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REVIEW: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

Dear Ms. Ward,

book review It might be an understatement to say your previous novel, Lover Unbound, elicited some very passionate reactions from readers. I can’t say I disagree with those criticisms. Even though I ended up liking the book because it developed John Matthew’s storyline, the main romance drove me insane for so many reasons, some of which were covered in Jane’s review. You could say Lover Unbound confirmed a suspicion I’ve always had about regarding the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and I was waiting to see if Lover Enshrined would support it. It did.

I have two confessions to make. When I first picked up Dark Lover, I didn’t particularly like it. I was interested enough to pick up the next one in the series, but I never quite understood the reception the first book received. I still don’t. But more importantly, my second confession is this: If I read for the romance, I would never have kept reading this series. The only romance that ever worked for me was that of Zsadist and Bella, and even then their actual book disappointed me because I thought Bella’s character arc was short-changed in favor of Zsadist’s. But I think we’ve covered the series’s shallow treatment of its heroines in favor of the male characters enough here at Dear Author, so I won’t go into that.

So in the end, I think Lover Enshrined is the perfect example for what I’m talking about — should you read this series for the romance? Or should you read it for the continuing storylines? My opinion? If you’re still reading this series for the romance, I honestly don’t know what’s keeping you coming back for more. You guys are being cheated.

Frankly, I thought the romance between Phury and Cormia was boring. Not only did their scenes comprise such a small fraction of the book that touting this as Phury and Cormia’s book is laughable, I found their romance insipid and stupid. Cormia continues the BDB’s heroine tradition of having an underdeveloped character arc and Phury… Oh, where to begin?

In the previous book, I thought Phury took a slight detour into CrazyLand. Slicing and dicing people in alleyways behind garbage dumpsters? To me, that’s set up for Serial Killer, not Romance Hero. Then in this book, we learn he’s probably always been crazy. We just didn’t notice. I appreciate the fact the book tried to tackle the hard topic of addiction but I have to be honest. Instead of feeling sympathy for Phury’s drug dependence, I was revolted and wondered when he would snap and kill everyone or himself. And maybe that was the intention but in terms of a romance hero, I don’t find those traits very appealing and I think it would take a highly skilled writer to make those elements work.

On the other hand, I thought the secondary storylines were nicely developed. For the first time, I actually felt like the series has moved forward in that respect. Because of my fantasy background, I tend to prefer continuing, developing storylines that go somewhere so I enjoyed this. If you read this series more for those aspects, I think you will find some things to like here. For example, if you like John Matthew, the development of his story and those of his friends’, Qhuinn and Blaylock, continue in depth.

That said, if you dislike the Lessening Society, they get a lot of page time. It’s almost as if the book were trying to make up for their absence in the last one. What I did like about their inclusion here is that while they’re still evil, they weren’t quite as two-dimensional cardboard as I found them in previous installments. Maybe this is because for the first time, I saw they had a goal, motivations, and an actual storyline. Those things go a long way to keeping an antagonist from becoming that character who twirls his mustache and flings his cape over his shoulder. It also helps that this time around, the Lessening Society’s main players don’t bite it immediately. In previous books, I’d seriously been wondering how the Lessening Society was that much of a threat if their leaders kept getting killed off so easily.

The book also starts expanding the world, which is something I always like. While I doubt the worldbuilding will be solid or consistent — let’s face it, the worldbuilding is not the books’ strongpoint and I don’t expect that fact to change — I do appreciate the effort. In particular, I am fascinated by Rehvenge’s storyline and the symphants’ society. I really look forward to learning more about them in future books and given the events that happen in Lover Enshrined, I hope the series will explore them in more detail.

As for a grade, I’m torn. I found the romance so boring, I actually believe removing that storyline entirely would have made the book better. When I came to the scenes between Phury and Cormia, I found myself wishing for them to end so I get back to the other stuff. Not the desired reaction, I’d think, when those scenes are supposed to be the focal point of the book. If I’d have to give that part a grade, I’d probably say a C. It didn’t annoy me enough to give it a lower grade but I thought it was very bland. But for the rest of the book and the events it covers, I’d say an overall B- for me but I will warn that at this point, I don’t think you can read the books out of order anymore.

My regards,
Jia

This book can be purchased in mass market from Amazon or Powells. No ebook format yet, but I suspect there will be.

Jia is an avid reader who loves fantasy and young adult novels. She's also currently dipping her toes in the new adult genre but remains unconvinced by the prevalent need for traumatic pasts. Her favorite authors are Michelle West and Jacqueline Carey. YA authors whose works she's enjoyed include Holly Black, Laini Taylor, Ally Carter, and Megan Miranda. Jia's on a neverending quest for novels with diverse casts and multicultural settings. Feel free to email her with recommendations at [email protected]!

83 Comments

  1. Shannon Stacey
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 07:02:54

    That said, if you dislike the Lessening Society, they get a lot of page time. It's almost as if the book were trying to make up for their absence in the last one.

    Oh noes! My favorite thing about the last book was the lack of Lesser POV. I hate that.

    I won’t be able to stop myself from buying it—I’ll give into the twitching and cold sweat—but it might go languish on Mount TBR for a while.

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  2. katiebabs
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 07:33:14

    Jia, everything you said I am total agreement with :D. Phury and Cormia’s romance was the weakest in the whole BDB series and Phury “boo hoo my life sucks just because” got on my nerves like you wouldn’t believe!
    But the whole world building and secondary stories were so good. I CANNOT wait for Revh’s story next :D

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  3. Jia
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 08:24:06

    I think the problem with the Phury and Cormia romance is that there was no catharsis. There were no highs or lows. It just proceeded at a very straight, even keel and that’s not very interesting to this reader. Part of it is because Cormia came to the realization that she wanted Phury off-page — during the several-month timespan between Lover Unbound and Lover Enshrined. Since we never really saw that revelation take place on page, I think it weakened their entire romance arc.

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  4. RStewie
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 09:05:22

    I’m not interested in this series at all, anymore. And your review, Jia, nailed that coffin shut. I’ve started Lara Adrian’s series, and I must say it is beyond better than JR Ward’s series ever was…and while I’m not saying it’s super fabulous (like, say, Kresley Cole’s or Meljean Brook’s series are), it’s got more depth and MUCH BETTER HEROINES than Ward’s, along with better world-building and a more satisfying story-line.

    Thank you for the great review. It said everything I needed to know about the book in order to decide to read it or not.

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  5. Sela Carsen
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 09:23:18

    I dunno, man. I’ve been waiting for this so long, I’m starting to get the shakes! It’s been too long between my red smokes!

    In other words, yes. I’ll buy and read it and then wait for the next one. Kind of the way I’m waiting for SK to write Acheron’s story so I can read it and get on with my life.

