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4.4 out of 5 stars
Lover Unleashed: Number 9 in series (Black Dagger Brotherhood)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
I have just finished reading this and all of the reviews so far and can say that I can see where some of the negative points have come from within the reviews and I agree with most of them although I still enjoyed this book and I am still a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I think this is going to be one of those books where there are going to be mixed feelings and reviews about it.

I agree that it was very hard to try and connect with Payne and Manny's characters as they didn't have the book solely to themselves but I can see why J.R. Ward has felt she needed to re-visit Vishous' and Jane's relationship and why she included it in this book what with it being about his twin sister and her character not having had a major role in any of the other books so far other than to be Wrath's sparring partner. I have a suspicion that this book has been used as a sort of filler and a lead into maybe some of the new character's stories in the future and I think we will see if this is true or not in the next couple of books. I think Xcor and his band are probably going to end up with their own stories and I for one hope that this is the case and look forward to reading them. I also think the love triangle between Qhuinn, Blay and Layla could possibly be a really good story if and when JR decides to write it and if so I hope that they are given their own book for it.

I personally still really enjoyed reading this book, it isn't my favourite of the series so far (Zsadist's story Lover Awakened is) but I am certainly going to stick in there as a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and I eagerly await the next instalment.

If you are new to the Black Dagger Brotherhood books then please don't let any negative reviews put you off as the series is still fantastic as you will note the majority of reviewers have also agreed, it just seems that this book wasn't for everyone this time. I would also suggest you read them in order as otherwise the series won't make sense and it will just get confusing for you, I have put the reading order and links below and this is obviously the latest in the series at present.

1. Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
2. Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood) (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
3. Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
4. Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood) (Black Dagger Brotherhood) (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
5. Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
6. Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood) (Black Dagger Brotherhood): Black Dagger Brotherhood, Volume 6 (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
7. Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
8. Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series)
9. Lover Unleashed
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2011
For me, any book that keeps me reading all day, making me lose track of time, qualifies for 5 stars. However I can see how some people may not like this book as much as the other books in the series.

Lover Unleashed is very much character driven so if the main reason you love the Black Dagger Brotherhood series is because of the characters in it (like me) then you will enjoy this one however if you're expecting a lot of action and/or hot scenes then you might be disappointed. As a novel in its self, the action side of plot was practically non-existent but what kept me reading was the relationship development between the characters, especially between Vishous, Jane and Butch. For me, Manny and Payne's relationship, while still fun and sweet to read, took more of side-line to what Vishous was going through.

Lover Unleashed is, I hate to use the word, a filler novel in that it introduces us to what is to come in the upcoming novels. Originally J.R. Ward was only going to right a select number of novels (10 if I remember correctly) but she is continuing probably due to the popularity of the series. This change cannot just happen at the beginning of a book so a slow build up must occur.

However, this book has definitely got me excited for what's to come; especially the plot surrounding Xcor and his gang. We also saw a bit of more of Jose de la Cruz in this one and I'm hoping we also get to see more of him in the upcoming novels.

As the novel is so focused around a select few characters; Vishous, Jane, Butch, Payne, Manny and Qhuinn, then, unfortunately, we don't get to see as much of the other brothers and characters as much as I would like.

If you a fan of the series (and Vishous) it's a must read, but Lover Awakened still sits on the top spot for me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2011
I agree with some of the reviews regarding this being V book2, however I do feel that there was a need to establish Janes role after the rather pittiful ending of V's book where we were all left not wondering was she a ghost or not???
That aside this book is awesome!! its J R Ward at her best, graphic sex scenes, lots of vampire brawn and a introduction of the band of bastards which will hopfully keep this remarkable series alive.
If you love the books, then leap on board and enjoy the ride!!
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
This book is advertised as a story about Payne, twin of vishous who after being imprisoned in tne sanctuary by their mother frees herself and comes over to our side.

Dont get me wrong, Payne does feature in the story but seems to take a back seat to Vischous who absolutely dominates this book throughout.

I wish that J.R had actually told Vishous's side of this story in a separate book as i felt that everything else faded into the background compared to V and his violence issues, which we all knew about anyway and i really dont feel that this time it added anything to the storyline, there was much more i was interested in reading about.

I like many other reviewers was not entirely convinced with the relationship between Dr Manuel Manello and Payne because it seemed to of been rushed. The whole story takes place over the course of what i can gather is about 3 or 4 days give or take, and i dont care whether your a vampire or not, nobody falls in eternal love that quickly. However the introduction and mating of this pair is vitally important to the story as later on in the book a revelation is bought to light that makes Manny a member of the "gang".

Qhuinn also has quite a lot of face time this time around and i was pleasantly surprised by that, i love Qhuinn as a character, he is constantly conflicted about his feelings for Blaylock, torn between being "gay" but wanting a future with a woman, and this book seems to tell a little bit of his transformation into a new possibly lead character, in fact the story is told in such a way that you imagine there to be an entire book about Qhuinn later on in the series.

