November 22, 2013

Mini-Reviews: Black Dagger Brotherhood (Books 7-9)

Since there are 11 books in the series so far (with a 12th being published in March 2014) and I'm somewhat binge-reading them all, I thought it would be easiest to group the books and do mini-reviews.
Here are the basics ...
The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
Publisher: Signet
Category: Adult - Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased

Summary: Six Warrior Vampires. Lovers, Fighters, Brothers. Lethal, not Evil, they're coming for you.
(Adapted from official site)
My thoughts…
Lover Avenged (#7) | add to Goodreads
It's hard not to be curious about Rehvenge. Club-owner, part sympath, Phury's past drug dealer, fiercely protective brother to Bella, formerly infatuated with Marissa. Who was this guy? I was eager to find out. Through Lover Avenged, we get to the heart of Rehvenge and the sacrifices he's made for the people he loves. This is also the first time we get a real look at what being a sympath means and what their community is like (I'd rather be living with a group of vampires, thank you very much). I didn't expect Rehv to be so compassionate. But he 100% looks out for the women in his life - his mahmen (their scenes were so touching!), Bella, Xhex. Under that extremely tough, complicated exterior is a good heart. And that is what draws in this book's heroine, Ehlena.

Ehlena is a vampire, who for all she struggles with, is surprisingly naive at times. She's a nurse, caretaker and sole provider to her ailing father. Her and her family aren't considered aristocratic anymore so potential mates aren't exactly knocking on her door. But she's kind and caring and not who I would've pictured Rehv with initially but it quickly becomes clear that they make sense. I loved watching their relationship develop through phone calls and interactions even though they're both hesitant to go there. I can't say I found Ehlena to be a particularly memorable heroine but I liked how she was with Rehv (and girl, you shouldn't have doubted him!). She steps it up big-time towards the end though and having the sympath storyline in the background to their romance was actually pretty interesting.

***

Lover Mine (#8) | add on Goodreads
Finally, John Matthew's book. I've been especially looking forward to this one ever since he transitioned and started sharing sexual tension-filled moments with Xhex. I was ready to see these two happy and mated before I even opened the book. But obviously, there was a long road ahead of them. We know John Matthew's past and in spite of it, he's still capable of loving deeply and passionately. He's dedicated to Tohr, Wellsie's memory, Qhuinn, Blay, the brotherhood and although no one knows it yet - Xhex too. When she goes missing, he won't stop until she's found or avenged or both. John Matthew is a classic example of how you shouldn't mistake a person's quietness for weakness because he is one strong vampire (with a good heart - did I mention that yet?).

Xhex is pretty much the anti-heroine in so many ways. At least, she's definitely not like the other heroines we're used to in this series. Which is actually why I love her character. She's an assassin capable of killing any enemy, can absolutely take care of herself (and revels in it) and tough doesn't even begin to describe her. And yet, don't doubt she's isn't capable of love or hurt because she is. And she goes through the ringer in this book (damn you, Lash!). Watching John Matthew and Xheh's lives intertwine was undoubtedly the highlight for me as I read. As well as diving back into the relationship of Beth and Wrath who get their own sub-plot here too.

***

Lover Unleashed (#9) | add to Goodreads
Telling the story of a non-brother and having the love interest be a human character we had met briefly in another book was a risk and a huge change of pace. But Payne, V's twin sister, getting together with none other than Dr. Manuel (Manny) Manello worked for me. Up until this book, only Wrath had interacted with Payne and merely as sparring partners. He didn't know who she was. But once the brotherhood saw her, there was no mistaking that she was related to V. Which was a shock to him because he didn't know she existed. But she knew. In fact she had been watching over him his entire life, albeit from a distance since the Scribe Virgin kept her from the real world. So being here, meeting Manny and her instant attraction to him (a feeling that was very much mutual) was a completely foreign response to her. But one she's not afraid to act on. And neither was he. He's charming and protective and a little aggressive. Kinda reminds me of some vampires we've been reading about! Granted, their relationship is blatantly insta-love but I bought it. The chemistry is there and well, we already know by now that vampires are passionate beings. I enjoyed watching these two being drawn into the other's world.

Another unexpected surprise - Jane and V's relationship are majorly featured. The appearance of Payne brings up painful memories for V and he has a fight with Jane over Payne's medical treatment. These two are on the rocks and their sub-plot was about overcoming those hurdles (some of which are carried over from V's book). Butch is there to help them and as always, I love the bromance between V and Butch. But I honestly could've done without this portion of the book. If anything, I would've loved to see V work on having a relationship with Payne. There was so much I wanted said between them but unfortunately didn't happen.

*** 

Overall: With the exception of John Matthew, I didn't expect to learn more about these other characters. They were still extremely entertaining, the romance is still sizzling but I can't say this set was my favorite (aside from learning more about JM - that I loved!). I'm definitely hooked on these brothers though and eager to see what's next.

Make sure to check out the rest of the posts!

1 comment:

  1. Out of these three books, John Matthew's was probably my favorite. I really think that it was interesting to see how his past and Xhex's past affected their relationship and made their circumstances extra rocky! But it was a treat to witness V and Jane's relationship developing too.

    ReplyDelete