Doing a reread of all of the books before the release of Lover Reborn. Will probably do short, concise reviews of each when I get the time (hopefully...moreDoing a reread of all of the books before the release of Lover Reborn. Will probably do short, concise reviews of each when I get the time (hopefully before the end of March).(less)
This one is very hard for me to rate and review. I absolutely love this series to pieces; however, for me, Lover Unleashed was tantamount to Lover Ens...moreThis one is very hard for me to rate and review. I absolutely love this series to pieces; however, for me, Lover Unleashed was tantamount to Lover Enshrined: way too many side stories, therefore way too many interruptions in the main storyline. Basically, in my opinion, Lover Unleashed is a complete 180 from the previous installment, Lover Mine. Before Lover Mine, there was a lot of build up in past installments as well as character development for John and Xhex's story. But with Lover Unleashed, there hasn't been. You only get to see Manny briefly in Lover Unbound, and we haven't seen much of Payne's character before now, either. I understand that Ward isn't always going to have the build up for her characters' relationships as there was with John and Xhex, but if she's not, then she should make more room for that particular story's main characters and actually give them time to connect in order for their relationship to be believable. Ward continues to dish out tomes (although Lover Unleashed is slightly smaller than it's two predecessors, Lover Avenged (527 pages) and Lover Mine (512 pages); it clocks in at 489 pages), but despite their size, the time spent with the actual main characters is slim. Especially in Lover Unleashed. A lot of people felt that Ward "brought back the romance" when she released Lover Mine, and I agree one hundred percent. But with Lover Unleashed, there's simply no time to get to know the main characters and develop an emotional connection with them. When Manny finally realizes he's fallen for Payne, it doesn't seem nearly as believable or emotional as with certain past installments. There's virtually no time for Manny and Payne to really connect and fall in love. I definitely think that Ward should have either added another hundred pages to this and dedicated all of them to Payne and Manny, or trimmed down the side stories in this in order to make room for their story.
Based upon what we do get to see of them, I actually liked Manny and Payne's character. They're not favorites, by far, but they aren't bad, either. As the reader, you feel sympathy for Payne because of all the terrible things she's been put through by her mother, and now having to deal with the possibility of never walking again (due to a fighting accident with Wrath), she's definitely been put through the wringer. At the start of Lover Unleashed, Manny's walking around with myriad memories missing (say that three times fast) from his head. I thought that Manny's reaction to finding out that Jane is actually alive and that vampires exist was maybe a little too easy and accepting. But I let that slide because I did like him. I liked the way he took care of Payne while she's immobile, and he has a sort of down-to-earth feel that makes him likable.
Fans of Vishous should really like this installment. This seemed almost like Lover Unbound, Part II. Vishous goes through a lot of I-can't-deal issues in this, and it leads to something that I think some people will really like, and some will probably even hate. (view spoiler)[I'm just not the sort of person who can understand the need for BDSM. It's not my thing and never will be. (hide spoiler)] I had heard rumors about what would happen with Vishous in this (involving other characters I won't mention for those that don't want to be spoiled), and, I have to say, Ward pleasantly surprised me with that particular storyline. I think she handled it perfectly, and it's one of the few things I liked about this installment. I never really felt that Vishous and Jane's story was very believable, but in this my feelings towards their relationship definitely changed for the better.
If you were hoping for some Qhuay action in this (like myself), or really any development with their story, I'm sorry to say that you'll be disappointed. Despite the fact that there's too many side stories in this, Ward doesn't do much with Qhuinn and Blay's story besides, perhaps, make it worse. (Chapter Forty-Eight: WTF? That better mean something other than what it seems.) I believe I read in an interview with her that things will get worse with Qhuinn and Blay before they get better, but, Qhuay fan that I am, I couldn't help but hope for a little something. :(
There's a new band of bastards (Ward's words, not mine) introduced to us in Lover Unleashed: Throe, Zypher, three cousins (no names are given for them), and Xcor, their leader. Now, Ward is portraying them as, well, not exactly evil, but definitely opposing to the Brotherhood. But I think they'll end up coming around to the good side for two reasons: 1. Ward is running out of characters to make books about, and she's recently said in interviews that she'll continue writing this series as long as the stories keep coming to her and she's alive and well. 2. Although they're supposedly bad, I noticed that Ward gives us little glimpses that seem to hint that maybe they aren't as they seem. (view spoiler)[Like how Xcor could never bring himself to rape a woman, and Throe seems to have some back history with a sister issue. (hide spoiler)] So I definitely see something changing with them. (view spoiler)[And, let me just say, chapter forty-three was completely redundant IMO. Ward could've easily done something different---like say they'd both screwed a woman and done her right---rather than dedicate an entire chapter to a threesome. (hide spoiler)]
FAVORITE QUOTES: "I have no words. Sixteen languages, but no words."
