Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #10
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Genre: Adult, PNR
In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.Now back in the Brotherhood - and unrecognisable as the vampire leader he once was - Tohrment is physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair. When he begins to see his beloved in his dreams - trapped in a cold, isolating netherworld - Tohr turns to a self-serving fallen angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. When he's told he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed . . .Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King's throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past, and a very hot, passion-filled future . . . but can his heart let go and set all of them free?
Pardon my French, but, Fuuuuuuuuuuccckkk! I try to not curse in my reviews but that seriously was the only thing I could think or say after reading Lover Reborn. My brain is still reeling from all of the AWESOMENESS that was contained in J.R. Ward's latest Black Dagger Brotherhood novel and I'd like to apologize ahead of time if this review turns out to be one long rambling entry. Lover Reborn was one hell of an emotional ride and more than once it felt like Warden had my heart in her hands and squeezed whenever she needed me to feel the pain Tohrment was living through. I usually don't cry much when I read (mostly just tear up) but I had to make a few Kleenex pauses while reading. After feeling a little disappointment and underwhelmed with her last Black Dagger Brotherhood novel, Lover Unleashed, Ward has more than made up for it with Lover Reborn. The Warden is Back!
Lover Reborn is jam packed with action, romance, drama, and a few twists and turns that will blow you away. Aside from the main character, Ward brings back some old characters, introduces new ones and let's us get to know the Band of Bastards that was introduced in Lover Unleashed.
It'll be pretty hard for me to write this review without any spoilers so if you are planning on reading this book or behind in the series I suggest you don't read any further.
In Lover Reborn Tohr learns from fallen Angel, Lassiter, that his beloved shellan, Wellsie, and unborn child have not passed on to the Fade (heaven). They have been stuck in The In Between since their deaths and it's all up to Tohr to help them move on. Lassiter suggests that the only way for Tohr to help is to let go of Wellsie. Of course the thought of forgetting about Wellsie would be an impossible task. One thing we know about Ward's vampires is that when they are bonded they are bonded forever so I was a little hesitant about Tohr moving on and falling in love with another woman. I mean he was married and deeply in love and devoted to Wellsie for centuries. How does one move on from that? I almost felt like it was a little too soon for Tohr but Ward eased my trepidations by giving Tohr over a year to work through his grief, denial and loss. I was so happy his second HEA wasn't pasted together in a matter of days or weeks.
From the beginning of the series Tohr was the one brother who had his sh*t together. He thought with a clear head, followed proper order and regiment and was the one male in the group who was mated and settled down. Simply put he was living the white picket fence life that most people dream of except we wouldn't be a vampire or fighting Lessers on a nightly basis thing. So to see his world turned upside down and then have to go through the emotional roller coaster was not only draining for him but to me as well. I laughed, cried, got mad and cried some more with him.
Tohr and No'One/Autumn: Before I even starting this book I had a feeling that No'One might be Tohr's love interest. So when I started reading this and confirmed my suspicions I was a happy my little theory was correct. Their connection actually made sense because it completed a cycle that had begun back in the Old Country when Tohr and Darius had helped No'One (at that time her name was Rosalhynda) escape from the Sympath that had kidnapped and impregnated her.
It was a little hard to like No'One at the beginning. She was quite and submissive. But as the story progressed you learn a little more about her and why she's the way she is. Her patience definitely helped because even though she and Tohr eventually became intimate he'd made it clear that even though they were having sex and spending all their time together, he was still madly in love with Wellsie. I was a little blown away by that admission and it was really quite cruel of Tohr to be so forthright with her and I wanted to smack him with his own 500+ page book. But when I stepped back and try to look at it from his point of view, he was still at that time trying to preserve his love for Wellsie even though he was ultimately just hurting himself by denying his own true feelings about No'One. Now Tohr wasn't an asshole to No'One the whole time. He ends up giving No'One the name Autumn because he wanted her to know that she wasn't a nobody. It was such a sweet gesture and his reasoning for picking the name Autumn was quite touching.
