J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood novels have introduced readers to a "different, creative, dark, violent, and flat-out amazing" (All About Romance) world. Now, as the vampire warriors defend their race against their slayers, one male's loyalty to the Brotherhood will be tested—and his dangerous mixed blood revealed . . .
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All kings are blind. The good ones see this and use more than their eyes to lead.
"The king must die."
Four single syllable words. One by one they were nothing special. Put together? They called up all kinds of bad shit: Murder. Betrayal. Treason.
In the thick moments after they were spoken to him, Rehvenge kept quiet, letting the quartet hang in the stuffy air of the study, four points of a dark, evil compass he was intimately familiar with.
"Have you any response?" Montrag son of Rehm said.
Montrag blinked and fiddled with the silk cravat at his neck. Like most members of the glymera, he had both velvet slippers firmly planted in the dry, rarified sand of his class. Which meant he was just plain precious, all the way around. In his smoking jacket and his natty pinstriped slacks and... shit, were those actually spats?... he was right out of the pages of Vanity Fair. Like, a hundred years ago. And in his myriad condescendions and his bright frickin' ideas, he was Kissinger without a President when it came to politics: All analysis, no authority.
Which explained this meeting, didn't it.
"Don't stop now," Rehv said. "You've already jumped off the building. The landing isn't getting any softer."
Montrag frowned. "I fail to view this with your kind of levity."
A knock on the study's door brought Montrag's head to the side and he had a profile like an Irish setter. All nose. "Come in."
The doggen that followed the command struggled under the weight of the silver service she carried. With an ebony tray the size of a porch in her hands, she hustled the load across the room.
Until her head came up and she saw Rehv.
She froze like a snapshot.
"We take our tea here." Montrag pointed to the low slung table between the two silk sofas they were sitting on. "Here."
The doggen didn't move, just stared at Rehv's face.
"What is the matter?" Montrag demanded as the tea cups began to tremble, a chiming noise rising up from the tray. "Place our tea here, now."
The doggen bowed her head, mumbled something and came forward, putting one foot in front of the other like she was approaching a coiled snake. She stayed as far away from Rehv as she could, which was not far at all given the furniture arrangement, and after she put the service down, she was barely able to get the cups into the saucers.
When she went for the pot of tea, it was clear she was going to spill the shit all over the place.
"Let me do it," Rehv said, reaching out.
As the doggen jerked away from Rehv, her grip slipped off the pot handle and the tea went into free fall.
Rehv caught the blistering hot silver in his palms.
"What have you done!" Montrag said leaping out of his sofa.
The doggen cringed away, her hands going to her face. "I am sorry, master. Verily, I am—"
"Oh, shut up," Montrag snapped. "And get us some ice—"
"It's not her fault." Rehv calmly switched his hold onto the handle and poured. "And I'm perfectly fine."
They both stared at him like they were waiting for him to hop up and shake his bumper to the tune of ow-ow-ow.
He put the silver pot down and looked into Montrag's pale eyes. "One lump. Or two?"
"May I... may I not get you something for that burn?"
He smiled, flashing his fangs at his host. "I'm perfectly fine."
Montrag seemed offended that he couldn't do anything, and turned his dissatisfaction on his servant. "You are a total disgrace and embarrassment to me. Leave us."
Rehv glanced at the doggen. To him, her emotions were a three-dimensional grid of fear and shame and panic, the interlocking weave filling out the space around her surely as her bones and muscles and skin did.
Be of ease, he thought at her. And know I'll make this right.
When she was gone, Montrag cleared his throat and sat back down. "I don't think she's going to work out. She's utterly incompetent."
"Why don't we start with one lump." Rehv dropped a sugar cube into the tea. "And see if you want another."
He held the cup out, but not too far out, so that Montrag was forced to get up again from his sofa and bend across the table.
Rehv didn't let go of the saucer. "I make females nervous. It wasn't her fault."
He released his hold abruptly and Montrag scrambled to keep hold of the Royal Dalton.
"Oops. Don't spill." Rehv settled back into his sofa. "Shame to get a stain on this fine rug of yours. Aubusson, is it?"
"Ah... yes." Montrag parked it again and frowned as if he were recasting what had just happened. "Er... yes, it is. My father bought it many years ago. He had exquisite taste, didn't he? We built this room for it because it is so very large and the color of the walls was chosen specifically to bring out the peach tones."
Montrag looked around the study and smiled to himself as he sipped, his pinkie out in the breeze like a flag.
"How's your tea?"
"Perfect, but won't you have some?"
"Not a tea drinker." Rehv waited until the cup was up to the male's lips. "So you were talking about murdering Wrath?"
Montrag sputtered, Earl Gray dappled the front of his blood red smoking jacket and hitting daddy's peachy-keen rug.
As the male batted at the stains with a limp hand, Rehv held out a napkin. "Here, use this."
Montrag took the damask square and awkwardly patted at his chest and swiped the rug. He was clearly the kind of male who made messes, not cleaned them up.
"You were saying," Rehv murmured.
Montrag ditched the napkin on the tray and got to his feet, leaving his tea behind as he paced around. He stopped in front of a large landscape on the far wall and seemed to admire the dramatic mountain scene with its lone solider struggling against the elements.
He spoke to the painting. "You are aware that so many of our blooded brethren have been taken down in the raids by the lessers."
"And here I thought I'd been made leahdyre of the Council just because of my sparkling personality."
Montrag glared over his shoulder, his chin cocked in classic aristocratic fashion. "I lost my father and my mother and all of my first cousins. I buried each one of them. Think you that is a joy?"
"My apologies." Rehv put his right palm over his heart and bowed his head, even though he didn't give a shit. He was not going to be manipulated by the recitation of losses. Especially when the guy's emotions were all about greed, not grief.
Montrag turned his back to the painting, his head taking the place of the mountain the colonial soldier was on... so that it looked like the little man in the red uniform was climbing up his ear.
"The glymera has sustained unparalleled loses from the raids. Not just lives, but assets. Houses raided, antiques and art taken, bank accounts disappearing. And what has Wrath done? Nothing. He's given no response to repeated inquiries about how those families's residences were found... why Brotherhood didn't stop the attacks... where all those assets went. There is no plan to make sure it never happens again. No assurance that if what few members of the aristocracy return to Caldwell proper we are protected." Montrag really got on a role, his voice rising and bouncing off the crown molding and gilded ceiling. "Our race is dying. We have the remnants of only four bloodlines left after losing thirty-one of us. Cousins and sisters and brothers and shellans have been lost and this can't go on any longer. By law if Wrath is alive he is king. Is the life of one worth the lives of many? Search your heart."
Oh, he was looking into it alright, black evil muscle that it was. "And then what."
"We take control and do what is right. During his tenure, he has restructured things... look at what has been done to the Chosen. They are now allowed to tally on this side- unheard of! And slavery is outlawed along with sehclusion for females. Dearest Virgin Scribe, next thing you know there'll be someone wearing a skirt in the Brotherhood. With us in charge, we can reverse what he has done and recast the laws properly to preserve the old ways. We can organize a new offensive against the Lessening Society. We can triumph."
"You're using a lot of 'we's' here, and somehow I don't think that's exactly what you are thinking."
"Of course, there needs to be an individual who is first among equals." Montrag smoothed the lapels of his smoking jacket and angled his head and body like he was posing for a bronze statue or maybe a dollar bill. "A male chosen who is of stature and worth."
"And in what manner is this paragon going to be picked?"
"We're going to be move to a democracy. A long, overdue democracy that shall replace the unjust and unfair convention of monarchy..."
As a whole lot of blah, blah, blahing got its groove on, Rehv eased back, crossed his legs at the knees and steepled his fingers. Sitting on Montrag's fluffy sofa, the two halves him of warred, the vampire and the symphath clashing.
The only bene was that the internal shouting match droned out the sound of all that nasally, I-know-everything.
The opportunity was obvious: Get rid of the king and seize control of the race.
The opportunity was unthinkable: Kill a fine male and a good leader and... a friend of sorts.
"... and we would choose who leads us. Make them accountable to the Council. Ensure that our concerns were responded to. The monarchy is not working and democracy is the only way—"
Rehv cut in, "Democracy typically means that everyone gets a vote. Just in case you're unfamiliar with the definition."
"But we would. All of us who serve on the Council would be on the electoral board. Everyone would be counted."
