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Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 513 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
THE STORY: Payne, the twin sister of V, has spent hundreds of years imprisoned by their mother, the Goddess Scribe Virgin because Payne killed their father. During a training session with the King, Payne is seriously injured with a broken spine. V and his mate Jane desperately need the help of the human surgeon, Dr. Manual Manello. And thus, Manny is dragged into the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a world of vampire warriors. The connection between Manny and Payne is intense and immediate, but there cannot be a future between them even if Payne recovers.
OPINION: LOVER UNLEASHED is a typical book in the recent Black Dagger Brotherhood series. There are multiple stories most of which began in other books and many of which continue past this book. For me, the plus of this book is that the largest chunks of the book are about the twins Payne and Twin and those they love.
The main story, of course, is Payne and Manny. I liked this story because of Manny himself. Ward does an exceptional job of quickly making Manny a character I want to root for. His brief interaction with the BDB a year ago (although wiped from his memory) has changed him. Jane's "death" has left him with a great deal of emptiness in his life. When he is brought to heal Payne, it really is love at first sight for these two. Payne's character remains a little more opaque in the book and I didn't feel as much connection to her, but I really did like the interaction between these two.
The secondary storyline about V's spiral out of control after Payne's injury is the angst filled storyline here. Learning about Payne and then almost losing her has unmoored V from all the progress he has made since meeting Jane. His reaction threatens his relationship with his mate. I absolutely loved this storyline which I think is the highlight of the book. I'm a sucker for these situations where a couple delves deeper into their relationship. Some lingering threads of the series are resolved with V and Butch and I was happy that V and Jane grow even closer as their story resolves.
The minor story with Qhuinn and Blay continues here. Qhuinn has hit rock bottom and it is time for him to start recreating himself. Nothing is resolved here but it seems like the story is slowly inching towards these two's story being resolved. With two others involved in the story, Ward does a good job of keeping everyone likeable and not going for the easy out of making villains out of the characters which serve a function of keeping Qhuinn and Blay apart.
The focus on the internal operations of the Lessers is missing here. Instead, a new group is introduced as foils against the BDB -- the Band of Bastards. It appears that this group of vampires will play an important role in upcoming books.
WORTH MENTIONING: I've had a much better reaction to these books now that I space out the reading of them. I think my brain can only process so much before I get annoyed and frustrated. Having read the disappointed reviews of this book, I also think I benefit from having some knowledge about where the series is going so that I don't have unmet expectations. I honestly don't think that the world building in these books is consistent anymore. Things feel less grounded, more fluid and there are well documented conflicts. I read the books for the characters so giving myself a break between books makes the inconsistencies in the story lines less obvious.
CONNECTED BOOKS: LOVER UNLEASHED is the ninth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. At this point, I don't think there is any way to understand this book without having read the others in the series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
This was not my favorite BDB book. I was looking forward to Manny and Payne's story because I really like his character and she seemed interesting. What we got was not what was expected and not in a good way. Let me start:
1- Too many storylines once again leave the main characters on the sidelines. I know Ward has her vision of where she wants the series to go and there are reasons for her many many many asides, but there seems to be a serious lack of organizations which affects the flow of the story. Some people may not be bothered by this, but knowing how well she can write, it dissapointed me as a reader.
2- Manny and Payne - I still love Manny. The intriguing parentage was a good fit. Payne on the other hand seems to be a slightly festier version of a Chosen, and that was very dissapointing. I am not a fan of the Chosen shellans. They seem to get on my nerves every time. Do they have to be such whiny people? Is this truly what the ideal vampire female is supposed to be? Honestly, I am not impressed. Stepford wives seem to have more of a personality.
3- V, Butch and Jane - I have absolutely no problems with a M/M relationship. Two people love each other, end of story. BDSM is also not an issue. To each his own. However, I have a very big problem with betraying spouses or in this case shellans. Emotional betrayal is just as bad as physical (and the scene with V and Butch came close to that too). If V was not ready to let go of Butch, he should not have married Jane. As much as I hate Marissa's character, the whole situation underminded her mating as well. In fact, at this point I am thinking the series might have benefitted from a V-Butch pair-up, a Manny-Jane pair-up, a non-existence of Payne (who is turning out to be a supperfluous character anyway) and maybe a Tor-Marissa pair-up if we needed to hear from that woman at all. This was probably my biggest issue. I don't really care if V solved his emotional constipation or not at this point. The fact that he could walk away from Jane no matter for how long, was unacceptable to me. I know many people don't like her or the fact that she became a ghost, but that is besides the point. A hellren should never betray a true shellan. If they don't want to be married, Ward should just let them stay single.
4- Blay and Qhuinn - I love Blay. Qhuinn is improving but only slightly. The fact is that I am getting tired of his emotional constipation as well. Blay needs to move on and find a mate who will truly fit him. I am not sure that Saxton is the best choice, but I am glad that they are at least taking care of each other for the moment.
5- Layla - The woman needs to dissapear. At this point I think all the Chosen should dissapear anyway. Every time they come out in the novels they annoy me to no end and ruin the plot.
I have followed this series from the beginning. I loved the first few books. Once Butch's book came out, it all started to go downhill (Butch is great, Marissa not so much). I know many will disagree and that is ok, but the fact is that I think this series will no longer be an auto-buy for me. I may need to borrow it and read them from someone else before I decide to invest in a story that, while entertaining is simply not as gripping as it used to be. Too much drama, too convoluted, too much going on, too many side stories left hanging, too many main stories not developed fully, and the nail on the coffin: we can't even rely on mating bonds to be respected.
I was all set to give Lover Unleashed two stars. It wasn't quite as rough for me as Lover Enshrined (Phury's book) but it was really annoying. I was never a fan of Manny's, but was excited for another female badass with Payne. Welp, that didn't happen, but hey, if I ever break my spine now I know that Magic Peen will cure me so I'm calling this a win. Once again, the convenience with which the obstacles that keep our lovers apart are solved makes me cringe.
What saved Lover Unleashed was Vishous and Jane. I didn't realize that they weren't 100% okay, until they weren't. I guess I just assumed V was cool now, and that Jane was fine with some hard play. I really liked that they came through the drama stronger than before, but I feel like Ward is just teasing us with Butch and V. If she wasn't going to let them get it on and be together four or five books ago, then just go ahead and stop dangling that underlying attraction between them. I think I might have liked the Band of Bastards as a part of the series. I don't know. Well, it's not so much that I liked it as it's a lot better than reading about the lessers.
Karen at For What It's worth reviewed Lover Unleashed here. Her review says everything I was thinking, and everything I hadn't thought of yet, and said it perfectly. Warning: this review is flat-out hilarious, especially when she calls Manny out for his tendency for premature ejaculation. Hee!
All I'm saying is Tohr's book is next and I better love it or I'll.....well, I'll keep reading but I'm going to bitch about it a whole lot.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Highly recommend all of J R Ward's books. Totally awesomeRead more