Thursday, May 29, 2014


Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8)Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #8
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publication Date: 11/30/14
Format: Paperback
Pages: 636
Source: Purchase
Rating: 5 stars

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JOHN MATTHEW HAS COME A LONG WAY SINCE HE WAS found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was -- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war between vampires and their enemies, he will need to call upon both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate -- and rescue his one true love.

Lover Mine is by far my favorite book in the series since Lover Awakened (Zsadist's book). That and Lover Eternal are the only two I might like more. Might.
I have a lot of reasons to love this book. First of all, I finally know for sure I was right about the Darius/John Matthew connection, though I wish it had been confirmed outright. I never imagined when I met John that I would ever have this strong affection for him. I assumed  he would always be a peripheral character. But the longer the series went on, and the more I got to know him, I needed this poor boy to have his happy ending. When he set his lustful thoughts, and then his heart, on Xhex, I knew exactly how that happy ending would work out. I knew it wouldn't be easy, it was rough, but I hoped we could get there. I didn't even like Xhex for a while, she was too rough and mean. But I got to know her better. Honestly, every woman, no matter how tough, wants and deserves to be loved.
This book also had one of the most heart-wrenching, slow-building love stories: yes, Qhuinn and Blay. These two are making me so, so sad right now! I want Qhuinn and Blay to be together, but I'm happy Blay is trying to move forward with Saxon. He gave Qhuinn every chance to claim him, and a man can only take so much. I'm dying to get to their book.
Lover Mine had some huge bombshells! First you get the look at the past, with Darius and Tohr meeting and forming that deep bond. Then you get the search for a lost female, and how that story basically forms the basis for John and Xhex's future. That was deep. And then the huge reveal at the end. I started screaming, first alone and then at my friends. I love that Ward totally drops those out of nowhere.
Lover Mine totally renewed my enthusiasm for the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Favorite Quotes
  And this tattoo? It was a stake shoved into the territory he was in. His declaration that even if Xhex hadn't wanted him, she was his mate and he would honor her, alive or dead. Here was the thing: People felt the way they did and it wasn't their fault or yours if the connection was one-sided. It just...was.
  You are so beautiful, he mouthed. But of course she couldn't see his lips. Guess he was going to have to show her.
  John took a step forward and another and another. And it wasn't just him going toward her. She met him in the middle, her form encased in the shadow thrown by his body and yet nevertheless the only thing he saw. As they came together, his chest was pumping and so was his heart. I love you...

Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9)Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #9
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publication Date: 11/1/11
Format: Paperback
Pages: 537
Source: Purchase
Rating: 3 stars

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Payne, twin sister of the Black Dagger Brother Vishous, suffers a devastating injury, and brilliant human surgeon Manuel Manello is called in to save her. Their attraction is instant, and as powerful as it is dangerous. But as human and vampire worlds collide, a centuries- old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in jeopardy.

I was all set to give Lover Unleashed two stars. It wasn't quite as rough for me as Lover Enshrined (Phury's book) but it was really annoying. I was never a fan of Manny's, but was excited for another female badass with Payne. Welp, that didn't happen, but hey, if I ever break my spine now I know that Magic Peen will cure me so I'm calling this a win. Once again, the convenience with which the obstacles that keep our lovers apart are solved makes me cringe.

What saved Lover Unleashed was Vishous and Jane. I didn't realize that they weren't 100% okay, until they weren't. I guess I just assumed V was cool now, and that Jane was fine with some hard play. I really liked that they came through the drama stronger than before, but I feel like Ward is just teasing us with Butch and V. If she wasn't going to let them get it on and be together four or five books ago, then just go ahead and stop dangling that underlying attraction between them. I think I might have liked the Band of Bastards as a part of the series. I don't know. Well, it's not so much that I liked it as it's a lot better than reading about the lessers.

Karen at For What It's worth reviewed Lover Unleashed here. Her review says everything I was thinking, and everything I hadn't thought of yet, and said it perfectly. Warning: this review is flat-out hilarious, especially when she calls Manny out for his tendency for premature ejaculation. Hee!

All I'm saying is Tohr's book is next and I better love it or I'll.....well, I'll keep reading but I'm going to bitch about it a whole lot.

