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John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

528 pages, Hardcover

First published April 27, 2010

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About the author

J.R. Ward

183 books49k followers
J.R. Ward is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. She lives in the South her family.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,546 reviews
Profile Image for Mel.
330 reviews523 followers
May 15, 2010
Some things are destined to be-
It just takes us a couple of tries
to get there.

Lover Mine is the eighth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It’s about second chances. About circumstances and relationships coming full circle. About revenge, trust, friendship and love. But most importantly: it’s about John Matthew.

John Matthew, aka Darius reincarnated, is undoubtedly one of the most popular characters in the series. When we meet him in Lover Eternal, he’s a scrawny little mute who lives in a run down apartment and carries a big secret with him. In Lover Mine he has turned into a beautiful vampire male with a warrior body, who lives with the King of his race and fights with the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
Warrior body or not, inside John Matthew feels small, empty and out of place. He wants to belong to someone and his object of affection is Xhex.

Now Xhex must be one of the most controversial characters of the series. With her athletic body, her strong features, her men’s haircut and her tough as nails attitude, she’s hardly your typical romance heroine. But there’s much more than meets the eye to Xhex and John is drawn to her like a moth to a flame.

To me, the great thing about John and Xhex’s relationship is that it has been running for a couple of books. We experienced their initial awkwardness, followed by sexual tension, tentative trust and full on implosion. Lover Mine finally gives them their HEA. But to accomplish this they need to overcome the burdens of the past and learn to truly trust each other.

Unlike previous books, the love story had a prominent role in this one. In previous editions, the secondary plots set up a back story for the next books. This book introduced a few new characters but pretty much left it at that.
The focus was on love and closure. John and Xhex got a truly wonderful love story which turned out to be of epic proportions due to Darius’ involvement. Their scenes were emotional, exciting, heartbreaking and scorching hot and these two characters ended up being much more alike than anyone would have thought.
The secondary plot which also focused on love was about the relationship between Qhuinn and Blay. Oh… the tension! The mixed and missed signals! The angst! It was really hard to bear and many times left me on the edge of my seat or screaming “noohoooo” to the book.

Another great thing about Lover Mine was the villain: Lash. Lash truly is the best thing that ever happened to the lessers. He single-handedly changed the lesser scenes from boring and skip-worthy to exciting, not to miss, sometimes hilarious. He is bad with a vengeance but he’s engaging and interesting and funny.

After all this raving and the 5 star rating you would think I found this book to be absolutely perfect, but sadly: no. There were many things, small and big which irked me.

First of all: the fashion in which Murhder’s character was introduced left a lot to be desired. The whole story about the camera crew seemed redundant and Murhder didn’t leave a good enough impression to be even considered interesting.

Another story line was a flashback about Darius. Since this book is about closure and looking to the future, I (and everyone with me) had expected a final moment in where the JM/Darius connection would come out in the open… or to an end…. or would transition or…. anything! But no. The way this situation was resolved -or not resolved- was really anticlimactic.

There were lots of loose threads throughout the book. Things being said or mentioned, never to be picked up later on. Too many things happened in the last 20 pages which made the ending seemed hastily wrapped up and unfinished.
There were also quite some inconsistencies. The timeline didn’t make much sense, characters disappeared for short parts of the scenes and popped up in the end, characters who had a relation before did not talk at all (Ehlena and Xhex), etc.
Certain situations defied all logic: like Xhex not having seen John’s tattoo till pretty much the end of the book, despite all their wild love making. Or Xhex being able to follow a rant in ASL after she’d just learned to spell the alphabet… and then have JM sign slowly to her the next day.

So there was some seriously sloppy writing going on (please Ms Ward, find yourself a new editor!) and for a book that is about closure, too many questions were left unanswered. And that makes me sad because there’s no guarantee that they will be answered in the next book and not be forgotten.

Another thing which makes me sad is that this book seems to mark the end of an era.
Much has changed throughout the books but John Matthew’s narrating was a constant factor which saw us readers through the series. It was wonderful to see the world through his eyes but now that he got his own book, I’m very much afraid that we will lose him.
I'm still holding out hope though... because of this dedication from Ward to John Matthew in the beginning of the book:

I cannot believe you and I have come so far
Your book is not a goodbye, however-
just another beginning
But you’re used to that…

Overall: a good book, 4,5 out 5. But John Matthew deserved a full 5.
May 3, 2010
This book could have easily broken my heart. I've been waiting so long to see John Matthew and Xhex find their happy ending. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I adore this couple. If it's even possible, I probably love them twenty times more now.

The WARDen is so good at writing stories about human nature, all the weaknesses, the vulnerabilities, the strengths. How, at the end of the day, all of us just want to feel special, to feel loved. And when we don't feel that, how it has the power to destroy us.

John Matthew had the worst start in life possible. He was born in a bathroom stall in a bus station. He was born without the ability to talk. He was horribly assaulted at a young age. He had no one to love him. And just when life started turning around, he lost two people he loved very much. And then he met Xhex. From the beginning, she was the one for him. No one can explain what causes us to fall in love with someone. You can call it hormones, fate, destiny, attraction, random coincidence. There is no concrete way to rationalize it. I for one, felt that pull between them. I knew it was going to be big and life-changing for them both. JM fell apart, big time in Lover Avenged. It was very painful to read, and his actions made me so angry. But, I realized that he had been driven to his breaking point, and he was acting out of complete despair. So, it was really good to see him pull himself together so he could save Xhex. And boy, did he! Oh, could John be a more worthy male? I don't think so. He's so sweet, but so strong. He has a protective instinct, but at the same time, he embraced Xhex's strength, and didn't try to change what made her the woman he loved. He came from nothing, but is full of so much. The WARDen made me fall in love with JM all over again.

I was so glad that the WARDen took a big, huge chance with crafting a heroine like Xhex. There are a lot of Xhex haters out there in the Black Dagger Brotherhood fandom. They have said some really ugly things about her. It bothers me, because Xhex is such a great character in my opinion. She has so much going on inside of her. She is so strong, yet she has the things that define a woman in my opinion. Some people think she's too manly or not feminine enough. If she can be who she is and have a man like JM totally in love with her, I say sign me up for her version of manly. I say that in a half-serious manner. But with all seriousness, if Xhex had not been the strong woman, the fierce warrior that she is, she would not have survived what she's been through in her life. She lived in a dark, bleak world, with little to support her. She had to be a strong person, to build a fortress around her inner self, or she would have been decimated. And had she been any less fortified, Lash would have destroyed her. It's pretty clear that I adore Xhex. I think she's sexy, beautiful, loving, intense, intelligent, empathetic, formidable, intriguing, the list goes on. She is now my favorite heroine ever. I felt she was the perfect complement to John. It gratified me that Tohr could see it, from the beginning. I didn't need the backstory of Xhex to love her, but I love her even more now. I didn't need to see her as vulnerable and broken as she was in this book to respect and love her. But, seeing her that way, well it just made the happy ending that much better.

I couldn't have written the ending better. It's like JR Ward took my wish list for Xhex and JM's story and wrote this book based on it. Oh, there were some really hard moments, but I kept the faith that things would work out for them, and boy was I rewarded. I finished this book yesterday morning, and I had to go and reread some of my favorite scenes. The interaction between John and Xhex was so powerful, it turned my heart to mush. The steamy moments really made up for the hurtful interactions they had in Lover Avenged. How unfulfilling their intimate moments were in that book. Their love scenes set my book on fire and singed my hands. Boy, this couple has some chemistry. But, even better, their love for each other had the power to heal them both. Verily, this book makes me believe in true love, and that there is someone for everyone.

Even though I'd love this book enough to light up a solar system just based on the JM/Xhex story, the other aspects also made it a wonderful read for me. The Qhuinn/Blay story line has progressed in a very good fashion. I was so happy to get more of Blay's viewpoint. Blay is dear to my heart. I love that male. It tore me up to see how much his love for Qhuinn was hurting him. Qhuinn had his heart, but he didn't know what to do with it, so he kept throwing it back. And Blay seemed to have no way to get away from his feelings for Blay. So I was glad to see Saxton come into his life. Saxton is one fine male. I liked him from the beginning. He is just what Blay needs. I'm not sure how long they'll be together, but it's good for now. Qhuinn showed some aspects of his character that I needed to see. I have to admit that I did feel for him, and his low self-worth because of being rejected by his family, but I didn't like his lifestyle. I didn't like how he was acting like he was blind to Blay's love for him, and how it hurt Blay for him to sleep with everyone but Blay. I realize that Qhuinn thinks he's not good enough for Blay, but he seemed oblivious to the way he was hurting Blay. I was surprised at how much it hurt to see Qhuinn hurt because Blay had moved on with Saxton. I thought I'd be gratified because he'd know how Blay felt all the time. But, it was so sad for me to read about, because Qhuinn had the opportunity to have Blay, but he was afraid to take the step. And how that must break Qhuinn's heart. I have hopes that things will work out for them, but right now, it's a painful journey. I do think that Qhuinn is going to take a step in a better direction in the forthcoming books. And Blay will get some love and affection like he needs, although his heart will always belong to Qhuinn. I definitely feel for the Qhuinn/Blay fans right now.

I loved the parts in the past showing Darius and Tohr's relationship. It really explained why Tohr took on JM as a son, because Darius had done the same for him. Darius and Tohr are such fine males. You can see how they helped shape and form the foundation for the Brotherhood that we see today. Tohr always came off as an admirable, honorable man that I cared for, but I have grown to love him even more. My heart is broken for his loss. I can completely understand how it nearly destroyed him. I was so glad to see him on the mend, and to see him and John Matthew come to terms. That close bond that was ripped apart by Wellsie's death has evolved into something very wonderful, as JM comes to see exactly how Tohr felt, and Tohr is able to understand why Xhex is so important to JM. And it feels to good to know that Torh approves of Xhex for JM.

There were some really great Doc Jane moments. Her expertise as a doctor, but her understanding of people and how to help them deal with illness was a very important part of this book, as she interacted with Xhex in the aftermath of her captivity with Lash, and also with Xhex's fear of hospitals.

I won't even pretend like this BDB fan girl didn't have some joy-joy moments seeing the other characters. Wow, it was pretty interesting seeing how the backstory with Butch and Xhex, and Vishous' animosity towards Xhex was dealt with. And of course, my smooth criminal, Rehvenge, was in this book enough to encourage me to reread his story again. What a man! I love his relationship with Xhex. And the Shadow brothers, Trez and iAm, have some good moments in this story, as well.

Payne's role expands in this book, and I could see the WARDen setting the stage for her book. Part of me sort of feared that this book would be the penultimate culmination of my love for this series, and it would go downhill, but I have a feeling that WARDen is just getting started. Payne is one heck of an interesting character. And her story is sure to enthrall me, based on how things unfold in this book.

And, can I say that Murhder has this fan reaching for the cold drinks? I can tell he's going to rock my world. I hope to see a lot more of this male!

I cannot do this review without talking about Lash. There are some pretty good words to describe him, but I don't want to be a potty-mouth. He is a perfect contrast to JM in almost every way. He was born with everything and threw it away. His heart is completely rotten, whereas JM couldn't have more goodness in his heart. The fact that he takes and harms the person that JM loves most in the world seemed almost fated, as they come face to face in a conflict that started when they were both soldier trainees. I have to say that he turned out to be a very good villain. I wasn't sure what to think about how the storyline with Lash ended. It needed to go the way it did. But I can't help feeling that there is more to be told on that front. But then, that's one of the things that I love about this series. The way the WARDen plants seeds in my consciousness, and I have questions that make me want to delve deeper into these books. More things for this BDB addict to ponder. Sadly, these characters and this world is frighteningly real to me. Is there a twelve step program for Black Dagger Brotherhood addiction? But then, even if there is a cure, I'm not sure I want it!

