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Return to the seductive—and dangerous—world of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood as the fever rises in the war between the vampires and slayers…
John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was—or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate...and rescue his one true love.
About the Author
J. R. Ward is the author of more than thirty novels, including those in her #1 New York Times bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She is also the author of the Black Dagger Legacy series and the Bourbon Kings series. There are more than fifteen million copies of her novels in print worldwide, and they have been published in twenty-six different countries around the world. She lives in the South with her family.
Read an Excerpt
Another fucking butterfly.
As R.I.P. looked at what was coming through the door of his tat shop, he knew he going to end up doing another fucking butterfly. Or two.
Given the pair of long, blond and bubbly that were jiggling their giggly way up to his receptionist, he was not going to be marking any skull and bones shit.
These Paris Hiltons and their we’re—so—bad excitement had him looking at the clock… and wishing he closed now, instead of one a.m.
Man... the shit he did for money. Most of the time he could be all yeah, whatever about the lightweights who came in to get marked up, but tonight the bright ideas of cutie pies annoyed him. Hard to get enthused about the Miss Kitty set when he’d just spent three hours doing a memorial portrait for a biker who’d lost his best friend on the road. One was real life; the other a cartoon.
Mar, his receptionist, came over to him. “You got time to do a quickie?” Her pierced eyebrows went up as her eyes rolled. “Shouldn’t take long.”
“Yeah.” He nodded to his padded chair. “Get the first one over here.”
“They want to be done together.”
Of course they did. “Fine. Get the rolling stool from the back.”
As Mar disappeared behind a curtain, the two by the cash register held each others’ hands and twittered together. From time to time, both of them shot him wide looks, like with all his tats and his metal, he was an exotic tiger they’d come to admire at a zoo... and totally approved of.
Uh-huh. Right. He would cut his own balls off before he threw them as much as a pity fuck.
After Mar took their money, she brought them over and introduced them as Keri and Sarah. Which was more than he’d expected. He’d been bracing himself for Tiffany and Brittney.
“I want a rainbow carp,” Keri said as she got into his chair with what she clearly intended to be an enticing arch. “Right here.”
She pulled up her tight little shirt, undid the zipper on her jeans and pushed down the top of her pink thong. Her belly button had a hoop with a pink rhinestone heart dangling off of it and it was clear she into electrolysis.
“Fine,” R.I.P. said. “How big.”
Keri the Seductress seemed to deflate a little— as if her no doubt one hundred percent success rate with college football players had led her to assume he would pant all over the real estate she was showing him.
“Um... not too big. My parents would kill me if they knew I was doing this... so it can’t show over a bikini bottom.”
Of course not. “Two inches?” He held up his tatted hand and gave her a sense of dimension.
“Maybe... a little smaller.”
With a black pen, he made a sketch on her, and after she asked him to stay on the inside of the lines, he snapped on his black gloves, got out a fresh needle, and tuned up his gun.
It took Keri about a second and a half to sport tears and hang onto Sarah’s hand as if she were giving birth without an epidural. And that was the difference, wasn’t it. There was a huge divide between the hardcore and the wannabe. Butterflies and carps and pretty little hearts were not—
The shop’s door opened wide… and R.I.P. sat up a little straighter on his rolling stool.
The three men who walked in were not in military uniforms, but they were definitely not civilians. Dressed in black leather from their jackets to their pants to their shitkickers, they were huge men that sucked the walls of the shop in closer and shrunk the ceiling down tight. Lot of bulges hidden underneath that leather. The kinds made by guns and maybe knives.
With a subtle shift, R.I.P. moved in direction of his counter, where the emergency alarm button was.
The one on the left had mismatched eyes and gunmetal piercings and a killer’s cool stare. The one on the right seemed a little closer to mainstream with his pretty-boy puss and the red hair— except for the fact that he carried himself like someone who’d been to war and back.
The one in the middle, however, was trouble. Slightly larger than his buddies, he had dark brown hair that was cut short and a classically handsome face— but his blue eyes were lifeless, with about as much reflection as old asphalt.
A dead man walking. With nothing to lose.
“Hey,” R.I.P. called out to greet them. “You guys need some ink?”
“He does.” The one with the piercings nodded at his blue—eyed buddy. “And he’s got the design. It’s a shoulder spread.”
R.I.P. gave his instincts a chance to weigh in on the project. The men didn’t eye Mar inappropriately. There was no casing of the cash register and no one went for their metal. They waited politely— but with expectation. Like either he did what they wanted, or they’d find someone else who would.
He eased back into position, thinking they were his peeps. “Cool. I’ll be finished in no time here.”
Mar spoke up from behind the counter. “We were supposed to be closing in less than an hour—”
“But I’ll do you,” R.I.P. told the one in the center. “You don’t worry about the time.”
“I think I’ll stay,” Mar said, eyeing the one with the piercings.
The blue—eyed guy’s hands came up and moved with distinct gestures. After he was finished, the pierced one translated, “He says thanks. And he’s brought his own ink if that’s okay.”
