REVIEW - Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward *Contains Spoilers*

Title – Lover Unleashed
Author – J.R. Ward
Series – Black Dagger Brotherhood - Book 9
Pages – 489
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.

 
Before I start, I have a couple of confessions to make.  First, I LOVE this series.  This is one of the few series that I will consider paying FULL PRICE for a hardback in the series.  That, in this age of weekly coupons and discounts and markdowns (not to mention ridiculous gas prices keeping my pocketbook on lock), is a big thing for me.  As it happens, I did pay full price for this book…plus some, in order to get a signed copy.  Keep that in mind as you read this because the price that was paid might have added to my….passion.  (or is that vehemence?  You decide).  Secondly, I am usually in the minority in my feelings about this series.  I am not on Team Qhuay (I LOVE Qhuinn….I like Blay….I’ve never wanted to see them together.  I am on board for a threesome HEA though, so that my boy Qhuinn can get all of his tastes satisfied whenever he wants, but I believe I may be the only member of Team Qhublayla.  Hmph.) .  I like Jane and always have.  I thought the fact that V’s glowing hand could make her corporeal was a beautiful thing that meant they belonged to each other.  I liked Phury’s book, which I know a lot of folks HATED and consider one of the least romantic of the series.  On the other hand, Z’s book, which is considered one of the most romantic of the series, is one of my least favorites (note – one of my least favorites in the BDB series is equal to some of my most favorites in many other series so please understand that does not mean I didn’t like the book; I just didn’t like it as much as several others). So, knowing that I usually fall on the other side of popular opinion, I was not worried when I started seeing ratings on Goodreads and comments on Twitter indicating that this book was getting mediocre ratings.  From the comments I did read, I could see that the Team Qhuay folks were upset that there was no significant progress with their relationship and the romance fans were disappointed in the lack of focus on Manny and Payne.  Neither thing bothered me that much so I figured I’d LOVE this book and, once again, be in the on the opposite side of popular opinion. 
Not. So. Much.
I did not hate the book but I did have some issues with it.  There were things to like so I will end on a high note and discuss those things later.  We’ll start, however, with what did not work for me.  There are two items that I’m not going to specifically name…but I’m going to try to work them into my reivew.  See if you can spot them!
-The word “verily” can quite verily KICK. ROCKS.
-Annnnnnnnnnd where was Lassiter?  And what was the whole subplot about Murhder doing in the last book if there was to be no progression on it at all in this book?
-Annnnnnnnnnnnnd from what I understand, Veck was introduced because he’s to be featured in a future fallen angels book.  I would have preferred he be introduced in that series so that more time could have been spent on the characters of this series that I care about.  True?
-Ohhhhhhhhhh yeaaaaaahhhhhh…..ANNNNNND I know that John is with Xhex now and can take care of himself blah blah blah but Qhuinn IS responsible for his life.  You think they might have wanted to spend more than three minutes in each other’s presence for the whole book?  Ya feel me?
-I love Qhuinn and V.  They are two of my favorites in the series.  I gotta admit, though, I was NOT in love with Qhuinn’s whole since-I-can’t-have-Blay-I’m-gonna-kill-myself-by-starving vibe and I didn’t really believe V’s whole I-was-jacking-it-but-I-can’t-tell-my-girl-EVEN-THOUGH-SHE-KNOWS-I-DO-IT-SINCE-SHE-LIKES-TO-WATCH-ME drama.  It just didn’t ring true with me.  True?
-Annnnnnnnnnnnnd Qhuinn without his piercings?  BOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
-Annnnnnnnnd ohhhhhhhh shiiiiiiiiiit….Manny can cure paralysis with just a look at his junk?!?!  For reals?  My back hurts; you think it’ll be fixed because I just read about his cure all junk?  Maybe? 
Ok…I think that’s enough of that.  On to a happier subject; the things that did work for me.
-I was just happy to be back in Caldwell.  I love those Brothers; I truly do!
-I like the Manny and Payne pairing, even with the whirlwind romance and the dick of destiny.
-I LOVE the way Butch figured out how to help Vishous!  Their relationship is still one of my faves.
-I like that we got to check in with Detective De La Cruz and now know that he’s still looking for Butch.  I like the continuity there and I think that’s going to lead to more in the future.
-I like getting a little more insight into Saxton and Layla.
-I am not yet invested in the story of the new rogue band of bastards WITH THE EXCEPTION of when they were GETTIN.IT.IN with Kandy!  LITERALLY!  J.R. Ward is always good for some down and dirty and she did not disappoint!  Yeah…it wasn’t the featured couple but…hey…smut is smut and we’ll take it! 
-Loved the scene with everyone hanging out together; I like the happy family moments!  I’m a sap like that!
All in all, I give the book at 3.5 out of 5.  It wasn't my favorite in the series but it wasn't my least favorite, either.  And, my motto still remains, some BDB, whether its the best or not, is always better than no BDB!   And trust…I will be buying the next one as soon as it comes out because I love these characters and this series.  Ya feel me?  Verily.  True?  Word.  J