We are introduced to a boat load of new characters in this book:

Detective Thomas DelVeccio, who is hiding a rather large secret, he is the son of a serial killer, is lethal and calm, and im not entirely convinced he is as straight as they come, however his introduction was on purpose, he plays a very heavy leading role in the next fallen angels book Envy.

The alternate brotherhood, aka the Band of Bastards consisting of:

Xcor - supposed other son of the bloodletter who has his own army comprising of Throe, Zypher, and 3 others that are not mentioned by name.

I am particularly intrigued as to where this storyline of the band of bastards goes, it has opened up the series to an open ended kind of thing and J.R. her self has said that as long as the readers want more she will keep writing. I would love to have entire books on the band of bastards, i imagine them to be perfectly vile, extremely violent and very highly sexed if the one scene about them engaging in sex in this book is anything to go by then wow they will make fascinating reading.

I wont say anything else as i dont wish to give the entire story away.

I will say that i loved it, even all the kind of negatives i listed at the start, this series rocks, the way it is written never fails to impress me, it is full of violence , blood and very graphic hot sex and that's why i love it.

A great addition to the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 2 June 2011
I was a little surpised that Ward chose to write Payne's story so soon but that might just be because I'm desperate for Qhuinn and Blay's story.
I have to agree though that Payne and Manny's story just did not have the same desperate need, tension, love that I got from some of the other books. I missed the kick ass Payne that we got a glimpse of before she was injured. It was disappointing to see her just give up on herself without at last trying to fight to live. Because of this I found her rather annoying at times and Manny too. Unlike all of the other characters, there is little to distinguish Manny from anyone else and the one thing I love about the books is the characterisation.

And who are these Band of Brothers? I'm not sure about them to be honest. If they are a new enemy then shouldn't the Lessening Society be dealt with first? And if they are potential allies in hopes of making a new series then more characterisation needs to happen because so far I don't like them.

One of the best things about the book was Vishous's reappearance again because he is one of my favourite Brothers! I agree that this does seem like a Vishous part 2, but I didn't like the ending of Vishous and Jane's story so I felt like Ward was trying to right that in this book. The best part about this was that it showed that there is not just the 'happily ever after' ending to the relationships and I liked that realism. I would have liked to have seen a little bit more of Butch but what there was of him and V was great!

What I found myself looking forward to most was Qhuinn's struggle with his feelings for Blay. I am so desperate to have a book dedicated primarily to their story but a little apprehensive too because Ward seems to have lost her 'mojo' when it comes to the love scenes. She has tamed them waaaay down which is disappointing and I hope she rights this. I think she had an opportunity to do more with Qhuinn with the redhead in the club.

I want more of what Ward used to give us. More interaction with the brothers, more heat, more tension, because I don't want to be disappointed when or if Qhuinn and Blay's story happens! But it won't stop me reading the next one because I really love this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2011
This is the story of Payne and Manny - 9th in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Payne is the twin sister of Vishous who was kept in secret exile/captivity by their mother who is the head of the vampire race. Manny was Jane's (mate to Vishous) friend and colleague. I've been looking forward to this story for ages! You
understand right after meeting him, that Manny was someone to be reckoned with, and Payne is not your typical heroine -she's tough when she needs to be, but unashamedly woman.
Just like all the books in the BDB series, I enjoyed this as well. It had all the usual big strong men, violence and frequent steamy sex. However, I felt that Payne and Manny didnt get the airtime they deserved considering they were the main characters. The dynamics between Butch and Manny were exciting, but you are left feeling like the story is incomplete. I think an injustice was done to Payne and Manny, and hope we get more of their story in future books.
Like all the other books, there were different stories unfolding, which is quite exciting as you get the idea that there are more books in the series to come (we hope anyway for I'm so not ready to put these guys to bed!).
I love Vishous, I really do, but I think he dominated this book a little too much.
I was happy to meet up with some of the other guys, but felt some had little more than a passing glance. What became of the angel Lassiter, would he have a story? Was also hoping to hear a bit more about Murhder, as he emerged quite strongly in Lover Mine.
There are some new characters showing up who look like promising stories. That group of bandit vampires looks quite redeemable. What about all those females Phury is looking after- totally going to waste!
Would Qhuinn get a slice of happiness for himself? Although I will read anything by JR Ward,and I really like all the guys, don't really want an entire book focusing
just on Blay and Qhuinn - call me unfair, but this will lose something for me, as I had to force myself to overcome my aversion to the rampant (maybe a tad exaggeration) gay scenes in this book .
I was quite pleased to see that the Lessening Society didn't take such a center stage this time (really hate them!).
Overall, I think it's a very good book and my mind is leaping with the possibilities of stories waiting to emerge.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 April 2011
This is my least favourite of the BDB books so far I'm afraid. It had too many subplots, not enough time devoted to our main couple Manny and Payne, and it lacked the lighter moments that Ward usually provides in her otherwise dark world.

