Bam & Shuzluva on Lover Unbound

304027 This review is riddled with spoilers. No, really. In fact, we reveal EVERYTHING. The ending, the twists, the identity of the villain… [Shuzluva Note: You have been warned, so bitch to us about some other shit.] It’s also really long and a little self-indulgent, but man, we had a blast. If you wanna hang out with us and read on, please do so. If not, feel free to skip this one (I won’t mind) and read this one, which is well-thought out and more eloquent than I could ever hope to be. Boo! Shuzluva and I have been waiting for this book to come out for a long time, so we hope you understand why we feel so passionate (so passionate in fact that we might have crossed some lines and in the process, cussed a helluva lot) about it and decided to share our thoughts with you in this format.

Bam: I’m here, homie. What’s doin’?
Shuzluva: I was just wondering if you were going to show up.
Bam: shaddup. I said 7:30. it’s 7:30. Damn, beeyatch, you know I ain’t functional without my morning Red Bull.
Shuzluva: Well, it’s 10:30 here.
Bam: Whatevz. Let’s start this thing.
Shuzluva: Okay.
Bam: For starters, what the hell is up with—

Whoa, hold up! What’s This Book About, Anyway?

This particular contribution to the Black Dagger Brotherhood Saga focuses on VISHOUS, the Brother with the “Ahh! Ahh! Evil hand!”. He is the smartest Brother, the “sex freak” who likes tie up his women and stick gag balls in their mouths, and is currently so in love with his ex-roommate, new Brother Butch— that he is constantly aching with it. In the previous book, Butch dumped him for some dumb broad with dependency issues and now Vishous is all “waaah-waaah, I’m so ronery!” and no one can stand him anymore. On top of that, the EEEEVOL Scribe Virgin reveals to him why he’s so speshul… oh, and why he must now take over as Primale and impregnate all fifty (or something) of the Chosen (who are they? Basically, they’re a harem of submissive chix created for the Brothers’ usage— altogether now: EWWWW) for the propagation of the Species. Gross. Since no one lurves him anyway, Vishous says “yep,” and he is distracted enough about it that his ASS GETS SHOT and he passes out from blood loss and finds himself in a hospital and in luuuurve with the surgeon, Jane, whom he instantly declares as his “mate”. And he kidnaps her! OH NOES, why would he find his mate now when he has just agreed to become the prime stallion for the broodmares? DAMN YOU, FATES!

Meanwhile, Jane has issues of her own. She had a shitty childhood (meh, what else is new?). Her father was constantly disapproving of her (he was a doctor too) and her mother wasn’t much of a mom to begin with. The one person Jane loved most, her little sister Hannah (whom everyone doted upon), died of a heart disease when they were children, which is why Jane resolved to be The Best Surgeon Evah (and I’m suuuuure had nothing to do with getting Daddy’s approval). Now she has a wonderful career of her own, a budding relationship with a friend/mentor (who is rumored to be the next human-turned-brother), and a fabulous opportunity to become some Big Cheese Doctor when— Yeah, her life really went to shit after she met V, huh?

This book really should have been titled “Lover Angsty Drama Because my Daddy Sucked.” We also get a bunch of flashbacks explaining why V is a whiny-babyman and a sexual deviant (Shuz, pleasepleaseplease stop me from ranting about this whole “childhood abuse as a justification for liking BDSM” thing).

On the B, C, D, and E plots: Phury continues his whinefest about his stupid leg and his unrequited love for Bella, John Matthew finally transforms into a XXXL freak, the Scribe Virgin cries about her stupid birds (no, really), Jane’s human boss starts investigating the patient with the “six-chambered heart,” and Cormia, the Chosen meant to be V’s sex-toy, decides she’s Belle from Beauty and the Beast and sings, “There must be more than this [life as a Brother’s sex-toy and broodmare]!”

The Plot—

Bam: Let’s get the plot, character, storyline stuff out of the way before we get to the OMGWTFBBQthat’snotanHEA thing that everyone was freaking out about
Shuzluva: okay
Shuzluva: this shouldn’t be instantaneous, you know…
Bam: Virgin, preggo women are snappy
Shuzluva: LOL
Bam: ok, so what did you think of the overall arc of this particular story?
Shuzluva: Regarding Vishous and Jane specifically? Honestly I was jazzed up about it in the very beginning, and while I wasn’t thrilled that Ward didn’t go the Vishous/Butch route (which would have been very exciting, and I’m sure we’ll cover this in a moment) I was thrilled to see that a female character was introduced that was an intelligent functioning member of society. However, re-reading the book, there was so much other stuff going on outside of V and Jane that I felt this book ended up partially serving up Phury’s story.
Bam: isn’t that always the case, though? the previous story being the jumping off point for the next one?
Bam: I just wish it wasn’t like that this time around because there was SO MUCH GROUND TO COVER with V and Jane
Bam: 1) V has to deal with his feelings for Butch 2) Jane accepted V’s world a little too readily 3) Uh… his feelings and stuff about his mom
Bam: and all of that was wrapped up a little too quickly to make room for all the other stuff
Shuzluva: Okay, I’m going to respond to each of your above points separately and in order:
Shuzluva: Yes, it is the case, but we’ve never had quite so many pages devoted to a secondary in the book. If you recall Butch and Marissa’s interaction in Z’s book, it was kept to a minimum but continued to pack a powerful punch
Shuzluva: Second, there was a ton of ground to cover with V and Jane. Regarding V’s feelings about Butch, I think Ward simply invoked the “mate” principle and said “okay, now that V has found his woman, he just isn’t interested in his other half”. I found that extremely hard to digest. First, Ward stated in Dark Lover that having more than one mate is not unusual. Now, I didn’t expect V and Butch to…uh…mate, but there were serious feelings there and simply passing it off as Butch was V’s first real “friend” goes down like a habanero
Shuzluva: Lastly, all of this stuff was tied in a neat bow, regardless of what one thinks as an HEA
Shuzluva: V made peace with his identity, got his woman in some form and his relationship with Butch reverted to purely platonic friendship. Okay, have at it, I’m done for the moment.
Bam: well, here’s the thing, as you and I had previously discussed— so much TIME was spent on building up the V-and-Butch “courtship” that when we got to this book, to have it swept aside and tied up like, “Oh… OH, you were in love with me? Naw, dude… that’s cool… I like gay people… but yeah, I’m not gay. I’m glad you found your mate. See ya.”
Bam: was totally insulting to what was being developed in the first place
Bam: It almost felt like… I don’t know… gay panic (as in, “Let’s just slaughter all that ‘gay nonsense’ now! Who’s gay? No one’s gay here!”)
Shuzluva: ROFL, gay panic.
Bam: come on!
Shuzluva: However, I did feel insulted
Shuzluva: It was not implied – it was clear that there was complex stuff going on with Butch and V
Shuzluva: and it was just given the heave-ho
Bam: see, this is why I’m starting to hate this whole “mate” thing
Bam: I told a friend about this and he said, “first, you read stupid things. second, Jane sounds like… a beard.”
Bam: I think the whole “mate” concept was too convenient this time around. it was like… a gay-deflector
Bam: I’m NOT GAy! I’m not Gay! See? My “meant-to-be” has a vagina!
Shuzluva: I’m still confused as to why someone would want more than one mate if the feelings and possessiveness run so deeply for one mate.
Shuzluva: That whole MINE thing…it gets me going
Bam: maybe they meant if the previous mate died?
Shuzluva: huh?
Bam: I meant, if the previous MATE died, he could have another one
Shuzluva: No. it was clearly stated in the first book that Vampires regularly take more than one mate
Shuzluva: and I think it’s also in the glossary. However, I rarely refer to it, so I might be mistaken
Bam: hmm.
Shuzluva: I even remember Beth asking Wrath if he had a mate already
Bam: I thought Ward included it to set things up for the inevitable Tohr-and-some-dumb-broad storyline
Shuzluva: Well, there is going to be a Tohr storyline somewhere, since we’ve just been reminded again that he’s not dead
Shuzluva: Okay, getting back to subject…
Bam: I hope Tohr becomes evil.
Bam: ok.
Shuzluva: you are evil
Shuzluva: but subject, please!
Shuzluva: We both agree that the V/Butch/Jane arc was unsatisfactory with it’s resolution. What do you think of how Jane’s…uh…transformation was handled?
Bam: is “shittily” a word?
Shuzluva: Sure, I’ll add it to the Shuzluva official dictionary
Shuzluva: or I should say Dicktionary
Bam: HAH!

