Erica Chilson's Reviews > Lover Enshrined

Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
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Lover Enshrined

I know that most readers like this installment the least of the Brotherhood books. I do not have that opinion. It is one of my favorites. I found inspiration as I read this book. I was going through something similar in my life as I read this book and it helped me change my own life. J. R. Ward wrote the addict perfectly while she showcased the friends and families pain over the situation. Ward must have been directly effected by an addict in her life to portray the characters so appropriately. I felt Zsadist with every fiber of my being. I know exactly how every Brother felt over the lies and betrayals dealt out by Phury. I was once in their place. Many who haven't stood in my shoes call me selfish for leaving. The addict is always a proficient manipulator, liar, and actor. They hide even from the closest people in their lives. Mostly they lie to themselves. The only truth is that you can never help the addict, they MUST do it themselves. I bawled as Zsadist told his twin to leave, that his absence hurt less then watching Phury fall into his own destruction. I, too, couldn't watch the man I had hooked my star to commit slow suicide. Lover Enshrined was raw, gut wrenching, and accurate. No, it wasn't a love story, a romance. It was reality. It was a story of survival and change. And it was inspiring. The delicate balance as we see how an addict can hold just as much good within themselves as evil, and that good is what makes is so damned difficult to cut the addict out of your life. And the good is what makes the addict so redeemable if he could only conquer their demons.

With all that saying, I felt as if the relationship of our protagonists were shortchanged by the addiction. That, too, it true to life. The addiction will always be the focal point in any relationship. What I didn't like is that disconnection between Phury and Cormia. There was no true bond, they didn't relate to each other. Cormia grew throughout the book, just as Phury changed. But they never grew Together . Cormia never seemed to grasp the gravity of his addiction.

The journey as we experience the addict, who believes himself a victim, as he victimizes his loved ones, is incredible. The story from the paranormal point of view was sorely lacking and thin. I loved that we saw every point of view from the dealer, to the addict, the loved ones, the consequences, and the loss of trust and rebuilding of new trust. But this is paranormal romance and as such we needed some actual romance, a connection, a bond to feel completely satisfied.

This is still a five star book for me even with what it was lacking. The main premise of the book, the premise of the series, and the side cast of characters showcased created an exceptional book. If the romance angle would have been realized it would have been a phenomenal read.

This book is the true beginning of the next generation of the Brotherhood. The new recruits, J. M., Qhuinn, Blay, and Lash. I finally feel them, connect with them. I loved them before now, but now I truly know them. The connection between the three best friends and their nemesis is realized. Whether the males ever join the Brotherhood, they have forged an unbreakable bond that will last a lifetime, a true friendship. Lash as a character is annoyingly intriguing, the perfect counter balance to our trio.

The Chosen are creepy and needed changed. I am interested to see how that plays out. To me it was like a mass rape by a religious zealot towards his congregation. I couldn't see this as the vision of our Scribe Virgin. It just didn't hold true to her beliefs. I found it strange that she would suppress females when she too is a female. This is also the strongest indication of the Scribe Virgin's depression or failings as her race slowly races towards extinction thanks to her twin, The Omega.

Lover Enshrined also gives us a glimpse of Rehvenge's true nature before we read his book, Lover Avenged. I love Rehvenge as a character, completely intrigued!

And, finally, Tohrment! We find out what is going down with our lost Brother and he brings us a new character, Lassiter, the fallen Angel!

Quotes

“After a moment, Wrath turned to John. "This is Lassiter, the fallen angel. One of the last times he was here on earth, there was a plague in central Europe-"
"Okay, that was so not my fault-"
"-which wiped out two-thirds of the human population."
"I'd like to remind you that you don't like humans."
"They smell bad when they're dead."
"All you mortal types do.”

“In quick succession, Qhuinn reviewed his answers: No, of course not, the knife was acting of its own volition. I was actually trying to stop it...No, I only meant to give him a shave...No, I didn't realize that slicing open someone's jugular was going to lead to death.”

