Thursday, January 22, 2015

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

Title:  Lover Awakened
Series:  Black Dagger Brotherhood #3
Author:  J.R. Ward
Published:  September 5/06 by Signet
Length:  434pgs
Format:  paperback
Genre:  paranormal romance
Shelf:  borrowed
Rating: ★★★★★+

Back Cover Blurb:

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
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…

My Review:

Ward immerses you in the action of her story from the first page. Action also takes many forms in this novel. Not only do we see the Brotherhood’s battles, I love this author’s writing style. The in-your-face, rough & real attitude of the characters really shines through, making you feel like you’re part of the story. Ward develops this world in a larger than life manner that makes it easy for readers to picture the multiple different aspects occurring at the same time.

Zsadist is a larger than life, scary MoFo, but I thoroughly enjoyed him. The in depth way that he is developed here (building on what we know from previous novels as well) puts everything in context. His strength and vulnerability are essential to who he is. The flashbacks into his past were heartbreaking but provided a great deal of context. Contrasted with Bella you have a heady mix. The manner in which they fight against yet understand one another is breathtaking.

I enjoyed getting to know the other characters’ stories and about their lives as well. This broad approach puts Zsadist’s story in context within the larger picture of the Brotherhood. I really enjoyed the look at the entire Brotherhood as a whole, even if my heart breaks for a couple of them. I also appreciated getting to know the lessers. By developing them as actual individuals rather than simply as the ‘others’ Ward provides a much deeper and more fulfilling set of opponents throughout the novel. She humanizes them in a manner where you don’t necessarily like them, but you do understand them.

This series is absolutely addictive! For me, this novel is the best of the series (so far, anyway). I highly recommend, and the rest of the series, to all those who enjoy a paranormal romance.

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