Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)'s Reviews > Lover Enshrined

Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward
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I loved this book. I had heard many criticisms about it not being as good as the others, and Phury not being as fleshed out. I have to say that I have a real understanding of Phury now. His torment is very much internal and revolves around his sense of failure, his not being able to "get there on time", as my mother so wisely said as we discussed the book last night at dinner. He failed in helping his parents, he failed in getting his brother back faster. Boy does he have a whopping case of Survivor's Guilt.

I went through the whole gamut of emotions as I read this book: anger, sadness, joy, rage, helplessness, you name it. I was right there next to Phury every step of the way. And most of all, I felt his isolation. I firmly believe that he is the least understood of the brothers, and in some ways has been given less understanding. I would never justify drug abuse, but pretty much all the Brothers, possibly excepting Wrath, have had some pretty destructive habits.

I hurt for him when he was kicked out of the Brotherhood, but at the same time, I knew it was for the best. He could not grow if he didn't leave that safety net behind. And in my understanding of addiction, you cannot enable the addicted person. Zsadist said some harsh things to Phury, and maybe they needed to be said, and at the same time, I am so glad that Phury confronted him on never saying thanks. It needed to be said. Phury has been in a vicious cycle, as my sister said. He always feels the need to play the Knight in Shining Armor, yet continually goes without having his own needs met. It has taken a toll on him and I believe, lead to him seeking solace in drugs.

These Brothers are very highly sexed individuals, so I cannot imagine how difficult it must have been to spend many, many years celibate, and Phury did not have Zsadist's issues with sex to lessen his sex drive. The red smoke was a coping mechanism that started to consume him. But what is most telling is that when Phury gets the chance to have all the sex he wants, as the Primale, he is tormented about it, and hedges at doing his duty. I interpreted this as Phury being a romantic, pure and simple. Also it tied into his Savior complex issues. He was just burned out, and the last thing he wanted was to be responsible for forty more people, and their offspring. Plus, he wanted one woman, Cormia.

Once again, I am utterly impressed with JR Ward's ability to tell a story. This book shone from the first sentence. I love how she starts the book from the Omega's perspective, showing a little of his side of things, and showing some vulnerabilities, and what seems like 'humanity' in him. It leads so well into a major shift in the storyline. And what a shift it is.

I read this book late compared to other reads. I did that on purpose. I wanted to stagger my reading of the wonderful series because I did not want to go a long time before a new installment came out. Since I am very active in the romance novel fan community, I have heard many comments about this book, a lot of them less positive. Another area of major complaints was with Cormia. I don't understand why. I adored Cormia. I think she is PERFECT for Phury. They are both innocents in some ways, and their coming together could be nothing but destiny. I was quite annoyed that Phury wouldn't yield to this destiny, but understanding his Savior/Failure complex, he felt his was not worthy of her, and would only destroy her if he gave into his love for her.

Cormia was not a doormat, as has been implied. She is a soft, sweet woman, with a backbone of TITANIUM. This is made clear in how she steps up and is not afraid to tell off the Primale. I can't blame her for being intimidated by a houseful of enormous, formidable warriors. Going from a world of white and blandness to a world full of color, textures, emotions, and sensations. In fact, I loved seeing her immerse herself in this world. I enjoyed her innocent childlike enjoyment of simply running around on the lawn, and swimming naked, smelling roses, and watching movies for the first time. If anything, I wish that Phury had spent more time with her enjoying these moments. Whenever Phury was off "lighting up" I was telling him, go "play" with Cormia. However I did like that we got to see John Matthew interact with and be attracted to Cormia and to realize that his destiny lay in another direction as far as mates, a tough, strong woman that makes his heart beat faster. That person being Xhex.

It was nice to see Cormia and Bella interact and become friends. Cormia picks up right away, that Phury is mooning over Bella. She feels that Bella is a rival for his affections, because right away, Cormia feels possessive of Phury. He is her man, and she does not want to share him with anyone, much less her Chosen sisters, or Bella. But soon, she realizes that Bella is a true friend, and that Bella wants Cormia to win Phury. I loved their girl-bonding moments.

