All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Lover Unleashed – J.R. Ward

on April 24, 2011

Lover Unleashed is the ninth installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. It’s a series I’ve been mixed on – I’ve enjoyed a few (1,2,7,8), loved one (3) and downright disliked some (4,5,6). After 7 & 8 picked up the quality a bit I was quite excited for this one because it seemed to be the first time that J.R. Ward had changed anything even a little bit by reversing the roles.

Payne is the daughter of the Scribe Virgin and the Bloodletter and the twin of Vishous. Vishous had no idea of her existence until the conclusion of the last novel when Payne, secluded by the Scribe Virgin, broke her back whilst sparring with Wrath during one of his visits to the Other Side. Granted permission by the Scribe Virgin to bring Payne back to Earth to attempt to save her, Wrath takes her to the compound and to Doc Jane and when everyone claps eyes on Payne, it’s rather obvious who she is.

Doc Jane realises that such an injury is out of her depth so she begs to be allowed to go and get her former boss, Dr Manny Manello who is something of a spine surgeon expert. When Manny and Payne lay eyes on each other it’s an instant attraction, even though Payne has been sheltered nearly her whole life and has no idea what it is she’s experiencing. Allowed by the Brotherhood to operate and attempt to save Payne and restore to her the use of her legs, Manny and Payne develop a bond. When it becomes obvious that only he can help her to heal, Vishous, who isn’t dealing with this situation at all, has to put aside his prejudices and go to a man he loathes for help.

Apart from that we have a couple of other story lines going on – the ever-ongoing saga of Blaylock and Qhuinn continues in a bizarre reversal of previous books, Butch’s former partner Jose de la Cruz is dealing with (one of many) replacement partner’s and a serial killer slicing and dicing young women in the Caldwell area, there’s a group of new vampires crossing over into our world hellbent on some destruction and possibly taking the throne and Vishous is about to enter a meltdown of epic proportions that threatens to drive a wedge between him and his shellan forever. It seems like only Butch can help him and both of them are going to have to push their comfort zones to try and prevent Vishous from completely ruining his life and severing the connections he has with those closest to him.

There’s a request line a mile long on this one from my local library so when it was my turn and I picked it up, I read it immediately as I’m going away soon and there’d be no chance to renew it. The last two books had given me some really high hopes for this one but… it didn’t pan out quite like I had expected.

Where to begin? I assumed that because this one contained a female vampire, that we’d be with Payne most of the time but we weren’t. When we were with that part of the storyline, we were in Manny’s head and Manny was just like a Brother without the fangs and immortality (or…WAS he….dum dum dummmm!). But in his internal dialogue, his manner, his very being he was, in essence, pretty much the same as all the prior male characters. I’m beginning to think that J.R. Ward only knows two types of characters: brash, take-no-shit, back-down-from-no-one males and demure females with next to zero personality. Payne, for a kick-ass fighter as established in her blink-and-you-miss-them previous scenes may as well have been Cormia, or Layla or well, basically any other female vampire except Xhex who did manage to show glimmers of personality that went beyond demure support for highly sexed and emotional vampire male.

There’s also a bit too much going on in this book (which is not exactly new). Apart from Payne and Manny, we get copious amounts devoted to V and his emotional fallout of discovering he has a twin sister who has been secluded for hundreds of years. I know V walks a fine line between sanity and …something else… but in this novel it bordered on the ridiculous. It was like everything about Payne was a personal insult to him by the Scribe Virgin when really, it should’ve been about Payne and what her life had meant. Instead it was all about V having some sort of emo-breakdown, which manifested into “marital” problems with Jane and the only person he was able to turn to was Butch. I kind of wanted to just say to V “hey, it’s not all about you!”  That takes up a rather large chunk of the book and the rest of it is devoted to little tidbits about Jose de la Cruz, which is mostly useless and contributes nothing to the story, and the introduction of Xcor and his little band of blood-happy fighters who appear from…somewhere else. They don’t add much to the story either but I can see that the love of good women is in their future and their bloodthirsty tendencies will be channeled in more productive ways. After all, Ward is starting to run out of Brothers.

To me, this book is right back with 4, 5 and 6. Those books really lacked a story for me – Wrath had ascension to the throne, Rhage had the Beast, Zsadist had being a complete pyschological mess whereas Butch, V and Phury were incredibly uninteresting. Rehvenge’s sympath side added something in his story and John Matthew’s kept me entertained but I feel like this novel was really lacking something. I’m kind of over two people locking eyes for the first time ever and experiencing the most amazing sexual attraction before they even know each others names or what sort of people they are – not that it matters because in this world, the men and women are mostly all the same anyway!

I know this is all my fault – I keep expecting something more from these novels when really, I don’t think there ever is more. This one was excruciatingly slow pacing wise, the vernacular bordered on vomit and rage inducing and it was the same old, same old as far as characters are concerned.


Book #47 of 2011


3 responses to “Lover Unleashed – J.R. Ward

  1. Marg says:

    I am really going to have to push myself through book 5 aren’t I

    • Oh yes. And then get ready for Book #5, mark 2, which is this one… it’s like even J.R. Ward realises she stuffed up #5 and this is her attempt to sort of fix it. Except it’s mostly just awkward and weird(er).

  2. alice says:

    I totally agree with what you said about this book..I kept thinking while i was reading ” is this payne and manny”s story ?? or an extention on v and jane??? I found imyself wishing for something interesting to happen!! for heavens….it was borderline boring…& I Loooove Jr wards books.. Rhage and Z where my favs.. of course..but manny seemed to be to much like butch?? it was like he and butch where the same person…lol!! I sincerely hope she finds a storyline with the brothers she actually enjoys writing about. cause this book deff. lacked love 😦

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