"The term 'everyone' encompasses a couple more people over and above 'everyone like us.'"
Montrag shot over a load of oh, please, do be serious. "Would you honestly trust the race to the lower classes?"
"Not up to me."
"It could be." Montrag brought his tea cup up to his mouth and looked over the brim with eyes that were sharp. "It absolutely could be. You are our leahdyre."
Staring at the guy, Rehv saw the path as clearly as if it were paved and spot lit with halogen beams: If Wrath was killed, his royal line would end because he had yet to sire young. Societies, particularly those at war as the vampires were, abhor leadership vacuums so a radical shift from monarchy to 'democracy' wouldn't be as unthinkable as it would have in another, saner, safer time.
The glymera might be out of Caldwell and hiding in their safe houses throughout New England, but that bunch of effete motherfuckers had money and influence and had wanted to take over forever. With this particular plan, they could clothe their ambitions in the vestments of democracy and make like they were taking care of the little people.
Rehv's dark nature seethed, a jailed criminal impatient for probation: Bad acts and power plays were a constitutional compulsion for his father's blood and part of him wanted to create the void... and step into it.
He cut into Montrag's self-important driveling. "Spare me the propaganda. What exactly are you suggesting."
The male made elaborate work of putting down his tea cup on the corner of his desk, as if he wanted to appear as if he were corralling his words. Whatever. Rehv was willing to bet the guy knew exactly what he was going to say. Something of this nature wasn't the kind of thing you just pulled out of your ass and there were others in on it. Had to be.
"As you pointed out, the Council is to meet in a couple of days in Caldwell specifically for us to have an audience with the king. Wrath will arrive and... a mortal event will occur."
"He travels with the Brotherhood. Not exactly the kind of muscle you can easily work around."
"Death wears many masks. And has many different stages on which to perform."
"And my role is?" Even though he knew.
Montrag's pale eyes were like ice, luminescent and cold. "I know what kind of male you are. So I know exactly what you are capable of."
This was not a surprise. Rehv had been a drug lord for the past twenty-five years, and though he hadn't announced his avocation to the aristocracy, vampires did hit his clubs regularly and a number of them were in the ranks of his chemical customers.
No one knew about his symphath side. And he'd been paying his blackmailer well over the past two decades to keep it that way.
"That is why I come to you," Montrag said. "You will know how to take care of this."
"As leahdyre of the Council, you would be in a position of enormous power. Even if you are not elected as President, the Council is going nowhere. And let me reassure you about the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I know your sister is mated to one of them. The Brothers will not be affected by this."
"You don't think it's going to piss them off? Wrath is not just their king. He's their blood."
"Protecting our race is their primary mandate. Wither we go they must follow. And you must know that there are many who feel they have been doing a poor job of late. Methinks perhaps they require better leadership."
"From you. Right. Of course." Which would be like an interior decorator trying to command a tank platoon: a shitload of noisy chirping until one of the soldiers off'd the lightweight flash in a pan and churned over the body a couple of times.
Perfect plan there. Yup.
But who said Montrag had to be the one elected. Accidents happened to both kings and aristocrats.
"I must say unto you," Montrag continued, "as my father always said unto me, timing is everything. We need to proceed with haste. The time is right. May we rely on you, my friend?"
Rehv got to his feet and towered over the other male. With a quick chug on his jacket cuffs, he straightened his Tom Ford then reached for his cane. He felt nothing in his body, not his clothes or the weight shifting from his ass to his soles or the handle against the palm he'd burned.
The numbness was a side effect of the drug he used to keep his bad side from coming out in mixed company, the prison in which he jailed his sociopathic impulses.
But all he needed to get back to basics was one missed dose. An hour later? He was alive and kicking and ready to play.
"What say you?" Montrag prompted.
Wasn't that the question.
Some times in life, from out of the myriad of prosaic decisions like what to eat and where to sleep and how to dress, a true crossroads is revealed. In these moments, when the fog of relative irrelevancy lifts and fate rolls out a demand for free will, there is only left or right- no option of four-by-fouring into the underbrush between two paths, no negotiating with the choice that has been presented.
You must answer the call and pick your way. And there is no reverse.