Not exactly the norm, but R.I.P. had no trouble being flexible for the right customer. “No, prob, my man.”
He got back to work with the carp and Keri resumed her bitten lip and little girl moaning routine. When he was finished, he was not at all surprised that Sarah, after having watched her friend go through “agony,” decided that she wanted a refund instead of some pretty, rainbow colored ink of her own.
Which was good news. It meant that he could get to work on the guy with the dead eyes right away.
As he snapped off his black gloves and cleaned up, he wondered what in the hell the design was going to look like. And exactly how long it was going to take Mar to get inside the pierced guy’s pants.
Former was likely to be fairly good.
And the latter… he’d give that about ten minutes because she’d caught the guy’s mismatched stare and Mar was a fast worker. Not just behind the counter.
Across town, away from the bars and tat shops on Trade Street, in an enclave of brownstones and cobbled lanes, Xhex stood in a bay window and stared out of wavy antique glass.
She was naked and cold and bruised.
But she was not weak.
Down below, on the sidewalk, a human female strolled along with a little yappy dog on a string and on a cell phone up to her ear. Across the lane, people in other elegant walk-ups were drinking and eating and reading. Cars went by slowly both out of respect for the neighbors and fear for their suspension systems on the uneven street.
The human peanut gallery couldn’t see or hear her. And not just because the capacities of that other race were so diminished in comparison to those of vampires.
Or in her case, half-symphath vampires.
Even if she turned the ceiling light on and screamed until her voice box gave out, even if she waved her arms until they fell out of their sockets, the men and women who were all around would just keep up whatever they were doing, unaware that she was trapped in this bedroom, thick in their midst. And it wasn’t as if she could pick up the bureau or the bedside table and break the glass. Same with kicking down the door or crawling through the bathroom vent.
She’d tried all that.
The assassin in her had to be impressed by the pervasive nature of her invisible cell: there was, quite literally, no way to get around, through or out of it.
Turning away from the window, she paced around the king size bed with its silk sheets and horrible memories... and went by the marble bathroom... and kept going by the door that led out into the hall. Given the way things went with her captor, it wasn’t as if she needed more exercise, but she couldn’t keep still, her body twitchy and humming.
She’d done this against—her—will once before. Knew how the mind, like a starved body, could cannibalize itself after too long if you didn’t feed it something to churn over.
Her favorite distraction? Mixed drinks. After having worked in clubs for years, she knew legions of cocktails and concoctions and she ran through them, picturing the bottles and and the glasses and the pouring and the ice and the spice.
That Bartender-pedia thing had kept her sane.
Up until now, she had banked on a mistake, a slip up, an opportunity for escape. None had come and that hope was starting to fade, exposing a huge black hole that was ready to eat her. So she just kept making drinks in her head and searching for her opening.
Her past experience helped in a strange way. Whatever happened here, however bad it got, however much it hurt physically, it was nothing compared to what she’d been through before.
This was the minor leagues.
Or... at least she told herself that. Sometimes it felt worse.
More with the pacing, past the two bay windows in front, by the bureau and then around the bed again. This time she went into the bathroom. There were no razors or brushes or combs, just some towels that were slightly damp and a bar of soap or two.
When Lash had abducted her, using the same kind of magic that was keeping her in this suite of rooms, he had brought her to this elegant crib of his and their first night and day together had been indicative of how it was going to be.
In the mirror over the double sinks, she saw herself and performed a dispassionate review of her body. There were bruises all over her... cuts and scrapes, too. He was brutal in what he did, but she fought back because it was her nature— so it was hard to tell what marks had been made by him and what had been incidental to what she’d done to the bastard.
Get his ass naked in front of some glass, and she’d bet her last breath he didn’t look any better than she did.
Eye for an eye.
The unfortunately corollary was that he liked that she met fire with fire. The more they fought, the more he got turned on, and she sensed he was surprised at his own emotions. For the first couple of days, he’d been in punishment mode, trying to take out of her what she’d done to his last girlfriend— those bullets she’d put in that bitch’s chest had really ticked his shit off. But then things had changed. He’d started to talk less about his ex and more about body parts and fantasies involving blood and a future that include her bearing his spawn.
Pillow talk for the sociopath.
Now his eyes glowed for another reason when he came to her, and if he knocked her out, she usually came around with him wrapped around her body.
Xhex turned to the door, and froze before taking another step.
Someone was downstairs.
Leaving the bathroom, she went to the door that led out into the hall and inhaled slow and deep. As the scent of sweaty road kill wafted into her sinuses, it was clear whatever was hoofing around down below was a lesser— but it wasn’t Lash.
Nope, this was his minion, who came every night before he arrived to make him something to eat. Which meant Lash was on the way to the brownstone.
Man, wasn’t it just her luck: She gets snatched by the only member of the Lessening Society who ate and fucked. The rest of them were impotent as a ninety year old and existed on an air diet, but Lash? Fucker was fully functional.