The Heroine—

Bam: I felt as though… Jane was… in aeronautical terms “grounded”
Bam: she was a very capable, very alpha female
Bam: I thought, “oh, hey, nice… she’s going to keep her apartment, her job…” but then the Ward Misogynist Machine of Contrivance made sure that Jane has NO purpose in life but to serve the Brotherhood
Bam: and that really freaked me out.
Shuzluva: Where to begin…let me start with the wing clippage.
Shuzluva: I agree. Simply said, she was turned into a vehicle that essentially exists for V. So…she might serve as the Brotherhood’s medic, she might do some gene research, but she doesn’t actually exist unless V is touching her
Shuzluva: That right there is the core of the issue I have with whatever happened to baby Jane
Bam: heh. Nice one.
Shuzluva: I try
Shuzluva: Second:
Shuzluva: this new Jane creates a host of problems: How does V feed? Does Jane actually become flesh and bone when he touches her? I was confused by this.
Shuzluva: Third:
Shuzluva: Why did she have to become a nonentity. Hah! Sorry, I couldn’t help that one. V is supposed to be the smartest guy in the Brotherhood. Giving him someone with strong mental acuity was awesome…until she just became nothing. I was truly annoyed.
Bam: for real, sister.
Bam: Oh, and I figured out why Wellsie couldn’t come back like Jane did— *beat* there were no birds sacrificed for her. Ha-ha-ha! Fucking birds. What’s with the avian references in this segment? I feel like Tippi Hedren all of a sudden. Stupid… birds. *sniff*

The Hero—

Shuzluva: Well, let’s talk about V for a moment
Shuzluva: and his sexuality.
Shuzluva: he is a Dom, who needs to know he’s in charge
Shuzluva: yet that scene in his penthouse? Yes it was ridiculously hot
Bam: oh. let’s. Especially about the whole “he’s into BDSM ’cause his daddy touched him funny” bullshit
Shuzluva: but so out of line with HIM
Bam: oh, definitely.
Bam: V is very inconsistent. Is he a Dom or a switch? Is he a bisexual or is he fully hetero now?
Shuzluva: I got confused by the whole thing
Shuzluva: I think he tried to say he was never a bisexual, but that he was “forced” to rape his opponent
Shuzluva: No shit.
Shuzluva: However, his conversation with Butch went something like: I raped someone…well sort of…but I wasn’t into it…
Shuzluva: and now it’s all about Jane
Shuzluva: which is why I keep coming back to the lack of resolution with his relationship with Butch
Bam: V: I was in love with you
Bam: Butch: Oh, yeah… umm… it’s cool… I’m not… gonna… freak about that
Bam: V: but now I like pussy
Bam: Butch: Um… yeah… I’m gonna… um… find my wife and have heterosexual sex now
Bam: V: So… um… I’m glad we had this talk
Bam: Butch: Um… laterz.
Bam: V: I like heterosexual sex too!
Shuzluva: That was a pretty good synopsis
Shuzluva: not that guys are ever good about talking about relationships and feelings (EWWWWWWWWW…) but you’d think that there would have been more introspection on V’s part and more curiosity on Butch’s part
Shuzluva: What did you think of the switch scene in the penthouse?
Bam: it’s bullshit
Shuzluva: but hot, nonetheless
Bam: while there are genuine “switches” V just didn’t strike me as one
Shuzluva: nope, agreed
Bam: OR… all this time, he was a bottom pretending to be a top and merely waiting for the right person to top him…
Bam: which is entirely possible
Shuzluva: Nah. I just don’t see that one
Bam: but that’s not how Ward set it up.
Shuzluva: Think about it: here is a guy who never took his pants off in the presence of a woman (or guy, as the case might be) and now he’s fully submitting to someone?
Bam: no kidding. he brushed off his “issues” right quick
Shuzluva: while I don’t agree with it in the sexual preference sense, it sure makes a statement about V and Jane’s relationship
Bam: Schyeah. That it’s a SHAM!