This book, oh, this book. I can't say how much I loved this latest installment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. You know someone needs help when they start tearing up as they write a review. I am freaking hopeless when it comes to this series and this book. It made my dreams come true, but it also took me to some dark places. It makes me ponder fate, and how the ties between others are so convoluted, yet tightly wound, bringing us together and challenging us in ways we don't ever get to understand. This review will be too long if I keep saying everything I want to say. There is just too much to put into words. But I will say four words to Ms. Ward: Thank you so much!!!! And I'll say it twice: Thank you so much!!!
March 27, 2023
5 Well of Soul Stars

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As she waited for Lash to come back to her, her mind drifted to the male she tried never to think of. Especially if Lash was around. It was unclear how much her captor could get into her head, but she didn't want to take chances. If the bastard got an itch that that mute soldier was her well-of-soul, as her people called it, he would use that against her... and John Matthew.-Xhex

First read 2014
Reread 4/5/2017
reread 2023


OMG John Matthew and Xhex....... God I fucking loved them! Their story was so powerful and emotional and....just damn beautiful. I was really looking forward to John and Xhex's story as I felt really invested in them. This book was everything I wanted and more. As John and Xhex's story unfolded I was a total wreck. My emotions were all over the place. One minute I was smiling, then I was laughing, then crying, then aching, and swooning my ass off. J.R. Ward is amazing in the way she can write these epic love stories that touch so many people. As one of those people all I can say is Thank You. These books give me such joy and live in my heart long after I read the last page.

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"No, you've got it all wrong, John." Reading his emotions, she shook her head. "You're not half the male you could be because of what was done to you. You're twice what anyone else is because you survived."-Xhex

John was damn sexy and utterly wonderful. The way he was with Xhex so caring, and supportive. Always putting her first. Very protective, but he never tried to change Xhex. He knew he was in love with a fighter and he didn't disrespect her by acting like she couldn't take care of herself. One of the things I loved the most about John Matthew was even though he was totally kick ass, he had this vulnerable side. His being mute and having been raped when he was a pretran in no way made him weaker they made him stronger, a survivor. John is my second favorite hero of the series. Xhex was also completely amazing. A total bad ass in her own right, she kicked ass and didn't bother with names. So it was heartbreaking and emotional to see her hurt, violated, and helpless. What I love is that she never gave up. A fighter til the end she fought with everything she had. I also loved how soft she was with John Matthew and John Matthew only. She let him in, let her guard down with him. It was cute how he brought out her girly side to a point. She was still kick ass Xhex, but still the softness was very endearing.

" Oh, John..." And then he stopped dead, lifted his lips from her nipple, and smiled so wide it was a wonder he didn't bust off his front teeth. His expression was one of total and complete gotcha. " You are a bastard, " she said on a laugh. He nodded. And pressed into her with his full length again. It was perfect that he was giving her shit and showing her a little of who was boss. Just perfect. Somehow it made her respect him even more, but then, she'd always loved strength in all its forms. Even the teasing kind. "I'm not surrendering , you know." He pursed his lips and shook his head, all oh, no, of course not. And then he started to pull out of her. As she growled low in her throat, she sank her nails into his ass. "Where do you think you're going ?”-Xhex and John

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“When she orgasmed, she said his name. Twice. And didn’t it make him glad that even though he had no voice, his ears worked just fine. –John

John and Xhex together were explosive and sexy as hell. OMG they had some major heat. When they came together it was raw, powerful and totally gave me hot flashes lol.

Might have been smoother to do that butterfly-kisses bullshit. Might have shown more finesse to tease her with his tongue and his fingertips. Fuck that. With a raw, whipping need, he latched onto her core with his mouth, sucking her into him, taking her deep, swallowing her up. His orgasm had left some of him on her and he tasted that along with her honey--and the bonded male in him relished the combination.-John

I loved Blay in this book. I was totally pissed at Qhuinn and sick of him hurting Blay. If Qhuinn ain't man enough to be with Blay he needs to get the fuck outta the way and let Blay be happy else were. I was glad that Blay moved on and started a relationship with Saxton. I hated Lash but since he was the bad guy I guess that is a good thing. I just wish I had less of him. I also couldn't stand the crap about Eliahu Rathboone/Muhrder. I skipped every bit of it. I know J.R. Ward said she plans to bringing Muhrder back and that is fine but he better keep his ass away from my John's Xhex. If he comes back and starts crap for Xhex and John Imma be pissed just sayin'! I loved that Tohr and John made up. It was fun getting to see the back story for Tohr, Darius, No'One, and Xhex. Again it needs to be said that Z was just amazing every time he showed up on the page. The way he put himself out there and told John about his past to help Xhex was so sweet. Z has grown so much since book 1. Lover Mine was such a epic read. I was so invested in Xhex and John's story. They are my second favorite couple right after Z and Bella. Their powerful connection and touching love story made for hours of happy feels. And their Mating was beautiful. I loved this book!!! Payne was great in this book and I know her book is next. I am so looking forward to her story.

“John leaned in and pressed his lips to hers; then he stretched out beside her. His body was exhausted but, his heart was alive with a joy so pure it was like the sunlight he didn't get to see anymore: He was a mute-ass motherfucker with a nasty past and a night job that involved fighting evil and slaughtering the undead. And in spite of all that... he'd gotten the girl.”-John

“You don't go after what's mine. Now be a good boy and gut yourself." -Xhex,

"Then you would hold me up, wouldn't you." He traced over her features with his fingertips. And as he did, for some strange reason, he felt the arms of infinity wrapping around them both, holding them close... linking them forever. Yes, he mouthed. I would hold you up. I will ever hold you up and hold you dear, lover mine.-Xhex and John
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.3k followers
April 29, 2010
Okay, I'm giving this book four stars, not because of its literary prowess, but because of its enjoyability.

However, after eight books in this series, I have a serious problem. Well, frankly I had a problem from the first book but I've already reviewed that one.

My big problem is in the characters and the gender roles they embody. Now, there's been a great deal of criticism over J.R. Ward's treatment of female characters in these books. Xhex and Payne are like a bandaid she uses to patch this up.

Now, honestly I am one of the few who actually always liked Xhex as a character. It didn't change in this book. John Matthews was always one of my most liked characters. Their show, in this book, was kind of stolen by Blay and Quinn who I found myself desperately hoping would have some kind of resolution for their relationship.

As usual, J.R.Ward does what most romantic novelists do. She creates characters whose every problem can be fixed by love and great sex. I'm sorry but I was literally bashing my head on something very hard when Xhex, after being held prisoner for almost four weeks and brutally raped several times, had great sex with John Matthews. No. No. No.

I'm not even going to go into that one except to say: No. To all future writers out there: Don't do it. That is just... I have no words for that one.

However, the big problem with the characters wasn't that they weren't likable or interesting, or that the woman wasn't "equal" enough. It was the character roles they play. J.R. Ward doesn't seem to get this.

In fact, I wonder if she'll ever get this. The complaints about poor female characters in her book don't necessitate the creation of female protagonists who are practically men with vaginas. Creating a female character who walks, talks, acts and thinks like a man doesn't create a positive female protagonist (especially when she spends so much time complaining about how weak women are)! Our issues weren't that your women were weak characters (okay, maybe a little bit) but the roles that define them for goodness sake!

In this series the men are men and the women are there to be protected, cherished and ultimately invisible. The only, Only woman who appears repeatedly is Doc Jane and occasionally Ehlena because they need to stitch someone up. Why? As soon as they are married and happy with their partners do they suddenly become non-existent? Oh, sorry, they show up for the inevitable wedding at the end of each book and cry like babies.

However, I get that you, J.R. Ward have been actively trying to give them varied professions and passions and hobbies to make up for the fact that Beth dropped her entire life to go play Queen with Wrath and for several books didn't appear to have anything to fucking do. I get that that's why there's now a doctor and a nurse and a counselor and and the director of a female's home etc. Now there is Xhex who will be fighting with the big boys. *Facepalms* I don't even know how to touch on this anymore without breaking out into cussing so inevitably varied and violent that my review will be removed by Goodreads...

My biggest problem isn't actually the female gender roles that are fucked up in these books, believe it or not. It's the men's! The portrayal of masculinity in these books makes me want to cry. Studies have shown that whilst an appalling number of women will suffer from violence at the hands of men (25%), men are actually moreso the victims of violence at their own hands! 70% of men will, at one point or another, be the victim of violence against them. These books say that to be a man you have to be muscled to within an inch of your life and you must be violent. THIS DOESN'T HELP THE SITUTATION. Every male protagonist in this book is violent, animalistic, uncontrolled and hyper-masculine to the point of ridiculousness.

Now, I'm not saying that I prefer the pansy-ass sparklepires over something that does more than brood in your general direction if you're evil. I'm just saying that there needs to be a more divergent representation of what it is to be male. Because frankly, masculinity is no more tied to the size of your muscles than femininity is to one's beauty.

My challenge to J.R. Ward is not to create a female protagonist who embodies positive gender roles but to create a male protagonist that is still masculine and sexy despite the fact that he is not a muscleman who walked out of the caveman era. For goodness sake, in the reader's guide not a SINGLE male could list a book that they'd read that WASN'T a book that they'd read to Nalla. That's right. Every single male in the guide doesn't read except to a baby.

And women must be gentle and protected and kept away. That is, unless they're a spitfire dead doctor who can't be harmed anyway or a woman with a mangina that can be seen from space.
Profile Image for Blacky *Romance Addict*.
473 reviews6,303 followers
March 25, 2015

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"As she stood beside John Matthew, and watched his huge body crumple down by the bed, the organ that beat behind her sternum shattered like a mirror.
Nothing but shards.
She was utterly and completely ruined as he cradled that pillow like it was a newborn, and in this moment of his utter despair, she would have done anything to ease his pain: Even though she had no idea why he felt the way he so clearly did, the reasons were unimportant.
His suffering was paramount."

This book is very emotional, and tough to go through, but I loved every minute of it! John and Xhex are such a great couple, perfect for each other <3

The story

This picks up right after the ending of Lover Avenged.
Xhex is missing, and they all suspect Lash is the one responsible for it.
After a month of searching, no leads have been found, and it's driving John to the edge. He knows what must have happened to her and he wants to avenge her, without the Brotherhood's knowledge.
Xhex is being held by Lash (OMG how I hate his guts with an undying flame!!!!!!), who is obsessed with her and enjoys it every time she fights against him.
She is cut off from the world in a weird kind of energy bubble or something, she can't be seen or touched or perceived in any kind of way by anyone except Lash, and she's focusing all her strength on giving as much as she got to Lash, making him hurt.
I won't say anything about her getting out, you have to see it for yourself :P
Anyway, John and Xhex will have to work together to defeat their enemy, and their dominant natures will clash often, but their love is the most important thing <3 and it will win <3

"To not know where she was. To not know what had happened to her. To have lost her . . . He felt as if he’d been mortally injured, though his skin was intact and his arms and legs unbroken and his chest unpenetrated by bullet or blade."

The story - interesting from first to last page! What can I say, I didn't even have the desire to skip or skim antyhing, I wanted to read it all! *except the lesser/Lash part, of course*
John and Xhex go through a lot in this one, and I loved that there's more action than in the last ones :)

The characters - This book is mostly focused on John and Xhex, and that's great since their story needed a lot of page time.
Blay/Qhuinn - Their friendship isn't doing well, mainly because Blay is jealous and hurt by Qhuinn's rejection. They have some ups and downs, and Qhuinn shows his jealous side when Blay finds someone.
I have to say, I'm really glad for that, Blay deserves to go on with his life, not just mope around because Qhuinn doesn't want him, and Qhuinn should get a little taste of his own medicine considering he f*cked everything with legs and Blay had to watch it all.
Saxton - A vampire lawyer and Blay's new love interest.
I like the guy :) Even though in my heart I root for Qhuay, I don't really mind Blay being with Saxton.
PLUS! My mind is having all sorts of ideas what could happen with Saxton later on, maybe we'll have another M/M book? Or is that just wishful thinking :((((
Payne - She is forced to remain in the Sanctuary, the Scribe Virgin will not let her go, and it's driving her insane.
This is an intro into Lover Unleashed with something major happening at the end of the book :)
Tohrment - Is slowly getting his strength back, even though he is still mourning Wellsie. He knows he's done wrong by John, and he tries to make it up for him. It was so touching, that scene at the end <3
No'One - She lives in the Sanctuary with the Chosen ones, and we get a little shocker at the end about her :))) That's an intro into book 10 ;)

The ghost story - Was that really necessary? It had absolutely nothing to do with anything in the book. It's just a page filler. I do not approve :P

The flashbacks - Since this is John Matthew's book, we get flashbacks into Darius and Tohrment's history, and it all clicks into place at the end of the book. Meant to be, I say. For both of them :)

"She was on her own in this and it was going to play out as it would. Having led a violent life, it was entirely unsurprising that she was going to meet a violent end . . . but true to form, she was sure as fuck going to take out a pound or two of flesh with her on the way to the exit."