Of course, the problem was, navigating a moral landscape was something he'd taught himself to do to fit in with the vampires. The lessons he'd learned had stuck. Although only to a point.
And his drugs only kind of, sort of worked.
Abruptly, Montrag's pale face became cast in variations of pastel pink and the male's dark hair went magenta and his smoking jacket became the color of ketchup. As the red wash tinted everything, Rehv's visual field flattened out so it was as a movie screen of the world.
Which perhaps explained by symphaths found it so easy to use people. With his evil side taking over, the universe had all the depth of a chessboard and the people in it were pawns to his omniscient hand. Every one of them. Enemies... and friends.
"I'll take care of it," Rehv announced. "As you said, I know who to call."
"Your word." Montrag put forward his smooth palm. "Your word that this shall be carried out in secret and in silence."
Rehv let that hand hang in the breeze, but he smiled, once again revealing his fangs. "Trust me."
Excerpted from "Lover Avenged"
Copyright © 2009 J.R. Ward.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
What People are Saying About This
"Tautly written, wickedly sexy and just plain fun."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I know a lot of readers were dissatisfied with the last book, but one of the highlights for me was the insight into Rehvenge's life and the secret he's been so desperate to hide. Although I have to say, that part about the barb? Um... ick. Rehv has always been one of my favorite characters in the BDB world so I was pretty excited to finally get my hands on this book, and I have to say, it does not disappoint. The story moves forward in leaps, characters develop, Lash comes into his own as the Omega's spawn and Rehvenge gets a beautiful, heartbreaking love story. Ehlena turns out to be perfect for him, both strong and compassionate, and their blossoming romance is sweet and super hot. One of the things Ward does is write multiple story arcs for each book so there's a huge chunk about Wrath's struggle as King, Tohrment's torturous return to the land of the living and John Matthew's disillusionment at the hands of Xhex. There's even an appearance by Payne who gives Wrath a beat-down, proof that there's something in the works about her eventually joining the Brotherhood which I'm super excited about. I wish I knew what characters Ward was going to write about next, but I'm really really hoping for Tohr's story, and I would love to see him and Payne end up together. Also really looking forward to reading more about Lassiter the sexy fallen angel and Qhuinn.
Before Lover Avenged I really wasn't able to get into Rehvenge's character. I am glad that he had a whole book dedicated to him. Seeing the sensitive, lonely side portrayed in this book made me fall in love with his character the way I did with all the other Brothers. I cannot wait for John Matthews book. JR Ward keeps you eagerly awaiting her next installment each time. The Black Dagger Brotherhood series is a permanent addition to my home library. I am still a huge fan of Zsadist but Rehv comes in a close second now. LOVED IT!
Very good book. I loved the characters. The cover. one of the better summer reads I enjoyed
I must say that I started this book not really "feeling" Rehvenge. Not so much the look, the attitude or the person I thought he was. Once it was all over, I was as in love with him as any of the other leading men in Ward's other novels. How the heck did she do that? By crafting a beautiful, romantic and believable plot that had me glued to the book from beginning to end. I loved Ehlena, who was strong and beautiful. The perfect match for Rehvenge who we learn through the novel is very deserving of an awesome mate. Happily, the brothers are truly back in this book with all the hilarious banter we've come to look forward too. The Brotherhood goes through some major changes and comes out of it together, stronger than ever. I have to add that Lash makes a kick-butt bad guy and he's taking the "lesser parts" from something you had to get through to get on to more of the "good stuff", to something that you can't wait to get to. And to many of her past readers that felt as though her last few novels were not "romantic enough", I believe we can see here clearly that every character in the BDB world is different and that Ward has done them all justice in a way that was true to that character. Sometimes is was all mushy and romantic, other times is was gritty and disturbing, all the time it was well written. These are NOT formulaic romance novels. Thank goodness! With that said, this story has tons of romance, is often sweet, and has the constant intensity and excitement we've come to expect of Ward's books. There were a few side plots that were critical to the story and also very satisfying, especially to long time followers of this series. I can't recommend this book enough for lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, fantasy and well...reading! You'll wish it had 1000 pages.
