Customer Reviews: Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7)
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on April 29, 2009
*No Spoilers*

As a fan of this series I expected a lot with Ward's first foray into hardcover especially now since she moved beyond the original six brothers. Despite my misgivings with the last few books, the seventh book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series delivers and then some. Lover Avenged is chock full of romance, action and suspense. A worthy addition to my shelf, but I did have some problems.

There are three main story arcs unfurling simultaneously, these include Rehvenge/Ehlena, John Matthew/Xhex and Wrath.

Rehvenge and Ehlena's romance is excellent. Pairing the dedicated, caring, put-everyone-above-myself goody two shoes nurse with the drug-dealing-pimp/club owner who happens to be sympath works. And although Rehv was not as bad-a** as in previous books and Ehlena a bit too saccharin sweet, their love story was believable. I only wished that it took up more than a third of the book.

Secondly John Matthew(who seems to a favorite with Ward) takes a major role as well. The recently transitioned vampire struggles with emotions pertaining to his obsession with Xhex (the mannish zena-warrior-princess head of security at Rehv's club Zero Sum), his inability to get through to his recently returned "father" Tohr and his lack of definition of self. He also racked with a sense of loss, it seems that everyone has abandoned him, first Wellsie, now Tohr. With that he feels doesn't belong to anyone or anywhere. His emotional journey is played out and sets up for the next book.

Finally fans of Wrath will by sighing in sweet bliss with the Dark Lover (book 1) hero's role in Lover Avenged which takes up a surprisingly huge amount of pages in the book. Wrath struggles with being the King of Vampires and perhaps makes some poor choices, the consequences of which he has to deal with.

Other worthy mentions are Lash and Tohr (and of course his sidekick Lassiter). Both play significant secondary roles. Minor roles are taken up by Tez, iAm, Payne, Blay and Qhuinn.

On to my gripes. There are two main problems which I had with this book, and thus the four not five star review. Firstly the main romance, which I enjoyed thoroughly, does not take center stage, unlike the first books of the series. This is supposed to be Rehv's book but his love story is overshadowed at times. Second is the shock factor. I don't know, maybe its just me, but some of the stuff written felt like it was put in there to shock the average romance reader and served no purpose otherwise. Some of it bordered on bizarre as well. I mean scorpions?. Really?

Other than that its an excellent book and I highly recommended. If your a fan of Wrath and John's by all means buy the book. But if your only looking for Rehv I would wait it out and borrow it from the library or a friend first.

New readers to the series don't even bother, you'll get lost easily and the first books in the series are definitely worthy of your attention.

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)
Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2)
Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3)
Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 4)
Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5)
Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6)
The Black Dagger Brotherhood. An Insiders Guide
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VINE VOICEon April 26, 2009
Readers lying in wait for Rehv's story will not be disappointed. With more than one surprise, fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood will engulf LOVER AVENGED and then go back and reread it once more!

Rehvenge is living in two worlds - a half breed. His vampire half is the leahdyre of the council and his other half, the side he must keep hidden, is symphath. Symphaths are forbidden to live in vampire society and it is against the law to not report one. Feared for their abilities to manipulate the minds and emotions of others, a symphath is banished upstate to a hidden colony as soon as their symphathic abilities are revealed. As a major drug lord in Caldwell, Rehvenge must straddle the line between good and evil on a daily basis. He has people who depend on him so when he is approached and asked to execute a vile plan, Rehvenge does what he does best and that is to get rid of the problem quietly and efficiently. If only getting rid of blackmailers was that easy.

Knowing his life, his hidden nature, and his dependence on anonymity, Rehvenge has no business even contemplating a relationship with Ehlena, a nurse he can't get out of his mind. Her compassion and innocence strikes a cord in Rehvenge and makes him wish he were a better man. What he never realizes is that in Ehlena's eyes, he is a man worthy of forever.