Cormia did help Phury in ways that the other characters could not. Her love and peaceful nature helped him to deal with his demons as he detoxed from two hundred years of drug abuse. That was a grand moment for me. I love Phury and I hated seeing him on that awful downward spiral. The scene in the bathroom was one of the most painful scenes in a book I've ever read (and since we are talking about the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, that's saying something.) It made the final triumph of Phury so much sweeter. That is not to say that Phury doesn't have a hard struggle ahead, but he is not alone in it, as he soon finds out.


It was painful to see Phury and Zsadist so at odds in this book, but I realize that this had to happen for their relationship to evolve and to heal. I was so glad at the scene near the end where Zsadist comes and sings again for his brother, accompanied by the other Brothers. I was practically crying, but also smiling at this. In fact, had this not been in the book, I would have been severely disappointed. And we also find out that although it seemed that Zsadist washed his hands of Phury, he never did abandon him. That was also great to experience.

I loved seeing Cormia and Phury interact. There was chemistry and fate in their interactions, although neither really seemed to grasp it. I think their relationship is one of the sweetest, most innocent in this series, and for that, it earns a special place in my heart.

Now for the other character's in the book. It was so great to see more of the triad: John Matthew, Qhuinn, and Blaylock. I wish there was more of Blay's viewpoint, but maybe that will be in the next few books. I just love John Matthew so much. I am happy that he is healing, slowly but surely. Not there yet, but he's going in that direction. His sense of shame for what happens to him, should not be a burden he has to bear, but I was so glad that he knows that there are people there to love and support him. His heartbreak about the loss of Tohr is readily apparent. And his joy at his return was sweet.

Qhuinn is such a complex character that we are just getting to know. He is a tortured guy just as much as the other brothers. I don't like his habit of picking up any person who's interested, but it makes sense in light of his self-worth issues. I cannot believe how callous his family was. It hurts to see "a male of worth" treated in such a way. And it shows the deep decay and rot in the society of the Glymera that a terrible person like Lash is lauded, whereas a really good, worthwhile person like Qhuinn is disparaged because he happens to have odd-colored eyes. Come on now. His relationship with Blay is so moving to me. I wish I could wave a magic wand and work things out for them, but that's not meant to be. Time will tell how things resolve in their case.

Now onto Rhev. Goodness I am fascinated and attracted to his character. He is complex with a capital "C." I loved how Ward seemed to put Phury and Rhev forward as contrasts to each other. The interesting thing is that they are like different sides of the same coin. The interesting thing is that Rhev is the "dark knight," whereas Phury is the "white knight," yet in some ways Phury might be more tarnished. I don't like that Rhev is a drug-dealer and pimp. Basically he is a smooth criminal. But he is also a really good person with valid motivations. This book only made my appetite for him grow. There are so many questions about him I want answers to. I can't wait to see him find his shellan to love him. His loneliness is heartbreaking, although he does have his good friend Xhex. But even with Xhex, he has to maintain a distance that leaves him in the solitary wasteland of his own inner sorrow.

Xhex has just a small part in this book, but it makes me hunger for more. She is a really cool, interesting character. I am dying to see her and John Matthew get together. They are made for each other, although one might shake her or his head at the thought of it. The bathroom scene with them was short, but WOW! Chemistry!

Other great moments: Qhuinn finding his place in the world of the Brothers. That was so cool. Go Wrath! Also loved the advent of the oh-so intriguing Lassiter. I can't say the evolution of Lash was a great moment, but it made for good reading.

I feel I could write ten pages about this book, but I won't belabor the point. I love this book. My life has been enriched in the reading of it. And although not all the moments I experienced in the reading were fun, I have no regrets in following these characters on their dark journey, with the hope of light at the end of the tunnel. In fact, it was some of the most enjoyable hours I've spent in the past several days.