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  6. Randi Thompson
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 09:30:25

    RStewie: I’m with you, except I like Adrian’s series (so far) over Meljean’s. I haven’t been able to get through Meljean’s first book, even though I have the second all lined up. But that might be another case of Kresley Cole syndrom (in that, I was pretty shocked and put off of Kresley Cole’s first book, but then everyone told me to continue and sure enough, it got way way better). I never even made it through Ward’s second book. And I think I threw that against the wall…

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  7. Beth
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 09:37:00

    Thank you for a terrific, well balanced review. LU was a DNF for me, and I removed LE from my Amazon shopping cart when the early reviews came in. I read the series for the romance, so I’m finished with the BDB. But I am glad it is working on other levels, and while I would personally look elsewhere for true paranormal urban fantasy, I hope other readers will continue to enjoy it.

    Randi– I also got very bogged down with Brook’s Demon Angel. It was the next one — Demon Moon — (which I read first) that got me totally hooked.

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  8. Anion
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 10:07:20

    Oh, that’s disappointing. I’m still going to read it as soon as I get my hands on it, but then I’m looking forward to it simply because I want something new to read.

    Especially disappointed to hear the Lesser viewpoint is back. I was pleased not to have it in LU.

    Also, what about the hot scenes? Any good? (What? Like I’m the only one who wonders?)

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  9. katiebabs
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 10:39:43

    Hot sex scenes in LEN? Eh, not for Phury and Cormia. But as for Revh… Not like the one in Rhage’s book. I have a thing for men being tied up. MUWAHAHAAA..

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  10. Meriam
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 10:42:52

    I haven’t begun the series yet (I have the first 3 at home…) but what I want to know is whether there’s an end in sight. Has Ward mentioned how many books there will be in the series, or when she plans to finish it?

    I have a deep aversion to never-ending series. At some point, I just long for closure. The thought of an endless series, with fans growing a little bit more disillusioned with every installment makes my heart sink.

    Also, what Anion said.

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  11. Randi Thompson
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 10:46:16

    Beth: allright, I’ll skip the rest of Demon Angel and move on to Demon Moon.

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  12. Jesbelle
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 11:16:48

    Hey Jia, you don’t mention it in your review, but is there any advancement of the Tohrment storyline? I really enjoyed his character. I read the books after Zsadist’s mostly for the development of the V/Butch thing (which ended in disapointment). I never got into John, but I’d be willing to give BDB one last shot if Tohr would just reappear.

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  13. CourtneyCarroll
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 11:33:07

    Interesting review Jia. I agree with you on some points and disagree on others. : )
    Ever since Lover Revealed (Butch’s book), the series has taken a different turn from paranormal romance into more paranormal fiction with romantic elements. IMO, it began in Lover Unbound when Vishous and Jane were given such little face time in a 500+ page book and that trend continues in this book. I’ve always loved the subplots and other story arcs and I felt like J.R. Ward always made them work in the first four books without overtaking the primary couple. I never thought that the subplots took over the books until Lover Unbound and now with Phury’s book. When I finished the book, I felt like it was more JM/Blay/Qhuinn’s book than it was Phury’s book which didn’t bother me because I’m not a Phury fan.

    I thought the main romance between the couples in the first four books wsa terrific and it’s been lacking in the last two which disappoints me because I think J.R. can write terrific love stories. I thought the sweetest moment was between Blay and Qhuinn and I thought the sexiest interactions were JM and Xhex.

    Jesbelle-Tohr returns in Lover Enshrined.

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  14. Jesbelle
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 11:49:38

    Yay! And just like that I’m sold.

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  15. Jia
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 12:19:25

    Sela: Isn’t Kenyon’s next book supposed to be about Acheron?

    Anion: I second what katiebabs said. I didn’t find any of the scenes between Phury and Cormia hot at all. But as I said, I was kind of repulsed by Phury so YMMV. The scenes I found hot all belonged to the other characters.

    Meriam: The original series has 6 books and in some respects, I think the events that unfold in this installment reflect that. Despite liking the secondary storylines, my grade is only a B- because it’s mostly all setup and transitioning for what will follow. I think it’s apparent Ward isn’t going to focus on that core group anymore. (Though it really hasn’t been that way for a couple books now.) I believe there are at least three more books coming.

    CourtneyCarroll: My sister! I was beginning to think I was the only one who finds the interactions between JM & Xhex sexy.

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  16. Jia
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 12:21:31

    Thank you for the great review. It said everything I needed to know about the book in order to decide to read it or not.

    RStewie, I really tried to hit all the points I thought people would be most interested in knowing about. I think the only thing I forgot to mention was that the Scribe Virgin only appears on one page in the entire book.

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  17. CourtneyCarroll
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 12:24:22

    LOL at Jia. I really loved their interactions in this book. J.R. recently said that she believes JM’s book will be next up after Rehv’s “Lover Avenged” that is scheduled for publication in May 2009. This was actually the first book where I really LOVED JM as a character. Before I’ve enjoyed him, but more as a conduit to see Z and other characters’ through his eyes. But I thought he was fantastic and I’ve always loved Xhex and I think she’s a fascinating character. I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops.

    Am I the only reader who cried when Tohr was home and after he’d been sleeping and showered, he opened up his arms to JM and they both embraced and broke down? I found myself sobbing like a baby.

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  18. Clarelass
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 12:38:44

    Jia, you so hit this book right on the nose. A friend of mine happened to find it at a local bookstore early so I’ve had it for the past week. Unlike the rest of the BDB books, it took me forever to get into this one mainly because Phury and Cormia’s story is just so utterly boring. Now that the story with John Matthew and his boys is moving, I’m finally getting into it.

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  19. Shannon C.
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 13:03:51

    Can I be self-righteous and snooty and admit that I quit reading after Lover Revealed? I heard enough about LU that I never tried it, and much as I love Harry Pott–I mean, John Matthew–I didn’t want to wade through so much other stuff to get to him. And I hated Phury from Lover Awakened onward, so I can’t imagine that I’d actually want to spend any extended time in his head.

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  20. HelenB
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 13:52:16

    I have always had a problem with the names of the heros and it does not help that I keep reading Phury as furry! I would much prefer this author to write the follow up’s to Billionaire Next Door or whatever – stupid title, great book.

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  21. Klee
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 14:00:16

    There were a lot of scenes in LE that blew me away, unfortunately, none involved Phury and the beautiful yawn that is Cormia.

    CourtneyCarroll – thanks for the tid bit about Ward entertaining the idea of writing JM’s story after Revh's. ‘Cause I shamelessly admit that I have a huge cougar-crush on him. John Matthew. John Matthew. There, I said his name. Twice.

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  22. RStewie
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 14:38:56

    Well, some of these comments are making me want to skim…what’s this about Rehv being tied up?? OMG, that might make it worth-while…just cause I love tied up men. Is that true?

    Also, JM is a take or leave, so that’s not a draw for me. Too bad I can’t just get a summary of the other plots and read the Rehv parts…

    any takers?

    Also:

    Randi, the first Meljean STILL has me confused, honestly…I feel stupid about that, too…but just skip to the end and get on with the rest of the series, and you’ll be good to go. And the Kresley Cole series is, by far, my favorite to date. I started slow with it, but now I’m beside myself with hatred that the next book will be so long in coming. I’m all squee about the overall story arc, and seeing the pairs as the series goes is great, and it’s nice to not be overwhelmed with the story and the inclusion of previous characters.

