Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

Posted October 2, 2007 by Casee in Discussions, Reviews | 14 Comments

Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #5
Also in this series: Lover Avenged, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Shadows, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief, The Savior, Where Winter Finds You, The Sinner, Lover Unleashed, Lassiter
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: October 1, 2007
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 502
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: three-stars

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.

Black Dagger Brotherhood


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14 responses to “Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

  1. I have to get this series and see for myself If I like it or not. One of my good friends loved the whole series. Most reviews for it have been good. I think I’ll put at the top of my wishlist.

  2. I didn’t see the point of Manny either. I bet he’ll be matched with the mysterious Payne, who I’m glad is not Chex mix, btw.

  3. Anonymous

    Casee I can always depend on you to tell it like it is! You hit the nail on the head with your review as always! You rock!


  4. Well said!
    I am so pissed off about this book that you know what I plan to do?? I plan to buy the one that is hardcover, read it, then return it for a refund!
    So there!
    The moral police can kiss my cute ass.

    I loved your review. I feel the same way about everything.

  5. I could kiss you because if I wrote a review with spoilers this would be the review. We agree on almost every point. To me there was NO PURPOSE in having Jane die and become a freaking ghost!!!

  6. I don’t understand all the extra characters either. I mean, have them there, but not everyone needs a POV, let alone a book! I liked the secondary stories in this book more than I did in the previous (which isn’t actually saying much), but I agree that most of it didn’t belong in this particular book.

    And, yes! Most people are all about how heartbroken they are about Phury, but you’re the first reviewer who’s mentioned that Phury’s obsession with Bella is creepy. Totally agree.

    As for Jane, I wouldn’t have been totally happy if she’d remained a human with a human lifespan. But that’s what paranormal is about–give me a paranormal solution that works. And killing characters off isn’t the way to do it (unless they’re resurrected corporeally).

    I think the book reflects the struggle that JRW had in trying to understand V’s character. So maybe she should have written his book later (or not at all!) rather than rushing through it the way she seems to have. (Did anyone else notice that the last two chapters of the book weren’t even about V? Thank god for the epilogue.)

  7. I didn’t hate it as much as most people because I went into it with low expectations, and isn’t that just sad. Reading it a second time helped a bit too. I guess I’m not ready to give up yet, and how stupid am I? I want to see Tohr come back, and Wellsie, in some way, but now I’m dreading how it’ll happen.

    You make a lot of good points that I totally agree with. Jane as a ghost? Totally screwed up. There had to be a better way than killing her – that was way too predictable and annoying. Having Rhage go through her and having V see it? Totally creepy.

    And I didn’t like how easily V “got over” Butch. Yeah he finally admits he wanted to have sex with the guy, but now he’s conveniently in love with Jane and totally over Butch with barely a second though. After all that agonizing V did in Butch’s book, I hated the way this one was so easily “fixed”. Me thinks Ward caved to peer pressure in a big way.

    Like I said though, I’ll be back for more. That’s my addiction talkin’.

  8. Stacy I totally agree with you about low expectations helping. I gave this book a much better grade than I suspect I would’ve done if I hadn’t been a little spoiled. I also think that the fact that I wasn’t as bothered by the ghost thing as others is a sign that I’m caring less, which makes me sad.

    Not psyched for Phury though.

  9. LOL, your review must be the funniest! I laughed so much at the add – it was great LOL 🙂 Thank you so much for the spoilers 😀 I really don’t feel the need to read this book, but I wanted to know what happened 😉

    I hate it when an author starts adding so much characters so they can get a book… SK is the same. At one point, it just becomes way too crowded.

    ah well, too bad, because I know that even John Matthew won’t save this book for me…

  10. Crystal,

    Dark Lover was one of my favorite books of ’05. I was blown away when I read it.


    bet he’ll be matched with the mysterious Payne, who I’m glad is not Chex mix, btw.

    LMAO!! At this point Payne is as unnecessary to me as Manny.


    Glad you liked the review. Muah!


    Heee!! I might have to do the same thing. Good call. LOL


    I am so in agreement. When I read that part I was like “You did NOT just do that!”. It still disgusts me. Also, I’d just like to say for the record, the fact that JRW felt the need to explain turning Jane into an effing ghost speaks volumes about reader response.


    You are SO right. If V wasn’t “speaking” to her, so to speak, he should have been put off. I agree and disagree about the epilogue. Rhage getting stuck inside Jane had a huge YUCK factor for me. LOL


    I totally agree. Ward definitely caved to the peer pressure. She had built Butch and V’s relationship up over the course of five books. To say there were no sexual feelings there would have been a flat out lie, but to really get into an explination might have made people uncomfortable. *rolleyes*


    You are so right. There are way too many characters. Why do these authors feel the need to do that? I don’t get it…

  11. Rowena

    Oh Casee, your reviews do amuse me so…they’re always so thorough and enlightening, so THANKS for yet another great review…I know that Daphne went out and bought this book just so she can see how horrible it is for herself…I’m not very sad to inform you that I won’t be doing the same, I’m totally over this series…=)

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