(Note: Familiarity with the series up to this point is strongly recommended or else there are spoilers from previous books)
Book 10 of the beloved BDB(Note: Familiarity with the series up to this point is strongly recommended or else there are spoilers from previous books)
Book 10 of the beloved BDB series brought us Tohr’s bittersweet story of learning how to live and love after the tragic loss of his mate and unborn son. It wasn’t until the moment I finished the book did I realize how much I enjoyed it. It wasn’t perfect, but for me personally – because BDB fans tend to be quite opinionated – it satisfied all my requirements for a good Ward-style paranormal romance.
One of my biggest issues with the series, specifically the last few books, is that Ward was starting to overcomplicate things by having too many side stories thus taking away from main couple’s story. There was still a lot going on beyond the main couple in Lover Reborn, and some of it I’m a little iffy about, but I definitely feel that Ward gave Tohr and No’One the pages their story required and deserved (although maybe I would’ve added a touch more towards the end as it was a bit abrupt).
Any BDB fan knows that prior to this book, Tohr had been put through the ringer. From losing his best friend / father figure Darius in the first book, to the horrific loss of his pregnant mate Wellsie at the hands of the enemy, even seven books after the latter, Tohr’s an emotional mess and has clearly not moved on. While a lot of fans objected to Tohr being with anyone else other than Wellsie, personally I was in favour of Tohr getting an opportunity for a second chance at love and happiness. Ward, in my opinion, chose a very appropriate person for Tohr to be with in No’One, and also ensured that their journey to happiness would not be an easy one. Some of their scenes individually as well as together, were heart-wrenching. I was tearing up, getting aggravated, smiling, laughing, you name it; their story was a whirlwind of emotions. And I LOVED IT! And we can’t forget our third wheel Lassiter, the angel, and a character I’ve always really liked. We got a good chunk of him in this one, and although in the past he had spots that were pure comic relief, in this one he has an important role and is the one charged with putting Tohr in his place a few times – a well-deserved few times.
The side stories included JM and Xhex’s first stumbling blocks as a mated couple, as well as their individual efforts to reconnect with their respective estranged parents; JM with Tohr, and Xhex with No’One. If there was an appropriate book to include these scenes, it was this one.
The Band of Bastards also continued to be thorns in the Brotherhood’s side, and I have to say that I am still not sold on these guys. They have a significantly increased role in this one, and it is clear that there is more to come from them in future installments. At this point you’d assume that I’d be drawn in hook-line-and-sinker, but I still feel like I’m not convinced of their ultimate purpose just yet. I can still be swayed but so far, Xcor and co. were my least favourite part of the book.
One character that received a lot of “air” time was Layla. I’ve always liked Layla, but never loved her. I will say that Ward definitely bumped up her significance big time in the series, but how Ward is going about it has me on the fence once again. In an effort for this review to remain spoiler-free, I can’t really divulge anything, but I do think a good chunk of BDB fans aren’t going to be thrilled with where her storyline is going. I think at this point Ward has put her in VERY complicated and controversial situations, so I’m going to have to trust Ward to somehow pull that off. Honestly, I’m a touch skeptical.
We also had some good Qhuinn scenes, and I must admit that I MUCH preferred him in this one than Lover Unleashed. I was really annoyed with the Qhuinn (and Blay) in Unleashed and was honestly not looking forward to more of their pining and whining in Reborn. He wasn’t perfect, but Qhuinn finally showed us great growth in this one. He made a very “interesting” decision that I’m questioning, but it doesn’t bug me as much as it will other readers. This is another situation where I’m curious as to how Ward is going to pull it off.
A new character also entered the picture. This time around it was the mysterious Assail. I don’t want to reveal anything, but I definitely liked him and think there is great potential there. My only concern is if Ward gives him the Murhder treatment, i.e. introducing him in a book, get you intrigued and curious, and then you don’t hear squat from said new character in both of the next two books, argh! It’s very frustrating when you want to know more and have to wait a long time for it.