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Quotes Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Liked

J.R. Ward
“After a moment, Wrath turned to John. "This is Lassiter, the fallen angel. One of the last times he was here on earth, there was a plague in central Europe-"
"Okay, that was so not my fault-"
"-which wiped out two-thirds of the human population."
"I'd like to remind you that you don't like humans."
"They smell bad when they're dead."
"All you mortal types do.”
J.R. Ward, Lover Enshrined

J.R. Ward
“It was hard to know what was worse: him being with her and all her sisters, or him being with none of them because his heart was held by another.

-Cormia”
J.R. Ward, Lover Enshrined

J.R. Ward
“Look, you didn't fail me. Because you can't fail at the impossible."

-Zsadist to Phury”
J.R. Ward, Lover Enshrined

J.R. Ward
“It had been so good to see his enemy again. Positively heartwarming.

Hallmark really needed to start up a line of revenge cards, the kind that let you reach out to those you were going to come after with a vengeance.

- Lash”
J.R. Ward, Lover Enshrined

J.R. Ward
“What brings you onto my property?" Rhev said, cradling his mug with both hands trying to absorb its warmth.
Got a problem"
I can't fix your personality, sorry”
J.R. Ward, Lover Enshrined

J.R. Ward
“And Cormia will be okay, I mean, she's not kicked out of here, correct?"
"She shall be welcomed back herein. She is a fine female. Just not...as well suited to this life as some of us are."
In the quiet heartbeats that followed, he had an image of her undressing him for the shower, her guileless, innocent green eyes looking up at him as she fumbled with his belt and his leathers.
She only wanted to do what was right. Back when this whole mess had gotten started, even though she'd been terrified, she would have done the right thing by her tradition and taken him in her. Which made her stronger than him, didn't it. She wasn't running. He was the one with the track shoes on.
"You tell the others I was not worthy of her." As the Directrix's mouth fell open, he pointed a finger at her. "That's a goddamned order. You tell them...she is too good for me. I want her elevated to a special rank.... I want her fucking enshrined, do you understand me? You do right by her or I'll bust this place into ruins.”
J.R. Ward, Lover Enshrined


Reading Progress

07/31/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-37 of 37) (37 new)

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Auntee Wonderful review--you brought it all back to me! It's obvious how much you loved this book and the series (like I do).:D


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks. It was a joy to read (also painful too.) :)


new_user You bring forth a very good argument for Cormia, Danielle, even though I found that the book did focus on the other elements of the plot (which I love). I'm looking forward to Rehv's book too, and JM and co. Great review!


Julianna Great review Danielle! I put off reading it until I finished the book, because I didn't want any outside influences on my feelings about it. I was a little disappointed with the romance not being front and center like it usually is, so I probably won't be rating it quite a high as you did. Otherwise, I think I agree with everything you said. This was a very complex book with lots of very complex characters. Unlike many other people, I'm with you in looking forward to the next book in the series.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks everyone. This book affected me very deeply, so I couldn't help but give it five stars.


message 6: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel Loved your review Danielle!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I can thank this book for helping me to remember that I went to a Continuing Education seminar last January and obtained 6 hrs CE! I remember frantically reading it on the breaks between lectures. Thanks, Phury and Cormia!


message 9: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel LOL. All the benefits of the BDB :)


message 11: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen I am so glad to see someone else that loves this book. Z lost some points with me from where I am in this book. I hope he gets them back because he was my second favorite only behind Phury so far. I have been fascinated with Phury for a long time now (Z's book) and V's book put Phury as my number one. How can you not love a brother that has to be hard but still gives everything up to keep his brothers happy.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Oh, Jen, I definitely have much love for LEn. I don't love Z as much b/c of the way he treated Phury in this book. I'm getting a little better about my feelings towards him, though. Phury is such a worthy male, and very underappreciated!


message 13: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen I kept hearing how this book isn't as good as all the other ones and I was so bummed because I love him and his white knight complex but once I started reading I realized that most other people don't understand Phury the way I do.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) It really helps to understand what Phury is going through. A lot of readers don't seem to take the time to do that, they are put off by his drug abuse and his reserved nature compared to the other brothers. I love Phury. He's a real gentleman, and that's one of the things that stands out for me.


message 15: by Mel (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mel Phury is the greatest!!!


