Thursday, April 19, 2012

REVIEW: "Lover Reborn" by JR Ward

Lover Reborn by JR Ward
(Black Dagger Brotherhood #10)

Adult Fiction--Paranormal Romance--Vampires
NAL--March 2012
Hardcover, 572 pages 


Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment is a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance- and is unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, desolate netherworld—he turns to the angel to save his former mate, only to despair at the path he himself must take to set her free. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vies for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past, and a future that he doesn’t know he can live with… but can’t seem to turn away from.


I have been a Ward fangirl for many years, but, I will admit, that I was a little let down by last year's BDB installment, Lover Unleashed.  I worried throughout this year whether my interest in this vampire world was decreasing which seriously depressed me.  Thankfully, Lover Reborn reminded me why I love these books and got me super pumped to read more!  It has everything that I adore about Ward's writing from the complicated characters to the heart-stopping action to the sweet romance.

Most of this book concentrated on Tohrment and his difficult journey to learning how to live and love again.  He is given a dire warning regarding his unsettled grief for Wellsie and must learn to move on in order to save her from an eternity of wandering.  I really felt for Tohr in this situation, but understood the point.  While he loved Wellsie, he was not doing anyone, especially her, favors by continuing his destructive pattern.  It was a real treat to watch him grow into a strong leader and a compassionate father again.

Tohr's new love is the mysterious No'One who was revealed to be Xhex's mother at the end of Lover Mine.  I was hesitant to get to know this character because I wasn't sure if she could be a valuable partner for Tohrment.  I was extremely relieved to know that my fears were for naught.  No'One was a more passive heroine than we have seen in this series, but she is not weak.  Her past is full of darkness, but she tries to not let it define her.  She understands Tohr's reluctance to love again and strives to help him in any way she can.  I also liked how Ward showed No'One trying to have a deeper relationship with her daughter. 

The romance between Tohrment and No'One is slow burning which works perfectly for this situation.  Anything more expedient would have disrespected Wellsie's character and her relationship with Tohr.  The book takes place over a year which allows for these two to get to know each other before jumping into bed as well as give both of them opportunity to grow as characters.  This was a risky choice for the author and I believe it paid off.

Like with most books in this series, readers are given a multitude of subplots in addition to the main romance.  Sometimes these can feel like an unworthy addition or can take away from the primary storyline.  I believe that the balance in Lover Reborn is one of the best that Ward has done in this series.  There is a lot going on while Tohr and No'One get together which makes sense due to the fact that the book takes place over a year. 

My favorite subplots were Xhex and John going through some newlywed issues and the continued inclusion of Xcor and his Band of Bastards.  Lover Mine was a real favorite of mine so I enjoyed seeing more of John and Xhex's complex relationship.  I have also really connected with Xcor as a character.  I know he is a big badass who wants to take over Wrath's throne, but there is something that draws me to him.  I really liked seeing his interactions with his fellow soldiers and the hints that Ward gives about his possible redemption. 

There is so much more that I could mention in this review since I don't think I could do the book justice without rambling on and on.  That being said, I loved this book and I look forward to seeing more in this series.  I am particularly interested in the resolution of the Qhuinn/Layla storyline as well as seeing more of that yummy fallen angel, Lassiter.  Highly recommended!
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Black Dagger Brotherhood
1. Dark Lover
2. Lover Eternal
3. Lover Awakened
4. Lover Revealed
5. Lover Unbound
6. Lover Enshrined
7. Lover Avenged
8. Lover Mine
9. Lover Unleashed
10. Lover Reborn

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