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  23. Janet/Robin
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 14:54:31

    I think the only thing I forgot to mention was that the Scribe Virgin only appears on one page in the entire book.

    Well, that’s not exactly surprising, is it, since Ward basically blew up her entire mythological context in the last book?

    Phury started out as one of my favorite characters in the series, but by the last book I could tell things were beginning to go awry. I know I’ll still read this one, though, just to see what happens to him.

    I sort of wish Ward would fully and unabashedly embrace the camp of the series and run with it. I think I would unrepentantly stay on board if I felt things were *supposed* to be totally whacked.

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  24. Jia
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 14:54:57

    Am I the only reader who cried when Tohr was home and after he'd been sleeping and showered, he opened up his arms to JM and they both embraced and broke down?

    I thought that was a really nice moment in the book. Ward did a good job showing how awkward the reunion between Tohr and John Matthew was.

    what's this about Rehv being tied up?? OMG, that might make it worth-while…just cause I love tied up men. Is that true?

    I think katiebabs was referring to Rhage in Lover Eternal. Even though it was kinky (in a different way), I don’t think Rehv was actually tied up in that specific scene in Lover Enshrined. Physically, anyway.

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  25. Jia
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 15:02:14

    that's not exactly surprising, is it, since Ward basically blew up her entire mythological context in the last book?

    Oh, the mythological context gets even more messed up in this book, don’t you worry! And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

    Phury started out as one of my favorite characters in the series, but by the last book I could tell things were beginning to go awry.

    Phury was originally one of my favorites too. I think that’s why his detour into CrazyLand was a little too much for me to take.

    I sort of wish Ward would fully and unabashedly embrace the camp of the series and run with it.

    There are moments in this book where I honestly sat there and wondered if Ward was being 100% serious or 100% campy. I could not decide. Prime example: Qhuinn’s tattoo. I just cannot see how a person could write that without laughing at least a little bit.

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  26. rebyj
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 15:08:56

    I read the book over the weekend and agree with your review.
    One thing I found funny was the constant product placements. Everything had a brand name even the toothpicks.

    I did like how the JM ,Q and Blay storyline moved on. There was one scene with JM and Q that had me in tears.

    The dialogue in the book was much improved over the past books. Not every character was saying ” TRUE” and “YEAH” every other sentence. I was only puzzled by one word ” sesh” took a few minutes but finally figured out it was “session”.

    The book set up some exciting changes coming to the vampire/BDB world and I look forward to seeing if JRW follows thru with the next books.

    Cormia and Phury ………I don’t get it. How could she be equipped to deal with a head case junkie coming from where she came from? She came from a one dimensional world and the sex scenes were uncomfortable because she seemed so young and innocent and ill prepared for life above and Phury seemed so f’d up and disfunctional I don’t know how he was even in the mood for sex. If you read just for their love story I’m sure you’ll be disappointed . But it is worth reading for the rest of the story.

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  27. moira reid
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 15:38:52

    I can’t help myself…I do love the books. I love them all–wasn’t thrilled about the “ghost thing” but seriously, I loved ‘em. Can’t wait to get the new one. In my next life, I’m gonna be JR. ;-)

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  28. Jia
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 15:40:19

    One thing I found funny was the constant product placements. Everything had a brand name even the toothpicks.

    Oddly enough, I didn’t notice the produce placements quite as much here as I have in previous ones. I do agree she drops brand names left and right, though.

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  29. Ann Bruce
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 15:53:18

    Seriously, does it not bother anyone else that the Chosen is a basically a harem? C’mon. The purpose of these females is to feed the Brotherhood and occasionally spread their legs. That and the inconsistent world-building made me cancel my pre-order for LE.

    (And don’t get me started on the doggen. A race or subspecies made to serve. If that isn’t slavery, I don’t know what is.)

    Admittedly, I enjoyed the series until the romance took a backseat to the secondary storylines.

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  30. CourtneyCarroll
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 16:02:02

    Ann Bruce-I don’t know that it’s entirely fair to say the Chosen function as a harem. They are devoted to the Scribe Virgin (who I can’t stand) and serve her first and foremost and then the Brothers. It’s never bothered me because the world that Ward’s created is incredibly antiquated in many ways, among which the role of the Chosen. If you read LEn (which I understand you’re not going to), you’d see how their role changes. : )

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  31. GrowlyCub
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 16:16:36

    Well, can I be mean and say that I hope this book tanks, so she’ll write SSE again? Those are great and I hope she’ll get back to them. (Can you tell paranormal is not my cup of tea? :)

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  32. Keishon
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 17:11:47

    Poor writing and a weak antagonist made me give this vampire series a pass. I really like her covers as they really pull you in but I know what’s between those covers to never ever try again.

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  33. katiebabs
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 17:39:58

    Ooops… I did mean Rhage being tied up in Lover Eternal. As for Revh being tied up, well… um… you just have to read. He is definitely not a limp noodle in LEN if you know what I mean ;)

    I am so not into JM and Xhex- BLECK!

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  34. RStewie
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 19:45:15

    Ahh, thank you everyone that clarified that for me. I DID love Rhage’s book, and Visious’, too, mainly for the tying down. But I must admit I am tempted to read this now, if only to see what the hoopla is about Rhev. Rehv? Revh? Anyway, thanks!

    And Jia’s got my curiosity lit, with that statement about the implosion of the mythology.

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  35. rebyj
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 19:47:31

    Rhev’s love scenes kind of squicked me out. HE personally was hot but his companion…….ICK

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  36. Lorelie
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 19:56:16

    ::::sobs, yet continues to make arrangements for BFF to buy and deliver the book while at work tomorrow:::

    Will be back to read the rest of the comments late tomorrow. It was getting a bit spoiler-ific.

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  37. Brenna
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 20:11:17

    Jia, thank you for the review. You've summed up what I also felt about this book. I made some comments it at the RTR forum of AAR last Sunday since they haven't posted a review yet and I even gave it a grade B-, same as you. Here's what I said (I'll repost it as I'm to lazy but w/ some edits)-

    I’ve finally finished reading LEn and I have to say that it is definitely not a romance, unlike Lover Eternal for instance. It is Phury’s book (well, not 100%), but it is more about getting to know the real Phury, why he is the way he is and his path to try to recover from addiction. Which is ongoing. And his story is bleak, bleak, bleak…. I don’t know if that is calculated to tug readers heartstrings as it did with Z. But it didn’t quite succeed with me. And as Katiebabs said, I do want to smack his head from time to time. His relationship with Cormia is just one aspect of his story. He does not really spend that much time with her. As for their romance, it is sadly lacking in heat and passion. Cormia’s personality takes a 90 degree turn overnight and that made me raise my eyebrows a bit. I have already read a complaint about their first mating, about it being consensual or not, and I think some will probably not like it and raise issues about that.

