Amazon link- Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward
Normally I never curse in a review, but today I’m going to so I’m warning you now. This book pushed me over the edge- in good ways and bad, so an F bomb is appropriate at times. I’m also reviewing it spoiler free. My first spoiler-free review ever! See, there is a first time for everything.
Each year we anticipate the release of the new BDB book more than any other book release. Why? Because it’s the Black Dagger Brotherhood, bitch! that’s why. No other books (or males) compare to BDB….at least not for me…and I’m sure that I’m not alone on this one. We stop everything we’re doing for this book. We call out of work- sick if we have to, put off errands and housework, skip feeding the kids, whatever is necessary in order to read the newly released BDB book. Even if we have to stay up until nearly 3:00 am to finish the book and rise at 6:30am for work, then so be it. Yes, that is exactly what I did! Hell, we fans fly across the country to meet the author too!
Tohr’s book is probably the biggest most wanted book of the series. We met and followed Tohr since the beginning of the first book, Dark Lover. We went through the highs and lows with him. We watched him care for John Matthew as if John was his own blooded son. We ached and cried for him when his beloved Wellesandra was shot and killed, and even more so when we thought Tohr was lost to us forever.
There’s a lot riding on Tohr’s book for us hardcore Black Dagger Brotherhood fans. It’s almost as if we expect a certain standard from the WARDen now. She has captivated our hearts from the beginning with these spell binding stories she weaves. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, poof! it does….annnnnd sometimes it doesn’t. Everyone has his or her favorite and least favorite book of this series. We anticipate and expect so much from her now, especially when it came down to Lover Reborn. She needed to do Tohr’s story justice…and she did but she didn’t. I guess I have mixed feelings on it.
The first half of this book irritated me. A total let down and disappointment, really. I understand that Tohr needed to have a very long and emotional journey ahead of him, which is actually what I was looking forward to. But why the hell were there so many other stories in it? I was really starting to get pissed off. Honestly, did we need so much of John Matthew and Xhex? Or Xcor and his Band of Bastards? At one point I thought to myself, whose book am I reading? John Matthew’s book or Tohr’s? That’s how much there was of John Matthew and Xhex in this book. That goes for Xcor as well. I was skimming when it came to Xcor because I was getting so bored with him. Actually freaking skimming a brand new Black Dagger book! To top it off, it moved at a snail’s pace.
When we did have scenes with Tohr, I wanted to reach through the book and smack him upside the head for the way he was behaving. Granted, Tohr was mourning his mate so hard that he wasn’t able to see what was right in front of his eyes in order to save his Wellsie. He was an arrogant, rude bastard at times to No’One, but that was expected. He wasn’t giving himself fully to her and I wanted to scream at him and say, ‘WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE YOU MORON!’ To be honest, the frustration I experienced with his actions was enjoyable. If he was any different, then I probably would have been mad at that too. It gave a little more drama and realization to the story. I know, I know…I just contradicted myself a bit.
No’One. I liked her the moment I met her. I wanted her to have the happy ending I thought she deserved. She lived a very rough and difficult life because of the decisions she made in the past. Having a half-symphath daughter after being raped was not acceptable to her family. After trying to take her own life, she resigned herself to a desolate life and never, ever, craved the touch of another man again. She was happy with her new life for the most part until she moved to the Brotherhood’s mansion. Once there, she came back into the life of two people she thought she’d never see again. Her daughter, Xhexiana, and the man who saw her through her unwanted pregnancy, cared for her and then buried her 200 years ago, Tohr. It’s also where she was asked to help Tohr heal and let go of Wellsie so he can save her. Her unexpected path to recovery was not easy for her either, just like it wasn’t for Tohr. But she wasn’t concerned with her needs. She was solely focused on helping Tohr save Wellsie. She was doing whatever was necessary for him to the point when she began to slowly fall in love with him. She gave him her body and soul…and he stomped on it ruthlessly because he didn’t want to accept what needed to happen.
Just when I had had enough of Lover Reborn, even though I would have never given up on a BDB book no matter how mad I was, the WARDen took me by surprise and locked me in. OMFG! HOLY SHIT GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! did I not see that one coming…or that one coming either! The last 30-40% took me by such shock that it changed my whole opinion and rating of this book. I was ready to give this book a two, maybe three stars. But after what happens you’ll see why I changed my mind. THIS is the J.R. Ward whose writing I fell in love with. There were twists and turns at every corner. I was glued to the book at this point! I never expected so much to happen…it blew my mind. There was one part I would have loved to have details of….but I think that’s going to be saved for the next book…at least I hope will be! In which case I have to say to that I hope they’re hot and steamy scenes….even though they are friends.
Another part in the last 30-40% that had me so worked up, I wanted to get on the horn and yell, ‘FUCK YOU WARDen!’ over and over for what was happening to Tohr….again. It was 2:00 in the morning and I couldn’t call anyone to talk about it. I was so beside myself after reading it. My heart was breaking all over again for this male. It just wasn’t fair! I knew she was going to have an explanation for it and fix it, but I couldn’t see beyond that at that moment. I only saw Tohr and the pain in his eyes. Of course it was fixed, but man oh man I felt like I had Rhage’s beast on my back ready to come out when I read it! That’s what makes J.R. Ward such an incredible writer, my favorite writer.
I realized once I finished this book why the WARDen gave so much page time to the other characters. It makes sense now and it wouldn’t have been the same if she hadn’t. So I take back all I said and complained about. This book ended up being one of my absolute favorites of the series, after Lover Awakened, that is. That goes for the snail pace of the book as well. It truly could not have been done any other way. It was just perfect. ❤ I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the future with this series. Just when I thought I've read it all, BAM! Another surprise. I just know it's going to be great! I will be doing another reading of it asap. Gah, I loved this book so much!
Lassiter is my new favorite character. That guy was hysterical! Oh, and if you didn’t know, he’s hung like a horse. :p
After finishing this book, I walked away with some thoughts…not just for Tohr’s story, but for life itself: We take for granted what we have to grab at our fingertips, not understanding the value until it’s gone, possibly forever. Life is so short, yet so long. We need to appreciate what is right in front of our very eyes, for we never know when we may lose it.
“Now I know how they make shredded lettuce.” -Qhuinn
I’m an angel first and a sinner second, and I’m not here for long. I’ll never hurt you, but I’m prepared to make you pretty goddamn uncomfortable if I have to, to get my job done. I like sunsets and long walks on the beach, but m perfect female no longer exists. Oh, an my favorite hobby is annoying the shit out of people. Guess I’m just bred to want to get a rise out of folks- probably the whole resurrection thing.”- Lassiter
John’s head cranked over, and he started to mouth, I love her so much. I’d die if anything happened to h–
When he stopped short, Tohr took a deep breath through the pain in his chest. “I know. Trust me…I know.”
Read: Use that symphath side of yours, girlfriend.
Addictions and compulsions were nothing but marching bands of distraction, masking truths that were unpleasant, but ultimately undeniable.
Because there was a lesson in this Fade ceremony tonight: You could lose the ones you loved in the blink of an eye- and he was willing to bet, when it happened, you weren’t thinking about all the reasons that you were kept apart. You thought of all the reasons that kept you together.
And, no doubt, how you wished you’d had more time. Even if you’d had centuries….
When you were young, you thought time was a burden, something to be discharged as fast as possible so you could be grown-up. But it was such a bait-n-switch- when you were an adult, you came to realize that minutes and hours were the single most.
“And if that bastard’s innocent,” Rhage spoke up, “I’m the fucking Easter bunny.”
“Oh, good,” someone quipped. “I’m calling you Hop-along Hollywood from now on,”
“Beasty Bo Peep,” somebody else threw out.
“We could put you in a Cadbury ad and finally make some money–”
“People,” Rhage barked, “the point is that he is not innocent and I’m not the Easter bunny–”
“Where’s your basket?”
“Can I play with your eggs?”
“Hop it out, big guy–”
“Will you guys fuck off? Seriously!”
And he would have had to leave about the time No’One showed up anyways–
“Lassiter. I want to see the front of you.”
“That’s what all the girls say.”
“Do you expect me to roll you over? ‘Cuz I will.”
“Your mate’s not going to like this.”
“As if that’s going to bother you?”
“True. It actually makes it worth the effort.”
With a groan, he shoved his palms into the shimmering silver pool of blood beneath him, and flopped over like the side of beef he was.
“Wow,” she breathed.
“I know, right? Hung like a horse.”
“If you’re really nice–and you live through this–I’ll promise not to tell V.”
“About my size.” -Lassiter and Doc Jane
“I bought these for her back in nineteen sixty-four. From Van Cleef and Arpels? It was supposed to be for out anniversary party, but I don’t what the fuck I was thinking. Wellsie wasn’t a big fan of jewelry–she liked art more. She always said hat jewels were fussy. Anyway, you know, I saw these in a magazine at Darius’s–in a Town and Country. I thought they would go well with her red hair, and I wanted to do something over-the-top and romantic just to prove I could. She didn’t really care for them, but every year afterward, every single year without fail, she took the set out from the gun safe and out them on. And every year–every single year–I got to tell her that they didn’t hold a candle to how beautiful she was–” He stopped short. “I’m sorry, I’m totally rambling.”