Mel's Reviews > Lover Unleashed

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward
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's review
May 25, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: 2011, e-book
Read in April, 2011 , read count: 1

Lover Unleashed is the tenth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood universe and it’s about Payne and Manny finding love. To me, it’s also… a huge disappointment.
Why? Because I feel that the loyal fans got screwed over. The way Ward just blatantly rewrites history, disregards her own world's rules and has characters act completely out of character... It's insulting really!

I’ve been looking forward to this book like crazy. Eventhough I wasn’t interested in Payne and Manny’s story at all. In fact: I was fully expecting to hastily flip through the Payne/Manny bits, just to get to the good stuff: V’s downward spiral and the Qhuinn/Blay drama. At the end though: the love story between Payne and Manny was the best part of the book. And that’s saying something.

If this book emphasizes one thing, it is that Ward needs a new editor. Sure, the current one cries and raves about everything Ward says. But I thought an editor’s job was to actually, oh I don’t know… edit? Correct mistakes? Make sure the story flows well? Secure continuity in characters, actions and events? Check the time line?
Nope, no such thing. But hey: I bet she’s great at nodding her head.

Basically, Lover Unleashed is two big story lines and three mini story lines put together.
The two bigger story lines revolve around Payne & Manny and V, Jane & Butch. The three mini story lines are about Qhuinn & Blay, the Band of Bastards and about the next Fallen Angels book Jose de la Cruz and his new partner.

(Minor spoilers from here on:)

The good:
- Manny: before this story I was simply not invested enough to care about what happened to the guy. Over the course of this book, however, I grew to really like him. Ward described him as ‘a metrosexual motherfucker’ but he’s really a regular alpha guy who’s not afraid to let his lady have the limelight.
- The Band of Bastards: I loved the itty grittiness of them. Xcor is really intriguing, Zypher needs a long way to be redeemed (somehow that’s sexy) and Throe, what can I say: I wish my friend Tara hadn’t called dibbs cause I wants him!
- Butch: I just love Butch.

The bad:
- Vishous' downward spiral: spelled C-O-N-T-R-I-V-E-D to me. The angst was completely forged and supported only by out of character actions by both Jane and Vishous. Plus: the whole thing was based on a faulty premise: the mating ceremony between V an Jane supposedly not having taken place. Say what?!?
- The Butch story line: yes I love Butch, but I can’t get over the fact what a missed chance this was for Ward to write more about our favorite ex-human with his chipped tooth (which mysteriously turned into a capped tooth in this book…). In a story which features Vishous, Manny and Jose de la Cruz, you’d expect more about him! And I’m not even going to mention the missed opportunity concerning the V/Butch quality time. Such a waste…
- Payne: ‘the female warrior’. Right… Payne is what Xhex haters would want her to be: a tough chick disguised in a Chosen package. We are told she’s tough and she holds her ground. We just don’t really see it. Also: this Payne didn’t resemble the girl we met in Lover Avenged. She felt more like Marissa or Cormia. Only with dark hair.
-Layla: like Payne, there was a change of character in Layla. Ward decided to give her a backbone this book. It just doesn’t match her behavior from last books... or this book, really. I feel like it’s an attempt from Ward to make us like Layla. Mission failed on my account.
- Jane: okay now, I’ll admit; I’m not the biggest Jane fan. I have problems with her status as Super Shellan and I get annoyed by the way Ward just needs to drive the point home (again and again) about how smart Jane is. And well.. in this book we were told (again and again) how smart the super doc was. Too bad she didn’t actually show it in her behavior.
- the blending POVs: maybe it’s me, maybe it’s due to all the Wardisms, but all the inner POVs are starting to sound alike. Open up a random chapter and it’s almost impossible to differentiate who’s talking or thinking anymore.
- the ending: if felt rushed and unfinished. Twenty pages is too short to wrap up five story lines!

The ugly:
- No John Matthew. At all. I missed him.
- The Jose de la Cruz and Thomas DelVecchio story line: I found it really interesting… right up to the point where I realized it didn’t serve any purpose in expanding Butch’s or the Bastards’ story line. It’s just one big infomercial for the next Fallen Angels book.
- The castration of Xcor: here we have an intriguing, morally ambiguous hero with lots of potential. And Ward turns him into a sap near the end of the book. Why?!?
- The revelation of what Qhuinn saw on the door of the Fade: if this is going where I think it’s going, then I’m seriously considering a series boycott. One word: ridiculous.

