Book Review: Lover Enshrined by J. R. Ward

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Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood #6) by J.R. Ward
534 pages
Published June 3rd 2008
Buy at Amazon


PREVIOUS REVIEWS ON THIS SERIES:
Dark Lover
Lover Eternal
Lover Awakened
Lover Revealed
Lover Unbound

In this “frighteningly addictive” paranormal romance saga there’s a war raging between vampires and their slayers. Here are the stories of a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now a dutiful twin must choose between two lives…

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love….

Review:

Well ladies and gentlemen, I knew it was too good to be true. The dreaded love with conflicts and “You’re too good for mes” has returned. Can’t say I’m happy to see it back, especially considering how awesome the Jane/V combo is. Maybe I hoped that we’d finally get another character like Jane. Who am I kidding, we all have read about Cormia before this, so we knew what she was like. Definitely not the worst character ever, but I can’t say I’d come to her rescue for any kind of reason either.

What gets me is that part of Lover Enshrined is very, very, very good. So good I was practically salivating. Everything to do with John is brilliant. I love it. Unless something changes in the future books, John is one of the main reasons I keep reading. Then, we have his friends Blay and Qhuinn. Talk about a shot between the eyes, I wasn’t expecting what happened between them- and hey, I freely admit I read the summary for Lover At Last after finishing Lover Enshrined, because I’m a glutton for punishment (and I secretly thought maybe I was going to end up with Qhuinn, hey, I’m a fangirl what do you expect?). Then we have that not so little thing with Lash which, again, shot between the eyes because I was so totally not expecting that.

Basically everything that about this book that doesn’t have to do with Cormia and Phury is A++. Which leaves me to say that most parts between the two were very, very, bad. At times I felt like I was reading a wall of text because Phury has so much going on. I mean, yeah, I definitely liked his character before, I wanted to know his story, and now the only thing I can really say is that it didn’t live up to what I was expecting. Maybe I just don’t find his reason for being an addict for two centuries reason enough. Sure, he had a lonely childhood and it sucks that his parents shut themselves down and were awful and it’s terrible about what happened to Z, but seriously? Phury has serious problems. Enough to warrant such an addiction? Meh. I especially hated to read about The Wizard, Phurys, basically, imaginary friend.
I do think Wrath and Z were way to hard on him. They could have put more time into rectifying the problem. They ignored and let it get out of hand. They didn’t help. You can’t just say, “Stop what you’re doing.” and then believe the persons answer- especially if their dependent on drugs. A little too much in my opinion.

Needless to say, I’m disappointed with Phurys side of the tale. Honestly, I was really expecting a novel full of Chosen sex. Honest. One massive orgy and it went unfulfilled.

There’s no skipping Lover Enshrined, however. There’s way too much stuff that’s overly important. If you can get through the wall of text that is at times boring and sleep inducing, you’ll be just fine because what awaits you afterwards is a party of awesome.

Book Review: Lover Unbound by J. R. Ward

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304027

Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood #5) by J.R. Ward
502 pages
Published September 25th 2007
Buy at Amazon


PREVIOUS REVIEWS ON THIS SERIES:
Dark Lover
Lover Eternal
Lover Awakened
Lover Revealed

In Caldwell, New York, war rages between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now the cold heart of a cunning predator will be warmed against its will…

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father’s war camp he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn’t choose takes him into a future that cannot include her…

Review:

Hallejuh! A heroine that is more than just a cardboard cut out! We finally get it. Not only that, but we get a mostly conflict free relationship. Oh how good it feels to finally read about someone NOT assuming in a relationship.
Jane is amazing. A-MA-ZING. She is exactly my kind of strong character. She doesn’t put up with any bull while at the same time making sure her feelings are known. It has been a sort of trend with this series, with the heroines not being able to fully express their feelings or because they held them in something else was assumed. So, to me, Jane is an absolute breath of fresh air.

Vishous, I should say that his story includes some pretty awful abuse and I could almost say trigger warning for certain parts. I do love the fact that he’s into BDSM, not just for the awesome sex scenes (which, btw, were not shown fully when he was in ‘Dom’ mode), but because during a certain part it shows us more of his character. Wish I could elaborate, it’s one of those things that would spoil you. Anywho, his past is full of pain, and so is his present, so it makes a very compelling story. I know I was kept on my toes.
I’m not sure whose past is worst in the Brotherhood. What it really boils down to is everyone’s past has sucked so far and I don’t really think it would be fair of me to compare them. What they all really need is a group hug and group therapy.

We get a lot of Phury in Lover Unbound. Phury and his destructive nature. His very, very, destructive nature. I love his character so much that reading about all he was doing really made me uncomfortable. Let us hope that his book makes him better, otherwise he needs help…badly.

Even better is that this book features no Lesser POV. Yes! Yes! I hate reading about the Lessers in their POV so I was extremely happy. But, because of this we really don’t get any serious fighting except for a few times.

As for the Chosen, I have to say that that whole thing was RIDICULOUS. Not just because a primale gets to ‘mate’ with ALL of the chosen (like 40 females) and he gets a ‘main’ female, but because if a Chosen doesn’t want to give her body to him she’s bound and gagged- FORCED to go through the ritual. Sounds like rape to me and this has been going on for forever! I was totally creeped out and astounded that the Scribe Virgin would let that happen. Especially considering HER own past.

Tons of major plot moments though, mostly centering around Jane and V, but a few elsewhere. Lover Unbound moves at a nice pace and didn’t drag, it did the opposite in fact. It threw me onto a carnival ride that jumbled my insides and made me cry buckets of massive tears. I have heartburn from the tears. If you cried during the others, you will definitely cry with Lover Unbound because the unexpected happens. I literally cried through the last few chapters.
That ending though. I’m gonna have to say it was a cop-out. While I want the very best to always happen, in this case I don’t think it should have. Mean of me, awful of me, but I honestly think it should have been left right where it was.

Overall, I still think the series gets better and better with each passing book. Loved Lover Unbound, and it’s definitely competing with Lover Awakened for the top spot.

SPOILER:
Have you guys noticed that every female so far has become immortal in some way or fashion? Call me crazy, but I’d like for a human to fall in love with a vampire without all the frills and immortality.

Book Review: Lover Revealed by J. R. Ward

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42898
Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood #4) by J.R. Ward
455 pages
Published March 6th 2007
Buy at Amazon



PREVIOUS REVIEWS ON THIS SERIES:
Dark Lover
Lover Eternal
Lover Awakened

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. Now, an ally of the Black Dagger Brotherhood will face the challenge of his life and the evil of the ages.

Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. And if he can’t have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.

Review:

This is going to sound crazy, but Lover Revealed is probably my favourite and least favourite of the series so far. If it had just avoided all the romance and communication conflicts it would have been 5 stars easily. Sadly, it blundered through the romance to the point I just didn’t care about Marissa anymore or even their romantic storyline for that matter.

Lover Revealed does do something good: Butch. His storyline is literally going to blow you away when you read it. I always knew Butch was a good character, but this definitely sealed it. Not just that, but Butch becomes more than just the human sidekick. We see things happen to him that are mind numbing and then extraordinary to the point you’re own the edge of your seat wondering just what is going to happen next. Just how is it going to play out. He has one hell of a storyline and it is good. I wish I could share the nitty gritty details, but I would ruin it, sorry. I’m still literally blown away by how awesome reading about him way.

There also a little side…whatever you want to call…it between Butch and Vishous. Not quite romance, not quite brotherly love, but more…? It’s hard to explain, but it’s more than just affection (at least to me). It puts Vishous in a new light. The scenes between the two are wonderful, but it leaves me wondering just what is going on between the two. There is a huge massive spoiler that could solve it (located within Lover Revealed), but I just don’t know. Vishous’s story is next in line so maybe I’ll get it figured out then.

Now for Marissa and Butch. Holly hell at the major communication problems. It’s like having two cups and long darn string. You can’t hear one another even though your speaking. You thought Zsadist had problems…that was a cakewalk compared to this. Yes, the sex was good, but mostly it was angry sex or either sex that was stopped because they couldn’t tell each other what was wrong. “Oh he doesn’t like me.” “She’s yelling at me to leave, she doesn’t want me anymore.” I seriously do not care that Marissa is a whiny virgin because even after sex she is still that way (also my least favourite character now). I do not care that Butch has daddy/family issues. What I do care about is how stupid their relationship is. There. I said it. They have the stupidest relationship ever. They’re so worried about hurting one another that they do the worst thing and avoid asking and telling the number one things to each other that could have solved it all. I don’t know how many times they argued, assumed the worst, and left and fought all because of this. Why are they even in a relationship if they’re just going to assume everything? You cannot read his mind or vice versa, so why are you even assuming what each other feels? **And why is this such a big thing with these books? The assuming, the arguing. It’s OK in moderation, but when you can’t even have a conversation without assuming and then run off only in the end to miraculously overcome it all…WHY?** I’m almost to the point where I wish these books were less focused on romance with “the one” and just let them go off and have casual sex while taking down lessers and continuing the plot.
I’m done with their relationship and I don’t even want to think about it anymore.

We still get multiple POVs and I still do not like reading about the lessers. I do, however, love reading about John. Absolutely love him. He’s a great big shiny light amongst all this and I just feel for him so much! Definitely a great character that I can’t wait to see more from.

All in all, the awful romance really brings me down, because that all-over-the-place thing just doesn’t work for me. There’s a such thing as having to work for your love, but this is just conflict central. BUT, I think it’s a great read solely for Butch, Vishous, and John.

I do not recommend skipping Lover Revealed because you will be missing out a HUGE, massive, shock worthy plot line- and I vouch for its awesomeness.

Miss me, guys? I’ve been pretty sick these last few months and I’ve had a slew of testing done with no answers. My thyroid is very swollen and I have multiple lymph nodes in my neck and jaw area that are swollen, plus with all the fatigue and overall ‘what’s next?’ scenario has really dragged me down. I’m gonna go ahead and post the reviews for this series that I HAVE reviewed. I’m on book 7, but I have my doubts that I will finish it in the next few months.
I have been reading Real Murders by Charlaine Harris and I’ve actually got a few new books and some ARCs, but otherwise, I just haven’t been up for much reading. I even pre-ordered The Indigo Spell and haven’t read but 30 pages or so- I even got it signed! I was so excited for it, so you can see how I’ve been if I didn’t even want to read that. ):

Book Review: Lover Awakened by J. R. Ward

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42900
Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3) by J.R. Ward
434 pages
Published September 5th 2006
Buy at Amazon


PREVIOUS REVIEWS ON THIS SERIES:
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…

Review:

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.