The Secondary Characters—

Bam: Great emphasis has always been made by Ward on how ginormous in stature the Brothers are. But this time around, it really bothered me. Seriously? XXXL?
Shuzluva: The XXXL makes me think of a big and tall store we went to make a Peter Pan costume for the hubster. We found a green XXXL shirt that I made into a tunic. He looked really cute in tights
Bam: Uh. All right. Let’s talk about John Matthew some more
Shuzluva: Heh. Ok
Bam: I was thinking of him as Peter Petrelli from Heroes. Now I can’t consign him to anyone in my mind now that he’s an XXXL freak
Shuzluva: You know, all of the brothers are XXXL freaks.
Shuzluva: Have you been able to deal with that?
Bam: I don’t see how any woman would find that attractive
Bam: I keep thinking of “Triple H,” the wrestler from WWE
Shuzluva: Ugh
Shuzluva: I’ve usually got a mental image of The Rock
Shuzluva: at least he’s hot
Bam: I don’t think I can handle making lurve to a man who’s six-seven and three hundred pounds
Bam: especially since all the women are so delicate
Shuzluva: yes, but remember Marissa was afraid of tearing Butch to bits
Bam: oh, speaking of delicate, I think even Ward is bored by Rhage and Mary
Bam: notice how they don’t get any screen time
Shuzluva: uh, we were talking about John Matthew, but yes, I’ll go with that. Rhage and Mary might as well live somewhere else. There is so little talk of them at this point that all I know is Rhage is a hotter than hot guy who loves tootsie pops
Bam: heh. and Mary who? is she still a human?
Bam: okay, we’re still talking about John Matthew and why he’s the reason we’re going to keep reading this series
Shuzluva: I guess I continue to find John’s story compelling since I’m curious to see how Ward handles him being Darius, him obviously becoming a Brother (because you know he will) and his vocal and sexual problems
Bam: yeah!
Shuzluva: She’s been more delicate with his story line than most of the others
Shuzluva: I don’t feel like I’m getting hit with a sledgehammer every time I read it
Bam: John Matthew was my emo-lover-man… all skinny and sensitive… like a high school goth boy
Bam: and now…
Bam: I hope he doesn’t turn into some messed-up roid version of his former self. I still don’t know how to deal with this Ginomotron John, who btw, is the most interesting part of the series now.
Shuzluva: 1. John’s story is so damn exciting now. I’m dying to find out what’s up for him next
Bam: I wish his story was next
Bam: a lot of people were like, EWWW JOHN AND XHEX… I thought they wuz hot. Ya feel me?
Shuzluva: 2. I’m not surprised by his attraction to Xhex. I know a lot of people are turned off by her, but after re-reading her exchanges with Rhev in Butch’s book I find that I like her, respect her, and she’s not simply a…female
Bam: exactly!
Bam: speaking of “females” I don’t understand why people were so mad at Cormia
Bam: she just… wanted to be different
Shuzluva: I think it really pissed people off that she whined (to herself) but didn’t exactly do anything
Bam: what the hell was she supposed to do? she was sequestered all her life!
Bam: she didn’t know how to do shit.
Shuzluva: Thanks, I was just about to write that
Shuzluva: stop reading my damn mind
Bam: she didn’t know exactly what it was she wanted changed, she just… wanted something different
Bam: Speaking of which, I’m a little worried about Xhex.
Bam: Ward is going to make her start wearing pink or something.
Shuzluva: NO!
Bam: I really want to rant more about the butch/v/jane thing
Bam: Butch was shafted… and not in the way I wanted!
Bam: you’d think because Ward got rid of the Lesser POV, she’d have more room to explore the MAIN storyline
Shuzluva: But she didn’t
Shuzluva: she used Cormia and Phury as a replacement
Bam: no. instead she went sequel-baiting in the most heinous way.
Shuzluva: with a little John Matthew thrown in
Bam: because I so don’t buy Cormia-and-Phurry.
Bam: heh. Furry.
Shuzluva: I caught that
Shuzluva: Phury just pisses me off
Bam: is it ’cause brother likes the herb?
Bam: ’cause you know, don’t hate the puff-puff-give
Shuzluva: no, it’s ’cause the brother is a self-pitying schmuck
Bam: V has ONE BALL!
Shuzluva: and a fucked up parentage
Bam: there isn’t ONE well-adjusted brother, is there?
Shuzluva: well, there was Tohr…but we got rid of normal right quick
Bam: do you feel like… all the “bad stuff” they do is “justified” by the fact that they all had shitty childhoods?
Bam: 1) BDSM because Daddy beat me
Bam: 2) Drugs because my life is shitty
Bam: BDSM and DRUGS are very fun things that don’t require a fucked-up-childhood for one to enjoy!
Shuzluva: I’m glad you said it because I was just thinking it.
Shuzluva: Are the books too mainstream that they have to have negative justification for these activities?
Shuzluva: Regarding Phury’s drug use, it’s clear that he uses because he is sitting in the depths of self-pity and self-loathing. What I am having a hard time with is: why?
Shuzluva: Bella was CLEARLY not meant for him
Shuzluva: and Z is all better now
Shuzluva: Why the celibacy?
Shuzluva: Why the self-pity?
Bam: for added angst?
Shuzluva: And it makes him incredibly unattractive
Bam: and a crybaby!
Shuzluva: that too
Bam: let’s bring on the Rhev!
Bam: Oh, wait, he’s all in love with Marissa and shit
Shuzluva: Eh, I’m not convinced of that
Bam: fucking unrequited love… HELLO, JR WARD, there are other contrivances!
Shuzluva: like self-pity?
Bam: for real, my sister.
Shuzluva: missing limbs?
Shuzluva: Rhev was using Marissa and he knew it
Bam: oh, god, I want to learn Ward’s justification for why Rhev is a drug dealer
Bam: *weeping*
Shuzluva: I’m sending you a pallet of tissues for Rhev’s book
Shuzluva: you’re going to need them all
Bam: oh, god, it’s going to be a sob-fest
Bam: five bucks as to what it is.
Bam: I bet it’s cause his parents never loved him.