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"As his words took form on the white page, she got to watch him . . . and realized she never wanted him to go. She wanted him here beside her forever.
Safe. She was truly safe with him around."

Half-vampire, half-sympath, Xhex was always forced to hide her other, bad side in fear of deportation to the sympath colony.
She is a trained assassin, her body is her weapon, and is used to taking care of herself.
The humans captured Xhex a few decades ago and did horrible tests on her, which resulted in her phobia of hospitals and doctors.
So even though Lash had done terrible things to her, she had survived worse, and is willing to fight him however long it takes.
After she gets out, revenge is the only thing on her mind, and she knows she must be the one to kill Lash, even though John seems determined enough.
She can't believe he has feelings for her, and she doesn't understand why, but in the end, it doesn't even matter because she knows she won't be able to make it after her revenge is done, she has lost the will to live.

"Her fight was long gone, the thing that had defined her most in the world having evaporated. Which made sense. She had no interest in living anymore and she couldn’t fake that, not for him, not for herself."

Xhex is a strong and kick-ass heroine, but she is still a woman, and I love the fact that there are two sides of her, not just the fighter persona.
What she went through with Lash... Yeah no wonder I hate him, most irritatingly moronic character ever to be created!!!
Anyway. We see a weak side of her, and that scenes were amazing, she and John getting closer, bonding, falling in love... <3
I won't say what happened and how she got away from Lash, but I have to say... F*ck yeah! I am proud of her like hell!
When she screamed :((( OMG that was horrible. Just horrible, I felt utterly bad for her :(((
I loved the way she supported John when she found out about his past. Those were very lovely scenes, and the one in the showers very emotional.
She kicked ass in the fight scenes, and was emotional with John... Just loved her :)

"As John’s stare came back to her, she felt a shattering communion with him. No barriers, no worries about being vulnerable. Even though they were both fully clothed, each was naked before the other.
She knew damn well she was never going to find this with any other male. Or any other person."

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"Seemed like he’d lost his soul to her the very first time he’d laid eyes on her.
As he clicked off the light and she settled even closer to him, it felt like she was burrowing right into his cold heart and setting up shop, her banked fire thawing his soul out until he took the first honest-to-God deep breath in months."

He is Darius, a former member of the Brotherhood who died, but was granted a second chance by the Scribe Virgin in the form of John Matthew, a troubled young vampire raised by humans.
His luck turned when he came across the Brotherhood who took him in, thinking he is Darius' son.
After some emotional drama that I won't explain, which happened in the previous books, he is now suffering because the one he loves is taken and probably dead by the hands of the lessers, more specifically, Lash.
He wants revenge, and is working behind the Brotherhood's back in order to get it.
No one knows what he feels for Xhex, and he wants to keep it that way.
When Xhex is in recovery, he does everything he can for her, even though it shows her that he's bonded with her.
Still, his instincts are his driving force, and he if focused on taking his revenge on Lash, even though Xhex wants to do it herself.

"Staring out of the darkened window, his eyes searched the stars that dotted the dense, velvety black of the night sky.
Funny, felt like heaven was up against his chest instead of all above the whole world."

In my first read of the series, I have to admit, John kind of got on my nerves until I got to book 7. Don't know why but I just couldn't warm up to the guy. When I read this book for the first time, I totally fell in love with him, and now in my re-read, what can I say, I adore him!
John went through emotional ups and downs in this one, and it was all difficult to read, but I loved him more because of it :)
When he cried holding her pillow... OMG. So, so, so sad! I teared up myself there :((((((((
The tattoo... Awesome!!! I remember how much I loved what he had tattooed <3
When he took care of her while she was recovering... *swoon*
He was so sweet! Loved every second of it :)
I felt bad for him because Xhex was shutting him down most of the time, but it was all worth it <3
OMG the scene in his old bedroom when he finds out about Lash :OOO
Intense! Terrible! I totally get him :(
The ending was absolutely beautiful and they both deserved it, big time!!! <3

“No, you’ve got it all wrong, John.” Reading his emotions, she shook her head. “You’re not half the male you could be because of what was done to you. You’re twice what anyone else is because you survived.”

My favorite quotes from other characters:

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"As the two held stares, it was hard not to feel part of a unique club that no one would ever volunteer to be associated with. Membership wasn’t sought or desirable or something to crow about . . . but it was real and it was powerful: Survivors of similar wrecks could see the horrors of those jagged shoals in the eyes of others. It was like recognizing like. It was two people with the same tattoo on their insides, the divide of a trauma that separated them from the rest of the planet unexpectedly bringing a pair of weary souls closer together."

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“You are my army,” he shouted at the bloodied guys on the floor. “We are gonna rule Caldwell! Getcha asses up, it’s time to go to work! Together we are . . .”
“I can’t wait to kill this little shit,” Rhage muttered. “If only to shut him up.”

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"It was like that wherever the guy went and it used to be the kind of thing that made Blay worship his best friend. Now, it was a never-ending rejection: every time Qhuinn said yes, it made that one single no louder."
"As he refilled his Coke and watched the frothing dark rush hit the ice, he wondered why he was so attracted to the guy. He was a please-and-thank-you kind of male. Qhuinn was more of a fuck-off-and-die type."

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"As Qhuinn looked at his best friend’s handsome face, he felt as if he’d never not known that red hair, those blue eyes, those lips, that jaw. And it was because of their long history that he searched for something to say, something that would get them back to where they had been.
All that came to him was . . . I miss you. I miss you so fucking bad it hurts, but I don’t know how to find you even though you’re right in front of me."

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After a long, tense moment, he walked toward his best friend, drawn by the fragrance. And as he came closer, Qhuinn’s hot eyes tracked him with each step, the link between them, that had been buried on both sides, abruptly exploding into the room.
When they were nose-to-nose, he stopped, his rising chest meeting Qhuinn’s. “Say the word,” he whispered harshly. “Say the word and I won’t go.”
“Leave me alone, Qhuinn. Just . . . leave me alone.”
As the door shut behind the guy, Qhuinn cursed under his breath and wondered if he would ever be able to do that.
Not anytime soon, a voice said in his head. Maybe not ever.

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Abruptly, Payne bared her fangs and growled low in her throat, the fire of anger displacing her agony. “I will kill Her for this. I swear I will treat Her as I did our blooded sire.”

This one was uber-emotional, you feel me?

Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,635 followers
November 22, 2015
I’ve tried for months to write a review that would do this book justice but I have so many thoughts and feelings running through my mind that I can’t seem to form a coherent paragraph, much less an entire review! So after months of trying and failing, this is the best I could do. Please allow me to present to you –

My Random Thoughts Rave-view with Spoilers Aplenty

Last time I checked, the WARDen wasn’t yet claiming to walk on water, so I see no need to critique her writing style, lack of perfection or editing issues, or the occasional minor inconsistencies. Rather, quite simply put; this is about my thoughts on the many storylines and how this book made me feel which I’ll just say right up front was captivated, fascinated, mesmerized and enthralled. I didn’t think it was possible, but I’m more in love with the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s world and the Brothers themselves than I was before. And yes, even those Brothers who aren’t Brothers, yet.

At first I was annoyed with the page time devoted to the paranormal investigative crew. I just wanted to read about the Brothers, especially John Matthew, and of course, Xhex. But, and I should have known that this would happen, by the time we reached the end of the book it was clear what their role was and I thought it was a rather ingenious way to bring Murhder back into the story. And now that Xhex knows exactly where he is, I wonder how he’ll be brought into the fold. That is one story I can’t wait to read!

Blay and Qhuinn, collectively known as Qhuay, were just as annoying as ever. Well, let me restate that. Qhuinn was just as annoying as ever. There were several times I wanted to slap him right upside his head. I still think that Blay is too good for him, and that Qhuinn has a lot of ass kissing to do before I’ll ever accept him as Blay’s happily ever after. I suppose that eventually we’ll find out why he’s such a bastard to Blay most of the time, so rather than hold a grudge, I’ll wait for his story when, at last, I’ll come to love him. I have a feeling their story is going to be huge based on the buildup we’ve been given.

How many times have we heard that men and women just can’t communicate? Well, I love how Xhex doesn’t need John Matthew’s words to know what he’s thinking or feeling. Her sympath ability tells her everything he cannot, and what’s more, she feels it exactly as he does so there’s never any miscommunication going on. For a long time I had never really felt that she was a compelling addition to the BDB cast of characters, but Lover Mine changed all that like I knew it would. She’s strong and independent yet fiercely loyal. She’s compassionate, yet takes no crap from anyone. She’s sexy and beautiful on the inside as well as the out. She is, in short, John Matthew’s other half that makes their perfect whole. Or, as John Matthew sees it; ’She was the missing piece to his puzzle, the twelfth in his dozen, the first and last page of his book.’

Speaking of John Matthew *sigh* I’ll be honest here; I had a hard time thinking of him as a Warrior. He was still the pre-trans JM I grew to love and I was worried I’d never see him as anything more than that, but by the end of Lover Mine I saw him as what he’d truly become: A male of worth. I loved how we got a closer look into the deeper side of him. The aggressive, alpha male who wanted to protect his female, and when he felt that he failed, no one or nothing was safe – not even the treadmill ;)

Zsadist, my favorite Brother of them all. Another *sigh* How far he’s come from the days of keeping secrets, hiding his embarrassment of a past he hadn’t chosen and that he’d had no control over. I loved seeing him get real with JM, open up and finally let it be known that they have more in common than JM had ever realized. I hope they get tight.

Oh, how I enjoyed Darius’ journal entries and watching as he and Tohr became such close friends. It was great getting a chance to really meet Darius – to see what we’ve been missing. And I loved how he took care of Tohr when no one else would and how things have really come full circle, haven’t they?

The Scribe Bitch…errrr….ummm… I mean Virgin (like any of us believe that crock of crap anymore) I’m still not liking her. I think it’s time she retire to wherever it is that old, useless Scribe Virgins retire to and let someone else take over – Oh, let’s say No’One perhaps, who would then be too busy trying to repair the previous Scribe Virgin’s screw ups to get involved with Tohr and ruin his and Wellsie’s happily ever after. Note to the WARDen – feel free to use that story line for No’One. I won’t ask for any credit or royalties, whatever it takes to keep her away from Tohr. Hey, I’m just sayin’…

Lash – ha! He was on top of the world there for awhile, wasn’t he? Thinking he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Whatever. Amazing how quickly and easily the mighty fall… or should I say, fall apart!! **wink, wink**

Payne!!! I loved getting to know her better. I think she’s going to be such a fantastic addition to the story. I can just see her now, trying to help her twin, Vishous, cope with finding out he’s got a sister. Won’t it be interesting to see how that plays out? V had just begun rebuilding that relationship with his mother and now… WOW! That’s going to be some major drama I don’t want to miss! I’m thrilled that we’re going to get to see Manny in the next book, too. That’s one man who’s been waiting in the wings too long. I want his story, and soon!

And how could I have almost forgotten Layla?!? That poor girl needs to get laid, end of story.

Some of my favorite quotes from this book, though there were many, I’ll only list a few.

