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REVIEW: Lover Unbound by JR Ward

Dear Ms. Ward:

Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5)I’ve referred to you as romance crack before. Your books are addictive, like a pharmaceutical grade narcotic, that makes a reader hot for the next book before the current book is even concluded. Unfortunately, I think I got a bad batch and wonder what I should do about it. On the one hand, this book cured me of my JR Ward addiction. On the other, its sad to see such a promising series totally crater.

I can’t really give much of a summary without spoiling the book but I can say that Vishous, a man cursed with prognostication, is floundering, as his best friend has left him for a woman. He goes off to nurse his wounds and lo and behold, finds a woman of his own. He also finds out that he and Jane, his new love interest, have something in common – bad, bad mothers. This commonality and Jane’s willingness to follow him into his kinky world, bring the two of them closer together until the lessers threaten their fledgling love.

Jane and Vishous’ story is such a small part of the overall landscape in this book. It’s mostly a story about the denouement of Butch and Vishous, the groundwork for Phury’s book, and the development of John’s story. Oh, and apparently any decent male that appears in the BDB series is bound to be a brother.

So what didn’t I like? Well, let’s copy Janine’s format:

1. The Hero.

Vishous is heartbroken because his love interest aka Butch has gone off and found a woman.

Butch assumed a bored expression. “You can bite me.”
I wish, V thought.

As he took out some rolling paper, laid down a line, and twisted himself a cig, he did what he spent a lot of time doing: He reminded himself that Butch was happily mated to the love of his life, and that even if he weren’t, the guy didn’t play like that.

Vishous watched Butch and Marisa one night and he was jealous, not of Marisa but of the new relationship that Butch had developed with Marisa. A relationship that had no room for Vishous. “Lover Revealed” had strong overtones of a relationship developing between Vishous and Butch that was more than friends. This is brought into sharp relief in “Lover Unbound.” At one point, Butch treats Vishous tenderly and Vishous responds, physically.

The black tip of the dagger slid under V’s chin and angled his head up. As he was forced to meet Butch’s stare, V’s body tensed. Then trembled.
With the weapon linking them, Butch said, “They’re beautiful.”

Butch removed the blade, and as the male’s arm dropped, V felt a trickle of blood ease down his neck. It was warm– and soft as a kiss.

Yet despite the strong emotional and physical connection that Vishous has with Butch, it is easily abandoned once Vishous meets Jane. These feelings were merely placeholders for what Vishous was supposed to have with Jane. On the one hand, the acknowledgment of the unspoken feelings that Butch and Vishous shared seemed to be inserted to placate those that insisted that there were homoerotic overtones. On the other, the quick move to Jane seemed to placate those fans who insisted that there were no homoerotic overtones. I guess my feeling was “who cares” but at least make it believable that Vishous could fall out of love with Butch and in love with Jane at the drop of a hat.

2. The Heroine

I know that you’ve taken alot of flack for the flaccidity of your female characters. I was excited when I read the teaser for this book thinking that Jane might be the answer to those critics. Unfortunately, Jane was presented as a loner whose entire existence was that of her work. Despite her apparent devotion to her work, that character trait was easily disposed when it became necessary for you to insert her into the world of the Brotherhood. After meeting Vishous, her entire world narrowed to the extent that whatever mattered before no longer had meaning.

3. The Villians.

While I never cared for the lesser scenes, the absence of those scenes marked the greatest concession to a portion of your fans than almost every other part of the book. To be clear, there are no point of views from the lessers, the perpetrators of evil in this mythology. The previous four books have been heavy with them and to eliminate the POV entirely and to minimize their importance makes the later actions seem even more disjointed. Again, the lessers, like the homoerotic overtones, like Jane’s independence, are easily discarded. If the lesser POV was important enough to take up almost half of the previously written series, why isn’t it included in this book? Or conversely, why was it written in the first place?

4. The Scribe Virgin.

The core of your mythology is the Scribe Virgin. Through her, the Brotherhood owes its existence. She is the sun around which the world revolves. In every other book except the last, she has provided the solution to every hairy problem that arose. Her picture belongs in Wikipedia next to deux ex machina. entry In this book, the Scribe Virgin’s actions cause a reader to question the fundamental basis on your world. The questions, unfortunately, cause an unraveling of the mythology until the series is stripped bare and all the leathers and “yo, bro” can’t save this one.

It’s clear from this book that there is no reliability in your world building. The world can be reshaped in each book, from moment to moment to fit the story that you wish to tell. If it is convenient to shrug off a previously entrenched part of the mythology, then its gone. If you need to contradict the existing canon to establish a convenient outcome, then it is done. If a character trait that is developed and maintained for previous books doesn’t fit with the story, that’s shrugged off. Not only are the narrators then unreliable, but the entire basis of the world is made to be unreliable. The result is a total lack of tension or conflict. Any conflict that is manufactured can be easily resolved by simply removing the conflicting element, even if it contradicts the previously established world rules.

It’s no wonder that the homoerotic overtones of the book get so much play. The relationship between the brothers is the most authentic connections in the book. Without the worldbuilding, you still have a core of men who’ve relied upon each other to be the port in the the storm, emotionally if not physically. Butch and Vishous’ relationship rang true unlike most every other element of the book. The building of the bond between the men, Butch and Vishous, Phury and Zhadist, John and his young compadres, are really what make the book. I think that these relationships would be as interesting without the superlatives that are added by the paranormal aspect. In fact, I found the physical description of the Brotherhood in this book to be almost grotesque.

Inside were a pair of brand-new distressed jeans, a fleece the size of a sleeping bag, an XXXL T-shirt, and a pair of size-fourteen Nike Air Shox in a shiny new box.

Did I care for the ending? I guess not but mostly because I felt like to get from Point A to Point C, you trampled over Point A, erased Point B and said “ta da” at the end. The magic act just didn’t work for me this time. I guess in some ways I should thank you. I’ve broken my habit. Phury who? C-.

Best regards


I’ve heard this book is everywhere. BAMM, Wal-Mart, etc. Go forth, buy, disagree with me.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. jmc
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 07:12:01

    I've heard this book is everywhere. BAMM, Wal-Mart, etc. Go forth, buy, disagree with me.

    Jane, you’re an evil woman. I hadn’t planned on looking for this book until next week, but now I have to stop at a series of bookstores on the way home tonight to get this book-crack.

  2. sula
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 07:16:58

    And thus it begins…

    Ok, I’ll weigh in as a reader who, while not completely satisfied with the latest installment, did not have quite the negative reaction that you did. Possibly it’s the crack addiction speaking and not my rational self. :) But overall, I still enjoyed my time in the BDB world. I liked that Ward worked out the relationship between Butch and V. Whether or not it was a concession to different “camps” of readers, so to speak, I dunno. But I was happy that rather than just ignoring the teasing hints she had raised in LR, she went ahead and followed through. My take on V is that his relationship with Butch was his first tentative foray into any kind of close emotional relationship with another person. As I’ve said elsewhere, I got the impression that allowing himself to trust Butch and introducing that element of vulnerability was sort of a “gateway drug” to his being emotionally ready for a relationship with Jane. Whether or not Ward makes this believable…obviously that will be up to the individual reader. It did work for me. I liked Jane, or at least what little we got to see of her. Particularly, I liked her smart-ass verbal interactions with V. It’s a shame that they were given so little air-time in the book. Definitely, if I have one major complaint with LU, it is that I felt the romance between V and Jane was short-changed. While I’m happy to know what’s going on with JM, Phury, Z, et al, I also want to spend time with the brother whose “story” is ostensibly being told. V is such an interesting character, I don’t know why we couldn’t have had more of him.

    As for the ending, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. As I said in the HEA thread, for now I’m ok with it. At least the h/h are together. It’s a paranormal, so I suppose I have to be open to the idea that the author may think outside the box. I do agree that the way it came about seemed totally random and sorta thrown in for effect. And while I did not miss the lessor POV (which I always skimmed/skipped anyways), there was a bit of a glaring silence left by their absence. I wonder if that will change in the next book.

