I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
is a Paranormal Romance
This edition was published by New American Library (NAL) on April 27, 2010 in hardcover and has 512 pages.
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Eighth in the paranormal romance series, Black Dagger Brotherhood, set in a contemporary upper state New York.
The few remaining members of the Black Dagger Brotherhood are the warrior elite of the vampire species charged with protecting their civilians and battling against the Lessening Society, a group of soulless beings who gave up their lives for the false promises of the Omega.
In 2010, Lover Mine won the Goodreads Choice Award for Romance and nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Vampire Romance.
Oh lord, this is a busy book! There are three major stories happening: John Matthew bonding with Xhex who wants nothing to do with him, a television crew for Paranormal Investigators, which is involved in filming a supernatural story in North Carolina about a ghost who bears a very strong resemblance to a Brother, and we learn of Xhex’s birth and Darius and Tohrment’s involvement…in 1671.
There is a fourth story interspersed throughout — Payne’s hatred for her mother, the Scribe Virgin, and being trapped in the Far Side. Only recently released to life, Payne has been taking her frustrations out on Wrath when he steps into the Far Side to train with her now that he’s gone completely blind.
The primary theme running through Lover Mine is love. Well, yeah, all the BDB stories are about love. In this one, this is a love of revelation and acceptance. The acceptance comes primarily for John as he realizes that he is not the only one who has suffered in his life. With that realization, John comes to understand why Tohr was so torn up by Wellsie’s death, that it was not a reflection on him. John also realizes that just because he loves Xhex, she does not have to love him back, and he comes to accept that he will never realize his bond with her just as Blay comes to the same acceptance about Qhuinn. John must also accept that Xhex is a warrior, that he cannot prevent her from fighting her battles. Xhex herself comes to accept that John is a male of worth. Always giving and thinking of her comfort and needs, while she has been too terrified to love.
While John is struggling with his feelings for Xhex and his belief that she wants nothing to do with him, Blay is also struggling with his attraction to Qhuinn and his refusal to have anything to do sexually with Blay. A bit unfair as Qhuinn plays with everybody. The Brothers would be cool with it, it’s Blay’s parents who would be the ones to suffer if Blay came out. Members of the glymera, the aristocracy of the vampire world, his family would suffer for Blay being “defective” and it would reverberate very strongly against his family affecting their ability to do business, marry, socialize, everything for centuries. Unlike Qhuinn, Blay’s parents love him and Blay just can’t hurt them.
Xhex is the true victim in this story, battling Lash’s idea of love, not wanting to succumb to John’s love, and struggling with her own dual nature.
I suspect Payne is being set up as the major love interest for the next story while the television crew’s encounter with Eliahu Rathboone’s ghost is the setup for Murhder to “return from the dead”…maybe he and Payne get together in Lover Unleashed??
Not so much of the dialog between the Brothers that I have enjoyed so much in the past. That or I am getting too used to it…
I love what happens with Lash…sucker so deserves it! Then there’s the interaction with Blay and Qhuinn. Oh man…I cannot wait to read Lover Unleashed! I just gotta know how Qhuinn resolves his discovery about his feelings toward Blay especially now that Blay and Saxton seem to be starting up.
The story opens with John Matthew and his crew, Blay and Qhuinn, at a tattoo parlor with John getting Xhex’s name tattooed across his shoulders as a memorial to her. His luck is just not good enough that Xhex is still alive…and this way he can carry her with him at all times. Doesn’t mean he’s giving up though. All the Brothers are plowing time into finding Xhex. The opportunity it provides to off more lessers is a bonus.
John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was — or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny.
As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.
Xhex has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.
John Matthew, Blaylock, and Qhuinn are three of the newly-turned vampires who are interning, so to speak, with the Brotherhood. Up until a young turns anywhere from 20-24, they are considered pre-trans, weak with delicate stomachs until they undergo the transfer process and become true vampires. John, Blay, and Qhuinn bonded in their pre-trans training class and now fight together as a team.
Lash was one of their training mates but was never a teammate. Too full of himself and too much in love with hurting anyone around him, Lash was turned a second time when his father claimed him thus revealing his true, extremely evil nature.
Xhex is a half-vampire/half-symphath assassin; when you picture Xhex, think butch in leathers and muscle tanks. She uses both sides of her nature in her work. Until Rehvenge blew up his nightclub, she was in charge of security for his bars and the drug dealing and pimp side of his business. From the moment John saw Xhex at the club, he has been in love. In Lover Avenged, 7, Xhex was kidnapped by Lash while on a rescue mission to get Rehvenge back.
Saxton is a civilian vampire with a degree from Harvard. He’s been a busy lawyer the last few books as he specializes in torts and estate laws for his people.
Wrath is the Blind King of the vampires as well as the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood with Beth as his queen (she’s also John’s sister). Other members of the Brotherhood include Vishous (has a nuclear hand) married to Doc Jane (a brilliant surgeon who died and came back as a ghost), Rhage (is under a curse which turns him into a ravening dragon when he gets too emotional) is married to Mary (a human turned by the Scribe Virgin when she was dying of leukemia), Tohrment lost his wife to a lesser attack, Zsadist (Phury’s twin) and Bella (sister to Rehvenge), and Butch (a former Caldwell cop turned vampire by Vishous) and Marissa (sister to Haver, their former Brotherhood doctor).
Technically Phury is the Primale and traditionally not allowed to participate in Brotherhood activities but he has turned tradition on its head. Rehvenge is not actually a Brother and recently came out to the Brotherhood as a half-vampire/half-symphath. He’s married to Ehlena who aids Doc Jane when she does surgery.
Payne is Vishous’ twin sister. Their mother, the Scribe Virgin, has kept her in suspended animation for centuries and only recently allowed her to go free — within the confines of the Far Side.
The cover continues the theme of naked, tattooed torsos with its metallic sheen.