Saturday, 19 January 2013

Lover Unleashed by J. R. Ward

Title: Lover Unleashed
J.R. Ward
Publisher: Piatkus
ISBN: 978-0-7499-5565-6
Pages: 573
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #9
Type: Adult Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, deadly cloth as her brother. After spending eons imprisoned by their mother, Payne escapes only to find her spine broken. To save her life and try to reverse the paralysis Vishous is forced to abduct human surgeon Manny Manello, the head of his field in neurosurgery. But when Payne and Manny meet sparks fly and it soon becomes clear that a romance is growing despite their different species.

This is the ninth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and one I approached with trepidation. I'd heard this was different to the previous books and having read it I agree with that assessment. In previous installments the focus has been primarily on the featured couple with other storylines kept firmly in the background, while this barely focuses on Payne and Manny and has a lot of distracting plotlines.

What there is of Payne and Manny's romance was incredibly sweet and well written. Payne's spinal injury at the start of the book is delicately handled and yet accurate in terms of her emotions (I showed certain scenes to my Mum who also has a spinal injury). Manny's medical training does show through and it was interesting to see how the previous memory wipes have affected him. The Brotherhood have really changed his life, and not in a good way.

The predominant storyline of the book though focuses on Vishous and his relationship with Jane. I expected V to play a key role here as Payne's twin but his storyline takes over the book and huge chunks are dedicated to his life. It is almost as if this book is Lover Unbound part two rather than focusing on a new couple. There are also tiny cameos from pretty much every other character from the books, although most are only mentioned and never given any purpose or dialogue.

There are also three other storylines, the first being a heartbreaking view of the Qhuinn/Blaylock story from Qhuinn's perspective revealing his true feelings for the first time (their book Lover at Last is out next year) which was kept mostly in the background. Then you have the introduction of Xcor and the Band of B*****ds, a rival group to the Black Dagger Brotherhood formerly led by the Bloodletter who, while relevant to the storyline, take over with some unnecessary scenes. The third storyline is a human murder case which I expected to tie everything together so was disappointed to find not only does it fail at this, it's actually tied into the author's other series.

All in all this was an okay read and I'll still pick up a copy of Lover Reborn.

Plot: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Enjoyment: 8/10
Cover: 8/10

Overall: 40/50

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