I don't understand how any reviewer could give this book 1 star, considering 'Lover Unbound' and 'Lover Enshrined' were so disappointing...
Anyhoo... at the risk of repeating the comments others have written, I too feel this is less book is less about Payne and Manny and more about V tying up his loose ends. Absolutely did it for me in that respect. His relationship with Butch has gone up another level because of the way Butch helped him through a particularly rough situation. It totally surprised me, though I think this is what was needed for HIS book. I can't punish J R for including it though because, in my eyes, the fact that she's done it so well, and tied it into how he helps Payne and Manny, redeems her.
I didn't realise how claustrophobic it was until mid-way - but I didn't feel restricted or constricted in any way. Because of the way it's been written, I found myself not missing the rest of the Brothers and welcomed them when they did arrive. It just worked, somehow. Didn't need all that 'interference'. I get that. There's only a passing mention of the other females in the mansion, but that's just as it should be, and they only 'appeared' when absolutely necessary. I really love the way this woman writes. No need to keep reminding us who's who, which gets right up my nose...! And there's no mention at all of Lassiter, the Angel-type creature who saved Tohr.
I found the Blay/Qhuinn situation suitably frustrating :-). They're both in love with each other - obvious from Lover Mine but, Saxon, Qhuinn's cousin is Blay's love interest and is content to 'have whatever 'love' Blay gives him'. So sad. I really wanted something of a revalation to occur so that Qhuinn and Blay could have their own HEA. But, again, J R has left me hanging - and looking forward to their story, although it looks as if the HEA won't be what I'm hoping for but, who knows with J R? And, of course, there are the new characters, the bastards, led by Xcor, that hava appeared from nowhere. And again, it's worked.
I kinda predicted the ending halfway through the book because of some things mentioned in a couple of the other books (won't say which, 'cos I'll spoil it for you), but it was nice, as the reader, getting there.
I do love the Payne/Manny story. I did well up a little when he thought he was going to lose her - forever this time. And, yes I can understand the previous reviewer's thoughts on love at first sight but, hey, it's a fantasy after all. Suspend our disbelief and all that? And the whole thing takes place over the course of around a week, I think. What they feel for each other is typical of the genre, so it's all good. The sex scenes were great and I always love the way J R gets into the heart and minds of the men. Such a turn-on for women readers.
One thing that did puzzle me though, was that, at the end of V's book, we're introduced to Payne and when her mother, the Scribe Virgin, asks how she is, she replies with a "F*** you!" So we're left thinking she's going to be a nightmare for V and the rest of the Brotherhood. Now, by the time we get to the 'Avenged' and 'Mine' books, she's sparring with the King on a regular basis and she's a very serene-type person, who doesn't swear. When she escapes to earth, she's very different to what we think she's going to be. That's the only thing that puzzled me, otherwise, a great addition to the series and I look forward to the next installment. You go J R!