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Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: Lover at Last by J.R. Ward

Title: Lover at Last
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: The Black Dagger Brotherhood,
book 11
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Penguin Group
Format: E-book
“Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....  
Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand. 
Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.”
Lover at Last is the eleventh book in The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.

I’ve been waiting for this book for five years, since that fated moment when Qhuinn and Blay shared their first kiss, in Lover Enshrined (Sixth book). It’s easy to say this was one of my top three most awaited books of the year, but sadly it didn’t meet all my expectations. Don’t take me wrong, it’s not a bad book, but I had some issues with it. My main problem was Qhuinn and Blay’s relationship.
Qhuinn knows he should be happy, he’s going to be a father, and is doing what he loves most, fighting the Lessers next to the Brothers. Despite being in a good place in his life he feels empty inside; Qhuinn knows that the only person who could fill that void is Blay. Qhuinn is tired of denying his feelings for Blay, but he thinks he’s a little too late because Blay is with Saxton and they seem to be happy together, while the reality is far from that. I know Blay is afraid because Qhuinn has hurt him before and doesn’t want to risk his heart again, still I thought he should have man up and being honest with Qhuinn. This would have saved us 400+ pages of unnecessary angst that could have been easily prevented if Blay would have been honest with Qhuinn about his “status” with Saxton.
One thing I liked about their relationship is when Qhuinn comes to terms with who he really is. It took him awhile but knowing his background and where he is coming from it was easily understandable.
In the best J.R. Ward’s style the sex scenes are so hot they shook the house; my only complaint here is the lack of something as basic and needed in an m/m relationship like it is the use of lube. I also would have liked if their relationship would have had more intimacy and romance.

I’m going to say something I never thought I would say: I liked Layla. I didn’t like her or care about her on previous books, and after Lover Reborn (book tenth) when she became pregnant with Qhuinn’s baby I liked her even less, but surprisingly I loved her in this book and my heart broke a little bit for her. It was easy to see that she has realized her life wasn’t as perfect as she thought it was, she feels lonely and wants something that is hers, understanding this is easy to see why she wants to have a baby even though her circumstances are not the best ones for it. If that wasn’t enough she’s realizing her heart belongs to Xcor, a man that is not only the enemy of the Brothers but also has a death sentence on his head for trying to kill Wrath. My heart goes for her and for Xcor. Talking about him, he’s a warrior or worth, even though I don’t approve about his methods or what he’s trying to accomplish, I can easily see he is doing it because he thinks that is the right thing to do. I also loved to see the softer side Layla awakes in him. I can’t wait to see what Mrs. Ward has in store for these two.

I know Mrs. Ward needs to plow the field for books to come thus she has to add some side stories to accomplish this, and here comes my biggest complain about this book. There were so many side stories and changes of POV that they almost stole the spotlight from Qhuinn and Blay. I honestly miss first books when the conflicts were just between the Brothers and the Lessers. In Lover at Last we have not only Qhuinn and Blay story, but also Layla and Xcor’s (I’m not complaining about them), Trez’s, and Assail and Sola’s.
Assail is an interesting enough character, he reminds me a lot of Rehv. I didn’t care much about him on the beginning but he grew slowly on me, it was the same case with Sola, she is an intriguing character and their attraction was off the charts. After the end of this book I was almost sure next book will be theirs but last I heard it will be called “The King” and it’ll be Wrath and Beth’s (second) book.
I liked Trez and his brother iAm in previous books when they were secondary characters that stayed in the shadows (no pun intended), but now Mrs. Ward brought them to first plane, especially Trez, and if I’m being honest I couldn’t care for him or his situation, it was so uninteresting that I was almost skimming over his parts.

There were other situations on this book that I won’t mention not to give spoilers away, some I can’t wait to learn more of and some others I could easily do without them. One person I really miss and I don’t understand why he wasn’t more in this book was JM. He is the closest friend for both, Qhuinn and Blay and he shined for his absence in this book while I think he should have had a bigger role. 

Lover at Last wasn’t a perfect book but it had its good moments. The moment Qhuinn comes to the realization that he has been lying to himself all these years, a scene between Layla and Xcor and the epilogue was what saved this book to me. Still Lover at Last is a good addition to the series and one fans of The Black Dagger Brotherhood need to read.

My Verdict: 3 ½ Stars

Other books in the series
Dark Love
Lover Eternal
Lover Awakened
Lover Revealed
Lover Unbound
Lover Enshrined
Lover Avenged
Lover Mine
Lover Reborn
Lover At Last
The King (March 25th, 2014)

Other reviews Goodreads

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