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10)Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #10
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publication Date: 10/2/12
Format: Paperback
Pages: 617
Source: Purchase
Rating: 3.5 stars

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#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward’s “different, creative, dark, violent, and flat-out amazing”* Black Dagger Brotherhood series continues as a vampire warrior crosses the line between life and death…into a world of dark dreams and darker desires.

Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment has been a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance, unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, isolated netherworld—Tohr turns to the angel Lassiter to save his former mate. The only way to rescue her is for Tohr to love another. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vie for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past and a hot, passion-filled future. But can his heart let go and set all of them free?

Oh... this book. I really liked Lover Reborn, thank goodness. I do find myself struggling with what to say here and I have no idea why, so bear with me.

I knew this was going to be heavy story, given how distraught Tohr has been since his wife's death. And then when I found out who the heroine was? That was crazy! And I liked it.

Lover Reborn was a very deep and emotional story. We have him dealing with the effects of not letting his wife and unborn child move on, what that's doing to him. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to lose my husband and a child, and then to be told I have to move on. As far as No'One's story, if you've read Lover Mine then you know her life was horrific, and then to face the world after leaving it so tragically. Their love story was so sad and I did get teared-up several times. Grief can make people cruel; Tohr is proof of that. Even when he was harsh with No'One, I got it why he was that way.

Lassiter, the angel tasked with helping them both was hilarious. I loved every scene he was in. I also loved the secondary plot with Xhex and John Matthew. I've come to appreciate the follow-up with the mated couples, and that it explores what comes after two very strong people in a crazy life marry. I also liked being tortured by this Qhuinn/Blay/Saxton mess. Thank goodness that's about to be resolved because these boys are killing me.

What I did not like was the Band of Bastards. I can only keep up with so many names and this "son of" business. It was like reading the freaking Bible, y'all. (and yes, I have actually read the bible.) I just really don't care much about them, and didn't even try to waste my time figuring out who the hell this Assail guy was and why I should care.

Oh, I almost forgot, we get another weird-ass, explanation-free save for the heroine. *sigh*

Anyway, griping aside, Lover Reborn was a good book. My favorites are still Rhage's, John's and Zsadist's books, but this one was strong. I'm beginning to feel the wind leaving my sails for this series, but definitely plan to hold on for Lover at Last and The King.

Favorite Quotes

  It was a universal among males that anytime you saw a guy get it in the nuts, you experienced a shot of phantom pain in your own croquet set.

  She frowned. "I care not what you look like. You breathe and your heart beats--that is all that matters to me."
  "You have very low standards for males."
  "I have no standards for males. For you, however, if there is health and safety, I am at peace."

  Lassiter hit pause and clamped a hard hand on his shoulder. "Sit the fuck back. Watch and learn."   
 "What? How much I hate rom-coms? How 'bout we just stipulate that and let me go."
  "You're going to need this."
  "For my second career as a pussy?"  

  Man, life was complicated. But the truth was simple. He was her home. He was where she belonged.

Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #11
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Publication Date: 10/1/13
Format: Paperback
Pages: 609
Source: Purchase
Rating: 3 stars

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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.

My short and not-so-sweet.... I loved Qhuinn and Blay's part in this book. The love and longing between them broke my heart. The sheer torment they each experienced at not having each other made me hurt. The sex was hawt. I loved that these two finally got their happy ending. Without the promise of that, I might have DNF'd this book.

 Most of the rest of this book was a waste of my time. Now, I say a waste of my time, because I don't care about the BoB, Assail, Elon, etc. I started to care a teeny bit about Xcor and Layla at the very end, but not enough to even think about.

I know. I'm not nice, but that's my honest take on this book and the latter half of the series. Maybe I read everything too close together, but I just wanted to catch up. Now, I don't care.

Another thing? I was SO into the ending. It was great. But...Qhuinn and Blay deserved more than a Journey "Don't Stop Believing" ending. That was LAME.