After i was finished with reading Lover Enshrined i have to admit i was hesitant about picking this book up, because i wasn't really a fan of Rhev in the first place. Boy, let me tell you how THAT changed. The story line was perfect and J.R Ward knows exactly how to get you liking both the hero and heroin. This book had the perfect romance. It was incredibly sweet and i had to reread this book several times just like i had to do for Lover Awakened. Thats why J.R Ward is my favorite author because the BDB series is my down right favorite series and always will be. These books have the perfect balance between everything you would want in a romance book and more. Lover Avenged is my 2nd fav book. Right behind Lover Awakened.
So glad I changed my mind about abandoning this series and gave Ward one more chance. Lover Avenged was much better than Lover Unbound & Lover Enshrined. After the last two books were such a disappointment I wasn't expecting much, especially since I wasn't all that interested in Rehv. I felt like in Lover Enshrined, Ward had wrote half-assed for Phury and quite possibly I was holding that against Rehv a bit. At any rate, Rehv won me over, I found myself completely drawn to the character and into the story. Though he is not a brother Rehv is right up there with Zsadist and Wrath now days. The subplots did not overpower the main storyline. They were obviously building steps for another story but they were connected to the main storyline so I didn't find them distracting or out of place. Ward was able to lay her foundation without getting ahead of herself. I was planning to take a reading breather but after I finished Lover Avenged last night I just had to get started on Lover Mine. My nook is costing me a small fortune and I am sleep deprived, but oh well on with the show.
The Rev is sooo sexy i wanna eat him up...as usual Ward delivers!!!
This was the story of Rehvenge, half symphath half vampire and truly a whole "Male of Worth". Which is very surprising considering all we knew about him from previous chapters in this series. To find that he is such a kind and loving soul was really a testament to "don't judge a book by it's cover". We also meet Ehlena in this chapter, the woman with whom he falls in love, but is afraid to show her the "real" him. But what he *does* show her is pretty amazing! Ehlena is a nurse at Havers' clinic where she meets Rehvenge for the first time and only because none of the other nurses want to take care of him! She also takes care of her father who has a mental illness. She is the good girl to Rehv's bad boy. A lot of our old friends from previous chapters are in this chapter too, thanks to several sub plots. Wrath and Beth, Mary, Bella, Qhuinn, Blay, Xhex, and JOHN MATTHEWS! This is a very "busy" book... lots of things going on, and whenever anything starts to really pick up or something is about to be revealed, you are derailed to another sub plot. Keeps you on the edge of your seat for sure! Although the book was good, I think it was a little longer than it needed to be. There was a lot of things going on that were 'over described' and other things that were important that were either 'under described' or, what seemed to me, wrapped up a bit quick. Like the ending for instance, I felt like Rehvenge and Ehlena were just kinda glossed over in the very end. This was suppose to be their story, not Wrath and Beth's story. But that's just my take on it and may, in no way, be your experience. As I've stressed in my other reviews of this series, it's very important to read these books in order, you will be pretty lost in this book if you haven't read the previous books. Happy Reading! :)
For all those wanting to "catch up" on all the Brotherhood activity and have missed some of their favs in past books (Beth and Wrath especially), Ward brings them all back with a bang in this novel, picking up where Lover Enshrined (Phury's book) left off. The plotline involving the Lessening Society grows deeper and darker with some gory and creepy encounters. We are taken deeper into the world of the sympaths and learn more about Rehv's and Bella's growing up. We cheer for our couple, of course, but mostly we cheer for the "reuniting" of the BDB as a fighting unit once again. A book at that all BDB fans must read!
Rehvenge was a great character. He is a dark hero and a villian all wrapped up in one. You never know whether he's going to turn villian or not. His future shellan is not exactly what I expected but she is the white light to his darkness. I guess Xhex was too much dark to his darkness and that couldn't happen. I still want to know what happens with John Matthew and her. They have to find her.....Ward should send John Matthew to rescue her (even though she doesn't think that he's capable of rescuing her). I'd like to know more about the colony and other sympaths that have been sent there. Tor needs to get on with his life, with or without Wellsie, John Matthew still needs him. I can see lots more fodder for more books in the future. I've read the entire series now and this one went back to what I expected and wanted. I didn't like Phury's story nearly as much as Rehvenge. Keep up the good work Ward and I'll keep reading!
The book was by far is J.R. Ward's best she never disappoints her readers, especially this one! It was good to see more about the King & Queen Wrath & Beth & also to see Tohr coming back to the fold. If you haven't read the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series your really missing out. Lover Revenged as well as the other 6 books in this series hold strong vivid characters that just come off the page at the reader. I promise you will both laugh and cry while reading the stories. Again Bravo to The Black Dagger Brotherhood & thank you J.R. Ward for sharing your wonderful talent.
While it is not possible to review a book that isn't published yet, I feel confident in saying that Lover Avenged will meet or exceed the WARDen's high standards of writing. She has fleshed out the Brothers with believable personalities, given them conflicts and problems aplenty to resolve, difficulties and tragedies to overcome and a really evil enemy they need to defeat. The world she has established for the stories is complex and frankly could be here for real, right now. She has added an extra spiritual layer to vampire society by developing the Scribe Virgin, a deity with no real Judeo-Christian equivalent, and her brother the Omega, evil incarnate. (closest would be the Scribe Virgin as Goddess and the Omega as Satan.) Rehvenge is the newly appointed leader of the Princeps, the vampire aristocracy. He will be approached to help displace Wrath, King of the vampires. Given Rhev's love for his younger sister, who is mated to the Brother Zsadist, I hope he will let his heart lead him to keep the faith with the king and the Brothers. I look forard, as well, to learning what is happening with: Blay and Quinn; Butch and V and their shellans; John Matthew and Xhex . We'll find out in 11 days!
Not my favorite love story in the series. I skimmed a lot of pages in this book. Must read though for important info on john aka darius and xhex for the next book. Most intimate scenes grossed me out. The end will have you want to call the exterminator to ensure there are no spiders in your home.
"Lover Revealed" - the fourth book of The Black Dagger Brotherhood series - is my least favorite. This book "Lover Avenged" was my second least favorite book out of the series. I'm glad I read "Lover Avenged" and I still recommend it to others. The main character is Rehvenge. Who is a successful business male, as well as, pimp and drug lord. He is also Bella's older brother - who is The Brother Zsadist's mate - which is how he is involved with the Brotherhood. There is a new female, Ehlena. Ehlena is a nurse at Haver's clinic, and that's where the two meet. As it turns out she is Rehv's favorite nurse. Rehvenge and Xhex are part symphath. Rehvenge is more than a half-breed vampire/symphath, his uncle is the king of the symphaths. Over 25 - or so - years ago, something happened to Xhex. Somehow the symphath princess got involved - or was involved. In order to protect Xhex and himself, Rehvenge was blackmailed into meeting with the symphath princess once a month. - The first time "the meetings" were mentioned was in the sixth book of the series "Lover Enshrined". - At these meetings, he is forced to pay her in many painful ways. After 25 years, it's beginning to wear on Rehv's body - taking him longer and longer to recover after each "meeting". Ehlena makes Rehvenge feel different. She makes him feel. Period. She doesn't know his background or heritage, but she knows him. The symphath princess gets jealous, and more threatening. Rehv must protect every female - his mom, his sister, Xhex, Ehlena - in his life. The princess has other plans as well. Where Rehvenge is, Xhex is never far. When is comes to Xhex, there is John Matthew. And where John Matthew goes, Qhuinn - John's "bodyguard" - must follow. John's adopted father, Tohrment, returned to the series at the end of the last book "Lover Enshrined" with a new character. A fallen angel named Lassiter. Both have roles in this book. Wrath and Beth are mentioned more in this book than they have been since "Dark Lover". And since "Dark Lover" is still my favorite of this series, I enjoyed reading about them very much. The son of the Omega, Lash, plays a larger role in this book also. The drama/thrill bounces back and forth, and then continues on. to the next book of the series "Lover Mine".
This book was great. It was the best of all the others. I like the main character and found him to be complex and strong. I like how Ward was able to keep all the characters connecting to each other and yet still keep the story moving fast. I can not wait till the next book.