Going back over to the window, she put her hand out toward the glass. The boundary that marked her prison was an energy field that felt like a prickling heat as she came into contact with it. The damn thing was like an Invisi-fence for things bigger than dogs— with the added bene of no collar being required.
There was a little give in it... as she pressed forward, there was a hint of flexibility, but only up to a point. Then the molecules that were agitated pulled together and the burning sensation got so acute she had to shake her hand out and walk off the pain.
As she so often did, in the time before Lash came back to her, her mind drifted to the male she tried never to think of.
Especially if Lash was around. It was unclear how much her captor could get into her head, but she didn’t want to take chances. If the bastard got an itch that that mute solider was her well-of-soul, as her people it, he would use that against her... and John.
An image of the male came to her mind, his blue eyes resonating in her mind so clearly, she could see the flecks of navy in them. God, those beautiful blue eyes.
She could remember when she first met him, back when he was a pretrans. He had looked at her with such awe and wonder, as if she were larger-than-life, a revelation. Of course, at that point, all she knew was that he was packing heat in ZeroSum, and as head of security for the club, she’d been hell bent on disarming him and throwing him out into the street. But then she’d learned the Blind King was his whard and that had changed everything.
Following the happy little newsflash about who he was rooming with, John was not just welcomed to be armed, he was a special guest along with his two boys. After that, he’d come in regularly and had always watched her, those blue eyes on her wherever she was. And then he’d transitioned. Holy hell, had he turned into a big one and abruptly that stare had something hot added to the gentle shyness.
It had taken a lot to kill that kindness. But true to her assassin’s nature, she’d managed to do the warmth in.
Focusing on the street below, she thought of that time they had been together at her basement place. After the sex, when he’d tried to kiss her, when his blue eyes had glowed with the trademark vulnerability and compassion and warmth she’d come to associate with him, she’d pulled away and shut him down.
It was a case of lost nerve. She just couldn’t handle the pressure of all that hearts-and-flowers stuff... or the responsibility that came with being around someone who felt like that about her... or the reality that she had the capacity to love him back.
The payback had been the death of that special look.
The solace she took was that among the males who were likely to try and come after her... Rehvenge, iAm and Trez, the Brotherhood... John Matthew was not on a crusade. If he was searching for her, it was because he had to as a solider, not because he was compelled to as part of a personal, suicide mission.
No, John Matthew wouldn’t be on the warpath because of how he felt about her.
And having already watched a male of worth destroy himself trying to rescue her, at least she didn’t have to do that again.
As the smell of fresh grilling steak permeated the brownstone, she shut off her thoughts and gathered her will around her like a suit of armor.
Her “lover” was coming home soon so she needed to batten down her mental hatches and get ready for tonight’s battle. Pervasive exhaustion dragged at her, but her will ushered that deadweight out on its ass. She needed to feed, even more than she needed a proper sleep, but neither of those were happening anytime soon.
It was a question of putting one foot in front of the other until something broke.
That and taking hunks of flesh out of the male who dared to hold her against her will.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I finished reading the book last night. I've read all her books and I love her writing. I'm going to say I struggled a bit with this book, especially when I hit Chapter Nine. For the first time I felt lost. It just didn't flow as smoothly as she normally does, however I can see why she introduced this character and wrapped it up nicely at the end. It reminds me of how JR Ward claimed to struggle with Vicious book, yet I felt she struggled with this one. I think she wanted to set up for the next book, which towards the end I appreciated all the revelations. JR Ward should've focused more on Darius/John and down play Qhuinn and Blay, although I do look forward to their story. Every time JR Ward wrote about SC (those of you who have read it know who I'm talking about) I found myself asking why? That entire segment throughout the book made me want skip the pages so I can get back to John's story. I'm going to say that you do have to read it because it's key to the end. Overall I LOVED the book and look forward to the next one. Note to the Author, please try not to focus on so many characters. This book could've been you're best one to date had you not added new characters into the mix. By far my favorite's are Zadist, Viscious and now John minus SC storyline.
