J. R. Ward
Published 2012 572 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Now back in the Brotherhood – and unrecognisable as the vampire leader he once was – Tohrment is physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair. When he begins to see his beloved in his dreams – trapped in a cold, isolating netherworld – Tohr turns to a self-serving fallen angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. When he's told he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed…
Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King's throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past, and a very hot, passion-filled future… but can his heart let go and set all of them free?
Lover Reborn is the tenth book in J.R. Ward’s bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) paranormal romance series. If you are the last paranormal romance fan left on Earth who hasn’t read any of the BDB books, don’t start with Lover Reborn, there is a long running story line and a gargantuan pile of back-story that spans the previous nine books – so they need to be read in order. Series fans will need little urging to pick up Lover Reborn, this is Tohr’s story – a story that’s been brewing since his beloved wife Wellsie (and their unborn son) was murdered way back in Lover Awakened.
Since we are ten books into the series you hardly need me to tell you what to expect by now – for series fans all the usual boxes are ticked:
- Hot vampires – check
- Even hotter sex – check
- Guns, knives and a lot of black leather – check
- Violent fights against an evil foe – check
- Impossible relationships – check
- Never ending drama - check
However, Lover Reborn continues the trend seen in the later BDB books where the heart wrenching romance seen in the earliest series offerings just isn’t present. Any romance now gets swamped by the large helping of drama that comes with it. The soap opera style drama never ends, it just get raised to new levels of OMG. Reading Lover Reborn is an addictive, guilty pleasure but its romance, the relationship between Tohr and No’One, just doesn’t compare to those of Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened or Lover Revealed – the books which won the hearts of readers in the first place.
Tohr deeply loves his late wife, Wellsie. He has neither accepted her death nor moved on. Suddenly he is forced to do so, with a “have a relationship with someone else or Wellsie will forever rot in purgatory” ultimatum from the fallen angel, Lassiter. This makes little sense to me. Why would Wellsie be punished? Why would she be denied the Fade (heaven) just because Tohr hasn’t moved on? Isn’t this Tohr’s problem, not Wellsie’s? But without this ridiculous premise there would be no added DRAMA, so I can perfectly understand why it was included even though it makes little logical sense.
Aside from the dodgy starting point for Tohr and No’One’s relationship there is little by way of believable romance between them for a large part of the story. They go through the motions – they have sex, they enjoy it – but their romance never seems real. This makes it hard to care whether they ever sort out their relationship – in fact I wouldn’t have cared at all except for poor Wellsie rotting in Purgatory for eternity, the heavy price to be paid if Tohr and No’One don’t pull this off. My lack of connection with the romance elements of the story may be down to No’One having all the character you would expect of “suitable-Tohr-bride-number-one” – rather than actually having a personality that stands alone on its own merits.
I’m going to stop this review now before you go way with the opinion that I didn’t like Lover Reborn. While it wasn’t the romantic read I was hoping and waiting for, overall that didn’t really effect my reading enjoyment – as stated previously all the BDB books are an addictive, guilty pleasure and Lover Reborn was another good fix.
All-in-all, Lover Reborn introduces plenty of fresh blood into the BDB series. It sets scene for a massive future helping of OMG in the next series instalment (if I can just whisper the names “Xcor, Blay, Quinn and Layla” – I don’t think that will give too much away…)
LoveVampires Review Rating: