maricar's Reviews > Lover Awakened

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
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even from the first installment, Dark Lover, Zsadist's character was shrouded in darkness and even a hint of menace. there were times that i thought to myself, how can the other brothers stand him? why is he even in the brotherhood? he's so dangerous, especially to the women (and not in a sexy-dangerous way, but in an assassin-lethal kind of way, mind).

then by the near-end of Lover Eternal, Z's persona comes into a new light. he was still dangerous and would punch anyone who pisses him off, but one will just have to see the chemistry between him and bella, and you can see how almost all that angst is directed against himself. you'd sense that he has a severe case of emotional trauma that is going to be heart-wrenching (once you read Lover Awakened).

his story opens with his maniacal search for bella after her capture by the lessers. bordering on desperate, he has no care for his safety (sometimes even for the safety of the brothers), his only goal was to find her. even in the first few pages of the book, you'd know how much he feels for Bella. for those keeping tabs on the black dagger series, you'd know that this is a turn-around for Z's character. Z - who was always coldly sinister, always in control in any situation no matter how dire, who even seems to not care about anyone at all, and is always the loner.

but in this book, Z goes through a whirlwind of emotions. his acquaintance with bella reinforces his low and even degrading view of himself. readers are given the full, heartbreaking story behind his scars and his perverse relationship with his twin, Phury. you'll come to realize why Z puts anyone who cares for him at bay, to the point that he lashes out at them. for him, his life is nothing more than an endless yawning darkness of loneliness, pain and bitterness. until bella.

with bella, he is forced to confront his demons again, for bella finds in him something and someone worth loving. she sees through the barrier that he puts up, and stubbornly hammers it down to make Z realize that, even if he was brutal and cruel, he has even greater capacity for honor and love.

i wont even comment on the sex scenes (yes they were steamy). all i can say is that, that level of passion is fitting for the aggressive character of Z. you cant expect anything less. but the real gem of the story is the emotions and (bear with me on this) the soul-searching Z went through to finally let himself love and be loved.

there were times i felt sad as well for Phury. almost the exact opposite of Z, he nonetheless has a lot of emotional baggage that he so valiantly strives to hide. i can't wait for his story!

in the mean time, Lover Awakened stands as my favorite from the black dagger series. keep it up ms ward!
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