Hey bloggers and readers! Time for more Word of Mouth!
I know, it`s been awhile since I posted a book review here and I do apologize for that. I didn`t stop reading, I just stopped doing reviews. But, I have found my zest once again so we`ll start up once more! I just can`t NOT chat about a good read, and my sistahs, the book I`m talking about today is a good read! We`ll be chatting about the newest release in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by the one and only J.R. Ward. Behold ‘Lover Reborn’!
For those who follow the series, this is the book we`ve all been waiting for - The novel about Tohrment. For those who haven`t read the series, I recommend you start at the beginning with ‘Dark Lover’. It`s not necessary but you`ll have a much better understanding of what has transpired in the previous nine novels. (I think Tohr is ten, correct me if I`m wrong fellow BDB fans.) I will try to keep spoilers to a minimum here. If you`re currently reading it or haven`t started though, you may hear things that might give something away. You`ve been warned.
Okay, so let`s chat about Tohrment and his book. I`ve been privy to some reviews on other sites that have not been good ones. I disagree with those bad reviews and not just because of my loyalty to the author. This is a great read! Yes, there is a sore point with me that I`ll address but that isn`t just this book, that runs through the series.
But let`s get back to Tohrment. This book pulls every heartstring that needed pulled. I wept, I cursed, I gasped and I completed a 572 page book in two days. That is how compelling the storyline was for me.
Tohrment has been the long suffering member of this band of warrior vampires. He lost the love of his life, Wellsie, and his unborn son fifteen months ago. The man has been to the depths of hell and back, lost in mourning and stuck in the agony of his loss. As Tohrment tries to deal with his empty life, the Band of Bastards is hiking up their bid to unseat Wrath, the blind king and leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. As we all pretty much assumed, The WARDen brought Xhex`s mother, No`One, in for a reason and that is to be the woman Tohrment eventually learns to love.
There are some damned good sub-plots brewing as well. The separation of John-Matthew and his mate Xhex I think was a fine storyline and addressed a problem that even the WARDen herself admits she has. That problem: the lack of ballsy women fighters. I`ll be honest, I am still waiting for Payne to step up and be the warrior she should be. I know, this series centers on the men, and I love those men to death, but the lack of women being more than just background is beginning to stand out. The author creates these brilliant, gutsy women and then once they`re mated, they fade into little more than pretty, worried females bemoaning how frightened they are about their men out fighting. Yes, we know, the men are in danger but ladies you have SO much potential! Use it!
There is much more these gals (and yes I`m talking to you Beth, Mary, Cormia and Bella) can do with their lives. At least Marissa has her shelter to illustrate her being an independent woman. Payne has yet to show anything to me aside from a love for Manny. Ehlena and Doc Jane have their medical professions to keep them busy, thank goodness, because I just adore Jane. This is my major gripe and probably the only one. I want to see these women being just as strong, if not stronger, then the males they mated. Do they have to strap on daggers and kill lessers? No. But they need to grow some backbones, get some character development and do something with themselves.
This is why I adore Xhex so much. She is not one to sit around, planning parties, burping babies and pacing while the men go out and battle. She is a fighter and an assassin, and a damned good one! She has skills that can be an asset but John, as well as the other guys, are apprehensive about a female in battle. I do understand that this is their world and that females are to be cherished, protected and pampered. I get that the Glymera has set that precedent and enforces it. That`s all nice and well and chivalric but it is not the only thing that females can be. Her split from John in this book makes sense and I was pleased to see the WARDen touching on this. Maybe it will carry over and we`ll see more of the women warriors going head to head with the bad guys. Hopefully the younger Brothers, like John, will at least TRY to widen their views, and in doing so open the eyes of the older men, about women. Let`s hope so.
Okay, that rant is over. Now, onto other things….
Let`s address this screaming frenzy I`ve read in many other reviews about Wellsie not coming back to life. I for one am proud of Ms. Ward for being so gutsy and not copping out on this. That decision took stones given the hue and cry many fans are raising. Yes, some of the other shellans came back in previous books. I was much happier seeing Tohrment work out his loss and move on than having a ‘Holy Hannah, Look Who`s Back From the Dead!” scenario play out again. I feel that would have cheapened the lesson that Tohrment had to learn. Huzzah for you WARDen! You said she was not coming back and you stuck to your guns. This novel was about moving on and learning that you can love again after a terrible loss. We got our HEA, it was just with a different but equally lovely woman. A woman that also has suffered for centuries may I add. I grew to really love No`One and admire her quiet dignity and grit. A writer must be true to her storyline. Yes, we write to please the fans but the fans should not dictate the story.
I enjoyed the romance that blossomed oh-so slowly between Thor and No`One. It felt natural to me. They didn`t leap in pledging undying love for each other right off the bat. There was no rush of bonding scent, no ‘MINE!’ moments, just a slow, natural progression of two mature people coming to realize how much they are starting to mean to each other. It fit Tohrment perfectly. The romance worked for me because it showed that a second love may not be as heady as that first one we all have, but it is just as powerful and perhaps even more enduring. It just works on so many levels.
Another sub-plot that was bubbling along was the Blay/Qhuinn/Layla triangle sort of thingy. If you add Saxton, Blay`s lover, then you have four folks involved. I for one hope that Ms. Ward ties up the Q/B romance soon because frankly, if those two males don`t get together, I may start pulling out my hair and braiding it. Given what we saw at the end of the novel I am thinking we might see a resolution! *Crosses fingers, toes and eyes* At least now we know why and how this future daughter of Qhuinn and Layla comes to be. Again, I was pleased that J.R. isn`t afraid to give readers a different kind of romance, this time a homosexual one. I am cheering for those two males with all I have.
Also a fast nod to the large amount of face-time Lassiter got. I pray we see more of this angel. He intrigues me and amuses me. And I really wish to know about his past.
Oh! And there are no Lesser POV`s in this novel. I found that to be very refreshing.
Overall I was very, very pleased with ‘Lover Reborn’. The plots are tight, the action is vibrant and fast paced and the secondary characters are really becoming interesting (Xcor, yeah, I`m looking at you my man. I see something good buried deep inside you) and the sex….well…this IS the WARDen we`re talking about! The bed-play is hot, hot, HAWT and then add another HAWT and hand me a fire hose! Delightfully wicked and sexy, touching and passionate, sweaty and timid all rolled into one steamy book. Phew! J. R. Ward knows how to pen a sex scene and then some!
I highly recommend ‘Lover Reborn’ for anyone looking for a book that will take you on a roller-coaster of emotions, make your teeth sweat, bring you to tears one page then make you want to throttle that man for being so dense the next. Above all, I recommend ‘Lover Reborn’ for anyone who has lost a love and fears never finding another.
Trust me; he/she is out there.