But all is not lost with No'One. She does blossom and eventually finds her voice and makes Tohr realize that his feelings for her are genuine and he wasn't just using her to help Wellsie. I really liked the aspect that in order for Tohr to help Wellsie he had to help himself. Wellsie couldn't move on until Tohr was ready to move, let go and start living again. And isn't that what everyone wants for their loved ones to do after you've passed, to just keep living. It's such a profound lesson for Tohr to learn and understand. And going through that journey with Tohr, it also helped Autumn deal with her own past and letting go of all the things she'd been torturing herself after all those years.
As for the sexy times in the book….I had no idea Tohr could be such a good lover. It may have been due to the fact that he was the married guy in the group at the beginning but OH BOY. Taking Autumn in that pool was pretty hot. I don't think there was enough water in there to cool me off after that little rendezvous.
John Matthew and Xhex: This couples honeymoon phase sure was short lived. A few weeks after their mating ceremony John Matthew & Xhex have already hit a rough patch. Even though John Matthew had stated in Lover Mine that he was OK with Xhex fighting, when it came down to it the Brother could not handle it. Talk about throwing a tantrum but not just in front of Xhex but in front of the whole Brotherhood. And knowing the way Xhex is she wasn't having any of it. She eventually moves out of the Brotherhood compound and the newlyweds actually stay apart for most of the book. John Matthew and Xhex definitely had their own problems to work through and even though they were separated the love between these two did not change. I loved seeing the devotion John Matthew has for his shellan and it was so sad when he claimed that he did not want to end up like his father Tohr **Heart broke when he said that**
And I just have to say that Tohr and John Matthew grieving for Wellsie was so hard to read. They both grieved for her in their own way but through it all these two make the best father and son team. Tohr really took his adoptive father role seriously and the love and support John Matthew gave to Tohr made me love him even more.
Qhuinn, Blay and Layla: HOLY HELL! I think I aside from Tohr's book, Qhuinn and Blay's story is my next most anticipated book. The will they or won't they is KILLING me! But I'm happy to report that it'll gear towards the THEY WILL! Why do I say that? Because Qhuinn's last thought is "Our future has come." OH LAWDY! I really hope that the world doesn't end in 2012 because Qhuinn and Blay's book is coming in 2013.
Now as for Layla and Qhuinn, things have cooled between these two and I liked seeing them as just friends. Their relationship reminds me of my friendship with my gay friends. Just a close M/F friendship where you can be comfortable and honest without all the weirdness in between. But something happens with these two and had me yelling WHAAAAATTTT?! and it kinda left me speechless. I understand both of their decisions but still. Without spilling the beans I will say that Qhuinn had seen a vision and well we see when and how it happened. It will really make Qhuay's book a little cluster fuck because the way Lover Reborn ends with Layla and Qhuinn. I don't know how she's gonna have her HEA in her condition and why oh why did she have to fall for a Beast?
Xcor and his Band of Bastards (B.oB): Xcor. I didn't like you when you first showed up with your agenda to dethrone Wrath. But then you went and spared Payne's life so I liked you again. But then you came back with your Wrath must die shit and I hated you again. You just can't mess with my man Wrath. That's your one way ticket to my shit list. I understand that you're an awesome fighter but I just can't get behind someone who wants to harm Wrath. I just can't do it. Not gonna happen. Even if you give me that sad story of how your this really good guy behind your ugly face and tough exterior. Get rid of your evil agenda and I might even get behind you and your Chosen's possible romance.
Now as for the rest of your Band of Bastards there are a couple I wouldn't mind getting to know a little better. Specifically, Throe and Zypher. I have a feeling these two will be a lot of fun. We get a feeling that Throe really isn't a bastard. He's formidable and loyal. He seems more fitting to be with BDB instead of the B.o.B. Maybe later on he'll switch sides but we'll just have to wait. As for Zypher. He's like the Rhage of the group meaning he's quite the ladies man and I cannot wait till we get to know him a little better.