As a paranormal romance, I'm expecting a certain amount of time devoted to our star couple. All the former books have been clearly "Wrath and Beth's story", or "Zsadist and Bella's Story" (my two favourites incidentally), with a side story usually featuring the head of the Lessening society. But this one was more like "Manny, Payne, Jane, Vishous, Butch, Quinn, Xcor, Throe, Jose and Veck's story"... It was just too much! I feel like this was a "setting up" book, and we're being prepared for the next big storyline to come. Which is fine, I guess. But it didn't make me enjoy the book any more.

So much of what we are used to was missing, too. Where were the Omega and the Scribe Virgin? Where was the leader of the Lessers? And I didn't even get a song from Zsadist!...tsk tsk

There were a few bits I did enjoy, however. I did like the Manny and Payne bits; she certainly deserves her freedom after centuries spent with Mother dearest, so it was nice to see her discovering the world and falling for handy Manny. And although I don't like all the BDSM stuff associated with V, I was glad he was able to get over what happened to him a bit more, with the help of his boy, Butch.

So all in all, it could have been much better for me. I will still be reading the next one, of course. Everyone is allowed a bump in the road, and I think this is Ward's.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2011
I have been an advid reader of the BDB series and still remember my utter excitement while reading Dark Lover Dark Lover: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood (Signet Eclipse) and thought, at last a series I can really get my teeth into (pun intended) and since then I have always waited not so patiently for each book to arrive, apart from Lover Enshrined and we all know the why of that!

Manny and Payne could have been a Wrath and Beth but not enough time was taken to fully flesh out their relationsip. Like LE, their story took second place and only about a third of the book was devoted to them. This book was all about Vishous, Jane and Butch and how he finally resolves or at least is on the path to resolving that has happened to him. Even his intereactions with Payne were about him not her. That said his developing relationship with Manny made me laugh out loud, at one point he's searching for a pen to gouge his eyes out after witnessing Manny and Payne in the shower!!

It's also about Jose, Butch's old partner who was trying to apprehend a human serial killer and whilst interesting this just took away from the real story - Manny and Payne. What there was of them just made you want to delve deeper, I loved the way they were together and just wish there was more.

JRW has introduced a new set of vampires to the mix, what I call the Dark Brotherhood. I remember thinking they are the dark side to the BDB where Xcor and his bastards are a parrallel but they are the evil to to the BDB good, Xcor=Wrath, Throe=Phury and Zypher=Rhage but they are really the bad guys! However, I've a sneaking suspicion that Layla will hook up with Throe but then that would derail the vision Qhinn has had of the future.

I continue to be frustrated that we only get a mention of the other Brothers. What's happening with Tohr and where has the Angel gone? If this is a world then surely it should be populated with all its characters? That said, I did enjoy this book, and again anticipate the next in which these questions may be answered. Although I have heard that there will only be 10 books in this series and if that's the case, what are we going to to do??!!!

The upshot, buy the book and enjoy it, I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 February 2012
I am a HUGE fan of J.R. Ward, her Black Dagger Brotherhood series is one of my all time favourites. Despite this, I was hesitant about starting this Lover Unleashed, Payne was not a character that had interested me. Manny however, I was curious about. BUT, this is not Manny and Payne's book...oh no...this is Vishous and Jane part 2. In theory Lover Unleashed is Payne and Manny's story of true love with Vishous and Jane's relationship blues as a side story. It doesn't come across like that though, Vishous' story has such passion that it completely overshadows Payne's storyline. Don't get me wrong, this book is still pretty good, and to be honest I was more interested in reading about Jane and Vishous/ Blay and Qhuinn (yes, they're in here too!) anyway.

Manny and Payne's story probably only amounts to about 1/2 of the book, and begins where Lover Mine left off. Payne is in a hospital bed in the Brotherhood's compound where she has remained since her sparring accident with Wrath which paralysed her from the waist down. Dr. Manuel 'Manny' Manello (who some may remember from Lover Unbound) is chief of surgery and the only who has any chance of reversing Payne's paralysis. One problem...he's human...she's not. Payne is the Scribe Virgin's daughter and Vishous' twin sister, making her extremely off limits to Manny, however when this unlikely pair first meet they forge an unbreakable bond. They struggle through Payne's recovery together and have a few blips in their relationship (mainly when Vishous wipes Manny's memories in an attempt to protect his twin) but you can feel Manny's passion for this delicate woman.
The pair discover truths about themselves as the relationship progresses, Payne begins to heal despite all the odds and Manny uncovers a secret from his past that ties him to the Brotherhood forever. I liked Manny as a character, he's strong willed and quick witted, plus is able to stand up to Vishous - no mean feat, he scares me too! Payne however is another matter, up until now she's been this kick-ass warrior who bows to no-one. And yet in this book, she seems to have lost most of her fight, her I find it hard to get my head around the way she speaks. As a couple they don't seem to fit together as well as some of the others do, and their story didn't move me as much as say...Rhage and Mary's. It's not awful, but definitely not my favourite.