On a side note, I have some general observations on this series:

  • Why write a story in 300 hundred pages when you can stretch it out, fill it out with a lot of crap I don't care about and have over 600 pages of skimming material? I can seriously read these books fast when the main couple is featured in one-fourth of the story.
  • If I ever see the word "shitkicker" for the rest of my life, I'm going to kick the shit out of someone.
  • What's with the phrase, "And wasn't that the truth." or "Now wasn't that a kick in the balls." or some stupid variation of those. And what's with the non-question questions?
  • Deus ex machina: "is a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly resolved by the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability or object. Depending on how it is done, it can be intended to move the story forward when the writer has "painted themself into a corner" and sees no other way out, to surprise the audience, to bring the tale to a happy ending, or as a comedic device." (according to Wikipedia) This series has the most ridiculous endings that come out of left field. How many times have our heroines been saved with no explanation? Quit pulling these lame-ass endings out of your ass, Ward.
  • I don't care about the BoB any more than I cared about the lesser.
  • Rhage is my favorite brother, his book is also my favorite. Even if you don't agree with me, Jennifer Armentout told me she does, SO I WIN.
  • My second favorite is Lover Mine and John Matthew. I also loved Lover Awakened and Z.
  • I really, really liked: Dark Lover and Wrath, Lover Unbound and Vishous (except for that ending!).
  • I liked: Lover Revealed and Butch, Lover Avenged and Rhev, Lover Reborn and Tohr.
  • I strongly disliked: Lover Enshrined (Phury's book) and Lover Unleashed (Manny and Payne)

I could go on and on and on, but I'll spare you. And myself. I may read The King someday, but I'm going to need enough time to forget how much I was annoyed by the time I finished Lover at Last.

And, sorry to all you hardcore fans. I'll take the next insult on a book I love with a smile, okay?



  1. I wish we were gay and I could marry you! I laughed through this whole fucking post! I love your observations and that you love Rhage. He was the first man-whore I fell in love with.

    I actually love the Assail/Sola story. They became my favorite secondary pairing in The King. (spoiler alert)

    I agree that this series has a lot of goofy shit and the ending of V's book was just a bad dream so.. I WIN! #JaneIsNotAGhost

    I hate that you didn't enjoy Payne as much as I did. She is one of my favorite females. Oh well.

    The ending of Lover At Last was HORRIBLE!! Like gun shot victim with a severed penis, horrible! They should have had a wedding ceremony not danced to fucking journey! Ugh! *shudders*

    I love Wrath the best but I agree with you that Rhage and Mary may have the best story aside from Z. *sigh* I'm not sure anything can top that "I love you" on a piece of paper moment though. That was straight up "Say Anything" right there.

    Phury had the worst book hands down!

    I think you'll like The King a little better especially if you love Wrath and Beth. I cried but they are my favorite.

    I have loved seeing your mixed feelings about everything. Thanks for giving it a try and sorry for the BS Ward put you through ;)

  2. I agree with you and I think her earlier books were better . I also have some of my fave brothers ie Butch & Zsadist, JM.
    I found all the play with words distracting and I too could care less about Bobs or lessers. I agree that it did seem filler at times. Rant away and totally agree with you.

  3. I've only read the first three of this series, but I totally agree with your thoughts on the series! I could care less about the lessers!! And I usually skim all their chapters. I forgot how long these books are, but as you said you could easily get through them quickly skimming the parts/chapters that are useless. I'll get back to these books someday. Maybe. Lol! Wonderful reviews, Andrea! :)

  4. I LOVED the first 4 books in the series. (Zsadist was my favorite). But Lover Mine was the beginning of the end for me. I really wasn't feeling them at all and it just got worse and worse and I quit at Lover Reborn. I just couldn't get myself to care anymore which sucked since the first ones were so good! Ah well.

  5. Lol, love your observations at the end. Those were great. I still haven't read this series, but I plan to one day. I will probably only make it through the first book because I have a horrible habit of not finishing a series. We'll see. I HATE filler in books and having to skim. Biggest pet peeve in books. I'm glad some of them worked out for you at least.

  6. Even though you had a lot to gripe about, and even I do as a hard core fan, I'm glad that you did like some of the books!

  7. I still haven't gotten started on this series and I'm honestly torn. They sound good but you make some good points to give me pause. Thanks for the helpful reviews!!'

  8. gosh you make them sound so good and deep that I am starting to feel bad I kind of abandoned book 1 , but yeah I want to meet the boys of black dagger brotherhood again


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