Mel's Reviews > Lover Unleashed

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward
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Apr 14, 11

bookshelves: 2011, e-book
Read in April, 2011

** spoiler alert ** 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.

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 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. And 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. Bad thing 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 Wardisms 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
04/06/2011
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
04/06/2011
17.0% "cocksucking king? Wrath, you want to tell us something?"
04/10/2011
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!!!"
04/10/2011
54.0% "“Love can conquer everything but reality. Which will win every stinking time.”"
04/10/2011
55.0% "No no no no no!!!!"
04/11/2011
87.0% "Chapter 48 sucks ass! I know. I'm sorry. Don't know how else to put it..."
04/11/2011
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

Comments (showing 251-300 of 595) (595 new)


UniquelyMoi ~ 1-Click RockChick I think it's necessary for Blay to have some experience, too, otherwise it could be said that he didn't really know what he wanted.


~~~Heather S.~~~ Mel- you still don't have this book?


message 253: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel No! I know: it's ridiculous. I got a mail from DarkHeart wondering what the hell happened. People are starting to make fun of me. I'm going to sue my ABC. Getting me used to luxury and then just taking it away from me like that!


~~~Heather S.~~~ How dare they, I need your teasers!


message 255: by Rossy (new) - added it

Rossy Mel wrote: "No! I know: it's ridiculous. I got a mail from DarkHeart wondering what the hell happened. People are starting to make fun of me. I'm going to sue my ABC. Getting me used to luxury and then just ta..."

LOL! Oh you poor thing. Only a few more days to go!


message 256: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Xcor is the Bloodletter's son! Whaaaaa!


Lauraadriana Mel wrote: "Xcor is the Bloodletter's son! Whaaaaa!"

Hey Melike...hands off my man!! :)


message 258: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel I'm just expressing my awe. You can have him. Although he sounds reeeeeaaaally interesting... I feel I'm going to be lusting after him. But no! He's yours.
I'll just have to satisfy myself with JM, V, Z and Phury. And being the meat in a Qhuay sandwich. *sigh*


Lauraadriana I can let you have him some times, if I can visit with Qhuay :) But my undying love still goes to Rhev and Xcor...I have a feeling that Xcor is gonna be even surlier than v...maybe was born into and was raised in The Camp...possibly taking over it after the Bloodletter died?? A more aggressive, wilder, darker version of V?, ...*whimpering*


message 260: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Oh my! You've got me whimpering too! :)


Lauraadriana Mel wrote: "Oh my! You've got me whimpering too! :)"

Yeah babby...*whimper whimper*


message 262: by Tania (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tania Mel you need to read this... I have a Layla rant bubbling inside me just waiting to get out....


message 263: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Oh oh oh oh. Oooooh I can't wait! Still no luck though. I am anxiously waiting for a notification from my book store... :(


Lauraadriana Ohhh Fuck NO!!! NOT LAYLA!


message 265: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel I've said it before and I'll say it again: LAYLA MUST DIE!


Lauraadriana That bitch needs to DIE...Why is she in this book...why??


message 267: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Because apparently, out of 40 Chosen, she's the only damn source of blood. Pooh. And because she's going to be Murhder's love interest. Or wait wait wait: what if Ward hooks her up with Xcor? How about that, missy?


Lauraadriana Mel wrote:Or wait wait wait: what if Ward hooks her up with Xcor? How a..."

That's just cruel Melike:(

With my luck that Crazy Bitch is gonna end up mated to Qhuay, Xcor AND Murhder...GAHH!!! I hate her.


MsMiz (Tina) Poor dear misunderstood Layla....just cuz she got her hooks into Q...really Q is just a stupid bitch at this point....yeah I just called Qhuay a stupid bitch, cuz he is acting like one.


Lauraadriana MsMiz (aka Tina) wrote: "Poor dear misunderstood Layla....just cuz she got her hooks into Q...really Q is just a stupid bitch at this point....yeah I just called Qhuay a stupid bitch, cuz he is acting like one."

Okay I need to read more, cuz I'm way behind...


MsMiz (Tina) Oh no....dude, I was talking big picture - I am not far into this book. Do not take my comment for something that I have read in this book. AND on top of that, I was joking - she annoys the living shit out of me;)


Lauraadriana MsMiz (aka Tina) wrote: "Oh no....dude, I was talking big picture - I am not far into this book. Do not take my comment for something that I have read in this book. AND on top of that, I was joking - she annoys the livin..."

Pheew!!! I was getting ready to sit my kind in front of Dora to get some reading time, and could catch up...well I may do that anyways since she's all excited now.

That's the right attitude Ms.Tina...when it comes to Layla...JUST SAY NO!


message 273: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Just say DIE!

