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July 26, 2011

Review: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

excerpt here
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood 6
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 3, 2008
Purchase Link: Amazon
In this "frighteningly addictive" paranormal romance sage there's a war raging between vampires and their slayers. Here are the stories of a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now a dutiful twin must choose between two lives...

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love.
Events that happened in Lover Unbound forced the hand of Destiny. Phury found himself volunteering for the role of Primale, as tradition dictates the Chosen and any member of the Brotherhood will be responsible in ensuring that the race of vampires is preserved with youngs bred from superior lineage.

But Phury, as a celibate and a junkie is not sure how he'll live up to the demands. Soon his addiction and other emotional baggage gets in the way of his duty both as a Primale and a Brother. His erratic behavior and addiction made him unreliable and a danger to the Brotherhood which forced a confrontation between him and his twin Zsadist which is centuries overdue; and Wrath relieving him of his Brother duties.

Although this is supposed to be a Phury-centric book his storyline wasn't only focused on him unlike in the previous novels where the story would revolve around a certain Brother. As the novels and the story of the Brotherhood progress, Ward doesn't just concentrate on the love story part but on the continuity of the tale and follows up on events and cliffhangers as she goes along. The series is carefully planned and written and she makes the story as tight-knit as she can, avoiding any loose strings. Although there are ridiculous twists like in Lover Unbound but it doesn't take away the fact that she's a good storyteller.

I understand why this series is such a big hit among us females; a band of damaged, leather clad, outrageously handsome vampires that exudes pure, undiluted testosterone that screams SEX lets out the animal in us. We want to be their chosen mate, the one who will take away centuries of pain, to tame the beast that hides within. These vampires are not your typical ones, they are NOT pale, they wine and dine and they live in style and breathes anything and everything designer. Although their description is probably based on pro wrestlers like Prada wearing Batista, Triple H, The Rock and the like, Ward wisely inserted qualities that makes the Brothers fantasy worthy.

Every book seems to be longer and more complicated than its successor as more complications and future storylines are introduced. It can be a bit of a challenge especially if you're part of the ADD generation but with a deluge of action going on in the book you'll really have to give it extra attention otherwise you'll miss the details.

As for the villain, I feel like Ward needs to take her antagonists more seriously. Although Lash (a newly transitioned vampire) is The Lessening Society's silver bullet against the Brotherhood and the Vampire race, Ward doesn't pit him against Butch aka The Dhestroyer, who's missing while this part is going down, but instead faces him off against John Matthew, a former Brorther's reincarnation. Another inconsistency is The Omega was the one responsible for Butch being the Brotherhood's ultimate weapon against The Lessening Society (Lover Revealed), if he made a son (Lash) in the beginning why would he give part of his powers to the enemy? Possibly with the intention of repairing that hump, Ward creates a back story to justify Lash's character and his relevance in the story. In my opinion, The Omega needs to be more sinister, more cunning, he needs to be better in what he does so that he'll be a worthy opponent against a powerful group.

I might be picking the story too much but like what I said in my previous reviews, this series makes me think on top of getting swept away by the romance and the action. I hope that she works on her villains more, now with Lash in the picture I hope that he will be the central nemesis and Ward makes him worthy to be pitted against the Brothers. Personally Mr. X's profile was interesting and he has a lot of room to be the ultimate villain, I don't understand why she pulls him in and out of the story like lightning. I guess I'll find the answer to my questions in the succeeding volumes.


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