    When I got ahold of LU, I read it in the space of a few hours, so I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I feel. I’m rereading it now and finding things that I like more than I thought on the first time through and vise versa. I think my grade for this book would fall around B-. I’ll still be in line for the next one because I’m emotionally invested in the characters.

  3. Jennifer Estep
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 07:37:57

    Interesting review. I’ve only read through Lover Eternal, so I’ve only seen glimpses of the Butch and V relationship so far.

    I actually like getting the lesser POV. To me, it makes them more menacing and more of a real threat to the BDB.

    Jane, given how you felt about this book, would you, as a reader, buy the next one in hardcover? Why or why not?

  4. Ann Bruce
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 08:17:52

    So, if the Casper solution works for V and Jane, why wasn’t it used for Tohr and Wellsie? That just smacks of inconsistent world building.

    And, frankly, I never cared for the SV. She’s very twisted. The whole, you-must-be-punished-to-be-cleansed thing creeps me out, and I’m Roman Catholic! (Or maybe it’s because I’m Roman Catholic.)

    Inside were a pair of brand-new distressed jeans, a fleece the size of a sleeping bag, an XXXL T-shirt, and a pair of size-fourteen Nike Air Shox in a shiny new box.

    Have they been hitting the steroids? Are they able to bend down and tie their own shoelaces? Do they have to walk sideways through doorways?

    But with all that said, will I get the Phury book? Yes, but not in HC. I still find the unintentional comedic moments worth it (e.g. the guys calling each other “my brother”; the horribly outdated rap; the cars that rolled off of “Pimp My Ride”; etc.) I’ll evaluate a library copy before adding the paperback to my bookshelf.

  5. sherry thomas
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 08:23:19

    I read Dark Lover cover to cover. Read Only Z and Bella parts in Lover Awakened. So I had no idea that the relationship b/t Butch and V had developed to that extent. Wow. No wonder I keep reading reader comments elsewhere that Ward should have written them as a pair.

    Are there any hot B/V fanfics to be found? :-P

  6. sula
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 08:33:44

    So, if the Casper solution works for V and Jane, why wasn't it used for Tohr and Wellsie? That just smacks of inconsistent world building.

    Well, to be fair, we don’t know that she won’t use this solution for Tohr and Wellsie. The end of that story has yet to be told. Perhaps she’s building in a way to give them an HEA too. ;)

  7. Jane
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 08:33:55

    JMC – can’t wait to see what you think of it.

    Jennifer Estep – No and the reason why is that a person buys a hardcover because they JUST CAN’T WAIT until the paperback comes out or the library copy. And, at this point, the BDB series is so formulaic to me. I can predict what is going to happen next, to some degree, and there is no tension left. I’m a bit tired of the sameness of the heroes too. They are all (except for the King and first book) angst ridden to the nth degree. I understand that she patterns her writing of the BDB after Suzanne Brockmann but Brockmann really only had one character or two characters who were angst ridden. Her palate of characters varied widely. I don’t think Ward varies her characters enough at this point to keep me interested.


    sula – I just could not get past the convenience aspect. As Ann Bruce suggested below, the ending threw a whole bunch of world building problems into sharp relief. If Jane can come back, why not Wellsie? Why not Darius? Death becomes meaningless. Give up a few birds and then ultimately get them back? If she is responsible for the existence of the BDB, then her power is suggestive of something monumental. If she has to “bargain” with another entity for some future for Jane and V, then who is that and how does it fit into the world.

    The question that surrounded the book before its release was how is Ward going to deal with the human/vampire issue. There was a boundary, a conflict that was set up in previous books that made a reader anticipatory of what could happen in the future. Now, it seems that those pre-established boundaries are merely contrivances that can discarded for the sake of the plot.

    Further, where is the battle against Omega? Why is that just tossed aside?

    There are too many world building/plot holes for me to keep interested in the series.

    Ann Bruce – I think that the SV thing has lost any teeth. I mean, if she were really the god like being Ward has described for her, how could she have gotten it so wrong – placing V in the hands of his father (or choosing so badly – a very human thing to do of course). Once she realized a mistake had been made, why no intervention? Why not give up the birds at that time? Or whatever sacrifice that had to be made. It just made no sense to me.


  8. Jane
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 08:50:36


    Part of the problem with Jane as a ghost is that it is so tacked on. I mean, there isn’t any development of the ghost like apparitions in this world. She must think hard and then she has corporeal form? Like if, for one minute, her mind wanders, she can’t perform her medical studies; one minute V and her are getting it on and the next V’s plowing the sheets? The whole Caspar thing, as Ann likes to call it, seems like it has no thought put it into.


  9. Lucy Christie
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 08:56:43

    I will buy the book when I see it (and probably enjoy some of it…) – if only to cure myself of the addiction!

  10. Kristen
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 08:59:44

    I won’t buy the book, but I will borrow it and read it. Or try to read it. After this review, I’m not so sure.

  11. Mrs Giggles
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 09:32:30

    I suspect that there are B/V fanfictions out there that will be much more interesting than the actual book.

  12. sula
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 09:43:09

    I suspect that there are B/V fanfictions out there that will be much more interesting than the actual book.

    MrsG, I suspect that they would make a great addition to your Trixy Lion line. Heck, I’d buy that book. ;)

  13. Ann Bruce
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 10:02:02

    The battle between the Omega and the SC smacks of sibling rivalry, and I wonder when their mommy and daddy will show up, break up the fight, and send them to their respective corners. That’s the impression I was left with at the end of LR.

  14. Beth
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 10:15:43

    There will be no fanfic if Ward’s lawyers have their say (which they have done so far). It is NOT allowed.

    On the other hand, it is ok to parody (protected by the 1st amendment as Jerry Falwell discovered to his chagrin) and this book is asking for that.

  15. Karen Scott
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 10:40:50

    I did wonder how Ward would reconcile the fact that V had feelings for Butch, given that it pointed to him being gay. I think you’re right about the concessions to her fans by the way. It sounds like she’s written this book with her fans perched on her shoulder, telling her what to write.

    I think I’ll wait ’til it comes out in paperback.

  16. LesleyW
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 11:37:15

    Karen – it is out in paperback. :)

    My feelings on this are difficult at the moment – I haven’t got my hands on a copy of the book yet.

    But I hate the Casper thing and am glad I know it’s coming.

  17. CJ
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 13:28:58





    Well, I, too, will be reading this book, but I’m glad to know all of this! So interesting! One thing to remember is the the SV does have a history of bringing back the dead, I mean, Isn’t John Thomas (is that the kid’s name?) Isn’t he Darius back from the dead, too? Could a case be made that the Tohr-Wellsie story isn’t over? But I haven’t read it, so we’ll see. At any rate, it seems the casper solution would also ruin their bondage fun, which I thought was coming in this book. Hopefully they have gotten over it by the time she’s Casperfied.

    Ann–Speaking of the comedic inter-brother banter, my husband read the first book (long story why) but anyway, he could not believe the author had guys saying “get off my dick” to each other. Since then, that has become a favorite phrase of ours when one of us is being a jerk to the other. Get off my dick, man!

  18. Janine
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 13:31:29

    I believe his name is John Matthew. John Thomas is a name for something else, LOL.

  19. M.
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 14:44:14

    I did find that there was too much going on in this book. I was expecting the love story to be the main storyline, like with the other books in the series, however, that was not the case. I would say less than 2/3 of the book is about the love story. As to the untraditional HEA, yeah, not my favorite sort, but it still is a HEA of sorts.

    As I was telling my sister (who is also a fan) as we were talking about the book, with long series that hook readers the way this series has, it is bound to happen that we will find a few of the stories to be “not as good as” some others in the same series. In my personal experience, I’ve had that happen with Anne Rice, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Karen Marie Moning, Christine Feehan, Sandra Hill and several others. Another problem is that the characters sometimes become “interchangeable”… so much alike one to the other that it makes no difference. That is very common.

    Either way, I’ll be coming back for more. I did enjoy what there was of romance, I did enjoy reading more about my favorite character in the whole series, John. I’ll just not consider this title among my favorites in the series, that’s all.

