J. R. Ward
Published 2007 502 pages
Summary (from the back cover)
Dr Jane Whitcomb, leader of a cardiac trauma team, is about to leave the medical centre for the night when an emergency is brought in – a man with a gunshot wound to his heart. As she examines him, however, she begins to suspect that her dangerously sexy new patient is not entirely human.
One night, while he’s still in recovery, this tattooed stranger reaches out to her. He seems soothed by her presence. And she is oddly captivated by his.
She will soon learn that he is Vishous – V for short – the smartest vampire in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. But his tortured past has left him avoiding intimacy. It is against V’s nature to let anyone see his vulnerable side. Except Jane. He has the oddest sense that she understands…
Lover Unbound is the fifth novel in J. R. Ward’s hugely popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series. For those readers who haven’t yet met the Brothers (where have you been hiding yourselves?!) the Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) are a band of living warrior vampires who protect their species from the evil Omega and his minions, undead lessers, that prey upon them. The BDB novels are all set in present day New York and are a seamless mixture of vampires, evil monsters, fantasy and romance.
Every thing about The Black Dagger Brotherhood novels is larger than life. The Brothers live in a luxurious compound (when they are not out patrolling the streets killing lessers) they have huge powerful bodies, fast cars, big guns, sharp knives, money and lots and lots of black leather. The Omega and his lessers are pure evil - monsters that would annihilate the vampire race given half the chance. The only thing stopping them is the Brothers.
You won’t find any creepy coffins, crucifixes or velvet capes in these books. Humans are not these vampires prey of choice. These vampires need to feed off members of the opposite sex of their own species to survive because human blood is too weak for them.
No, the vampires of the BDB world are living, breathing warriors who, while having some supernatural abilities and healing fast, can still be killed by a well placed bullet or knife. Which leads us to the story of Lover Unbound – Vishous has lost his ability to hear the thoughts of others and can no longer see the future, certainly he didn’t see himself getting shot and taken to a human hospital.
He is unhappy and his relationship with Butch (his best friend) is somewhat painful – he loves Butch but it is driving him mad to see Butch and Marissa (Butch’s wife) together and live in close proximity with them. In this context Vishous makes an unlikely romance hero because at the start of the novel he is in love with another man, although as Butch explains it to Vishous later, “And as for that whole you-being-in-love-with-me thing? It was probably more about you just caring about someone for the first time.” Certainly, V’s feelings for Butch didn’t stop him from falling instantly in love with his female human surgeon.
Not wanting to spoil the plot for people who haven’t yet read this novel I don’t want to go into too much detail about what happens between V and Jane but the romance between them is everything that fans of the BDB novels have come to expect. There is plenty of hot sex and heart wrenching romance, as V struggles to balance his destiny (he is supposed to marry the Chosen and breed a new race of warriors with them) against the needs of his heart, an overwhelming desire to mate with the human doctor, Jane.
Lover Unbound, takes place a couple of weeks after the events covered in Lover Revealed and doesn’t have too much lesser activity in it, although they do pop up at convenient moments to cause trouble. There is a huge amount of world building going on in Lover Unbound, new characters are introduced and new storylines started which perhaps gives the novel a bit of an “in-between” feeling. The overall story arc is now at a fairly complex stage and while each novel is a self contained romance I would recommend that readers new to the BDB start at the beginning (Dark Lover) and read the novels in order. (Trust me all the novels in this series are fantastic you won’t regret it!)
Lover Unbound is highly recommended reading for both romance and vampire fans. Existing fans of this series won’t be disappointed by Vishous and Jane’s story and I can guarantee that by the time the last page of Lover Unbound is turned you will be begging for the next instalment of BDB goodness.
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