Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #3)

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #3)

4.7 2275
by J. R. Ward
     
 

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A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion and terror his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is

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Overview

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion and terror his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for each other begins to overtake them, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past and find a future with her....

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
J. R. Ward's third entry in the fabulous Black Dagger Brotherhood vampire series (Dark Lover, Lover Eternal) is "all adrenaline all the time," starting from page one. Again, we are back in Caldwell, New York, where a deadly street war continues between the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a band of six vampire warriors, and their enemies. One warrior, Zsadist, is perhaps the fiercest; with his scarred face and shaven skull, he looks like the Grim Reaper, if the Reaper were packing a small arsenal! Not even his twin, Phury, can understand Zsadist's obsession with finding the beautiful Bella, an aristocratic civilian abducted six weeks earlier by the evil Lessening Society.

When Zsadist finds Bella -- and he does -- she has been traumatized by her abduction and feels safe only with him. Their subsequent passionate romance is undeniably one with issues. Zsadist's past as a blood slave, humiliated and sexually abused for centuries, has left deep scars. Bella's abduction fills him with the need for revenge. Still, this is not just a tale of passion between two strong characters; it is also the tale of the two brothers, Zsadist and Phury, who were separated at birth, and their subsequent history.

As in earlier books, Ward adeptly draws the reader into the drama of the secondary characters -- like John, a young vampire pre-transition and his search for self and family, and the human cop, Butch. We trust all will have their own book in the series some day. Ginger Curwen
Romantic Times
When it comes to tormented heroes, few can top the dangerous and tortured Zsadist. In a change of pace, it's the hero who has sexual issues resulting from his violently abusive past as a blood slave. Both the hero and heroine have suffered greatly, but it's Zsadist's journey to self-acceptance that makes this book so compelling. Ward pulls no punches in this dark, dangerous and at times tragic series. Waiting for successive installments is getting harder and harder.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451219367
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/05/2006
Series:
Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, #3
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
53,040
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.25(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

“What if I told you I had a fantasy?”

Butch O’Neal put his Scotch down and eyed the blonde who’d spoken to him. Against the backdrop of Zero-Sum’s VIP area, she was something else, dressed in white patent leather strips, a cross between Barbie and Barbarella. It was hard to know if she was one of the club’s professionals or not. The Reverend only trafficked in the best, but maybe she was a model for FHM or Maxim.

She planted her hands on the marble tabletop and leaned in toward him. Her breasts were perfect, the very best money could buy. And her smile was radiant, a promise of acts done with knee pads. Paid or not, this was a woman who got plenty of vitamin D and liked it.

“Well, daddy?” she said over the trippy techno music. “Want to make my dream come true?”

He shot her a hard smile. Sure as hell, she was going to make someone very happy tonight. Probably a busload of someones. But he wasn’t going to be riding that double-decker.

“Sorry, you need to go taste the rainbow somewhere else.”

Her total lack of reaction sealed the deal on her professional status. With a vacant smile, she floated over to the next table and pulled the same lean and gleam.

Butch tilted his head back and swallowed the inch of La-gavulin left in his glass. His next move was to flag down a waitress. She didn’t come over, just nodded and beat feet for the bar to get him another.

It was almost three A.M., so the rest of the troika were going to show up in a half hour. Vishous and Rhage were out hunting lessers, those soulless bastards that killed their kind, but the two vampires were probably going to come in for a landing dis-appointed. The secret war between their species and the Less-ening Society had been quiet all January and February, with few slayers out and around. This was good news for the race’s civilian population. Cause for concern for the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

“Hello, cop.” The low male voice came from right behind Butch’s head.

Butch smiled. That sound always made him think of night fog, the kind that hides what’s going to kill you. Good thing he liked the dark side.

“Evening, Reverend,” he said without turning around.

“I knew you were going to turn her down.”

“You a mind reader?”

“Sometimes.”

Butch glanced over his shoulder. The Reverend was poised in the shadows, amethyst eyes glowing, mohawk trimmed tight to his skull. His black suit was sweet: Valentino. Butch had one just like it.

