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[Review] Lover at Last

English Hardcover

English Paperback

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‚Lover at Last‘ by J. R. Ward

Black Dagger Brotherhood #11/
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Synopsis:
Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another….
Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young- just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.
Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions… but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together… finally become one.  (Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
I’m so glad that Ward has got her will and has written this great book. We had to wait so long for it and now finally we also have the story of Qhuinn and Blay. Though I still think that Blay is quite okay, but Qhuinn is just one of my favorites in the series (beside some other characters^^). And he has broken my heart over and over again with his past, his family and also now, when he had to watch almost a whole Blay with Saxton. Particularly because he now finally knows what he wants and what he feels – of course it is still a process also in this book, but finally he confesses his feelings to himself, instead of ignoring them.
Already only for Wards courage and balls, which she has proved by writing this book, she got an extra point from me because this wasn’t as easy as you would like to think. I’ve read in a book-forum that Ward even has to swicht her agency to fulfill her wish to write this homosexual love, because it’s not quite a conservative subject and some people still have a problem with that – which I personally find really sad in nowadays. But Ward hasn’t scared away of it and I find this great! Hats off.

The writing manner of Ward was again typical ‚wardic‘ with her own expressions and many swearwords, curses and the famous f*** word. But here this language doesn’t disturb me because it simply fits to the brothers of the Black Dagger. They are hard men and also express themselves in such a way, which makes them only more real and authentic. For me the characters just feel so alive because of that and I can’t explain it, but for me they are kind of feel real… not like some novel figures, but almost like friends, who are really living somewhere. And I like this thought.

In contrast to ‘Lover Reborn’, in which the plot played over a whole year, here everything happens within some days, namely in the time frame sometime in the winter. Unfortunately I’m not quite sure, when it plays ecaxtly or whether it plays after ‘Lover Reborn’ or in between. Actually at first it also was intended that Qhuinn and Blay only get a short story, as well as Bella’s and Z’s baby story, but then we have got a whole book. For which I’m really glad, but it doesn’t happen much in the background story. As said, the period is quite short and also the Lessers remain in the background, as well as the Band of Bastards. The point, that it doesn’t happen a lot – except the love story of the two main characters, which work off their past and clear it, finally get together and solve their misunderstandings and really start talking – would have disturbed me. But again I’ve read in a book forum, that this was made on purpose (to write only a little about the background story) so that people, who have a problem with homosexual couples, can simply let this book out, and start reading the series right with book # 12, so they won’t miss something important in the main story of the Brotherhood. If this should be right, I can’t reduce the rating by one point and secondly, I would find it really sad and bad in the enlightened time, in which we live – or at least supposed to live. Apparently not everybody is yet as tolerant as I’ve thought. It’s a shame.

So instead of the plot, new characters are gotten embedded or other characters, which before always were shown briefly, got more space and the opportunity to tell also their story – for example Assail, Trez or Xcor. Unfortunately I found this not so great, because thereby a lot of it plays outside the basic formation of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but because of a special twist at the end of this book, I hope that the next part deals again more with the old characters (with JM, V, Z…).
And also the turn with Qhuinn’s brother Luchas was just awesome and I’m really very curious how this will turn out and I hope there will be more about him.

For me all in all it was really a very great book and I couldn’t put it aside. What surprises even me is, although I have no problems with homosexual love, were that I really liked the scenes with Qhuinn and Blay, which again were described very visual and they could persuade me completely. *really hot hot* 😉

And the end was of course again completely for my taste. Maybe some found it too kitschy and, yes, something so soppy even for Ward is very rare at the end, but I was happy nevertheless with it and glad that it has come so. Isn’t it about the fact that you want to finish a book with a smile on your face? I think so and Ward has fulfilled this again totally perfect! Thanks! 🙂

Cover:
Great cover and I don’t know at all which one I like more – the hardcover or the paperback. I’ve got the paperback format of Pitakus at home and find it as great and suitable as like the hardcover version, which also shows Qhuinn perfectly.

All in all:
Almost all expectations were totally fulfilled and it was again a great trip into the world of the Black Dagger, which I love to visit over and over again and leave it again only with a sad heart. Still it is one of my favorite series and I hope it still will go on for a long time.

Rating:
4,5 of 5 points (soo awesome!)

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Quotes:

Qhuinn: „I think that’s Justin Bieber.“
Standing in front of a line up of Lay’s potato chips, Qhuinn looked overhead to the speaker inset into the ceiling tiles. „Yup, I’m right, and I hate that I know that.“
Next to him John Matthew signed „How do you know?“
Qhuinn: „The little shit is everywhere. I swear, that kid is proof the Antichrist is coming.“
John: „Maybe it’s already here.“
Qhuinn: „Would explain Miley Cyrus.“ (*haha* 😀 )

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Vishous: „I’m sorry? I didn’t catch that.“
Qhuinn: „I left the keys in it.“
V: „That was a dumb-ass move, son.“
No. Fucking. Kidding.
V: „Listen, I gotta go. I need both hands to hold my gut as I laugh my ass off attcha. Later.“