I discovered the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by accident and haven't looked back since! There have been books in the series where I haven't enjoyed them as much as the last or the one after. Everyone has their favourite brothers, even though I love them all, I do have my favorites. And John Matthew is one of them, even though he's not technically a brother. Lover Mine picks up where Lover Avenged left us. Xhex is still being held captive by the Omega's darling prodigal, Lash, and John Matthew is determined to bring her home. The only trouble is, since discovering his true heritage; Lash has been working on a few new taught tricks from daddy dearest. Though John Matthew has never confessed his love for the half sympath Xhex, in his mind and in his heart she is his and even if she doesn't reciprocate those feelings. She will forever be his heart and soul. When Lover Mine arrived in my post box I was stunned to see it sat at over five hundred pages. My first thoughts were, despite my overwhelming excitement, was how is this story supposed to stretch over that many pages/chapters? No sooner was I in a couple of pages; I couldn't stop turning them and cursed the page numbers as they increased. Like in previous Novels, there was plenty going on that just John Matthew and Xhex's story. I don't want to go into too many details, as I don't want to give anything away. But there's enough going on between the main storyline that will keep you on the edge of your seat and turning pages all the way through. Those looking for a story heavily involving the other Brothers, as they have been in past novels will be disappointed. Though they're there, they're background players in this novel (don't worry Rhage and Vichious get their licks in at one another). I missed the normal interaction between the brothers mostly their usual banter. But we had plenty of time to observe the workings of the newest additions to the Brotherhood compound, Quinn and Blay. Final Thoughts. If you're a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series I really don't think you'll be disappointed. The Brotherhood is changing and expanding and looking back at the events of Dark Lover, they've come a long way. It's not until you look back at the past seven books that you realize the reality of the wealth of history and events that have taken place. Unlike the other Brothers, and Rehvenge, John Matthew is the only character we've seen through from start to finish. With the other Brother's, they've already been through their transitions prior to the start of the books and have only seen glimpses of their pasts. But with John Matthew we've been with him through every step of the way since his first appearance in Lover Eternal. It was nice to see John Matthew start to finally realize what was he was going through, in loosing Xhex, was none too dissimilar to what Torhment went through when he lost Wellsie. What John Matthew saw as selfish, and rejection from the one father figure he ever had, he came to realize was grief and anguish at loosing his shellan. The great thing about Ward is that she has a fantastic gift of building subplot without distracting or taking anything away from the main story. By the end of the book I was wrapped up by in all the subplot she's building under noses and groaned in disbelief when I finally realized they would not be resolved until the next book! I honestly, thoroughly enjoyed this book and think it makes an excellent
**Spoiler Alert** Many Spoilers** I never thought J R Ward could out do Z's book and often referred to it as her masterpiece. That being said, this book was amazing and rivals Lover Awakened as my absolute favorite. There were about 5 plots going on at once but all things were relevant. She pulled elements from Darius' past that ran parallel to John and Xhex's current story. We get to see Darius and a very young Tohr working together, attempting to rescue a kidnapped rape victim. We all know that John is Darius reincarnated. That is so key to Johns current relationship with Tohr. John has never forgiven Tohr for abandoning him after Welsie's death. In his struggle to find Xhex he begins to truely understand how a bonded male is affected by the loss of a mate. We also finally get a glimpse of what it means for a bonded male to lose it. Let's just say the brutality is a "OMG" moment. John has always been one of my favorites after having watched him transition and grow. When Xhex rejects him in Lover Avenged, John becomes a drunk and a wh**e due to unrequited love. He redeems his character in the book. He returns to the loving, caring, put everyone's needs above my own John. Xhex had always been too masculine for my taste but as she recovers from the brutal rapes Lash has subjected her to, we see a much softer side. The love between John and Xhex is strengthened by John's ability to empathize having been a rape victim also. There is a little more Lash than I would have liked but that's because he is so evil. Blay is in love with Quinn but we find that there is so much more. Quinn suffers from feeling abnormal after being raised like a leper without love. The Glymera has him so messed up in the head that he is willing to let true love pass him by and attempt to live a lie. He also feels that Blay is a man of worth, that he is unworthy of Blays love. The love between these two is tangible and very passionate. Their relationship is further complicated by Saxton's, Quinn's cousin, pursuit of Blay. Blay and Quinn's story is gonna smoke if it's half as hot as their brief encounter in Lover Mine. We are introduced to a few new characters. I am very excited about the possibility of Tohr getting a HEA with "No One". It is very obvious that he did care for her deeply in the past. That previous connection may be what is needed to help him find love again. The next book Lover Unleashed is due out in Spring of 2011 and will feature Payne and Manny. V has just discovered that he has a twin sister only to have her fall for the one man he was about to kill in a jealous rage in Lover Unbound. That story should be a wild ride and I can't wait for more of the Brothers. JR Ward does skip around between about 5 different stories in this book. 1. Darius and Tohr (in the past) 2. John and Xhex 3. Blay and Quinn 4. Payne on the other side, and 5. The Paranormal tv show, which is kinda distracting until you see that they all come together in the end. A large portion of the plot doesn't come togther until the last 25 pages but it's worth the wait.
