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Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3) by J.R. Ward
434 pages
Published September 5th 2006
Buy at Amazon

Dark Lover
Lover Eternal

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…


Trigger Warning for Lover Awakened: abuse and rape.

I’m a mess of feelings right now, I truly am.

I’ve always liked Zsadist, even if he has been a bastard this whole time. Maybe it was the whole dark past, brooding, leave me alone I’m going to kill you thing he had going on. Either way, I’ve always known he was going to make for an interesting story, little did I know was that it would be so emotional and heartbreaking. Because, really, Lover Awakened is full of angst, hurt, and love all swirling around Zsadist.
What I loved (and hated) was that he kept his feelings to himself. We could read what he was thinking and know that he wasn’t the bad guy. It was also frustrating because if he just said what he felt he could have avoided certain things, instead he would remain silent.
My heart went out to the poor guy and his aversion to touch and even his reasons for sex. It’s a deep emotional roller-coaster when reading, and even though things would get bad I couldn’t stop reading I had to know if he would get an ending that was satisfying- not that I’m going to tell you all of course.

I even liked his fascination with Bella because he just couldn’t believe that…oh, drat, I can’t say. Bella wasn’t my favourite when she first introduced in the last book, but she’s easily became one of my favourites with her love. As we all know Bella was kidnapped in book two, without spoiling much, as we know that this book is about Bella and Zsadist, so I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but I think Bella was the best thing for Zsadist. I could honestly read the rest of the series in just their POV and be content.

As for the other characters, we do get cameos from Beth and Mary and of course the Brotherhood is there, but Lover Awakened gave me a new look at Phury. I always imagined him in a Buddhist robe even though it’s mentioned multiple times how well he dresses- it’s the celibacy thing. I have so much love for Phury now. Just thinking about all he’s doing makes me incredibly sad. Maybe Zsadist isn’t the worst off character after all…? All these brothers are creeping into my heart. In fact, most of the characters are making a tidy little house in my heart, proving that they’re not going anywhere any time soon.

As for the storyline, it’s pretty much the same as it’s always been. Multiple POVs, damsel in distress, tragic hero, the third wheel (MUH HAH!), but Lover Awakened packs a sad gut twisting punch in more ways than just one. This is a sad, sad book. Still smoking hot like the others, but tragic and sad. Some weird things happen in Lover Awakened as well, especially to Butch and I’m left wondering what is going to happen in the future books that that needed to be done. I have a feeling it’s pivotal.

With this being my third Black Dagger Brotherhood novel, I’m in it to the end. They just get better with each passing book. So, now, I do fully recommend reading them. Please read them in order however, there are things happening that will make no sense if you skip one. Off to devour book four.