Now for the part of the book I loved. There are cracks forming in Vishous and Jane's relationship, most of it due to Vishous still not believing himself to be worthy of his female, and he's still tormented by his horrific past. Their relationship fractures over Payne's treatment and I thought it was irrecoverably broken. I couldn't see a way for Vishous to work through his issues, after all they're so ingrained into his being that I don't think he even knew how badly damaged he was. Then I remembered...THIS IS J.R. WARD, if anyone could help Vishous then she could! And oh my God! There is a scene (well several if I'm truly honest) that brought tears to my eyes. For the first time, Vishous, the fierce hard hearted warrior that he is...was laid bare. It's a treat for fans of the BDB because it also adds yet another level to the relationship between V and Butch (as if it wasn't complicated already).

His path certainly isn't an easy one, Vishous becomes increasingly self destructive throughout, and it takes an unbreakable friendship between him and Butch (which by God is put through the wringer) to bring stability back to Vishous' life. It's a heart-warming story of true love - not just the love between Vishous and his shellan, but the love between two best friends who would die for each other. In one word, beautiful.

For hardcore BDB fans (like myself) you will be pleased to know that there is some more Blay/ Qhuinn action, though their story still isn't progressing the way I want it to. Also there appears to be trouble heading the Brotherhoods way in the form of the Bloodletter's old crew. Xcor has his sights set on Wrath and the throne. The Blind King seems to have a war coming his way. Is it one he can win? I don't know...

Though I've picked at Payne and Manny a bit I still thoroughly enjoyed Lover Unleashed. I cannot get enough of J.R. Ward's writing. Her characters are full of vitality, they practically jump off the page and pull you into their world whether you like it or not. I cannot wait for Lover Reborn in March and anyone who has even a slightest interest in paranormal romance must checkout the Black Dagger Brotherhood
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 May 2011
OK, this review gets 4 stars because I do love the BDB series and was seriously disappointed to finally get to the last book (Number 9 now!)and I did read it in a day and a half. Perhaps the problem by now is that there is just too much of a good thing.

So many new characters are introduced, who all inevitably end up living at the Mansion that it's starting to feel a bit like the cast of a theater production. It is becoming quite difficult by now to remember who is mated to whom (not least because what should have been more central characters, like Beth for example (she is the queen, after all) have simply disappeared somewhere in that huge Brotherhood complex. Even Wrath makes only odd appearances now, almost as if the author suddendly remembers he is the king and perhaps should be saying something in the proceedings at various stages. Disappointing, but perhaps not surprising seeing as just how many people are now living there together.

So suddenly, not only has the Scribe Virgin birthed Vishous, but he now has a twin sister whom no-one knew anything about because her mother had imprisoned her in suspended animation for killing her father. All well and good, but then her love inerest turns out to be none other than staid, straightlaced and boring Manuel Manello (at least that's how he came over to me in the previous books), who seems to wear nothing but hospital scrubs 90% of this book and he is suddenly just as handsome, appealing, sexy, muscled and sinister as the Brothers! I love the Brothers in their leathers, but, really and honestly, a man wearing operating gear with elasticated pants is about as sexy as going into surgery myself.

The other thing is the way he was constantly aroused. All Payne had to do is look at him and he was, quite literally, always finishing in those scrubs. Yuk!

THere are also too many other things going on here:

1. The sub-story about the human serial killer who dissects his victims. This seems to have been brought in, imo, to introduce new detective Thomas DelVecchio, who happens to have a serial killer on death row for a father

2. The whole new band of vampire lesser slayers who, whilst seeming to have some modicum of morals, are still after deposing Wrath, the king.

3. The whole Blay/Qhuinn/Saxton love triangle. What is Saxton even doing living in that mansion other than be Blay's lover to make Qhuinn jealous.

4. What will happen to sad Chosen Layla.

It's almost as if Ms Ward had read some reviews and decided that less of the whole involvement of the Omega/For-Lessers/SCribe Virgin, and more human CSI type detecting and a new threat from more brother-like killers, would be the way to go. Perhaps sometimes it's just time to let a good series lie. I think there will be Book 10 however, if only to resolve the question of Xcor and Theor et all. And that's another thing, I could have done without that threesome with those two and the prostiute. Too much I think. This series still makes very enjoyable reading, having said all of the above.
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