I am a true fan of this series. I found it years ago when it just started. True to form this book was unpredictable, complicated and passionate. I could not put it down and was in love with the way that John Matthew stayed intuitive to Xhex and her needs. I was really upset with the way that things are going between Qhuinn and Blay. Their tit for tat seems to be a set up for them to get together and I really wanted to see Qhuinn with Payne. She seems hard yet still feminine enough for him. THe rest of the story was great. Great fights, great intimacy, great witty lines, and great tender moments. This book is great if you are a fan of the series or if you just need a good read on love and how it is "patient and kind, but does not brag or boast"
Reincarnated John Matthew had no idea what he was as he resided amongst purebred humans until the Black Dagger Brotherhood drafted him as a full blooded vampiric warrior protecting their species against the genocide slayers of the Lessening Society. However, he has handled every life grenade tossed at him until now. His personal adversary Lash abducted symphath vampire Xhex; sending John over the edge as she is his soul mate. He vows to kill Lash, rescue Xhex and plead with her to be with him for eternity. Currently an imprisoned embitter sex toy of the volatile Lash, Xhex distrusts males and more so love as she knows first hand it leads to horrific hurt. She has personal problems with her feelings for John because of her distrust of those feelings. However, Xhex knows deep in her heart he is coming for her and will lash out at anyone who tries to prevent him. The overarching war in Caldwell, New York continues though somewhat in the background as the focus is almost entirely on the triangle. Readers learn much about the backgrounds of Johan and especially that of Xhex. A strong entry that has been anticipated for awhile, J.R. Ward provides a powerful romantic urban fantasy that lives up to the Black Dagger brotherhood saga as the distrusting loving relationship between John and Xhex comes to a complicated and convoluted head with odious Lash as the catalyst coupling converter. Harriet Klausner
I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood and have fallen in love with all of them in one way or another, but this story sat in my heart like a stale piece of bread. I found myself more intrigued with Blay's small little story line than John and Xhex. I didn't feel the love between them at all, even though I've read about them throughout all the other books. I was absolutely bored by the romantic aspect of the storyline--there was none. We start off knowing they love each other, and I think that's why there was no thrill or romanticism in this book at all. I had to force myself to finish reading this book and that's not normal with this series. It was also dissapointing to see how little interaction there was between Xhex and Rhev, considering how close they're supposed to be. It's as if he didn't even exist in the story. Even at the end, when I expected him to be mentioned at a particular gathering (don't want to spoil anything), he wasn't. Trev and iAm were, but not Rhev. I expected more interraction between him and Xhex, yet they only had one--short--heart-to-heart and other than that, they never really spoke to each other. It was very strange to me. The other aspect of this story that bothered me was how soon after being raped over-and-over again by Lash that Xhex was ready to have sex with John. I couldn't read the sex parts between John and Xhex because it hurt so much to do so. I didn't find them romantic at all. I felt sore in places she was most likely sore in and it just wierded me out. It's sad to say, but this story was no where near how great the others in this series are. I feel like we were lead up for this great moment of "John's Story", and then terribely let down. Even the confrontation with Lash toward the end was a dissapointment. In the last book, the only brother able to go toe-to-toe with Lash was Rhage--the dragon. It didn't take that much in this book, it was actually a bit anti-climatic.
I have to say, I was really looking forward to this book. I actually enjoyed reading about John Matthew, his struggles, and triumph in all of the other books in the series. His book was probably the one that I was most looking forward to reading. And I was completely let down by the author. I felt that the book lacked everything from a decent plot to an acceptable dialog. It was by far the worst book in the series. But what upsets me most is that it SHOULD and COULD have been one of the BEST in the series. J.R. Ward created all of this build up and suspense by introducing John Matthew to us as just a little boy. We watched him grow up. And then she completely destroys my entire view of the character because of this poorly written book. It was as if she slapped everything together last minute and said "here you go!" If she wasn't planning on delivering, she shouldn't have set us up with high expectations...
I loved the other books in this series, but this one just didn't do it for me. The plot with its sub plots and side characters just made the story line heavy and at times very confusing. I wish she had weaved her sub plots together better.
2000+ reviews? This one won't get much attention, but I need to vent. This is my 8th Ward novel. From the first one, the frat boy language has scratched at me like a minor irritation, but I could drive around it and keep going with the story. In this 8th one, I can barely understand what the author is talking about. She uses phrases like, he went all Bon Jovi, or he Donald Trumped them, or he did the Crockett and Tubbs, and other such allusions-sometimes there are three on a single page. If you never watched the show or listened to the music, you lost the meaning. In way too many places in this book, I had no idea what was intended because I didn't understand the phrase she used. She also abbreviates words in the narrative, like sitch for situation or SOP (it took me a while, but I got Standard Operating Procedure)...finally. Just write out the word, for pity's sake. Oh, and my personal favorite is the use of the non-word conversating. This is a word that was made up by people too stupid to know the word is conversing. With all of the slang in the book, again, I had trouble understanding it. I'll say here, that I have a BA and an MA in English and Literature, so comprehension really shouldn't be an issue with me. It's like she is so busy trying to be cool, she doesn't worry about writing to be read. I love the world she creates, as I have bought 8 books. I love the BDB characters, even though in this book they are so poorly developed I get no sense of what they look like (Lash undergoes changes, but her descriptive powers sorely lack, so I was forced to create my own picture in my head and roll with it and what color is Xhex's hair? I don't know. Shouldn't I?) and developed no real affection for any of them in this book because Ward is too concerned with the pop cult (some from 30 years ago) references to even add decent descriptions. I am 100 pages from finishing the book and am struggling to get through it. I'm done after this one. Three stars for the story, as much as I am getting out of it, one star for the dreadful writing.