In all honesty, I was scared to read LOVER AVENGED. Simply petrified. Having been a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood since the release of DARK LOVER, I had no earthly idea how Ms. Ward would be able to redeem a man such as Rehvenge in my eyes. But she did. She did so thoroughly that I am shocked I never saw the man he was underneath the superior attitude and trappings of wealth. He was a son, a brother, and a lover. That isn't all - he was so much more. Readers will simply be wide eyed at the strength and fortitude of his character.

LOVER AVENGED also deals with more than Rehvenge - I was shown plot twists and intrigues and I couldn't read fast enough. Surprises were read, tears fell from my eyes - more than once I might add, and I simply adored this amazing book.

Releasing in hardback, Amazon Kindle, and Audio CD with a paperback release in mere months, LOVER AVENGED is going to fly off the shelves. It is boldly written, passionate, and often hard core. The Lessoning Society hasn't given up the fight - but the brotherhood hasn't either. Rehvenge and the Black Dagger Brotherhood are heroes through and through.

Natalie S.
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on April 28, 2009
I must say that I started this book not really "feeling" Rehvenge. Not so much the look, the attitude or the person I thought he was. Once it was all over, I was as in love with him as any of the other leading men in Ward's other novels. How the heck did she do that? By crafting a beautiful, romantic and believable plot that had me glued to the book from beginning to end.

I loved Ehlena, who was strong and beautiful. The perfect match for Rehvenge who we learn through the novel is very deserving of an awesome mate. Happily, the brothers are truly back in this book, with all the hilarious banter we've come to look forward too, as the Brotherhood goes through some major changes and comes out of it together, stronger than ever.

I have to add that Lash makes a kick-butt bad guy and he's taking the "lesser parts" from something you had to get through to get on to more of the "good stuff", to something that you can't wait to get to.

And to many of her past readers that felt as though her last few novels were not "romantic enough", I believe we can see here clearly that every character in the BDB world is different and that Ward has done them all justice in a way that was true to that character. Sometimes is was all mushy and romantic, other times is was gritty and disturbing, all the time it was well written. These are NOT formulaic romance novels. Thank goodness!

With that said, this story has tons of romance, is often sweet, and has the constant intensity and excitement we've come to expect of Ward's books. There were a few side plots that were critical to the story and also very satisfying, especially to long time followers of this series.

I can't recommend this book enough for lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, fantasy and well...reading! You'll wish it had 1000 pages.
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VINE VOICEon April 30, 2009
I wasn't going to read this book after reading Lover Enshrined....I really wasn't. I gave Lover Enshrined a mere 2 stars because I felt NOTHING in the "chemistry department" between Phury and Cormia. This is NOT a problem in this book. The chemistry between Rehvenge and Ehlena is unbelievable, and I'll put up with a lot of "things" as long as I believe in the main couple. Rehvenge and Ehlena made me BELIEVE!

Ward is definitely telling a BIG story with this series. There are multiple story lines going on, and again, I will deal with that as long as I feel a connection to the book's main couple. Rehvenge "the symphath" is a unique character that I've been itching to hear more about. This book scratches that itch! Rehvenge is devoted to the women he loves...his mom, Bella (his sister), Zhex (his "partner"), and mostly Ehlena (his mate). He is as "bad" as they come, but has incredible sweetness and vulnerability when it comes to his ladies....don't you love that common "vamp" trait. He also is a "tortured soul", as so many members of the BDB have been, and his "redemption" is just as satisfying.

Like I said....this is a BIG story and the layers and complexities are mounting. John Matthews and Zhex are going to get their book next..and let me tell you, I think we'll all be standing in line for that one! Wrath and Beth play a HUGE part in Lover Avenged and I like when Ward brings back the HEAT from past books. Most all the brothers get some "time" in this book and the pages fly by as you "devour" this book to see what's going to happen next.

I have come to accept that this series has "morphed" longer just paranormal romance). I have new expectations. I now know that the "main couple" of a book will not always get center stage. There will be multiple story lines happening (all equally important to the story), and there is a definite new level of violence going on in the war. Knowing all this, I will keep reading as long as the chemistry stays hot between the "leads".

