Lover Unleashed by JR Ward is the 10th book in her Black Dagger Brotherhood vampire series. I do have to warn, however, that these vampires are nothing like Stephenie Meyers’ vampires (not that anybody’s vampires are like Stephenie’s). These books are not intended for younger audiences. You will not find them in the young adult section of a book store with all the most recently popular vampire books. This does not mean that they lack punch or staying power, by any means. Obviously, or she wouldn’t be up to book ten, now would she?
These books are found in the romance section of the book store, which almost turned me off of the book. I wasn’t looking for love stories, or at least not entirely and when one thinks romance books, you think of authors like Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts. Both great authors and I have been known to pick up a book or two of each of theirs, but that wasn’t what I was looking for at this time.
I bought the first book about a year ago at the urging of a friend. I seen, at that time, the books were already out to number six or seven, so I was already behind on this trend. Not knowing if I was going to like the books, I just bought the first one while my husband and I were in Everett visiting my sister. Forks, obviously, does not have the luxury of a large bookstore.
I think that it may have taken me a day, maybe a day and a half to read the entire first book. It was that good and that addictive. I found myself on eBay hoping to snag the rest of set for a reasonable price. I found a couple, the rest I ordered from Borders online. So, next was a waiting game.
The vampires in this series are a little different. They can feed on human blood, but it doesn’t really sustain them. They need a member of the opposite sex to feed from to really be sated. They are also able to eat normal food, drink normal drinks, as well as partake in any other human vice. Which they do quite often. Or at least some of the Brothers.
Each book is mostly centered on one brother, who meets a woman/female that he falls head over heels for. Which is a typical romance story, but there are many twists and turns throughout the books. The Brothers are an elite group of vampires that are the protectors of their race. They fight a constant battle with the Omega and his lessers.
A thing that I have come to like in this series is that in each book you get to see from a few different perspectives. And that the setup for books to come. You get to meet and know the Brothers through each other’s eyes. They become almost a family to you.
This book is centered on the Brother Vishous’ twin sister, Payne. It starts out with her being paralyzed from the waist down from a sparring match with Wrath, son of Wrath. Also known as the blind king.
There is only one doctor that Vishous or his shellan (wife) can think of that is skilled enough to pull off the miracle surgery that would be needed to save Payne. Enter Manuel Manello, MD. Tall, dark, and handsome and the rich doctor part is definitely not a flaw.
In this book, there are a lot of emotional things going on. Payne has never been on this side for an extended amount of time. She spent hundreds of years imprisoned by her mother, the Scribe Virgin, who also happens to be the mother of the entire vampire race. You also get a deeper look into Vishous. Yes, we had a whole book mostly devoted to him already, but there were a lot of issues that were never really faced. Even in this book there are some things that are touched on, but not really solved.
A new, rogue, group of vampires is also introduced. Their leader, Xcor, calls them his band of bastards. Nice, huh? I can’t wait to see how they become more in further books.
Payne and Manny are on a whirl wind romance. Manny knows that nothing good can come of this, since his brain has been wiped by the vampires before, when he saved Vishous. He knows that it is bound to happen and besides, how much of a future can they have together? He’s already 45, and the lifetime for him is already half over and for Payne, not so much.
I found myself upset for Manny. After all, he was in love with Jane (Vishous’ wife) and she “died” on him a year prior to this. Then his prize winning horse gets hurt; now he knows the love of his life won’t last. The guy really deserves a break.
I would highly recommend this book. But, I would say start at the beginning with Dark Lover. That way you get the full impact of the Brothers. And like I mentioned before, it is for the more mature audience due to violence, language, and very graphic sex scenes.