  20. Keishon
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 18:54:42

    I’m not reading it.

  21. Ann Bruce
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 20:21:19

    Since then, that has become a favorite phrase of ours when one of us is being a jerk to the other. Get off my dick, man!


    Oh, man. I totally forgot about this. Now I’ll be flipping through DL to refresh my memory.

    Hmm, I wonder if I’ll ever get the BF to read a romance novel. He always looks askance at the covers of the books on my bookshelf and shakes his head.

  22. Anne H
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 20:21:35

    Phury’s book will be in hardcover? I thought Ward’s books will start coming out in hardcover after Phury’s book. I was thinking of reading this series till Phury’s story as the other character’s does not really interest me at all, but if it comes out in hardcover, I will definitely not buy it. Or I could wait for the paperback, w/c will be longer and by then I would probably be not that interested at all.

  23. Kat
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 20:24:59

    I’m reading it now. Will be back when I’m done. It’s working for me so far, but I’m not that far into it yet.

  24. M.
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 21:36:59

    From what I’ve seen in Amazon and B & N Phury’s is coming out in paperback. Don’t know how reliable that info is, but I checked earlier today.

  25. CourtneyCarroll
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 21:58:59

    Yes, Phury is definitely coming out in paperback. The hardbacks begin with Rehv tentatively scheduled to come out in January 2009.

    As for LU, I completely agree with this review which saddens me in so many ways. I am a shameless JR/BDB fangirl and wait for every book with bated breath. I had never anticipated a book the way I had LU especially after LR, and what we got with Jane and V was really insufficient. The fact that JR killed Jane and then turned her into a ghost was so unexpected and unnecessary that I remain surprised her editor let her get away with it. I’ll take a controversial plot twist if it moves the story in a necessary way, but I feel that J.R. did this for dramatic purposes. I’m sure all J.R. will say when asked (if asked) is that she writes what the brothers tell her and has no control over the storylines, but I feel like she really short-changed both of them in LU.

    I loved the fact that JR answered all the questions about V/Butch in LU, but like this review, I thought she really cheapened V’s feelings by having him magically fall immediately in love with Jane on the heels of his confession to Butch about wanting to make love with him. The beginning of the book makes it clear that V is physically and emotionally pining for Butch.

    I thought overall the book seemed disjointed which is unusual for J.R. Don’t get me wrong-I read the book in one sitting, but a lot fo what happened didn’t work IMO.

  26. Cali
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 22:00:32

    Phury’s book will be in paperback. Rehvenge’s (after Phury’s) will be the first book in hardcover. I only hope that the quality of the books won’t decline after the change to hardcover, but from my experience this seem to happen alot. Hopefully, JR won’t tame Rehv too much – I like him in all his bad-boy glory.

    I’m still interested in reading this book, but more for the secondary stories than for the main couple, which for a romance novel I’m not sure is a good thing.

    My interest in the BDB is coming to an end. Not because of this book, but, like most series there comes a point where it doesn’t resemble the books your fell in love with. I will probably buy Phury and Revh books (Rehv is my favourite after all), but after that it’s of to the library for me.

  27. dionne galace
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 22:09:43

    I guess my feeling was “who cares” but at least make it believable that Vishous could fall out of love with Butch and in love with Jane at the drop of a hat.

    Aw, V’s on a rebound. It won’t last.

    also, ha-ha… VINDICATION!

    *rubbing hands*

    Bam cannot wait to get her copy.

  28. dionne galace
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 22:12:25


    Get off my dick, man!

    It is also a favorite of mine. Whenever I say it, my boyfriend just looks at me and says, “Can you not say it out loud? People will think we’re playing The Crying Game or something.” Pause. “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

  29. Anne H
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 23:47:22

    ~The fact that JR killed Jane and then turned her into a ghost was so unexpected and unnecessary that I remain surprised her editor let her get away with it.~

    I think that is a problem when a vampire falls in love with a human because it is difficult to give them a HEA ending since the lifespan of a human vs a vampire is different. There is the Rhage/Mary resolution or the Butch/Marissa way, but if she does it with Jane/V, I don’t think alot of people would be happy about it. I wouldn’t either. So she has to find another alternative. But since the vampire/paranormal is a largely unexplored world, I guess she could always experiment with whatever ending comes to her imaginative mind.

    ~I loved the fact that JR answered all the questions about V/Butch in LU, but like this review, I thought she really cheapened V's feelings by having him magically fall immediately in love with Jane on the heels of his confession to Butch about wanting to make love with him.~

    Where did you read this interview?

  30. Dance Chica
    Sep 19, 2007 @ 23:48:18

    Lover Awakened cured me of my addiction to the BDB series, thank the Scribe Virgin…LOL. This book sounds like a train wreck.

  31. eggs
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 00:21:13

    Didn’t Sherrilyn Kenyon end one of the Dark Hunters books with this same casper thing? I seem to recall one of her heroines dying and going to live in Acheron’s house with her lover (forgot name) and everyone there could see/touch/screw her like she was still “real”. The ending sucked in that book and it sucks even harder as a retread.


  32. Alexandra
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 01:11:11

    Here’s how cured I was:


    In whichever book she killed Wellsie, I snapped. I donated all the Brotherhood books and returned that particular book, since I could still get my money back on that one. I don’t care if she brings Wellsie back–that was the ultimate Romance betrayal and I am not going to get started in that series again.


  33. LesleyW
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 01:25:01

    Didn't Sherrilyn Kenyon end one of the Dark Hunters books with this same casper thing? I seem to recall one of her heroines dying and going to live in Acheron's house with her lover (forgot name) and everyone there could see/touch/screw her like she was still “real”. The ending sucked in that book and it sucks even harder as a retread.

    Alexion and Danger. Whatever happened to them, they seem to have completely disappeared from the series

  34. LesleyW
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 01:31:03

    I think that is a problem when a vampire falls in love with a human because it is difficult to give them a HEA ending since the lifespan of a human vs a vampire is different. There is the Rhage/Mary resolution or the Butch/Marissa way, but if she does it with Jane/V, I don't think alot of people would be happy about it. I wouldn't either. So she has to find another alternative.

    She could have let Jane remain human. I think this is the harder path to take. Much harder than trying to appease everyone by giving V and Jane a HEA. Sometimes you don’t get HEA you just get HFN.

    Or if she wanted the drama of killing Jane. Either early in LU or in LR. A female vampire could have been left in a brain dead coma. And Jane could have taken over her body. LOL – my fingers are still crossed on that one.

    Probably a fluke but both human females who’ve ended up mated to Brothers are effectively sterile.

  35. M.
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 05:44:46

    There are some spoilers in this post about a Sherrilyn Kenyon book, so don’t read if you have not read Sins of the Night:

    Alexion was NOT a Dark Hunter. She was. His natural state is incorporeal and he had to go back to Acheron’s. Danger was given the option, if memory serves. The ending in this one was a HEA.

  36. Cali
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 06:47:16

    I’m not someone who see Ho!Yay in every male/male relationship, but throughout LR it was Butch and V relationship that fasinated me and kept me reading the book. I didn’t mind Marissa, but I pretty much skip all the Butch /Marissa part. I wouldn’t have mind if JR had developed Butch/V relationship further! Yeah, there will be readers who object to it, but for me as long as the relationship is well develop and rings true I don’t care if it’s m/m, m/f or f/f! Needless to say, all the spoilers about V magically moving on to Jane is very dissapointing.

  37. sula
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 08:37:09

    Ok, so while I don’t want to sound like a cheerleader for this book (cuz I obviously did have issues with it, see post #2), I am a little surprised that so many are ready to jump on the negativity bandwagon (specially those who haven’t even read it yet). Yeah, the book could’ve been a lot better, but it wasn’t THAT bad. lol.

    So V falls in love with Jane quickly. Um, last time I checked, Wrath had an instant reaction to Beth, Rhage “bonded” with Mary based on her voice, Z and Bella may have taken a bit longer but there was still some sort of immediate connection, and Butch and Marissa were heavy into puppy-love within five minutes of clapping eyes on each other. It’s not like this device hasn’t been used before in the series. In fact, it seems to be the modus operandi, so why would anyone expect something different from V’s story?