**“No, you’ve got it all wrong, John.” Reading his emotions, she shook her head and eased back. “You’re not half the male you could be because of what was done to you. You’re twice what anyone else is because you survived.” -Xhex

**“Motherf**ker. Bastard ass motherf**ker. C**ks**king rat-bitch bastard motherf**ker!” –Blay (I tried using this on my kids to get them to clean their rooms. It didn’t work and the buggers tried to ground me from Goodreads! Hmmmph! Teenagers.)

**‘When she orgasmed, she said his name. Twice. And didn’t it make him glad that even though he had no voice, his ears worked just fine.’ -JM

**‘You are so beautiful, he mouthed. But of course she couldn’t see his lips. Guess he was going to have to show her.’ -JM

**‘There was broad consensus in the room for the plan, as well as some cheap shots involving Lash’s ass and various kinds of large-bore instruments of impact: size-fourteen boots being the most likely to come to pass, but hardly the most creative. For example, John seriously doubted Rhage could in fact park his GTO in the guy’s sun-don’t-shine. Or would want to.’

Once again I’m in awe of the WARDen’s writing ability and how she can consistently give us such deeply compelling characters who we truly do care about. The story lines are so varied and so many, it’s amazing to me she can keep them all straight! And not only keep them straight, but have them become interwoven book after book. My only complaint is that she’s not writing fast enough to keep my Black Dagger Brotherhood hunger sated. Oh, that and the fact that Zsadist is still with that Bella chick and hasn’t yet realized that I’ll make a much better shellan than she ever could.
Profile Image for Lo Bookfrantic.
773 reviews573 followers
August 11, 2017
5*** John Mathews' is MINE Stars
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“Some things are destined to be -- it just takes us a couple of tries
to get there.” JM

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If you are following The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, by now you already know all the characters that we have so deeply fallen in love with since the very beginning. However, if you have not?! Go read them!!! Ward has an amazing way to pull you into a story, bring all your emotions, anxiety, and gives you an amazing roller coaster ride full of suspense and an adventure full of action that will stick with you forever. Trust me you will be wanting more of these brothers.
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LOVER MINE is the story of John Mathews aka Tehrror and Xhex aka Xhexania and is book #8th on this series. This series takes place in the city of Caldwell, NY. In a world of Vampires, Sympaths (they can sense emotions and control minds), Lessers (humans that were killed by the evil Omega, he removed their hearts and converted them to soulless evil creatures to work for him) and of course the Humans. The Vampires protect their bloodline and fight against the evil Omega and his lessers' society that he has created and to keep the humans safe as well.
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John Mathews is a vampire who is mute and unable to speak. My boy has gone through a lot of sadness and trauma in his young life until the brotherhood found him and saved him. He is now one big madafucker warrior that fights with the brotherhood. He was a warrior who at some point in the series fell in love with Xhex and there was just no going back for him. He wanted to protect her but she wouldn't let him in because she didn't know how to have someone cared for her even if he thought the feeling was not mutual.

“The truth was...he was in love with her. Totally over-the-line, no-going-back, not-even-dead-would-he-part kind of shit.” JM

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Xhex is a half Vampire & half Sympath. She is a bad ass female assassin who always watched her own back and depended on no one. She also had a hard, sad, young past so she was a very hard rock to break through. John had a difficult childhood of his own and his inability to speak made this relationship unique because even thought he couldn't communicate by speaking only through sign language she could sense his feelings and emotions and some times read his thoughts. It worked for them.

“You're not half the male you could be because of what was done to you. You're twice what anyone else is because you survived.” Xhex

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Xhex and JM were absolutely perfect for each other. Their sad and traumatic past and the chemistry between these too was just too much sometimes. I sobbed for JM, I sobbed for Xhex, for all the pain and the shit they both went through. See the thing was, both were survivors and they never gave up. So in a way I completely understand their struggles they went through to finally be together.

“In the silence, she felt the past and the present shift and mix, but that was a mirage. There was no way to comfort the lost boy he'd been back then.
But she had the grown male.
She had him right in her arms, and for a brief moment of whimsy, she imagined that she was never, ever going to let him go.” Xhex

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When a male of honor finds his soul-mate everyone knows it by the scent and spices that brings out of the male body it's called "BONDED". When a couple is bounded the male is really over protective over their female and shit happens if anyone tries to hurt them.
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The book started right where book 7 left off. That evil Lash (son of the Omega) had stolen Xhex and kept her captive for his own evil doing. The ugly things he did to her had me so angry and upset and ughhh...My emotions were going wild. I freaking hated him since the beginning of the series and this book made me hate him more. John Mathews was a wild mess searching and searching to find her. He felt hopeless at some times and trying to find her I was dying inside with him just freaking anxious. I wanted to hurt Lash so much. Lots of shit happened, lots of fighting and action with the Vampires and Lessers thought this book.
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Xhex was able to get herself out of on her own only because Lash was getting weaker because he was going through a transformation of his own into the darkness. However, she wouldn't accept anyone's help and she was about to die and my baby John found her and saved her. Gawd...I loved him so much for it. He was the absolute ultimate male of honor the amazing alpha on this book. He was everything. Possessive over Xhex and protective too. She was stubborn but his true love without expecting anything in return won her over and she finally gave into his love. She too was a bad ass bitch who took possessiveness over him and saved his life couple of times as well. Their sex was freaking amazing. OMG...SUPER HOT...

“You are so beautiful, he mouthed. But of course she couldn't see his lips. Guess he was going to have to show her.” JM

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“When she orgasmed, she said his name. Twice. And didn't it make him glad that even though he had no voice, his ears worked just fine. –JM”

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I am trying not to chock while writing this review because it was so emotional. My anxiety levels were up in the sky. The sexual tension was so much to bare between Qhuinn and Blay it hurt so much it was painful. Even thought I am not into M/M you can't help liking these two because you fell in love with both characters from book one and I know I'm up for a hell of a heartbreak until I can get to their book which is #11 ;( . We saw a little of Payne on this book too and I can't wait to read hers next. The little bits of pieces we got on this book just gutted me. Omg seriously her twin brother, my man V and her?!...they just had no clue about each other.
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The author always seems to have side stories thought and sometimes it kind of slows the books a little but these couple of side stories I really enjoyed because OMG they made so much sense at the end like seriously I was in shocked and amazed on how beautifully it all clicked at the end. The first side story was about Darius and Tohr, it was just beautiful. I sobbed for that mother and that baby it was just too much but then everything made so much sense at the end it felt so good. I felt so much relief and happiness. The second side story was about a couple who where filming a live hunted house, it was about a ghost story. I had no idea why on the hell that story was relevant until the end I was like omfg holy shit...The ending was EPIC, I mean absolutely beautiful I was so happy for JM & Xhex they finally get their happy ending. The tension & anxiety of what is to come for the entire Brotherhood is so intense and I just cannot wait to see what more is in store on the next books.
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Overall, I think this book was by far my favorite one since I started the series. I freaking loved everything about it and I cannot wait to read more about my favorite brothers.

“I would hold you up. I will ever hold you up and hold you dear, lover mine.” JM

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Profile Image for Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘.
1,314 reviews2,859 followers
July 31, 2021
Forth "re-read": 31.07.2021
Holy shit these books are long. That said, I ONLY re-read Qhuinn and Blay's parts; meaning I skipped everything else again. And that one scene... it just gets me so fucking emotional.

With stumbling feet, he blindly walked somewhere, anywhere. When he got to the king’s study, he looked over his shoulder and checked the carpet over which he’d trodden.
No trail of his blood. Which, considering the way his chest was hurting, was a surprise.
Sure as shit felt like he’d been shot in the heart.

Third re-read: 23.08.2019
I cried again. When Qhuinn told Blay to take care of himself. It's so heartbreaking. I love everything about Qhuinn and Blay's storyline, except for the Layla part. I don't like that. Again, I only re-read Qhuinn and Blay's parts. Hell, if I were only rating their part in these books, the ratings would be at at least 4 stars.

Second re-read: 11.07.2017
As you all know; I love Qhuinn. Which is why I only re-read his and Blay's POVs. Which I did the last time as well. I just can't get enough of them two. I mean, J.R. Ward writes that pain they both feel, specially Qhuinn, so damn brilliantly, that I always feel that damn pain in my chest. I just want my babies happy.
“You take care of yourself.”
Now Blay’s voice was hoarse to the point of cracking. “Yeah. You, too.”
Because of course, “take care of you” was what Qhuinn always said when he was letting someone go.”

Re-read: 13.01.2017
Though I cannot really consider this a re-read considering I only re-read Blay and Qhuinn POVs. I love those two. It's strange, because normally I don't read male on male romance, but these two guys? They suck you in. That scene at the end? Breaks my heart every time.
I miss you. I miss you so fucking bad it hurts, but I don't know how to find you even though you're right in front of me.

Quick basic facts:
Genre: - (Adult) Paranormal Romance
Series: - Series, Book Eight
Love triangle? -
Cheating? -
HEA? -
Favorite character? - Qhuinn
Would I read more by this author/or of series? - Yes.
Would I recommend this book/series? - Yes.
Will I read this again in the future? - For Blay and Qhuinn, yes.
Rating - 3 *Qhuinn* stars

First read review:
Only reason I liked this book was because of Blay and Qhuinn, even though they gave me a goddamn heartbreak!
Profile Image for P .
691 reviews327 followers
November 15, 2016
“I miss you. I miss you so fucking bad it hurts, but I don't know how to find you even though you're right in front of me.”

Xhex was kidnapped and John lost his mind, he didn't know how he could find her. In Lover Mine, We'll see the long distance for John to save his first and only love. John Matthew, as you know that he reborn with Darius' soul, he has no memory of what happened before this life, so he lives his life as a new one and falls in love again. That's a complex and interesting story of this book.

“The truth was...he was in love with her. Totally over-the-line, no-going-back, not-even-dead-would-he-part kind of shit.”

This book is immensely beautiful. John's feelings towards Xhex are so deep and touching. There's nothing he can't do to bring his female back. The development of this character is visibly good, I've have known John since Rhage's book and I'm not disapointed by his story at all. And I decided to condone Qhuinn and Blay's stupid behavior because I knew that J.R. Ward had to build the conflict to prepare them for Lover At Last, however, it's fun to see these guys chase their tails all the time.

“I would hold you up. I will ever hold you up and hold you dear, lover mine.”

All in all, I liked the ending of Lover Mine. Very exquisite. I was satisfied by the conclusion of their undying love, and seeing the old characters I love so damn much again is super. I cried so loud because of John's yearning for Xhex, too.

Profile Image for Buggy.
500 reviews682 followers
March 28, 2011
Opening Line: "He wished he had more time."

**Spoiler Free**
In trying to review LOVER MINE two words keep popping into my head; Amazing and Damn… just damn. How can I honestly put into words how much I loved this story and how sad I am that it’s over? Following a year long wait JR Wards 8th instalment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood finally made its way into my eager little hands. At 512 pages LOVER MINE is huge (with a fantastic cover) and I’m happy to report that it does not disappoint, in fact with John Mathews long awaited story the WARDen positively shines.

Fans are given exactly what we’ve been waiting for with ever evolving storylines, multiple POV’s, surprises, tragedies, plot twists, ass-kicking action,(Xhex much) humour and oh the romance. Completed here with erotic, blush-worthy love scenes and of course the inevitable struggle and heartache. I can tell you that this story brought me to tears more than once and not for the reasons you might expect. All of this awesomeness has been wrapped up with Wards unique style of writing, complete with product placements, rap music, unique street language, multiple f-bombs and a whole new batch of cool Wardisms I can’t wait to start using, you feel me.

The series is brought full circle within this book with loose ends cleverly tied together and resolutions brought to story threads we’ve had growing and brewing since the beginning. Sadly I realized that even with Ward continuing indefinitely JM/Darius will be the last of the original brothers to have his story told and that with this book being red, just like book 1 (Dark Lover) she’s given us book ends of a sort.

