Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lover Awakened by J R Ward

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

I bought this book in November last year, straight after reading Lover Eternal, with the intention that I would read it sooner rather than later. Of course, we all know about intentions! Anyway, given that the release date for Lover Revealed is rapidly approaching I thought I should probably hurry up and get to it...and I am glad that I did! I think that this ended up being my favourite Brotherhood book so far.

I'm sure I have mentioned before how much I love a tortured hero, and Zsadist is right up there with the most tortured heroes I have ever read - scarred, former sex slave who has never willingly made love to anyone, who hates himself and practically everyone around him, illiterate....the list is endless!

The opening events in the book follow closely on from the final events in Lover Eternal. Bella has been kidnapped by a lesser, who is convinced that she is the love of his life. He has managed to create a prison where even vampires cannot escape. Zsadist felt a connection (that he wanted to ignore) when he first met Bella, and when she is kidnapped he is determined, to the point of self destruction, that he will be the one to find her and rescue her! Bella too felt the connection and when she is rescued all she wants it to be close to him - difficult for a man like Zsadist to deal with at the best of times, and even more difficult for him to accept, to the point that he keeps on trying to pass Bella on to a better guy, even though he knows that his bonding to her may have begun.

What about Bella? I don't think that one of JR Ward's strengths is her heroines. She writes fantastic heroes, but her heroines are less stellar. I really struggled with Mary in the last book, but Beth and Bella were both just okay in my opinion.

Without give too much away, (for the few people out there who haven't read this book!), I did love the ending as far as Zsadist was concerned. His determination to accept and improve himself was beautiful, and reflected in the quote below:

I was dead until you found me, though I breathed. I was sightless, though I could see. And then you came....and I was awakened.

There was a lot going on in this story, and after reading this I want to follow John stories, I want to read Phury's story, and Vishous' story, and I want to know what happened to poor, poor Tohrment, and...well, you get the idea. I'm hooked to this series. And that is despite the fact that there are some flaws, included the constant brand name dropping, the constant reference to shit kickers, and numerous other things. Doesn't matter to me - I can accept those things because I am so heavily invested in the main characters and the series as a whole. You might notice that Butch wasn't in my list of characters I want to read about? Well....I do want to read his story, just not as much as I want the others.

I have been pimping this series to one of the girls from work and had to take this book in for her to read a few weeks ago. As I sat on the train I flicked through this book, taking a few choice sections and reading them instead of the book that I was already reading. I ended up crying my eyes out on the train....just picking it up and reading some of the sections were so moving and emotional. A little embarrassing really!

It is my intention to order the next book and read it relatively soon after it is arrived. Of course, it could then take me a month to finish the review like it did for this one!

Rating 4.5/5


  1. love this book!

    I am pretty sure it is my fave of them all. LR would be the least of my faves. But I would still say it is a A- to B+ range.

    The biggest thing I would note, giving no spoilers away, I think Marissa is the best female she has done.

    She has growth and changes over the series. So I am really interested for people to read her who have had issue with the women. So I can see if it is just me :).

  2. I was disappointed with Bella, actually. She was so much more well-rounded in LE. But I think there was just so much content in LA that the main love story got a little bit crowded. I'm just about the reread the entire series (so far) to prepare for LR's release. :-)

  3. I agree that Ward's heroines are not as developed as her heroes. But her Brothers and her world are just so well realized that it sucks you in. I'm not that interested in Butch but I'm dying for his story because I know we'll get more V! And hopefully some Phury. He's really grown on me.

  4. Another Cellie blog - yay :)

    LA is my fave of the BDB books, probably one of my all-time favorite books period. I agree with you about Mary, but I've absolutely adored Beth and Bella from the beginning. Especially Bella, she's definitely one of my favorite heroines (what can I say? Loved everything about LA).

    Looking forward to getting into V's head in Lover Revealed as well as Butch and Marissa getting their HEA. And I definitely can't wait for V and Phury's books!!!!

  5. This sounds like a good book!

  6. They are a lot of fun, but it is definitely a series that you need to read in order to get the whole build up. Can't wait for the next one!