Liv's Reviews > Lover at Last

Lover at Last by J.R. Ward
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Apr 07, 13

bookshelves: favourites, pnr, urban-fantasy, guilty-pleasures
Read from March 28 to April 05, 2013

3.5 stars.

I must say that this was likely one of the most anticipated books of the year for me. Ever since the last BDB installment, Lover Reborn, I had been dying with anticipation for Lover at Last, knowing that this was going to be the story on Blay and Quinn.

So now that I had finished it, I felt... somewhat unfulfilled...

Before I started to detail out the few key things that bothered me about this book and I would start by saying what I liked about it. If you were a big fan of the book and didn’t want to hear anything negative about it, please stop reading this review right now. I wouldn’t want to upset anyone by sharing my honest opinions. My review below may also contains mild spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.

In a nutshell, I enjoyed seeing Quinn’s character growth and emotional development over the course of the last couple of books. As a reader, I could see him coming around and in this particular book, he had finally recognized his weaknesses and personal demons, and took strides in reconciling them in order to achieve his happily-ever-after with Blay. He was relentless in his pursuit and thank goodness that Blay stuck by his side. Ward normally did not write M/M sex scenes and as a reader who wasn’t familiar with fiction in the M/M territory, I thought it was adequate. To be honest though, I didn’t have any benchmark so for me it was okay. For anyone looking for all those steamy hot moments between Blay and Quinn, there were certainly plenty so you wouldn’t be disappointed.

Additionally, the fact that Quinn was (view spoiler). It should have happened long ago but I supposed he would have had to prove himself worthy of the title before it could even be considered a possibility. I couldn’t help but wonder whether the same would happen to John or Blay later on?

There was the sub-plot focused on Assail (the vampire who took over the drug trade in Caldwell from Rhevenge after he “retired”) and the introduction of his potential love interest, Sola. I thought this was a nice addition to the series. Assail was a merciless badass but he intrigued me with his ruthless ways and his seemingly business-oriented and neutral position in the war against the Band of Bastards. The way things were left, we’d definitely see more of him and Sola in the next installement.

All the other brothers and most of their shellans made cameo appearances in this book, which was nice and somewhat enjoyable. However, those scenes were way too short and lacked depth, and I couldn’t help but felt cheated in a way.

Now moving onto things that I didn’t like...

Multiple subplots and switching POV
There were at least four subplots going on in this book, which I thought were a little overwhelming and they detracted the spotlight from the main characters and main conflict(s) in the book. Furthermore, within each subplot, the POV would very frequently switch from one character to another. Imagine reading a story from 10 different people’s POV, interspersed throughout multiple subplots – talk about confusing!!! I felt the execution of this was a little poorly handled and it overall de-focused the readers from the important aspects of this book.

Lack of main conflict/plot
While I liked this book nonetheless, all along while I was reading, I felt as though there was something critical missing from it. It was the lack of main conflict. Yes, there was the emotional turmoil between Blay and Quinn, which likely garnered the attention of the majority of readership. Apart from that, however, there wasn’t much else going on. Okay, if I had to be realistic, I could list a few other key things that happened, like the Layla miscarriage-scare, the rescue of Quinn’s brother from the hands of lesser, and glimpses of Xcor and his score of fighters etc. Overall, all these felt like fillers to me – and boy did they add volume to this book!! They almost served as setup for the next coming book, because I most certainly would anticipate something big to show down in it.

Drama
I normally liked a healthy dose of drama in a book. This one felt a little overdone though. Blay and Quinn likely could have reconciled way sooner if they could have been open and honest towards each other, especially where Saxton was concerned. Layla’s miscarriage-scare felt extraneous, other than the fact that without it there would have been no reason for her to be outside of the compound and hence being “noticed” by Xcor while she was outside. Layla and Xcor’s encounter felt contrived and unreal. To this day, I didn’t feel much for Layla and while I actually liked Xcor, I simply couldn’t see how they could have had a happy ending.

All in all, I liked this book, but not as much as I had imagined I would. I wasn’t sure if it was the hype or the anticipation that killed it, but this book just felt “off” to me somehow. Length-wise it was a bit too long with parts/scenes that I thought could have been cut out. Again, my expectation was that many of these things were written as plot devices for the next book. So, if I viewed it as a bridge book, I could overcome my dissatisfaction and focused on just the key elements – which were all Blay and Quinn related.

Of course, having said all of the above, I remained a loyal follower of the BDB series, and will lay waiting with bated breath for the next book – The King – a book about Beth and Wrath!!!
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