Lover Reborn, by J.R. Ward

20 Apr

Format: Kindle Edition, 671 pages
Published: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group
Back cover blurb:
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?

My review:
I almost threw this on the floor when I had counted three mentions of the “peanut gallery” by the top of the third chapter. J.R. Ward needs some new stock phrases – that one’s getting really old.

The books itself was good, and I enjoyed it more than I expected to given my admiration of Wellsie. I’ve always liked Tohr and his growing relationship with No’One – later renamed Autumn – is engrossing and hot, but halfway through the book I realised I maybe didn’t like Tohr so much any more. He was doing things for all the wrong reasons, and I agreed with Lassiter that maybe he had been led astray by the angel. The “surprise” with her at the Fade ceremony wasn’t a surprise to me at all, as I had been saying in my mind for a long time “but she died…” I liked the ending, though, despite the lack of any obvious mating/bonding scent between them.

The Xhex/JM storyline was the least interesting for me. They’ve never been my favourite couple but I will admit to seeing a softer side of Xhex around her mother. That was nice.

This book did raise a lot of questions, though, which is why I have to take half a cupcake off. For a start, why doesn’t Phury have a better idea of where the Chosen are? He can’t just let them roam free around the countryside. I suggest a clocking-in system where they punch a card to let him know where they’re going. Layla has got to be one of the dimmest lightbulbs ever. I’m not sure whether I like her storyline but I can see how it will lead to a HEA for Qhuinn. Xcor will have to be redeemed in a MAJOR way somewhere along the line, though – I can’t see Tohr killing him now.

Another question: how does Wrath know when people enter the room and don’t say anything? Or know when his wife frowns in her sleep? Either these Brothers smell pretty bad or maybe it’s his bonding to Beth that makes him aware of her movements, but please Ms Ward, if he’s blind then he should be blind. Unable to see.

Tohr said bonded males sometimes cheated on their spouses – that struck me as completely against everything we’ve been told so far about the bonding process. It did make me wonder whether Tohr could bond to Autumn because his mother chose Wellsie for him in an arrangement made before she was even born. All the other Brothers chose their shellans of their own free will, and in the end that was how Tohr chose Autumn.

The timeline was hard to follow. It appeared to start straight after Lover Mine, but Manny was already working in the clinic so it was like the events of Lover Unleashed had been completely ignored. Payne was only mentioned in crowd scenes, which surprised me given No’One was meant to be serving her. They never even visited together once. In fact, I missed a lot of the other characters. Many were mentioned in passing or got one line, and that wasn’t enough for me.

Still, I’m looking forward to the next book, with Qhuinn and Blay’s story. I hope Ward does it justice.

My rating: 4.5/5 (It’s still the BDB!)
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Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

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