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„You good?“ Rhage prompted.
Qhuinn: „Yeah. Yeah. I’m okay.“
Rhage: „Fritz hates dead bodies in the front hall.“
„But there’s not a lot of blood with strangulation,“ somebody pointed out. „Clean-up would have been easy.“
„Just a floor polish afterward,“ another guy chimed in.
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Qhuinn: ‚As he washed himself, the soap wasn’t half as soft as Blay’s skin, and didn’t smell a quarter as good. The water wasn’t as hot as the fighter’s blood had been, and the shampoo wasn’t as soothing. Nothing came close. Nothing ever would.‘
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Layla: „If any harm shall befall him, I will come after you, and find you where you sleep. I do not care where you lay your head or who with, my vengeance shall rain upon you until you drown.”
That last word was drawn out, until its syllable was lost in more growling. Dead silence.
Until Doc Jane said dryly, “Annnnd this is why they say the female of the species is more dangerous than the male.“

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Blay: ‚In the silence that followed, Blay knew he had something he was supposed to say. Yeah…it was right on his tongue. It was… Shit. With Qhuinn looking at him like that, he couldn’t remember his own name. Blaysox? Blacklock? Blabberfox? Who the fuck knew…‘

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Qhuinn to Blay: „You guys were what got me through it,” Qhuinn heard himself say. “I lived for the night, because I could go over to your house. It was the only thing that kept me going. You were the only thing, actually. It was…you.“.

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Succession:
# 1: J. R. Ward – Dark Lover »»
# 2: J. R. Ward – Lover Eternal »»
# 3: J. R. Ward – Lover Awakened »»
# 4: J. R. Ward – Lover Revealed »»
# 5: J. R. Ward – Lover Unbound »»
# 6: J. R. Ward – Lover Enshrined »»
# 6.5: J.R.Ward – BDB: An Insider’s Guide »»
# 7: J. R. Ward – Lover Avagened »»
# 8: J. R. Ward – Lover Mine »»
# 9: J. R. Ward – Lover Unleashed »»
# 10: J. R. Ward – Lover Reborn »»
# 11: J. R. Ward – Lover at Last »»
# 12: J. R. Ward – The King
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copyright: jrward.com

About the author – J. R. Ward:
J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times and USAToday Best Selling author of erotic paranormal romance. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. After graduating from law school, she began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot. (Source: jrward.com)

Visit her Website »»

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Review: An Insider’s Guide

(© goodreads)

(© goodreads)

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‚The Black Dagger Brotherhood – An Insider’s Guide‘
by J. R. Ward

Black Dagger Brotherhood # 6,5

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First Sentence:
“ ‚So, Bella looks good.‘ At the counter of the Brotherhood’s kitchen, Zsadist picked up a knife, squeezed a head of romaine lettuce together, and started drawing the blade through at one-inch intervals.“

Last Sentence:
„I get into the back of the sedan, and the butler takes us out into the storm. He drives carefully, just as I know
Tohr did.“

Synopsis:
Prepare to enter the dark, passionate world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood and get up close and personal with each of the Brothers….

You’ll find insider information on the Brotherhood, including their dossiers, stats, and special gifts. you’ll read interviews with your favorite characters, including a heartbreaking conversation with Tohrment and Wellsie, conducted three weeks before she was killed by lessers. You’ll discover deleted scenes — accompanied by the whys behind the cuts — in addition to exciting material from the J.R. Ward message boards and the answers to questions about the series posed by readers. You’ll learn what it’s like for J.R. Ward to write each installment of the series, and in a fascinating twist, you’ll read an interview with the author — conducted by the Brothers. For the first time ever, you’ll see an original novella about Zsadist and Bella, and witness the miracle of their daughter Nalla’s birth and experience the depth of their love for each other.
This is a compendium no black Dagger Brotherhood fan should miss…and an insider’s guide that will seduce you as powerfully as the sexy band of Brothers and the „ferociously popular“ world in which they live.
(Source: Goodreads.com)

My thoughts about the book:
I am a fan of Ward since the first book and therefore I’ve been looking forward to this book for a long time, to get also a look ‘behind the scenes‘ and to get to know more about the world of the Black Daggers. However, the whole book is hard to be rated or reviewed because every chapter or every part in it shows something different, where I’ve liked some passages exceptionally much, but others less.

At the beginning we get presented the story of Zsadist and Bella, and how they handle the birth of their daughter and afterwards also all the ohter things around and the changes in their lifes. As usual, the story shined of feelings, pain and many‚ sighs‘, but nevertheless I noticed that there was something missing … namely the thrilling action ropes which are always running beside the love story.
Every now and then when I read a Black Dagger book, I thought I would’ve liked it more if the book would focus more on the love story and less of all the other actions and characters…, but now it was shown to me that these subplots are the essence of the success of the books and why the plot is always so thrilling and fast driven. Hence I’m already looking forward to a ‘real‘ book of Ward where I get everything what I yearn for.