The Villians—

Bam: Oh, I miss the Lessers.
Bam: how weird was that?
Bam: no tension, no suspense, all melodrama
Shuzluva: funny you should say that. In the past week I’ve skimmed all of the previous books and realized how important the Lesser interludes are to adding tension to all of the focal point relationships
Shuzluva: Especially with Z and Butch’s stories
Bam: right. The Brotherhood is all about “protecting the race” and the lessers were integral to the previous books because the Brotherhood had someone to protect their people from
Bam: without the lessers hanging around, they were just a bunch of… I don’t know… overgrown thugs.
Shuzluva: The lack of lessers had us focusing on all the other players, which was pretty annoying
Bam: I’m still pissed about the identity of the villian. *sniff*
Shuzluva: the Directrix
Shuzluva: huh.
Bam: yes.
Bam: that’s the one that made me go “AHHHHH! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU, YOU FUCKING SERIES!”
Shuzluva: If she was a guy would you have hated it as much?
Bam: oh, good question.
Shuzluva: I was more focused on her desire for power (absolute power corrupts absolutely, ya know)
Shuzluva: rather than her being a female
Bam: the way I see it, she was just bitchy because she was running things just fine but now they’re going to replace her with a male and she was portrayed as an EVIL BITCH because she wanted something greater for herself, like ambition for a woman is such an evil thing
Bam: or I’m reading too much into it. whatevz.
Shuzluva: I think you read WAY too much into that. I think she was power-hungry and didn’t want to lose control of her domain
Shuzluva: which is a simple explanation, but when you’re the top dog you don’t want some nobody coming in to take the reins
Bam: you don’t think she was all, “down with patriarchy” and was just trying to make a difference?
Shuzluva: not at all
Shuzluva: she was all about herself
Bam: huh. ok. whatevz.

Shuz and I Drank Hate-orade—

Bam: ok, what’s your absolute HATEHATEHATE?
Shuzluva: Top of the list: poorly resolved Butch/V storyline. Nearly there: screen time devoted to Phury and his whining
Bam: agreed.

Wishlist For The Next Book—

Bam: As I was reading this book, I was hoping there would be more angst about V resisting the whole Primale thing
Shuzluva: Yeah, you’re right about that. The SV gives in really easily
Bam: I hope since we get a Take Two with Phury, it will be dealt with
Bam: yeah. I thought she was supposed to be uncompromising.
Bam: I hope we don’t get Cormia as a heroine especially if she’s going to remain a whiner-not-a-doer
Bam: and I hope we get to see John Matthew have sex with Xhex
Shuzluva: Okay, here’s what I’m looking for in the next book:
Shuzluva: I want Phury to become a man (rather quickly, please) rather than the self-pitying whimp he’s currently playing
Shuzluva: I want Cormia (if that’s where this is going) to become a worthy heroine, not just another female who’s purpose is defined as being a mate
Shuzluva: If Phury is really going to be the Primale, I want his love interests to reflect that – and let him take charge of his sexuality. I also want a strongly supportable explanation for his celibacy
Bam: ooh. nice one.
Shuzluva: Regarding the series as a whole, I want the next book to spend more time with the main characters. Give us hints of what’s to come. Tantalize us…please!

Why We Love This Series—

Shuzluva: Wait, let’s talk for a moment of why we’re going to actually read the next few books.
Bam: um. She’s a better-written LKH crack?
Shuzluva: I mean, we were both seriously disappointed by this installment
Shuzluva: yet, I know I will pick it up again
Bam: (though… I’m starting to doubt the “better written” thing)
Bam: uh-duh, we’re waiting for John Matthew’s story
Shuzluva: and Tohr’s
Bam: you know she’s not going to give him Xhex, right?
Shuzluva: of course
Bam: it’ll be some other dumbass girl.
Bam: so let’s not hope ’cause we’re just going to get our hearts broken
Shuzluva: I think we like that
Bam: did we really think she was going to give us a V-butch-Marisa threesome?
Shuzluva: for a moment there, I did
Shuzluva: it was…hot
Shuzluva: and real
Shuzluva: and something she made me believe
Bam: is it kind of like me being in love with this boy even though I know he’s going to break my heart?
Shuzluva: you’re in love? Why do I never know about these things?
Bam: Yeah, only I haven’t told him ’cause I’m not sure he feels the same.
Bam: oh, wait… let’s save that for another Y-Messie
Shuzluva: AUGH!
Shuzluva: Do you know I just skimmed over that and didn’t bother to figure it out?
Bam: did you notice they talk like those little assholes from The Hills?
Shuzluva: Don’t watch it, but I believe you
Bam: ’cause I’m still willing to give it a B-
Shuzluva: I loved that we finally got V’s history, I loved the initial (okay first 3/4 of the book) of V and Jane’s relationship, but I honestly wish there was more. I loved John’s tension with Lash, his transformation, and his inability to deal with his sexuality. I also love his relationship with Z, who I think deserves to continue to be front and center
Shuzluva: You?
Bam: I love the humanization of the Scribe Virgin, that Xhex got more screen time (she’s easily my favorite side-character right now), the fact that Jane was very smart and capable, and… John Matthew
Shuzluva: With all of that said, I know this book is going on my keeper shelf along with the others.
Shuzluva: This series continues to be compelling, even though it may have lost its way a bit
Bam: I know. I really liked it more than I thought I would considering all the stuff I kept hearing about it. It’s still LOADS better than Rhage and Mary’s book
Shuzluva: So what do you think? I think it deserves a B-. Anything less and I can’t justify keeping it. You know how small my keeper shelf is
Bam: B- is consensus
Bam: I think it had a lot of great parts, it just didn’t hold together very well
Shuzluva: when does the next one come out?
Bam: March.

**Much love to Lorelie for sending me the Lolcatz.

Last 5 posts by bam


61 thoughts on “Bam & Shuzluva on Lover Unbound

  1. LesleyW

    I think Phury's book has actually been pushed back to June.

    And I'm hoping for Phury's book, that he doesn't get to just divorce his forty wives and live happily with Cormia. I'm hoping he has a happy ending with her, but it seems whenever we get towards the ending there is always a swift and neat resolution - which doesn't gel with the rest of the book. I'm not saying he has to have sex with them all...but that he just can't just shove off the responsibility. It shouldn't be that easy.

    And I agree about the Lesser POV. I would have liked to have seen some intercuts of Jane's next-door neighbour. That was where a lot of the tension came from in the previous books - that the reader knew stuff the Brothers didn't.

  2. Kat

    I think you guys covered pretty much everything I felt about this book (including the Butch-Marissa-V threesome). And what's up with Cormia not knowing what semen is? That was the point when I screamed. And I hated the SV before, but in the middle of this book I actually wished she were meaner. But I did like Phury better after this book (creepy Bella stalking notwithstanding).

