Retro Review: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

Posted March 8, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 16 Comments

Retro Review: Lover Enshrined by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #6
Also in this series: Lover Unleashed, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, The Chosen, Lover Mine
Published by Signet Eclipse
Publication Date: June 3, 2008
Pages: 534
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three-half-stars

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love....

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This review was originally posted on June 8, 2008.

Where to begin? This is going to be a review that is all over the place, b/c the book was all over the place. So I’ll try to dumb it down, more for my sake than yours.

With each BDB book, it is less about the couple in question and more about the Brotherhood and where it’s going. Lover Revealed was the platform for Lover Unbound. Lover Unbound was the platform for Lover Enshrined. Lover Enshrined was the platform for whatever JRW has planned next. That is really a shame b/c JRW can really write romance in a way that I certainly appreciate. So Lover Enshrined was less about Phury and Cormia and more about the direction that JRW is taking the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

There were way too many POV’s in this book. Coming from me, someone who loves different POV’s, that’s saying a lot. So I’m going to try to break the various characters and their situation down using one word and then a short description.

Phury/Cormia: yawn

While I’ve never professed to be a Phury fan, I’ve never disliked him either. Unfortunately, I wasn’t feeling the love between Phury and Cormia. Phury is nothing but a junkie. I felt no love for him. When all was said and done, I could have cared less about him or his addiction. Cormia, on the other hand, was surprisingly likable. At first I didn’t really care for her, but then I thought about exactly who she was and the world that she was now in. She grew the most out of all the characters. By the end of the book, I really admired her quiet strength. I had one huge peeve about Cormia. She didn’t refer to Phury as Phury until page 456. It was “Primale” this and “Primale” that. It really got annoying, even considering where Cormia came from.

John Matthew/Qhuinn/Blaylock: Amazing

These three are the reasons that I kept reading this book. You can tell that JRW has big plans for these three. Something happened between Lash/John Matthew/Qhiunn that I didn’t see coming (that’s not saying much). I really enjoyed the friendship between these three b/c you could tell it was genuine. There is nothing that they won’t do for each other. Nothing.

The brand name dropping/slang did get eye-rolling. Here’s one of my favorite passages. I could not stop laughing. This was when Qhuinn and Blay took John Matthew shopping.

John got jacked into some sweet ragged jeans, a bunch of those deconstructed button-downs, and a couple of tight muscle shirts, which even he had to admit showed off his guns and his pecs like they were worth seeing.

Yes, that amused me for a good long while.

Rehv/Xhex: Fascinating

This book was definitely a platform for Rehv’s book. JRW did a fantastic job of generating interest in the sympath’s, even more than she’s done in the past few books. There’s also a tiny peek into Rehv and Xhex’s past. Oh and does anyone know for sure if Xhex is John Matthew’s mate? Because I would be thrilled to see that. Finally a female character that is actually interesting.

The Lessers: Intriguing

Finally JRW has a direction for the Lessers. See, the Omega has a son. A son who is a vampire. I won’t spoil it, but it is revealed in the book. So while I wasn’t exactly thrilled with all the face time that the Lessers got, it wasn’t as yawn inducing as it has been in previous books. They finally have a purpose and a leader. A leader that can actually make trouble for Wrath as King as well as the BDB. It’ll be interesting to see where it goes.

So there are at least 9 different POV’s here. That’s why this book is so long. If it was whittled down to only Phury/Cormia, it maybe would have been 100 pages. Maybe. Oh, also, the friendship between John Matthew and Cormia was really sweet. I really enjoyed reading how John Matthew introduced Cormia to the wonders of technology and color. John Matthew is really going to be a special hero.

Oh and how could I forget??? TOHR IS BACK!! I know that wasn’t a big secret, but it was still a tad bit shocking. I’ve given up hoping that we’ll actually see his book within the next 10 years. I’m sure he has “a lot to do” before we’re able to get his book. I’m not bitter or anything, though. Wait, yes I am.

Other than that, I’m sure the die-hard JRW fans will love this book. As a paranormal romance, it really missed the mark. I’d say it’s more fantasy than anything else. Or maybe sci-fi? I can’t decide. I know that I will read the next book and probably the next one after that.

If I was only rating this book on romance, I’d have to give it a 2 out of 5. Everything combined, I give it:

3.75 out of 5.

Other books in the series:

Dark Lover Lover Eternal Lover Awakened Lover Revealed Lover Unbound

Read my review of Lover Unbound here.

three-half-stars


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16 responses to “Retro Review: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

  1. I still haven’t read Lover Unbound yet, let alone this one. I do own them both though! I guess I am out of the fan club by admitting that!

  2. “Yawn” is the key word when it comes to druggie and cormy.
    Xhex is JM’s mate, which I am not too keen on. I think JM and Layla would be an awesome couple! Xhex scares me, especially at the end where she… well you know. 😛
    And as for Rehv… I am so stuck on this barb of his and can’t wait to see how he use it in his book.

