Tuesday, July 6, 2010

REVIEW: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward


ISBN 9780451222725
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(c) January 2008, Penguin Books
J. R. Ward's website

Rating: 4 stars

Available at the Book Depository (print)

"This series is getting even more exciting with complex characters and increasingly heated tensions between the vamps and the lessers!"

Complex characters and even more complex situations, and probably only J.R. Ward could've pulled it off. Tension between the vampires and lessers amps up with the introduction of an old villain in a new and much bigger role. This book shouldn't be missed for the way it moves the entire series forward.

I have to say that she's extremely courageous for going where no author has dared gone. (Or maybe some have, but I just haven't read them.) Phury's drug addiction and downward spiral is almost painful to read, and the only thing that's keeping me going is that I'm sure there's light at the end of the tunnel. As it was, it took me over two weeks to finish the book. (I was also very busy with the DJ, so the OT's could have eaten into my reading time.)

So many things happened in this book it's hard to begin where. To that end, Phury's and Cormia's relationship development seemd almost overshadowed, and with this, I think the series is heading more toward urban fantasy, but I do hope not! I love me a good romance like any other woman.

First off, our main couple, Phury and Cormia. Phury's story is heartbreaking, with his drug addiction and his tormented past. Something is seriously wrong with that guy's mental and emotional health, brought about by a combination of his parents' neglect, his birth order, his race's culture and beliefs, and his upbringing. Then, it was exacerbated by what had happened to Zsadist and discovering that his twin was tortured and served as both blood and sex slave didn't help Phury at all. If ever, it helped send him further on his mental decline. No, Phury is not crazy in the sense that he should be admitted, but he suffers from the worst inferiority complex I've ever seen that left him emotionally crippled in the sense that he relies on the drugs to take away the pain and his sense of failure.

I'm not a fan of drug addiction, because I've seen how it could ruin lives, but I could understand how Phury turned to drugs in the first place as a way to cope or to escape, and it's probably how people got into it in the first place. To get free? One has to have the will to decide he's going to stop and stick to it. I like that Phury got to this stage and that Cormia's helping him with her calming presence. Yes, that's the essence that I got about Cormia's personality--her ability to calm people (Bella, Phury, maybe even Zsadist once). And because she's one of the Chosen (one of a collective whole), her entire arc is about breaking free and being herself, an individual with her own wants and needs, not as part of some group.

And, I didn't get much sense of a romance between the two as I'd have liked, aside from the hot sexxing. Phury woke to the realization one day that he loved Cormia, but aside from having the instincts of a bonded male, what did he know about her? That her scent is that of jasmine and that she liked lavender roses? Did he know how she liked to build things? Or that she didn't want to be one of a whole? Even Cormia herself. She always thought of Phury, as Primale, to be the strength of the race, but Phury could barely hold himself above the water as it was. I don't think she even knew about drugs or that Phury is an addict.

I found Rehvenge's situation to be more interesting that the romance. I can hardly wait to devour his book, which I'm happy to say is next and that I already have the book at home waiting for me to dive into it.

Lash's addition to the Lessening Society is poised to make the ongoing war with the vampires even more exciting. He's got imagination where the other Fore-lessers didn't, and he's Brother-trained, so it would be interesting to see him fight the Brothers with the knowledge he gained from them. Plus, he has his own powers as gifted to him by the Omega. He's so evil that I shudder. At the same time, you have to wonder about that touch of conscience that had him burying his parents because he didn't want the lessers to touch/desecrate them as they ransacked the house.

I'm giving 2 stars for the romance, but overall, the book is 4 stars. If you're new to the series, don't start with this book, and anyway, you wouldn't want to miss all the action-packed, earthshaking romances that has gone in the previous books. Start with Dark Lover, you won't regret it.

8 comments:

Erotic Horizon said...

And this is where I ended my relationship with Ward. - I was so disappointed with this book.. (the romance mostly - as the brothers have this larger than life effect. I wanted their unions to be explosive and I didn't get that with this book)

However in the big scheme of things..

This book in some respect was more solid than the others - as it gave more definition to the Lesser and the Virgin Scribe - as well as fine tune some of the going ons in the house...

This book was also the point when all the Brothers sort of 'man up' to their responsibility to the cause - not just fighting and keeping the Lessers under their feet at night - but really passing on their know how and really starting to strategize.

I think I was just so torn after the last two book - that I just toss the towel in..

I know I will read the others one day - but not yet...

Thanks for your thoughts as usual..

E.H>

Silver @ The Raving Readers said...

Disappointed with the romance too. Maybe the reason why it took me so long to finish. The thing about me though is that I have this damn curiosity. The tidbit about Rehvenge fired me up and now I need to read about him! I also want to read about Payne's book (coming next year) because of V! So...I don't foresee myself stopping any time soon...Unless something more interesting catch my attention. :) Who knows?

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I just skimmed your review as I'm only on book 3. (still haven't started it yet and I've had it forever.) I haven't been too impressed with the romances so far.

Carole said...

Book 3 (Lover Awakened) is where I and my blogmate really came to love the series! Gotta love Z, tortured alpha male that he is. Here's our review of it, if you wanna read it.

Thanks for dropping by!

jeanette8042 said...

I LOVE this series and Lover Enshrined was like the others, fabulous!

Sara said...

i've read a mixed bag of comments on this series and not sure whether i want to read it or not.

Elie said...

OK, Ok, this is a little more my speed. While I have not read any JR WArd, this is on my list. Great review. Good to know they should go in order.

Carole said...

Definitely, Elie. There's an ongoing side about John Matthew in all the books, and his story culminates in Lover Mine, book 8 of the series which came out in April 2010. Also, there's an overall storyline that continues from one book to the next. So...best to read in order.

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