The hysterical:
- The Wardisms: is it me or are they getting worse each book? The number one Wardism for this book has to be ‘going/getting vertical’. Another favorite word: ‘kibitzer’. There was also lots of extrapolation going on.
- Ehlena: she was the Super Extra. I think she was mentioned over forty times in the book. She didn’t utter one word though.
- Manny’s perpetual hard ons: We get it: he’s excited. But it got a bit silly towards the ending…

Now, I’ll be the last to say that the BDB series has always been perfect. It’s a bit over the top, sometimes silly, riddled with continuity mistakes. But until now Ward managed to compensate all this with great story telling, excitement and entertainment.
This time around I just didn't feel it. The main story line was okay, but the secondary story lines were either contrived (V/Jane/Butch), lacking of any substance (Qhuinn/Blay) or completely unnecessary (De La Cruz/Veck).
It’s still good for the genre, but it’s certainly my least favorite in the BDB series. A mere 2,5 stars.
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Reading Progress

03/31/2011 page 1
0.0% "Just started it." 4 comments
12.0% "She would have left his condo if she’d had a better idea of where to go, but even her brain, as sharp as it was, couldn’t seem to throw out another option—... Wait, what? Jane is smart? Really? Oh, I must have missed it the first 150 times it was mentioned..." 14 comments
17.0% "cocksucking king? Wrath, you want to tell us something?"
42.0% "After a moment, V stepped into the room and picked up a duffel bag that was empty of his gym clothes. “Here. You’re going to need this.” Yes yes yes yes!!!"
54.0% "“Love can conquer everything but reality. Which will win every stinking time.”"
55.0% "No no no no no!!!!"
87.0% "Chapter 48 sucks ass! I know. I'm sorry. Don't know how else to put it..."
97.0% "I'm saving the last bit for tomorrow. And not because I want to savor a good thing. My general opinion about the book in short: MEH." 8 comments
02/05/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 101-150 of 600) (600 new)

message 101: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel I'm hoping to start Regin's book tomorrow :)

message 102: by [deleted user] (new)

Mel wrote: "I'm hoping to start Regin's book tomorrow :)"

ME TOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been going nuts since I read the excerpt on her website!

message 103: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel I hope I like it more than Carrow's book... :S

message 104: by [deleted user] (new)

OH MY GOD! I LOVED her book too!!!!! I liked the last one almost as much, but I'm very curious as to how she's going to redeem Declan, that last book was pretty intense with the torture and stuff.

message 105: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel But the last one was Carrow's book.
I thought the whole 'but Carrow is hurting inside' was a little overdrawn. There were some really good parts (and Malkom had great dark hero portential) but in general I was slightly disappointed with the book. :(

I have high hopes for Regin though :)

message 106: by [deleted user] (new)

I thought the ending lacked 'pop' I guess the word was. It was this incredible build and then it dropped a bit, I had no idea she would be leading up right into Regin and THIS whole senario. I have started Dreams of a Dark Warrior on Chapter 7 and its back tracking to Regin's capture and I don't know if I can actually read it all over again.

They are bringing in more of Declan's inner monologue though, so its 'helping' I guess. I won't spoil it for you I'll keep my updates as slim as possible and just use colorful words if I'm frustrated LOL

message 107: by [deleted user] (new)

And before I meant Mari's book, I get the witches confused when I'm in the heat of excitement lol Mari's is my favorite in the series, though I do really like Sabine, there is just something about her, I've read her book twice because I just REALLY like HER as a character!

message 108: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Yeah I saw you already started. And added quotes too :)
Did you start at chapter 7 because you read the first bit from Cole's site?

I love love love Sabine. She's just such a snarky bitch and she has the greatest lines. I loved how she was with Puck and how she hates people wearing pastels. :)

message 109: by [deleted user] (new)

I sort of skimmed through the first 48 pages because thats what she had on her site, but basically like with ALL of Cole's books I'm reading it too damned fast. I'm slow because I keep having to break for laundry and room tidying LOL. I can't help but add quotes Regin is to clever for her own damned good!

Sabine is just beyond awesome! I want to be HER friend! I always tell people if I could be friends with ANYONE from the books I read it would be Sabine cause she's awesome, and they look at me funny cause most people I talk to my books about in public don't read PNR so I just shrug and change the subject lol!

message 110: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel LOL.

message 111: by [deleted user] (new)


message 112: by Shay (last edited Feb 15, 2011 04:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shay I just read the LUnl extract. I couldnt wait any longer.

