December 18, 2014

Lover Reborn, Lover At Last & The King - J.R. Ward

Unfortunately, I didn't succeed in reading these three novels in time for the Black Dagger Brotherhood Party (and one wasn't even out!). But even so, I'm embracing the same format! 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

This latest trio of books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood are among my favorites in this series! I just totally fell completely head over heels in love with this series all over again, which is definitely something considering there are currently 12 books that are out. A big part of the reason I loved these three so much is because the characters each one focuses on are so gosh darn amazing, and I loved being a part of each of their journeys. But also, the way the story is paced, and the twists and turns along the way just really appealed to me. I was so engaged, and I'm so thrilled I've finally caught up! (Seriously, two books - Lover Reborn and The King are now among my top 5 of the series.)

Lover Reborn - J.R. Ward
Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #10
Publisher: Signet Publishing
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

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? (from Goodreads)

I seriously don't even know where to begin with Lover Reborn. I genuinely did not go into it with any expectations whatsoever, and I was completely blown away. If I'm being perfectly honest, this is probably my favorite book of the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood series! The combination of action, romance and intrigue just completely satisfied me and reminded me exactly what I'd fallen in love with about these books from the start. All of the brothers, their shellans and their friends appear, and I love the camaraderie that exists. But this novel is about Tohrment, and his story is incredibly moving and heartbreaking (though he also managed to make me mad too!). It's also about No'One, who was an unexpected player in Tohrment's story. Seriously, this novel had me in its grip from start to end, and I absolutely loved it.

Lover at Last - J.R. Ward
Lover at Last by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #11
Publisher: Signet Publishing
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

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. (from Goodreads)

I can honestly say I went into Lover at Last without any idea how much it would pull at my heartstrings. I've adored both Qhuinn and Blay since they first made an appearance, as they're both amazing characters. The novel was full of drama, which isn't a surprise considering how complicated Qhuinn's life has been and how much tension exists between these two headstrong males. I really loved their story, even with all these crazy frustrating moments when I wanted to shake them {hard}, and I'm so glad it was resolved so well! Plus, the other arcs in this story were seriously well done and had me completely invested.

The King JR Ward book cover
The King by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #12
Publisher: NAL
Publication Date: April 1, 2014
Source/Format: Bought || Kindle e-book

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle--with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything--and everyone--at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response--or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out... or tortured legacy take over? (from Goodreads)

Oh goodness, you guys, there are no words for how much I adored The King! Wrath is my favorite of the males in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. So, to be able to read another novel that focused heavily on him, his shellan Beth and his life as King was really going to be a hit with me no matter what. And seriously, in spite of its length (it's 544 pages long), I really enjoyed it all. Getting to read about Wrath's struggles with his kingship and fatherhood felt all too real, and even though I wanted to smack him a couple of times, it just read so naturally. And Beth's side, too, was equally compelling! And then, there's the other things going on - the bid for people to take the kingship from Wrath, other members of the household (particularly the Shadows) being involved in things, and more - all of it was just incredibly told. I love that it feels like there's still quite a lot to explore in this series, whether characters or plots, and Ward has successfully managed to keep my passion for this series burning brightly. I loved it, okay, and Kelly was testament to how much of a roller coaster ride this one was for me. (And yes Kel, I'm kicking myself in the butt for waiting months before reading this, okay?)


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