Thursday, June 17, 2010

REVIEW: Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

ISBN 9780749938222
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(c) May 2007, Little Brown Book Group
J.R. Ward's website

Rating: 3 stars

Available in Book Depository (print).

"Another daring and original installment in the Brotherhood series!"

Butch O'Neal was a human who'd fallen in with the Brotherhood, owing to a vision that Vishous had of him early on in the series. Though he ate and lived with the brothers, he stayed on the sidelines when the brothers were fighting, because he was human and fragile. This chafed at him. So, when he had the opportunity, he risked his life to save a civilian vampire. As a result, he was captured by the lessers and worked over by the Omega and something changed within him.

One good thing about it though is that the misunderstandings between him and Marissa over the previous books were cleared up, but love is only the beginning of their problems.

J.R. Ward continues to surprise me with her in-depth character portrayal and her courage to write stories that push the traditional boundaries. I like how the war between the Brotherhood and the Lessening Society is escalating, and how the events in the previous books contribute to the atmosphere in the next. She introduced a new romantic element that was hinted at, though never fully expressed, which is maybe a sign that she's testing the waters and also a foreshadowing of the kind of relationship she may want to tackle later on. That said, this book can stand alone, as the main characters' past is explained or a short background given.

In the last two books, Butch came across as a parasite, the way he lived off the Brothers, even to using branded stuff. I never did find out why Butch took to it like fish to water, after the not-exactly-poor-but-not-rich-either life that he had. Maybe because Marissa's clothes are all branded stuff? Anyway, it's heartening to see he also had this same realization in this book and that he wanted to work for his keep. I guess he wanted a sense of worth, as he looked how his life had been and ached for a fresh start. I came to like Butch in this story. He's such a romantic, something I wouldn't have expected. He goes all sappy over Marissa. LOL

Actually, I like his devotion to Marissa, his fierce possessiveness and protection over her, his courage, his willing to risk all for the chance to be with her for longer than a human lifetime. He is enough to make a woman melt. Most of all, I like his loyalty to the Brothers. Despite all the flaws that he sees in himself, he is, as Marissa said, "a male of worth".

Marissa is different from the previous heroine. She is beautiful and born to wealth and privilege, a part of vampire aristocracy, yet lonely and in a way, an outcast from her own people. Her experiences over the years with men had made her insecure about herself and her own sexuality. I find her reactions to Butch's lovemaking heartbreaking. I can also understand her fear that Butch would be hurt in a fight with the lessers and be taken from her, leaving her alone once again and without a mate, without someone who loves her for what she is. But the insecurities and the fear, when displayed over and over and over again became a touch irritating. I felt that she's clipping Butch's wings, making him less of a man and that she should grow up and be less selfish. That is not to say she doesn't have good qualities. She cares about her own people, especially the abused and those less fortunate than herself. Marissa is a flawed character that most of us can identify with (who among us don't suffer from occasional insecurities, especially where our bodies are concerned, and want our loved ones to be safe?) and she probably arouses negative feelings in us because we see parts of us in her. She did grow over the course of the book though, so we also have hope. :) She acquitted herself marvelously toward the end, especially the girl power she displayed in the council.

Another thing I like is Butch's and V's relationship--best friends, beloved brothers (though there seems to be something more on V's end). V really touched me, the way he yearned to have something like what Butch has with Marissa. And he's all agony over his loss of vision, too, and the way he glowed all over, not just his hand. He seems to have a terrible past, and I'm really looking forward to read Lover Unbound.

I also like the portrayal here that love isn't all sweet and chocolates and a bed of roses. No, in its real and truest form, love is messy, it hurts, it makes you do crazy, irrational things, yet it also brings warmth, it makes you strong and it also brings out the nobility of the human/vampire spirit (makes you want to protect the people you love even at great cost to yourself). In the end, when you look back at the ups and downs, the joys and the tears, you're gonna say, "It's all worth it."

One thing I wished the author would tackle is the relationship between the shellans. I mean, we see how the Brothers relate to each other, how they trust and depend on one another, but it would be nice to see the women, brought to live with the Brotherhood because of their hellrens, interact and be the support network to each other (just like the Brothers are for each other) while their men are out fighting. Or be involved in some project together that would benefit the race. Else, what do they do when their men are away keeping the race safe?

Available in Book Depository (print).


Erotic Horizon said...

This was another one that was so-so for me ..

I loved Butch, but I was going more for the Butch and V angle, so major disappointment there for me... and I had some issues with Marissa just because of her brother...

I look forward to your thoughts on the next book...


Silver @ TRR said...

LOL But I didn't think that was going to happen because of the way the book's marketed. It's a paranormal romance, and in non-erotic romance, it's usually m/f, but correct me if I'm wrong.

Next book's review will be out tomorrow, I believe. :) I totally love V!

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