And just so we're clear on that subject - it is totally your foult Mel. I was such a good little girle, waiting patiantly for the book to come out. And then came you.

message 113: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel That's me, Cohrrupter... ;)

message 114: by Shay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shay 02/16 Qhuinn: When he took his palms away, there was a slickness left behind, one that he refused to think too much about. “I’m in love,” he said hoarsely. “With someone else. That’s why.”


message 115: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel I know right? I hope it's not Qhuinn with stupid stupid stupid Layla. Like he was 'palming her sex' and she got really excited and he needs to tell her why he doesn't want to sleep with her. (Other than: "you're a stalkerific crazy bitch!")

More importantly: look at today's quote. According to Ward it's from Blay to Qhuinn!!!

Sense361 People be at ease. It's about the tears on her face!

Lauraadriana Mel wrote: "I know right? I hope it's not Qhuinn with stupid stupid stupid Layla. Like he was 'palming her sex' and she got really excited and he needs to tell her why he doesn't want to sleep with her. (Other..."

There shall be no 'palming of Layla's sex' by anyone named Blay or Qhuinn...EVER...I hate her skanky chosen ass!

message 118: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel High five LA!

Sense361, it's the word 'slickness'. Kinda implies something else. Also: if she's crying, he would be able to see it, unless he put his palms on her eyes. Which would be... weird...

message 119: by Sense361 (last edited Feb 21, 2011 05:36AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sense361 You are right! It can be that he palmed her breasts and they were filled with milk, but that too sounds unreal. Or he pressed palms of his hands to his eyes.

message 120: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel LOL Sense, that's gross!

And it is possible they're his own tears. I hope he isn't talking to Layla. If so: this is a huge spoiler: Qhuinn opening up to Layla.
Maybe Qhuinn is talking to some random goth chick (his other quote being: "Scanning the inside of the club, he put his fuck filter on and began weeding through the women and the men and the couples. There was one and only one reason he’d come here, and it was the same for the other Goths in the place. This was not for a relationship. This was not even for companionship. This was all about the in... and out... ") and he's telling her why he can't have sex with her?

Sense361 :) I know, I know... Sometimes my imagination runs wild, wilder then the authors;) There could be so many scenarious on this one, including alien invasion. (Just kidding)

message 122: by Shay (last edited Feb 21, 2011 06:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shay LOL Sense361. Alien invasion and vampires... Yeah, right. Like that make sense... (Lara Adrian's series, hint, hint)


Mel, Someone's dieing in Q's arms. that's the 'slickness' (blood?!) he dosnt wanna think about. someone dear to him. and that's when he understands he's in love with someone else (B???)

message 123: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Alien invasion! That's it! I bet it's alien slime on Qhuinn's hand. LOL.

message 124: by Mel (last edited Feb 21, 2011 08:02AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel LOL Shay, it's getting more and more unrealistic.... ;)

Lauraadriana Mel wrote: "LOL Shay, it's getting more and more unrealistic.... ;)"

Ummm...First of all I'm all for aliens as long as the UFOs are not in Layla's girlie bits...

Second as cheesy as they are...the alien vampires saved me from full blown DTs once I had run out of all BDB related writings :) don't knock the alien vampires may need them some day ;P

Keep theorizing ladies this is fun

message 126: by Tara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara Uhm, what are you all on? CLEARLY Super Mary was watching Nala for Z & Bella and her and Qhuinn were talking. She made Qhuinn help by changing Nala's diaper while she prepared Nala's dinner. While he was changing the gross diaper he accidentally put his hand in the baby poop and he was horse because after everything he's done, baby poop makes him want to barf. See? It's so logical, I don't know why I didn't realize it before.

Sense361 Love you girls! What a brilliant ideas!)

message 128: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel LOLOL Tara. I think that's it! :)

message 129: by Shay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shay @Lauraadriana I Know, Read and Love Lara Adrians series. I was just joking around...

@Tara LOL! so true... :)

message 130: by Rossy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rossy * Saxton will show just how much he loves both Qhuinn and Blay. (Raise your hands if you also think he's going to die.)


Mel i cannot tell you how badly i want Saxton to die. I know he's supposed to be good and whatever. I know it's not his fault that Qhuinn can be a stupid idiot, but i still dislike the dude with such strength that it shocks me. If he would willingly move out of the way, i wouldn't wish him dead but because of his actions it's all i want.

I was a total freaking mess after finally getting around to finishing Lover Mine. I'll be totally wiped after this one it seems.

message 131: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel LOL Rossy, tell us how you really feel! I hope this time you won't wait too long to read LUnl. We can share the Qhuay-drama together.