    I have no issue with V falling for Jane while still dealing with his feelings for Butch because in my experience, life’s like that sometimes. You never know what’s around the corner and there isn’t always a neat separation between your emotions. I certainly didn’t see Butch and V’s big “relationship conversations” as preludes to them gettin’ it on. In fact, it seemed that they were able to have those discussions BECAUSE V was in the process of moving on and establishing a connection with Jane.

    To be honest, I don’t really wear my “romance” cap when I go to read a BDB book because quite frankly, I’m not convinced that they are romance novels. I also don’t read a lot of paranormals, so I’m no expert on world-building etiquette. I do know that I still find myself entertained by the characters in the BDB world even when I disagree with some of the author’s plot choices. So yeah, book could’ve been better but I’ll still be reading the next one. And in the meantime, I’ll go back and read by first and still-favorite of the bunch, Lover Eternal. :)

  38. Mrs Giggles
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 09:05:54

    Sci-fi and fantasy are not unknown to have gay lead characters, so I can’t help thinking that the author have missed an opportunity of sorts to create a love story for B/V. Personally I would like to read it because I find this author’s female characters simply terrible compared to her male characters, so a Brotherhood book with no annoying females in the spotlight may be interesting for a change.

  39. Cali
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 09:15:00

    Sci-fi and fantasy are not unknown to have gay lead characters, so I can't help thinking that the author have missed an opportunity of sorts to create a love story for B/V. Personally I would like to read it because I find this author's female characters simply terrible compared to her male characters, so a Brotherhood book with no annoying females in the spotlight may be interesting for a change.

    Perhaps this is why JR didn’t develop it further. IMO, Ward seems to really like Butch/V pairing, but probably know that too many readers will object to it. I certainly have seen on various forums the displeasure some readers have expressed over the mere suggestion of any homoerotic love betwee B/V. By the way MrsGiggle, will you be reviewing any book of this series? I love reading your reviews – always get a good laugh from them.

  40. Beth
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 10:33:49

    So V falls in love with Jane quickly. … It's not like this device hasn't been used before in the series. In fact, it seems to be the modus operandi, so why would anyone expect something different from V's story?

    The difference for me is that in V’s case I did not buy it. Why? Because of his tortured past, his history of “perverted” relationships with women, and, because his feelings for Butch were so new, so raw, and still so unexplored.

    I’m sorry, but compared to books 1-4, this is a let down.

  41. Willa
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 11:25:16

    For me it is all about believing – and I just didn’t believe in V & Jane’s relationship. V’s affections for Butch were so quickly transferred to Jane that I almost got whiplash! I just didn’t ‘feel’ the love between them. Their story definately suffered from all the air time the secondary characters got.

    As for the ending – I just can’t square the events that happened with what has gone before. So, yes I was dissapointed. And I missed the Lessers! :D

  42. M.
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 12:04:40

    In my case, it was a matter of expectations. I was expecting something with a very strong romance element, like in the previous books, in which the love stories took center stage. This time we have a love story that almost felt secondary to the other 2 running subplots (John’s ongoing story, the setting to Phury’s book). It almost felt like three separate stories all put together, don’t know if I am making sense. It just wasn’t what I was expecting. I am not going to let one book color my opinion of the series as a whole.

  43. Courtney
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 12:15:00

    Anne H: I’m not discussing any interview. I read LU last week.

  44. Kat
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 12:30:59

    I finally finished reading this book! Thanks to Jane’s review, I didn’t have very high expectations … which means I ended up really liking it. *lol*

    I wish JRW hadn’t taken V/Butch as far as she did. The first chapter was OK, but the D&M later was just too sappy. I liked that the relationship was ambiguous. I really didn’t think V felt that way about Butch. No, seriously.

    The lack of foreshadowing bugged me a lot. I think this is a weakness of JRW’s method more than anything else. There’s no reason why the devices she used couldn’t have worked if she’d laid the groundwork for them earlier in the series.

    I enjoyed the secondary characters a lot more in this book than in LA or LR. However, I still think most of their scenes belong in a different book, leaving more pages for the main characters. I was looking forward to grand, world-changing demonstrations of V’s power and visions but that never happened.

    I’ve come to realise that I enjoy the BDB mostly for shallow reasons and individual scenes within a book. And this one delivered enough of those to keep me happy. But I can certainly see why it will jump the shark for some readers.

  45. May
    Sep 20, 2007 @ 18:23:54

    It’s stuff like this that made me quit the series.

  46. sunny
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 02:47:16

    ok! i have yet to read this book but i have a thing or two or ten to say! first to this jane person who wrote the review ,if you did not like the book that’s fine everyone is entitled to there say.but i don’t think j.r. ward wrote the book with what jane wants in mind! it’s her story, her world and she can change it however she likes. i also think that she did not have the SB bring back wellsie because this god-like figure has some vast unknown plan. and duh she did bring back darius she brought him back as jhon. i guess what i am trying to say is that some of us don’t mind the super large sexy monogamous angst ridden BDB. if you find the plots stale and the story boring don’t read them anymore, but don’t ruin it for the rest of us who still like it for just what it is, a fun cool sexy story that you can get lost in for a few hours. so on behalf of the BDB fan club LIGHTEN UP!!!

  47. Cali
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 07:04:44

    It looks like someone needs to take their own advice and LIGHTEN UP. You speak as if only you are a fan of this BDB fanclub. Most of us are here because we enjoy this series and are “fans” for a lack of a better word. Of course, in you opinion we aren’t “true” fans since we dare to have and express our critical opinions instead of squeeing about how awesome the book is.

    Jane had written a very thoughful and constructive reviews detailing how certain elements of the book did not work for her. How does this equate to ruining it for you or anyone else? No where in this review did Jane says: “JR must write it like this because I say so.” The BDB is JR creation and she is free to write it whichever way she wants, that is her prerogative. Just as it’s my, Jane’s and other readers prerogative to agree/disagree, enjoy/don’t enjoy her writing choices. Not only that, but we are also free to express our disagreements.

  48. M.
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 08:18:05

    Sunny, read the book and then express your opinion. You are babbling.

  49. Leilani
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 08:40:02









    I stayed up late to finish reading LU and I’m so depressed. I absolutely HATED the ending. A ghost? A ghost?!?! How do you get a HEA with a ghost? And here I thought Mary got shortchanged when she had to give up any chance for having a baby of her own. But I have to admit her HEA is pretty great by comparison. At least she doesn’t have to concentrate to be seen.

    I also have a few questions. So who will V feed from now that he’s mated? Can he still bite Jane? Who killed the Bloodletter? I’m hoping it was V! And am I missing something…why did he crash her car?

    In any event I was enjoying the romance between Jane and V until the end. Here’s hoping things improve for these two in the next book!

  50. sunny
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 14:51:08

    if we are all free to voice are disagreements then why can’t i say how i feel without being rebuked? i did not say to jane (you can’t give your opinion) in fact i said that everyone is entitled to there say. but i also suggest that she could have said she did not like the book without tearing it to ribbons. j.r.ward probably works very hard on her books knowing that when she sends them out there she and her work will be subject to takes guts to do that! someone comes along and says this story you have put the past six years of your life into does not meet with my standards so even though i was completely addicted to it yesterday today it’ stale and boring! maybe the next book will be the best ever read maybe you still won’t like the way it worked out the point is if your going to read a story then read a story! not just for it’s parts but as a whole. be loyal to favorite author or you could miss out on somthing good.and above all try and think of they amout of time energy thought and passion that have to go into a book .take that to heart while you judge that’s all. P.S. to the person who said i was “babbling” i know this probably sounds completly preschool of me but SHUT UP!

  51. Karen Scott
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 15:00:30

    but i also suggest that she could have said she did not like the book without tearing it to ribbons. j.r.ward probably works very hard on her books knowing that when she sends them out there she and her work will be subject to takes guts to do that! someone comes along and says this story you have put the past six years of your life into does not meet with my standards so even though i was completely addicted to it yesterday today it’ stale and boring!