Recommend Reading....and Enjoying!
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on May 4, 2009
First off, I loved, loved Ward's first books in this series. I think she's a great writer but it seems like the last book and even this one are not the same Ward as the initial books of this series. I don't know what is happening with this series but I am dissapointed. I feel not enough time is being spent on the focus couples of these books. This was suppposed to be Rehv's and Ehlena's story but they got very minimal book time. This was also not the same Rehv that we have seen and loved from previous books. Where is sexy, strong Bada@# Rehv? He was so insecure in this book I couldn't believe it was the same character from previous books. Rehv was castrated in his own book. You got the impression that Sympaths were these strong, scary beings and that was why they were contained outside of society. You saw none of that in this book. Wimpy. I waited all year for this book (although after Lover Enshrined I was not keeping my hopes up) and I have to say I was disappointed. The steamy scenes which were such a staple in Ward's first books were luke warm in this one. I don't know why she changed this series but Rehv was my favorite and I am dissapointed. I have re-read the other books many times but I don't even want to pick this one up for a re-read right now which is what I would normally do. Just dissapointed. Go to the library and borrow it or wait for the paperback.
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on May 28, 2009
..."Man he was big and scary-looking. And nearly getting mowed down by him put the final frazzle candle on the drama cake." LoL! I loved that one best (although there were a ton of brilliant one liners that I'll never forget).

I'm not sure whether "Lover Avenged" stood it's ground to all the hype for me personally though. One of the main things that p'd me off was how Ward weakened Wrath. I know...I know! I'll probably get tons of "WTH?!" comments for that one but that's just the way I see it. Wrath is the King for petes sake and pretty much all the way through the first half of the book he does nothing but wine like a baby because of it. The Wrath in this novel is not the same Wrath that I used to know (and love). And what's up with Beth? She never even "sensed" her man was out every night doing God knows what until after she found out?! I thought since she was Wraths "shellan" and they were linked through each others blood they pretty much knew where each other was and what they were doing at all times through emotions...I'm sorry but that kind of thing don't fly for me just because the author decides to change the rules for just one circumstance.

I do love the bad boy going good thing Rehvenge's got going on, but I thought all the "Let me take you to bed" stuff was cheesy. I'm mean come on that's pretty much all he said to Ehlana throughout the first half..."How's your father?"..."Let me take you to bed"..."How was work?"..."Let me take you to bed"..."Is your cell phone ringing?"..."Let me take you to bed"..."Oh, you got fired because of me?"....well hell "Let me take you to bed" (For all of you who've read this you know I'm right! LoL!)

Ehlana wasn't (for me) the type of women I envisioned for Rehv. She seemed way to clueless about stuff and never really tried to figure him out (well she did, but it was almost to late). I mean where did she think he got the money to cruise around in a Bentley or wear thousand dollar jackets? Ok I can understand she was ignorant and just took his word on the BS that fell out of his mouth but she forever lost my respect when she turned tail and walked away from him when faced with what she really "thought" he was.

Xhex and John Matthew?! Now that's another story...Wo-Buddy!!! I can't wait until Ward puts their story on paper. Xhex must have man issues that we'll undoubtedly find out about in the future...because I'd take some of JM any day any way and any how...hmmm (sigh!); He's my fav of the Brotherhood....

I'm really trying not to nit pick this newest edition but like I said earlier I'm not sure it lived up to all the hype that was/is created around it. I do give it a full star for the "I couldn't put it down factor", that's always a make or break for me.

So yes, even with all my complaints about Avenged I still immensely enjoyed the book with all it's great one lining humor, sordid romance and drama.
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on April 30, 2009
And with these four words so begins J.R Wards 7th instalment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I couldn't wait to read LOVER AVENGED and at 527 pages JR does not disappoint. She has encompassed it all; Surprises galore, evolving storylines, several POV's, plot-twists, humour, action, romance and of course heartbreak.

I won't spoil things for you here by giving away too much, I'll just give you a brief rundown of all the goodies involved in this intricate story. First off, and this was important to me. All the brothers make an appearance and are all involved to some degree within the story. So yes, we get shots of V, Butch, Zsadist, Rhage, Phury, Tohrment and Wrath, Ah Wrath...

