing on some level how hurtful it is for Blay. But, there may be reasons for why Qhuinn behaves the way he does. When Qhuinn's cousin Saxton asks Blay out on a date, Qhuinn's protectiveness toward Blay kicks into high gear, claiming he doesn't want Blay to be hurt by Saxton. In all honestly though, jealously is at the root of his behavior.Read more ›
***SPOILERS aplenty! So before I start getting death threats on here, let me just preface this review by saying that I am truly a diehard BDB fan. While Ward is never going to win a Pulitzer, the woman can tell a story like nobody's business. She has managed to create an utterly unique and provocative world in which this series is set, not to mention a DYNAMITE cast of characters. These stories are not your typical warm and fuzzy, formulaic romance novels because she doesn't shy away from putting her characters in some pretty intense situations that really move the reader emotionally. I've thoroughly enjoyed this series, and each year I've looked forward to the next installment. Yes, Lover Enshrined was a minor aberration...but with Lover Avenged I thought Ward was back on track. Then along came Lover Mine... (Sigh)....
What a mess.
Let's start with John Matthew. LOVE his character. I thought he was the best thing since Zsadist, and his character development since way back in book 2 had me captivated. That said, I was certain his story would be nothing short of exceptional. Well, John-boy...you got ROBBED. He's a survivor with a heart of gold, who I thought we would see mature into a man, but in Lover Mine he still seemed juvenile. I also had my doubts about the John/Xhex union, but I thought Ward would pull it off...Not even close. Almost immediately-within the first few chapters-I knew something was amiss. In previous books you can practically see the steam rise off the pages with all the sexual tension Ward manages to generate with her characters. Instead, I was bored. Unlike a lot of the readers (as it now seems), I actually like Xhex. She's a breath of fresh air among an endless expanse of damsel-in-distress. I thought, now here's a girl who can kick some a**.Read more ›
I wanted to enjoy this book. I really did. I like John Mathew from the previous books, and though Xhex isn't my favorite of the females, I did find her intriguing enough to want to learn her story.
Lover Mine isn't a novel as much as it is an exercise in connecting slang, meandering subplots, and preludes to forthcoming volumes in the series into something semi-cogent. It felt disjointed, unevenly paced, and contrived. Why?
-Xhex appears to have undergone a personality transplant; abduction or not, she's re-imagined in a way that doesn't seem credible to her previous appearances.
-The Mhurder (sp?) subplot fell flat in its attempt to create compelling reasons for wanting to learn more about him. Silly, uninteresting, and bizarre (A compassionate, abolitionist "ghost" who has sex with his B&B guests to actually bring couples closer together, and skulks around his mansion a la Boo Radley? Okeydokey...)
-John Matthew goes through some of the worst turmoil anyone can probably experience regarding a lover...and his sister doesn't once reach out to him that we can see. Where was Beth?
-Tohr's parents arranged his marriage to Wellsie, with whom he fell instantly in love, but now we learn his dad was a jackhole. Hmm. Guess it's possible but, again, feels like Ward conveniently, and clumsily, disrupts a plot point to triage the story. Didn't feel natural.
-Now, I may need another reader to chime in here and correct/confirm this for me. When John tells Xhex about his rape and she asks who else knows, I don't believe he mentions Wrath in the list he recites. This could be forgiven except that John's telling Wrath about it is the whole reason Qhuinn got off for slicing Slash's throat.Read more ›