Lassiter: Can I just say how much I love this pop culture junkie? With all the heavy emotional drama going on in this book, having Lassiter around was a blessing. He was actually an integral part of Tohr's journey and Lassiter has a little journey of his own. Not only was he able to help Tohr but in the end helped Autumn deal with her own shaded past. And the ending was pretty EPIC. I didn't see it coming and neither did the all-knowing Angel. Just shows you how GENIUS J.R. Ward is. Freaking genius! After that epicness I knew that J.R. Ward had thoroughly mind fucked me.
Assail: Assail is a new character that we're introduced to in Lover Reborn. Although he's new to the readers it seemed liked all the vampires in Caldwell knew who he was. He reminded me a Rehvenge because, well, he's a drug dealer. I don't know what it is with J.R. Ward's drug dealers but they all seem so appealing. Assail lives a life of luxury and keeps his true business dealings under a heavy veil. I am really looking forward to more of Assail in the future and he's on Xcor's enemy list so he has no other choice than to side with my man Wrath. And what do you know, Rehv's also on that corner. A smart man would place his bet on the King and I think that's where Assail is heading because I don't want him to end up on my shit list.
Wrath: Ok, so Wrath's part in this book wasn't that huge but I just had to mention him because the man is the King and a favorite of mine. Now I won't say what happens to Wrath in this book but when it did and I wasn't sure what the outcome would be I was ready to hurl the book across the room if it went the wrong direction. Seriously, if Ward ever kills of my beloved King I swear I will stop reading this series. I mean this is your last living pure blood vampire. You gotta keep him longer or long enough for him and Beth to start poplin some baby bloodsuckers out of the oven. Speaking of Beth, the Queen was being her awesome self again. She's just so supportive of her man and ready to assist him when needed. I love her for loving her hellran so much.
The rest of the BDB: There really wasn't much going on with the rest of the original Brothers. I'm excited for all the new characters and story lines but a part of me is really sad that we're moving on. What I really loved about the first five books in the series was the camaraderie and interaction between the Brothers. I miss Wrath getting in everyones face. I miss all of Rhage's funny one liners or just reading about him chowing down or sucking on a lollipop. I miss V's snarky comments and True this and True that. I miss Butch just being his Boston cop self. I even miss Zsadist being dark, brooding and self loathing. There was a really nice and touching scene when each of the Brothers visited Tohr before Wellsie's Fade ceremony and each brought him a gift to show their support. It really showed the strong bond these men had and the undying loyalty they had for each other. Zsadist presenting Tohr with a Nalla's handprint had me crying like a little baby. Zsadist please marry me!
Other Stuff: I'm glad that we no longer have to suffer reading the Lessers POV. I really didn't want to read about how those effer's planned on destroying my BDB. What I do miss is seeing the Scribe Virgin. Being the Mother of the race, I liked reading about how she has her hand in everything that happens with our Brothers. I also miss reading about the drama she has with her kids. Maybe she can make a comeback and fix Jane. Enough with her being a ghost crap. Oh, Oh, Oh….where is Muhrder? I want to know where Xhex's ex went. J.R. Ward please bring him back! And Payne. I know she's fighting with the Brother's and I want to read about her out on the field. I felt like I was totally gipped with her book. I wanted to read about her being all Xena Warrior Princes out in the streets of Caldwell. Maybe she can come back and have a showdown with Xcor in the future. OH.OH.OH and one more thing. The needing. I won't tell you who but I love when someone goes into their needing. It makes all the vampires go sex crazy and I love it. It needs to happen more often. Ward needs to have a female go into needing in each book. I want those vampires to start making some more babies. Nalla needs a playmate around the house.
After 10 books (including BDB Guide) I'm as devoted to this group of vampire warriors as when I first finished reading , Dark Lover. Ward knows that she has a lot of dedicated fans and she did not disappoint. The new characters and possible story lines she's introduced have brought so many new possibilities for this series and I'm looking forward to countless books in the future. Bring on Team Qhuay, Muhrder, Assail and some of those warriors from the Band of Bastards.