message 17: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen YAY Phury fans!!! He is wonderful and I agree with you Danielle he is a gentleman, he is so different then all the other brothers but I don't understand how people are ok with Rhage going out screwing everything that walks even after he is with Mary, but they can't deal with Phury and his drug abuse.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Yeah I hate drugs, but I really hate promiscuity too. I don't think either is worse. They are both self-destructive.


message 19: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen I agree. I can't say one is better then the other, but I will say that Rhage hurt Mary and I wanted to beat his face in for her.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I agree. I didn't warm up to Rhage b/c I don't go for the playboy type. I like him, but I think he's my least favorite brother. LOL. :)


message 21: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen He was one of my favorites until that scene. I just I don't know I wouldn't have stayed if I was Mary. I kind of wish his book would have been different. I kind of wish we would never have seen is "beast" until Mary did b/c we knew why it was dangerous but she didn't and I wished I would have had that thought with her.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I need to read Lover Eternal again. I am not as into that book as the later books, although I gave it four stars. I liked the dragon aspect, although it was kind of odd. I mainly was into Zsadist. I was reading it to get to Lover Awakened. Isn't that horrible of me? :)


message 23: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen I actually thought about skipping Lover Awakened because I didn't think there was anyway I'd end up like Zsadist and boy was I wrong. I thought Lover Eternal was weird, but enjoyed it mostly because of Mary not Rhage


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I really liked Mary too, although my favorites are Xhex, Cormia, and Marissa (the most hated Shellans). :)


message 25: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen Butch so that book was a little rough for me, but I did like Marissa. Cormia is great so far, I'm about 3/4 or the way done with it. So far I like what I've seen of Xhex. I really like Bella, but the way she is with Phury bothers me some. She knows that he thinks he is in love with her, but she still goes to him when she needs something.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) I like Bella a little less b/c something about her seems kind of like she feels some entitlement to be worshipped. I think it was the way she treated Phury.

I'll be curious to see how you come to like Xhex. She is one that the BDB fans are about 50/50 about.


message 27: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen I don't know that any girl will ever bee good enough for John Mathews though!

I agree with the Bella thinking she deserves to be worshiped. I didn't really like her because of the way she acts with Phury, but I started liking her b/c of the way she is with Cormia.


Wendy Great review, I so understand how you feel about this book, because I feel the same way. I'm loving this book!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thanks, Wendy. It's nice to know other BDB fans who like this one.


Ariana WOW!!!! this is an amazing review! I read it all! lol thanks for sharing all your thoughts!! I really don't like how people hate Phury either :( he is amazing and I love him! :)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Thank you, Ariana! Phury needs more love!


Kristie Wow. Couldn't agree more with your assessment. I've enjoyed all the books so far but this book just made me fall in love with Phury and his tortured soul. I too found it hard to watch him spiral out and was so very glad with the ending and the brothers getting back together.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) There is something about Phury....Just want to hug him to bits!


Waterlily Your review was so thorough and insightful!!


Michelle I thought your review was very spot-on and thoughtful. I have read this book before, and I was looking through the reviews on Amazon out of curiosity and I was so frustrated with the number of shallow complaints that people were launching out. It makes me feel so much better to see another reader who may dislike the brothers' rejection of Phury, but who also understands that it's not JR Ward forcing them to "act out of character" but it's their realistic response to the heartbreaking and tricky scenario of facing a loved one who struggles with an addiction. I thought JR did a great job with showing Phury's spiral in the past few books; it was not a surprise to see where he ended up in this one. The Wizard was a great way for her to personify his problem of addiction and the underlying causes of his addiction. Having dealt with family members who have/had issues with addiction, sometimes that harder approach is one of the only choices left to you.

I also agree that it was nice to see more of Rhev and the trio. I enjoy storylines with complex characters and it is nice to see how the trio is growing as they will continue to be the younger generation of warriors coming up in their world.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) Hi Michelle. Thanks for commenting. I feel that this book is very underrated. It's a tough subject and it's not an easy thing to read about. I feel that drug addiction is not a flaw that many readers want to tolerate, although many are fine with other destructive behaviors that we might see in PNR.


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