With us since the beginning, in this instalment we finally get John Mathew (and Darius‘s) story. Of all the characters John is the one we have the greatest sense of and have invested the most time in, having watched him change from a scrawny, neglected and abused pre-trans into an enormous, and angry male with a ton of fricken baggage. His pairing with the half Sympath Xhex has been in the works for some time now and with her abduction in the end of (Lover Avenged) we have the perfect place to begin their story. (Which I’m not going to give away) I will say however that I was pleased to see reflections of the sweet, sensitive John we remember (only now oozing sex appeal) and witness a softer side of Xhex. As always their path to HEA is not an easy one but its fun and sexy as hell watching them open up to each other and get there.

As a whole the storyline blew my mind. With three very separate and distinct running plotlines, (which at first had me wondering, where the hell is this going?) Ward manages to merge all the puzzle pieces together into WOW, bringing us deliciously full circle. Darker and more serious than past books my only real complaint would be the lack of banter between the Brothers and the Brothers as a whole. The moments that we’re given are excellent and while they’re all represented to a degree (some more than others) I insatiably craved more and truly missed them. Qhuinn and Blay, each now with their own POV manage to somewhat fill the gap who along with Saxton bring a different degree of heartache, sexiness and hot mess to the mix. Lash is also back as the Lessening societies leader and surprisingly awesome here as he takes things to a whole new gooey level of evil.

In the end Ward leaves us smiling with contentment, with new characters emerging and events opening up for future stories that I can’t wait to discover. I just wish it wasn’t so far away because I find that after getting just 3 days with the BDB its already time to leave them again and I’m not quite ready to let them go yet. See ya next year boys, stay safe Cheers!

Oh, and in case you were wondering Ward dedicates this book to John Mathew himself(which was what started my first crying jag)
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,512 followers
November 24, 2017
John Matthew and Xhex

"I'm glad you and Xhex have found each other. It makes cosmic sense, it truly does."
John shoved the keys in his pocket to free up his hand. We're not together.
The smile that briefly showed on the guy's face seemed ancient.
"Yeah, you are. You two are meant to be together."

John Matthew has the most complicated storyline in BDB. By far. The truth is that nobody really knows who is John Matthew – not even John himself.

Let’s start from the beginning:
Darius is definitely the most fundamental character in the series. He was killed in the first book, but he has never left the series. He is basically the one who brought the Brothers together, the one who fathered Beth and introduced her to Wrath and the one who had the largest fortune (houses, money, cars, doggens etc) and most of it the Brothers and their mates enjoy now that Darius is dead and gone but not forgotten. He has also played a huge part during the birth of Xhex (as the best friend of Tohr), but this will be exploited more in book Lover Reborn when we learn the story of Autumn(aka No'One).

Anyway, I have started talking about John Matthew in the beginning. The orphan John who grew up among humans; who never knew who his real father is; who is mute and could not cry for help when he was sixteen and he was raped at the stairs of his horrible, cheap apartment.
That John always wanted to be someone strong and fierce so that nobody would ever harm him again or the people that he wanted to protect.
And one day he learned that he is truly a vampire and that pretty soon he will be taller, stronger, more good-looking and nobody would give him a hard time ever again.

So at some point, he matured and he changed.
And he got his first rejection by Xhex.
And then his second rejection by Xhex.
Although she was the only one who made him forget his brutal rape and who made him feel a man.

And then Xhex was taken away from him and she was tortured.
And he could not find her and protect her like he had vowed that he would do when he would become stronger.

But let’s not forget that they were destined to be together.Thus, not even disgusting Lash or the whole Omega tribe could separate them.

He just had to break some treadmills to calm down first.

She shook her head. "I'm not leaving him. And I'm out here waiting only because I was making him crazy. The sight of me . . . isn't good for his mental health at the moment. I'm hoping that's no longer true after he breaks this second treadmill."
"I'm pretty damn sure the flapping and the smell of smoke about fifteen minutes ago meant he ran one of them into the ground."

Anyway … what was I talking about? Oh yes…. About John. And about Darius.
Well, John is Darius. And this is the biggest mystery in the series so far.
Profile Image for Auntee.
1,295 reviews1,391 followers
May 2, 2010
Awwwwww...it's over. *sniff* *sigh*
I'm just blown away by JR Ward's writing. There hasn't been a real 'miss' for me in this series yet, but I was a little concerned about this one. Could JR Ward make me fall in love with JM's and (especially) the rather cold, butch Xhex's story? Not to worry, she accomplished that...in spades. Now my mind is trying to sort out all the reasons why I enjoyed this one so much. Once again, JR Ward packs her stories with so much info, so much description, so much plot, so much adventure, so much good stuff that it took me twice as long to read it as I thought it would. But that is in part because I wanted to savor it slowly, and I wanted to make sure that I didn't miss a thing! This is an awesome tale of two survivors who overcome all sorts of odds to find happiness. So on with the review...

As we left Lover Avenged Xhex, John Matthew, Rehv and the Brothers were battling the sympaths and Lash up north in the sympath colony. Xhex disappeared, and it looked like she may have been abducted by Lash. When Lover Mine opens, almost 4 weeks have passed, JM and the Brothers are searching for Xhex, and we find out that she is indeed being imprisoned and abused by the increasingly evil Lash. But Xhex is determined to find a way out from her imprisonment, and hasn't given up. She's fights Lash with all that she has, which of course makes Lash want her more. He's clearly obsessed with her, and he has big plans...

Meanwhile, JM and the Brothers figure that Lash either has Xhex or killed her, they just need to figure out where he's stashed her. JM, in his despair, decides to tattoo his feelings for Xhex on his back. He may never see her again, but he will carry her with him through eternity...

Xhex eventually escapes (after a heartbreaking scene where JM mourns at an invisible Xhex's bedside) and is reunited with JM. Now they must finally face the feelings that they have for each other, while planning the destruction of Lash. Will Xhex allow herself to feel something for JM? Or will she continue to break his heart?

Wow, what can I say about JM and Xhex? I've always liked JM, loved reading about him in all the books, although I couldn't understand his attraction to Xhex. And when she treated him badly in "Lover Avenged", I was a little angry with her. But I knew JRW would have some explanation for her actions, and would most likely make her more likable. And she did, without taking away any of Xhex's kick-ass personality. She gave her a backstory that satisfied my questions about her, made me sympathize with her, and showed in "Lover Mine" that her character was able to grow and change and that she was worthy of JM's devotion. She may not be my favorite female in the series, but I certainly came to respect and admire her, and thought she was perfect for John Matthew. And it looks like there's a lot of story left for this couple, and I can't wait to see where it takes us.

Besides the main storyline of JM and Xhex and their plan to destroy Lash and their growing feelings for one another, Lover Mine contains some tasty side plots. They are...

*Blay and Qhuinn
Blay is tired of waiting for the promiscuous Qhuinn to realize his feelings for him, and with a broken heart, moves on with Qhuinn's cousin Saxton. Is it too late for Blay/Qhuinn?
This plot just about broke my heart. Blay's longing for Qhuinn, Qhuinn's refusal to follow what was in his heart and instead follow a path that he thought was 'normal' and would be approved by the glymera, and then Blay's decision to move on...even though he deserved it, my heart broke with Qhuinn's when he realized that he lost Blay. When Blay opened that door to Saxton's room, I kept thinking "NO, don't go in there!"

Wrath continues sparring with Payne on the Far Side. Payne wants to leave what she sees as her prison for life on the other side, but the Scribe Virgin says no...until a sparring match with Wrath turns deadly. Will Payne finally get to meet the Brother who she thought was dead?
Payne is an interesting character. Ward sort of left us in the lurch about what's going to happen to her. Will her injury be reversible? Will Dr. Manny be her HEA? How will she get along with the brother who she thought was dead? I can't wait to read her story.

*Tohrment and Darius
Ward takes the reader on a journey that shows how Darius and Tohr's friendship began hundreds of years ago, while simultaneously revealing the sad circumstances of Xhex's birth and the family that did not want her. Some good stuff here. We learn a lot about Darius's past, the kind of man he was, and how he was a mentor to Tohr. I loved the whole connection between Darius, Tohr, JM, and Xhex. By the end of this book it looked like Tohr was finally getting himself together. I don't know if there can ever be anyone for him besides Wellsie, but I'd like to hope so. I want to see him happy again.

We finally learn some of the details of what became of Xhex's first love, Murhder, and what he's doing now. It took quite a while for this side plot to unfold, and at first I had no clue how this storyline connected to the rest of the book and it took me a while to connect all the dots. But finally I had my "A-ha" moment, but by then that was the end of Murhder... for now.
I don't know Ward's plans, but surely Murhder (who was a Brother before he went mad and disappeared) will surely come knocking on Xhex's door again, right?

Some of my favorite scenes/quotes in LM:

*JM leaving with Xhex's pillow after he broke down at her bedside

*JM washing Xhex in the shower after her surgery, taking gentle care of her...Xhex cupping his face, saying he's a 'male of worth', kissing him...

*Xhex telling JM he has beautiful table manners, and JM blushing

*JM and Xhex's 'first time' in the stretching facility...HOT

*JM taking Xhex with him on a journey down memory lane as he reveals his past to her

*Xhex telling JM: "You're not half the male you could be because of what was done to you. You're twice what anyone else is because you survived."

*Xhex, refusing to get all girly over JM: "I'll have you know that I'm not the kind of female who goes all dizzy, popping a stiletto off the floor just because some guy kisses her deep. You're not turning me into one of those females who goes gaga over her lover. Not happening. I'm not hardwired for that."

*When Xhex finally gets a look at the tattoo on JM's back

*Xhex wanting to kill Lash not for herself, but for John: "You don't f*** with what's mine."

*JM putting Xhex's needs before his own when it came down to destroying Lash

*JM's long conversation with Tohr where he finally understands everything and says "Come with me. Do this with me."

*Qhuinn realizing that he lost Blay and what that means to him...Life goes on...long after the thrill of living is gone...

And a few that made me chuckle...

*Qhuinn, telling Blay about Saxton: "He's a slut, a very classy, very elegant slut."

*About Qhuinn's promiscuity:...he was Wilt Chamberlain with fangs.

*Lassiter getting upset with what he's missing on TV because Tohr is hogging the remote: "Come on I'm missing Maury. Paternity tests, Tohr. You're button-blocking paternity tests. This sucks."

*Z walking away (after a conversation with JM) with a pink baby bib stuffed in his back pocket

And of course, the ones that had me tearing up...

*Tohr's gift to Xhex

*JM's mating gift to Xhex

*JM to Xhex: "I would hold you up. I will ever hold you up and hold you dear, lover mine."

Fans of this series will be happy to know that almost everyone (with the exception of Cormia and Marissa) is either mentioned, has an appearance, a small speaking role, or a larger role (Doc Jane certainly had her work cut out for her in this one). Wrath, Tohr, Doc Jane, and Rehv all had ample face time, and V, Z, Rhage, Butch, Ehlena, Trez, iAm, and Lassiter all were heard from. We also find out the identity of the mysterious No'One (surprising), and get some set ups for some possible follow up books. Clearly Ward is not finished with Blay/Qhuinn, Qhuinn/Layla, Payne, or Tohr.

One more thing that I must mention, and that is the gore in this book. Ugh! If it wasn't the oily mess that the dead Lessers leave behind that grossed me out, or the 'inductions' into the Lessening Society, it was the shocking physical transformation of Lash that was right out of a horror movie! Oh my. If you don't mind a little blood and guts, violence, and horror (oh jeez, the Omega...) in your books, then you'll love all the nastinest that JRW serves up. Lash's transformation was disturbing, gruesome...yet I couldn't look away! Truly horrific.

So fans of the BDB, this is a good one. If you didn't care for Xhex before give her a chance. You might have to wait until around page 300 to see it, but she and John Matthew are hot together. True, she's different than all the other shellans, she's a tough customer with lots of rough edges, but I think you'll grow to love her, as I did. Verily, I would not steer you wrong on this. "Lover Mine" is not to be missed! 5 stars

My John Matthew...
John Matthew?

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for xrysa.
143 reviews920 followers
June 20, 2013
“Some things are destined to be -- it just takes us a couple of tries
to get there.”