  3. Devon

    One of the things that bothered me the most about LU, upon reflection was the fact that the SV is turning out to be pretty lame as far as an all-seeing, all-knowing creator goes. How am I supposed to buy her as deus ex machina sometimes when she seems so powerless at others? Inconsistent.

    The primale thing bugged me for a myriad of reasons, but mostly b/c it was all sequel bait and barely impacted V and Jane's story.

    I like Xhex's characterization, but I can't get over the fact that she is always described as looking masculine, and was described as 'hermaphroditic' in Lover Revealed. Yuck. Perhaps it says something that the most independent women are given more masculine attributes. Jane was described as handsome rather than beautiful I think....Oh well, I'm still reading. But Phury and Cormia might finish me.

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  5. MrsRony

    Bingo ladies!
    Jane was Butch with boobs and brains.

    I was insulted by the way Butch and V were handled. It was completely disrespected and the greatest love story to ever be denied. They laughed it off but its not didnt feel over. Clearly this was not the story she wanted to write. When Butch took the dagger and forced V to meet his eyes and V trembled!!! When they were insisting V feed from Marrisa and V was like "I'll do it for you" and Butch said " Do it for us baby and dingbat had to remind them not to forget her.... Not to even mention the "healing" NO NO NO. THAT was the heart of the storyline that never was. Their relationship is more than two dudes wanting to hump. The ying and yang..good replacing evil...light into darkness ..the very spirit of them needs to be manifested in a physical way. (hand job..something!!)..Sorry I get really worked up over them.

    I would like for one person in this world to be ok with their sexuality. No excuses, no torture or too much internet porn. Just becuz they like it.

    I felt like she couldnt/wouldnt do what she wanted so she threw this together to make it ok for the masses and called it a day. It was alot of really great scenes kinda tied together and it worked.... Kinda, sorta not really.

  6. Cherry

    It seems a small detail to quibble over, considering, but how was Jane able to drink V's blood with no adverse effects when it almost killed Butch to drink it in LA? This bugged the everlovin' crap out of me, because I loved that scene in LA and the fact that Ward can throw the entire concept out the window on a whim is just...jarring.

    I had the same problems with this book as everyone else, which was heartbreaking for me because I was such a V fangirl. *sigh*

  7. U-vonne

    I think you ladies hit the nail on the head. I was just so disapointed I felt like J.R. cheated and insulted her own characters. She tried too hard to make Butch and V's relationship just a hetero-strong friend thing that it was laughable. (and not in the good way)

    And Jane dont get me started. She starts out with balls and ends up this Donna Reed house ghost. Really, an intelligent scientist gives up everything for a vampire she was kidnapped by. Jane sees him with Butch and assumes he is Gay, she sees his well used masterful dungeon and with no questions no discussions it's all sweetness and I love you cant live without you.
    A scientist who doesnt ask questions?? (Talk about fictional)

    Oh, and I too, am sick of the extremely tired excuse of lousy childhood, parents or whatever being used as a "reason" for alternative sexual practices. I think it insults those who enjoy a BDSM, gay,bisexual or even poloyamorous lifestyle.

    I will climb down off my soap-box now. I will buy the next book in June and I will read it with hopeful thoughts but I fear I will be greatly disappointed and a once unique and interesting series will be sent to my TBR much later pile.

  8. katiebabs

    All I have to say is "BOO, my name is Jane."
    But the book has some nice sex scenes and Ward made me like V when he was one of me least favorite characters out of all the bros.
    She better not F'up Rehv's book with his mate. (Rehv is my ab fab one!)
    What's next, the females are going to start turning into pumkins at midnight?

  9. lightlyfell

    For me the book was ruined because I read her board, and she kept talking about how strong Jane was, and how sexy V was with his Dom stuff. And then V gives up his Dom stuff (or becomes a bottom, which, yes, no way, no way, no WAY would his character do that, so easily) and Jane becomes a ghost. This is how you treat a strong character? You make her, literally, a transparent version of what she used to be. Wow.

    I'm not excited for Phury's book at all. Phury is a total loser, Cormia is too wimpy for him, and Ward has said something happens which changes the direction of the series. I'm guessing she doesn't mean "goes back to how awesome it was in the first three books".

    The only good thing for me in LU was Z. She's done amazing follow-up on him and I loved every word. But she took V - the second most intruiging character - and made him a puppy. What a waste.

  10. Suzette

    I'll continue to read the series but, boy, I was so disappointed. As with MrsRony and lots of others, the story with Butch and V could have been a great love story. I had no qualms about these uber hot men finding love with one another. It seemed like Ward backed out because maybe some fans complained they didnt want to see these two go that route. It would have made more sense then just having V all of a sudden LOVE Jane. It was as if she disregarded their feelings. Heck, there were so many things going on in this story that even V and Janes story seemed to blow by us rather quickly. Another thing that bothered me was the lack of scenes with Lessers. I normally find those slightly boring but to only have the one scene, weird.

    I think all series have that one book that disappoints, Lover Unbound was it for me in this series. I plan on reading future books in this series and truly hope they dont fall short like this one did.

  11. Wendy

    I liked the book. Sure, the whole ghost thing was weird and everytime Phury open his piehole to whine, I wanted to pull my hair out. I'm glad nothing happened with Butch and V, mostly because even though it would have been hot - Butch's with Marissa and that would have been cheating. I HATE that!

    JM's part was awesome, I admit I haven't like Xhex much but after this one, I do like her. I want more of Qhinn *insert swoonage here* he's definitely one of my favorite. I'm not really looking forward to Phury's book. I mean, I will read it but I have my doubts about it.

    And oooh, Z rocked as always!

  12. Jaime

    I could not agree with both of you more!!! I don't know what infuriates me more...Butch and V written off or all the other crap going on that you didn't get completely in anyone's pocket before it switched again. Will I read the rest of the series, well, duh, but I hope they don't drive me as crazy as this one did. I really wanted V's story to be sooooo much more than it actually turned out to be. I liked Jane, but I love Butch. Poop. Peace ladies and thanks..great review.

  13. Lorelie

    It seems a small detail to quibble over, considering, but how was Jane able to drink V’s blood with no adverse effects when it almost killed Butch to drink it in LA? This bugged the everlovin’ crap out of me

    I was able to make that mentally jibe with the assumption it was related to Butch being male, rather than the fact that he was human. I mean they all say they have to feed off the opposite sex, right? Even to the point of using Beth, even when Wrath and V were right there.

