Review: Lover At Last by J.R. Ward

Posted April 3, 2013 by Carmel in Carmel, Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 18 Comments

Review: Lover At Last by J.R. Ward
Lover At Last by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #11
Published by NAL
Published on: March 26, 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 609
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: it seems Qhuinn has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young. It’s hard for Blay to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. And Qhuinn needs to come to terms with some dark things before he can move forward…

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.



The last two installments in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series fell short for me, mainly because I had no vested interest in each book’s featured paranormal couple. Let’s face it, Payne and Manello were tertiary characters at best and, the chemistry between Tohr and Autumn was barely even lukewarm. Qhuinn and Blay on the other hand, have been around since Lover Awakened, the third BDB book, and the spark between them has been slowly morphing into a raging wildfire ever since. Their relationship finally reaches its much anticipated boiling point in Lover At Last and J.R. Ward’s first official M/M story is spectacular!

I approached this installment with equal parts excitement and trepidation. On the one hand, I’ve been looking forward to Qhuay’s book for a long, long time but, on the flip side, this was my first forage into M/M romance and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Ward does an exceptional job of telling both sides of this couple’s story and writes explicit, raw sex scenes that even this M/M newbie could appreciate. I was in awe of Qhuinn’s performance in this novel; from his selflessly courageous heroics in the field to his emotionally charged confessions to Blay. Their journey was almost as rewarding and meaningful as their happily-ever-after ending.

I hate to say this but I could have done without the side stories involving Assail, Xcor and Trez. First and foremost, their tales cut into my quality time with Qhuay which made the constant POV changes a little irritating. At times, it was a battle to not skip over the Band of Bastards and Lesser parts in order to get back to the “good stuff”. And secondly, I get that Ward is trying to find a way to prolong this series by introducing new couples but I just didn’t particularly care for any of these characters. Looking back on this series, I guess that all of the brothers were a little rough around the edges at first and that J.R. had to win me over each and every time. It’ll be interesting to see whether this series will continue to reign supreme in the Paranormal Romance world now that the founding members’ stories have all been told.

There were a few noteworthy developments in this book that do give me hope for the future of the BDB; namely Layla’s personality shift from Chosen sheep to independent woman and all of the speculation surrounding the future heir to the throne. Even though there are plenty of new things in store for this series it’s good to know that some of my favourite characters still have roles to play in upcoming installments. Lover At Last is a worthy finale to the Qhuay love saga and a great introduction to M/M relationships.

Books in this series:

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Recommendation: A must for all Qhuay supporters!
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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18 responses to “Review: Lover At Last by J.R. Ward

  1. I just don’t know what to do with this series! All of these glowing reviews make me want to buy this one, but I just can’t follow all the new characters anymore. 🙁 I stopped regularly reading with Phury’s book and only picked up Payne’s book because of the Vishous/Jane/Butch thing. I want to say I wish Ward had stuck with the original Brothers, but it would have been a short series. :/ Excellent review, because now you have me pondering!

  2. I’ve not read the book yet but it seems that everyone (including my real life friend) is complaining about the same thing. Too much side characters. The last couple of books have been written this way. I think that Ward needs to get back to the way the earlier books were written, focusing on the main couple.

    I don’t like it when a good series starts going down hill just in order to have more books to make more money.

    Also the next book is about Wrath. WTF?! He’s had his book and we still get to see him in the others especially the last ones. WHY does he need another book?

    I’ll hold my judgement on the series until I read Lover at Last. But I can time you now I will not pay hardback price (ebook higher price) for Wrath’s 2nd book. I’ll wait for it to release in paperback for the cheaper price.

  3. I’m still reading and totally agree about the side stories. I’ve waited so long to finally get Qhuinn and Blay’s story, I don’t want to be interrupted every other chapter with characters that are new or not as important to me!

    This series holds a special place in my heart but I would have been ok with this being the last installment, I don’t want it to drag on forever as much as I love the Brotherhood. Wrath is worthy of another book and it would be a perfect finish to the BDB series, to end where it all began.

  4. Suzan Lacey

    I loved it too, I can always do without any page time devoted to the lessers and I’m not that fussed on the BOB as I don’t see how their leader can be redeemed. I’m not really sure how I feel about Assail, I think he was in the book more then he needed to be. I liked Trez’s POV cause the shadows interest me but I’d have liked more Qhuay time as well cause I love them! One of my few complaints is that I have read other MM stories and while she’s done their chemistry well she seems to have forgotten about the use of Lube in MM! After all in every story I’ve read the MM characters use lube for obvious reasons but JR skipped that. Whether it’s because she wasn’t comfortable going into too much detail or researching sex among males I don’t know, maybe she just decided that one their abilities as Vampires meant they didn’t require what just about every other male couple in exsistence requires! Other then that she did really well with their relationship.

    • Although I did notice the lack of lube, having never really read an M/M book I wasn’t sure if this was normal. After reading several other reviews for this book I’m beginning to see your point though.

      • Suzan Lacey

        I just felt she was representing a lifestyle and if she’s gonna write about a way of life she should do the research on it. I read in a facebook post that she checked on gang slang with readers but she doesn’t explore more on MM relationships? It’s such a small detail but it kinda annoyed me that she missed it in light of the fact she went to pains to check certain unimportant terminologies. Even if I hadn’t read MM before I would probably have thought ‘Ouch’!

  5. xaurianx  

    I agree with you on Manny and Payne, and on Thor and Autumn. That really did nothing for me, and I kept reading for all the other story lines. But there was no update on the Omega in the last book(s?) at all, and that was what this whole series is about. There are just too many characters to keep them all straight, and I am totally not interested in a gay romance and gay lovescenes. So, I don’t know yet if I will be reading this book or put a stop to it all.
    I am glad you enjoyed it though.

    • The Omega has been MIA for most of the latest installments. I’m not sure what’s up with that. I think Ward’s shifting the threat from them to the BOB’s quest for the throne.

  6. I like what I’ve heard so far, except for the side stories going on. I can’t wait to read it. Just gotta get through Tohr’s book first. But Yah! Qhuay! 🙂

  7. I’m a total sucker for these books, but I have to agree with you, a lot was going on in this book; although, I thought that the the novel was pretty centered (for a change) on the main couple.
    I guess I’m one of those hard die fans that just can’t get enough of this world, this is not my favorite of course, Lover Awakened, Lover Avenged and Lover Mine hold that place; however, I still truly enjoyed it.
    Great review as always Carmel 🙂