    This book is turning out more like an epic or saga. I actually like the other subplots and characters, new or old, much better than Phury’s story. I can even tolerate John Mathew (while you liked him) and he “seems” to be somewhat coming into his own at the end of the book, same with Blay and Qhuinn. And as you have said, the secondary plotlines were well developed. The new character, Lassiter and Payne, are someting to look forward too but I have to wonder what will happen when they get their own story. See, I liked V and Phury very much in the previous books but their books turned out so so to me. Rhevenge is getting to be interesting but I think that when his story is going to come out, it will be bleak again. There are so many things that Ward needs to address about him as he is a drug dealer, he is a half symphant, another addict, etc.. But, IMO, because Ward has changed direction, this has made her tasks a lot easier because she does not necessarily have to give her dark and tormented heroes a quick and easy resolution in the old fashioned romance HEA way. But still, looking at V & Phury's stories I have to wonder if she is up to the task.

    As a whole, it is still an entertaining book. I was glad to see that when the other brothers made their appearances, they were there for a purpose and minus their shellans and the constant drooling that they always do when they are together. Makes them look likes pansies instead. And that was getting too be too corny. Thankfully, there was no time for that. But the blatant brand name dropping was ever present. And what’s up with the initials and shortened words? Even Z was saying “addies”. Its nice to be cool once in a while but to overdo them can be very irritating and trying too hard. I can’t quite understand some of them. As usual, the lessers makes lots of appearances which I mostly skipped or skimmed. And the way the new lesser talks, is that the southern way? I totally skipped everything that the Wizard says after the first few pages and it was easy to do so because they were in italics.

    I would say that it was a B- read for me. If you want the book to be in the way Lover Eternal was done, then you’re in for a disappointment. If you’re interested in their world as a whole, then you will be delighted. It is getting bigger and more complicated and a lot of changes occur. But I wonder if she will be able to keep up with it. I just hope that she can give us some heroes in the future who are not necessarily dark and bleak. And I do miss heroes like Rhage, who, despite having to bear the beast forever, somehow managed to rise above it all and still have that normally wonderful and sunny personality. And he gave me my first laugh in LEn on this simple act of opening his tootsie pop and grinding it.

    Well, can I be mean and say that I hope this book tanks, so she'll write SSE again? Those are great and I hope she'll get back to them. (Can you tell paranormal is not my cup of tea? :)

    I don't think this book is going to tank. On the contrary, I think it will hit the bestseller list. Maybe it will even debut to #1 at the NYT bestseller list. There's still a lot of fanatics out there. And Ward is not taking chances this time. She is really doing her best to stop the early release of her book this time. Sure, there are some who were able to get it early like me but not much as compared to LU. I heard that she even went to the extent of asking her fans to PM her which bookstore is selling ahead of the release date, probably so she can take action. One fan reader was even speading word that if others buy her books early, Ward won't earn anything from that. Sounds ridiculous to me.

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  38. Jia
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 20:27:08

    Brenna: I’m actually really looking forward to Rehv’s story now but I also wonder if Ward is up to the task. His plotlines have the potential to be fairly intricate what with the Council, the colony & the Princess. With three fairly substantial avenues for plot, the risk of falling flat on its face is that much higher.

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  39. Brenna
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 20:54:42

    Jia: I did like Rhevenge in this book and he was getting very interesting. Yet there's something icky about him and the symphants as a whole, if the princess is any indication. Plus that “barb” thing he has. Luckily, he's only half. But he's even more of a challenge than Phury. While Phury's problem is with his addiction and deep emotional problems, Rhevenge's is way, way more than that. And I completely forgot about his role in the council which is another intricate thing he has to deal with. Fortunately, he’s more ruthless than Phury who is too honorable for his own good

    Unfortunately, his book will be coming out in HB w/c I dislike. I find that the size and weight of such books takes away part of my reading enjoyment so I never buy them.

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  40. Josie
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 23:16:58

    Great review Jia!
    I’m half way through this at the moment (damn work) and am loving the storylines of Rehv and Quinn/Blay/JM. Phury and Cormia? Couldn’t care less.
    I think as long as you don’t read this for the romance you’re going to enjoy it. The story is cracking along and I love that you can see some serious future story-line building going on.
    Just out of curiosity – is anyone else finding the slang and the product placement in this book worse than normal? Particularly the conversations between the younger vampires, I’m feeling like I’m 29 going on 90! Damn whippersnappers! :-)

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  41. Jia
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 03:57:06

    is anyone else finding the slang and the product placement in this book worse than normal?

    Maybe I was just distracted by the text messaging to notice the product placement in this book.

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  42. Liz
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 08:33:38

    Yes, I’d say the publisher is doing everything they can to ensure it didn’t get released till today. Even the places in town that normally put out books early didn’t have Lover Enshrined in last night.

    Which kind of makes me wonder…why Julia Quinn’s book didn’t have a hard release date and Ward’s did? Why Quinn isn’t going to hardcover, and Ward is (not that I’m complaining, but if Mary Balogh, Johanna Lindsey and Stephanie Laurens are in HB…).

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  43. rebyj
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 09:27:51

    I got my copy of LEn last Friday from Kroger’s.
    Today I purchased Jacqueline Carey’s new Kushiel’s Mercy at Barnes and Nobles, it’s release date is June 12.
    I ain’t complaining though!! *addict*

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  44. GrowlyCub
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 10:00:04

    The release date issue is one of these things were nobody wins. As readers we wait impatiently and are excited if we get a copy early. For the authors, however, it would be much better if their books really only got sold starting at a certain date, because there’s only so much time to hit the bestseller lists and if the book trickles out early those sales don’t count.

    Unfortunately, there’s a lot of prestige associated with the bestseller lists and author livelihoods depend on it because publishers put lots of stock in these lists.

    I hardly ever find my reading tastes represented on any of them, so if publishers look for reader profiles they find many people there but they don’t find me and I read in excess of 400 books last year and a good percentage of those were new.

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  45. Lover Enshrined: The Reviews Are A-Trickling In « Lurv à la Mode
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 12:24:48

    [...] ETA: Dear Author [...]

  46. nat
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 18:09:08

    So, um, I took the afternoon off to read this book. I now wish I had been filing my expense reports.

    Jia, I’ll let the B- stand for world building but your C is generous for the romance in this book. I honestly found myself skipping over Phury and Cormia just so I could get to Blay and Quinn’s drama. Since I’m not a huge fan of Rehv’s, I couldn’t even find comfort in that. Tohr offered a sop there at the end, but mostly because I like John and felt he deserved a cookie.

    I agree with everything you said about Phury’s depiction. From the first page, I was just like, WTF. Who is this dude and why did I ever like them.

    As far as the slang, at one point Quinn says, “Which will abso put you on the cover of GQ, my b”. It took me three reads to figure out “abso” meant absolutely and was not a typo for “also” and that “b” must refer to brother and not, well, another typo where the word was cut off. Seriously…W? I am just going to start shortening words left and right and see if people can figure out what I am saying. I think all the text messaging these guys suddenly do in this book on their new sparkly bedazzled sidekicks (look, I can product place too), has horrendously damaged their speech capabilities. I really hope they have unlimited texts on their cell plans. Or I don’t blame Quinn’s family for kicking him out. Texts are expensive.

    Don’t mind me, I will go back to lurkdom now. Just had to vent a bit. To comfort those who haven’t read it yet, it was better than the last one. At least both h/h were alive at the end and there were certain parts that were excellent. I will go through tomorrow and seek those I’m out, I’m sure.