Overall, I loved the book and it’s pacing. It wasn’t rushed, and considering Tohr’s character and the inner turmoil he deals with (and No’One for that matter – she has her own share of issues), I would have hated this book if it had been condensed into the standard 2-4 week period we tend to see with Paranormal Romances. This story was spread over four seasons, or a year, and all considered, was one of the best choices Ward made for Lover Reborn. Another aspect I loved, as mentioned, was the emotion. There are scenes where I can’t even begin to describe how I felt when I read them. Someone who is grieving and struggling to continue living and move on after a tragedy is very delicate subject matter, but Ward really did it justice. I don’t cry or tear up often when I read books, but when I do it’s because the author succeeded at making ME care for the characters and the story.
Other than the side storylines, I think for someone to enjoy this particular BDB book, they have to be open to a character like Tohr finding love again with someone who is NOT Wellsie. I loved Wellsie when we she was alive and well in the series, but when she met her very unfortunate end, I wanted Tohr to take his time to mourn this great loss, but I also wanted him to eventually find happiness again. I’m glad he did, and I’m so glad it was with No’One. I hope other readers enjoyed this book as much as I did. ...more
This exceeded all my expectations!!!! The fact that this book jumps 20 years from the last book (#10, Chase's book) I did have some reservations aboutThis exceeded all my expectations!!!! The fact that this book jumps 20 years from the last book (#10, Chase's book) I did have some reservations about how this new story arc with tons of new/older characters would go.... Awesome!!!! I'm ready for #12 now!!!!!
My only issue is that the book is hardcover, cost me $30, but was less than 300 pages... It was a quick read and one that wouldv'e been perfect as a MMP... I'm only thankful the book was so good, but it still bugs me that the format switch was made with the series when it really wasn't necessary!...more
(Note: familiarity with the series and its characters is helpful with this review)
Finally… Paris gets his HEA!!!! Now the question is, was the book wo(Note: familiarity with the series and its characters is helpful with this review)
Finally… Paris gets his HEA!!!! Now the question is, was the book worth the wait???
Any fan of Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld knows that Paris has been somewhat painful in the past few books when he’s made cameo appearances – well at least to me he was. After Sienna’s introduction to the story, Paris understandably became dark, aggressive and violent, at times depressing, developed an addiction, and then became hell-bent on rescuing Sienna, the only woman who’d ever had the ability to “excite” him more than once but who also happened to be his enemy. And although at the time, I was unsure if Sienna was in fact going to be his HEA, when it did finally become apparent, as a reader, you knew that the road to happiness for Paris and Sienna wasn’t going to be an easy one.
We start the book with Paris still trying to locate Sienna. We know that she is now a non-physical entity (a.k.a a ghost Paris can’t actually see, hear, or feel) that also happens to be the new keeper of Wrath, and tied to Cronus. On his way to the Realm of Blood and Shadows where he knows she’s being kept, he secures a tag-along in William, and also meets Viola the minor goddess of the afterlife and keeper of narcissism who helps Paris out with the whole wanting to be able to see, hear, and feel Sienna thing. When Paris and Sienna finally do reunite, the chemistry and sexual tension is still there but there is a lot distrust between them as well. Both have been through so much, and since they never did get off on the right foot, there’s a lot of rebuilding to do. And between Sienna’s ties to Cronus including his specials plans for her, and Paris’ inner darkness and baggage, the odds are not in their favour and their relationship even without a proper foundation is already quite strained. The pace of their story was a little slow for me. It wasn’t until the last hundred pages of the longest book in the series, did I really enjoy the direction and flow of their story. I understand that these two characters have been through a lot, and are darker characters at this point in their fictional lives, but unfortunately I don’t believe it quite met my expectations, especially after the buildup for Paris’ book, and because of Strider’s book, one of my personal favourites in the series.
Like any well-seasoned series where you revisit old characters and meet new ones, Showalter made sure to include a few side stories, some of which were my favourite parts of the book which also gave it that extra oomph! There is always the potential to overcomplicate and take away from the main couple, but in this case, I felt it was well balanced and necessary.