    You’re kidding, right?

    If not, what planet are you on where everyone’s nice and polite about how they say that something sucks great big bollocks?

  52. CourtneyCarroll
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 16:30:55

    Umm, did someone (i.e. an adult?) really just say “shut up?” That’s no way to have a respectable debate about differing views on the book especially for someone who hasn’t even read it. Furthermore, ARCs are sent out for purposes of reviews. JR can’t control the content of a review and shouldn’t. JR and her publisher put it out for public consumption and if she can’t take criticism, then she should be in a different occupation. Readers are the ones who put JR on the NYT bestseller list and we have the right to express our discontent with her work when appropriate.

    I am a shameless fangirl of JR and the BDB and while it breaks my heart to say this, I read LU and I completely agree with Jane’s review in every aspect. The romance was completely undeveloped and overshadowed multiple times by Phury, Cormia, JM, and the Chosen. I still have no idea why Jane fell in love with V or why V fell in love with Jane.
    Sunny-JR didn’t put 6 years of her life into LU. She started writing it last fall while she was finishing up Butch and finished the first draft in February. Final revisions were completed this summer.

  53. CourtneyCarroll
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 16:41:58


    If Jane’s a “ghost” and V can still bite her, I’m going to be seriously annoyed with J.R. cause that wouldn’t make any sense at all. He crashed the car because he knew he had to make it look like she had been killed by something other than a lesser. At least that was my take on it.

  54. M.
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 17:51:50

    Did someone just told me to shut up? LMAO … babblers, gotta love ’em.

  55. M.
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 17:54:15

    Oh and Jane, don’t worry. I am dropping the thread.

  56. Kat
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 20:17:31

    but i also suggest that she could have said she did not like the book without tearing it to ribbons.

    Well if she hated it that much, I don’t begrudge Jane the passionate review. Personally, I agreed with most of what Jane said, except they didn’t bother me quite so deeply. So I still enjoyed LU, but it’s not my favourite in the series. And I have to say, visiting a blog and calling the blogger “that Jane person” is … impolite. It was probably your tone that rubbed commenters the wrong way.

    The romance was completely undeveloped and overshadowed multiple times by Phury, Cormia, JM, and the Chosen.

    I still don’t understand why most of the stuff about Phury couldn’t have gone into his own book. As for JM, I liked him more in this book, but again, his story doesn’t intersect enough with the main characters’ to warrant his own POV, IMO.

  57. Angelle
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 21:01:46


    Lighten up. Jane has every right to say what she wants to without being attacked by you. Yes, you. You attacked her. Jane wasn’t attacking you or JRW. She was expressing her opinion on ONE BOOK that JRW happens to have written.

    Besides, telling people to shut up doesn’t really help your argument….

  58. Brenna
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 21:09:51

    Thank you Jane for the wonderful review. And for giving us the reasons why you didn’t like this book . I would have been befuddled if I read a review and the reviewer would have stated that she didn’t like this book without giving out a reason as to why. I’ve read alot of stories by now on how mean and fanatical some of Ward’s fangirls are if someone happens to criticize her books so that was brave of you to give the book a C-. And I’m also glad that there are readers here who can transcend their liking of the BDB series enough to say they don’t like some aspects of the book. The independent & forward thinkers and not the blind fanatical ones. Those are opinions that I really value when I try to decide whether I want to read some author’s books or not.

    I’m not that fixated on the V/B thing, so whether it could have been V/B or B/M or V/J, it would not have mattered to me as long as the story is interesting. My main concern and apprehension about reading this book is that J/V story seems to be just about 20% of the book. I love Phury (not too interested in JM), in fact his book is probably the last one that I will read on the BDB series, but this is supposed to be J/V’s book. I used to compare J R Ward’s writing vs Marsha Canham’s older books because they tend to be very imaginative, adventurous, lush and wordy. But while Canham can write a 400+ page book, even on her series or trilogies, you know that the emphasis is always on the H/H. And boy, can she spin their story from beginning to end, w/ the H/H always front and centre of the story. With Ward, I’ve come to realise that while there is so much in her writing, it is mainly because she is also trying to build up the stories of her future characters. Not so comparable then.

  59. Mary
    Sep 21, 2007 @ 22:35:34

    Jane, your review reflects exactly my feelings after I read LU. I was completely addicted to the BDB until two days ago, and LU came as a bucket of cold water.

    In addition to what you mentionned, two other aspects really bothered me. First, the fact that V didn’t feel like V. V is that very hip, incredibly briliant and emotionally remote kind of guy. In LU the hip side totally disappeared, V found himself unable to find interlligent solutions to anything, and he never fought against these unwanted and very inconvenient sudden feelings for Jane. No, he trusted her and loved her implicitely within a day of meeting her, without her having done anything to deserve it and oblitering the supposedly so strong feelings he previously had for Butch. Because V didn’t feel right, I couldn’t buy his relationship with Jane either.

    The second aspect that bugged me so much is the incredible number of inconsistencies. Before this book, you could have counted inconsistencies in the whole series on the fingers of one hand and they were minor. here there was a shipload of big ones. Who will V feed from now? Not only is Jane dead, she’s a HUMAN dead. It was such an important issue in the only other vamp-huma pairing (Rhage/Mary), you can’t simply ignore that here. When and how was the Bloodletter killed and by who? Why make Darius’s journal so important in V’s backstory, yet never have V learn it still exists? How did a bonded male so easily accept to let his female live away from him, especially before he could wire her house to the rafters? How is it that in DL, Butch knew too much after one day with the Brothers to have his memory scrubbed clean, yet Jane’s could have 2-3 days at the Mansion and after having fallen in love with a Brother? And why mention several times that Jane thought Butch looked familiar, and then never adress the question again? And the list goes on. Sorry, but I couldn’t buy the story with so many holes in it.

    So I think it’s a very, very sad day. I never thought I’d feel that way for one of Ward’s books. She said repeatedly how gruesome a process the writing of V’s book was; perhaps she couldn’t hear his “voice” like she did the other brothers, and that affected the whole book. So I still have a little hope that Phury might be back on track. Although I saw holes in Phury’s storyline as well and I’m not “feeling” his heroine very much. So…I guess we’ll see. :-(

  60. Miranda
    Sep 22, 2007 @ 01:59:44

    OK, I haven’t gotten the book yet so can’t comment for or against the things mentioned here. But I will say that whether or not I love this book, I’ll still get the next one. Every book by an author can’t be as brilliant as the one before. I don’t know about the inconsistencies, but I know JR has said in an interview that she wrote the book once & then completely rewrote it, so maybe some of the shortcomings you have noticed are due to the haste to rewrite and still meet publishing deadline. I will comment on one thing though that several of you seem to have brought up, and that is V falling in love so fast. Hadn’t this already been established as a pattern? Didn’t Wrath fall just as hard and fast, when he was presumably already “mated” and had no desire to even help Beth at all? Anyhow, maybe I’ll be back to comment more fully when I’ve read the book myself.

  61. Mary
    Sep 22, 2007 @ 14:35:24

    Miranda, about what you say on V bonding fast with Jane – I’d have thought the same as you before I read the book. It’s true all the males bonded very quickly with their shellans. But, just like Beth said it so well earlier in this thread:

    The difference for me is that in V's case I did not buy it. Why? Because of his tortured past, his history of “perverted” relationships with women, and, because his feelings for Butch were so new, so raw, and still so unexplored.

    Rhage and Butch did give in immediately to their feelings, but Rhage WANTED to finally care for just one female, and there was no reason for Butch not to want to fall in love. All the other ones, those who had the biggest emotional issues, fought against love. Wrath reacted immediately to Beth, but he still tried to convince himself he wanted nothing to do with her after her change, and would forsake the responsability of her to another male ASAP. And Z, the other one with V who avoided emotion the most, did connect instantly with Bella, but he tried to push her away at every turn, and kept thinking he was bad for her. Now we get V, who’s the most remote of them all, had the shittiest upbringing you can imagine, who’s been taught emotion was a weakness and can’t get off without the woman being tied up, and he’d fully accept his love for Jane after ONE day?? And you’ll see to what extent he trusts her. Sorry, but for me it was a total No-fricking-way. I didn’t buy it from V, and especially not the way it was written.

