Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7)
Throughout this series, I have never found my self particularly interested in Rehvenge. Perhaps this is due to the strategic writing of the author. She introduces us to upcoming characters, allowing us to familarize ourselves with the camaraderie that will be the mainframe throughout the novels, however she leads us to focus on the main couple at hand.
With each new book, I found myself becoming completely absorbed with the main couple, enjoying them just as deeply as I enjoyed the magic of the couple I just read about in the last book.
Knowing that I have this tendency, I still didn’t quite believe that I could possibly find Rehvenge’s story all that intriguing. I should have known better! I absolutely LOVED this book (and Rehvenge). Dare I say that he is perhaps my new favorite male?
It ties at 2nd place after Zsadist’s and Bella’s story (first favorite being Zsadist and Bella, and 2nd favorite being Wrath and Beth’s story).
The main part of the story explores Rehvenge’s life and his troubles of being half Symphath and half vampire. His honorable character (despite making his living in nefarious ways) is portrayed throughout. His loyalties towards his staff, the females of his family, and the Brotherhood are the motives for the decisions he makes.
He finds himself intrigued by a female vampire nurse that works at Haven’s medical clinic (which he visits often due to his need for Dopamine, that helps keep his sociopathic “Symphath” side at bay). She is different from the usual women who surround him (the usual club goers, prostitutes, and heavily made up beauties that seem to have no depth), and her true beauty and gentle demeanor have his “exterior walls” crumbling.
Ehlena was naturally lovely, with fine small features and that strawberry blonde hair and those long lean limbs. Her lips were pink because they were pink – not from some eighteen-hour, glossy, frosted grease coat.
The hard edged, no nonsense Rehvenge that usually makes women uncomfortable in his presence, notices that this female could possible be returning his interest. Despite the reader (us) appreciating his noble nature, he does not realize his value, and does not feel worthy of her. He feels as dirty as the world he lives in, from his hard-edged Drug Lord career, to his deep dark secrets (including another woman that has been blackmailing him for years). He debases himself to her, simply as another way to keep his “Symphath” secret safe. His self destructive ways, along with Elehna’s need to save him, entwines them deeply, no longer allowing them to continue denying each other.
She hit the send and brought her cell to her ear. “Hello?”
“Is this you?”
Rehv’s deep voice still managed to shoot through her on a warm thrill, even though she was pissed off at him. And herself. Basically at the whole situation.
“Yes,” she said. “This isn’t your phone number though.”
“No, it’s not. My cell had an accident.”
She rushed ahead before he got to any sorrys. “Look, it’s none of my business. Whatever’s going on with you. You’re right, I can’t save you -”
“Why do you even want to try?”
She frowned. If the question had been self-pitying or accusatory, she would have just ended the call and changed her number. But there was nothing but sincere confusion coming through his voice. That and utter exhaustion.
“I just don’t understand…the why,” he murmured.
Her answer was simple and from the soul. “How can I not.”
Other than his “mobster” side, everything about Rehvenge personifies the ideal man. Strong, loyal, loving, and non-judgemental.
“Don’t you get it, Ehlena.” With gentle hands, he stroked down her calf and brought her foot forward, balancing it on his thigh. As he undid the laces on her cheapo Keds sneaker, he whispered, “No matter what you wear…to me, you will always have diamonds on the soles of your shoes.”
We even come to realize that his seedy career choice, may not actually be his choice at all…
Like the other books of the series, this one does seem to concentrate on a main couple (their struggles and potential love, being the theme throughout). However, we get a much deeper glimpse into the lives of many of the other characters, also (seemingly foreshadowing the next novel to come). We were even afforded the luxury, many times over, of private moments between Wrath and Beth (which I adored).
One of my favorite scenes in the book, actually involved a self awareness moment for Wrath, which was deeply touching.
“I stay with you because, whether you have sight or not, I see the future in your eyes.” His lids fluttered as she brushed gently across the bridge of his nose. “Mine, The Brotherhood’s. The race’s…such beautiful eyes you have. And you’re even braver to me now than before. You don’t need to fight with your hands to have courage. Or be the king your people need. Or be my hellren.” She put her palm in the center of his broad chest. “You live and lead from here. This heart….here.”
Wrath blinked hard.
Funny, transformative events were not always scheduled and not always expected. Yeah, sure, your change turned you into a male. And when you went through the mating ceremony, you were part of a whole, no longer just yourself. And the deaths and births around you made you view the whole world differently.
But every once in a while, from out of the blue, someone reaches the quiet place where you spend your private time and changes the way you see yourself. If you’re lucky it’s your mate…and the transformation reminds you once again that you are absolutely, positively with the right person: because what they say doesn’t touch you because of who they are to you, but because of the content of their message.
Payne nailing him in the face woke him up.
George brought him back his independence.
But Beth handed him his crown.
There is plenty of action in this book, that involve numerous enemies. Turmoil abounds from all angles, and love finds itself troubled, in more ways than one. From John and Xhex, to Tohr and his own personal turmoil, we personally experience their struggles. I will admit, that the ‘Lessers’ continue to bore me somewhat, however Lash does bring some interest to that side of the story, since he is not simply a mindless drone of evil, but the son of evil himself.
Their constant growth and self awareness continue to strengthen these stories into a deeply woven tale, that has so much future book potential.
J.R. Ward has created each character lovingly. Each individual has a personality, a life of his/her own. Fears and weaknesses, triumphs, and nobilities that follow them through each installment into the next chapter of their lives. These characters truly “live” in these books. They eat ”Frosted Flakes”, they wear “Keds”, they cry alone in the night, and nurse their insecurities…. they love with abandon. To read this series, is to know these characters as people.
Interested in the series? —> J.R. Ward – The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Reading Order: