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Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

Title: Lover Unleashed

Author: J.R. Ward

Series: The Black Dagger Brotherhood, book 9

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: NAL

Format: E-book

*Warning: This review contains spoilers*
“Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother: A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either.
When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world. Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.
As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy”

in the few scenes I had seen of Manny and Payne in previous books, I had liked them, respectively. I found them interesting and I had been looking forward to their book. But after getting my hands in Lover Unleashed I’m sad to say I was a little bit disappointed with their story. I felt they were cheated with their book. This book felt more like Vishous – Jane part two, than Manny and Payne’s book. We were also introduced to so many characters and there were so many little subplots in this book, that it was a little bit overwhelming at times.

Back to Manny and Payne, their story didn’t feel real. They had their sexy time but the romance wasn’t there. Payne also wasn’t what I expected. In Lover Mine she was picture as a fighter, I thought she would be more like Xhex but instead she was more like Layla. Manny’s behavior didn’t go well with his character. The alcohol binges and the ghetto talk don’t belong to a hospital director. I thought Mrs. Ward pushed him a bit too far to have a resemblance with the Brothers, instead of letting him be an original character.
Also the “need” for him was a little bit outplace. The Brothers had lived for centuries without a doctor. Now they have Jane to treat them, ok I get that having her as their doctor makes everybody life easier. But now Manny comes into the picture and they get hurt more severely than in previous encounters with the Lessers. The life of couple of Brothers was at risk but Manny saved them, so now they “need” him… mmm, what can I say...

The star of this book was Vishous. He is dealing with an emotional turmoil. He just discovered he has a sister, and nothing less than his twin. Her life is in great danger and he doesn’t want to lose her now that he had found her. At the same time he is still stuck in his dark past, and his anger is making him drown in his own emotions.

Jane is in the spot, because as the BDB’s physician, Payne’s life is kind of her responsibility. Also she is the one who suggested Manny as the doctor to treat Payne. And to add to these responsibilities she also has to deal with Vishous moods while trying to protect him from himself.
I like Jane before, but in this book I loved her. She is put in more than one heart-breaking situation. She shows what kind of woman she is. She demonstrates her love and devotion for Vishous and her willingness to do anything to save him even at cost of her own self.

Butch also plays a very important roll in this book. His relationship with Vishous is brought back to the table. But in this case there are not doubts about what kind of love they have for each other. They love each other, yes, but they are not in love. The distinction is made clearly. Maybe the love they have is more than a friendship but never the same as the love they have for their mates. Anyway, Butch is willing to go the extra mile to save his friend. And what he did for Vishous proves it, and for this I loved him even more.

In this book we are also introduce to a band of renegades vampires. Their original leader was the Bloodletter (Vishious and Payne’s father). After Payne assassinated him, his second in command Xcor takes the reins of the group. They have the same objective as the Brothers, getting rid of the Lessers, but with no morals involve in the equation. They lived in the old world. But after they had eliminated almost all the Lessers there, they decided to move to the States, and specific to Caldwell.
Xcor has issues with Wrath. The reason for his hatred is not revealed. I guess is something Mrs. Ward will explore more in future books. I'm also wondering about Xcor second in command Thor. For what we learned about him, he doesn’t fit with this group, they are low life ruffians, while he was a well-educated member of society; but a situation in his life got him involved with them and now he is trying to do the best he can with what he has at his disposal.
The hottest scene in the book is with him, Xcor and a girl call Kandy… hot, hot, HOT!!! 

We see again Butch’s ex-partner Jose de la Cruz. And we are introduced to his new partner (Veck) Thomas DelVecchio. There is a weird story going around him; another subplot in this book that didn’t go anywhere.

There is no resolution to Quinn and Blay situation. We don’t see much of Blay. He is still with Saxton. And I loved Saxton in this book. He was great in his scenes and at the same time it was very sad. I won’t tell you why, you’d have to read the book to understand it.
Quinn, oh whiny Quinn! All his whining was killing me, at least he came to terms with his feelings in this book and he was honest with Layla. Mrs. Ward also throw us a curb ball here out of nowhere. Blay and Quinn are supposed to have their HEA and now Mrs. Ward leave us wondering why and what she was trying to do or imply with what she gave us (brainstorming here).

As I said before the amount of information and new characters introduced in this book was a bit overwhelming. It’s like Mrs. Ward needed to cement her base for future books and had the “great idea” to put it all in this book. But by doing this she took the starlight from the characters that should had had it.
Also this book lacked of the presence of the other Brothers. I know they are many Brothers now, but we love them and want to see more of them and their lives. But in this book we just saw glances or mentions of them.

Also where was the Scribe Virgin? Her daughter is gravely injured and she is a no-show in this book. She shows for all the Brothers but not for Payne. That was difficult to believe.

Even though this book was a bit of a disappointment for me, I will continue reading this series. I am addicted to the Brothers and still haven’t had enough of them.

Favorite quotes:
  • Butch clapped him on the shoulder. “Listen to me. You have the fashion sense of a park bench and the interpersonal skills of a meat cleaver---” – “Is this supposed to be helping?” – “Let me finish---” – “What’s next? The size of my cock?” – “Hey, even pencils can get the job done---I’ve heard moaning from your room to prove it.”
  • “I wish I were whole. I wish I could have given you young if you’d wanted them and could conceive them. I wish I could have told you that it killed me when you thought I had been with anyone else. I wish I had spent the last year waking up every night to tell you I loved you. I wish I had mated you properly the evening you came back to me from the dead. I wish…” Now his shimmering stare flipped up to hers. “I wish I deserved you. And…that’s about it.”

My Verdict: 3 Paws

Other books in the series
Dark Lover
Lover Eternal
Lover Awakened
Lover Revealed
Lover Unbound
Lover Enshrined
Lover Avenged
Lover Mine
Lover Unleashed

Other reviews Goodreads


  1. If I had to re-write my review, I would write yours. You said EXACTLY what I felt about this book. Awesome job!!!

  2. Julie, wow! Thank you! *blushing*


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