LOVER REBORN by JR Ward-a new release review



LOVER REBORN has been one of the most anticipated new releases from  J R Ward’s Blackdagger Brotherhood series. Divided into four seasons of growth, Lover Reborn focuses on Torhment, son of Hharm and his rebirth as a brother, a friend, a man and a lover. And No’One-the female who gave birth to Xhex and then committed suicide because of the disgrace and humiliation surrounding her daughter’s conception.

Tohrment is unable to forget and let go of the past. Wellsie’s murder will forever remain one of the darkest marks on a hellren’s soul. And returning to the Brotherhood compound has not eased his grief or torment (pun intended). He is no longer feeding and rarely eats. His missions are suicidal and he is hell bent on ending his life in battle. The only thing that keeps him going is John Matthew. Knowing that his ‘son’ suffers as much as he does with the loss of Wellsie, keeps Tohr from going completely over the edge. But Tohr’s current anxiety is doubled when No’One, the woman he and Darius aided in her recovery and pregnancy so many years before, is now among the BDB, working as a servant. He cannot fathom as to why she continues to perpetuate herself as a victim.

No’One suffers alone. As a victim of rape and torture, she blames herself. And as such, the victimization perpetuates into the truth. If you say it long enough, someone will eventually believe it to be true. For hundreds of years, No’One has served her penance with the Chosen but she has truly not been living. Her life is merely an existence-one waiting for the final condemnation or sentence. It is as though she is between 2 worlds. And her grief is compounded with the knowledge that she was not a part of her daughter’s (Xhex) life.

There is an attraction between Tohr and No’One- one that develops out of need and sorrow. He needs- she fulfills, and No’One is willing to give Tohr all that she is, because she continues to believe that she is nothing-a no one. But their anxiety and depression builds as their guilt grows-Tohr’s guilt over taking another lover and No’One’s guilt about her past and the life of her daughter.

Their relationship is not always pleasant. Tohr is withdrawn and is quite capable of emotionally hurting No’One. He has suffered with the murder of his first ‘shellan’ that he is unable to completely give himself over to anyone else. And when No’One ‘needs’ Tohr, the ultimate betrayal is enough to send No’One out on her own.

There are many secondary storylines throughout Lover Reborn.

Xhex and John Matthew-The BDB is a society of men who are fiercely protective of their mates and young. Therefore Xhex’s lifestyle as a fighter and warrior plays a major role in the struggling relationship between the bonded pair.

Qhuinn and Blay and Saxton-There has always been a connection between Qhuinn and Blay-whether it is a bromance or a same-sex attraction. But when Qhuinn is injured trying to save the King’s life, Blay is unable to hide his feelings. It is Saxton who will suffer when his love for Blay is not returned and it is Saxton who will also pay at the hands of the young Brother when Blay believes that he has been betrayed. But in the end the love between childhood friends will grow stronger and their story will be continued in 2013.

Layla-We learn more about Layla in Lover Reborn. As a Chosen, Layla she must be ready to aid the Brother’s during their times of feeding. When a fallen ‘vampire’ is aided by the BDB, Layla must oblige, but that obligation is turned into a series of events that could end the life of one or more of the Band of Bastards.

Layla and Qhuinn-Layla is not the only female who goes into her needing during Lover Reborn-but it is Qhuinn she approaches to ‘service’ her during her time of need. And more than just Layla and Quinn know what is going on in the room next to Blay.

BoB-Band of Bastards-Xcor, Throe and the others play a significant role in Lover Reborn. As sworn enemies of the King, Xcor makes it his mission to take down Wrath and assume the throne. But the Band of Bastards, through a series of events and near fatalities, realize their leader may have made ONE mistake too many.

Layla and the BoB-There is a possibility of a love triangle, but with the potential for a pregnancy, I am not sure how this will be addressed. And the fact that Layla has ‘fed’ more than one Bastard, means more trouble for the BDB. And where was the Primale during all of Layla’s adventures?

Assail- a rogue vampire who slowly takes over the streets of Caldwell only to ensure he has complete control of the drug trafficking trade. But it is his relationship with the Band of Bastards and the Council that will have to be addressed in a future storyline.

Lassiter-the beautiful golden angel. Sent back to earth as a penance for his sins. His assignment-Tohr and No’One. But there is a third party whose soul will be saved when Lassiter successfully completes his directive.

As JR Ward had said, you will shed a few tears. Tohrment’s reaction during Wellsie’s Fade Ceremony is heartbreaking but it is No’One’s (now known as Autumn) sacrifice ( forgiveness) that could shatter Tohr’s soul. As fragile as the Brother is, no amount of preparation could prepare them for what happens after the ceremony.

Lover Reborn is a fantastic read. Tohrment’s grief is palpable and at times difficult to read. But Tohr must accept that his shellan is gone, before he is able to move forward. No’One (aka Autumn) continues to re-victimize herself through perpetuation, and must learn to accept that she is NOT responsible for another’s actions. John and Xhex’s relationship slowly begins to crumble but accepting your mate for who she is, will bring the bonded pair closer. And Qhuinn and Blay’s attraction will be addressed in the next BDB. ‘sigh-now we have to wait another year…..crap

reviewed by Sandy


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