Lover Mine by J.R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #8)
April 27, 2010
Hardcover, 512 Pages
Reviewed by Mandi
Why I read: BDB is my favorite series.
Favorite quotes/moments from the four main players (and Lassiter :)
John Matthew: The sob that breached his throat actually made a sound.
Xhex: “John?” She said.
As it was dark, he whistled a What?
”You are such a male of worth, you know that. You really are.”
Qhuinn: …Qhuinn’s mouth dropped open. But not because he was shocked and not because he wanted in on the action.
He simply couldn’t breathe. It was as if his ribs had frozen along with his heart.
No…no, goddamn it, no…
Blay: It had always been about Qhuinn for him. Always.
Lassiter quote: “Oh and I’m not with him at the moment because everyone needs to be alone. Plus I got to have my O fix.”
The angel turned away, his blond-and black hair swinging, “And you can shut it. Oprah’s awesome.”
Four weeks have passed since the end of Lover Avenged. As the brothers fought in the big battle against Lash to free Rehvenge, Xhex mysteriously disappeared. Rehv, who is staying up north in the sympath colonies has been searching for her, but with no luck. That leaves the brothers to assume Lash has her – but no one knows where Lash is. They are pretty sure he is taking over the drug trade in Caldwell, and every night have been tracking down leads from low life druggies.
John Matthew is in love with Xhex and desperate to find her – but only his good friends Blay and Qhuinn are privy to his frantic emotions. John Matthew knows there is a good possibility Xhex is dead – and couldn’t bear the other brothers mourning his loss if that is to be the case. On the other hand, he knows Xhex would panic if she is found, and the brothers expect an immediate mating ceremony. So for now, he keeps his feelings somewhat under wraps. He walks around the shell of a man he used to be – unable to sleep, barely eating, and has outcasted himself in the mansion. He goes to a private tattoo parlor and gets her name inked on his back. Something for just him, and for the love of a woman who he is missing desperately.
What John Matthew doesn’t know is that Xhex is in fancy digs in Lash’s brownstone, but she is kept in an invisible prison. She can’t leave the bedroom, some unknown force field keeps her contained. She is actually invisible to everyone but Lash and that is the room Lash loves to have her in. His plan at first is to torture as she killed his female in the previous book. But as he starts to fight with her, and realizes just how hard core feisty she is, he gets turned on. And in his warped way, he loves her and goes to her every night, now not so sure he wants her gone.
One thing keeping John Matthew from going insane is the fact that lessers are impotent – but the one thing he doesn’t know is Lash is not an ordinary lesser.
Another big storyline in this book is Blay and Qhuinn. Blay is gay, and has been in love with Qhuinn for a while now. Qhuinn loves to have sex – with women – but there was that kiss in Lover Enshrined that Blay can’t quite shake. Qhuinn knows Blay is in love with him, yet that doesn’t stop him from having sex with a female while Blay is only a few feet away. But things start to change when Qhuinn’s cousin, Saxton comes to town to do some legal work for the shadows Trez and iAm. Saxton immediately hits on Blay, and Qhuinn turns jealous.
Lover Mine, in my opinion, really brings the romance back to the BDB world. I didn’t love Lover Enshrined and I had some issues with Rehv and Ehlena in Lover Avenged. I have loved John Matthew for some time now and J.R. Ward did not disappoint me with his story. When Xhex finds her way back to John, she is not in good shape. Lash is not gentle with her while he has her. She is literally starved and physically abused. John becomes her rock and her support, and she lets him.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.” She took what he offered and pressed it against both eyes. “I hate being a girl. I really fucking despise being a girl.”
As she went on a rant about estrogen, and skirts, and pink nail polish, and frickin’ stilettos, he fed her Kleenex after Kleenex, gathering up the red-stained ones she’d used.
“I never cry, you know that.” She glared over at him. “Ever.”
He nodded. And handed her another cocksucking tissue.
That is not to say Xhex has lost her toughness. I am not always a huge fan of JR Ward’s heroines, but I love what she does with Xhex. She is a survivor, and very independent, but in this book, she doesn’t push John Matthew away. She comes to realize he is the one for her and doesn’t fight it. There is a moment when the brothers are searching for her, and she is in her invisible prison – she can see them, but they can’t see her. She sees the despair on John’s face as he frantically searches for her – and it is a turning point. And in true J.R. Ward style we get lots of wafting bonding scents, protective urges and baring of fangs.
I also love that Xhex doesn’t know sign language (and John is a mute). Their communication takes work, and it is a nice twist. Their romance scenes are hot, and there are several. Like I said, this felt much more romance oriented than her last few books.
The other two that get big page time is Qhuinn and Blay. The angst and sexual tension between these two kills me!! I mean, break out the Rolaids, because I am stressed! I don’t want to go into what happens, or what path they go on in this book, but their feelings are explored very much and I really like their scenes together. I read a lot of m/m romance books and I honestly didn’t know what to expect from J.R Ward in this area. She brings out emotions in these two that will kill you. For as much as I was anticipating John’s story, Qhuinn and Blay gave me a story that blew me away.
We also see Payne, who at the end of Lover Avenged is stuck on the other side with her mother the Scribe Virgin. Payne’s book is next and I was actually surprised her story is not set up more. Lover Mine has a lot of focus on John Matthew and Xhex, and Blay and Qhuinn. The other brothers play very small roles, but I think that has been a complaint in the past. Too much has been going on. I love that the romance takes center stage, and I love how it is played out.
There is another small storyline involving a television crew for a paranormal investigations show filming in North Carolina. It threw me – there is something that comes of it at the end, but I am not sure why we had to go the route of this tv crew to get there. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me and felt very oddly out of place. I also thought the flashbacks to the 1600’s where we get a glimpse into Darius’ life was a little slow going. It ties into present day nice and tidy, but JR Ward has such a good story going on in present day, I wanted to stay there.
J.R. Ward gives John Matthew and Xhex a love story they deserve. I couldn’t have asked for a better romance between these too. Added in the tension between Qhuinn and Blay and this book is definitely one of my favorites.
Wicked Little Pixie – 5/5
Come back tomorrow for a chance to win a signed copy of Lover Mine.