John Matthew


I was anxiously awaiting to read JM's book because he is one of my favorites non-Brother characters.However there were some parts where I didnt enjoy the book and I am admiting that I skipped a few pages.
What annoyed me about the book was Darious's POV and the ghosthunters' POV.Seriously , until the very last chapter I wasnt able to understand the purrpose of those POVS.Still in the end I understood that Darious's POV was relevant with the story ,as No'One is introduced, but I have no idea why the author was bothering us with the so called ghosthunters.

In spite of these facts the main story was AMAZING.

I loved so much Xhex! I knew that under this hard to the core woman there was something else. To my surprise I never thought that she could give up things and reconcile with what was happening.
Xhex is strong but the things that was forced to endure broke her and she thought that she didnt need someone.Yet she was wrong.Everything she ever wanted was JM.

Ahh this guy!I love him so much.Even though he was acting like an a**hole in the previous book he returned back to his real self , to the John we all loved.We met him in the second book of the series as a weak poor kid but now he is all grown up , strong and willing to protect his female.

Their relationship is wierd in the begining as they both feel awkward.
How not to feel like this when so many things had happened between them?Their past isnt what they would love to remember as they both had screwed things up.

The hardest of all is to reveal the real you.They both did their best to present their secrets and get to know each other.They discovered things about each other that didnt even belive they were real as none of them grew up in an easy world.They both suffered but they want to move on and so they do.


Qhuin you got so much on my freaking nerves.As much as I love you-you deserved every single pain that Blay unwitingly caused you.

You are messing around with every single girl in front of his eyes and when he settles down you get jealous??

And when you have the opportunity to fix everything you walk away?

My poor Blay , you deserve to be happy but not with Saxton.I simply dont like him.He gives me so many negative vibes.

One of my favorite moments in this book was the one between Zsadist and John

“Or, God, maybe this was just life. For everyone on the planet. Maybe the Survivor's Club wasn't something you "earned," but simply what you were born into when you came out of your mother's womb. Your heartbeat put you on the roster and then the rest of it was just a question of vocabulary: the nouns and verbs used to describe the events that rocked your foundation and sent you flailing were not always the same as other people's, but the random cruelties of disease and accident, and the malicious focus of evil men and nasty deeds, and the heartbreak of loss with all its stinging whips and rattling chains... At the core, it was all the same.”
Zsadist is definitely an examlpe of a survivor :)

Last but not least , I cant wait to read the next book . I've heard that there are many V-scenes and since he is my favorite , I'm sure I'll love the book.
Profile Image for Danielle.
831 reviews455 followers
February 1, 2023
Guilty pleasure read 🤗 8th in series… Caution: 🛑 Rated R for adult content. Not suitable for ya or wholesome folks. 🔥
Profile Image for • Lisa •.
555 reviews1,531 followers
June 22, 2013

"You're not half the male you could be because of what was done to you. You're twice what anyone else is because you survived."

Everything about 'Lover Mine' ~ The prologue, beginning, middle and end is nothing short of breathtaking. I felt like I had been given a glimpse into a sacred secret or historical story telling, and once again I applaud the author for a fantastic continuation of what is fast becoming my favourite of all series. Each book so far has claimed five easy stars and 'Lover Mine' has just been added to that pile.

It is no secret that I have been waiting most anxiously for the story of John Matthew, nothing could have prepared me for the story that unravelled. I was completely captivated and consumed by this tale of love, it far surpassed any expectations that I had. Every single book in the series is refreshingly different and although there are elements that I have come to expect, the author keeps her readers on their toes and I am no exception. I whole heartedly loved this story and I'm sure by now that it comes as no surprise.


What's it all about?
John Matthew is a character that has lovingly been involved in the series from the beginning, we are first introduced to him as a painfully lost and mute pre-tans earlier in the series, he is a character that has played a significant role in the life of the Brotherhood family.The reader subsequently is taken on a heartbreaking journey of boy to man. 'Lover mine' captures the tale of John Matthew's dedicated love to a half syhmpath, Xhex a tough, no nonsense warrior who has scars on the inside from her tragic past. Both these characters have lessons to learn about themselves and each other, 'Lover Mine' captures the duo making choices In order to build the bridge to happiness with each other, but with both of their destiny's lying at the hands of the war of the lesser's and their own turbulent pasts will they be able to find find their own True love ending?

Everything about this instalment of the brotherhood was nothing short of amazing, again the author involves so much into her storytelling, and although John Matthew and Xhex's relationship was very much in the forefront of the book I was also interested to learn more about Payne, Tohrment, Qhuinn and Blay all characters that I can't wait to read about.

This series has blown me away, it's a ten star collection and I'm always more than ready for the next book to come along.


Profile Image for Shawna.
3,546 reviews4,577 followers
May 24, 2010
4 ½ stars – Vampire/Paranormal Romance

Okay...It goes without saying that I’m a total hussy for the Brothers, that the BDB series is my favorite, and that the ‘WARD’en is brilliant, and I totally expected this to be another no-brainer 5-star read. But unfortunately, it juuust didn’t quite get there for me (shocking...I know!), mainly since I felt a little bit cheated in the romance department due to all the Lash/Lesser distraction and because there was just so much filler. I mean, Lash’s evil manifestation through physical deterioration and mental decline into total cuckoo-ville got waaay too much word time. And what was with the completely irrelevant haunted southern mansion sub-plot?! I could have done without that interruption for sure. I also felt like the flashback sub-plot with Darius and Tohr was a bit disruptive to the overall flow and pace of the story, but at least it tied in really well at the end. Although I’m still utterly confused about whether John Matthew is supposed to be Darius reincarnated or is he just his son?

I’ve always liked John Matthew and ached for his suffering and found Xhex to be a mysterious, intriguing, and kick-butt heroine, but I just didn’t picture them becoming a BDB power couple like Zsadist and Bella, Rhage and Mary, or Wrath and Beth. However, I was very pleasantly surprised and totally captivated by their intense connection, personal struggles, emotional turmoil and growth, and journey of self-discovery, acceptance, and healing. I just wish there had been more time devoted to their relationship and romance because it was so complicated, touching, volatile yet tender, passionate, heart-wrenching, and blistering hot!

By far, my favorite aspect of Lover Mine was the explosive sexual tension and volatile emotional conflict between Qhuinn and Blaylock...YOWZA! They (Qhuay) flat-out stole the show, IMO. I just kept wishing and hoping that Ward would give us a nice, fat, juicy Qhuinn/Blay steak! I expect (fingers crossed) that they will get their own story, or at least a novella, at some point, and I really hope there’s a big HEA coming their way. There better not be a Marissa and/or Jane sell out this time either...I want a Qhuinn/Blay mating, darnit!

So, although this wasn’t my favorite or a perfect 5-star read, the BDB series still kicks major ass! Now, I just wish there wasn’t such a long, agonizing wait until the next book! 4 ½...almost 5 stars!

And whew boy, what a sexy, hot cover! I love the nail scratch marks on his chest!

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books399 followers
August 21, 2023
Pretty awesome, loved all the buildup to their relationship as well, and once they finally got together, this book was intense.

Reread 2020:

Profile Image for Alex is The Romance Fox.
1,461 reviews1,119 followers
July 9, 2017
This is one of my favourite books in this series.

John Matthews is one of the characters that just grabbed my heart and never let go.
It's emotional, heartbreaking and uplifting too each time I get into this story.

His intensity and depth blows me away. How much he has to deal with in his life....before and after being found by the Brotherhood.

Seeing his and Xhex's relationship develop is just heartbreaking and the ending of this book really made me feel sad....when will something good happen in his life????

I felt his desolation, his pain, his sense of being alone....this was a sad read for me.

I always believed that he and Xhex were meant to be together....call it fate, destiny....but they HAVE to be with each other.

I was glad that he had Qhuinn & Blay in his life...he needs comfort and love ...something he has never experienced before.

Okay, enough...I want JM & Xhex together....the two finding love together, never having it ever in their lives. THAT'S WHAT I WANT!!!!
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“...the only thing that had tethered her to the earth had been him and it was strange, but she felt welded to him on some core level now. He had seen her at her absolute worst, at her weakest and most insane, and he hadn't looked away. He hadn't judged and he hadn't been burned.

It was as if in the heat of her meltdown they had melted together.

This was more than emotion. It was a matter of soul.

“John leaned in and pressed his lips to hers; then he stretched out beside her. His body was exhausted but, his heart was alive with a joy so pure it was like the sunlight he didn't get to see anymore: He was a mute-ass motherfucker with a nasty past and a night job that involved fighting evil and slaughtering the undead. And in spite of all that...he'd gotten the girl.”

― John Matthew thinking of Xhex

“I want you to know...that you can trust me."

John locked eyes with her and was instantly transported to a different plane of existence. Mighta been heaven again. Who the fuck knew or cared. All he knew was that there was only her and him together, the rest of the world drifting away into fog.

Was it possible to fall in love with someone twice, he wondered dimly.”

Some of my fav quote:

“Ride?" Rhage snorted. "Please. That thing is a sewing machine with an air dam taped to it. My GTO could dust the fucker in fourth gear from a dead stop."

When there was an odd sound from behind, John looked back. So did the three Brothers.

"What." Xhex bristled and crossed her arms over her chest. "I can laugh, you know. And that's . . . pretty damn funny."

Rhage beamed. "I knew I liked you.”

“You're not half the male you could be because of what was done to you. You're twice what anyone else is because you survived.”
And I so wish Qhuinn would get his shit together.......
“Qhuinn: "What is wrong with you, that you care so much about me?"
Blay: "What is wrong with you, that you can't see why I would?”

July 19, 2021
What a ride, so much happened in this book!

John Matthew has been a favorite since the beginning. He was just a street rat that needed a home. It turned out he was a pre-transition Vampire and he had been brutally assaulted because he was so small and skinny so you just had to feel for the kid.

Then as he found a home with Tohrment and Wellsie and found out that the queen was his Sister, and Tohr’s murdered friend Darius was his father, it was starting to getting nicer for John. He still wanted to be bigger, and had nightmares, but he felt like he had a place.

Since Wellsie Died and Tohrment went away, he has been so sullen and depressed. Even after Transitioning and becoming a huge muscular Vampire, he still had issue after issue. Now John Matthew is in love with Xhex and determined to save her.

Lash, my favorite villain falls in Love with Xhex as well. He kidnaps her and hides her away with his Omega magic. It seems the more time that passes the more like the Omega Lash becomes which is a frightening thing. I wonder where that will go in future books.

Now that Tohrment has returned he is finally waking up from his grief at losing Wellsie and figuring out that he was supposed to be a father to John, but he ran away instead and John went through a lot by himself. So Tohrment starts to make up for lost time and repair the relationship.

Profile Image for Amy | Foxy Blogs.
1,473 reviews975 followers
August 22, 2014
I was beginning to lose heart the further I went in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series because the of charm these books had began to fade for me. Book 2 & 3 were awesome and "Lover Mine" ranks right up there with those other two books as being a GREAT READ.

As with all these books there is always some side stories happening. This one had two:

♦A couple in search of ghost in a particular bed & breakfast.
♦ Darius & Tohr in the past working together.

I kept wondering how these two story lines were going to tie into the main love story between JM & Xhex and by the end of the book it all worked together. Well done, Ms. Ward.
The essential truth of life, he was coming to realize, wasn't romantic and took only two words to label: Shit. Happens.



