Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Review: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

My Rating: E, B, X

Published: September 2006
Publisher: Signet Eclipse

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In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

Lover Awakened is the third novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward and what a series it has been so far.

From Dark Lover, we see Wrath find his true love and exact revenge for the death of his family, in Lover Eternal we see the softer side to Rhage and he finds love and inner peace and in Lover Awakened we find out more about Zsadist’s past as a blood slave and how he came to be the vampire we are terrified of but trust at the same time.

Zsadist is a very dark and cruel vampire, but there is more to him. His scars are legendary and there are many rumours about him. He is illiterate due to his slavery and he is cruel to women because of what happened to him as a slave. It’s such a sad story to read but I enjoyed every minute of it, does that make me a masochist? I felt for Zsadist when he is confused about Bella. He doesn’t want to want her but he does and this is confusing to him because of what happened in his slave days. I truly wanted to kill the vampires that had Zsadist as a slave – I felt so bad for him.

At the beginning of the book Bella is still being held prisoner by the evil Lesser, Mr. O, who has decided he wants to keep her. She is beaten and forced to hear and watch the tortures of her species. Everyone is searching for Bella but she seems to be impossible to find and some believe she is dead. Luckily word gets to the Brotherhood of her location and she is saved.

I loved the tender moments between Zsadist and Bella, like when he takes care of her and makes sure she is well and that no one is to hurt her at all if it can’t be helped. After being rescued from the Lessers, Zsadist and Bella have more in common than what Zsadist has with anyone else that lives at the mansion.

Tension rises when a female within the Brotherhood mansion goes into her needing, but who will help relieve her pain? I will leave that to you to find out. Let’s just say it was an exhausting experience, both for the characters and for me reading about it. I was about ready to collapse just reading about how much pain and agony the female was in and it’s hard going on the male too.

There are a couple of deaths that were totally unexpected and I think not needed, but I suppose it will all come to light as I read on. I was like ‘No that can’t happen’ but it did and it felt like it hurt me as much as it hurt the characters in the story. That is the downside of getting too engrossed in a book, you feel everything the characters feel.

There’s a pleasant little twist near the end of the book and I totally didn’t see it coming. It was nicely hidden, and exposed in a rather humorous fashion. Really the clues are there all along, but I didn’t pick up on them.

I have to say that this is my favourite book so far in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I loved the in depth back story of Zsadist and his slave days and how Phury came to lost a leg. It’s also nice to learn more about the aristocracy of the vampires. I liked how in this book there were, what seemed to me, a lot more point of views of the characters. It wasn’t all Bella, or Zsadist. It was evenly proportioned and really enjoyable to read. I would definitely recommend to anyone reading this series, if you are having trouble getting into the books, please stick with them until this book at least. It will blow you away.

Disclaimer: I have not bought this book but was given it in PDF format by a friend. I am not being paid to review this book and everything I have said is of my own honest opinion.

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