This is the ninth book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This series is absolutely mind-pleasing, action packed, and full of romance and love.
Book 9, “Lover Unleashed” is the story of Payne, the twin sister of V. Previously we learned that V and Payne are the children of The Bloodletter and The Virgin Scribe; V enduring a torturous childhood with The Bloodletter and Payne enduring a Chosen’s lifestyle with The Virgin Scribe, eventually being locked away from the world because The Virgin Scribe felt it best to “protect” her. Book 8, “Lover Mine” ended with an accident involving Payne and Wrath, in which Payne ends up with a spine injury. Due to the nature of the injury, The Virgin Scribe allows Payne to be transported to the mortal realm and into the compound of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.
“Lover Unleashed” now has V’s shellan, Jane, assessing the injury and coming to the conclusion that if there’s going to be any hope for Payne, the her ghostly existence and the entire vampire world needs to be revealed to the surgeon she used to be employed with prior to her “accident” and disappearance, Manny. The clashes between Manny and V are classic (the whole protective brother scenario) and leads to some pretty funny dialogue that has Butch admiring Manny. The interactions between Manny and Payne were strong and the two of them are likeable together. Manny is a strong male that doesn't do anything to or with Payne that she doesn't agree to do.
The involvement of the Lessening Society/Omega is pretty limited in this book, which is okay by me. I know they play an important role in the series but it was nice to have a small reprieve from the baby powder scented psychopaths. Unfortunately, there is another villain on the prowl; a man from Payne’s past that is seeking justice for the death of his father.
Threaded throughout Book 9 is the tumultuous relationship between Quinn and Blay and Sexton. I hope to see these boys get a book of their own one of these days or at least a larger presence in the remaining ones.
We also learn more about V and what his horrendous childhood did his entire being. Butch and Jane play vital roles in this installment, each in a different, yet effective way.
We don’t see much of (or any of) Rhage & Mary, Z & Bella, John & X, Phury & Cormia, or Lassiter which is a bit disappointing. The wrap up of the conflict between Payne and her past is a tad anti-climactic and not nearly as exciting as it could have been. The book seems to have been taken over slightly by V, Jane, & Butch but I didn’t mind.
Another fantastic installment of our favorite sexy vamps of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. As with the rest of the books, “Lover Unleashed” isn’t solely based around the hero or heroine of the day. We still get the everyday actions of the entire clan and whoever may be your favorite.
All throughout the stories in the series, the vampires also deal with their hunters, the Lessers--baby powder fresh and willing to die for the Omega’s cause. It’s important to keep the civilian vampires safe and to do that takes the Brotherhood into dangerous situations and continuously risking their lives.
Welcome to the Brotherhood Mansion…you’ll be lucky to find it and if you do, you probably won’t have the option of leaving.
Please note that this book contains "adult scenes.