LOVER AT LAST (The Black Dagger Brotherhood # 11) by J.R.Ward-a review
Release Date: March 26, 2013
LOVER AT LAST is the eleventh installment in J.R.Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and one of the most anticipated new releases for 2013 along with Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Christine Feehan’s Dark Wolf (Skyler and Dimitri 2014). Lover At Last-Qhuinn and Blay’s storyline-has been building for several years and over the course of several books. And similar to Lover Reborn, the novel has more than one story arc developing with many sub-plots. Lover at Last is a turning point in The Black Dagger Brotherhood series and does not concentrate wholly on Qhuinn and Blay but subdivides the text into four separate premises, three of which began in Lover Reborn.
For anyone who does not follow The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, a little background into Qhuinn and Blaylock. These two BDB besties have been dancing around each other for years hence the ‘At Last’. Friends since childhood, Blay has been Qhuinn’s wingman for an endless number of sexual encounters, threesomes and backroom pickups on so many levels, but there is more to their friendship than Brotherhood and BFF-Blay is gay and has wanted Qhuinn for as long as he can remember but Qhuinn has had a difficult time accepting the fact that Blay wants more than friendship. When Blay finds release in a partnership with Qhuinn’s cousin Saxton, Qhuinn will become involved with one of the Chosen during her time of needing resulting in a pregnancy that will add another level of angst, complication and heartbreak to an otherwise fragile friendship.
Lover at Last is a revelation of sorts for both Qhuinn and Blay. As both males begin to reassess what it is they want from life the pair will be brought together by a small, but determined female, who wants nothing more than to please the males, as is her duty, of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Qhuinn’s heartbreaking backstory will set the stage for an emotional outpouring of months if not years of pent up frustrations between Qhuinn and Blay. Emotions will be flayed raw, things will be said in the heat of the moment and, hearts will be bared all in the name of love and the fear of losing the other half of one’s soul. But Lover at Last is more than just a novel about Qhuinn and Blay, LAL is the starting point for a different direction in the BDB series.
Assail, the vampire introduced in Lover Reborn, has replaced the Rev (Rehvenge) as the drug overlord of Caldwell but Assail’s assent has not been easy. Rich and powerful, Assail will find himself a target when he discovers that he is being tailed by a small but powerful human woman. And to further complicate his life, missing drugs and dismembered bodies all lead to a power play in the world between the Lessening Society and the vampire hierarchy. And as per the storyline arc, Assail will become obsessed with the woman sent to hunt him down and take him out. But there are more players in the world of drug distribution and mayhap there is a traitor amongst the Brothers who is willing to sell his soul for the right price.
Xcor, the leader of the Band of Bastards, continues his search for the King of the vampires and for the Chosen who had saved his life on the battlefield. But Xcor is shocked to discover that the female who has stolen his heart is with child, which adds a wee bit of a complication in his attempts to find and claim the woman he believes is able to tame the beast as well as steal his heart. For a powerful leader, Xcor is emotionally fragile with regards to Layla and his need to find the Chosen will have him losing focus on his original goal to take down the King and claim the crown for his own.
Lover at Last will see iAm and Trez, the brothers (and Shadows) once employed and indebted to Rehvenge, begin to ascend into a storyline that will focus on Trez’s reluctant betrothal to a would-be queen. As Trez’s life begins to spiral out of control, iAm will seek refuge and aid for his brother from a most unlikely source and in this will mesh their storylines with the BDB.
Lover At Last is a novel that is disappointing on some levels as it does not focus solely on its leading couple; the buildup and anticipatory factor of Qhuinn and Blay’s relationship had reached an almost feverish pitch that will come crashing down for some readers expecting a storyline of infinite proportions and possibilities. Lover At Last is a novel that builds on several developing storylines for upcoming books in the BDB series; it is a turning point; an end to this particular arc; but a beginning to a new direction. Now that all of the original players have found their mates, Ward must find a new set of ‘Brothers’ and males who require their story to be told and in doing so, I believe, lost some of the focus on Blay and Qhuinn.
But saying that, the BDB stories will continue with Layla’s pregnancy, the potential for another ‘needing’ on the horizon and the fight for the crown. Oh, and if you think the dead remain buried and forgotten, a surprising revelation will have you wondering who else is alive and well – could Elvis be the next resurrection?
Lover at Last is a well-written storyline that will please many and disappoint some. It is a storyline that has been demanding to be front and center for a long time, but may have lost some of its glory because of the build up of anticipation. Sometimes the thrill of the chase is better than the take down; the seduction more thrilling than the climax. Lover at Last needed to be told, but there is so much more that needs to be said and hopefully J.R.Ward’s amazing ability to tell a tale, will once again, bring our much beloved couples together.
Reviewed by Sandy
NOTE: There have been a few revelations at this week’s signing in Cincinnati
1. The next BDB storyline will be called THE KING
2. Beth and Wrath will be trying for a baby
3. Saxton will play a pivotal role in the premise of the storyline
4. Blay and Qhuinn’s story continues
And EACH of these scenarios is hinted at in Lover at Last