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  47. Josie
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 18:14:15

    Maybe I was just distracted by the text messaging to notice the product placement in this book.

    Ha, isn’t that the truth.

    Finished this last night and would probably give it the same rating as you did, Jia – but maybe a lower grade for the romance. I did not buy Phury and Cormia in the slightest – there was almost no interaction between them and then BAM! HEA and mating ceremony.

    Really enjoyed the rest of it though – despite the brothers occasionally lapsing into teenage girl speak… “Laters!” *chortles*

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  48. Jia
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 18:24:16

    Grading is such a subjective and, at times, difficult thing. I didn’t dislike the romance enough to give it a D but that’s also because the romance was so bland and so uninteresting, there was nothing for me to actively hate. And perhaps that’s an even more damning criticism because I believe on some level all stories should invoke an emotional response. That the romance storyline failed to do so — unless yawning counts? — is telling in its own way.

    As for Phury, where did the Wizard even come from? If there was any hint whatsoever about the Wizard even existing in previous books, I must have missed it. And for something that supposedly had been going on since forever, I feel like I shouldn’t have.

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  49. Jill Myles
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 18:37:30

    Just started reading…am not liking the Wizard so far. Nope.

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  50. Brenna
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 19:56:33

    Just started reading…am not liking the Wizard so far. Nope.

    I didn’t like the Wizard either and I don’t think I missed much when I starter skipping his part. It was so easy to do so they were all in italics.

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  51. wandergurl
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 21:01:39

    I agree that these books aren’t really romances anymore – I read them just for the continuing storylines. I have to say that honestly after Vishous’ book I was expecting a lot worse as I was pretty disappointed with that one. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that she developed the storylines better than in the last one. Sure Phury and Cormia didn’t get a lot of screentime but they weren’t so lost in the seconday character plots as in the last book. I didn’t really like their romance, as I’m not a fan of theirs to begin with. I also think Phury has the classic Paladin syndrome where he has to save the world because all the problems it has exist on his shoulders, but otherwise he’s okay.
    I did not like the branding at all. I’m over bentleys and SUVs and all that. Also, as much as I love Blay, Qhuinn and JM, boys do not talk like that -all touchy feely and emotional.
    And somehow (THIS IS sort of A SPOILER!) I cannot believe a thousand year old supposedly ethereal being would choose to speak in hip hop like the brothers.
    All this said, of course I’m going to buy the next book, sad addict that I am.

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  52. nat
    Jun 03, 2008 @ 21:09:31

    Ah, the wizard and his cockney accent. Wha? Between him and the Texas Lesser, J.R. really got to flex her dialect muscles in this book.

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  53. Jill Myles
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 06:34:02

    LOL – I am continually laughing at the Texas lesser. Because I’ve lived here all my life, and…dude. I have never heard one person referred to as ‘suh’. We drawl, not mangle. :)

    So I keep getting this whole Foghorn Leghorn mental image with the lesser, which ruins the scary factor.

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  54. Jia
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 06:45:19

    I have never heard one person referred to as 'suh'.

    It took me far longer than it should have to realize “suh” was Ward Texan dialect for “sir.”

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  55. leaf
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 08:24:37

    Dear Jia;

    I finished reading “Lover Enshrined” last evening and I have to concur with your review. However, I think your grade was quite generous, a “D” would be more appropriate. While J. R. Ward did well to expand Rehvenge's and John Matthew’s characters, the whole essence of Phury’s story was lost in all the secondary storylines. The best way I would describe this book, is “scattered”, and Phury and Cormia are lost in the mess. The editing was poor as well, we have “Brother” speak, “Texas Lesser” speak, oh and “15th century translated bard” speak, much of which doesn’t make any sense. Turning Phury’s character into a such an degenerate addict who wasn’t even a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood for almost the entire book was awful. Unfortunately I guess Ward felt she needed to build all these other storylines to be able to write further books and keep fleecing her pockets.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the Black Dagger Brotherhood series immensely for the most part especially, Dark Lover, Lover Eternal and Lover Awakened. Ward wrote the heros to be larger than life with their own internal demons. Their “shellans” helped them to cope with thse demons created a good erotic romance story. The war, the fear of losing their mates as casualities and the intrigues developed within and outside the Brotherhood itself made for a good read.

    You are also quite correct, Jia, don’t read the books out of sequence. Oh, and pick this one up at a used book store. I won’t say anything more because us schleps who pre-ordered and paid full price for this book are still licking our wounds.

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  56. Lorelie
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 09:19:22

    Okie dokie, just ripped through it last night, so I’m back. (Did you hold your breath in anticipation? No?)

    Main romance: Phury and Cormia were totally meh. Not awful, and definitely not fabulous. Other than the end result for the Chosen, I have a feeling the entire plot line could have been cut and no one would miss it. Phury’s high horse is the size of an elephant. I mean seriously? Get the fuck over yourself. And he *still* doesn’t in the end, when he’s supposed to be better. “This was the thanks” my ass.

    The Tantalizing Trio: Lurve ‘em. Lurve every bit of ‘em in here. (Though I do second the camp factor on Qhuinn’s tat.) At this point, JM, Qhuinn and Blay are who I’m reading for.

    The Lessers: I think they’re getting more interesting. The new twist gives them a little more oomph, even if I could see it coming from page one.

    Name/product dropping: In the “not so bad” camp.

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  57. Renee
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 10:05:44

    ebook up at booksonboard

    After reading all your comments & predicting that I’ll probably agree with you all, suddenly I can’t seem to help myself–I have to get it and read it now. I didn’t have this sense of urgency before now. I’ve never before rushed off to buy a C/B- book, but oh well. Kind of like watching The Bachelor, which I must do, even though it’s the worst show on television

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  58. Jia
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 11:53:43

    Other than the end result for the Chosen, I have a feeling the entire plot line could have been cut and no one would miss it.

    I kind of have the feeling Ward wanted that specific ending for the Chosen (since it reinforces the “The vampires must change and adapt or die” uber-arc) but in order to reach that plot point, she had to force Phury and Cormia’s romance storyline a certain way. We can never be certain, of course, but it definitely seems like the whole point of their romance and Phury’s ostracization was just to reach that end goal. Because, frankly, that’s the only change that arose out of the romance arc — I certainly don’t think Phury’s come to any life-altering realizations.

    I've never before rushed off to buy a C/B- book, but oh well. Kind of like watching The Bachelor, which I must do, even though it's the worst show on television

    I think many readers have a series that is the equivalent of a literary train wreck to them. You should know better but you just can’t turn away.

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  59. RStewie
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 13:28:01

    I’m going to have to agree with the train wreck idea. I will, unfortunately, have to read this book now…I can’t be romance literate if I don’t keep up with current crack trends. LOL…and I evidently can’t resist.

    At least I read fast, so it will only take a few hours…

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  60. Renee
    Jun 04, 2008 @ 20:25:09

    Phew! Work’s over & I can get back to reading. It’s pure awwwwesome + goofy, and, having read the earlier books, I can’t say that I didn’t know exactly what I was in for. Which is a firestorm of stoopid awesomeness. Completely loving it, esp this eggcorn I just hit in the middle of Ch 15: think “penal system” but spell it–wait for it–”the penile system.”