I wasn't sure I'd be interested in reading about John and Xhex, but JR Ward has given these characters a depth, background, and connection that kept me so glued to the pages, I barely functioned for the few days it took me to read it. I really liked this book! If you liked books 1, 3, and 7 (my favorites), you'll like this. (DON"T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK) Having said that, I could have done without some parts, eg the Rathboone stuff. It didn't add at all to the story. Instead I would have taken up pages with the characters we know and love instead. John is a character who has been connected to the lives of the women from the first three books. I find it incredibly odd that in HIS book, there's no exploration of his relationship to his "sister" (around whom he used to seize), no connection with Mary who used to be his only friend, and no tie to Bella who essentially saved his life. Yet he goes to his sister for shopping assistance all of a sudden? As much as I love the BDB books, I'm always saddened when the next book completely drops old beloved characters who have parts to play. It would be more believable if these characters who now live under the same roof, and have major connections, actually were shown to acknowledge each other. I'm sure Beth, Mary and Bella wouldn't have ignored this tortured soul living with them who they each care for. It wouldn't have taken alot to explore those connections a little. The traumas of John's life, while horrible for a human's time period, don't compare to those of other characters who are hundreds of years old. I don't think it would have taken away from his "tortured life" image to have also had some interaction with those females with whom he lives and has deep ties. It would have made more sense and been more believable. I did love the book though!
Ok, I love JR Ward's The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. So much so, that I have all her books. Therefore, I had patiently awaited this current addition to her series. Especially since John Matthew is such a special character. Unfortunately, I felt sorta let down. There was alot of background info re: Darius and Tohrment, and how their past intertwined with Xhex. The book also introduced Muhrder, though Ward had spoken about him briefly in the past books. Perhaps she plans on having him return and rejoining the brotherhood later in the future? Who knows? Normally, Ward's books are full of action with twist and turns that you wouldn't expect. Also, add steamy, erotic scenes which would make your toes curl. Sadly, though there where scenes that were action-filled and somewhat hot, it fails to compare to her previous efforts. I did appreciate that she was able to tie the whole thing together in the end and explain why she added background info on added characters in the story, but it was just--ok. My heart didn't twist, a tear didn't fall, and my wait for this book was a bit disappointing. I loved the drama and heartbreak John Matthew and Xhex shared in Lover Avenged. So naturally, I expected more from this book. I'm hoping that Ward's next installment has more drama, action, and steamy romance.
First I have to say that I was SO excited to read John's story as I have loved him from the very first mention of him in this series, and always wanted him to find his happily ever after. Although, since the first hint that it would be Xhex he would end up with, I've been on the fence. She just never seemed right for him and there was just something about her that I never liked. But this book did fix that. I still kinda feel like he should have ended up with someone sweet, maybe a Chosen, like Layla, but as I am not the author, I decided to let that go and just go with the flow of the story. Now that I've finished, I love Xhex and John together. They are exactly what the other needs in a partner. The book as a whole was amazing. In my opinion, J.R. NEVER disapoints! I do agree with some of the other reviewer's though, as far as the lack of the other brothers is concerned. There was not enough interaction with the whole gang like there usually is, and I missed that too. I'm glad we got more of Quinn and Blay though!! And I REALLY hope they are the focus of the next book, and that Blay dumps that looser Saxton and Quinn gets over his "gotta do the right thing" crap, and they end up together. Because if they don't, I think I might die and never read this series again. I'm not sure how I would feel about reading man on man sex scenes, but I also hope J.R. doesn't hold back either. Anyone uncomfortable with it can skip over them. Quinn and Blay are meant to be though and it better turn out that way!!! I'm also glad Payne was brought into the story more and obviously has a book in the future. Who will she end up with, I wonder?? Yes, the wasted chapters about the whole haunted house thing could have been skipped. All Ward needed to do was leave the part in the end where Xhex saw him on TV, and that was all the explination that we would have needed about that. She should have used those extra pages to go into more depth in the end. There sould have been more time spent on Xhex and her moms reunion and FAR more time spent on her and John's mating ritual, more detail. It seemed like the last chapter or 2 were rushed and ended too quickly. Other than that, I loved the book tons, as I always do any book from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series!! And I CANNOT wait for the next one!!!
I have read every brothers book. This one stunk. It was like the author took all the deleted scenes from other books and made it into one story. Or, this is a set up to introduce six new books. I found it extremely distracting to hop back and forth between John matthew and then Darius and then some goofy news reporter that had nothing to do with the original story. I was so disappointed because I really loved this series and was looking forward to this one. The story line about Dash???? No explanation why the Omega disowned his own son and all that rotting and flesh falling off yet he's going about his business and people don't notice he has no flesh...come on!! Hey, she's made a lot of money I guess she can take a vacation but I am going to be hesitant to read another. Too hodge podge and very little "romance". Take your chances with this one. I wish I could get my money back.
