Lover Reborn

   Last night I finished Lover Reborn, book number 10 in J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This was Tohr’s book. I’m not going to do a “typical” review because there is so much to cover and because I don’t want to risk spoiling anything for those that have yet to read it.
   I do confess that I let this book sit on my to-be-read pile for a bit. I would never want the author to rush through writing one of these books, but only one new book a year is difficult! As a reader, I obviously want more!!
   After spending my whole night reading (nope, nothing else got done at my house – my cat as my witness!), I finally finished around 10:15 PM. The last two hundred pages of the book were action-packed and emotion-filled. I confess that I rarely sob while reading a novel. (The last one where that happened was the book in the Chicagoland Vampires’ series where Ethan gave his own life for Merit’s.) Last night, however, me and the Kleenex box were best buds. As I thought about the emotions the book evoked, I found I had nothing but praise for Ward. As a writer, to be able to craft such an intense story (and one that was 572 pages long) that sucks the reader in so thoroughly, what an impressive feat! It should be every writer’s goal to have the reader so enthralled in the characters and the plot that the reader feels every emotion. Not only was I unable to put the book down, I felt the love and loss. The overwhelming grief. The yearning. I could go on and on . . . I hope that as a writer I am able to connect my characters with the reader in such a strong way.
   Caldwell, New York, despite being a fictional place, is somewhere I can visualize in my mind. The seedy downtown with the bars and clubs, the suburbs with the nice lots containing even nicer homes, and then the forested area of the mountain that houses the Brotherhood’s mansion (once you get through the mhis, of course).
   One other thing I noticed towards the end of the book was how much I felt for the Band of Bastards – particularly Throe and later Xcor. The bad guys (outside of the lessers) sometimes seemed . . . not so bad. My heart broke for Xcor as he punished himself for the way he hurt Throe. My heart broke even further at Throe’s desire to recover his sister’s ashes and see to it that she made it to the Fade. These antagonists weren’t all bad and evil – at some points I couldn’t help but want better for them, for them to see the error of their ways. Heck, for them to beg forgiveness of the Brotherhood and assist them in the battle against the Omega. I can’t wait to read what happens to them in the next book. Again, I would say this is something every writer should strive to achieve – bringing qualities to the “bad guys” to make them seem more life-like and even more likable – that classic struggle between good and evil.
   Of course, towards the end of the book we were given a picture of the emotional triangle between Saxton, Blay, and Qhuinn. I can’t wait to read Blay and Qhuinn’s story. Qhuinn grew so much in Lover Reborn. He became a male of worth, of loyalty and honor. Next spring seems so far away, yet I have no doubt we will be rewarded with another masterpiece.
5 of 5 stars

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