There are so many things to love about Lover Unleashed, the 9th installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I’ve come to expect truly great stories with complex characters and lots of emotion, and this book didn’t disappoint. In fact, it ranks right up there with my favorite book in the series, Lover Awakened.
What makes this so amazing, you ask? Well, important things were resolved, new things were revealed and with the laying of the foundation for future books complete, I can tell it’s going to be an exciting ride.
I loved the introduction of the new warriors from England, AKA the Band of Bastards, and how they each have not just different personalities, but totally different intensities. I can see such potential for them all, but I’m wondering about the three cousins. We were given the names Xcor, Throe and Zypher, but others were only referred to as the three cousins. Those are the things that make me go, hmmmmm…..
And the WARDen has such a way with words. There were many times I was laughing out loud and smiling. These are a couple of those times -
Undeterred by his lack of enthusiasm, she leaned forward, flashing him a set of breasts that didn't so much as defy gravity as flip it off, insult its mother, and piss on it's shoes.
Manuel bared his teeth as if he had fangs... and did not that just turn her on.
Overall, I loved this book. The WARDen truly outdid herself this time and addressed so many of the things we’ve all been speculating about for years. I love the answers we got, the new question to ponder and the addition of the Band of Bastards to obsess over! Fantastic job, WARDen!!!!!!
For those of you who have already read this book, here are some of my more specific thoughts. Beware, these are spoilers -
Manny and Payne - I’m so glad that Manny isn’t changing! It might come to pass in another book, but it wasn’t necessary in this one and so I’m glad the issue wasn’t forced. I’m also thrilled that he’ll be able to see his mother and move between worlds, rather than having to decide on one or the other. I think it kind of opens the door for more interaction with humans, and gives the Brotherhood another connection with the outside world.
Now, I’ve seen some criticism over Payne’s confrontation with Xcor. Some people think it was anticlimactic, but I’d have to disagree. I think that as readers of this series, we’ve become very used to the idea of a Brother coming to the rescue and saving the day and so when that doesn’t happen, or that kind of intense “rescue” doesn’t go down, it might seem rather “meh” to some readers. Personally, I thought that was handled very well! Payne showed what kind power she wields and got Xcor’s attention. That one scene gave him a lot of information in a short amount of time. I think it was done very well, indeed.
Butch and Vishous - I have to say that my respect and admiration for Butch went through the roof in this story. What a tough spot he was in when V needed his help. He knew exactly what V needed to go through, and knew how to do it. That’s more than just friendship there. I truly believe it was their destiny to know one another. Wow… that was an amazing scene and I’ll be honest, I’m glad there was nothing sexual about it, because had it become such, I just wouldn’t have been able to continue to respect or believe in Butch and Marissa’s and Vishous and Jane’s happily ever afters. Oh, and let me just say that I loved the way V and Jane reconnected in this story.
Qhuinn and Blay - While we didn’t get a lot of page time here, and virtually zero interaction between the two of them, I’m thrilled at what we did get. Qhuinn finally, finally gets it and is moving in the right direction. I know a lot of people want them doing the horizontal mambo right now, but Qhuinn has a lot to work out before he can tackle the kind of relationship Blay deserves. Poor guy – the number his family and society have done on his head… yeah, he’s got some things to work out, for sure. And wow! What about that vision he had of the little girl with the different colored eyes… I can’t wait for all that to play out!
I'm sorry that Qhuinn and Blay are going through so much pain right now, but I'm glad Blay has Saxton to lean on. I'm glad he's not pining away for Qhuinn, who has made it clear that a relationship for them is a no-go.
Layla - Wow… I’m so glad that she’s getting it together. She has such great potential as a female of worth and I loved her whole attitude in this book when talking to Qhuinn about her own feelings and how she felt about him being in love with Blay. In the past she’s come across as so needy and wimpy, and while I always knew the WARDen would show us a different side to her, I’m glad she began that process in this book! Go Layla!!
Testing the sexual waters - Well, I have to say that the threesome we knew to expect, while not with who we expected, was none-the-less quite a change from the level of sexual intensity and explicitness than we've gotten in previous books. And doesn't that just make me smile! I loved that part of the story and felt it was really well done. I can't help but think the WARDen is testing the sexuality waters for future books, and especially for Qhuinn and Blay. Two thumbs up!
And we've just learned that Tohr's book is next!