Okay, there's agony and drama and then there's ridiculous. Lover Mine is ridiculous. It's melodrama now. This was so disjointed, so crazy with all the 'stop before the big revelation of major stuff' endings to scenes. In the past I could overlook the faults because I was having so much fun, but now it's not fun - it's very hard work. What genre is this supposed to be? Whose story is this supposed to be? It's a mess. The mystery of the world they live in has been revealed to the point - and convoluted to the point - that it is no longer fun. There are all these strange dimensions, strange creatures, crazy rules, weird turnabouts that it's kind of silly. There's just too much going on. Then there's the over the top language JR Ward used. 'C**ks***ing tissue'?! 'Goddamned sheet'?! 'True'?! It used to sound sort of tough. Now there's so much of it it's obvious she's trying too hard! And if I read the term 'emotional grid' one more time I was going to scream! Don't get me wrong - I was a JR Ward fangirl like many others. I am a member of her crazy-scary messageboard, and I have at least one copy of every book. I'm aware many people think she's redeemed herself here, but I cannot agree with that. I never wanted to read issue-laden, mute John Matthew's story. Many series in many genres have a Mary Sue or Gary Stu who take over all the books. John Matthew is the Black Dagger Brotherhood's offending character. I don't care about an adolescent's evolution - hence reading the ADULT vampire series rather than sparkly fairy Twilight books. And superman Xhex never did anything for me. That said, I was willing to overlook it if this book was good. Instead I found so much pain and terror and grief and distress - just because the author could write it - that I couldn't find a way to connect with the characters. I see the beginning of the series as a separate entity to the other part. What happens now is comedic, in a sick, sad way. It's a pity it turned out like this.
The whole idea of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is great. I got into their lives. Knew they would kick butt when necessary. Even with all their failings there was no doubt they would destroy all that opposed them. At first the twists and turns in this book were put in the back burner of my mind, knowing they would be used for future references. However it became too much. The constant going back in time to tell about Darius and Tohrment, took too long. How could John go from redecorating with the lessers insides to allowing Xhex to go on a search mission with little protest? Especially one that Lash set up! There is just so much happening, so many characters I found annoying and didn't care about. I didn't want to care about them either!!! The disappointment I felt can't be put on paper. Too much build up and no payoff. The most depressing part was the fact that my fantasies about what would occur far exceeded the realities of this book.
The sexual cotence was sick. The in your face homosexuality turned my stomach. I have been a huge fan until this book. If I wanted to be exposed to that much deprivity I would watch pornography. Earlier book just hinted with I was ok with. This book went way too far and that kind of contents should have a warning of sort. This is her first book I didn't finish in a day. It took me two months. It was a struggle to finish it. I would have never bought this book even if I had all the others. I will never blindly purchase her books because she was a top 5 fav author. I always felt her books were kinda sick, but her ability to write, tell a story with amazing talent I was so drawn to her book. It didn't hurt she was from my hometown. My point is Mrs. Ward you have crossed a line. I am not the only person that feels this way. I won't be surprised if the next book is sicker than this one you will lose a lot of fans. Many of us are waiting for the next book to determine wether we will buy your books ever again.
I love this entire series and was so excited when this book finally came out, but when i started to read Lover Mine I found it really hard just to get to the end of it. The book didnt seem to go anywhere till halfway through. Xhex was a favorite character of mine throughout the books, but not in this one. Shes so girly and weak that I couldnt stand it. One of the sub-stories didnt need to be in there at all, it just didnt make any sense and I just ended up skimming over most of those parts. I would still recommend reading this book but only because it is in the series. I definetly will not be reading this one again.
I have really like this series but I have to say that this is definately not my favorite. I was so looking forward to it coming out. There were some really good story lines with the flashbacks but there were some really odd ones as well. I could have done without the whole ghosthunters storyline. There had to be a better vehicle to introduce us to Muhrder. I have to say I want to scream everytime JR uses the word sh!!!kickers. Although I do like her use of current events and pop culture. Why are there so many stories started and left hanging? Weird and unneccessary twists as well. Why throw Payne in and leave us hanging. Of course there will be more books to come and I am wondering whose story it will be this time. I am kind of hoping Payne's story is next. I like the idea of of seeing things from the female point of view.
I am not a diehard romance reader normally, I was referred to this series by a friend. I enjoyed the previous books and liked her characters. It's interesting to see their stories develope. It was refreshing to have a different turn on the vampire habits and society in Wards previous books. Now, to this book. The story line was incredibility weak and the plot was cliche. The book almost in the whole was all about sex and not much to do about the vampires and their struggles with the Lessors. As one other reviewer said, Ward did not give any kind of follow through with the characters. It needed more about the 'whys and wherefores' concerning the deities, the vampire characters, and their fight against the evil forces. I did not have any problem with her characters that some would consider less orthodox and did feel for their plight, but as with the rest of the book that situation was also a loose weave. Also, Ward is carrying the "cool rapper talk' so far that it makes the book just weird, her first books did not have the guys talking so hip hop. This book was so disappointing that I do not care to even read the next that may come out in this series unless Ward can get it together and get back to the quality of writing that she had in the beginning. I'm very sorry to say this is one of the worst books I've ever read.
