Where to begin with this book?
I love Manuel Manello. Manny is intense but I like that he’s a smart ass. He also doesn’t take crap from anyone. Payne is just kick-ass, plain and simple. I felt their relationship was…interesting. Maybe it had to do with the fact that they spent most of the book in the recovery rooms of the Brotherhood’s place. Once they were outside the walls of the mansion, things got better. I finally got to see them as a couple…carefree and in love.
At first, I don’t think V or Payne knew how to act around each other. Their moments together were frustrating and heartbreaking at the same time. Payne has always loved her brother, so I think the fact that V wasn’t instantly affectionate with her, might have hurt her a little. I was glad to see that Vishous felt instantly protective over her, though, and he did love her instantly! He just didn’t know how to show her.
I have to say that my favorite part of this book was the fact that Vishous finally got more story. I read somewhere that JR Ward had said his book was the hardest one to write and that she wasn’t completely happy with its ending. Well, she certainly makes up for it in this book! She put V and Jane through the wringer. To me, no other couple in this series has ever felt more real than theirs. I don’t know why, but it just does. Vishous is one tortured male who has never dealt with what happened to him. In Lover Unleashed, he does it and it is completely heart-wrenching. He comes out of it a better male though, so it’s worth it. I hope he can be truly happy now.
Butch and Vishous have one of the most intense bonds in this series. After Jane and V have their fallout, Butch is the one to reign him in. No one knows V better than Jane and Butch and since Jane couldn’t be there for him, Butch stepped in. He stepped in in a huge way! I had no idea what was going to happen and was a little nervous. What transpired in that penthouse was very much needed but my heart broke for both Butch and V.
Manny has a smart mouth, and thanks to that, some of the funniest moments are when he and Butch are talking to one another, because as we all know, Butch ALSO has a smart mouth. There were a few things, even from previous books, that clued us into the big reveal, or connection, at the end that once it was out, all I could think was, “I KNEW IT!!” I love how JR Ward does this. I’m actually kind of hoping she will write more about John Matthew and Darius’s deal because I don’t think Lover Mine really explained any of it.
Ah, Qhuinn and Blaylock. I certainly didn’t get enough Qhuay in this book. The things we did get were heart-wrenching, though! The longing and angst between Qhuinn and Blay breaks my heart…but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I just know this is building up to be one tear-fest of a book! Maybe. Hopefully? PLEASE, JR Ward!! We need a Qhuay book!
Let me tell you how elated I was to see The Brothers together and having a good time in this book. I missed them!! It wasn’t too much, maybe twice altogether in this whole book, but it was fantastic. One very absent character was Tohr, which surprised me as I heard his book is next. Usually, we get hints or some story about the upcoming character’s book…but with Tohr? Nothing. I’m eager to find out more of what’s to come for him. He deserves a HEA.
Lessers. I’m not going to lie. The Lessers have never interested me much. Mostly, they bore me and when they got their own chapters, like in Dark Lover, I skimmed through them…as fast as I could. They are not the primary villain in this book though…which I totally loved.
Our “new” villains are a ring of warriors from the Old Country who are led by Xcor. Xcor took over the group after the Bloodletter, his supposed father, was killed in front of him. These warriors hunt lessers as well, but they are all outcasts. Xcor has also been in search of the female who killed his father for centuries with no luck. Yes, that would be Payne, who killed her father for what he did to Vishous. They travel to America for the first time with plans to take down the Brotherhood. These guys are waaay more interesting than the Lessers. No skimming through their chapters. They have a particularly steamy scene toward the end of the book involving a ménage à trois. That was a new one for this series. Can’t complain though. *blushes*
We also get to see Jose de la Cruz again. In this book, he begins to work with a new partner, Thomas ‘Veck’ DelVecchio. Veck turns out to be one sketchy individual…and it doesn’t escape notice with De la Cruz. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with these two.
Lover Unleashed was another great installment to this series. It had all the elements we love to read in these books. I savored it and didn’t rush through it because I knew that as soon as I finished it, I would want more. Guess who wants the next book…NOW? :)
Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #9
Published by NAL
Pub Date: March 29th 2011
Format: Hardcover | Source: Purchased
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Buy the book! | Goodreads
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.