Cheat sheet for the brotherhood :
Wrath: last pure-blood vampire in existence. Dark Lover(#1) The King (#12) {Wrath & Beth}

Rhage: is the strongest and most beautiful of the Brothers. Nicknamed "Hollywood." Lover Eternal (#2) {Rhage & Mary}

Zsadist: has a twin, Phury. Described as "ruined, not broken." Lover Awakened (#3) {Zsadist & Bella}

Butch/Dhestroyer: is the only human male ever to be allowed within the Brotherhood. Nickname "Cop." Lover Revealed (#4) {Butch & Marissa}

Vishous: is the smartest Brother, and the one who is specially gifted/cursed. Lover Unbound (#5) {Vishous & Jane}

Phury: Zsadist's twin brother and loyal to his brother. Lover Enshrined (#6) {Phury & Cormia}

Rehvenge: brother-in-law to Zsadist. He's half symphath and owner of a night club. Drug lord and pimp. Lover Avenged (#7) {Rehvenge & Ehlena}

John Matthew/Tehrror: is Lover Mine (#8){JM & Xhex}

Dr. Manuel "Manny" Manello: is Chief of Surgery at St. Francis Hospital. Lover Unleashed (#9)

Tohrment: best friends with Darius and JM's pseudo dad Lover Reborn (#10)

Qhuinn: has mismatched eyes. Lover at Last (#11)

Blaylock/"Blay": gentlemanLover at Last (#11)

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) by J.R. Ward Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2) by J.R. Ward Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3) by J.R. Ward Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4) by J.R. Ward Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5) by J.R. Ward Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6) by J.R. Ward Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) by J.R. Ward Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8) by J.R. Ward Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9) by J.R. Ward Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10) by J.R. Ward Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11) by J.R. Ward The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12) by J.R. Ward The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13) by J.R. Ward
To find out when The Shadows will be released and if there will be more books in the series click here.

Father Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5) by J.R. Ward
Profile Image for Peep (Pop! Pop!).
418 reviews49 followers
April 30, 2010
So, I really wanted to like this word parking lot. I wanted to serve it a plate of you-the-bomb. Hitting the rewind button on RL, the beginning of this book had me palming the snooze button. There was a whole lot of wake me when this junk gets good going on. What's doing, JR? What? You know us fans love some action, true? Blasting some Jay-Z rhymes in the background, I sucked it up and read the dang thang. And wouldn't you know, it started to get good on me? I was feeling some this-book-is-kinda-growing-on-me-for reals. I think this book released a bonding scent on me, you feel me? I couldn't put it down after the sun ducked for cover.

Maybe because it was psycho Lash, I even paid attention to what's doing with the Lessers. He must have 70% control in crazy stock because I busted out with giggles when he left that message on V's machine. Funniest. Villain. Ever.

What had my eyebrows rubbing my hairline was the change in Xhex. She wasn't that likable before. I won't front, if I knew I could beat her in a fist fight, I would have written it in one of my previous reviews, but her being an assassin and all had me going all Kindergarten with the zipper on my mouth. But trauma will change you and Xhex had her cake and all, and wouldn't you know, I started to like the Sympath. Great, now I feel like a Nancy or something. John was still adorable. He stuck by his woman like white on rice, even when she was going all Atkins Diet on his feelings. They were so romantic in a we're-both-killers kind of way. And ain't that something to write home about.

I missed the Brothers in this one. Whenever one of them felt like putting in an appearance in the books' real estate, I felt myself grinning so hard the sides of my mouth caressed my ears, you feel me? Seriously some Mary Poppins type love going on here.

And wouldn't you know, at first reading about Thor and Darrius was a bore. I won't front, I skimmed those sections like milk. But it started to get interesting so I had to go all Back to the Future Part III on those parts.

Say whatever you want, I wasn't feeling the whole Blay/Qhuinn/Saxton thing. It almost seemed forced. But almost as much as I love extra sharp cheddar cheese, I love Blay, Quinn, and Saxton. And just like you do with someone you love, I tapped the ignore switch on the cheesiness of their storyline. And cheese it was. Extra. Sharp. Cheddar. Yum, yet still cheese. Ya heard?

And wouldn't you know, JR. Used. These. Four. thiiinnnnngggsss a buttloooooooaddd of tiimmmeesss throughout-the-book. Oh and I SO don't want to forget how much she SO used that word. But like a Nancy, I still liked everything and served it with a side of 3.5 stars. Like the good ship Titanic, I was doomed from the second time I picked up one of her books. My second time sealed the deal. And like one of Rhev's old customers I'll buy the next book she puts out. Addiction, much?


Upon further reflection I didn't like this book as much as I thought. I missed the brothers. I liked writing the review though, so that's something, right? 2 stars!
Profile Image for Christy.
3,913 reviews33k followers
April 20, 2015
 photo LoverMine-Cover_zps788b7825.jpg

Another beautiful, emotional, and wonderful Black Dagger Brotherhood novel!!!
“Some things are destined to be -- it just takes us a couple of tries to get there.” ♥

We have our main man of the book- John Matthew
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John Matthew has been through a lot. His journey the past seven books has been difficult, yet amazing. I have been waiting and waiting for his book, and it didn’t disappoint, you feel me???

We meet John Matthew as a pre-trans, scrawny mute guy. He’s friends with Mary (Rhage’s shellan) and Bella (Z’s shellan) thankfully recognizes what he is. JM was raised by humans, and he has had a not so ideal life. But since Tohr took him in, he has essentially become a part of the brotherhood family. He is not that scrawny guy anymore. He is powerful, a warrior. We have been following JM’s story for so long- it was about time he got his own book! Because of his past, John has trouble with females. But there is one in particular he has feelings for. She is a half sympath, badass female. And she is missing.

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John has had feelings for Xhex for a while now. But Xhex has quite a bit of baggage of her own. He’s pretty sure Xhex doesn’t feel the same way about him, but it doesn’t lessen the feelings he has for her.
People felt the way they did and it wan’t their fault or yours if the connection was just one-sided. It just... was.

He will do whatever it takes to save her, or avenge her, whatever the circumstances may be.

I loved how the ‘main focus’ of this book was on John Matthew and Xhex. Even though we didn’t get a ton of the ‘brothers’, I still loved this one! JM and Xhex are one of those couples that would seem to never work, but they actually are pretty perfect for each other. They both have a ton of baggage, but much more in common than they think. They have both had a crazy hard past, and they are both survivors.
Maybe this was just life. For everyone on the planet. Maybe the Survivor's Club wasn't something you "earned," but simply what you were born into when you came out of your mother's womb. Your heartbeat put you on the roster and then the rest of it was just a question of vocabulary: the nouns and verbs used to describe the events that rocked your foundation and sent you flailing were not always the same as other people's, but the random cruelties of disease and accident, and the malicious focus of evil men and nasty deeds, and the heartbreak of loss with all its stinging whips and rattling chains... At the core, it was all the same

I love these two together.

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John has always had strong feelings for Xhex...
John locked eyes with her and was instantly transported to a different plane of existence. Mighta been heaven again. Who the fuck knew or cared. All he knew was that there was only her and him together, the rest of the world drifting away into fog.
Was it possible to fall in love with someone twice, he wondered dimly.

And I just loved when Xhex started to realize her feelings for John. She was possessive over him. JM is the last guy that needs protecting, but that doesn’t stop Xhex from trying. One of her best lines:
“You don't go after what's mine. Now be a good boy and gut yourself."

They both realize-
Doesn’t have to be easy to be right.

They have a pretty cool connection you find out about at the end of the book. There was a lot of back and forth with the two of them in this one. It took a lot for them to get together and get their HEA, but they couldn’t be more deserving.
“I’d like you to be my end game.”

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Emotional- wonderful- beautiful- amazing- LOVED IT!

I’m sure the next two books will be good, but- I’m not sure if I can read another two books before getting to Qhuinn and Blay’s story. I can’t freaking wait! Qhuinn is by far my favorite ‘non-brother’ of the series!

Just throwing that out there :D LOVE THESE BOOKS!!!!! You feel me?????
Profile Image for warhawke.
1,331 reviews2,009 followers
May 28, 2017
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Type: Book 8 from Black Dagger Brotherhood series
POV: Third Person

It's been a long journey since John Matthew was a scared, weak teenage boy. His tragic past thought him to be self reliant and compassionate. But even surrounded by good friends, he wanted something more and had his eyes on the unattainable.

As a half breed, Xhex is forced to live her life in secrecy. With a tough exterior, she built a wall around her heart and refused to let anyone in for the fear of repeating history. But when choices were taken from her, she must learn to adapt in order to survive.

I've been looking forward to this book since John was first introduced in the series. I love him and feel protected of him, so while I'm excited, I was also worried with how it will turn out.

He'd been there himself. He knew exactly what it was like to trip and fall and be in agony from hard impact… even though your body technically hadn't gone anywhere.

I'm sure John's past and how he overcame it would touch anyone's heart. And because of that, he had that special understanding about not pushing others to laid bare. I love how he accepted Xhex for who she was and never forced her to do anything she wasn't ready.

Shit, it was so damn girly. Next thing you knew, she was going to start crying at TV ads and doing her nails. And getting a frickin' pocketbook.

I have to admit I never liked Xhex when she first appeared in the series. And I was especially unhappy when John started to show interest. How could my sweet John ever be with the too rough and tough female? I just couldn't accept it, but then slowly since the last 2 books, I've been accepting her more and more and in this book, I can clearly see why they should be together. I love how she finally showed vulnerabilities and seeing her tough exterior scattered.

"You deserve so much better. I'm… really sorry."

There were three different storyline in this book. The first was obvious, the second made sense as it progressed, but the third one seemed so unrelated that I've been wondering what the hell was it there for. And I love how the author brought everything together at the end.

Lover Mine is a story of overcoming personal demons and learning to rely on others. From the ending it looks like there's still unfinished business from the past, so I'm looking forward to see which direction the next book will go.

Standalone Books in the series:
Must be read in order
Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) by J.R. Ward Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2) by J.R. Ward Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3) by J.R. Ward Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4) by J.R. Ward Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5) by J.R. Ward Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6) by J.R. Ward Father Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5) by J.R. Ward Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) by J.R. Ward Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8) by J.R. Ward Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9) by J.R. Ward Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10) by J.R. Ward Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11) by J.R. Ward The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12) by J.R. Ward The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13) by J.R. Ward The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #14) by J.R. Ward The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15) by J.R. Ward The Thief (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #16) by J.R. Ward

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:

Profile Image for Shurrn.
559 reviews838 followers
July 7, 2014
My sweet John Matthew finally gets his own book - and the result was romance, heartbreak, action, suspense... and a dash destiny...
The essential truth of life, he was coming to realize, wasn't romantic and took only two words to label: Shit. Happens.
But the thing was, you kept going. You kept your friends and your family and your mate as safe as you were able. And you kept fighting even after you were knocked down.
I have a tendency to become overly-attached to fictional characters; John Matthew is definitely in that category. I've watched him grow - literally and figuratively - over the course of this series, and while I was incredibly excited for him to get his own book, I was also nervous as hell... What was going to happen to John Matthew?

All I could do was sit back, let J.R. Ward take me on a wild ride, and cross my fingers that everything would turn out OK for a character I've come to adore.

“No, you've got it all wrong, John." Reading his emotions, she shook her head. "You're not half the male you could be because of what was done to you. You're twice what anyone else is because you survived.”
My sweet (not so little any more) John... Readers of the BDB Series watched him grow up and struggle to overcome the tragic circumstances of his past... The lost, scrawny, scared orphan managed to secure a place in my heart and it's been amazing to watch his story progress.

All of the characters seem destined to hit rock-bottom right before they're given their own book. John was spiraling out of control in the wake of Tohr's return to the Brotherhood, and the epic failure of the pseudo-relationship with Xhex. Even before John's transition, he was helplessly enamored with the female head of security at ZeroSum... When Xhex was kidnapped by Lash at the end of Lover Avenged, John completely lost it.

There was no way to comfort the lost boy he'd been back then.
But she had the grown male.
She had him right in her arms, and for a brief moment of whimsy, she imagined that she was never, ever going to let him go.
I was worried about pairing John up with the infamous Sympath badass female known as Xhex... John had been through so much tragedy in his life, and Xhex didn't seem to have nurturing bone in her body... Turns out, Xhex is a perfect match for John, and she proves her worth over the course of this book.

On a side note: We saw how lethal Xhex can be in Lover Avenged, but she really spread her wings in this book. The female is a fighter with skills that will make your jaw drop. She's simply incredible. In a series which has become hit-or-miss with its female characters, I was hugely impressed with Xhex!
“You don't go after what's mine. Now be a good boy and gut yourself."