  14. Wendy

    Another thing I forgot to mention - There was this little scene between Phury, and Bella where they were practically flirting which annoyed the living hell out of it. First off, Bella is a fucking idiot. She's mated and she KNOWS how Phury feels about her yet still had the gall to flirt (even a tiny bit is WRONG!) with him. Phury shouldn't have participated because Z's his brother. Gee, after years of 'taking care' of him and now he flirts with his own brother's mate? Sh-yeah, he's an ass; I don't care how he feels, he shouldn't have done that. And Cormia was right there! and she didn't say anything AT ALL! Dude, speak up for the love of god. Man, I hated that scene.

    I'm done ranting.

  15. bam Post author

    Personally, I always thought Ward fixed it that they couldn't drink from the similar sex, so there would be less chances of accidental "eww, gay!"

  16. Ann Bruce

    Anyone every wonder how the race survives if human blood does a piss poor job of sustaining the vampires? I'm just saying that if a mated vampire pair doesn't drink from anyone but his or her partner, um, how do they not starve to death? For instance, Wrath drinks from Beth. Beth gets weak from blood loss. Beth drinks from Wrath. Wrath gets weak from blood loss. And so on and so forth.

  17. MrsRony

    Lorelei ok..gender works for me. Good lookin out.
    But why couldnt nobody find V when he left? Marrisa fed him, he and Butch had just exchanged blood what...a few weeks ago...why the hell couldnt nobody find him??? Bella found Phury in the blink of an eye when the lesser took him.

    Wendy, I was more mad at Bella for tempting the poor boy so much. I mean get an hour a day and you gotta twitch your azz around him?? You know how he thinks he feels...dont pick at him when you see he is three steps away from suicidal. I have loved Bella from word one but this book I just wanted to slap the teeth out her mouth.

  18. LesleyW

    It's been mentioned on JRW's message board a few times that homosexual vampires drink from each other for the erotic pleasure of it. So it must be that Butch is human AND male which is why it was so dangerous for him.

  19. Anne Douglas

    I don't disagree with you in the most part. But the most disappointing thing for me was the ghost issue. Though I'll admit I went a little weepy eyed when V brought his mother a bird *sniff.

    Phury - I'm with y'all, the whiny bitch needs a slap in the balls. Feel sorry for himself much? Sheesh. Cormia, I'm holding my verdict on her. She's young, been scared witless by the Directrix, and feeling decidedly unwanted - there's lots of room to grow there.

    But something I notice everyone glossing over... What about Payne?

    Am I the only one to think that John Matthew's fixation with Xhex would be setting up a perfect Payne/ John combo?

    As for what I think is going to be the turning point - Payne will be the first female in the BDB... Though, since I'm not a board haunter, and just extrapolate from the books, I could be way wrong. But think about it, it makes sense.

  20. Kelli R

    I couldn't agree with you ladies more. Thank God for your review. Man, On alot of websites if you even THINK about giving a not so stellar reciew you are cut off at the knees and fed to the she wolves who find nothing wrong with the book. While I wasn't pleased I will continue with the series. Finally someone else who is tired of the whine and cheese fest Phury is having. Please let him find his balls better yet let him have a herione who can tell him to get over himself already.......Stand up be a man.....

  21. Jessica

    "Ward has said something happens which changes the direction of the series. I’m guessing she doesn’t mean 'goes back to how awesome it was in the first three books.'"

    Too funny!

    Great review. Very accurate, sadly.

    After reading LU, I had to reinterpret LR. I now believe the series has officially jumped the shark.

  22. Lorelie

    It’s been mentioned on JRW’s message board a few times that homosexual vampires drink from each other for the erotic pleasure of it. So it must be that Butch is human AND male which is why it was so dangerous for him.

    What? Mentioned by who? Crap, if I'm supposed to believe that, the scene where Butch becomes a vampire now makes no sense. If they only prefer not to feed from the opposite sex, why put everyone through the danger of having a bonded male's mate used to feed from?

  23. Divineway

    HOWL!!! This post rocks!

    I'm totally hung up on Butch and Vishous. It's my dead horse. I might have been interested in Blay's ghey if B and V's relationship was handled properly. IMO, Blay being a friend of Dorothy does not make up for messing up Butch and V. Ward wrote to a friend of mine about the Ghey Blayde and said:

    the girl she thought was his HEA she could just never get them together and she orgnially thought that he died but then found out op nope he's gay he ends up with a guy.


  24. LesleyW

    Lorelie - it was said by JRW. Well actually it was said by 'Rhage', but that's JRW. 🙂

    However, and this is in reference to Blay being gay as well. Things have a way of being said on the message boards, in chats and in e-mails (and even book to book) and then changing. So I guess until it's stated in a book everything is fluid and up for alteration.

  25. Lorelie

    Lorelie - it was said by JRW. Well actually it was said by ‘Rhage’, but that’s JRW.


    Is it too much to ask that writers follow their own world building? I mean if you're omnipotent and you set the rules, you theoretically liked them at some point, right?

    PS Who wants to lay bets on how long it'll be before the fangirls find this review and run over en mass to tell Bam and Shuz that they're ehvil? (Wait, who wants to bet on a character turning up named "ehvil"?)

  26. Renaesance

    s it too much to ask that writers follow their own world building? I mean if you’re omnipotent and you set the rules, you theoretically liked them at some point, right?

    Do you think JRW is just losing track of what she's saying on the message board? Getting all into the role playing and running with it and then realizing "oops I may have created another DAMN PLOT HOLE?"

  27. shuzluva

    Anyone every wonder how the race survives if human blood does a piss poor job of sustaining the vampires? I’m just saying that if a mated vampire pair doesn’t drink from anyone but his or her partner, um, how do they not starve to death?

    Funny you should mention this, but Bam and I specifically decided not to discuss this because I felt that struggling with Ward's entire construct behind her vampire world would just lead us to disaster...

    But now that you've brought it up and just smashed through that wall that we decided to leave up (thanks! :D)...we both wondered how a mated couple survived by drinking each other's blood. How does the blood replenish once it's drained? Isn't the point of being a vampire that you need blood because yours doesn't just come back like a human's once it's donated? Oy. The thought of this is giving me a headache, which is one of the reasons I asked Bam to table it.