Other than Paris and Sienna’s main story, there were also some chapters dedicated to the missing Kane since his book is up next. I got the impression that his book will probably introduce the next big story arc for the Lords. Viola, as mentioned before, was also introduced as a new character in the series and is like the annoying female version of William, or Anya times a thousand. I will say that she did have endearing moments, so I am willing to see how it goes with her. I did get the sense that Showalter was setting something up for her, especially with certain scenes that included a new and mysterious fallen angel. We also had the Galen and Legion’s side story, one of the most intriguing of the bunch. I was never a fan of Galen, but now colour-me intrigued, ‘cause I want to know what’s planned for the “evil” Galen, and the “broken” Legion. So many more questions than answers were raised about them in this book. Zacharel the angel was also a prominent secondary figure in the book. Since he’s the lead in Showalter’s next release as part of her newest spin-off series Angels of the Dark, he also peeked my interest as a reader. Beyond that, we did see most of the other Lords, William, the very pregnant Ashlyn, most of the other mates, a few other new characters, and of course Cronus and Rhea whose marriage is as dysfunctional and destructive as ever.
Overall, I did really enjoy it. It wasn’t my favourite of the series but it was still very good. That being said, while I enjoyed the Paris and Sienna storyline, it was the stuff going on around them that intrigued and interested me more. It had a few surprises that I didn’t mention but I’m sure the fans of the series will be happy about. Finally, this book effectively got me so excited for Showalter’s new Angel series and really curious about Kane’s collision with the four horseman of the apocalypse. 4 stars! ...more
The tales of Jane Jameson have always been a welcome escape from the darker paranormal books I read. And this one was no different. I had always thougThe tales of Jane Jameson have always been a welcome escape from the darker paranormal books I read. And this one was no different. I had always thought that the series was over after Nice Girls Live Forever was released, but I guess Harper just need a little break to focus on her Naked Werewolf series and to find the right story for Jane before jumping back in. Once again, I was giggling throughout. Harper has a gift for finding the most ridiculous scenarios for a character to go through and you just can’t help but laugh.
This time around, just as Gabriel finishes moving in to River Oaks, Jane finally accepts Gabriel’s marriage proposal. This book covers up until and just past the big day. While you’d think her biggest concern is the wedding planning, that stuff’s a breeze compared to some of the other obstacles she encounters. For one, she is forced to turn and take care of a seventeen year-old boy, one she used to babysit back in the day, when he gets hit by an errant car. Next her awful grandma Ruthie passes away and is now trying to haunt Jane out of River Oaks. And finally, someone is targeting Jane and Gabriel yet again, because it wouldn’t be a Jane Jameson book without some attempt on her undead life.
All the favourites are back including: Zeb and Jolene with the twins, Andrea and Dick, Aunt Jettie, Ophelia, as well as her parents and sister. Seeing Jane reconnect with her sister was especially nice, and the addition of Jamie, her new ward (see 17 yr-old boy who’s now a vamp) was quite entertaining. Dick is as funny and ridiculous as ever with his pg-rated black market ways – now that he’s with Andrea. Jane’s mom is still over-bearing but in the best of ways this time around. Overall, I just loved the supporting cast in this one. There wasn’t a single one that I didn’t like or find redeeming in some way. And to cap it off, we also got a small glimpse at the new female lead in the next Harper release, The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires, Iris the owner of Beeline daytime concierge services for vampires. In this book, Iris is Jane’s wedding planner extraordinaire, but shortly we will likely see her get tangled with a vamp in what will most likely be another hilarious tale of survival in Half-Moon Hollow.
When it comes to paranormal romantic comedies, Harper is one of the best. I read each and every one of her books with a giant smile on my face throughout. I always recommend her books, because when UF and ParaRoms get to be too dark and dramatic, this is such a welcome escape. And Harper, in my personal opinion, is consistently good. Some installments are better than others, but only marginally so. I usually need a little more depth to my characters and stories, so her books – this one included – won’t be cracking my top five anytime soon, but it is still a very good and enjoyable to read. ...more