Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #5
Also in this series: Lover Avenged, Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief
Publication Date: October 1, 2007
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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The ruthless and brilliant brother Vishous possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that does not include her...
I’ve been sitting on this review for a few days. Why? Because I’m still trying to process where it all went wrong. After finishing the book, I was sitting on my couch just thinking “Whaaaaa?”. I’m sure it was quite amusing for my husband when I started muttering to myself about the book and the series and wondering WTF happened.
Bottom line: I’m over the series. When I read Dark Lover, OMG, I was obsessed. I couldn’t wait until Lover Eternal. Then Lover Awakened. After that, my obsession level went way down. Lover Revealed ended my obsession all together, but V is one of the Brothers that I had been waiting for (Tohr is the other one). While I wasn’t expecting spectacular, I wasn’t expecting Jane to turn into a GHOST at the end of the book. A ghost, fcol. I don’t care what fancy-smancy words are used to make it sound less ghost-like. A ghost is a ghost. And Jane is a GHOST. *headdesk*
So the book went like this…
Early on, it’s revealed that the Scribe Virgin is V’s mother. Whoop-de-do. This really should have been more shocking to me than it was. Especially considering how clueless I usually am. Basically, good ‘ol Mom tells V that she’s waited the agreed upon 300 years that she gave him up to ask him to step up to be the Primale. What this means is that V will mate with about billion Chosen and have about a gazillion children who will in turn help fight the War. The War? What War? Ohhhhh, the War that the Brotherhood is fighting against the Lessers to prevent the total annihilation of the vampire species? I’d forgotten about that since the War has basically gone on the BDB back burner since Dark Lover. One of the foremost focuses of the series seems (to me) to have been forgotten. Not that I missed all the POV from the Lessers, but come on. It’s all about shock value now.
After being taken to the hospital, V’s life is saved by Dr. Jane Whitcomb. When his Brothers arrive to bust him out, they take Jane with them at V’s insistence. See, even though V hasn’t been having visions, he had one while at the hospital and he knew that he had to take Jane with him. Not to mention that he feels the mating urge when he looks at her. So off they go to the Brotherhood’s fortress, hostage in tow.
Jane soon realizes that her patient is not human. Though a part of her is horrified, the scientific part of her is fascinated and wants to study their genes. Yeah, Wrath was really down for that. Not. Anyway, V tells Jane that she will only be there until he’s fully healed. Then she’ll be able to go back to her life with no memories of her time with him. She’s not too happy about that.
Anyway…I’m just going to go straight to the things that I didn’t like b/c the plot is pretty much explained by the book description. V wants Jane. Jane wants V. V gave his word to the Scribe Virgin before meeting Jane, so he can’t break it. V must also let Jane go b/c she has a life in the human world.
Complaint #1: Way too much Phury. Way too much. I’ve never really been that intrigued by Phury. Now I’m even less so. Though he wasn’t as obviously tortured as Zsadist or V, he was tortured. He looked for his twin brother for hundreds of years before he found him. He cut off his own leg. He’s celibate. Before Z mated to Bella, he routinely beat Z up at his request. So the guy was tortured. Now he’s a junkie. He’s addicted to “red smoke”. He’s also found that he’s addicted to pain. Yup, addicted to pain, just like Z was. *rolleyes* How clichéd. He’s obsessed w/ Bella. Like stalker-like obsessed. It was freaking creepy. In Z’s book, it was kind of sadly sweet. In LU it was just icky. So now he’s the Primale. Since he failed to lose his virginity (not for lack of trying) in LU, he’ll now be able to lose it with a zillion Chosen women. Go Phury.
Complaint #2: Payne. W.T.F.????? I still need to go back and re-read that part. Seriously. What the f was up with that? So not only did the SV hide Payne from V’s dad, the Bloodletter, but she has her in suspended animation? Huh?
Why does Ward feel the need to make this series complicated? I’m a huge SK fan, but the Dark-Hunter world is waaaaay complex. I’m sure that throwing in all the Greek mythology doesn’t help matters. What is Ward’s reason? Again, shock value. Now we have another character that is going to get her own story. Because obviously there aren’t enough characters to write about.
All I’m waiting for now is for Ward to announce that Payne is Wellsie reincarnated. Btw, if that happens to be true just remember that Clueless Casee figured it out first. *snort*
Complaint #3: No Tohr. How effed up is that? John Matthew went through his transition. The fact that Tohr wasn’t there, even in a dream or some contrived thing like that, really annoyed me. Regarding Tohr, Ward needs to be careful that she doesn’t make her readers (*cough*me*cough*) lose interest in a character that was around for 2.5 books before he disappeared. Especially when she’s presumably planning to have him make a big and shockingly shocking comeback.
Complaint #4: Manny Manello, M.D. It was heavily eluded to that Manny is a Brother. Ooookay, then. At this point, the BDB just needs to take out an ad. Wanted: Fighting machine. Must be at least 6’7 and 300lbs. Males preferred, but females considered. Vampire or human ok. Fax resume and salary history to 555-555-5555 Attn: Fritz.
Now that I’ve gotten a few of the things I didn’t like out of the way, here’s something I really liked. Ward finally admitted that V had man-love for Butch. Even if it was done in a total contrived manner, whatev. I can see if a reader had never read a m/m or m/m/f book that this would be shocking or uncomfortable. To me, it wasn’t. I think that it was about freaking time that it was finally spelled out in black and white. V wanted to make luuuurve w/ Butch. He was jealous of Marissa. Of course all that went away quite nicely when V found Jane. So she didn’t make her readers too uncomfortable by making them accept the issue for a long period of time. I’m sure that V was pissed at Ward for not letting him have at least one real love scene with Butch. Actually, I think that’s why V never wants to talk to Ward when she visits the Brothers.
I also enjoyed the relationship between V and Jane. When V finally broke down and went back to return Jane’s memory, I was really curious to see how they were going to work out the small matter of Jane’s aging. I would have been perfect happy if the book ended with Jane living at the Pit, but not having any resolution to the aging issue. Why-oh-why did Ward have to go and make Jane a fucking GHOST? I’m still stuck on that and pretty disgusted, too. I think the ending was a total cop-out.
My final thoughts…the series originally started out with six Brothers. Wrath, Rhage, Zsadist, Vishous, Phury, and Tohrment. Now we have a whole slew of additional characters that are going to need their own books before Tohr speaks to Ward and gives her permission to write about him. If I seem bitter about that, well, I am bitter. Now we have Rehvenge, John Matthew/Tehrror, Payne, Xhex, Muhrder, Qhuinn, and Blaylock. Those are the the few that pop into my head. After Rehv’s book, when she introduces more of sympaths, there will probably be a bunch more. So why am I so bitter? Because, six books turned into ten. Now it’s open-ended. It’s also gone into hardcover way early. I definitely need to dust off my library card. There’s no way I’m buying these things in hardcover. Okay, okay. I probably will. Maybe.
So thank you, J.R. Ward. I am happy to say that I’m not eagerly awaiting Phury’s book.
Rating: 3 out of 5.