    PS Who wants to lay bets on how long it’ll be before the fangirls find this review and run over en mass to tell Bam and Shuz that they’re ehvil?

    I don't mind being called ehvil (man, I love that. LOVE IT!) if I'm dealing with my thoughts on a stick honestly. And the bottom line is that while I found this book lacking in a lot of ways (we probably could have gone on for hours...), I know that I will continue to read the series because Ward has managed to hook me strongly and elicit a visceral reaction from me whenever I pick one of the BDB books up. Simply stated, that says quite a bit about what she has created with this series.

  28. Teddy Pig

    I was so disappointed. As with MrsRony and lots of others, the story with Butch and V could have been a great love story. I had no qualms about these uber hot men finding love with one another.

    I will not read this series ever! All these people keep saying the same thing about Butch and Vishious. I have a strong feeling it would just make me even more bitter.

  29. Devon

    Blay's gay? Not surprised. I can only very rarely go to that message board these days, after I wandered into the Phury forum and found that the "f" sounds are replaced with a "ph". That was too much, even for me.

    So will he get his own book? I'm betting he gets the secondary plot treatment in JM and Qhuinn's books. I will be very impressed if he gets his own.

  30. MrsRony

    Im not feeling the Xhex/JM thing at alllllll. She is interesting and I'll even let her break Boo in on the sex train but HEA with my baby?...NOOOO. Personally if I have to read another flat ass, non boob having blondie heroine for these fine azz brotha's Im going to scream!!! JM is a clean(sorta) slate. He can be open to a sista or Latino, or Russian or Creole...somethin.

    I'm not sure I am a true fangirl or not but I do go to the boards fairly regulary to see what JR has said and I go to her signings..(i guess I am huh?) and I was surprised at all the negative comments that were there the first week or so. I mean I had serious problems with Butch's book and you couldnt hint at a bad inkling over there then. Im not sure what its like now but between the boards and Amazon I cant imagine there is going too much of a swarm.

    Like most, I am addicted to the crack JR sprinkles on the page. Its a bad mamajama that can have you glued to pages while you are complaining at the same time. I personally think/hope that Phury will be a good book. She really likes Phury. I think these last two were off because she didnt write the story she wanted to write. I mean you can tell her heart is Zadist everytime she writes him in everybook. He is her hothouse flower. Wrath is another character she loves. His prescense is always so huge and commanding even if he only appears once or twice he steals the show. Rhage she seems to just trot out every now and then. The way she writes Butch and V together is pure poetry and where shes obviously emotionally invested. Otherwise V/Jane and Butch and Marrissa wouldnt seem so forced and blah.

    I am hoping Phury finds some balls and gets in touch with his sexy side. There is so much potential for him. I personally cant wait to Rehv it UP but again Im not so sure she can do the hardcore sexy man without making him kill puppies or something.

  31. Devon

    MrsRony--ITA agree with you about the fact that it's clear who Ward's favorites are. They have more consistent and deeper characterization.

    It was interesting to see the dissension in the Cellie ranks. I did visit the board, rather briefly, and though it was never a B/V fest over there (God Forbid you suggest it), there were lots of other critiques.

  32. Kat

    I think part of the disappointment among Cellies has to do with the way V has been portrayed in the Boards and chats, and a feeling that the book didn't do him justice.

    I never thought about JRW playing favourites before, but that does explain a lot.

  33. Casee

    Great review! This is the only review I've read where I agree w/ everything said.

    I thought I was the only one that liked Xhex. I really hope that she does end up being John Matthew's heroine. Talk about an interesting story. Way more interesting then putting him with someone boring like, say, Layla?

    I think Ward totally copped-out on this whole book. Especially the Butch/V love resolution. Seriously, she had to address it because, well, she was the one that freaking started that lovefest. But she didn't want to offend her readers that can't accept m/m love.

    I also agree w/ everything you said about Phury. I really think his obsession w/ Bella went more toward creepy in this book.

  34. Ann Aguirre

    You know, reading this review thread makes me feel like I did when I used to work a day job and all the ladies would be talking about some soap opera I didn't watch. It sounds like there's an assload of characters in this!

  35. LesleyW

    How does the blood replenish once it’s drained? Isn’t the point of being a vampire that you need blood because yours doesn’t just come back like a human’s once it’s donated? Oy. The thought of this is giving me a headache, which is one of the reasons I asked Bam to table it.

    LOL - don't know if that will quote or not.

    Remember these aren't undead vampires, they're a separate species. Anyway, they aren't taking blood from one another (per se), they're taking either a hormone or protein or something biological. The male needs something that's only found in the female blood, the female something only found in the male. Which is why homosexual vampires still have to feed from a member of the opposite sex.

    So it's kind of a symbiotic relationship between the male and female.

    The reason Zsadist had to feed so often from human females and was virtually starving was because we must be so deficient in whatever hormone / protein / biological thing it is.

  36. Ann Aguirre

    I can't stand being the only one who doesn't watch the soap opera. Mobipocket had all the BDB books so I bought the first four. I'm not paying 10 bucks for an ebook, though. But I expect I'll buy this one too when the price drops.

    Sigh. I hate you guys. Off to read!

  37. Lorelie

    Do you think JRW is just losing track of what she’s saying on the message board? Getting all into the role playing and running with it and then realizing “oops I may have created another DAMN PLOT HOLE?”

    Yes, please lord, give me something to cling to. To paraphrase Lesley from earlier, I ain't gonna believe it 'til I see it in a book. And even then I will probably just suck it up and find a way to bend my mind around it because of the addiction that is the BDB.

    Sigh. I hate you guys. Off to read!

    Come on, Ann, one snort won't hurt. Everybody's doing it!

  38. shuzluva

    I can’t stand being the only one who doesn’t watch the soap opera. Mobipocket had all the BDB books so I bought the first four.

    **Ehvil Grin**

    Ah Ann, I knew we'd eventually suck you into this. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on the first four.

  39. bam Post author

    here's what's always bothered me...

    and with all the inconsistencies in the world-building, I can't believe this is the one that always nagged at me...

    How come Beth and Butch--- correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't they BFF in Dark Lover and Beth was the one who brought him in--- never interact? It's like they don't even know each other. Is it 'cause Beth is the queen and Butch is a lowly peon?

    Speaking of Beth, I haven't seen her around, either. ISN'T SHE SUPPOSED TO BE JOHN MATTHEW'S SISTER?