Moreover in this book I got an insight into the everyday life of the brothers with her Shellans. On one hand with three, four short stories, on the other hand Ward showed some extractions from the Internet forums where she appeared as the brothers and wrote for them and put them in funny situations which were great and where I was roaring with laughter while reading it.
On top of that Ward even appeared in the world of the Black Daggers by herself and made interviews with the brothers in whom she showed her relationship to them and let the reader know that the brothers aren’t only created characters for her, but friends. Furthermore Ward summarized some amusing scenes from the first 6 books and gives an insight on a new character who will appear in the next book.

What I’ve liked very much was that Ward hasn’t minced matters and has written honestly about the processes how she has created the brothers and the whole story of her unemployment up to the point where her first book became a success.
She shows the readers without any reservations how hard it was to receive the payoff, how she has rushed herself into the work and how she has handled her own self doubts. On the one hand it is interesting for readers so that they recognize how much and hard work and what a long time stands behind a book. On the other hand I was glad about that, because I write a little by myself and Ward gave me motivation and strength by her words ‘never to surrender’, ‘to be honest to yourself’ and ‘not let yourself go down’. All that gave me a new, clear mind and motivated me to stay on the ball and to never give up hope. Just do it and pray for some luck. :).
She has really helped me very much because she also showed how her proposal has looked like for the first book and what she has sent to the publishing company or how exactly she has described her plot. Certainly all that will help me very much in future and some guidelines from it I’ll peruse over and over again.

For me Ward is a fascinating, incredibly creative author who I can only admire and owe her for her great books, but she has also remained a person which is anchored on the ground and speaks honestly of her problems. With the open insight into her world and thought she has made herself even more likeable and I only hope that in the future I’ll be able just a little to write as great and creatively as Ward. She is one of my biggest heroes and I think this won’t change quickly in the next time.

Cover:
Though the Cover is not a highlight, but with these books the contents is important and not the superficial packaging.

All in all:
A book which is maybe not for everybody, because there it is also much about the development of the books and the publishing company process, but for budding authors it’s very interesting and where they can learn much from.

Rating:
3,5 of 5 points (I really liked it)

Quotes:

“Conflict is the microscope of a book. When it’s trained on a character, you see what’s underneath the narratives of physical description. You see whether someone is strong or weak, principled or apathetic, heroic or villainous.“ (J.R. on writing the BDB series)”

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Excerpts from Foren-chats with the Brothers:

Wrath: What the hell are you supposed to ask?
Rhage: I know! Who do you like the most? It’s me right?Come on, you know it is. Come oooooonnnnn-
Butch: If its you,, I’ll kill myself.
V: No, that just means she’s blind.
Rhage: It has to be me.
V: She said she didn’t like you at first.
Rhage: Ah, but I won her over, which is more than anyone else can say about you, hot stuff.
J.R.: I don’t like anyone the best
Wrath: Right answer.
Rhage: She’s just sparing all of you feelings. (grins, becoming impossibly handsome) She’s so polite.
J.R.: Next question?
Rhage: Why do you like me the best?”

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From the part ‚Kicks and Giggles‘:

The human reached inside Wrath’s jacket and started pulling out weapons. Three throwing stars, a switchblade, a handgun, a length of chain. “Jesus Christ,” the cop muttered as he dropped the steel links on the ground with the rest of the load. “You
got some ID? Or wasn’t there enough room in here for a wallet, considering you’re carrying about thirty pounds of concealed weapons?“ (Book#1)

Rhage nodded. “The place is also big enough. We could all live there without killing each other.”
“That depends more on your mouth than any floor plan,” Phury said with a grin.  (Book#1)

He wanted to give her another word to say, something like luscious or whisper or strawberry.
Hell, antidisestablishmentarianism would do it. (Book#2)

She pulled back the sheet. Good God, his sex was . . . “It’s gotten so . . . huge.”
Butch barked out a laugh. “You say the nicest things.”  (Book#4)

Wrath smiled broadly, his fangs so very white. “What’s doing . . . cousin.”
Butch frowned. “What . . . ?”
“You’ve got some of me in you, cop.” Wrath’s smile stuck around as he slid his glasses back in. “Course, I
always knew you were a royal. Just didn’t think it went past the pain-in-the-ass part, is all.”  (Book#4)

“I came to see if you were dead.”
Jane had to smile. “Jesus, Manello, don’t be such a romantic.”
“You look like shit.”
“And now with the compliments. Stop. You’re making me blush.”
(Book#5)

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Succession:

# 1: J. R. Ward – Dark Lover »»
# 2: J. R. Ward – Lover Eternal »»
# 3: J. R. Ward – Lover Awakened »»
# 4: J. R. Ward – Lover Revealed »»
# 5: J. R. Ward – Lover Unbound »»
# 6: J. R. Ward – Lover Enshrined »»
# 6.5: J.R.Ward – BDB: An Insider’s Guide »»
# 7: J. R. Ward – Lover Avagened »»
# 8: J. R. Ward – Lover Mine »»
# 9: J. R. Ward – Lover Unleashed »»
# 10: J. R. Ward – Lover Reborn »»
# 11: J.R. Ward – Lover at Last »»
# 12: J. R. Ward – The King

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About the author – J. R. Ward:

J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times and USAToday Best Selling author of erotic paranormal romance. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. After graduating from law school, she began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot. (Source: http://www.jrward.com/)

Visit her Website »»

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