November 21, 2013

Lover Avenged, Lover Mine & Lover Unleashed - J.R. Ward

Black Dagger Brotherhood Party

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Party is an awesome week-long celebration that RachelKelly & I are hosting. We love the series, we love these vampires, and we wanted to share that love with all of you. Expect fun posts from each of us, and some posts that we've all collaborated on, as well as mini-reviews from me and Rachel, who are first-time BDB readers! You can also chat with us about the books, the characters and anything BDB-related on Twitter, by using the hashtag #BDBparty.

Just in time for the Black Dagger Brotherhood Party, I'm bringing you my reviews of the books in the series. Unlike my traditional reviews, these are a little bit shorter than usual. The books will be reviewed in groups of three and I will endeavor to stay as spoiler-free as I can possibly manage. I will also be reviewing the trio of books in an overall capacity.

General Thoughts

The third trio of this series - Lover Avenged, Lover Mine & Lover Unleashed - garnered mixed reactions. While it certainly didn't have the same addictive quality that the first trio did for me, I was still drawn towards the steady and unique romances. I finished this trio feeling oddly satisfied. I was worried about how this series could keep carrying on, particularly that it would become stagnant. But this trio has broadened the world of these vampires, and has given it new life for me.

Lover Avenged - JR Ward
Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #7
Publisher: Signet Publishing
Publication Date: April 28, 2009
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

Caldwell, NY, has long been the battleground for the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. 

It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and notorious nightclub that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King, and leader of the Brotherhood. 

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood, even though his sister is married to a member. Because he’s a sympath, his identity is a deadly secret- the revelation of which will result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. 

And as plots within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll against Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in a darkening world - Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him- and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction. (from Goodreads)

It took me a surprising amount of time to get through his book, but I ended up liking it. Lover Avenged definitely opens up a whole new dimension by focusing primarily on sympaths, and, as the Brotherhood boys would say, what's doing with those darn lessers. Wrath is also a big part of this particular story, which I liked because he's my favorite Brother.

My favorite part of this book, however, is Rehvenge himself. I honestly did not expect to like him as much as I now do! He was such a good guy, particularly when it came to caring for the people around him - his co-workers, his friends, his family, and even the Brotherhood. It was hard not to appreciate all the sacrifices he made, and all the lengths he was willing to go through for the ones he loved. That, accompanied by the innate goodness in his girl Ehlena, definitely made for some really sweet moments to read about.

Lover Mine - J.R. Ward
Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #8
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: April 27, 2010
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

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, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates. (from Goodreads)

I am blown away by just how much I liked Lover Mine. There's a hint of the tone that the first three books had in this one, particularly because of the desperation John Matthew feels at his separation from Xhex. Even as the game with the lessers gets more serious, my mind was intensely focused on John Matthew and Xhex and how they were going to resolve their situation, er, relationship. It turns out to be a ton of miscommunication, and the inability to admit truths and be vulnerable right away, which makes everything between them both more interesting and more frustrating. Learning about how strong John Matthew is, and how vulnerable Xhex can be, really made this book resonate with me a whole lot more than the previous one.

Lover Unleashed - J.R. Ward
Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #9
Publisher: Signet Publishing
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

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. (from Goodreads)

I'm surprised to admit that Lover Unleashed is a book where the main characters were not my primary focus. I will admit that Payne was gloriously strong, and her healing ability pretty awesome. And Manny is a great guy with a level head and a good heart. Together, in spite of their insta-love situation, it was hard not to root for them to get their happy ending! 

But really, the reason I enjoyed this story was because V and Jane were a primary part of it. I liked seeing how they developed a further level of communication, and how they hurdled over obstacles that felt almost impossible to ignore. Though it was hard, and many times I was angry and frustrated about what they were going through, I was still rooting for them to work things out in the right way.

The book also introduces a new group of vampires, led by Xcor. These vampires came from the old land, and they talk and act like it. While they might have come over with a different goal in mind, the way things end with them in this book definitely leaves things open for a whole new angle to this story... and got me excited to see what happens next!


Stay tuned for more Black Dagger Brotherhood Party posts this week! In the meantime, check out the ones that are already online:


  1. Alexa, it's amazing how you can make a series that never before appealed to me really sound amazing! I think that this might be a series I'll like after all, and I'm glad that this trio of novels left you feeling satisfied despite the mixed reactions! Lovely reviews :)


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