Amber's Reviews > Lover Eternal

Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward
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's review
May 10, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: paranormal

It took me a long, long time to verbalize why I disliked this book. I guess, in particular, this one stuck with me because I have heard so many people exclaim this to be their favorite of the series, to my continuing surprise. It wasn't exactly that I hated it, it just left a bad taste in my mouth.

1. Mary is a middle aged, plain looking woman who has cancer. Her looks were never great enough to attract male attention, and now she is past her prime, as well as too thin and pale due to the sickness. I am not picturing someone ugly, but definitely someone not very attractive, but maybe with a dignified elegance due to her inner strength. Then we have the hero, Rhage, whose nickname is Hollywood. He's incredibly hot, almost unbelievably so, so much that even his homophobic buddies have to mock his beauty. He has sex with multiple very sexy women in the club ALL THE TIME to help tame his "inner monster", which is his curse. Now, we know from little hints that he actually craves a deeper connection, and a woman who wants something more than a fuck, but still - we're waiting for that turning point.

Then he meets the heroine, in a moment when is literally blind. Just based on her voice and her smell, he lusts after he like crazy, practically ravishing her in the middle of the hallway. And everyone is like WTF - I think in no small part because Mary is not the kind of girl he normally goes for. But anyways, then we get to the part where they are going to meet where he can see her for the first time. Mary is nervous because, although she does not know he sleeps with hot chicks all the time, she is very aware of the disparities in their looks. As the reader, I was also nervous for this moment. I believed in his hero-potential, so I felt sure he could pull it off, but still, it was a big moment.

In fact, first coming into the restaurant, Rhage goes up to the wrong woman, and only finds out it's not Mary when he hears her speak. Then he sees her, and stiffens... and a silence draws out. I mean, whoa. So then we cut to his POV and I'm desperate to know what he's thinking, which is this: "Oh, she was lovely. Nothing he'd expected, but lovely nonetheless..." He goes on to talk about the specifics of her looks, the "pale and smooth" skin and "delicate" bones, but.... I just felt like it was a cop-out. It's a major conflict of the book, this disparity in looks, and it's a real thing. Hollywoods don't fall for middle-aged sickly women. I mean, I'm all for it happening, but right there - that minimized the conflict. It said: "Yes, if you're a good enough guy, you can have sex with the hottest women around all the time, then find a non-hot woman with whom you have chemistry, and all of that is out the window." So what's the point of the conflict? What's the point of making her plain and too-skinny if it doesn't even matter? It is a fake-out and I don't like it.

2. (view spoiler)

Le sigh...
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