Thursday, December 06, 2007

Lover Unbound by JR Ward

Title: Lover Unbound
Author: J.R. Ward

Publisher: Signet
Copyright: 2007
Series: Yes, Black Dagger Brotherhood

Why: Crack addict? Yeah, something like that.


Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous son of the Bloodletter possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father's war camp, he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time- until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that cannot include her.

Comments: I read this blind. IOW, I avoided reading all reviews prior to picking up the book. I did however, pick up on the negative buzz and let that influence my timeframe. So, despite the intentions I voiced after Butch’s story, I did not run right out and buy V’s book.

As I read Lover Unbound, I wondered about the negative buzz. I also wondered whether this would be another instance where I love a book that everyone else hates. It didn’t turn out to be that cut and dry. While I didn’t hate Lover Unbound, I wasn’t over the top in love with it either. And while I’m not compelled to berate Ward, I’m not moved to ardently defend her either. I simply landed somewhere in the middle.

I did go back and read those reviews. I saw more than a few valid points, but personally found that my enjoyment of the book—my immersion in Ward’s world—overshadowed those points. It is testament to Ward’s talent for world-building that I lost myself in the telling of this story. Content in this world, I never got the sense that Lover Unbound was busy. It didn’t feel weighted down or splintered by its multiple story arcs. It felt rather like episodic television—regularly scheduled time spent with a beloved cast. I enjoyed my time just fine throughout most of this episode.

Of the handful that received significant air time (over and above V and Jane), I was most interested by John’s development. He feels like the key to me, like somehow it will be him, his fate that will dictate the future of the brotherhood. I like that kind of promise in a character. That Ward has aligned him with my favorite brother—Zsadist—only makes me like him more.

As for the primary romance, I have to say I liked Jane. She was worthy of V. Sounds fangirl-foolish, true, but I’ll remind you how much I loved V in Lover Revealed. At the conclusion of that book, I thought V more deserving of love than any other character I met last year. His story of unrequited love (for Butch) was heart-wrenching and, though I couldn’t imagine it possible, I wanted a love interest that could heal him. Jane was a good match. I would have preferred their initial connection to be a bit more than molecular, but all in all I was ok with the selection of her as his mate. She measured up, in a second to Butch kind of way.

The outcome of the romance however, along with the rest of the events occurring at the end of this book, didn’t measure up. Things did fall apart there at the end; one of the most common complaints I can agree on without compunction. The Scribe Virgin’s seemingly sudden inability to make things right, the fraying of Ward’s thread on choice versus destiny, V’s uncharacteristic failure to heed the warnings—however ambiguous—in his visions, all of it. Instead of the fantastic convergence of forces I’ve come to expect from Ward (thinking particularly back to that phenomenal light show at the end of Lover Revealed), the events that closed Lover Unbound felt disconnected, unreal. Yes, the events in this paranormal, felt unreal. Can think of no other way to explain the feeling.

I’m not sorry I read it and I still look forward to more time in Ward’s world. But I will say that going forward, it will be interesting to see how I, as the reader, will adjust to the changes in Ward’s world that did not sit well.

To Save You Some Time: Readers new to Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood can start this series with Dark Lover. Readers who plan to continue can look for Lover Enshrined in June, 2008.


  1. I haven't read this book and I really don't have any kind of desire to read it either...I'm just really indifferent to all of Ward's books now, I lost all of my steam where these books were concerned, which is really weird because I used to love me some Black Dagger Brothers, now I don't feel anything...not like I do for Navy SEALs Team 16! =)

    I thought it was good that you didnt' let any of the other reviews influence whether you liked the book or not, I applaud you sweets! =)

  2. She measured up, in a second to Butch kind of way.

    Well put. Well put. I'm sure you know my rather strong oppinion of the V/Butch relationship.

  3. I also like Jane.
    I did not like the end of this book at all.
    Not sure if I will rush out to get the next one.

  4. I think the rose-colored glasses were definitely broken after reading this one, but I still plan on reading the next one as I'm curious about John and Tohrment and even Phury. I haven't been beaten down quite yet.

  5. Sorry for the late follow up Ladies!

    Rowena - I'm sorry to hear that. I have to say, I can't think (off the top of my head) of any series or authors I've just given up on. I'm sure it's happened; just can't think of any big disappointments like that. Thankfully. Have to agree on that comment about Team 16. *g*

    Lisabea - Yeah, V and Butch do belong together, don't they. That relationship had powerful potential.

    Chantal - Agree, Jane was strong enough to make the first three quarters of this book work.

    Stacey - Sounds like most of us are in the same boat. Disappointed with LR's end, but willing, if reluctantly, to open the next one.

    Thanks for the comments!


Have you read it? What do you think?

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