  62. CourtneyCarroll
    Sep 22, 2007 @ 15:22:34

    WORD, Mary. I totally agree.

    JR has always described him as remote and unfeeling AND HAVING HUGE TRUST ISSUES WITH FEMALES. Even V in chats has referenced it himself.
    But then he meets Jane and within a day he’s completely in love and unloading about his father?
    Like you said, NO FRICKIN WAY.

    You know, I read all of JR’s blogs for Butch when he was released and while she was working on LU and it’s almost like she wrote one book in her head and one book that got transferred to the page and ultimately published. She kept telling us that all of V’s “confusion” would be worked out in LU and that part of the book was V figuring out all of his relationships, but I saw none of that. One day he’s sexually and emotionally craving Butch and then the next day he’s magically in love with Jane. It doesn’t work, especially for this Brother.

    While I loved LR, actually LR was very similar. While Marissa and Butch had met and were attracted to one another in earlier books, a lot of criticism was that they immediately confessed their love for one another in LR and then JR contrived ways to keep them apart for 400+ pages. She really did the same thing here with no development of the romance at all and I fully expected there to be a lot of development-much like Z and Bella-before Jane and V would be together and V would be comfortable with her sexually and emotionally, but again, we got none of that.

    In the first three books, there was always the immediate physical attraction, but then one of the characters (Wrath, Mary, and Z) fought the attraction and eventually the attraction deepened into something more. I think in her haste to get all of these other stories in the book (Primale, Phury, Cormia, the Chosen, the SV, JM etc), she completely missed the development of the purported “main romance.”

  63. Kat
    Sep 22, 2007 @ 20:09:48

    You know, I read all of JR's blogs for Butch when he was released and while she was working on LU and it's almost like she wrote one book in her head and one book that got transferred to the page and ultimately published.

    I was just saying to a friend that I think being in the forum and reading the chat transcripts ruined the book for me a little because I was expecting stuff to be there that wasn’t and the V I read in the book bore little resemblance to the V I love on the Boards and the chats.

  64. Tamara
    Sep 22, 2007 @ 20:58:26

    I couldn’t agree more with the review and almost all of the comments save the ‘wank.'

    I won’t rehash my problems with the book. That’s been done and it’s going to turn into a beaten dead horse when the book ‘officially’ comes out on Tuesday.

    But…I have a couple of comments I’ve not seen discussed that led to my reaction to the book.

    I’m a Ward fangirl and I’m not giving up on her. I’ll just read Phury with a hand over my eyes ‘cos at this point I’ve no idea what craziness she is gonna come up with next. Her Patrick Swayze love (Jane’s Ghost and Phury’s Dirty Dancing) left me a bit giggly.

    Two things:

    The book fails to live up to her own hype. IMO, She spends too much time on her message board, channeling the brothers and trying to please all of her fans. If I had to offer her a bit of advice, it would be to take a huge step back from the fandom, cease all the brother channeling and write these characters fully without hesitation the way she’s demonstrated she *can do* in the past. I had no clue who these guys were, so the book left me feeling disoriented.

    Need an example: Fan pressure gets her to write Butch saying “And as for that whole you-being-in-love-with-me thing? It was probably more about you just caring about someone for the first time.”


    I read that on the board more than once and unless I missed her saying it, I never read it from her hand. It would be too much of a spoiler.

    Secondly, I’m getting the feeling JR Ward kicked her editor to the curb. A good editor would have tightened up her book(writing and plot) and asked the hard questions such as where are you going with this? A good editor would catch spelling errors, overused words and toned down the pop culture references a hair.

    However, the way to take me out of the world a hurry is to throw a misspelled word in the middle of a poignant scene. i.e. the Butch/Vishous “gay” talk, Page 212 if you do not believe me. Here I am, reading, my emotions are churning and WHAM like a slap of cold water, lonley jerks me out of the story. Besides just being *over* how she handled Butch and V (did she not read Suzanne Brockmann’s Hot Target?) an editor can catch those simple things, if said editor was in use. It’s another nail in the coffin.

    Ward said it was challenging for her to write and I found that emotion coming through loud and clear on the pages of V. I would have preferred she’d set it aside and write another Brother or even a short novella instead of novel that needed more work and time.

    Those are my two cents thrown into the mix.

    If it's worth anything I really thought Jane was the strongest female character she's written in the series. I couldn't root for her and V after the dissolution of his relationship with Butch..

    Ward was like Bloodletter in this book. She ‘fixed' V's character like a dog. She hollered “Get my blade” and took care of it. The series ain't ever going to be the same.

  65. HelenKay Dimon » Blog Archive » The Ward Addiction
    Sep 24, 2007 @ 13:19:11

    […] Unbound. The review of it is up at PBR right now. After writing the review, I checked out what Dear Author and others had to say about J.R. Ward’s newest. Seems some folks think Ward lost some of her […]

  66. Menage a Kat
    Sep 24, 2007 @ 20:34:11

    Lover Unbound linkage

    Reviews for Lover Unbound have been trickling in through the blogs over the last couple of weeks. Reactions are … mixed.

  67. LAmonkeygirl
    Sep 26, 2007 @ 07:06:24

    I’m done. I’m not buying another BDB book. I’m very sorry, JR Ward. I know you work very hard, but until you find a way to reconcile the rules you yourself contructed for the BDB world and the HEA that the genre demands, without resorting to parlor tricks and deus ex machina, I will read you no more.

    Honestly, you had me until the very end. I truly thought that a relationship between V and Jane (as a living human) could work, and that we would see some of the negotiation it takes to have these two species in that committed relationship. yet, for some reason which I am still attempting to understand, you felt that this was not appropriate nor, perhaps, thematic, and so presented an alternative which neither made sense nor felt satisfying.

    Further, as much as I was looking forward to Phury’s story, the selection of his heroine makes me very, very sleepy. Cormia is precisely the kind of heroine that I vowed never to read about again, not since I first began reading romance in the late ’80s.

    It is absolutely your prerogative to write as you see fit, create characters that are yours alone, and manipulate them through the plot in a manner which you feel is appropriate. Similarly, it is my prerogative to exercise my own discretion in determining who and what I shall read. And, in this light, I have determined that I will no longer read your books. I have expectations when I pick up romance novels, and, with LU, those expectations were not only not met, they were rather painfully dashed.

  68. jmc
    Sep 26, 2007 @ 07:57:52

    Color me unimpressed with Lover Unbound. While Ward kept me reading, I skimmed large chunks and was disgusted with the ending.

  69. Paula
    Sep 26, 2007 @ 12:22:36

    Hi , i haven’t read LU , but i can’t belive JR did really turn Jane into a ghost !! I know that we’re reading fiction and paranormal but that’s beyond everything i could expect ; how is they’re going to hold , kiss , make love …everything . Maybe because i haven’t read it ,i’m not into it but i can’t belive that will work !!
    As for V/B , i always thought they could have more than a friendship ( i was ok with that ), going on ; i mean they were somehow linked , bonded ; in L Revealed the SV said they were two halfes , and one completed the other , the Dark side and the Ligh . I’m really disapointed with JR and with the reviews i’ve read here , and i don’t know if i want to read this book any more ; i was anxious to read it because V was one of my favorites .
    Why do authors do this ; the same thing happend to me when i read ” Hot Target ” and Cosmo by SB ; from the beggining of the series we read about a caracter and we love everything about him and we think ….oh my , this guy has to have a great book , i can hardly wait to read it ….and them when finnaly we read is story is like we’re reading about someone else , because the hero we love it’s not the same anymore , he’s changed , but it’s not gradually like what happend with Z ( my fav till now ) . One book is one person , the nex he’s another ? As i said , i haven’t read the book , but from what i read here this thing happens with V , one page he’s the hero we always loved , then we turn the page and he’s totally different , about B , about his sex life and all is secrets , everything ?
    How could JR do this to us ? About the other stories being told in this book , i really don’t like this at all , JM never interested me , because i always thought that is reencarnation of Darius was going to be revealed somehow when we met that boy ; about P , he was never one of my fav .