Although pegged as Rehvenge's book, LOVER AVENGED belongs equally to Wrath and his continuing story. And oh how sweet it is to be back with the King. We haven't seen much of him since DARK LOVER (Book 1) but his character takes up a significant number of pages here as Wrath goes rogue from his royal duties and ultimately has to pay the consequences. John Mathew and Xhex also get a fair amount of attention and in secondary roles we have Blay and Quinn, Tez, iAm, and Payne. We are also introduced to George, a new companion to the King. Lassiter is back as the hilarious fallen angel, sidekick of Tohrment and the battle continues with the Lessers. Speaking of the Lessoning Society, Lash is simply awesome as their evolving leader taking things to a whole new level of evil.

I've never really been a fan of Rehvenge (he kind of creeped me out) but I have to say my opinion of him has now changed. His and Ehlena's love story is well done and surprisingly sweet. Ehlena makes a worthy mate but alas their romance never takes center stage (much like Phury/Cormina in LOVER ENSHRINED book 6.) Ehlena is a nurse from the clinic who treats Rehv after he develops sepsis from repeatedly injecting the dopamine he must take to hide the fact that he's a sympath. It's an unlikely pairing that somehow works even though Rhevenge is still a major drug lord/pimp and has his hands full running the nightclub Zerosum and being a leahdyre on the council. We do get to see a whole new side of him however and gain a much greater insight into the world of sympaths. JR manages to weave all her POV's and storylines together for one explosive (literally) and nail biting finale.

My one and only gripe would have to be that JR's brotherhood language has evolved. I don't mean the terms (but yes there are more of these as well) but the actual street lingo that the brothers use when speaking to each other. I occasionally found it hard to understand what they were talking about and had to re-read their dialogue several times before I could figure it out.

I can't imagine how you could ever start the series with this book, so please don't try. The BDB is so involved and complex with so many major characters, interweaving stories and POV's that you would be utterly lost plus you'd miss out on the other 6 great books in this fantastic series, but if you're a fan you won't be disappointed, true. The brotherhood undergoes some changes and there are major developments in all ongoing storylines but the hilarious banter we all love, the intensity and excitement are all still here. LOVER AVENGED made me laugh, made me cry and I didn't want it to end yet JR has done a great job in setting things up for the next book which is to be John Mathew's story (LOVER MINE).
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on October 5, 2009
Spoiler Alert****Please don't read if you don't want to find some detailed information****Spoiler Alert!!!***I just have to get this off my chest. There are many things I didn't like about this book or Rehv. I so wanted to love this book because the cover is smoking hot! I've read other reviews that stated they couldn't understand why Ward was going for the shock factor. They thought it was unnecessary for the story. I didn't understand what they meant at first, now I do. 1) Rehv was just unappealing to me as a character mainly because there wasn't enough attention paid to developing him or his romance. We really never got to know him better. His occupation disgusted me. However, that didn't disgust me nearly as much as finding out that the princess who has been bribing him for years to have sex with her at least once a month is his sister. Oops! Sorry, I meant 'half-sister'. Ward, I don't care if it's half sister or whole sister--it's his sister....who happens to be married to her and Rehv's uncle. It's no different than him having sex with his other half sister, Bella. The whole 'barb' thing that secures him to a female while doing the wild thing brought it home even more. It never failed that while having sex with his sister, the barb appeared and kept them intimately together after sex. Funny, he didn't allow that same intimacy with Ehlena until the end of the book. 2) I have no desire to read a story concerning John and Xhex love story. When they hooked up at her apartment and again later on, it was all wrong. There is and has not been any chemistry between them. John has also become this 'I don't care anymore' little @#$%! We're expected to believe this little boy is now a man!? Ward, please put some logic with these character's actions. 3) Qhuinn and John having sex with a female at the same time. Give me a break. Ward, stop hinting, go ahead and put John, Blay, Saxton, and Qhuinn in an all male sex scene. Heck, while you're at it, put V and Butch in the scene as well. There is just so much that got on my nerves with this book. The brothers were strong in the beginning. As I read book after book, they are no more than a group of dysfunctional men with a lot of issues and the story has become ridiculous.
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on June 26, 2010
I have fallen in love with the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but this entry was just sad. At first I was disappointed, but then I realized I still love the story, setting, and characters. No, this book made me angry with J R Ward. Instead of nurturing her creation, she is sloppily passing off story lines with no care for viability. A character who for several books has had two small red stars tattooed on his left pec suddenly had one on each side of his chest in this book. Two characters who agree to meet at 3 am, a few pages later move up the meeting because they can't bear to wait until four. A character goes into a Tex-Mex restaurant and has ribs, mashed potatoes, and cole slaw?! Really? The only reason it's Tex-Mex is because of the harsh consonance Ms. Ward seems to love. Oh, and Ms. Ward? If you drive a Mercedes it's Benz, not a Merc. Mercs are Mercuries. . .

