Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Lover Eternal by JR Ward
I enjoyed this book even though it really didn’t work for me. Make sense? No. Not to me either. Suffice it to say, I just plain like this cast of characters, menace that they are. This is simply one, slightly scattered episode that didn’t wow me.
Rhage and Mary. I love how Ward connects them—her voice soothing his beast. It was a powerful introduction of these two. Unfortunately, we saw little proof of the power of her “voice” over Rhage going forward. Had Ward continued to use Mary’s voice to draw and soothe Rhage and his beast, the love story between these two (three) would have enjoyed more depth. Without such a connection, their relationship didn’t make much sense. It lacked emotional depth and frankly, was filled with too many stops and starts. Neither character appeared very mature and, as a result, their feelings for one another appeared adolescent. Grated on my nerves a bit.
The missing foundation for their relationship also made Rhage’s punishment difficult to swallow. That, and the Scribe’s final judgment of Mary were over the top, even for this series. IMO.
Additionally, the introduction of John was a poorly developed sidebar to the story. Ward seems to build this story—Lover Eternal—on the discovery of John. She uses him to bring Rhage and Mary together. She also uses him to trigger the upcoming story of Zsadist and Bella. I kept waiting for a pivotal moment involving John—the link between Mary, Bella and the Brotherhood. Never happened. Or I missed it.
Still. I watched. And despite the failure of the primary romance story, I still enjoyed the episode. Ward’s banter between the Brotherhood (now including Butch) is worth the price of admission. Like Evanovich, Ward produces a slew of laugh-out-loud moments. If you can get beyond the dark and macabre stuff—like the Lesser stuff and the more “out there” Brotherhood rituals—you will see where Ward truly excels. Her male banter and bonding is very, very entertaining.
Her setup of Zsadist and Bella’s story—however transparent—was also highly effective. I absolutely cannot wait to read it.