  70. Lynn M
    Sep 26, 2007 @ 13:31:40

    I so completely agree with Jane’s review that it’s almost scary.

    I will be reading Phury’s book. As much as I’m frustrated with the problems with LU, this is still a world that fascinates me. As for buying Rhevenge’s story in hardback, that’s a tough one. I suppose it will rest on how I feel after reading Lover Enshrined. Thing is, when Ward is on, she’s the best. Lover Awakened is maybe my favorite romance ever. So when she let’s me down, I fall hard!

    One inconsistency that I’m having problems with is the way time passes. For example, John, Blaylock and Qhuinn are at the club and fight the lessers on one evening, that very night/day John goes through the change, and what seems like less than 24 hours later, he’s back at training with Z complimenting him on taking out the lessers the previous night. I thought going through transition would be at least a weekend-long affair, given how awful it seems to be and how much it takes out of you.

    I think this time compression further supports my disbelief in Vishous’s sudden leap into complete heterosexuality and love for Jane. In the span of a week or so, he’s madly in love with Butch and mourning Butch’s mating to Marissa and then deeply in love with Jane. I might have bought a gradual change-over, even something that happened several weeks or months after Vishous’s feelings for Butch became permanently unrequited.

    Heck, all of the books so far have taken place in a span of about nine months. What are the chances that vampires who’ve lived unmated for hundreds upon hundreds of years are ALL going to find their one-true-loves in a single year?

  71. AJ
    Sep 26, 2007 @ 19:08:47

    LAmonkeygirl, what you said, exactly. I just mindlessly read the book until the end, trying not to think too hard. Now, I’m done with the whole series.

    I did want to bring up a couple points that no one else did.

    I feel like she’s recycling the same characters. Cormia is Marissa, Phury’s turning into Zsadist. I feel that John is turning into V with all his sniveling self-pity.

    One thing that’s really bothered me the whole series is the mysogyny. The only way a woman can be strong and independent is by being manish (Hex) and even she’s just following Rehvenge. Then you have the complete absence of the female characters except Jane. Beth exists solely as an extension of Wrath. Bella’s just a manifastion of Phury’s desire. Mary’s MIA. I get that this wasn’t their book, but it wasn’t Phury’s or John’s either. I don’t even have enough words to talk about V’s sexlife.

    And was it just me or did everyone seem a little too pro-gay. I felt like at random intervals people were just announcing. Hey it’s ok to be gay. Even V thought it was ok and in Butch’s book he talked about how his dream of them intertwined is wrong, even though he’d slept with men before.

  72. Tamara
    Sep 26, 2007 @ 21:52:03

    And was it just me or did everyone seem a little too pro-gay. I felt like at random intervals people were just announcing. Hey it's ok to be gay. Even V thought it was ok and in Butch's book he talked about how his dream of them intertwined is wrong, even though he'd slept with men before.

    Word. I was trying to figure out at what point did V come out of the closet dragging Butch with him. Everyone’s gay. ZeroSum is the gay bar. It totally threw me, but like everything else I disliked in the book, the ghay was forced and contrived.

    Good points!

  73. Sue
    Sep 27, 2007 @ 08:39:27

    Jane, you wrote a very impressive book review. I totally agree with your points.

    Like others, I waited for Book 5 to come out and was disappointed with the ending. I really thought Jane could have been brought back as an exception when the Directrix plot was revealed instead of the SV doing a favour for V. I don’t understand why Jane couldn’t have been “turned” when she was dying.

    I think the epilogue in Z’s book was a bad strategy – nice to read then but now we are suffering through Bella’s pregnacy when it’s already known to be successful. Minor irritating point for me. I will read book 6 when it comes out since I’ve invested so much time in this series.

  74. Jane
    Sep 27, 2007 @ 10:08:53

    It sounds like no one is really interesed in Rhevenge’s book and I have to say that I am not terribly interested either. I thought she was setting up Xhex to be Rhevenge’s partner and to borrow JR’s verbiage, I’m not feeling that.

    Also, it really bothers me that authors implore their readers to not buy their books. It’s like, “if you really love me, you’ll do this and such” and I just don’t like it. I know lots of authors do it but I find it irksome.

  75. Kat
    Sep 27, 2007 @ 19:16:14

    I was looking forward to Rehv’s book, but since he wasn’t in LU much, my interest has waned a little. I expect him to be in LEn much more, but I hope he’ll actually be part of the main plot and not just be sequel bait.

    As for Xhex, I could be wrong, but I thought JRW said in one of her LR Q&As (either a blog or it could have been the RT forum) that Butch having Xhex would have major implications in this book. And yet there was nothing.

  76. Anne H
    Sep 27, 2007 @ 20:17:49

    Also, it really bothers me that authors implore their readers to not buy their books. It's like, “if you really love me, you'll do this and such” and I just don't like it. I know lots of authors do it but I find it irksome.

    From what I can remember, the reason stated was that there were way too many spoilers going around before the book cames out. Though I don’t really believe that. I think it has more to do with an author’s placement on the bestseller list because any sales before the street date will not be counted.

    I was looking forward to Rehv's book, but since he wasn't in LU much, my interest has waned a little. I expect him to be in LEn much more, but I hope he'll actually be part of the main plot and not just be sequel bait.

    Judging from her recent interview, she said that the “purpose” of Phury’s book will be to set up Rhevenge story. So, you will see much of Rhevenge in there and also the symphath culture will be explored. For myself, I’m not really into Rhevenge so I’m not happy with this info.

  77. Kat
    Sep 27, 2007 @ 20:27:19

    she said that the “purpose” of Phury's book will be to set up Rhevenge story

    I don’t get this approach, and it’s one of the things that’s been bugging me about the last few BDB books. Why call it “Phury’s book” if its purpose is to set up someone else’s story? In LU, for example, most of Phury’s backstory could easily have been moved to his own book. I get that this is a series, but if the story has to be split up into several books, there should be some kind of logical sense as to which bits end up in which books.

  78. Anne H
    Sep 27, 2007 @ 20:45:14


    I don’t either. But that’s what she said. Try going over to She has a 5 part interview for the countdown to LU’s release. It’s in interview 5. She also says that there will be a major shift in the series and that Qhuin’s POV wil also be featured there. Can you imagine how much space time Phury will have?

  79. freecia
    Sep 27, 2007 @ 20:59:00

    I’m looking forward to John’s story (even though he does snivel) because he has potential for growth and interesting character change. To some extent, I’m interested Rehv’s story (only some, as he’s pretty typical “me-jerk-you-jane” material). Phury’s story, I figure, is a stopgap book to collect a book advance and some additional plot development for the John/Tohr/Rehv/Manolo story line (Manolo…. Did she just stare at a shoebox?). You know, one of the intermediate books that just helps keep pace so your readers don’t forget about you and buy the book after that.

    Some of it was great but I think that the whole “I now exist solely for you, my darling” attitude was the easiest way to end the book… Perhaps a bit too easy. The page count was increasing with no other end in sight?

  80. Casee
    Oct 01, 2007 @ 11:56:21

    I read the book this weekend so I finally got to come back and read your review.

    You are right on with the review. I agree w/ almost everything you mentioned.

    This really ends my semi-obsession w/ the series. Honestly, if she do what she did with Jane, I’m sure she’ll figure out a way to bring Wellsie back. Which I think is a total cop out.

  81. Mary Casey
    Oct 13, 2007 @ 22:21:21

    I too am cured of this series. I have a problem reading romance novels where the hero admits to raping another man. And how pray tell is sex with a ghost supposed to be good? Can you just imagine using a whip on a ghost and having it go right through. JRW, I don’t know what you were thinking on this one but thanks for curing me of my BDB obsession.

  82. Anji
    Oct 13, 2007 @ 23:02:42

    I have to agree with the review and the majority of the comments. I finally read this book, and boy am I glad I didn’t buy it! I won’t be buying Phury’s story, and I’m not interested in Rehvenge’s story.

