Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother: A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either.
When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world. Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.
As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy.
Brace yourself. I think that this is the first Black Dagger Brotherhood book that I have read that I am not giving a 5 Star review to. Before we go there, it has nothing to do with how I liked the book. I actually liked it a lot more than I thought. The real issue is that I wanted more. Not that this book didn’t pack a lot into it, there was an awful lot going on. I just wanted more on everything that was there.
Lover Unleashed was Manny and Payne’s story, but as usual, theirs were not the only story told. Jane, V, Butch, Qhuinn and others all had voices in this one. Just a word of warning, as usual, V tore me up in this one. I didn’t think it was possible after Lover Unbound to feel anymore compassion toward the guy, but trust me. If you are a fan of V you are going to want to reach into this book and hug him, hard. You’re also going to want to share some of that love and compassion for Butch. Come to think of it, I’m not sure which one of these two deserves it more. I’ve always had a soft spot for Butch, Lover Unleashed just made it softer. *sigh*
I felt for Jane in Lover Unleashed as well, but most of the time, she just made me mad. I know that probably wasn’t fair, because the reader knows more than she does, but her reactions just drove me crazy in some cases. JR Ward has a habit of bringing out the ‘mom’ in me though. Sometimes I just want to grab some of these characters by the collar, lock them in a room together and give them a huge time out!
Speaking of which, there is no one in Lover Unleashed that I wanted to lock in a room together for enlightenment more than Qhuinn and Blay. They don’t even really communicate period in this book, but the turmoil that they put each other through is heart breaking. Besides that, I don’t have any real concrete reason to dislike Saxton, but I really do. There is just something about him that rubs me wrong. Maybe it’s just because he isn’t Qhuinn? Yeah, that might be it.
Lover Unleashed is another book that leaves out the Lesser POV. That’s okay though, because you get introduced to an even more interesting group of …. well, you’ll have to read Lover Unleashed to see what’s coming. These guys are going to play a huge role in the next BDB books, I’m sure. Ward also uses Lover Unleashed to introduce her feature character in Envy, which is part of her Fallen Angel series. I know some people weren’t happy about this introduction and I can respect that. I didn’t share their disappointment though. I’m a fan of both series, and I actually like it when the two ‘worlds’ interact in some way.
So what did I want more of? Actually, all of it. I wanted more of Payne and Manny, more of V, Jane and Butch with a little more Marissa thrown in and mostly I think I wanted more of Qhuinn and Blay with a little bit more from Blay’s POV. I still loved the book and I know that there is more in store for Manny, which is good. I was happy with the ending, but I know his story is far from over. If you haven’t read any of Ward’s Fallen Angel series, now would be a good time to start. You don’t need to read one series to appreciate the other, but it does make it more cohesive in the long run. What’s next for the Black Dagger Brotherhood? Unfortunately, fans of the BDB boys will have to wait until the end of March 2012 to find out. Lover Reborn will be Tohr’s book. Something tells me more tears will be involved. *sigh*