Oh girls I'm so jealous. Mine hasn't arrived yet. I was hoping for a notification this afternoon, but nothing! :(


Lauraadriana Layla must Die!!
I have not even made a dent in mine Melike...went to dinner with friends...was an antisocial bitch the whole time (ie reading my kindle under the table :)) so they let me go home early...I'm about to get to it now.


message 275: by Mel (last edited Mar 29, 2011 10:18AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel LOL. Enjoy.
I'm going to have a hell of a time avoiding all spoilers in the BDB group...


Sense361 I read only 10% for now. Not impressed so far.


message 277: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Oh really? If it's possible without spoiling: why?


message 278: by Tara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara Mel wrote: "Oh girls I'm so jealous. Mine hasn't arrived yet. I was hoping for a notification this afternoon, but nothing! :("


Can't you try buying the ebook then? At least that way you'd have it and I think it's about the same price. You can get it from Books on Board.


message 279: by Rossy (new) - added it

Rossy Mine downloaded late last night but i have not read it yet. I'm kind of avoiding it.LOL


message 280: by Nisha (new) - added it

Nisha @Rossy - I know what you mean. I do that sometimes, with books I know will be good. I hesitate for some bizarre reason.


message 281: by Tara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara I'm sort of avoiding all BDB sites, because I really want to finish rereading Lover Unbound before I start this one.. Plus I want to save it until I can be a total lump and just read and enjoy, and I might be holding out a little for my reading buddy as well.


MsMiz (Tina) Tara - I could tell you all about if you would like;)


message 283: by Tara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara You could, but then I would have to kill you and I do so hate getting blood on my shoes.. ;)


MsMiz (Tina) Awww, that is so sweet and I would NEVER do that. I go to the grave with this unless someone asks or it is on an approved spoiler thread.


message 285: by Tara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara I know, but I really liked the blood on my shoes line. But once I read it, it's on, I'm sure I'll have some opinions. I downloaded it this morning and read the first page then decided I would wait and finish V's book. It seemed like it would be appropriate.

Something I noticed in Lover Unbound, which I don't know how it missed my attention the first 2 times I read the book, but I caught it this time and now I wonder if it's significant- but don't tell me if it is, I'll find out soon enough- When Cormia goes to read about V and The Bloodletter before the Primale ceremony, she mentions that not only is V's mother not listed, but the Bloodletter's father is listed either. Now my brain has conjured up a few really interesting theories as to why that is...


message 286: by Tara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara Oh and I think I know why the Bloodletter was killed- at least from the SV's side of things. Not really a spoiler but a wild theory- (view spoiler)


MsMiz (Tina) Huh - well....Just read.


message 288: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Oh oh oh oh oooh! I think I might just cave and buy the e version afterall. I'm going to buy the small paperback version later on anyway. But it'll be so weird reading the BDB from my phone....


message 289: by Tara (last edited Mar 30, 2011 12:26AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara What's going on? Why haven't you gotten your book yet?


message 290: by Tania (last edited Mar 30, 2011 12:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tania Mel wrote: "Oh oh oh oh oooh! I think I might just cave and buy the e version afterall. I'm going to buy the small paperback version later on anyway. But it'll be so weird reading the BDB from my phone...."

Do it - it's actually not that bad if you have a decent phone. I read mine partially on my iPhone (during a meeting a couldn't get out of - shhh) and partially on my iPad.

And, yes - I'll be buying the book as well. It's on of the few series I actually buy dtb's for these days.


message 291: by Tara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara That's why I bought it on ebook as well. I will eventually buy the paperback for my collection.


message 292: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel Tara wrote: "What's going on? Why haven't you gotten your book yet?"


No idea. I'm thinking of sueing them. Seriously: I always get them on time. Then with last Cole's book I got it a day before release and now they didn't even have it yet on the release date!
I checked it on books on board. They have epub and it's only 15 bucks (it would be 60 if I'd bought the hardcover). Maybe I should just do that. It'll be weird though...


message 293: by Tara (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tara I agree, but once I downloaded it, the first thing I did was search the document for Qhuinn's name to see how long before he came into the story. Then I went back to the first page and turned my reader off like a good girl.


UKSandy Mel, you haven't started yet?


message 295: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel No I don't have the book yet D. I am caving though, to just buy the e-version and cancel my hardcover order.
How far are you in it?
And Tara, how long did it take for Qhuinn's name to show up?


UKSandy Mel wrote: "No I don't have the book yet D. I am caving though, to just buy the e-version and cancel my hardcover order.
How far are you in it?
And Tara, how long did it take for Qhuinn's name to show up?"


Mel I'm at 90%.


message 297: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel How are you liking it?


UKSandy I'm absolutely loving it Mel :)

I sent you a PM.


message 299: by Mel (new) - rated it 2 stars

Mel No spoilers I hope? Otherwise I can't open it!


UKSandy No spoilers :)


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