    Do you want to hear something perfect? The rest of the phrase is “the penile system for vampires.”
    Apparently, it had “degraded.”
    “Over the four hundred years prior…”
    [Heh, heh, snort. You said penis. Call me Beavis.]

    Typo? Or pure GENIUS easter egg for us helpless fans of the Penile Brotherhood? Totally ‘meta,’ right?

    I’m partway through a couple of other books right now that I was completely enjoying up until I cracked Lover Enshrined. They have actual, um, literary merit, and yet–ahhh! don’t shoot! Okay settle down you romance apologists–romance is “real literature,” fine whatever stop howling. We’re talking about Lover Enshrined, remember? Anyway. It’s just that even my very favorite romances don’t satisfy that other addiction to novelty & dense pattern the way big-L Literature can, or as mainstream contemp big-L bestsellers sometimes will. So yeah, I require predictable TV (hello L&O) and Ltd Ed Indiana Jones Mint M&Ms, but I also need for my head to explode in wonder. To that end, I’m reading Oscar Wao & Savage Detectives & Suite Francaise alternately right now, & I’m simultaneously glomming my way through 6 vols of the Lyttleton Hart-Davis Letters, because they’re all sooo good, even making my head explode, and . . .

    Must…read…LoverEnshrined.

    The moral: Sometimes actual awe isn’t as appealing as awesome. I don’t mean ‘ironic’ ‘finger scare quotes’ awesome; my love is real (oh geez how I wish I was only kidding–brought to my knees by the BDB?!?).

    See romance apologists? We did it! Romance won! The penile system!!

    Abt the Lyttleton Hart-Davis Letters–you guys they are so good I haven’t glommed this hard since I first discovered Anne of Greene Gables 15 yrs ago. The series is so much better than it sounds–kind of like the ultimate blog. By 2 geniuses. C’mon if you’re reading these comments on this blog, you are a hard-core blog reader & definitely nosy/curious enough to fall head over heels for these books. Don’t be a reverse-snob. I can’t recommend them enough, unless you live in NYC, in which case I’d beg you to hold off until I can locate a copy of vol 4.

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  61. anon
    Jun 05, 2008 @ 06:24:07

    I have to agree with leaf. I’m way bummed Ward’s destroying such a good series. The first 4 were beyond awesome. Wrath, Rhage, Butch and Z…I fell in love, I really did. But these last two have left me feeling like I should demand my money back. Like when you see a bug in your food at an expensive restaurant, you’re disgusted, frustrated and short several dollars.

    The next BDB book? Pfft. If I bother at all, it’ll be bought used! I gave her a second chance after that horrible ending to V’s book. I was still willing to reach into my purse and buy Phury’s book the day it showed up at my local bookstore. Now I just feel like an idiot.

    Thank god Feehan didn’t destroy the romance in the Carpathian series the way Ward is doing in the BDB. At least Feehan seems to care about her ROMANCE fans!

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  62. Maggie
    Jun 05, 2008 @ 14:20:02

    My friend and I have been talking about the slang used in this series. I know we’re probably a part of the younger readership of Ward’s series and there are times when even we have no idea what the heck the Brothers are talking about. Seriously though, most of the slang seems to be derived from MTV and webspeak. What is doing, btw? I know it’s supposed to make them seem cool and hip but they just come off as Vanilla Ice wangstas. And why does every single male talk like that?

    And the awful text messaging. I actually text message like that but think I will stop now. Never realized how annoying it was.

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  63. Divineway
    Jun 06, 2008 @ 16:20:20

    . Completely loving it, esp this eggcorn I just hit in the middle of Ch 15: think “penal system” but spell it-wait for it-”the penile system.”

    Ok, Renee the “Penile System For Vampires” just made me snort loudly in the office. I obviously must go re-read for all the misunsed words, phases and abbreviations for fodder. LMAO!!

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  64. Renee
    Jun 06, 2008 @ 17:31:12

    Penile System for Vampires, cont

    glad to help

    I noticed that somebody on the comments thread at SBTB was really irritated by the slip. http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/index.php/weblog/comments/enshrining-the-anger/#com

    Some of the other misspellings in the book irritated me. Misspellings = VISUAL BARBED WIRE (even though I can’t type & I misspell everything. So I should clarify: Other People’s Misspellings = Reading Barbed Wire)

    But this one? It justified the purchase price of the book. I’m giggling about it in odd moments days later. I would give out the page # so you all could dog-ear the pages of your own copies, but I was compelled to read the whole dang thang on the tiny screen of my blackberry pearl. Thank you booksonboard.com for further enabling my junk reading addiction by removing my cooling-off period (the walk to the store)

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  65. Mary M.
    Jun 06, 2008 @ 18:15:34

    My heart was crushed by Lover Unbound, so I don’t think anything could have been worse in my opnion. And indeed, I enjoyed Lover Enshrined much better. Paradoxal, since I can list more things that I didn’t like about LEn that I did like, yet I enjoyed it. Go figure.:) I think part of it was the better writing. LU was full of glaring mistakes, plot holes and utterly inconsistent characters; LEn, with all its fault, at least didn’t have that disjointed feel.

    As the sixth installment of the BDB series, LEn gets the job done. The overall story arc definitely moves forward, new characters make their appreance or are developed, the BDB world changes, and the war with the lessers is finally looking liek a war. As a paranormal or urban fantasy, it’s a good book. But as PHURY’S book or even worse, Phury’s ROMANCE, it fails completely. I’m seriously wondering whether we saw Phury more often in this book than in V’s one. He and Cormia were apart most of their respective screen time, They see each other from time to time (generally ends with near-miss sex and/or disaster), then Phury realizes Cormia is hot and stops thinking about Bella, then after much red smoke and nearly dying, he gets his act together and decides he loves Cormia. The end. Some romance. You don’t “see” them falling in love, there is no sorting out his feelings for Bella on Phury’s side and sorry, but I didn’t feel the heat between them. And it takes them forever to have sex. Jeez. It’s sad to think the books used to be so hot.

    Other points I didn’t like include the Brotherhood completely washing its hands off Phury (Zsadist included, which disappointed me), lack of brotherhood camaraderie, absence of Vishous and Butch (my favorite 2), overlad of Phury-up-in-smoke and Phury-getting-bashed-by-the-voice-in-his-head, and lots of Rehvenge that didn’t manage to make me warm up to him. Good points include Cormia, surprisingly lovable and much stronger and interesting than expected, Tohr’s return, interaction between JM, Qhuinn and Blay, JM and Xhex (who I am FINALLY warming up to) and changes in the war and the vampire society in general.

    So, not a bad book, but definitely not a romance. It bugs me a lot because J.R.’s first four books were wonderful paranormal romances and that’s primarily why I liked them. I’m invested enough in the characters and the world that I’ll probably keep reading the series, though, but for Chrissake, if J.R.’s decided to stop writing romance, I’d rather she flat-out tells us so.

