Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

I love me some Black Dagger Brotherhood, but Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward has to be my least favorite in the entire series.

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.

This book has a lot of what’s expected in Ward’s novels. There is violence, romance and a small window into the supporting characters lives. As book nine in the series, it just didn’t measure up.

This book is primarily about Payne, twin sister of Vishous.  I loved all the interweaving of past characters by bringing in Jane’s old boss, it’s like revisiting old friends. However, the love between Payne and Manny went a little too fast for me and it didn’t mesh very well with the other character’s lives and stories. It seemed almost like that insta-love that I absolutely despise. Can I get a little character development?! In Payne’s defense, she was locked away by her mother for centuries. However, I felt like her voice was too much like the many other female protagonists in Ward’s novels. I expected her to be a little more hardcore, like Hhex, but she seemed too feminine and girly for someone who killed her own father with her bare hands. Manny wasn’t my favorite either. His excuses were lame and he seemed almost one-dimensional compared to the other characters. I didn’t believe he could fit in with the rest of the brothers let alone be in “love” with Payne.

However, the shining light in this novel is the concentration on the relationship between Quinn and Blay, or should I say the lack there of. THAT is the connection I’m looking for, their shared history, their hidden and forbidden feelings, and all the shit that goes with being part of Ward’s world. What an emotional whirlwind! I cannot wait to hear their stories. But, alas, I’ll have to be patient.

It wasn’t as exciting as the rest of the novels but I think it’s simply because I didn’t enjoy the main characters in this installment. I’ll still continue to read on. I simply can’t let these characters go, well except for Manny and Payne.


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