Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. And if he can’t have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.
But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.
I’m not sure if I’m in the minority here or not, but Lover Revealed is one of my favorite BDB books. I’m not saying that Butch is my favorite character – I’ve said more than once that I can’t pick one, but there is just something about this one that draws me in. I don’t know if it’s because of how much Butch wants to belong, the connection between him and Vishous, his love and respect for all the brothers or his raw devotion to Marissa. I just know that my opinion about Lover Revealed doesn’t change no matter how many times I read it.
Butch doesn’t have as much back story as the vampires that he is surrounded by, but it doesn’t make what he has experienced any less painful. We saw how unconnected to anyone he was when Ward first introduced him in Dark Lover. He’s come a long way since then. In each book he’s come closer and and more trusted by the Brotherhood. He’s still on the fringes though and he’s also in love with someone who he feels is totally out of reach. Ward’s solution to Butch’s circumstance is brilliant.
Marissa may have been surrounded by family and aristocracy, but she is just as disconnected as Butch. They are perfect together. I love her devotion to Butch and his patience and tenderness with her. I love the way she learns to stand up for herself (even though she made me mad more than once) and watching her grow as an individual, not just a ‘token’ female.
The journey that all the characters take in Lover Revealed is sometimes painful to watch, but it builds to where it needs to go. Without the pain the good parts wouldn’t be nearly as good. The rewards in this one are almost worth the pain.
Butch, Vishous and Marissa are front and center in Lover Revealed, but other characters are also featured and we see sides of them that we haven’t seen before. John Matthew goes through a lot in this book and his story is far from over. We get to learn more about Rehvenge and Xhex is also introduced. I think the biggest surprise to some readers will be a glimpse into the softer side of Wrath. I’ve always liked Wrath, but Lover Revealed shows you just how compassionate a king he is and how devoted he is to those he considers his family.
Who was my favorite character in Lover Revealed? Even though I don’t have a favorite brother, Vishous was my favorite character in this book. He may be the most broken of all the brothers. He just does a great job of hiding it. His love for Butch is beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Butch’s love and devotion to him is almost equal to his love of Marissa. It’s just not something you see very often and having these strong men break down and show each other that raw emotion makes them more real. Ward does a great job of making these characters ‘human.’
Okay, I’ve gushed enough. The next book in the series is Lover Unbound. It’s another heartbreaker, but what book in this series isn’t? Ward rewards us for sticking with her through the heartbreak though. That’s what keeps us coming back for more. 😉