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.
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. Theyve 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 hes 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 Qhinns cousin. Qhuinn is not exactly thrilled with this, but he really cant 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 its on the same level as Lover Enshrined. Learning the background of Darius and Tohrment makes Tohrment and Johns relationship seem extremely natural and it reveals why John has always been inexplicably attracted to Xhex. He still doesnt know that he is Darius reincarnated at the end of the story. Its 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 Chosens traditional home.
Two storylines drove me nuts. The new storyline about the reporters following the ghost 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 Societys enemy and now the Omega has turned his back on him. Lash is apparently kicked out of the society it would appear because of his desire to have sex with women. Perhaps the Omegas mistake was not castrating his son, like he does the human members of the society. So Lashs new life is falling apart and so is he. To a strong degree, it didnt make sense. Although, based on how the society has functioned in the past, constantly churning leadership, this shouldnt surprise me.
And, this is a bit of a spoiler, I dont think so, when the Brotherhood dos defeat Lash (I wont reveal whether it was John or Xhex), they didnt 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 I waiting to get the next book, Lover Unleashed, so Im 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 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 doesnt have a relationship with Blay. Hes jealous of Blays desire to date his cousin. These guys are teens so this really doesnt make a lot of sense. Is Qhuinn bi?
Im also finding the writing itself is getting sloppier as the series goes on. Its not a good as the earlier books. There are also some cultural references like to Melrose Place that I doubt John and company would understand, so to a degree they feel wrong in the story.
Im still excited for the next book.
But, I miss the sex.
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.
I actually enjoyed this one more that I did the last one. I felt a better connection with it. Ward does tiptoe around some of the sex in this one which is strange after some of the other scenes she has written in the past lol I expected to get more info than I wanted but instead I was left wanting more details. Overall though I really enjoyed the story and the way the stories came together.
Yet another fantastic book by JR Ward. I have yet to be let down through all 8 of the books so far with book 9 coming up for release March 29th I can't wait to read more. This book had me turning page after page drawing me in even further.
In this book we get to see John and Xhex relationship develop throughout the book. John starts to grow up through out this book. Instead of being a man whore he learns that even if you love someone you must do what is best for them rather than what you want. He loves Xhex no matter what and he decides that if he gets her back from Lash he is willing to let her go as it is what she would want. Afterall xhex is not the stay at home bonding female type right.
Xhex however starts to evolve emotionally throughout this book. We know she is a tough and independent woman. She doesn't need a man to protect her because she can kick butt just as well. However through this series we see her overcome her horrible time with Lash and her past. She learns to open up and even accept her female side. She starts to realize that it's okay to depend on someone else to help you through the rough times. She starts to realize just how much and how deeply she loves John.
However with both of them wanting vengenance can they learn to accept what's best for one another and work through their disagreements so that they can truly be happy. Most of all can they love eachother for who they are and still be together. YOU HAVE READ THE BOOK TO FIND OUT!!!
In this book we also start to seethe relationship between Qhuinn and Blay change. We still don't know if it's for the better. Qhuinn starts to realize what he truly feels for Blay, it's deifnitely more than friendship. Yet is he too late? Blay starts to believe he will never be with Qhuinn and therefore decides to move on. In the book you realize that the reason Qhuinn is not with Blay is because he believe that he is truly NOT good enough for Blay and that Blay deserves so much better than him (heart breaks Qhuinn). Even though Qhuinn was somewhat of a jerk you can't help but understand his feelings for Blay. Afterall Qhuinn looks at himself as trash and not how Blay truly sees him. I honestly hope that their relationship builds in the next book and they do end up together. Both complete opposites but i think it would be great if they ended up together.
Also in this book we are introduced to Payne. Vischous' twin sister. Her story is the main story for the next book. Lover Unleashed. However in this story we get a little information as to what Payne is like. Truly Vischous' twiin she can fight with the best of them. Currently stuck in the Fade or whatever with The Scribe Virgin she realizes she wants more than being stuck their. She wants to experience the Other Side whether it involves heartache and the unknown she wants to live a true life. HWill she get to the Other Side or will she remain with the Scribe Vrigin. Once again you must read the book.
As always this book had action, drama, and romance!!! JR Ward produces yet another fine novel in the BDB series and I can't wait to read more!!!