Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

In Caldwell, New York, war rages between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now the cold heart of a cunning predator will be warmed against its will…

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father’s war camp he was tormented and abused. 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 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 cannot include her.

Oh Vishous. *sigh*

I’m not really sure where to begin. This book was one of my favorites. Not just because of Vishous and Mary, but because of all the other tangents that this one took off on. It’s hard to explain unless you’ve read it. Almost impossible to explain if you haven’t read any of the other books, but here goes nothing.

I think one of my favorite relationships in all of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books is the one between Vishous and Butch. They’ve had the best friend vibe ever since the two of them were introduced in Dark Lover. I love the way they interact, I love the bond that they have and I love the way that Vishous is tormented by his feelings and Butch just accepts them. It’s probably something that I should be totally weirded out by, but I never have. I guess, like Butch, I just accept it. As smart as Vishous is, Butch is sometimes smarter when it comes to feelings. Maybe that’s where the balance comes in. Whatever it is, it works for me and I hope it continues throughout the rest of the series.

Phury and his personal demons come front and center in Lover Unbound. That’s only fitting since the next book in the series is Phury’s Lover Enshrined. Phury is a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood who hides his demons well. You begin to see things start to unravel for him in Lover Unbound though. It’s a great glimpse into what’s to come in his book.

Lover Unbound also features more of the mystery of John Matthew. This is one character that is built upon a little more in each book. Be patient, even if you don’t understand what all the fuss is about. He is a character that deserves every bit of the build up he is given. Besides, what’s not to love about John Matthew? Quinn and Blay are characters that deserve the extra attention too. The more you read the BDB books, the more you realize that face time with characters isn’t something to be taken lightly. They will more than likely return.

One of the things that I found pleasantly missing from this book was the Lesser point of view. I always read them, unless I’m doing a reread, because they do give you some insight and important details. Vishous’ back story and history in Lover Unbound more than makes up for the lack of Lesser POV. It also gives you some important details into the history of some other characters. Some of these backgrounds are really hard to read because Ward doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the pain that these characters have endured in the past. They are important to read though because they give the reader some insight into how these brothers became who they are today.

This was the third time that I read Lover Unbound. I’m warning first time readers now that there will be tears. I got to a certain point and didn’t want to go on because I knew what was coming. The power of Ward’s writing is that no matter how many times I read it and how prepared I think I may be, certain scenes effect me the same way every time. That’s why I keep coming back for more.

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