Comments

  1. Great and honest review hon. I just bought this yesterday. It is safely tucked in my Kindle app. I just started it and liking it so far. I am so with you on that even if it is not a favorite or anything, it is better than not having BDB. That would crush me. Thank you for the great review hon :)

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  2. Loved this review! BDB is one of my fav series and usually I pick it up on release day, but I haven't found myself rushing out to get it yet. I've read all the reviews, but yours is the funniest!

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  3. OMG..Dick of Destiny is my new favorite saying about Manny!!! LMAO!!!!

    Kandy scene was verra hot.

    I agree with a lot of what you say.

    Penny - will Tohr bring it?? I'm kinda skeered!

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  4. BEST REVIEW OF THIS BOOK THAT I HAVE READ!!!

    I agree with everything that you said and even though this was not my favorite BDB book, I would still buy all the future ones and will be cracked out until I read them.

    That 3 some scene...*fans face* Kandy got it real good. I can't lie, I was jealous for her for a sec. LOL! I love that they asked each other was she satisfied afterward. LOL!

    Dick of Destiny...you have created something new and exciting with these 3 words. LOL! It's so awesome!

    I love you Penny P and thought this review was honest and refreshing.

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  5. Loved your review, very honest! ANNNNNND those 2 things really didn't work for me either, True?

    I agree with everyone with the Dick of Destiny...full of awesome!

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  6. Awesome review! I love things that you don't about the series but I liked this. :)

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  7. Oh, I loved this, Penny! I just started the book and this made me want to see what I think about it, even with all those other "the book sucks" reviews out there.

    And verily, if I never read the word verily again, it verily will be too soon! WTF is up with that? And consider I'm only about 20% into the book. Sheesh...

    Now, "DIck Of Destiny" is the funniest thing I've read in a looong time. You have me LOL and it's not even 8 am.

    You rule!

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  8. Loved your review Penny! I have not reviewed it yet, did read it, feel absolutely nothing, it is a flat read for me, not my favorite not the worst one for me either LOL... and yes I will buy the next one too the minute it hit the shelves!

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  9. Perfect review! I am with you pretty much 100% on this one! thanks for sharing and making me giggle. But in the end - I'll keep coming back!

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  10. Thanks for all of the comments, ladies! I appreciate you all stopping by and partaking of the BDB fun! :-)

    @Mandi - I have faith in the WARDen; Tohr's book is going to SLAY us all!

    @Bells - love you too, babe! And I'm still fanning myself about that Kandi buisiness tooooo! CLAWD HAMMERCY!! :-)

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  11. Awesome review, Penny, AAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand I agreed with you completely! Same rating and everything, :sings: "He's got the magic stick..."
    Keep the reviews comin, girl.

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  12. Dude...sorry I'm so late checking out this review. I like to save some things to read when I'm jonesin' for a Brother fix!
    "Dick of destiny" is the CAT'S AZZ! I don't know how else to work that into conversation... but trust I will find a way!

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