Friday, March 29, 2013

A Book and a Cuppa - Lover At Last

I am so very proud to be a fan of J.R. Ward at this moment. Yes, I said it. And I`ll say it again. I am so proud to be a fan of J.R. Ward at this moment. She did it. She did not back down. She did not let the voices of hate dissuade her. She stood firm and she wrote one of the best M/M romance novels I have ever had the privilege of reading. Thank you, WARDen, for Lover At Last.

I promised in my last review that the next one would be a para-rom, and here it is gang! Purchased the book Tuesday, finished it Thursday. Five hundred and ninety-one pages of what Ms. Ward does best: romance, drama, action, humor, and angst. Dearest Scribe Virgin the angst! But all the suffering was worth it. The epilogue found me weeping like a young.

If you haven`t read this book, or are in the process of, beware of things being revealed.

I thought I might do this review a bit differently since I`ve been hearing so many differing complaints about the book and some of its various aspects. I thought I`d address the complaints and talk about them as they affected me as a reader.

Yes, Qhuinn and Blaylock`s tale deals with men having sex with other men. If you find that distasteful, then please, don`t read this book. It`s very simple. Or, just skip over the gay sex. For the life of me I do not understand folks buying a book that contains stuff they dislike, and then bitching because they read something they didn`t like. That confuses me. If I know a book has say graphic torture or rape depicted I don`t buy that book because I don`t like to read about such things. Simple, yes? Yes.

As a writer of M/M romance, I found the love story of these two males to be simply stunning and handled perfectly. As in any Ward book, our lovers are put through the wringer before coming together, but would we want it to be easy for them? Nah, we wouldn`t. If they fell into each other’s arms first thing out of the gate that would make a damned short and rather boring book, don`t you think? We are treated to seeing a man working through a crushing amount of history until he finally realizes who he really is. I could not help but to cheer for Qhuinn when he got to that place where he could admit to himself that he was gay. I honestly hugged the book at that moment.

Now, onto the blitzkrieg of complaints about too many sub-plots and how jarring that was for many readers. Personally I didn`t find it a problem at all, but, I have read nearly every Game of Thrones novel except for the last one, which is waiting patiently for me on my Kobo. Maybe it`s due to leaping from one character to another in Mr. Martin`s books that makes me less easily aggravated by lots of sub-plots. I liked them. It shows that the author has lots of plans for her series and characters, it brings new blood into the world, and it helps lessen the ‘Dear God The Angst!’ level a bit. If I had five hundred and ninety-one pages of nothing but Q & B`s misunderstandings, I might have gotten a slight migraine. So to me, the sub-plots weren`t a problem at all.

Speaking of sub-plots, how about Trez?! Woo and hoo, how nice to see the Shades getting some face time. This is one baby girl who is happy as a lark about this new development and can`t wait to learn more about the s`Hisbe.

Also we got a much deeper look into Assail and met a new character named Sola. I`ll be frank and say I had a little trouble getting into this relationship for some reason. As it went along Sola, the cat burglar, grew on me. Assail I found enjoyable at times, but the similarities between him and Rehvenge were rather obvious. Vampire drug lord with twins as muscle . . . we`ve kind of been there and done that, haven`t we? This is the only thing that brings the book down just a tiny notch for me. Hopefully, as this sub-plot grows in the coming books I can warm up to Assail, and he won`t be a knock off of The Reverend.

And I can`t not mention Xcor and Layla as they have what I think will turn into a huge stake in the future of this series. I like Xcor. I think he will find redemption in Layla. That doesn`t mean I trust him, after all, it was his band of Bastards that put the bullet into Wrath`s neck. But I suspect that things are going to blow up with the Lessening Society and somewhere down the line, it`s going to have to be vampires VS. slayers flat out, and that may be where we see Xcor and his motley crew step into being the kind of men the Brothers need to battle this darkness. Or I could be out in left field with a hockey stick.

Oh, and lest I forget, thank goodness Layla is showing some spine. I like it! It`s about damned time we see a Chosen getting some gumption. Maybe it will spread through her to her sisters somehow and infuse them with chutzpah. She has a long road to go with this pregnancy. My fingers are crossed for her, Qhuinn, and their young.

What have I forgot to touch on? Let`s see . . .the action is great. Plane crashes into yards?! This is Bruce Willis ‘Yippee-Kai-Yay Mother Fooper!’ type of action and I loved it! A new fore-lesser which generally means trouble, sticks his nose into the mix. We touch base with all our favorites from past books. It`s like sitting down in The Pit with family. Oh yes, and we touch lightly on Beth`s desire for young while others are plotting to use her half-human blood in yet another scheme to try to toss Wrath to the side. Ah, plots and back-stabbings and secrets and lust and lies and sex and liaisons and murder and yet more sex. And the sex is hot, hot, hotter than hell to quote KISS. If you`re a fan of man on man love, make sure you have a few fans going or a snow bank to dive into.

If I didn`t know better I`d think I stumbled out of Caldwell right into King`s Landing. Yes, that is a compliment of the highest caliber. Lover At Last had everything I could ask for. I am thrilled to be able to slap a five star rating on this book and recommend it highly.

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