Between the Covers's Reviews > Lover Awakened

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: paranormal-romance, urban-fantasy
Read in December, 2011

REVIEWED by Louise for Between the Covers blog:

Okay... first things first. Zsadist is mine. See? *points to photographic proof*

So, back off ladies. I will not hesitate to use the shanking spork to protect what's mine. Now that we've got that settled...

I need to pause for a moment and get something out of my system so that I may continue this review in my usual solemn and professional manner.

*insert BDB fan girl scream HERE*

Okay... All better.

Lover Awakened is the third book in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Picking up in the weeks following Lover Eternal, (see review HERE) this book tells the story of the warrior Zsadist. *pets my pretty Z pic*

WARNING: This book deals with sexual abuse and includes scenes which may be uncomfortable for some.

Zsadist is the most brutal, vicious and cruel of the warriors. Simply looking at him inspires terror in most. Not even his brothers like fighting alongside him. He oozes hatred from his very pores.

But he has good cause for his cruel demeanor. Held captive for almost a century, used as a blood slave… and worse… his hatred grew strong and deep. Once rescued by his twin brother, Phury, he was physically safe, but nothing could erase the memories of his captivity from his mind... or diminish the impact of the nightmares he carries.

Bella has lived a much different life than Zsadist. A member of the glymera, pampered, protected and much loved younger sister of Rehvenge, she has known no hardship. But she is no less trapped than Zsadist was. Her brother controls her world, allowing her only the illusion of freedom. Yet despite their differences Bella is unable to forget the harsh and dangerous warrior.

When Bella is kidnapped by Lessers, Zsadist does what he does best… hunts and kills his enemy. Driven by a need he doesn’t understand, he searches mercilessly for Bella, her safety… or vengeance for her death… his consuming thought.

This is my absolute, hands down, without a doubt, do-I-need-to-spell-it-out-for-you favorite book of the series. I love a tortured hero, and Zsadist is that and so much more. I love a heroine with spunk, and Ward is very good at writing those. Bella is no exception. While these two characters seem so drastically different, they are in reality each others perfect compliment.

Zsadist’s story, told in flashback style, made me wince in horror, infuriated me and made me cry. He is one of the most misunderstood characters of this series. Ward always does an excellent job with character development, but in my trying-to-be-unbiased-and-probably-failing-miserably opinion, Zsadist exhibits the most growth of any within the series. He is not at all what you have been led to believe in the first two books. *pauses* Well, actually… he is exactly what you’ve been shown IF you have been paying attention. He is a male of worth. #NuffSaid

Bella is much more than the decorative piece of furniture most females of the glymera are, and is stronger than anyone ever knew… her brother and herself included. She shows her strength and proves the adage that you can be victimized without becoming a victim. The two together were incredible to watch unfold on the page, and I cried at the conclusion. #LoveNotesFTW

The only downside for me in this book… and it was a HUGE downside… was a side story arc that involved other characters in this world. As I am determined to keep this review spoiler free, I won’t rant about my feelings over these events. If you follow my personal account on twitter, you already know them. *grumbles internally… LOTS*

Yet again Ward’s writing is quick and sharp, the dialogue flowing in an entertaining if not grammatically correct manner. And once again, this book contains much smoking hot sex, so read it with an ice cold bottle of water handy… and maybe open a window to let some cold air in. Take note, BtCers… kissing will take on a whole new meaning for you after this one. *winks*

Rating: 4.5 stars

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