I'M A BIG VAMP BOOK FAN AND THIS IS A MUST READ SERIES IF YOU LIKE THE VAMPIRE BOOKS LIKE ME. HOT HOT HOT IS ALL I CAN SAY :):):)
This woman can write a completely gripping and fun story! It continues on in this seventh installment of the BDB. I was a little nervous that I wouldn't like the main character (Rehvenge or Rehv for short) because he is a pimp and a drug dealer and a sympath, who are these supposedly really violent and vicious breed of vampire who suck energy off of manipulating others' baser emotions. How could someone possibly make a chararacter like that likeable? Well, she pulls it off very well. His love interest is a great character, especially since she comes from a different walk of life then most of the other female vampires in the books to date. She may have started off as part of the aristocracy, but now has fallen pretty low due to some rough family tragedies. Wonderful to see her deal with some horrid situations, and remain strong. She is strong and brave and as kick-a** as any of the warriors in the Brotherhood in how she goes after Rehv to save him at the end. I found this book to be the most disturbingly violent of all of them - the purebred symphath characters just creep me out totally and so does Lash and the Omega and their whole evil family saga. And the spiders - just ICK! But it wasn't too much to stomache in the end and the violence never seems pointless or gratuitous. And as far as Rehv and his whole moral makeup goes, you really see into his mind and understand how he got to where he did, and even though his actions are not very morally upstanding you see how he really is a good person and just as deserving of rescuing as any romantic protagonist is. Bring on #8, Lover Mine!!!
As the books progress you get to know more characters and more side stories. Your drawn in. I'm always left hanging for the next book. Definantly more enjoyable to read these books in order.
I love this series; it started my love affair with paranormal romance. What I really appreciate is how she treats Rehvenge - a dark and morally questionable character (drug dealer/addict, for crying out loud), with an achingly tragic story behind him that really sets him up to be a hero. Of course, all of her characters come like that - socially and emotionally complex, making this a delightful effort in reading. As always, her depth of character and plot development keeps me riveted from beginning to end. As we still, at least, have Tohr and John Matthew (Darius??? huh? huh?) to explore, I'm begging Ms. Ward: "Don't stop writing!!!" These are truly my favorite vampires...I am so in love.
Let me start off by making it clear that I'm a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I feel like I know the brothers, and enjoy catching up with them and watching their progress in the war against the Lessers. But despite the fact that I'm a fan, this book was a disappointment and I don't think it lived up to the rest of the series. This was supposed to be Rehvenge's story, yet there were too many other storylines screaming for attention. There was Wrath's struggle with being king, the John Matthew and Xhex will-they/won't-they dance, Lash dealing with the Lessers, and even a plot cooked up by some of the Glymera. I found myself skipping over parts trying to find Rehvenge and Ehlena's part of the story. As much as I love Wrath and John Matthew, Wrath already had his turn and John Matthew's story should be coming out sooner or later. There were too many distractions and not enough time spent on the two main characters. I felt cheated, and a little outraged on Rehvenge's behalf! *L* Because of all of the side stories and distractions, I only gave this one 3 out of 5 stars. I'm glad I borrowed it from the library instead of buying it, as it was a little on the disappointing side.
J.R. Ward is an absolute genius. I've read the whole series and own every book. Lover Avenged finally let us understand Rehvenge. You almost hated him because of his life style, and the few secrets we were let in on with the other books. Having a look into his past and his life, makes you love him. He's bad(and who doesn't love a little bit of a bad boy), but his heart once you're let into it is absolutely amazing. He's sexy, powerful, strong, romantic, caring, and down right sinister. I couldn't put the book down. There was so much thrill in it, you stayed curious about what was going to happen next. You also cried in all the right places. This one also pulled at your heart strings. I know there were some reviews that didn't like that the intimate parts didn't present right away in the book. I liked that the readers had to build up to that part. The story line for this book and the other books are so much more important, but thank goodness for the sexy!! and J.R. Ward really knows how to put the sex(y) into this series. I can't wait for the next book. I would love to see this series turned into movies. Wow what a thrill that would be!! I would purchase all of them as well. I recommend all of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, and the Insider's Guide. What an amazing idea J.R. Ward had with the insider's guide. I couldn't put that one down either.