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  66. Elle
    Jun 07, 2008 @ 03:26:41

    I too agree that if someone bought this book looking for a romance novel they would likely be disappointed. I work in a book store and the five books that came before this were all categorized in Romance. Lover Enshrined is categorized as a Novel and I believe this to be apt. After Lover Awakened was released, Ward definitely focused more on building the supporting characters than immersing the reader in the lives of a Brother and his perspective shellen . While this approach may not make a great romance novel, it does make for one hell of a franchise.

    With Lover Awakened in the bag and no reasonable expectation of Tohr falling in love with someone so soon after Wellsie’s death that only left V and Phury to meet their mates. If the “secondary” characters in Ward’s books are to remain secondary then with Lover Enshrined, Ward’s series would be over. The only way to keep people comming back to the series would be to flesh out the secondary characters with each book. I know that secondary characters can get some face time while still basing the book around two central characters but with as many pans in the fire as Ward tends to have this book would have jumped from 500+ pages to Stephen King’s The Stand. Unabridged.

    In my opinion the love affair between Cormia and Phury was weak. More time was spent in prolonging the inevitable than actually developing it. Neither of them lose their virginity until page 300 and something. However, if in reading the other Black Dagger Brotherhood books you got hooked on some of those “secondary” characters then this book is definitely for you (and me)! I’ve been waiting for more on JM’s crush on Xhex and Rhev’s secrets, but with this book I COMPLETELY fell in love with Qhuinn. Dark hair, mismatched eyes and leather are definitely my kind of fantasy.

    Long story short, if Ward had focused most of the last two books on a Brother and his HEA and then tried to write a book about one of her secondary characters who is not a Brother and pass it of as a novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood I think many of her fans would feel confused and cheated since they wouldn’t actually be one of the Brotherhood. By building each successive story on the one that came before Ward has managed to build one hell of a foundation of a universe that will appeal to anyone who can’t get enough of the paranormal.

    Not that this post isn’t long enough but I just want to put it out there that I would love to read about Payne having some torrid history with Rhev and having Qhuinn fall in love with Payne. Exclusively.

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  67. Lily
    Jun 07, 2008 @ 06:59:55

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who read this and had a big WTF going on. I mean, the wizard just freaked me out. Like…that’s not normal drug-addict type shit. I know. I’m a recovering druggie. That, to me, reeks of schizophrenia. Do vampires get schizophrenia too? Because then maybe Z and the rest of the BDB are right, and Phury needs to get in to see a shrink ASAP. LOL.

    And yes, the romance in this book was terrible. I absolutely hated it, and it was very, very boring to me. Probably because, as someone stated, Cormia decided she wanted Phury sometime in between LU and LEN. To me, the delicious part of a love story is when you first realize ‘wow, I really want this person.’

    I will say though, that I don’t just read the series for the romance, and as the rest of the plotline is developing, I doubt I’ll stop reading it. I just get so sucked into these worlds that authors build. I did comment on the review for LU saying that yes, there is some inconsistency in the world-building, but I’m hoping that JR will clear that up within the next book(s). I’m also intrigued as to how their, as someone put it, antiquated belief system is going to change to fit into this modern world. Yes, it seems that JR is tearing down her original belief system, but perhaps it’s to make way for a more up-to-date one? Or maybe to bring them into a world that’s not dependent on their deities, like we are.

    I can’t really say.

    All I know is that despite the shoddy romance in this novel, I do intend to keep reading, if only to satisfy my curiosity regarding other aspects of the plotline.

    And yay, Payne and Qhuinn! I had that thought too, though I highly doubt it’ll happen. I think I read somewhere that Payne and Qhuinn are both due to have their own books. If they were going to have a romance, wouldn’t it make sense to just put them in one book? That’s what I think at least.

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  68. Leslie
    Jun 08, 2008 @ 12:01:20

    Anyone want to fill me in on Wards photo on the back? Sunglasses? Again? I’ve read that she suffers from eye strain, but really? Come on, she can’t remove the sunglasses for a second or two? So what’s really doing under those glasses?

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  69. KJsGrrl
    Jun 09, 2008 @ 09:26:04

    After reading the review I was torn between wanting to read the book and just tossing the series. I gave it another go thinking it couldnt have been any worse than the previous one and bought the book against my better judgement. Now I wish I still had the receipt to take it back to the store. The B grade given was entirely too generous in my opinion. I thought this book was worse than V’s book. I was so looking forward to Phury’s story. He deserved something really really good. And what did he get? He was lost in the shuffle of all the other storylines and was made into a headcase to boot! The interaction between Phury/Cormia was so minimal, this just didnt feel like a romance. How could they have fallen in love if they never spent any time together??

    The book read like a soap opera. Everytime I would get into the scene with Phury/Cormia the story would shift to other storylines, then jump back. It was like a commercial break at a pivotal point of the story. I really hated that. The cut away felt entirely out of place and made it difficult to get back into the previous scene. Seeing as how there weren’t many scenes at all between Phury/Cormia to begin with, it made the book all the more difficult to continue reading.

    The only bright spot in this book had to be the Blay/Qhuinn scene. I thought it was handled very well. Other than that, the book was useless. I would rate this book a D – as in DONT buy it. I will not be buying any more books from this series.

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  70. missy
    Jun 12, 2008 @ 17:00:52

    I have read all the books in the series and this last one was good in world and character developement. As for the romance? It was basically a waste of time. There wasn’t one. Won’t keep me from reading any others that come along though.

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  71. Vicki
    Jun 13, 2008 @ 11:57:23

    I had to chime in here even though this is late. The WARDen stayed completely true to both Phury and Cormia. Would we have liked to see more between them? Yes, but that is not who they are or their nature. They are both very much keep their feelings to themselves. Many times not knowing their true feelings.

    In reading the book, you know early on that Phury's true heart is for Cormia even though he doesn't realize it yet. When he is drawing who he thinks is Bella, but draws her with her hair up and small wisp of hair coming loose that was Cormia.

    And yes, there was a lot in the book. Tons of information for the books to come, but I think it was necessary and yes, I will probably need to read it again to make sure I have it all.

    As far as having more of the Lesser's…hello, that's who they fight. The world would be a bit boring if everything became all is right with the world, no fighting tonight, just stay in the compound.

    If you decide not to read this one, or to continue on with the series that's totally up to you, but you're going to miss everything that began in book one.

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  72. CelticHeart
    Jun 13, 2008 @ 13:41:41

    I have to agree with KJsGrrl. I give this book a D- as in Don’t Buy.

    If you do want to give it a try because you’re intrigued by all the reviews mentioning world-building, watch out for the plotholes.

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  73. Jess
    Jun 15, 2008 @ 01:31:02

    Hi

    i agree with your review, i loved the world building, i loved JM,Rhev,Quinn and Blay’s developement. I respect JR for her ability to weave so many thread and do so much head hopping without driving me insane (i hate alot of head hopping usually)

    i will disagree with you when you say those that are reading the series for the romance should of gave up long ago, i found Wrath,Rhage,Zsadist and Butch’s books all romantic, they each had different styles to thier books and how thier relationship evolves but i would say the romantic in me was satisfied.

