Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Shelf: Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood #9) by J.R. Ward

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, MD, 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 birth right and the biology that separate them?

Blurb from Goodreads....

Review: (Warning, contains spoilers)

I feel like I waited a long time to read this book and it was well worth the wait. This is without a doubt one of the best series’ I’ve ever read. It’s dark and gritty and yet the friendship and family connections are amazing. It never ceases to amaze me how close some of the characters are and the incredible bonds they share. Honestly in any other series, they wouldn’t work, but in this they do, they really do.
This book was different from the others. It’s the first time the male lead hasn’t been a vampire and it showed. There was not quite as much possessiveness and “mine” sort of feeling to the relationship. I admit I do love that about this series, that male dominance (yeah, yeah, yeah....I’m weird) but I actually didn’t miss it too much in this book.

I have to be completely honest here and say that at times I did find it hard to connect with Payne. Perhaps it’s how she was raised but she didn’t even act like I’ve come to expect the female vamps to act in this series. I’m not quite sure what it was that left me unable to emphasise with her as much as I would have liked either. I still very much liked her though. She was a sweet, somewhat fierce, if not innocent gal, who did have a good heart. I felt bad for her doubting herself at times, but I loved her carefree spirit as she got to see the world.
I really liked Manny! And it’s strange because I actually didn’t think I would. After the last time we saw him in V and Jane’s book, I didn’t care much for him. Perhaps that stems from the fact that he wanted to be with Jane and I was all for her being with V, but I just didn’t see him as anything else but a bit character. Now? I love him! He was such a great guy. He was kind, loyal and had a really good heart. It was so nice to see how much he cared about his work and how much it all meant to him. I thought it was wonderful that despite him being majorly attracted to Payne he didn’t want to make her do anything she’d regret and he didn’t want to take advantage of the situation---insert awwww moment here.

Payne and Manny had a really different relationship than what we usually get with this series. It wasn’t all about sex and even those sexual moments tended to be spilt a part. Lord, they didn’t even sleep together until like the 3rd last chapter and even then that was the only sex scene between them in the book. I still felt like they had a connection though. It was just different than the other couples in the series. Their’s was a sweet relationship, with Payne being kinda inexperienced, yet very willing to learn. It made me smile how many times she wanted to take things further and yet he held them back.

On to other things....V and Jane, let me just say, “OMG”. Just when I thought they couldn’t get any better as a couple...they do! I can’t deny that they didn’t have their issues in this book; Vishous had a lot of things to deal with and accept, and while I wanted to give them both a couple of wacks over the head for the mistakes they made and the conclusions they both jumped to at times, when they eventually sorted things out, it made it sooo worth it. My heart broke for V when Butch had to work things over, but seeing him sort out his feelings about his past and let Jane in, and I mean really, really let Jane in was just so wonderful. It’s odd. I didn’t realise that there was anything wrong with them at the end of their book, but they’ve really gotten to a better place in this one. I really do think they’re my fave couple. They both seem like the missing piece of the other so strongly, and considering V’s past, the fact that she can make him laugh and smile, and cry and act the way he now does around his brothers with her shows that they’re made for one another.

Now to the two characters I love, and yet hate sooooo much right now. Blay and Qhuinn! Seriously, I’m gonna strangle you two boys! I was so gutted for Qhuinn in this book. He’s changed so much; toning down his appearance and forgoing his man-whore ways now that he’s realised he’s in love with Blay that it kills me to see them not being together. And it’s all just being neither of them knows what the other feels, and what they think they know is wrong, wrong, WRONG. Blay is still in love with Qhuinn and even though he’s with Saxon his heart still belongs to Qhuinn. Qhuinn is in love with Blay, but knows he’s with Saxon now and thinks that Blay no longer loves him. Blay thinks that Layla and Qhuinn are together, even though Qhuinn told her he loves Blay and only wants Blay....see the picture? The stupid, annoying, mixed up picture. Here are two people who should be together (and come on, we all know they should) and yet because they can’t be honest with each other they’re miserable. I don’t care what Blay thinks, what he has with Sax isn’t right. Sure it’s safe and feels right, but it’s not love. And he deserves love.

Okay, now this may be a bit off kilter, but I’m well aware by now that everything J.R Ward does, all the characters she has in the series and every little thing she drops in here and there has some purpose, some meaning later on. So....I was thinking about Qhuinn’s vision thing where he sees his and Layla’s daughter. I was wondering....what if Layla has a child with Qhuinn for him and Blay somewhere the track? Obviously two guys can’t have a baby (duh) but if they do get together, it makes sense that eventually they may want young. So why not? It could be possible and I’m not ruling it out. Anyway those are my thoughts....

Butch and Manny are half-brothers! There is no way I saw that coming! I don’t even remember it being hinted at. It’s a great twist though, and a perfect way to bring Manny into the Brotherhood fold.
I wonder what’s going to happen to Layla too now. I’d like to see her happy; she seems like a nice female and I keep racking my brain for who she could be with. Tohr maybe, but I’d kinda like to see him with Xhex’s mum. I’ve heard talks about Mruder getting his own book, so there’s always him. And what about Xcor? We didn’t learn too much about the guy in this book, although he did the right thing letting Payne go. However we know he wants something with the king and V and the rest of the Brotherhood seem to think he’s bad news. As I tend to trust those boys, I’m gonna keep my eye on that guy, but who knows....maybe he’ll turn out to be good and sweep Layla off her feet.

J.R. Ward continues to weave an incredible series, and it just keeps getting better. I’m dying for the next instalment, but it doesn’t come out until 2012. 2012! That’s sooo long.
The wait is gonna kill me!

Rating: **** stars
Recommend: Yes!
Did I Buy, Borrow or is it an ARC: Bought
Recommend Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Ebook or Actual Book: Actual Book
Cover: Hmmmm, not my fave cover in the series. I prefer the US's blue one to be honest.
Read sequel/continue with series: Yes! Lord, yes!

Buy it here:

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

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