Lover At Last: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
To say I was dying to finally get to Blay and Qhuinn’s story is an understatement. I have been feeling them for a few books now, and was thrilled they (and we) were finally going to explore their potential. Their magic. After all, I was crushing on the old “V and Butch” potential back in the day and am still in love with their soul-deep connection. I was a bit surprised at the turn they took, but, considering how much I loved V’s book, and the romantic intensity between him and his mate, I’m happy. Those two made me cry a few times, and anything that I feel that deeply will forever be cherished as a favorite.
I was hoping to have that same feeling with this one. I was sure “Lover At Last” was gonna be it! Reminiscent of the older BDB books where battles were fought, and strategies, planned. Where the warrior theme was front row and center, the “uber-alpha bad-ass” feel of the book wasn’t sullied by sap but the love story was still obviously the main focus. That emotional intensity that might possibly rip my heart out, even while the guys continued being guys.
And I was worried (and excited) about a certain “love triangle” that could interfere with Blay and Qhuinn’s happiness. Possibly giving it even more of that angsty *oomph* that I always fall for. And let’s not even talk about turning this into a love square (Layla… ) There were lots of places this one could go, and it did.
“No,” he hissed.
As his voice resonated inside his own skull, he resolved to listen to himself. No further. This would go no further.
He’d long ago lost his heart to that male.
There was no reason to lose his soul, too.
But for me, it didn’t go there enough.
There were so many (too many?) other side stories weaving us in and out of Blay and Qhuinn’s situation (admittedly helping expand the BDB world, preparing us for future romantic possibilities) but I was distracted. Was never allowed to full immerse myself in them. Any of them, for that matter. In their pain, worries, and deep love for each other. Oh don’t get me wrong, it was there. It was super-SUPER-steamy.
Dizzy. He got downright dizzy from it all. In every fantasy he’d ever had, he’d always pictured Qhuinn as a ferocious lover, but this was… on another level.
It was thoughtful, and both brash and eloquent, and when they came together, it was intense. There is no denying that J.R. Ward knows how to write an affecting love scene (romantic, sexy or heartbreaking – in every aspect ).
You and I… we grew up together, and that’s it. Yeah, we shared a lot of stuff back then, and we were there for each other when it mattered. But neither one of us can fit into the clothes we used to wear, and this relationship between us is just the same. It doesn’t fit in our lives any longer. We don’t… fit anymore.
Wow, right? I know… perfectly said. And perfectly sad.
But, I never really got that huge “snowball effect” from any of the stories, meaning… my feelings never snowballed out of control. Never peaked. Just as things got going, we switched to another, just as that one got going, we switched to another, and just as I finally started figuring out who/what/where & why of those new characters, we switched again. To me, many of the side stories were at first confusing. I didn’t recognize the characters, didn’t understand their relevance yet, didn’t remember what their story was in past books, didn’t understand the secret code and undertone of their “dealings”. Their scheming. What they had to do with anything… BDB related.
Maryse’s Book Blog: BDB’ ing it right now, 20% into “Lover At Last” and I think I should have re-read the last one. I can’t remember a few of these guys. Can definitely remember the biggest parts, but Assail? Trez? Sola? Son of….? and all of the mini stories have me confounded. However, everything “Qhuay” related has been a great read so far!
Jennifer: I feel the same way. Should have done a refresher, I’ve read 3 series since BDB so I’m having to dig deep to remember some things! Can’t put my kindle down
Maria: Trez worked w Xhex and iAm for Rehvenge . Assail came from the old land, he’s taking over the drug business and it was at his place that Wrath got shot by Xcor. Love The BDB. Loving Lover At Last!!
Kari: All the sub stories confuse me!
Tanya: I’m in the same boat but things are slowly coming back to me as I read
Barbara: Frankly even tho Im a fan. And I will get the book next Friday. All this additions are hard to follow. Too many POVs too many sub plots. I miss the.old days.
Jowanna: I’m falling for Assail. Oh and Barbara I feel the same way. I liked the simpler books but I still read them.
Jodi: Thank goodness I thought I was the only one confused.
Kathy : This is the most dialog from Trez. Assail badass vamp drug dealer/his house was where Wrath was shot in the neck by Xcor. Élan highest ranking member of the council only 2 nd to Rhevenge. He is kind of being used by BOB.
Natalie: Same here I just started it and am thinking I am gonna put it down and re-read the last one
Kristal: I agree! I’m only 15% in but I’m having the same problem.
Sandy: im having the same problem maryse lol i just want blay n quinn. to many other story lines
Brandie: l I thought the same thing while reading but got more into the other story lines as it went along. I loved it!
Maryse’s Book Blog: yah i’m at 60% and following much better, but I do prefer the parts with the whole Qhuay/Layla angle
Brandie: Me too Maryse.
Brenae: 30% in and loving all the back stories! Looks like there will be more books. Blay is a lot more assertive then I remember! Great so far
Emily: Just finished I was very pleased with it.
Eventually, yes, I understood all of it, but for a good 50 to 60%… when I was trying to find my rhythm and get into that “unputtdownable stage” I never did. I was mostly just irritated for awhile. Sadly, a little bored (except for ANYTHING that had to do with the BDB compound and everyone inside). Was never bored once we were back within our own walls. They feel like family to me and that’s where I wish most of the stories occurred. I was never lost within the compound. But so much of this book occurred outside and I struggled to stick with them.
Mind you, there were some crazy-awesome scenes outside of the compound (scary plane situation that had me on the edge of my seat, and a horrific “find” in a barrel that had it been a movie, would have made me jump out of my skin)… but again. I was with the Brothers in each of those scenes.
Okay and yes… once I was at about 65 to 70% of the book, I was in, and enjoying the other stories. All of them have romantic-angst potential.
Xcor smiled to himself in a nasty way. This whore wouldn’t have him, and yet his body, in all it’s biological stupidity, insisted on responding to that Chosen as if the sacred female would e’er look twice at him.
But again, as a reader, I was tossed around to and fro so many times that I could never truly connect 100%. And when the good got going (and it got really good – deep and gorgeous)… it was over. But at least I got to know Qhuinn a whole lot better and his own personal pain and doubt, was palpable. I adore him.
Oh, how I would have loved to live for at least 3 or 4 days in row in one of those rooms languishing in the romance (like with V… and with Wrath, and with Z and… feel me?) *sigh* How I would have loved for that bonding scent to make more of an impact instead of just a few minor appearances, as in the old BDB days. How I would have loved to hear the brothers suspecting… things, and yah, I know… privacy and such. I just missed it. Something. I dunno. I wanted to feel every bit of the love, angst, heartache, suspicion and drama with them.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t ’cause J.R. Ward kept giving me all these crazy-hard jobs with all of these strangers. I kept having to go outside and hunt stuff. Spy on stuff. Track stuff. Scheme stuff. You know how it goes. Plus it was cold!!! I even had skis on for awhile!
So that’s it! The BDB world continues to expand, the Black Dagger Brotherhood is changing, growing and important alliances continue to be forged. Enemies are scheming. Some are obvious enemies, and some… well. I wonder where it’s all going to go considering how closely tied everyone is (despite their obviously opposing intentions). And of course I’ll continue reading… but maybe we can slow the books down a bit with more intense love and just a tad less focus on the side-stories? Well, a girl can hope. *grin*