All I can say is WOW! This book had so many synchronized layers that fell into place it was pure genius! Rehvenge, big brother to Bella, Zsadist's shellan and uncle to Nalla, has been lucky thus far at juggling his many hidden secrets, but we all know eventually everyone's luck runs out. Not only is he hiding the fact that he's half Symphath from everyone, including his beloved sister but he is also quite skillful at concealing the fact that he's a drug dealer, murderer, pimp, loan-shark and is also being blackmailed into being an incestuous gigolo. Whoever says pimping isn't easy, hasn't met Rehvenge. To be honest, I find the degradation and depravity of the pimp, prostitute and john exchange loathsome but JR Ward pulled this storyline off so flawlessly, that I was still rooting for Rehvenge in spite of what he does for a living. Rehv and Ehlena make a dynamic duo. Ehlena is head strong and pragmatic and reminds me a lot of Beth. Rehv is a powerful force that has proven he would sacrifice his very own existence for the women in his life (his mom, Bella, Nalla and Ehlena). I wasn't at all appalled at him being blackmailed into servicing his half-sister the Symphath Princess. Now if that same situation happened with Bella, then that would've have been downright disgusting! He and Bella are family, whereas with the Princess, she's his tormentor and potential executioner. His lifestyle wasn't pretty but it was necessary, blackmail can be so expensive these days. If you are a Wrath and Beth fan, this book should not be missed. John-Matthew and Xhex are a trainwreck waiting to collide and I can't wait to see what happens next between them. We get to view many different sides of Xhex: the assassin, the warrior, the heartbroken and the lover. I can't say I like the direction John is taking. There's really no need for him to be damaged goods in order to make the story more interesting. Also, John and Tohr's relationship sucks! I really wish those two would cut the crap and kiss and make-up as father and son already. The timing of Zerosum's conclusion was impeccable. It's like every one got to wipe their slate clean and start afresh; from the drug addicts to the dealers to the prostitutes and johns to Rehv and Xhex. The humor between Lassiter and the Brothers was priceless. This book was chocked full of surprises, with plenty of action and a plethora of suspense. I highly recommend this book to dark urban fantasy readers. I also look forward to the next book in the series "Lover Mine" (JM & Xhex's story) coming spring 2010 and also the new spin-off fallen angel's series coming out this September "Covet".
If you haven't read this series, Start Now! Just not with Lover Avenged. You can not simply undertake this book alone without the previous six in the series. Although most of the needed history is provided in short synopsis, you won't really understand the background emotions and feelings behind the characters without the other books. This is a much different book than the first three, but still very good. I've read in some reviews and forums that people were unhappy with the "direction" the books have taken from Books 4-6. While I noticed the changes, I think it's relevant to the continuing story. JR Ward can't keep introducing characters and not showing them develop. In fact, I like the side-stories that we get, along with seeing the struggles the Brothers face in their daily lives and the war with the Lessers. Also, I see some grumblings about the fact that this is hardbound instead of paperback. Yes, the price increases; but do you not see that this is a compliment to the WARDen? The fact that her books are being published and released in hardcover before paperback is a big deal, so I'm willing to support her in her good fortune. My only complaint with LAv was that it took 200 pages before we got a love scene. Seriously? 200 pages before anyone 'got it on'? And I wanted more of Rehv and Ehlena's budding romance before their separation. Overall - Great Book!
i love j.r. ward, but this latest book tops everything. i love the guys that are tough and hard to reach, and then the author throws one brave, loving woman in their way and the guy just breaks down. it is a very compelling book, i dont get much time to read, but when i do that is all i do. i have overall read the black dagger brotherhood collection, excluding lover avenged, about 2 or 3 times completely through. i havent finished this book all the way yet, but im almost done and it looks very promising
What can I say? These books just keep getting longer and better. I hope the trend continues so that I can sit down in a couple of years and take a month to read one of these stories :-) With most paranormal romance (and I'm quite a connoisseur), the stories get tired after a while - same old same old, as it were. Somehow, Ward keeps coming up with completely new characters that are so vivid that you actually believe that she could really be interview these people and not making them up in her head. (If you don't understand, check out her website http://www.jrward.com.) Rhevenge is a keeper. You just want to grab him up in a big hug and comfort him and it's almost cathartic to the reader when Elhena finally does. As for the other stories going on behind the scenes? Oh man, let me tell you. If I don't get to read about John and Xhex in the next one, I think my head will explode. How long does it take for an author to write a new book? Too long, I assure you!