I'm more than a little embarassed to say that it took four whole 500+ page books of this series to get me to see them for what they really are. It was mr sweet, troubled loner (Zsadist) that screwed with my head and had me hoping this series would blow my mind in a similar way to the Fever series
(I know how surprised you must be seeing as I rarely mention Mac Lane, Barrons or Karen Marie Moning ¬_¬ ).
I'll just explain what I mean by the Zsadist thingy. So I read Dark Lover
and really liked it, the novel had all the necessary components of good urban fantasy and paranormal romance: strong heroine, hot supernatural guy (even if he was called Wrath and liked to wear biker leathers) and just generally dark paranormal mystery goodness. So, naturally, I then read Lover Eternal
and got a whole lot of the same... in exactly
the same way... with a guy (Rhage) who's character was nothing but a pretty, blond version of Wrath. But, hey, Ward is a good writer and the series is so popular that I was blinded into thinking that either a) Lover Eternal
is an excusable one-off, or b) The problem was my own for not 'getting' the awesomeness. And, of course, Ward held my attention with some slight hints at Zsadist's past. Now, this is what I mean about Zsadist screwing with my mind... he is the one character of the Brotherhood who is completely different, unique and interesting. I gave Lover Awakened
5 stars because of him and I rarely give 5 stars. I stand by it too, because I still think he is J.R.Ward's greatest achievement of this series.
So... my point? Zsadist threw me off-guard and gave me false hope, twice as much false hope as the unbelievably high ratings gave me. Books 1 + 2 = written well but practically the same plot, hot male, mystery story, etc, etc. Book 3 = blew my mind. Then *sigh* book 4 = written well but practically the same plot, hot male, mystery story, etc, etc. as the first two. Damn you, Ward, for making me read so far and keeping my hopes up. Damn you for managing to convince me that your novels were more than just carbon copies of one another (with the obvious exception of Lover Awakened
Why are all your characters and storylines just clones of one another? You are obviously a talented writer, surely you could come up with something better? And, even more troubling a question, why the hell does everyone rave so much about this series? Hasn't something like number 9 just been released, god I couldn't imagine reading another 5 versions of the same book. Is it just me? Is this another Lord of the Rings
scenario where I feel like I'm reading something different from everyone else? It's not as if I didn't want to like it, I really honestly did, but I couldn't - They. Are. All. The. Same.
I'll tell you what else seems to be the same: the romance story. All this stupid denial and obsession-at-first-sight (god, do I hate that!), why the hell can't two people actually build up a romance/love/relationship like they do in other books instead of having to take one look at each other and know it's meant to be - sorry, I'm not buying it.
I know I'm part of a ridculously small minority that doesn't like this series and I'm not blind to the many reasons why others might like it: hot men, smut, vamps in general... and so on. But I'm not taking it any further, I've had enough of this tiresome jumping from brother to brother and playing matchmaker, that isn't what I come to get out of urban fantasy. I'll leave my ratings for the others as they are because I can't be bothered editing the reviews to explain but I'm definitely done here.