30 March 2012

Review: J.R. Ward - Lover Reborn

Format: Hardcover, 572 pages
Published: March 27th 2012 by NAL
ISBN: 0451235843 (ISBN13: 9780451235848)
Language: English
Title: Lover Reborn
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #10
Characters: Tohrment, No'One
I read this book from my personal library.

Summary Goodreads:
In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Now back in the Brotherhood - and unrecognisable as the vampire leader he once was - Tohrment is physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair. When he begins to see his beloved in his dreams - trapped in a cold, isolating netherworld - Tohr turns to a self-serving fallen angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. When he's told he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed . . .

Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King's throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past, and a very hot, passion-filled future . . . but can his heart let go and set all of them free?

My Review:

Note; As this is the tenth instalment in the BDB series I can't guarantee a spoiler free review!!!

When I read my Goodread updates it reflects how emotionally involved I was with Lover Reborn. My emotions were all over the place and I loved every minute of it! Lover Reborn is all about the romance and the interpersonal relationships between the brothers, seasoned with some hardcore action. It reminded me why I love J.R. Ward’s BDB series so much, why she is able to attach me to new characters and keep me involved in all the trials and tribulations of the established ones. There is much to jubilate over but there were also a few things that bothered me.

The main thing that didn’t satisfy me is the explanation of the reason why Welsie was in the In Between. I mean, she’s there because Tohr doesn’t want to let her go. I get the angle Ward is going for but hell, they’ve been mated for two hundred years and we are talking about fifteen months of grief here when Lover Reborn begins!! And of which Lassiter is part of Tohr’s life for what, fourteen and a half? Lassiter made a deal with the Maker before he became a part of Tohr’s life. So it didn’t seamlessly work for me and left me with some eyebrow raising moments of not completely buying it. !!!SPOILER!!!

However, how Ward pulled of Tohr’s grief process and the romance development just grabbed me by the heart and led me through so much turmoil. There was the good, the bad and the ugly and it made me fall for Tohr all over again. His grief, oh his grief was so painstakingly real and made me cry on various occasions. His pain echoed inside me with all the raw emotions it entailed. In Tohr’s anger I wanted to hit him over the head with a club. He lashed out in his anger and fear that made him unreasonable at times. Tohr’s character development was just sublime, we get to be a part of his journey in such an intimate way it affected me from start to finish. And that is Ward at her best!! Tohr falling in love again was both bittersweet as it was erotic because the reigniting of his sexual self again was an aphrodisiac all on its own.

When I met No’One I didn’t know what to think of her but there was a certain fascination for her. I could see the connection she and Tohr shared but I couldn't see them as a romantic couple yet. No’One was putting everyone’s needs before her own which irked me at times. She was sweet but I was in doubt if that kind of personality was going to make Tohr all hot and bothered. If she was a withdrawn, mouse-like, personality at first she grew a spine and there was a growing of spirit and boldness too. Ward surprised me so very much with No’One’s layered characterization and storyline that by the end I really liked No’One and got a shocker to boot. Did not see that coming!!

The pace of the storytelling served Tohr and No’One’s journey very well. It made each scene meaningful between them; giving us an in-depth romance encompassing the labyrinth of the heart and a scorching hot blooming of the passion. Tohr taking matters in to his own hands scorches the imagination but the erotic to and fro between this couple pulled at my heartstrings as well as made me reach for the ice cubes!! But what I thought was really well done was the fact that the romance took its own time, that with all the issues they had to work through it received an ending befitting the emotions of both Tohr and No’One. I liked that, it felt real which made it powerful in its own way.

The romance took the center stage for me but Ward gave us so much more to devour! Next to the main couple there was also a supporting storyline of Xhex and John Matthew’s romance but for me that was a rehash of the conflict they had in their own story; Lover Mine. They did heat up the pages in various scenes, it did fit in the overall storyline, it just didn’t bring anything new to the table conflict wise.

Xcor and his band of bastards; Zypher, Throe, Syphon and Balthazar, add a danger to the story I relished in. It seems that the Lessers have taken a backseat for a moment but nothing is honky-dory for the brothers. Xcor is complication to the ninth degree & even though he aggravates me he enamors me at the same time. He amps up the trouble with a plan which kept me wondering if he is good, bad or if he has his own kind of moral code. The Band of Bastards definitely holds very complicated characters and I can’t wait to find out more about their backstories.