  40. lightlyfell

    That's a good point. I hate the way she dropped Mary and Rhage, but at least that's understandable. (Although Mary could have dropped in by Bella and said, "Hey, this isn't your mate!" when she was all over Phury, that could have helped.) Beth should be in it more, and I'd love to see those two interact. Preferably with Beth pointing out that Butch and V seem so in love or something. While stepping on Jane.

    I agree, Mrs. Rony, Ward adores Z, and it shows so much. Since this is my persuation, I love it. She just can't stop writing him so sweetly.

  41. MrsRony

    Wow Bam...I never even noticed that about Beth and Butch. You would think maybe he would go to her to discuss his conflicts about V as close as they once were. That is funky.

    I think since JM still wiggs out around Beth...(but not so much now right?)..that she keeps her distance from him..but being queen and all, I would of thot SHE woulda been the one to get Darius's diary first and give it to JM or the coulda gone through it together even. That woulda had me boo-hooing.

    Ann, its better than ice cream and Doritoes lemme tell ya.

  42. Ann Bruce

    Remember these aren’t undead vampires, they’re a separate species. Anyway, they aren’t taking blood from one another (per se), they’re taking either a hormone or protein or something biological. The male needs something that’s only found in the female blood, the female something only found in the male.

    Where in the books was this explained? Did I totally miss it? And why does this feel like borderline cannibalism? (If there are rabid fangirls here, the hate mail can be sent to ann @

    And, frankly, the whole Chosen thing is very harem-like. The women are there for food and sex. These vampires seriously need to evolve and get with women's lib.

    On a side note, I was willing to overlook all of these things in the previous books because those endings didn't tick me off. All that said, I'm going to read Phury's book, but I'm bracing myself because Cormia seems like a total doormat.

  43. Wendy

    MrsRony - Exactly! You'd think she wouldn't be so damn thoughtless about it.

    Ann, I agree with you. The whole Chosen thing makes me sick. Since I first started reading the series, I've hated it. Those girls are just so damn meek and pathetic.

    And I truly hope Cormia grows a backbone or the next book will suck.

  44. U-vonne

    Come on in Ann, The first snort goes real easy.

    But the inconsistencies are becoming a problem, why call it a series if you aren't going to keep some continuity in the world your characters live in.
    I wonder at why she started this Butch /V thing if she wasn't going to finish it ? Why make Phury a "everything for my Brother" guy and now he lusts and stalks Bella?
    Why are all the women just walking sex dolls after they are claimed? They only show up in the books to help dress wounds and have sex.

    I'm trying to stay with her(JR) but I may have to quit cold turkey..

    ..Okay maybe just one more book..

    ..I'm not addicted I can quit any time I want after Rhvenge's book maybe

  45. MrsRony

    Yep Wendy, at her signing last week, I heard her with my own ears. Blaylock will be riding the Rainbow Express and gets a HEA. Like someone else said though..I will believe it when I read it.

  46. Lorelie

    How come Beth and Butch— correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t they BFF in Dark Lover and Beth was the one who brought him in— never interact?

    Um I could be wrong too, 'cause it's been like 6 months since I read DL but I don't remember them as BFF. I remember Butch as chasing after Beth and her tolerating him, kinda considering going out for him for a moment just 'cause she's lonely.

    Crap. Now I'm torn between picking through DL again, reading the new KM Moning that comes out or actually making my word count for the day.

  47. Lorelie

    I for one will be stoked if she follows through since I like Blay. And I think he also has kind of a crush on John. Though maybe that's wishful thinking.

  48. Wendy

    Yep Wendy, at her signing last week, I heard her with my own ears. Blaylock will be riding the Rainbow Express and gets a HEA. Like someone else said though..I will believe it when I read it.

    I will believe it when I read it, too. All I know is tht Qhuinn better not turn gay all of a sudden or I'll kick someone's ass, lol.

  49. Sue

    Whew! Well said, folks! This installment ... sucked. I HATED Phury. His self-pitying, sister-in-law-poaching, spineless demeanor made me want to vhomit! And what's with him just giving it up for the first time to some prostitute in the club? I thought he was saving himself for someone or something special? I didn't buy that at all. I DON'T like the idea of baby John Matthew with Xhex. Nope. Dont' like it, don't want it, won't read it! Okay, I will read it. But under extreme protest. I'm a fan for life of the series. Unless author JR starts subscribing to the LKH theory of reader alienation. In which case, my heart will be broken fohrehver. As for Phury's love interest? JR should just skip it. Cormia who??? I don't have too much of a problem with Jane the brutha-luvin' ghost. It's a non-traditional HEA, but they are HEA, right? I just want to register my unhappiness at the slight to Rhage and Mary. Their story was my favorite in the series. Those of you who rate Vishous' story as being better than theirs are just a bunch of haters. I, too, am a hater. But I can't hate on Rhage .... I just luvvim!! Phury could stand to take some man lessons from that Brother. Having spewed all that venom, I will be waiting with bated breath for the next book. Don't mind us, JR. We luv ya!! Keep it coming, girl!

  50. MrsRony

    Quinn gay??..that would just be wrong....but he could be an equal opprotunity that would be HOTTT!

    OK..I may be in the minority yet again but I was SO hoping Phury would let go and pound the 'professional' in the bathroom until they had to carry her out...not literally..but you know what I mean. Some down and dirty monkeylust could show him it aint nothing but a thang then he could back off the red smokes, find his stress relief in a more natural way and help Rehv with the pimpin... but thats just me. LOL

  51. Wendy

    I was hoping too! He needs to get over the whole celibacy thing. Sheesh, it got old real soon!

    Ooo, Rhev! can't wait for his book! wonder how the whole Sympath thing is gonna work out..

  52. LesleyW

    Remember these aren’t undead vampires, they’re a separate species. Anyway, they aren’t taking blood from one another (per se), they’re taking either a hormone or protein or something biological. The male needs something that’s only found in the female blood, the female something only found in the male.

    Where in the books was this explained? Did I totally miss it? And why does this feel like borderline cannibalism? (If there are rabid fangirls here, the hate mail can be sent to ann @

    Oh I suck at the quotes thing. LOL*

    Ann. Yep - you're right. I guess I used to hang out at the message board so much it never occurred to me. Of course, now I don' it should. 🙂

    *fixed it -bam


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