“It had been so good to see his enemy again. Positively heartwarming.
Hallmark really needed to start up a line of revenge cards, the kind that let you reach out to those you were going to come after with a vengeance."

“Before the man could answer V cursed "If I have to hear all that Keanu Reeves, Matrix, I am Neo' kind of shit my head's going to explode."
"Don't you mean Neon?" Butch shot back "Cause he reminds me of the Citgo sign."
Wrath's head turned "Shut the fuck up. All of you.”


Favorite scene #2!!

“If I could, I would.”
“Excuse me?”
Qhuinn pumped some suds into his palms and scrubbed all the
way up his forearms. Which was overkill, but if Blay wanted him
super clean, then that was what he was going to be. “If I could
love a guy like that, it would be you.”
“Yeah, on second thought, I’ll work on myself and to hell with
my back—”
“I’m serious.” He released the pedal to stop the water running, and shook his hands over the sink. “You think I haven’t thought about it? Being with you, that is. And not just for the sex shit.”
“You have?” Blay whispered above the dripping.
Qhuinn dried his hands on a stack of blue surgical towels to the left and took one with him as he went over to Blay. “Yeah, I have.
Hold this under the wounds, would you?”
Blay did as he was told, and Qhuinn squeezed some wash over
the gash on the guy’s sternum.
“I didn’t know— Mother fucker!”
“Stings, huh.” Qhuinn went around the table, to his buddy ’s
back. “I’m going to do this one now, and I think you’d better brace yourself. It’s even deeper.”
Qhuinn put another towel under the wound and hit it with shit
that smelled like Lysol. As Blay hissed, he winced. “It’ll be over in a second.”
“Bet you say that to all the—” Blay stopped right there.
“Nah. I don’t say that to anyone. They take me as I come. They
can’t handle it, it’s their problem.”
Picking up a sterile pack of gauze, Qhuinn tore the thing open
and pressed the white weave against the wound between Blay ’s
shoulder blades. “I’ve absolutely thought about us . . . but I see myself with a female long -term. I can’t explain it. It’s just the way it’s going to be.”
Blay’s rib cage expanded and compressed. “Maybe because
you don’t want another defect?”
Qhuinn frowned. “No.”
“You sure about that.”
“Look, if I cared what people thought, do you think I’d do what I do already?” He went around and blotted the slice on Blay’s
chest, then tended to the wound on his shoulder. “Besides, my
family’s dead. Who’ve I got to impress anymore?”
“Why were you so cruel?” Blay asked in a dignified voice.
“Back in the tunnel at my place.”
Qhuinn picked up a tube of neomycin and went around to his
buddy’s back again. “I was pretty sure I wasn’t coming back, and I didn’t want you ruining your life over me. Figured it was better for you to hate me than miss me.”
Blay laughed for real, and the sound was nice. “You are so
arrogant.”
“Duh. But it’s true, isn’t it.” Qhuinn smoothed the milky ointment onto the break in Blay’s skin. “You would have.”
As he came back around in front, Blay lifted his head and his
eyes. Their stares met, and Qhuinn reached out and put his palm on his friend’s cheek.
rubbing his thumb gently back and forth, he whispered, “I want
you with someone who’s going to be worthy of you.Treat you right. Be only with you. I’m not that guy. Even if I settled with a female . . . shit, I tell myself I could be with just her, but in my heart of hearts, I don’t really believe that.”
The yearning in the blue eyes staring up at him broke his heart. It totally did. And he couldn’t imagine what it was that Blay saw in him that made him so special.
“What is wrong with you,” he whispered, “that you care so much
about me?”
Blay’s sad smile added about a million years to his age, lining his face with the kind of knowledge that came only after life kicked you in the nuts a number of times. “What is wrong with you that you can’t see why I would?”
“We’re going to have to agree to disagree on that.”
“Promise me something?”
“Anything.”
“Leave me if you want, but don’t do it for my own good. I’m
not a child, and I don’t break easily, and what I feel is none of your goddamned business.”
“I thought I was doing the right thing.”
“You weren’t. So promise me?”
Qhuinn exhaled hard. “Fine, I promise. As long as you swear
you’ll look for someone real, okay?”
“You’re real to me.”
“Swear to it. Or I’m going to do that I-am-an-island bit again. I want you open to meeting someone you can really have.”
Blay’s hand crept up Qhuinn’s forearm and squeezed his wrist, the pact becoming solid on both sides. “Okay . . . all right. But it’s going to be a guy. I’ve tried females, and it just doesn’t feel right.”
“As long as you’re happy. Whatever makes you happy.”
As the tension eased between them, Qhuinn wrapped his arms
around his friend and held him close, trying to absorb the male ’s sadness, wishing there were another way for them.
“I suppose this is for the best,” Blay said into his shoulder. “You can’t cook.”
“See? I’m so not Prince Charming.”
Qhuinn could have sworn Blay whispered, “Yes, you are,” but he wasn’t sure.
They puled apart, looked into each other’s eyes . . . and something shifted. In the silence of the whole training center, in the vast privacy of the moment, something changed.
“Just once,” Blay said softly. “Do it just once. So I’ll know what it’s like.”
Qhuinn started to shake his head. “No . . . I don’t think—”
“Yes.”
After a moment, Qhuinn slid both his hands up Blay’s thick neck and captured the male’s sturdy jaw in his palms. “You sure?”
When Blay nodded, Qhuinn tilted his friend’s head back and to the side and held it in place as he slowly closed the distance. Just before their mouths touched, Blay’s eyelashes fluttered down and he trembled and—
Oh, it was sweet. Blay’s lips were incredibly sweet and soft.
The tongue probably wasn’t supposed to be part of it, but there was no helping that. Qhuinn licked inside and then sank deep as his arms slipped around Blay and held him hard. When he finally
lifted his head, the look in Blay ’s eyes said he would let anything happen between them. Let it all happen.
They could take this spark between them all the way home until
they were both naked and Qhuinn was doing what he did best to
his buddy.
But things would never be the same after that, and that was what stopped him, in spite of the fact that he suddenly wanted exactly what Blay did. “You’re too important to me,” he said roughly.
“You’re too good for the kind of sex I have.”
Blay’s eyes lingered on Qhuinn’s mouth. “At this moment, I
would so disagree with that.”
As Qhuinn let go of the guy and stepped back, he realized it was the first and only time he’d ever turned someone down. “No, I’m right. I’m so fucking right about this.”
Blay took a deep breath, then braced his arms against the gurney and seemed to try to collect himself. He laughed a little. “I can’t feel my feet or my hands.”
“I’d offer to rub them, but . . .”
Blay’s glance under his lashes was damned sexy. “You’d be
tempted to rub something else of mine?”
Qhuinn grinned. “Fucker.”
“Fine, fine. Be that way.” Blay reached over for the antiseptic, put some on his chest, then covered the wound with gauze, which he taped in place. “Will you take care of covering up the one in back?”
“Yeah.”
As he hit the raw patch with some gauze, Qhuinn imagined someone touching Blay ’s skin . . . running their hands over him, easing the kind of ache a male got between his thighs.
“One thing, though,” Qhuinn murmured.
“What?”
The voice that came out of his throat was unlike anything he ’d ever heard from himself before. “If any guy breaks your heart or treats you like shit, I will bust him apart with my bare hands and leave his broken, bloody body for the sun.”

Blay’s laughter rumbled around the tiled walls. “Of course you wil—”
“I’m dead fucking serious.”
Blay’s blue eyes shot over his shoulder.
“If there are any who dare to hurt you,” Qhuinn growled in the Old Language, “I shall see them staked afore me and shall leave their bodies in ruin.”

This review and others are posted on: vkwickedreads.wordpress.com




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