"Champagne makes me horny."
"What is your name?" she said. "You do not know that already, Chosen?" "I know not everything." "Aye." He put his hand on the rough banister. "Neither do I. Good day, Chosen."
So while Ward pleasantly surprised me in some areas and disappointed me in others, I'm still a devoted fan of this series and will definitely be reading it as long as Ward writes it. And I'm most certainly looking forward to her next novel, Envy, in her Fallen Angels series. It features Thomas "Veck" DelVecchio who makes an appearance in this book. He seems to have some daddy issues, so his story should be interesting.
Plus, *dances like a fool* Ward has recently announced that the next BDB book will be about Tohrment! I love him, and, if Ward gives him and his planned shellan (it's No'One, BTW) the proper amount of page time, it should be epic! Hopefully it'll bring back the feel that Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, and Lover Mine had. (IMO, as far as the romance goes, those have been the best of the series, thus far.) You can find the video where Ward announces that here, and you can find the book on Goodreads here.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
This truly saddens me. Each of the first four books in this series were astonishingly entertaining, and I had begun to wonder if Frost would ever deli...moreThis truly saddens me. Each of the first four books in this series were astonishingly entertaining, and I had begun to wonder if Frost would ever deliver a book without it being wrapped in perfect packaging and tied with a gorgeous bow. Unfortunately, that time has come. While I figured Frost would have to hit a plateau eventually, I had hopes that that time would never come. Looks like This Side of the Grave is it. After being so pleased by the first four installments in this series, it is clear why I'd have high expectations when starting the fifth installment. And while I did enjoy it, I don't think Frost came even close to her potential with this one.
The plot is an obvious direction that most fans of this series have probably thought of before. With two equally powerful species coexisting for millennia, they're bound to clash at some point, right? Cat's abnormalities just happen to be the catalyst that sets it off, making hers and Bones's attempt at some peace and quiet be shoved to the back burner once again. This idea of a species war could've been explosive and entertaining, but instead it mostly felt forced and anticlimactic. Something about the plot (specifically, its execution) just felt off to me. THANKFULLY, Cat and Bones's chemistry is still there, and there are plenty of erotic and emotional moments between them that help to revive the story.
Two words: Chapter. Twenty-One. If you're a fan of chapter thirty-two in One Foot in the Grave, you'll most likely enjoy chapter twenty-one in this. Think chapter thirty-two, only reversed, and with an extra splash of kink.
I enjoyed getting to see the couples from the spin-off series (Mencheres and Kira, Spade and Denise) in their wedded bliss. There is, as with all of Frost's novels, comedic relief. Bones wouldn't be Bones if he didn't make you crack up at least a few times. Although I did feel that there was far less of that in this installment than in the previous books.
(view spoiler)[I have to wonder if Ian will end up with Veritas, the Law Guardian who's as old as Mencheres. He makes a sexual comment about her towards the end, and while this is Ian we're talking about, it could happen. (hide spoiler)]
Honestly, I feel like crap for having said anything even remotely cross about this book. I feel like I'm kicking a favorite pet here. But I have to give credit where credit is due, and I don't feel that Frost deserves as much credit with this one as she did with her previous novels.
I'm crossing my fingers that One Grave at a Time will bring back the magic of the first four books in this series.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Scroll down for exciting news on the future of the BDB series, tidbits about the Fallen Angels series, and info on the next book. But be warned: there are spoilers if you've not finished reading Lover At Last.
>The next book is about Wrath and Beth and is titled The King; it will be about him having an heir.
>We will see more of Murdher in the future books, but something needs to happen with Xhex before Murdher will get his own book; more on that when the timing is right.
>Saxton – Big keep reading!
>About Rhage and Mary’s novella: Ward is about 146 pages in, now she only needs to finish it.
>The next Fallen Angels book is titled Possession and the cover was shown at the event. (I am guessing it will be only soon too, then?)
>Lassiter will get a book when he’s ready – he opens up a whole storyline and she’s not sure whether he’ll feature in BDB or Fallen Angels (she didn’t not say both ;) )
>What about movies? She’s focused on the books but said that could only happen with someone who could do the books justice.
