Review: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward


Posted March 16, 2012 by Carmel in Carmel, Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 9 Comments

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
Title: Lover Awakened
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3
Author: J.R. Ward
Publisher: Signet
Format: Mass market, 434 pages.
Published: September 5, 2006.
ISBN #: 9780451219367 / 0451219368
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Copy: bought from The Book Depository
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A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…



Zsadist and Bella’s story has been my most anticipated installment to date in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and it did not disappoint! I found myself squeezing in reading time in the most unlikely of places because I just could not get enough of this one. Lover Awakened is a tormented and highly emotional book so expect a turbulent but fulfilling ride! Although Z and Bella are the main focus of this one we still get tons of face time with the other characters which made for a nice, well-rounded story. After reading Zsadist’s story, he remains my favorite brother but with seven more novels to go (and counting) I reserve the right to change my mind.

At first I was a little worried that J.R. wouldn’t do Z’s story justice. He’s seriously messed-up and it takes a special kind of author to be able to dig deep enough in order to properly portray him. That being said, Ward is either a very disturbed individual or an incredibly talented writer (or maybe both) because Zsadist’s character leapt off the pages in Lover Awakened. The way that Bella and Z tackle and ultimately overcome his traumatic past is picture perfect. I didn’t expect it to be easy or gentle and it’s not. The warrior’s hand is forced in a way and without the extenuating circumstances imposed upon them; these two love birds would never have managed to come to terms with their feelings. I loved how J.R. handled the challenging plot and was rendered speechless by her character development skills.

Surprisingly, Z’s heartbreaking story isn’t the only aspect of this novel that brought me to tears. Tohrment and Wellsie, the only couple that’s been together since the beginning of this series, also suffer unspeakable pain and John (a.k.a Tehrror) isn’t having the best of luck either. I liked how Ward still took the time to expand upon her other characters even though this book’s mostly about Zsadist and Bella. My questions about Z have been answered but now my head’s a buzz with brand new ones about the other brothers. I guess I have no choice but to see this series through to the end; not that I wasn’t planning to anyway but the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s claws are deeply embedded now. There’s no turning back!

The stellar dialogue is another element that makes these books must-reads for me. The conversations are lively and you get a real sense of each brother’s personality. Ward has developed a vocabulary all of her own and even though it’s not always grammatically correct it’s wildly entertaining. I think my guy would actually enjoy this series because of the dialogue if only he could get past the racy covers…

Lover Awakened is smoking hot, deeply disturbing and incredibly addictive. The best book of the series so far!

Books in this series:

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Recommendation: Anyone who gets weak in the knees over tormented heroes or off the charts sizzling bedroom action.
Like this, like that: The Sweetblood series by Laurie London, the Demonica series by Larissa Ione and the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost.



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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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9 responses to “Review: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

  1. Z isn’t my favorite brother but this was definitely my favorite story so far. I agree with pretty much everything you wrote in this review. I’ve only read 5 or 6 of the books so far.. I need to finish them!

  2. I’m so glad you still found the story amazing, specially after hearing so much about it, I’m sure your expectations were incredibly high. I love this story and your review is making me want to do a re- listen.
    Beautiful review Carmel!

  3. Great review! I love, love, love this series! This book still remains my favorite however, even though some pretty major stuff happens in it. I love Z! 🙂 And the short story “Father Mine” that Jennifer mentioned was so good, but had me in tears too…it’s a must read though 🙂

  4. Best so far is right! Now you have to read Lover Mine and tell me which of the two you liked best. Then you’ll know why I have 2 favorites in this series. 😉