Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

If you polled BDB readers about who their favorite brother was, odds are Zsadist would come out on top. You may be hard pressed to figure out why until you read Lover Awakened. Trust me, once you’ve read it, even if he isn’t your favorite, you will totally understand why he is chosen by so many.

Ward introduces us to Zsadist in Dark Lover in a very strong way. She lets you see exactly how unbalanced, feared and savage he can be. The only person who trusts him at all is his twin, Phury. In Lover Eternal we’re given a glimpse of Z’s vulnerability and Bella’s initial attraction to him. Lover Awakened brings Z’s story full circle and it is totally worth the wait.

In the first two books in this series Ward gives us a little bit of information on the background of Wrath and Rhage. Lover Awakened is the first book in the series that I feel really delves into the character’s background. Because Zsadist and Phury are so tied together you get to see their history from both of them. The background stories are painful, but they give you an important image of the characters. Their history is what makes them who they are now. Without these histories, you wouldn’t really know or appreciate where either Phury or Zsadist are coming from in this book. It was very well done and adds a lot to the feel of the book.

Zsadist is given almost a child-like quality in Lover Awakened. For all his strength and anger, he really is clueless when it comes to love. Not necessarily loving others but allowing himself to be loved or feeling like he deserved it. He doesn’t feel worthy and pushes everyone away. I think it’s all these qualities that make us all love him so much. Bella’s patience with Zsadist along with her determination and love for him make this one of the most touching books in the series. Hard to believe that this isn’t one of my favorite books in the series isn’t it? Imagine how someone who is totally devoted to Zsadist would review it? 😉

Lover Awakened not only deals with Zsadist and Bella, but true to Ward’s style with this series, several new characters are introduced and other characters’ POV are given. That’s what keeps this series so interesting. We learn a lot more about John Matthew, Butch is given some more time and some important key characters that will be featured in future books are finally introduced.

I think that I should stop before I give any more away. I’ll just leave you with a warning. As much as Lover Eternal was the first book in the series that broke my heart, parts of this book tore it apart. Expect more tears. There is a lot of pain in this one, but there is also a lot of love and there are even a few surprises. Hang in there, as usual, there is a balance and Ward makes it all worth it. Enjoy!

I’m not even sure how many times I’ve read this one, but when a book can make you feel as much as this one does no matter how many times you read it…. well, there you go. 

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4 comments on “Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

  1. I am most definitely on the Zsadist train. Like you mention, Z doesn’t feel like he deserves love because of his past and I think that women are drawn to the need to save and nurture him. The history with him and Phury KILLED me. ♥

    • I really do love Zsadist, I just have a hard time actually picking a favorite. This book did tear me up though, and those or us who have read it know exactly why. I do have to admit that when I re-read these books I pick and chose which history I read. I did skim over both Phury and Zsadist’s history this time, but it was hard. Important to read, but really hard to experience again.

  2. This one is perfect and my favorite brother too. I loved his relationhsip with Bella and the changes we see after her needing time are priceless.

    • I would never have imagined that I would end up loving Z as much as I did while I was reading Dark Lover. It really did take 3 books to give readers the whole ‘Z’ dynamic so you could appreciate the ‘before’ and ‘after.’ The same is true with Rhev. It took me a long time to really like him.
      One of the best and worst parts of this one was what was going on with everyone else. I still can believe, nor have I completely forgiven JR Ward for the event that happened in this book. *sigh*
      On the other side of the proverbial coin, the bromance between V and Butch is priceless. 😉

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