Thursday, April 14, 2011

Review: Lover Unleashed by: J.R. Ward

Review: Lover Unleashed by: J.R. Ward
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Genre: Romance, Fantasy

The Story: (from J.R. Ward's website) 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.

My Review:  To say that I was anxious to read this book may well be the understatement of the year.  I fell in love with the BDB about this time last year, and I have been (not so) patiently waiting for the release of Lover Unleashed.  And, I am not the only one on the FR team who loves the Brothers, hence the reason we had the countdown posts (Forbidden Unleashed).

With all that said, let me talk a little about the book.  We met Payne and Manny in previous books.  Manny was a former coworker of Jane's, and Payne is the twin sister of Vishous (though, Payne thought Vishous was dead, and Vishous had no idea he had a twin- way to go Scribe Virgin...).  Payne was injured while sparring with Wrath on the Other Side, and now faces a life paralyzed or possibly death.  Manny is brought in as an attempt to save her life.  And let's just say, when Payne and Manny are together, they light up the room.

In Lover Unleashed, Ward continues to show how masterful she is at handling multiple plot lines.  We get a little more of the Blay/Qhuinn/Saxton triangle (sadly, it is only a little), and Vishous, Jane, and Butch are prominent.  Ward also introduces the Band of Bastards led by Xcor, which I'm sure we will be hearing more about in the books to come.

My thoughts on the book are a little.... mixed.  I enjoyed reading Lover Unleashed, there is no denying that.  It seemed however, that this was a continuation of Vishous and Jane's story.  I can't say that this is a complaint, since Vishous is one of my favorite Brothers.  There were some notable aspects missing in this book:  Tohr and John Matthew are mentioned, yet do not play the roles they have in previous books, and their absence was obvious (at least to me), and I was curious to know what happened to No'One (from Lover Mine).  The Lessoning Society does not play as large a role in the multiple plots as they have in previous books.

Overall, I really liked the book.  Lover Unleashed felt a little like a filler novel or transition book, and given the number of books in the series it was bound to happen at some point.  The awesome thing about Ward's writing is that even though it felt like a transition book, I was still sucked into the story and could not put it down.  I will definitely read it again.  I am looking forward to the next BDB book- starring Tohrment!

My Rating:

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