Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

Published Date: September 5th, 2006
Finished Date: December 18th, 2011
Publisher: Signet
Format: Paperback
Pages: 434
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3
My Rating: 4/5

Blurb from Goodreads:
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…

My Review

LOVER AWAKENED is a very dark, very intense book. Lots of misery and tragedy. Personally I like dark and intense books, dark means that there will be action, and the hero and maybe heroine will know how to kick some real, tough ass, and intense means that I will like the writing style of the author cause the novel can incite deep emotions in me. But this is the first time that I say there's a limit to all these. Not that I didn't enjoy LA, I liked the romance, the action and the Brotherhood plenty, but I couldn't stomach how miserable it made me feel at the end. Lol, yes, it is that intense.

**My Summary with Spoiler**

Zsadist is the odd ball in the Brotherhood who has deep, permanent emotional - and physical - scars from an abusive, horrifying past. Z doesn't like to get close to people, the proximity scares him, and he doesn't drink from a female vamp's vein but from a human's. That would normally not be enough to sustain a male vamp, moreover a warrior, a Brother, but that's how strong Z is, even without proper nourisment. (Imagine feeding from tofu once ever alternate day or something and fighting street thugs. Yeah, I think that's a good analogy.) So Z would never have thought that his life would actually have a hint of romance in it.

Bella is part of the aristocrat in the vampire society, a sheltered female with a protective brother and 2 doggens to wait on her and her family (brother and mother only). She's only ever been in one relationship before, but that guy proved to be a coward and they went their separate ways. Who would've thought she has a thing for dangerous males, and when she sees Z, all she can think is to get close to him, to know him. But what she discovers is a man in need, a man who has been hurt but has never been healed. And she still wants him.

But a terrifying lesser, if you'd remember Mr. O from the previous instalments, has become obsessed with Bella ever since he set eyes on her, cause when he sees her, he sees his deceased wife. Well, he's majorly screwed up upstairs, violent, one-track minded, very smart, and the Omega seems to really like him. A very dangerous combination. And when he gets his hands on Bella...

**End of Summary**

I loved to watch how Z started warming up to Bella. Like Rhage with Mary, and Wrath with Beth, Bella started to change Z for the better. I liked those parts. Haha, esepcially when Bella went into her needing period where the male has to "serve" the woman by having sex with her or the woman goes into intense pain. Hahahah, and after that Z was SPENT!XD And when Z became protective of Bella, it was very heartwarming even if he's methods aren't always conventional.

Anyway, other than Z's parts, I wasn't very taken by Bella. I've mentioned this in my review of the previous book, LOVER ETERNAL, that Bella's a little too bold for me. It's not that apparent in AWAKENED, but well, it's still there, and I thought it bordered on pesky. But that's what got through to Z cause he kept pushing her away, and if she took the hint, their thing together would never have happened, so yeah, I guess it's good for their relationship.

As always, I immersed myself into the world of the Brotherhood, and I loved it. I loved them dark and mysterious, and I read LOVER AWAKENED in one sitting. I wasn't wow-ed by the book, but I'm just somehow addicted to them, the Brotherhood. I loved the way the brothers bantered with each other like carefree boys, and how Butch is totally integrated into the Brotherhood's fold. Butch is so full of bullshit! Hahhaha, his sarcasm and wit is hilarious! He brightens up every scene he's in.

Similar to the previous two books, I don't really agree with Ward's writing style the way she alternated POVs between multiple characters. It serves a purpose, but I don't like the way I'm cut off when something interesting or major is happening with a particular character. Especially when the something happening involves Z and/or Bella.

The reason why I took that one star away from the five was because I really don't see the necessity of that death at the end. IT WAS TOTALLY UNCALLED FOR AND STUPID! &*(^&%^$^%#$%$^&*%(&! I don't want her to die.... That was the too dark and intense part. Z's and Phury's past was indeed very heartbreaking and traumatic, but I was preparing myself for the worst, seeing as how broken Z was. But that death at the end....

Anyway, I thought that until the ending, LOVER AWAKENED was a fantastic read that contains everything a Paranormal Romance fan will want - action, suspense, thrill, romance, gore, and heartbreak. I loved Z and Bella when they're together, especially when Z's not being an idiot thinking he's too filthy for Bella to touch and to be close with. Ok he's not being an idiot, I know it wouldn't have been convincing if he let Bella into his life that easily, but I really like the times when they're, well, intimate physically.

A very recommendable read, just like its prequels.

My Rating


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Cyp's Abbreviation Dictionary

DNF = Did Not Finish
HEA = Happily Ever After
PNR = Paranormal Romance
UF = Urban Fantasy
YA = Young Adult

Erotica Reference

BDSM = Bondage/Discipline, Dominant/Submissive, Sadism/Masochism
f/f = female/female
m/f = male/female
m/m = male/male


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