Assail is another character whom adds his own brand of bad and he really gives off the villain vibe. I do not like him at this point but he keeps things very interesting! Threats are all around the brothers and while Ward has numerous story threads to juggle I think these new ones add exhilarating possibilities!!

There is so much more to this story without being convoluted. Many more characters pass by whose storyline develops, including a sliver of Qhuinn and Blay. I got to see Phury again and Layla’s storyline is getting more exciting with each book. This is a Black Dagger Brotherhood story I could sink my teeth in as a very hungry reader and by the emotional rife and surprising ending I was a very satisfied one. That hasn’t happened in a very long time regarding this series!!

Lover Reborn is a story of worth!

4 stars

Quote Lassiter
“My name’s Lassiter, and I’ll tell you all you need to know about me. I’m an angel first and a sinner second, and I’m not here for long. I’ll never hurt you, but I’m prepared to make you pretty goddamn uncomfortable if I have to, to get my job done. I like sunsets and long walks on the beach, but my perfect female no longer exists. Oh, and my favorite hobby is annoying the shit out of people. Guess I’m just bred to want to get a rise out of folks—probably the whole resurrection thing.”

Quote Tohr;
And now here he was, empty just like the dress, because what had filled both him and this gown was gone.
The tears that came out of his eyes were silent, the kind that seeped out and soaked the pillow, traveling over the bridge of his nose and falling free to drop one after another like rain from the lip of a roof.

“I understand the bastard was out last night,” Wrath said.
Tohrment spoke up. “We engaged with Xcor, yes.”
“So this is not a fake.”
“No, but it was written by someone else. He’s illiterate—”
“I’ll teach the fucker to read,” V muttered. “By cramming the Library of Congress up his ass.”

Quote Tohr;
Jesus Christ … she had been really fucking naked.
As Manello poked and prodded at the injured hand, and then started numbing and stitching, Tohr watched the female out of the corner of his eye—no direct viewing. Especially not after—
Jesus … like, really fucking naked—
Okay, time to stop thinking about that.

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  1. Story of Worth. - you said it all right there! Loved it!

  2. Great review! I am with you about Wellie and the in between. And the grieving period. I can only imagine that this book must have been a very powerful and emotional one for you. *hugs* I can't wait for the next book!!

  3. Ok I lightly skimmed because I haven't read this yet. But, I'm glad to see the 4 star rating. :)

  4. Loved this review! You captured everything that had to be said about it. I'm curious to see where this series is headed with the addition of all the new characters.

  5. Great review but still cant seem to pick up reading on after Phury's story. And thor back into a romantic relationship just strikes against every viber in my being. So sad that this is one series that i stopped reading cause i love rereading the first 6 books.

  6. @sparklybearsy - LOL I hear this weekend we might find out who's BDB story we get next! I can't wait to find out :))

    @Twimom - yeah, it could go two ways, either Ward would hit my heartstring and play it like nobodies business or she could handle it in a very unbelievable way, which definitely would've pissed me off and head straight off in a rant! So glad she played my heartstrings.

    @Fictionvixen - Good of you to skim it...take the story in without anyone's opinion!!

  7. @bells - So am I and I want to know who's next!!

    @Natascha - Hon, more peeps have objections to Tohr finding another woman. That it goes against Wards own rules of worldbuilding. Go back to the story of that fine beast aka Rhage and know why you love this series so much ;)

  8. I, sigh, nah, I just can't bother anymore with these books. they have disappointed me lately :(

  9. I think most long- time readers wish each book had more focus on the main couple in question, that the "romance" part of the novels has been thrown to the wayside in favor of multiple story lines and not- quite- minor characters. And those readers are right, especially when you re- read the first five or so books. But does that mean the books have become less? No; the BDB is a different series now, for sure, but not in any way less. This was the book where I felt Ward nailed the action sequences (I audibly gasped in quite a few places, and clutched my chest during one pivotal scene), and it's also the one that felt the most "real.

  10. In going into Lover Reborn, I wanted to keep in mind something that JR Ward alluded to in the BDB companion book, that Tohrment's book was to be the conclusion of the original ten- part series, and in a lot of ways, it is


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