In addition to details, this book is a real triumph of coincidence and easy outs. If you love the Brothers, this book will break your heart. Ms. Ward needs to keep track of, nurture, and honestly develop her story lines and character details. Or at the very least, hire an editor and listen to their input.
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on May 19, 2009
BDB was a series I fell head over heels in love with. You can read the book info. to see what the storyline is about. I'm going to let you know what the book is like.
I usually read a book, find out it's got three or four others before it, and then I buy them and read them one after another. But I bought Dark Lover when it first came out, and thought, WOW, she has got to make a series out of this!! And then I had to wait months between books for the next, so I would re-read the others in preparation for each new one coming out. When I say I loved this series, I mean I became obsessed with it. I recommended to everyone I spoke to, went to the website daily. Ward created a world unlike anything I had read before. She carried on with the things I loved best about the Brotherhood in her next three books... the Brothers bravery, their bada$$ attitude, their total love and commitment to their females, and their absolute loyalty to one another. But then she wrote her fifth book, and it got shaky, and then in her sixth book it all fell apart.
Brothers turning their backs on one another, the love story-line completely gone, Brothers putting their own selfish needs ahead of the brotherhood!!! This was NOT the world I had lost myself in before. I felt betrayed, and by characters in a book no less. But I thought maybe the next will be better... No such luck.
Rhev deserved such a better story. He should have had more than a third of his own book devoted to his story. Ward tells us they fall in love, but we don't see it, and we especially don't feel it. A male who can live with or without his shellan-- that's just wrong. Remember what happened to Tohr when he lost his female? Where is that kind of love now? I want Ward to make me feel for her characters like I used to, not just shock me. The shock factor for this series is so out of control that the 'shock' value is blown. A plot with twists and turns is great, some 'shocking' scenes are wonderful, but making half your male characters bi-sexual and making the other half perverts-- not so much.
And I'm sorry, but if Xhex was going to be seen as a leading lady in a later book, perhaps she shouldn't have first been introduced as being as big and strong as a male, all muscles, with a manly appearance... You can't help but think of that wrestler China, with huge man muscles and a masculine face. I know she's supposed to be Zena-esk, but that's not how she was introduced to the series, and after having a picture of that character in your head for four books, it's hard to change it. And John M. being molested by a man bigger and stronger than him, and then falling in love with a woman who looks like a man and who treats him like a little boy... that's a little too messed up in the head for me.
I liked hearing more about Wrath, but he's so different from his first book, it's like being introduced to a whole new character. I don't know if they have someone helping her, or ghost writing for Ward, or if her editor is a bit nuts, but this wonderful series that we invest money, time, and our hearts into, is going downhill fast. For the first time, I'm not buying the book. I borrowed it from a friend, and gladly gave it back. And just so you know it's not just me, my friend, also a complete BDB junkie, is putting the book for sale here on Amazon.
So, if you are looking for a great vampire romance/action book, read the first four in this series, read the immortals after dark, read the darkhunter novels, but Lover Avenged is only for those who love Wards writing so much they'll give 5 stars to her grocery list.
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