>She doesn’t know how Layla’s pregnancy will go – another KEEP READING! However, she did say that Layla's pregnancy will take a long time since she is a pure bred, but Beth’s pregnancy may be more in line with humans since she is a half breed.
>Lash WILL be back, she just doesn’t know when.
>Is there a connection between Michael (Story of Son) and Murdher – answer “Duh!” but doesn’t know if it will be “seen” in a book.
>Sola isn’t related to Manny and Butch.
>How will it work with Qhuinn and Blay, Layla, Xcor and the baby – KEEEEEP REEEADING!!
>Did the Scribe Virgin create the Shadows – they are a subspecies that developed on their own.
>In regard to Assail – Warden thinks he’s awesome, she’s obsessed with him and his cousins are totally effin HOT!!
>There is a nexus with the Fallen Angels battle for good and the development of the BDB plotline – she thinks it could go either way but a crossover is logical.
>There wasn’t anything else (or anyone else) in the barrels with Luchas.
>Qhuinn and Luchas return to their parent’s house, Qhuinn sees Luchas as a victim and we’ll see more of Luchas in future books.
>Will we find out more about the glymera female who had an orgy with the Bastards – yes! She also hosted that dinner with Wrath . . . she is married to the really old guy.
>Why didn’t we get Ehric’s twin’s name – because she writes what she sees and doesn’t know it yet.
>Are Sissy and Jim going to fall in love – KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP REEEEEEEEEADING!!
>Will Nalla have a book so we can see Zsadist lose his sh!t? She doesn’t know yet.
>Will Xcor turn on the Bastards for Layla – KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP REEEEEEEEEEEADING!!!
>Will we find out about Butch and Manny’s father and if there are more kids – KEEEEEEEEEEEEEP REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEADING!!
>Layla is considered Fallen (Chosen, not angel ;) )
>Will Butch be in another book? Yes, and we’ll see some closure for him and José.
>Are they going to expand the rules for brotherhood inductions? Yes and Blay, Payne and Xhex could be inducted in future.
>Were there a lot of edits for the Blay and Qhuinn sex scenes? – There was nothing edited out.
>Payne can help heal the Brothers of injuries etc but she doesn’t know if Payne’s gift is with limits or has to be replenished but she WILL keep George alive (as in longer than reg dogs ;) )
>No definite plans for a second Insiders’ Guide buuuuuuuut maybe in the future.
>Will the Sribe Virgin be in The King? She doesn’t know but something will need to be done with her.
>Wrath still owes the Scribe Virgin that favor . . .
>There WILL be more about Jane and V – she’s also talking to her publisher about revisiting each couple in full book form. (HELL YES!!!)
>Do we know who Elan was talking to? ANSWER: Yes - SAXTON’S FATHER!!!!!
>Will any major character die? KEEEEEEEEEEEEP REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEADING!!!
>Both Blay and Qhuinn release bonding scents(!)
>Is Saxton working on the full blooded heir law? Not yet.
>Are Tohr and Xcor brothers? She's not saying a thing . . . (My guess is yes, and that will be Xcor's saving grace.)
>Will there be two males bonded to one female – again she ain’t talking.
>Are Throe’s family alive and in/be in the books? KEEEEEEEEEEEEEP REEEEEEEEEEEEEEADING!!!!
>Will Fritz get a story – she doesn’t think he can be developed into a story.
>Will Havers ever be redeemed and have a story? NO!!!
>Will Havers be in The King and deliver Wrath and Beth’s baby – KEEP READING (but over the WARDen’s dead body!!!)
>Is Sola human? 100%, absolutely human.
>Is Xhex living in the mansion with John Matthew? Yep, they have worked through their issues :D
>Will we see Layla’s baby soon? Yes.
>Do we know about the coffins in the garage? Not yet but she *thinks* it may come up in The King.
>Is Phury going to do better by the Chosen? KEEEEEEEEEEEEEP REEEEEEEEEEEEEADING!!
>Is Eddie coming back? We’ll see him buuuuuuuuuuut KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP REEEEADING!!!
>Phury’s future is tied up with the Scribe Virgin.
>Saxton will play a major part in an upcoming plot line.
>And, lastly, Qhuinn and Blay will be mated (as in, the whole ceremony with the carving of the names in each of their backs, true?). (Again, HELL YES!!!)(less)