    V’s book and Phury’s didn’t satisfy it – V’s was lacklustre at best and Phury’s was downright non exsistant. When Phury told Cormia that he loved her, i actually said out loud “since when”.

    i thought Phury out of all of the brothers deserved a better HEA, he spent a century looking for his twin then shot his own leg off for him, let alone what he did AFTER he found Z. He was always one of my fave brothers. I was disappointed with how JR depicted him in this book, he seemed like a total stranger compared to vamipre i have known in the last 5 books.

    i bet JR hits NYT # 1 for this book and i really dont think she will deserve it…

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  74. Miss Kitty
    Jun 20, 2008 @ 21:06:41

    Liked the book, liked Cormia, who was not a heroine as in the word hero: tough, neck breaking stuff, but someone who had no idea about…everything and turned into yeah… a totally normal person.
    Hated Phury, but found him totally convincing (alot of experience with addicts here and yes, people are that stupid, whining, helpless, blind whe they need their fix).
    Loved the subplot.
    And from now on, when I need a good laugh I think of…………….
    ………….
    ……………
    toaster……..
    ………
    and the vacuum……..
    …………..
    …………
    and the dishwasher….

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  75. Jennie
    Jul 07, 2008 @ 12:09:32

    Great review! I finished this last week and gave it a B – I actually was not even that jazzed about reading it, so I was pleasantly surprised by how engrossing I found it. I think the multiple storylines helped – if whatever was going on at the moment didn’t interest me, I knew that the scene would change to someone else pretty rapidly. Phury wasn’t too appealing, but I actually found Cormia less insipid than I’d expected. I would even say some of her adjustment to “this side” was a bit poignant. I liked most of the secondary storylines, and even found the stuff with the Lessers…less irritating than usual (though Mr. D’s dialect was all over the place).

    I’ve come to accept the weird slang of the BDB world with a fairly low-grade but constant hum of irritation as I read. It spiked when Wrath (I think it was Wrath) used the word “frenemies” – a word I associate with the Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan crowd. At least Ward has cut back a bit on the use of “so” (e.g. “We are so not going there”), a linguistic tic I associate with Chandler on “Friends” – not an image I would think Ward would want to cultivate.

    I’m curious about who Ward’s next book will feature – does anyone know?

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  76. Janine
    Jul 07, 2008 @ 12:13:51

    Jennie, from what I remember Ward saying when she was here when her “My First Sale” piece ran, Rhevenge (pardon any spelling errors) is next, and after that John Matthew. I can’t wait for John Matthew.

    My grade for Lover Enshrined was a B-, and we are pretty close in how we saw the book.

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  77. Maryann Jeffers
    Aug 05, 2008 @ 10:04:14

    I liked the ending of Lover Enshrined. I thought It was wonderful and uplifting. Z singing to Phury was touching as well as all the Brothers supporting Phury again. (You could feel the love)

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  78. Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward « Scooper Speaks
    Sep 10, 2008 @ 08:28:33

    [...] out other reviews of Lover Enshrined at Love Vampires, Dear Author, and Enchanting [...]

  79. bla bla bla… » Blog Archive » I want
    Sep 17, 2008 @ 19:10:34

    [...] already) and John Matthews. So just now, I browsed dearauthor.com and lo and behold, I saw a review of the book, Lover Enshrined. Unable to resist, I quickly ran thru the analysis and my eyes picked up phrases [...]

  80. Amy
    Sep 18, 2008 @ 14:21:16

    I cannot believe what I am hearing!!! Granted – I agree that Lover Enshrined was a complete and total let down – compared to the other books and how the characters in it progressed… But this was (to me anyway) a series in a whole that I just could not put down. My favorite was Rhage’s story but I think all in all it was generally well rounded and I found myself running to Barnes and Noble constatly to get the next in the series. Great job JR Ward.

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  81. REVIEW: Covet by J.R. Ward | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 15:31:43

    [...] not too surprising. I’ve been having that problem since the introduction of Lassiter in Lover Enshrined. But despite all that, I already know I’m still going to end up picking up your next book, [...]

  82. Anemies
    Oct 10, 2009 @ 12:56:29

    There were a lot of weak points. I mean, it was only the fact that I love Rhage and Z and V’s character that I kept on reading. I hated the fact that Jane (V’s shellan) was turned into a ghost but then…….Phury? I chanted through the whole series “Oh, for God’s sake, get on with the sex already!!!” It was dragging and looooooooooong.
    The characters were calling for air space and Phury wasn’t a strong enough character. And when the sex came, I was so disappointed. All that sexual frustration and that? it took too long- I know that the tension had to build up but when they were doing the act, I realized it wasn’t worth the anticipation.
    I freacking hate the Wizard! With his british accent? Huh. Phury was my least or second to the least favorite Brother. He’s tied down with Wrath. (don’t ask me about Wrath-he’s just so…ugh. His charcter kept on changing every book.)

    And Cormia? Talk about stupid. Her character was stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. It would’ve been fun if she was an ehros. Still, I hated that their problem could’ve been solved if they just worked it out sooner- but they didn’t-hence, more talking about none sense and less sex.

    It was my least favorite book of all. I’d give it a C-. It was less romantic because Ms. WArd was too focused on the plotlines which she kept on doing ever since Lover Revealed came. But at least LR and LU had some cool, erotic scenes in it. In Lover Enshrined? Not enough. That’s all I’m saying.

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  83. Cassandra
    Mar 25, 2011 @ 02:50:11

    Hmmm I’m probably a bit late to the party but I just finished a speed read session of V and Phury’s books (I get the titles mixed up).

    What to say…

    These are not really romances anymore. I feel as though the 2nd book in the series (where Rhage hooks up with a human chick Mary) was the most true to formula. In hindsight it’s also the most forgettable. And I think the author has also lost interest in Rhage and Mary in these later books: it’s barely mentioned except as a footnote.

    I feel the romance between Zsadist and Bella is the strongest in the BDB series and Zsadist is the character that keeps me coming back to the series. I think the author seems partial to Zsadist too (and Butch and maybe Wrath) and these are the guys that seem to get the most air time.

    For the first time I found myself reading some of the Lesser parts of the story (usually I just flip straight past). And I was well and truly drawn into the newly transitioned boys: John, Quinn and Bay.

    I felt that Vischous was entirely cheated as a character in his tale. I continue to believe that Jane was just the right woman at the right time (as he let go of Butch) and not the right woman for him at all. Their love rings really false to me. V is a much more interesting character in the earlier books.

    Phury and his addiction is what this book is all about. I cried at the end. I liked that Phury dragged himself out of his addiction with *purpose* and was a little bit worried that the author would try and pretend that he was magically cured by real love. But he downfall was drawn out unnecessarily. He’s kicked out of the brotherhood early on in the book. Honestly the author could have gone from that moment (no “job”) to perceived rape of Cormia to the heroin overdose in a quarter of the book.

    This is a terrible romance between Phury and Cormia. I think I actually would have been more satisfied if they went to the other side or whatever and just started having orgies. I actually sympathised with all those needy Chosen women waiting out hundreds of years just to get a piece of a husband and a chance at children.

    Man that would have been a great ending.

    ReplyReply

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