I must say I enjoyed the book overall. There were some things that was trite and somewhat boring. And others had me asking why is this even in the book. The Paranormal Investigator portion i didn't care for too much, i thought it was really unneccesary. I love Qhuinn and I didn't see his and Blay's relationship ending like that. i know they are still friends, but DAMN! And i see where she's headed, I am not that big a fan of Layla that i want her and Qhuinn together. With one kiss she's ready to be his shellan, really!...really?. He was trying to help her, not bring all that to the party. The best was the story between JM & Xhex, is was worth the price of admission!
I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS BOOK FOR SOOO LONG! J.R. WARD IS SUCH AN AMAZING WRITER. JOHN MATTHEW THINKS HE HAS LOST XHEX AND IS GOING CRAZY TRYING TO FIND HER WHETHER SHE IS DEAD OR ALIVE. XHEX IS IMPRISONED WITH THE PSYCHO LASH AND CAN'T GET OUT...UNTIL THE BLOCKING AROUND HER PRISON WEAKENS ENOUGH FOR HER TO ESCAPE....WHEN SHE DOES...ITS A ROLLERCOASTER RIDE. I DON'T WANT TO GIVE AWAY ANY DETAILS IN CASE YOU HAVEN'T READ IT BUT IF YOU HAVE READ THE OTHER BOOKS (WHICH I HOPE YOU HAVE IF YOU ARE GOING TO READ THIS ONE):-)THEN YOU CAN IMAGINE WHAT I MEAN. SOME OF THE MOST AMAZING SECRETS FINALLY COME OUT AND YOU WILL NEVER IMAGINE WHO SHOWS UP IN THE END. AS I SAID...J.R. WARD KNOWS WHAT SHE IS DOING AND I CANNOT WAIT FOR THE NEXT BOOK! HAPPY READING!
So this book was totally worth the months of TORTURIOUS waiting, and it was AMAZING. Lover Mine is the story of John Mathew, a story that fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood have been waiting for since Lover Eternal (book #2). J.R. Ward did not disappoint fans with this story that proves to be action packed, complex, mysterious, and erotic as hell. Without hesitation I would recommend this book to other readers, and on several occasions already have. Readers unfamiliar with the BDB books will enjoy Lover Mine; however I would recommend starting with Dark Lover (book #1). As a result of the fact that the character John Mathew is introduced so early in the series, you will gain a greater appreciation of the struggles that he has been faced with and ultimately overcomes if you start at the beginning of his life story. All of BDB books are GREAT, and if you consider yourself a fan of the paranormal romance genre, they are a MUST!!!!! This series is one of the best I have ever read and I am already looking forward to the next BDB book, which can't get here soon enough!!!
This was a fantastic book again. J. R. is amazing in her writing efforts. She has six stories going on in this book and every one of them keeps you interested and turning the pages. I loved reading about John Matthews and Xhex, beautiful love between them. I am also very interested in seeing what happens between Quinn and Blay, but this story wasn't about the two of them so their story hasn't concluded yet. For those of you who were disappointed that we didn't get more about Quinn and Blay, just Wait. You know J.R. will not disappoint. Again, this was a fantastic book, wonderful love story, and some great drama. I LOVED IT.
I waited so long for this book to be released. I love the story between John and Xhex. I understand that it was John and Xhex's story and loved that she set up future books from this one. I did miss the interaction between the brothers, so much of their banter and humor was missing. The book was long and at the same time not long enough. I love JR's writing and her characters are so real to me and so many of her other readers. I just wish we didn't have to wait so long for the next story to come out. I have read and re-read all of the BDB series, you laugh, you cry, you become involved in their stories and can't wait to read more. Although so many questions were answered in this book, so many more questions were created. Great book as all of the series are, Zadist's story is still my favorite of the series but love them all. I will repeat, why do we have to wait so long for the stories to continue? Quin and Blay, Payne and Manny, No'One and Thor, the Scribe Virgin fading. I want more and although I liked her new series starting with "Covet", I just wish she wouldn't take time away from the BDB. I am selfish that way. Read the series, fantastic books, fantastic author.
J.R Ward has done it again.I loved Lover Mine!Im a BDB Fan and this was one of my favorite books. I cant wait to see what will happen with Payne and Manny in her upcoming novels!Let alone Qhuinn and Blay.I liked how Daruis was intertwined with John Matthew and how Xhex's pull to him made even more sense.This is a MUST read for all BDB fans!My only disapointment from the book is I would of liked to see the induction of John and the boys into the brotherhood as well as I missed the sence of humor from everyone in the house.Still a great read though.