5 member(s) found this review helpful.
I've been addicted to this series and have enjoyed them very much to this point...that being said, this book left me disappointed and less than content.
One small complaint: It seems like characters (when introduced to the Brotherhood or are JUST beginning to be in the same place with them) SUDDENLY take on the slang and terms that the Brotherhood uses. Seemed rather ridiculous for Xhex to suddenly start saying "what's doing" and such when she'd been her own unique character and nonconformist to start with.
One BIG complaint: (everyone will not agree, but it's fact) JR Ward chickened out on the m/m side of sex. Continuity states you treat Qhuinn's sex life just as you would any other Brother. You don't tell me he walked in and locked the door for privacy and emerged on the balcony freshly showered with bite marks on his neck. You built it up and got everyone ready for what? Really? It should be just as equal part of everything else, take it or leave it.
I've lost a great deal of respect for the author because of the "lack of testicular fortitude" to include a part of the story you've wrapped up in this pretty little package. Sure, I'm gay and I take the straight love scenes for what they are...beautiful, hot and steamy affection between two beautiful and perfect bodied people...there should be no difference.
Not sure that I want to go on to the next book and think I just might have had enough of JR Ward at this point.
4 member(s) found this review helpful.
This is the eighth book in the series and the story of John and Xhex.
The story opens with everyone trying to find Xhex, who they have determined was kidnapped by Lash when they were rescuing Rhev at the symphath colony. Theyíve had so much trouble finding Xhex, that the Brotherhood is pretty sure that she is dead. In honor of her memory, John has her name tattooed in the ancient script on his back. But heís not giving up hope and continues to work with the Brotherhood to either find her or avenge her death.
When she is found and eventually rescued, the two of them decide to join forces to destroy Lash and vow to go their separate ways. They do this because they need to focus their energies on defeating Lash and without the agreement, they will not work together cooperatively.
Blaylock is starting to date and the person who he is interested in is Qhinnís cousin. Qhuinn is not exactly thrilled with this, but he really canít stop Blay from pursuing the relationship. Instead, he appears to be pursuing a relationship with Layla, a member of the Chosen. This is a relationship that Layla wants to see move to a love relationship.
Among the Chosen, Payne has been allowed to move about with the other Chosen, but she is not allowed the leave. This upsets her greatly and she is constantly unhappy and trying to persuade the Scribe Virgin to at least allow her to visit the other side. The one thing that keeps her going are her sparing matches with Wrath.
This book also gives us the back story of Darius (the Brother who has been reincarnated as John) and his relationship with Tohrment. This story explains why John is so strongly attracted to Xhex.
A new storyline about a TV ghost hunter crew stopping at a haunted house in the Carolinas. The ghost is actually a vampire.
The story of the Lessening Society is focused on Lash, who is literally falling apart and has been estranged from the Omega, his father. This and that fact that he has to drive a crappy Ford Focus and live in crappy housing infuriates him.
I liked this book better that Lover Avenged. I would say itís on the same level as Lover Enshrined. Learning the background of Darius and Tohrment makes Tohrment and Johnís relationship seem extremely natural and it reveals why John has always been inexplicably attracted to Xhex. He still doesnít know that he is Darius reincarnated at the end of the story. Itís also not clear that Tohrment understands exactly who Xhex is.
I like the Payne storyline and am looking forward to reading her story in the next book. I would have preferred to learned more about her background and why the Scribe Virgin is determined that she cannot leave the Chosenís traditional home.
Two storylines drove me nuts. The new storyline about the reporters following the ďghostĒ story was very frustrating. It constantly interrupted the flow of the story of John and Xhex (and Blay and Qhinn and Payne and Darius, etc.) It was not clear until the very end of the story what the significance of this story was to the Brotherhood. Personally, there was a lot of this story that could have been dumped and improved the storyline.
The other was the story about Lash. So the Omega has fathered this son who was raised with the Lessening Societyís enemy and now the Omega has turned his back on him. Lash is apparently kicked out of the society Ė it would appear because of his desire to have sex with women. Perhaps the Omegaís mistake was not castrating his son, like he does the human members of the society. So Lashís new life is falling apart and so is he. To a strong degree, it didnít make sense. Although, based on how the society has functioned in the past, constantly churning leadership, this shouldnít surprise me.
And, this is a bit of a spoiler, I donít think so, when the Brotherhood dos defeat Lash (I wonít reveal whether it was John or Xhex), they didnít have Butch do his thing. Does this mean that Lash went back to the Omega to be reborn?
At this time, this is the last book of the series that I have to read Ė I waiting to get the next book, Lover Unleashed, so Iím going to include some overarching comments on the series. First, it would seem that the more books, the longer they must be. Although, Lover Mine bucked the trend and was only 615 pages long. As a reference, Dark Lover, the first book, was only 393 pages long.
The Blaylock and Qhuinn story is rather frustrating. In Lover Enshrined, we learn that Blaylock is gay Ė but Qhuinn is presented as definitely not gay and that despite this, Blay has a crush on Qhuinn. Now, Qhuinn is whoring himself out so that he doesnít have a relationship with Blay. Heís jealous of Blayís desire to date his cousin. These guys are teens so this really doesnít make a lot of sense. Is Qhuinn bi?
Iím also finding the writing itself is getting sloppier as the series goes on. Itís not a good as the earlier books. There are also some cultural references Ė like to Melrose Place Ė that I doubt John and company would understand, so to a degree they feel wrong in the story.
Iím still excited for the next book.
But, I miss the sex.
3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Since I'm getting most of these books from the library, I didn't have the benefit of reading them in order. I read the first one then this one. Needless to say I had a lot to catch up on and was so sad Ward killed of Wellsie. I loved Wellsie. So definitely read this in order because it does make life a little easier.
But that wasn't why I gave it such a low rating. I had a really hard time getting through this book and had to force myself. Not sure what the problem was because I really liked all the characters, even the bad guys. John and Xhex seemed great. I loved the story with Darius the best. And I really enjoyed the relationships with Tohrment and him getting some closure with Wellsie. I even enjoyed the Paranormal Investigator side story. I loved the Blay-Qhinn relationship, although Saxton seemed a little too effeminate. And I wanted to know more about Layla and Payne as well.
Maybe it was so hard to get through because the book and the scenes dragged a bit. I really thought Ward could have taken about 100 pages out and the story would have flowed better. Also the writing style was inconsistent. Sometimes the talk and thoughts of a character was very street then the same character got all eloquent. It did skip around a bit and perhaps that didn't help the story go smoothly. I also wondered if she should have included the scene between Darius and the Scribe-virgin so people who haven't read the first book knew what's going on with John. I also wish there were more with Beth and the other ladies.
The sex and violent scenes were more graphic but not exactly better. I didn't mind the violence but the sex was really unimaginative and dull.
So it was an okay read, I expected more from Ward and definitely better. But if you are really into the series you should read it. I will continue to read the series just because I really enjoyed the first book.