The overall pacing of this book was AMAZING. J.R. Ward likes to weave multiple story-lines together, but never has that been as beautifully accomplished as in Lover Mine.

The side-stories and flashbacks coalesced in a way which was both seamless and satisfying.

John's connection to Darius was explored through the pages of the Brother's diary - and included insight into multiple characters of the series including Tohr and Wrath - as well as a few others which were a surprise right up until the reveal.

I miss you. I miss you so fucking bad it hurts, but I don't know how to find you even though you're right in front of me.
I ache for these two... Their story has been progressing over the last several books in the series and I am eager to see them find their Happily Ever After together... Honestly, I'm so invested in Blay & Qhuinn, that I'm not particularly interested in reading Lover Unleashed (Payne's Story) - I just want to skip straight to Lover At Last... But I'm a good little girl, and I'll read everything in order... Even if the anticipation is killing me...

My Other Reviews in the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series:

1. Dark Lover - My Review
2. Lover Eternal - My Review
3. Lover Awakened - My Review
4. Lover Revealed - My Review
5. Lover Unbound - My Review
6. Lover Enshrined - My Review
6.5 Father Mine - My Review
7. Lover Avenged - My Review
8. Lover Mine - You're Reading It
9. Lover Unleashed - My Review
10. Lover Reborn - My Review
11. Lover At Last - My Review
12. The King - My Review
13. The Shadows - My Review

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) by J.R. Ward Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2) by J.R. Ward Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #3) by J.R. Ward Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4) by J.R. Ward Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5) by J.R. Ward Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6) by J.R. Ward Father Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6.5) by J.R. Ward Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) by J.R. Ward Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8) by J.R. Ward Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #9) by J.R. Ward Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10) by J.R. Ward Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11) by J.R. Ward The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #12) by J.R. Ward The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13) by J.R. Ward
Profile Image for Bev .
1,910 reviews416 followers
October 5, 2017
I'd hoped for so much more for John's story, and instead got a hot mess that was dragged down once again by so much product placement and so many damn kitchen sinks that were thrown in there. The writing is choppy and all over the place with side stories everywhere, they made my head spin.

Do I believe that John and Xhex will last as a couple? Hell to the no, same with V and Jane, though I still think V and Butch should be together. For me, the only couple in this series to have the romance of the ages was Tohr and Wellsie and Ward did a number on her. Go figure!

I don't want to have to slog my way through a book, and as I'm getting further into the series that's becoming the norm, so going to take a break for a while.
Profile Image for Exina.
1,189 reviews382 followers
March 16, 2020
He'd wanted to be owned. He'd wanted someone to say, You're mine.

I loved the structure, the impressive encounter of past and present, and as the characters’ history repeats itself. Of course you already know from the previous books that John is the reincarnation of Darius, but there are stunning surprises in Lover Mine.
”I'm glad you and Xhex have found each other. It makes cosmic sense, it truly does.”

There is no need to characterize John as Ward does the job perfectly. As a reader, you have the privilege to know who he was in his previous life, and though nobody around him has no clue about it, they all feel he is special.
“You’re one in a million, John Matthew.”

I always liked her, her strength and toughness. Here in this book, it was wonderful and also heartbreaking to see a softer and more vulnerable side of her personality.
“I've just been too wrapped up in my own drama to be able to accept what's been in front of me the whole time.”

Lash: it's an interesting question whether

Blay and Qhuinn’s storyline is captivating. I enjoyed the incredible tension between them, the push and pull moments, Qhuinn’s ambiguous emotions and suffering.

My heart still aches for Thor, and I’m relieved that John finally understands his loss as a man, not only as a son.

Two storylines distracted me: one of them is Layla’s, the other one is Murdher’s with Gregg and Holly. Both were boring and unnecessary.

Not a surprise that Payne’s book is perfectly prepared. I really admire Ward’s talent to keep up the continuity throughout the series.

My favorite quotes.
Profile Image for Madison Warner Fairbanks.
2,362 reviews338 followers
September 16, 2022
Lover Mine by J. R. Ward
Black Dagger Brotherhood series #8. Paranormal vampire romance.
John Matthews gets his story and heart’s desire, Xhex.
Other storylines continue within the brotherhood and Lash and the lessers.
Suspenseful, drama, horrible demons, longing, passion, self-doubt, rage, blood, death, desperation. Marriage.
Profile Image for Anna.
483 reviews373 followers
February 7, 2023
"Some things are destined to be- it just takes us a couple of tries to get there"
This story was gorgeous !! 5 stars !!! In Xhex's words John Matthew ❤ her Well-of-Soul as her people called it. Anna just calls that SOULMATES

The truth was .... He was in love with her. Totally over-the-line, no-going-back, no-even-dead-would-he-part kind of shit John Matthew !! Swoon. Hard core swoon !!!

Meet my John Matthew :

My Xhex

She's the epitome of BAD ASS

The pace of this book was fast, action-packed, and wow.... When all the brothers got together to save the girl .... My heart was in full swoon. I love them all. I don't know about you but gorgeous vampires powering together against evil is ~ continuous holy shit moments of never-ending swoon ~


John Matthews unspoken words - melted my heart. You can always DO instead of SAY ...and the ways he proved his love without ever saying them ... Oh. My. God. He just bumped himself up to number 3 ( I'm sorry vishous ! )

❤ His tattoo
❤ The pillow
❤ His quest
❤ His Tohr moment

My song for John Matthew
"Right Here" by Staind

But you always find a way
To keep me right here waiting
You always find the words to say
To keep me right here waiting
And if you chose to walk away
I'd still be right here waiting
Searching for the words to say
To keep you right here waiting

I've made a commitment
I'm willing to bleed for you
I needed fulfillment
I found what I need in you

Why can't you just forgive me
I don't want to relive all the mistakes I've made along the way

But I'll always find a way
To keep you right here waiting
I'll always find the words to say
To keep you right here waiting ......


Profile Image for Darien.
847 reviews325 followers
September 18, 2010

Hardly any spoilers.

How am I gonna review this without writing a novel, well lets just say its gonna be real hard. When it comes to the BDB I gots a lot to say ya feel me. The latest instalment is just feckin perfection, the boys are back in a big way. When it comes to this series its either you are a fan girl or you completely hate it, but I say this what’s not to love. This is the only vampire series that just stands alone, there are no comparisons and its like you know everyone of these characters personally and they invited you along to enjoy their journey. We have come a long way from Wrath, Rhage, Zsadist, Butch, Vishous( like to see him naked), Phury, Rehvenge and now John Mathew. Plus a wicked set of supporting characters that just makes this series one in a million.

THE RUNDOWN- We met John Mathew in Lover Eternal when he was just a pre-trans vamp all skinny and looking like a 12 years old boy. Living in a crappy building, drinking Ensure without any idea of who and what he is. Well he gets answers in the form ‘Hey You” you’re a vampire but you haven’t gone through the change yet. Well with all this power comes great responsibilities, John has some things he needs to get through before he can become the man/vampire he was meant to be. All this spans over a few books until boo wow we land on Lover Mine. I am talking quickies, group sex, drinking and a whole lot of self pity, plus did I mention Xhex yes there is her, and she ROCKS. This female is kick-ass and a true warrior in every sense of the word.

JOHN- Well this boy has his issues, he has daddy issues, sexual issues and the big one he is the reincarnate of someone else but has no clue, just memories here and there. Well John is now a full blown vampire all big and manly, with weapons in every pocket and revenge hell bent on his mind. We all know every hero has his bad guy and this bad guy goes by the name of Lash is the tooth fairy version of Freddy Kruger but 100% sexier, he is the arch nemesis of JM. John wants his woman back and will stop at nothing to get her back. Just another bad thing to happen to JM but soon he will realize all this bad will lead to one hell of a good thing.

XHEX- She also has her issues, first one being she is half vampire and the other half is symphath ( if you don’t know what a symphath is well obviously you need to start at the beginning of the series) not knowing with who and what she fits in with. Plus she feels she is a lone woman, all this love and female feeling is not for her until there was John. Now she is being held captive by a psycho, and she will relish the moment when she has her hands around his neck and knife to his balls. Xhex likes to think of herself as the tough as nails chick and its killing her to be so defenceless, but she doesn’t remain the damsel in distress for very long. There is a war going on and they just pissed this woman off.

PLOT- Giving one single plot in the BDB books is almost impossible with so much going on you could write a series of reviews and come up with many objectives for the same book. Well I guess you could say the book revolves around revenge, getting back at the bad guy for stealing his woman. The other part could be about two vamps falling in love and finding their true selves within each other. On the other hand I could say it’s about sexy vampires wearing leather and kicking Lesser butt ( no idea what a lesser is, get out from under the rock and read Dark Lover). I am gonna stick to revenge and two people falling in love, cus these two have come a very long way and have some growing up to do. Obstacles to overcome, lessers to kill, smack talking to do, hot and heavy sex to have, pretty simple nuh.

QUINN&BLAY- Lets not pretend like you don’t love them and want them naked preferably with each other. These two drive you crazy while turning you on at the same time. I wanted to take a Glock to their heads and give them some sense. The sexual tension has been building for a long time, and now its down right frustrating. We had to watch Blay suffer constantly about his unrequited love and the suffering continues. We also had to watch the douche that is Quinn poke everything with a hole. We understand them a lot more in Lover Mine, and notice all the small mistakes they make. They don’t communicate and a lot gets lost in translation. I want them naked and they deserve their own bloody book, you can’t offer the pie and then give us only a taste, I want the whole slice god damn it. I want it! I want tangled limbs and cock in ass, crude but I don’t care, I love these guys I want them happy.

FEELINGS- I got feelings a whole bunch of feelings. I loved this book the Warden never disappoints she writes these vamps just so bloody good. I can almost believe that they are real. The warden is known for all her POV’s going on in her book but who bloody cares when you can get a piece of everyone. I like to get pieces of everyone like Butch wrapped around Vishous like a pole. With no idea how it happened I was naked, this one will leave you naked. I love John he has grown up so much and I am proud of him, he left me with a few tears in my eyes, he is a man now. Xhex she surprised the crap out of me and I like her, she proved to be so much more than we’ve come to expect from her. A kick-ass female tough as nails but underneath all the brawn still lies the heart of a woman. They were the perfect couple. I love that we got a taste of all the brothers, and introductions to exciting new characters. Lover Mine is a slam dunk, these vampires never disappoint, all that swagger and style they just reek of all that is bigger than the world. You might say you hate the brand name dropping and the way they talk or the music they listen to. If they were any different the success that they are right now would not be. They would just fit right into all the other vampire books out there. We love them cus they are the way they are, just hardcore and all that is awesome, ya feel me. I love my Grey Goose drinking, hardcore rap listening and brand name wearing boys. Told you I was gonna right a novel.

SIDE NOTE- Rehv is a pimp, he is bad mother *shut your mouth*. Doc Jane, still believe Butch is the best one for my Vishous but Jane does have likable qualities. Saxton he is gorgeous and he has got serious swagger, but his attention would be better else where.
Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews796 followers
July 29, 2014
Where to begin?? This book has a lot going on…

We have the fight with the lessers…not my favorite part…

The ghost hunters…what??

Back story from Darius…relevant??

Qhuinn and Blay…you are killing me already!

Xhev and John…finally!!

So how do I feel about this one?

Well…I definitely liked it better then the last few books, and I really enjoyed some of the side stories. However, there are like a hundred side stories and towards the end I felt like I was just rushing to get to the stories I actually cared about. Finally, in the last 5% I got to see the relevance of some of the stories.

When I first found out John Matthew’s love interest was Xhex I was pretty disappointed. Based on his past I wanted someone different for him, but Xhex totally grew on me and I am convinced they are meant to be together now. I loved how these two just got each other.

Now Qhuinn and Blay…I can’t believe I have to wait 2 more books because this story is killing me!

Overall, I liked this one and it did renew my interest in the series, I just could have done without all the other “extras” but I am sure as the books continue I will see their importance.
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