Lover Unleashed (Black Dagger Brotherhood #9)
Published on April , 2011
Description (from Amazon):
Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, seductive cloth as her brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself-only to face a devastating injury. Manuel Manello, M.D., is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can-but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birthright and the biology that separates them?
Spoiler Warning: You really need to have read the previous books to totally understand this one and not be spoiled to the nth degree. So read further at your own risk.
I read all eight available Black Dagger Brotherhood books last summer (my review of all eight), enjoying every single one as I spent the better part of a month and a half immersed in this vivid world of Vampires. When Lover Unleashed came out, I popped it open full of expectations – most of them were met, but I really think that this world has expanded so much it’s really hard to focus on just a small set of people for 500 pages.
In the previous books, there was always a focus on one male and female pairing and it was explored fully. Book nine picks up were book eight left off, with Vishous’ twin sister Payne having just been paralyzed by the King while sparring. Vishous’ ghost wife Jane, former surgeon (well, now the Brother’s personal physician) wants to call in her former colleague Dr. Manello (Manny) to do the spinal operation. And this book is really supposed to be all about Manny and Payne getting together. But you can’t have a book with Payne without featuring Vishous, who didn’t even know that he had a twin until Wrath brought her over from the land of the Chosen. And V hasn’t exactly been the most stable of guys, even after pairing off with Jane.
Manny seems to be instantly infatuated with Payne and even after having his memories wiped, he still has vivid dreams about her. Whenever he tries to remember his blacked out weekend, the piercing headaches bring him to his knees. This ultimately effects his work and as Chief of surgery at the local hospital, he can’t exactly work when he is so unstable and unfocused. But Payne’s post-surgical progress isn’t good, so much so that she wants to end her life. But V is having none of it, especially since he hasn’t even had the chance to get to know his twin. So V collects Manny, after he was just forced to stay home from work, and Manny works a little of his mojo on Payne. I don’t want to spoil it, but only JR Ward works that kind of magic into a recovery from severe spinal injuries. Of course love blossoms between Payne and Manny, even with the usually obstacles of one of them being human in a vampire’s world, physical ailments, and misunderstandings.
The side stories in this installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood include a band of warriors from the Old Country who are lead by Xcor, who took over after V and Payne’s father the Bloodletter was murdered. Xcor can’t let his search for the woman who killed the Bloodletter (big surprise, Payne did it) end. These warriors show up in Caldwell to not only fight lessers, but also to seemingly encroach on the King. I was very happy to see Butch’s old detective partner Jose De La Cruz show up to investigate a serial killer that has taken residence in town. There is something a bit fishy about Jose’s new partner and if history repeat’s itself in the Brother’s world, he isn’t mentioned if there wasn’t something up with him.
But this book is really Vishous’ second book with him as the feature, since he is so deeply linked with the main players in this one: his wife Jane, his BFF Butch, his twin, and subsequently Manny. V’s state of mind is so on edge throughout this book, it’s almost a relief to see both Butch and Jane finally breakthrough to him.
For some reason Manny talks and acts just like a Brother, but he’s human so it’s a little weird. He definitely seems to be a vampire in the way he goes to extremes of emotions and violence with regards to Payne.
Overall, Lover Unleashed is pretty tight. There is the usual scattering of words like verily and true, what’s doing, that can grate the nerves (well at least it does mine after a while). But I enjoyed another glimspe into a few weeks in the lives of the Brothers. This book is big on Vishous, Jane, Payne, Butch, and Manny, but the other players walk in and out in enjoyable short bursts. JR Ward has introduced a whole new set of road blocks and pot holes in the road for the night loving citizens of Caldwell, and I can’t wait to drive 80 miles an hour over them with the next book.
Lover Unleashed is a must read for any hardcore Black Dagger Brotherhood fan. I give it a five, definitely check it out.