    Your chuckle over the guys showing off their guns makes me think of that scene in the movie Anchorman where Will Farrell is pretending to lift weights and to work out his “guns” LMAO

  3. I really liked how the review rated each “min” plotline. Thank you! If I focus on not reading this series for romance (anymore) I will surely check out Lover Enshrined.

  4. Great review, Casee. I agree with your *yawn* assessment of Phury & Cormia’s romance. And what a shame, because I also think Ward is more capable of writing romance than she is in these latest BDB installments.

    This series is now more like a paranormal family saga than anything else to me. And I know I won’t be able to keep myself from looking forward to future books… I just can’t stop.

    I agree with your take on John Matthew. Its sad that I was more interested in the sweet relationship that was developing between he and Cormia. They had more chemistry, even as friends, than Phury and Cormia had as lovers or mates. What a shame, indeed. And yes, Casee, Ward has confirmed that JM and Xhex will be mates. I just hope Ward doesn’t short change this couple, because the potential for something fantastic is there!

  5. Yikes! I botched that comment. Caused by kids interruptus…..

    Its sad that I was more interested in the sweet relationship that was developing between he and Cormia.

    What I meant was:

    Its sad that I was more interested in the sweet relationship that was developing between he and Cormia than I was in the the relationship between Phury and Cormia.

  6. Sayuri

    These books are my crack..what can I say? I don’t read them for the romance anymore because it just hasn’t been there in the last two books. but luckily the other stuff is enough to keep me going back. ALthough I think if JR f**cks up John Matthews HEA then I migh have to revisit that choice.

    At first I wasn’t too enamoured of Xhex and the pairing of her and JM but I have to admit she grew on me in this book. There is the potential for mucho hawtness there. Eek. I’m all a-shiver at the thought.

    As for Phury…what was all the crap about the ivy? I mean talk about heavy handed.

    But that’s the thing about crack, not matter how bad for you it is, you just can’t stop and I really do love this series. *sigh*

  7. Ok, I know you really want me to read this book, because I’m the most fun to discuss it with (tee hee) but I have no desire. None. Even the John Matthew angle fails to excite me.

    Sorry.

    I did snicker about you being bitter, though.

  8. Sayuri

    *in a Monica from Friends stylee* I KNOW!!! The wizard was beyond…actually I have no words. I think it would have been a much better book if all the Phury stuff had been taken out. What does that say?

    I’m thinking Rev’s book should have come first, then she could have drawn out the addiction thing for Phury got him really strung out, hitting rock bottom and then given him a happy ending.

    You can so tell JR is much more interested in writing about Rev JM Qhuinn and Blay. I mean I can feel the love in the air when any of these guys are mentioned.

  9. Can’t believe I haven’t purchased this yet. I’m getting realling excited to see if JRW can make me like JM and Xhex. I’ve been so hung up on the hermaphroditic thing.

  10. In her initial appearances in LR and I think LU, she was described as looking “hermaphroditic”. more than once. I remember the word specifically because I thought the author meant “androgynous” But hermaphroditic? I’m not quite ready for it yet.

  11. Sayuri

    JR has pulled that back a bit now and describes Xhex as not even having a man’s haircut anymore but an Annie Lennox one, but she still has ‘tight shoulders’. I’m not sure what that means.

    I have to admit that I found the two scences with John Matthew and Xhex hawt and the two further scenes with JM alone thinking of Xhex and Xhex alone thinking of JM…will sizzle me timbers!

    But I’m not getting too excited because no doubt thier book and romance will suck bigtime.

  12. Interesting. Now, an Annie Lennox haircut I could deal with.

    “Tight shoulders” makes me think of female competitive swimmers. Like rather wide, and you see the definition in the shoulders.

    I’m getting so curious. May have to hit B&N tomorrow

  13. See, that’s why I don’t visit the forums anymore. Waaaaaaaaaay to much info, imparted with full authority, that later is contradicted–in the books or in the boards themselves.

    If it ain’t in the books, I just don’t wanna know. *shrug*

  14. I love your review! It’s very close to my overall opinion of the book. That this was marketed as Phury and Cormia’s romance is a sham. The blurb doesn’t reflect a fifth of what the book actually is about. And while I love multiple storylines, I also thought there were too many POVs in this book, and not from the characters I’d have loved to. My main peeve is that we saw very little of the actual brotherhood. Without having tried to reach out to Phury, they kicked him out and washed their hands of him. No helping hand before that, no brotherhood camaraderie, nada. And I know Z has other concerns, but geez, he was a selfish jerk for a while and it made me think less of him – I’m sorry about that because he was one of my favorite. I liked John Matthew and al. The scene with Blay and Qhuinn in the PT suite…woaaah!

    I wasn’t interested in Rehv much before that book and that didn’t change at all after it, but to learn from the boards who his heroine was finally generated a spark of interest in me. So I guess I’ll be keeping reading after all. Still, this wasn’t up to the level JR gave us in the first 4 books, especially romance-wise and BDB-raltionships-wise.

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