And and and, when are you going to read Special Forces? (Hi, I'm Mel and I push for a living.)

message 132: by Rossy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rossy This time i can't wait Mel. Once i got around to finishing Lover Mine i realize that i made the drama worse by waiting. I need to do it like a band-aid and just strip it off!LOL

You know i REALLY want to read SF, but i have to keep pushing it back. I just have to be in the right mood to read it because i can tell it'll be an emotional mess for me. I already have it on my ereader though just in case it pops out of nowhere.

message 133: by Mel (last edited Feb 24, 2011 12:24AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel You can never be in the right mood for SF. Unless you occasionally have moods that go together with a lack of eating and sleeping, constant stomach turning and hating real life. And be sure to tell me. You cannot go through this alone. There's a whole SF support group for you out there! :)

Yay, LUnl in about a month! I'm already dreading the time after, when we know it's still a YEAR before the next one comes out...

message 134: by Rossy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rossy So i basically have to put on some big girl panties and take the plunge....hmmm, maybe i'll do it when am free to drink to my hearts content and not have to worry about a hangover the next day.LOL

Well there will be a few other books from authors on my auto-buy list that are also releasing their latest on that month, so am not worrying too much. Although given my reading moods, i may not be in the right mood to read THOSE after am done with LUNL!

message 135: by Mel (last edited Feb 25, 2011 12:03AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Exactly.
Oh and indeed , I'm going to gave to try to read some fluff after LUnl. If it's really really good, I'll hate everything after it. So maybe best to read some mindless sappiness.
Then again: what if it's not good? *shudders*

message 136: by Tara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara Of course it's going to be good! Do you know why? One word: THROE! HA!

message 137: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel LOL! Of course, how could I forget?
Oh I'm so excited! If I get the book early again, I might have it in two weeks! :)

message 138: by Rossy (last edited Feb 25, 2011 11:19AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rossy I know i'll probably like it, just going to bitch about the drama a lot though.LOL

BTW Mel, where are the new quotes? I can't navigate the forum these days so please update!

message 139: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Ward posted the quotes on her FB page and it was just for 10 days, so there's noting to be updated unfortunately...
I think she'll post new quotes on her boards, like she used to the every year a month before release. But I can't look up any info on it cause her site seems to be down. I'll let you know though :)

message 140: by Rossy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Rossy Ah, thanks!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Well, where are they Mel?? I need the new quotes! LOL

message 142: by Tara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara Someone asked this earlier on the boards and apparently it looks like the fb quotes replaced the daily quote!

UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish Tara wrote: "Someone asked this earlier on the boards and apparently it looks like the fb quotes replaced the daily quote!"

I know! I just went to her boards and someone had asked that question.

That makes me sad. *sniff, sniff*

message 144: by Buggy (last edited Mar 01, 2011 07:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Buggy So she's not even using her own site anymore? That's terrible!

She created a lot of hard core fans over there by interacting with them, answering questions and having the brothers appear from time to time. Now it seems very bitter over there, wonder what the deal is?

I'm also a little hurt that she (or someone) didn't tell people there wouldn't be daily quotes in March, everyone was counting down the days.

message 145: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel I feel the same. She could have at least deny or confirm the rumors about the FB quotes replacing the daily doses. I asked a question about it on the site (I'm Mel, with the 'V for Vishous' siggy and the David Gandy avi) but I got no reply. Even those moderators there (who love to talk an talk and talk) didn't reply.
I understand the bitterness on her boards. Wow: I actually feel sorry for the Cellies!

Laurielu Bona Fide Reflections The WARDen sure knows how to market her book, though. If you think about it, the mystery of the content of the book is a great way to get her readers excited about reading the book. Frustrating though it may be.

message 147: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Yep, she's a marketing genius. The Insider's Guide is a perfect example.

message 148: by Shay (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shay Daily quotes in FB, daily quotes on board,angry cellies, warden gone missing ... bla bla bla. you girls need to focus on the important stuff:

"The book will contain a threesome."


message 149: by Mel (last edited Mar 06, 2011 07:57AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Dirty girl.
But, actually: it's not the first threesome. I don't get the fuss. Remember JM and Qhuinn with that working girl from Zero Sum?

message 150: by Shay (last edited Mar 06, 2011 08:09AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shay I was just thinking about it! great minds etc... Anyway, i was thinking that we didnt get all the details in that scene, the issue was Xhex and JM, The threesome was just en excuse... it just didnt feel like a big deal to me, and a 3-ways can be a big deal when done right. True?

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