Although in the Reverend’s case the worsted wool had been bought with the guy’s own money. The Reverend, a.k.a. Reh-venge, a.k.a. brother of Z’s shellan, Bella, owned ZeroSum and took a cut of everything that went down. Hell, with all the de-pravity for sale in the club, he had a forest worth of green fun-neling into his piggy bank at the end of every night.

“Nah, she just wasn’t for you.” The Reverend slid into the booth, smoothing his perfectly knotted Versace necktie. “And I know why you said no.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“You don’t like blondes.”

Not anymore he didn’t. “Maybe I just wasn’t into her.”

“I know what you want.”

As Butch’s newest Scotch arrived, he gave it a quick vertical workout. “Do you now?”

“It’s my job. Trust me.”

“No offense, but I’d rather not about this.”

“Tell you what, cop.” The Reverend leaned in close and he smelled fantastic. Then again, Cool Water by Davidoff was an oldie but goodie. “I’ll help you anyway.”

Butch clapped a hand on the male’s heavy shoulder. “Only interested in bartenders, buddy. Good Samaritans give me the scratch.”

“Sometimes only the opposite will do.”

“Then we’re SOL.” Butch nodded out at the half-naked crowd writhing on hits of X and coke. “Everyone looks the same around here.”

Funny, during his years in the Caldwell Police Department, ZeroSum had been an enigma to him. Everyone knew the place was a drug hole and a sex pool. But no one at the CPD had been able to pin down enough probable cause to get a search warrant—even though you could walk in any night of the week and see dozens of legal infractions, most of them happening in tandem.

But now that Butch was hanging with the Brotherhood, he knew why. The Reverend had lots of little tricks in his bag when it came to changing people’s perceptions of events and circumstances. As a vampire, he could scrub clean the memo-ries of any human, manipulate security cameras, dematerialize at will. The guy and his biz were a moving target that never moved.

“Tell me something,” Butch said, “how have you managed to keep your aristocratic family from knowing about this little night job you got going on?”

The Reverend smiled so that only the tips of his fangs showed. “Tell me something, how did a human get so tight with the Brotherhood?”

Butch tipped his glass in deference. “Sometimes fate takes you in fucked-up directions.”

“So true, human. So very true.” As Butch’s cell phone went off, the Reverend got up. “I’ll send you over something.”

“Unless it’s Scotch I don’t want it, my man.”

“You’re going to take that back.”

“Doubt it.” Butch took out his Motorola Razr and flipped it open. “What up, V? Where are you?”

Vishous was breathing like a racehorse with the dull roar of wind distortion backing him up: a symphony of ass hauling. “Shit, cop. We got problems.”

Butch’s adrenaline kicked in, lighting him up like a Christmas tree. “Where are you?”

“Out in the burbs with a situation. The damn slayers have started hunting civilians in their homes.”

Butch leaped to his feet. “I’m coming—”

“The hell you are. You stay put. I only called so you wouldn’t think we were dead when we didn’t show. Later.”

The connection cut off.

Butch sank back down in the booth. From the table next to him, a group of people let out a loud, happy burst, some shared joke teeing their laughter off like birds flushed into the open air.

Butch looked into his glass. Six months ago he’d had noth-ing in his life. No woman. No family he was close to. No home to speak of. And his job as a homicide detective had been eat-ing him alive. Then he’d gotten canned for police brutality. Fallen in with the Brotherhood through a bizarre series of events. Met the one and only woman who’d ever awed him stu-pid. Also had a total wardrobe makeover.

At least that last one was in the good category and had stayed there.

For a while the change had been a great mask of reality, but lately he’d noticed that for all the differences, he was right where he’d always been: no more alive than when he’d been rotting in his old life. Still on the outside looking in.

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What People are saying about this

Angela Knight
Lover Awakened is utterly absorbing and deliciously erotic. The Brotherhood is the hottest collection of studs in romance, and I can't wait for the next one!
Lisa Gardner
Best new series I've read in years! Tautly written, wickedly sexy and just plain fun. Now here's a band of brothers who knows how to show a girl a good time.
Suzanne Brockmann
J.R. Ward's unique band of brothers is to die for. I love this series!

Meet the Author

J.R. Ward is the author of over twenty previous novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling series, The Black Dagger Brotherhood. There are more than 15 million copies of Ward's novels in print worldwide and they have been published in 25 different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.

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