Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

Posted September 11, 2012 by Carmel in Carmel, Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 10 Comments

Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward
Title: Lover Unbound
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #5
Author: J.R. Ward
Publisher: Signet
Format: Mass market, 502 pages
Published: September 25, 2007
ISBN #: 9780451222350 / 0451222350
Genre: Paranormal Romance
My Copy: purchased
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In Caldwell, New York, war rages between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now the cold heart of a cunning predator will be warmed against its will…

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father’s war camp he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn’t choose takes him into a future that cannot include her…

Vishous is one of the more complex members of the Black Dagger Brotherhood in my opinion. They all struggle with their inner demons but this vamp has more on his plate than most which helped transform this book into an intense emotional read for me. As expected, Lover Unbound is overflowing with Ward’s trademark wit, sex and violence but the ending was… disappointing. I loved 480 out of the 502 pages of this book but those final chapters really put a damper on the overall experience for me.

A lot happens in this installment where the other characters are concerned. John Matthews comes into his own, Phury decides that it’s about time he got laid and some of the new recruits start playing lager roles. Lover Unbound contributes a great deal to this series’ overall advancement. As a result, I found that the main love story was scaled back in comparison to previous books and the sex scenes are shorter and less detailed. The focus was more on creating a lasting emotional bond between V and Jane rather than a scorching physical one.

Vishous has a lot of skeletons in his closet. He was abused by his father, is plagued by visions of the future, has a killer left hand, suffers from a serious case of BDSM, has mutilated “equipment” and has doubts about his sexual orientation. And you thought you had problems! Just when you think he’s reached his crap threshold, the Scribe Virgin drops bomb after bomb on V’s head. I was surprised that he didn’t spontaneously combust on the spot! I enjoyed watching him tackle one emotional hurdle after the next. For such a rough and tough guy he sure does wear his heart on his sleeve. I liked how Ward addresses his displaced feelings for Butch; I thought she handled this tricky subject beautifully from both perspectives. There was a few heart wrenching moments as well namely when one of his premonitions comes true right in front of his eyes and there’s not a damn thing he can do to stop it. It’s one of those “oh shit” moments where everything slows down and you see the bad thing coming but you’re powerless to prevent it. You don’t realize what a double-edged sword V’s gift really is until this moment.

Jane’s a worthy addition to the female cast of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and one of the strongest heroines to date. She’s intelligent, practical and able to tackle any challenge. I liked how V has to make exceptions for her instead of the other way around. However, I felt that Jane’s role was somehow diminished by the way Ward forces their happily-ever-after ending. I understand that there are only so many options available for the Brotherhood’s human mates but I think that there were better choices at hand than the one J.R. made. Personally, I wouldn’t mind it if one of them stays mortal, sure they only get 50 years together but it’s also kinda romantic and might make them treasure their time together more.

I struggled with rating this installment because 90% of it is spectacular but it’s that other 10% that made this one tricky. However, I can’t in good conscience penalize a book too harshly over such a small part. Lover Unbound sets Phury and Cormia’s story up perfectly for book 6. I can’t wait to see what he’s like in the sack!

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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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10 responses to “Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

  1. Great review Carmel, this book was only a 3. 1/2 stars for me when I first read it, I can totally agree with your review, I really wanted more for the ending, the ghost thing.. I don’t know…didn’t work too well for me, but after I listened to audiobook I went back and changed my rating to 5 stars.
    I loved it the second time around, or maybe is just the way Frangione delivers this books that he moves them up a notch.

  2. The ghost thing kinda bothered me too. I know it would suck for her just to be mortal and have only so many years together, but to me it was more beliveable that way.

  3. I have a love/hate relationship with this book because of the ending and Jane. Yea it makes sense for what V’s gift is but it just didn’t sit right with me.

  4. ooh this whole Brotherhood thing..i feel so left out, I really need to read these and rejoin the planet. I almost want to stop reading Cat and Bones and start reading these. Thoughts? Should I finish up Night Huntress this year I will be reading book 5 in October etc. or should I go buy book one, two and three? GRR..i want an opinion about the ghost..LOL

  5. Yeah…the HEA sucks. But I love Jane and V! So now, when I read her, I pretend she’s not what she’s become. It is actually not mentioned much lately so it’s easy to do šŸ˜‰