Kathy's Reviews > Lover Unleashed

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward
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's review
Mar 01, 2012

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bookshelves: fantasy-romance, sensuous, vampire
Read from March 01 to 22, 2012

Setting – Caldwell New York, Brotherhood’s Compound.

Theme – seeing your true self, love, sharing your true self, hope

Image – Thoroughbred horse of independent spirit, when ridden right can’t be beat = Payne

Characters –

The Bloodletter’s remnant – Xcor, Throe, Zypher & 3 others.
Xcor believed he was the Bloodletter’s son, and when he was killed he stepped up into the role. He is tough, he wants to kill lesser and doesn’t care if humans get in the way. In many ways they operate as do the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but with fewer boundaries. Xcor wants revenge on his father’s killer (Payne) and he wants to dethrone Wrath, the King. They migrate from Europe to the US. Throe was of the glymera, but hired Xcor to kill his sister’s attacker, and somehow remained with them. He seems to struggle the most with right and wrong. A different kind of challenge for Wrath and the Brotherhood.

Vishous and Jane – V struggles with finding he has a twin sister, one paralyzed from the waist down. It leads to feelings long buried about his father’s torture of him (tattooing his genitals and almost succeeding at castrating him), and his need to experience all of his feelings if he wants to experience all of his love for Jane. After great struggle, and a split with Jane, Butch takes him to his S&M Commodore apartment, and totally restrains him, and forces him to relive the betrayal, fear, pain of the almost castration – although only with a spoon and warm water. But it breaks through his emotional walls… and when he passes out, Butch gently unwraps him, cleans him up, cleans up the loft, leaving out the water and spoon, and calls for Jane … and when V wakes up in Jane’s arms, he blurts out all that he has held back, the good and bad, his horrible father, his love for Jane… and when they make love, it is slow and gentle, and new, and more than the overwhelming sex of before. Ahhhh

And poor Qhuinn – he is so isolated, having finally admitted to himself he loves Blay but cannot act on it, and so jealous of Blay and Savin. He goes to a bar and manipulates a man who reminds him of Blay into a fourway in the bathroom, then when the women left he had sex with the man… and once home decides he needs to take control of his life, and decides on celibacy. He goes through a week of pushing himself in the gym, not eating or feeding… and Layla (poor Layla, she services the men who need blood and can’t take from their wives – not having her own life, still a virgin) is called by John… and he is honest with her, and she with him… and he feeds her… and they agree to be friends… and it freaks Qhuinn out when he has a vision of a child with his and Layla’s features … he does not want to curse a child to be like him, so he swears to not have sex with Layla… where is this going? Hmmmm

And then we have Payne and Dr. Manny Manello – Manny has not recovered from the loss of Dr. Jane (and the bit of mind wiping they did on him)… he has invested in a thoroughbred horse Glory, who is free spirited… and has gone through 3 trainers 2 who don’t know how to foster her spirit… and in a race, as she comes from behind, almost in 1st place, and the horse in front falls, knocking Glory over, breaking her front leg. Manny cannot bear to have her put down, and engages the vet to operate and try to heal her. And in the last book at the end, Payne, after no holds bar sparring with Wrath & an accident that broke her back and paralyzed, is at the compound. Vishous is horrified to find out that he had a twin he never knew existed, and he wants so badly to make up for lost time… but he cannot heal her. Jane also feels she doesn’t have the expertise to heal her, and wants her old boss, Manny, to be brought in to ope rate. They bring Manny – and he sees Payne and thinks ‘mine’ – just as strongly as any brother : )

They restore Manny’s memories of the year earlier and with V’s time in the hospital that had been erased. Manny, being a doctor, stands up to the brothers, insists she be taken to his OR and they finally concede. His time with Payne is gentle, is comforting, pulls them both. He operates, and his memories are wiped, and Payne is back at the compound to heal. He spends the next week in a fugue state, blinding headaches, very erotic dreams about a woman he doesn’t know, not performing his job.

And Payne has lost hope for recovery and she refuses to be imprisoned again, reminding her how her mother had her in stasis for 300 years. She had V’s promise to end her if she could not recover, and after a week when it is apparent that she will not walk, she asks Jane to get V… and jane knows why, and tries to talk her out of it, and when she can’t and believing that it would kill V to do it, she agrees to help her… and V walks in just as she is about to inject her… (crisis point for them)… but it pushes V to the extreme – he goes for the doctor, restores his memories again… and Manny oh poor Manny.

There is attraction between them – and when he acts on it (with kisses and petting) she starts to glow… hmmmm… and then when he takes a shower, leaving the door partly open, she strains to see him, and ends up on her knees… and when he realizes it, and assesses things, he and Jane decide they need to take it further to see. And he makes love to her (coming where she can’t see) – without taking her virginity – and she glows, and she heals. And they try to keep some emotional distance, believing they can’t be together… if only because he will age and she won’t – along with a lot of other issues. He reassures her out of her insecurities (women, especially the Chosen, are made to serve, not to be strong) – he takes her out to see his horse, and she sees he loves the damaged horse – and she touches the horse, and glows, and heals the horse… then they say their goodbys… and he goes home, and drinks, and cries… and she stands outside his window watching – and V finds her, and sees her love, and agress to talk with Wrath about them…

And though Wrath agrees they can see each other, Manny has lost his job (at least temporarily) and he doesn’t care, and he looks and feels 10 years younger (Payne’s healing power), and he sends Payne away… and Payne fights a few Lessers, and gets taken by Xcor (who recognizes her, though she doesn’t know who he is)… they manacle her, knock her out, take her to their hide out… and when she awakens, and they are getting ready to rape, torture and kill her – and she gets angry, glows pulling power, burns away the cuffs, confronts them… and when Xcor accuses her of killing his father, she tells him the Bloodletter was not his father, and he believes her… and she says she saw how horrible he had treated her twin and it was her right to kill the bloodletter (her father), he sees the correctness of this… and offers his protection for the day and freedom when night comes… and his men recommit themselves to him, even though he is not the Bloodletter’s true son.

When V realizes Payne is missing, he calls Manny – who goes out looking for her. He had packed and was ready to take off, but couldn’t leave. And Jane joins him in looking for clues… and they find her damaged phone & Lesser leftovers. And Jane takes him to the compound, after stopping to get his things… and he had brought a picture of his father, a doctor who screwed around a lot and disappeared… and when he sees Butch, he recognizes his father’s face … and pulling out the picture all can see the same appearance between them all three of them… their father must have been ½ vampire himself… hence … and Wrath extends him home to him… and Payne returns… and he rushes to her, tells her he loves her… and quick explanations all around… and he takes her upstairs… and Manny, is going to help both Jane and Havers in treatment of the vampires – and to learn to fight with them… and Payne plans to fight with them too… hmmmm

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