    I remember when I first discovered Dark Lover and was wowed by it. But this, this feels like the series jumped the shark, and I’m worry, but I won’t be jumping with it.

    Oh well….

  83. Dionne Galace » Blog Archive » Bam & Shuzluva on Lover Unbound
    Oct 16, 2007 @ 10:18:39

    […] us and read on, please do so. If not, feel free to skip this one (I won’t mind) and read this one, which is well-thought out and more eloquent than I could ever hope to be. Boo! Shuzluva and I have […]

  84. kasey
    Oct 21, 2007 @ 21:14:01

    I agree with M. on 9/19: In lots of series, some books just aren’t as good as others…bound to happen. Despite Unbound’s cheesy ending, and other weaknesses, it still wasn’t a deal-breaker for me.

    And with Cali on 9/20; it was Butch and V that kept me fascinated. Touch of the forbidden, who knows, but V’s attraction to Butch is more sexually compelling to me than the Jane story. I didn’t want to see them set up house together, but frankly, Jane just wasn’t that likeable. And Xhex is a big turn-off for me. Images of big butchy women cool me down a bit, although, she is an interesting character.

    I’m def waiting for the next book and buying-I don’t know how readers can buy into the absurdity of Ward’s fictions in the first books, but complain about them in the last books. If you’re going to read sci-fi romance, you’ve got to accept that you’re going to get some cheesy endings. I definitely would have liked to see Ward be a little more innovative with it, but honestly, the Casper thing, and all the other annoying aspects of the book just weren’t deal-breakers for me. I’m still addicted to the Brotherhood.

  85. Lisa
    Oct 22, 2007 @ 15:57:35

    I skimmed the last third of the comments, but just wanted to add in one point. I didn’t much care for the Casper solution either, but my problem with it is that Ward set up a much better ending that she didn’t follow up on.

    At one point V gives Jane some of his blood and he says that they’re not supposed to do it — and that it might make her live longer. So there you go, she didn’t need to go all Casper. She might not have lived as long as V, but they would have had a very long time together and that would have been a HEA-enough for me.

  86. Kathy
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 13:28:32

    I am compelled to add my comments to this forum. I came late to this series of books, having picked up Lover Unbound (LU) and luckily discovering that there were four books preceding that I should perhaps read first. I am so glad I did, because if I had started with LU I would have stopped there and never gone back, and would have missed a lot of fun. This book left me feeling cheated. I found all the previous books fun and addicting, creating a world that I could lose myself in; believing in the Vampire Society in NY; empathizing with the characters; and in short just loving being lost in the books. LU lost me, and based upon where it left me, I'm not sure if I'm looking forward to or dreading the next release.


    Overall, the book spent too much time prepping for the next book versus concentrating on the story at hand about Vishous and Jane. While continuity is appreciated in pulling the individual story lines through the books, and in fact I did enjoy that aspect leading to character and story development through the previous stories, it was overdone here to the detriment of the this book. In addition, the total background of the Lesser War was seemingly pushed aside in favor of creating an advertisement and inducement to buy the next book. We lost the large story arc which is the raison d'etre for our main characters.

    I'll comment first on my biggest disappointment in this book, and that is the treatment of the main characters, Vishous and Jane. Vishous was set up as flawed, with some serious issues with personal relationships, and I appreciated the background info that was included to help understand him and his issues. He made me uncomfortable, with both his relationship with Butch, and his sexual life in general. But that made him real, and given his background I felt empathy. The total speedy abandonment of this aspect of his personality just lost me and didn't ring true. It would have been better and more courageous to have kept him flawed and struggling with his relationship with both Butch and Jane. On Jane, her abandonment of her career, so quickly, was totally unexpected, stretching the credibility of the reader given the information provided on her background and dedication to her career. The book could have provided more of the struggle to reconcile their two lives and natures, and then stayed true to the basic story line which had been previously outlined. And lastly, making Jane a non-corporeal entity (or whatever) was a total cop out. This was the last straw for me.

    In summary, I would have preferred a book that included the struggle to work through and overcome the character's flaws and issues, and not a book which sprinkled fairy dust and to make them magically go away in the midst of advertising the next book (or two), especially when so much time was spent building the back story. And to add insult to injury, I'm not liking where the next story seems to be going based upon what I've seen so far, so I'm not even looking forward to its release. And if the same formula is followed as was in LU, I'll not be following the Brother's adventures further.

  87. Jane
    Nov 28, 2007 @ 13:32:19

    Her previous books were better, in my opinion, and your complaints are really well articulated. If you read Phury’s book, you’ll have to let us know how you feel.

  88. Kathy
    Nov 29, 2007 @ 04:23:36

    I’d be happy to provide my opinion on the next installment (Lover Enshrined if I remember correctly) when it’s released; and i’m picking up the gauntlet thrown today to read Midnight Awakening and see how it compares to the BDB series. I am looking forward to reading a new author and discovering hidden gold!

    In addition, i’d like to thank you for an excellent forum – now that i’ve found ya’ll, i’ll be back frequently.

  89. Jackie
    Dec 03, 2007 @ 14:16:38

    I have read and re-read some parts of Lover Unbound and I am still a fan. It was very different from her other books but I still enjoyed it. I’m not real sure about the ghost thing but I can see how she wanted to do something different from the other humans (Mary and Butch). I have to admit the parts with Butch and Vishous were the best for me. I thought they were tender, funny, and sexy. You could really feel the emtions between them. The SV was totally blown for me, I liked her a little until them, now I think she is more like the Omega. The heroine for the next book has got to get better, what a mouse. She is the reason I don’t care for the traditional romance novels any more. I did like the new troika JM, Quhnn, and Blay. I hope to see much more of them to come. I’m not sure who will be after Phury but I will probably still buy it. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.

  90. amy
    Dec 18, 2007 @ 02:54:31

    This book is the one I will not be re-reading. I don’t like the ending at all. It reminds me too much of the way i felt after waiting all summer to find out who shot J.R on Dallas all those years ago. It was an easy out, a dream. It’s much harder to actually have to construct a believable ongoing relationship. My favorite book so far has been lover awakened. I found the story to be most touching. I was looking forward to a little more wickedness from Vishous than I feel I got, though.

  91. Aunt Clara
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 09:19:20

    Dear ladies, Reading the discussions is almost as much fun as reading the books. What a dynamic group! Thoughts and ideas fly around like bats at twilight. Keep it up!Aunt Clara

  92. Kristie
    Jan 07, 2008 @ 21:39:34

    I truly love the Brotherhood. I read all five books in one week. Addicted? Yes. Through the series of books, Vishous was my favorite character. I saw him as extremely intelligent, sexy ass hell, smart-ass, sensitive yet tough, loyal kick-ass vamp. I was sooooo excited when I got to his book only to be disappointed in the end. The only way I got through it was because it was about V. The V longing for Butch didn’t bother me at all, but I feel Jane’s character was really well, dull. There was no real story involving the Omega or lessers and it had way too much about Phury and John. Yeah, yeah I know she always sets up for the next book, but the ending was horrible I don’t know if I can read another one. I feel cheated. Ripped off and it has been bothering me for the last two days. Vishous was cheated! I feel after all the crap that he went through, why didn’t he get the great ending that he deserves. To me a ghost or or spirit is just a stupid way to end a book. So thanks J.R. Ward for making me really mad at you for ruining my favorite vamp story. Poo on you.

  93. Debby Martin
    Jan 15, 2008 @ 16:42:30

    JR Ward. I don’t know if you read these comments, but I’ll post one anyway. I was so disappointed in Lover Unbound. It actually gave me the creeps. It just didn’t follow the rest of your books (which I have read 3 times already).I think Dr. Jane Whitcomb needs to be re-established in human form. I have read many of the comments of people disappointed as I was. I hope your next book gets back on track. The Lessers are creepy enough to give an edge. I seriously doubt I’ll re-read Lover Unbound. DM, Anchorage, Ak

  94. Kris
    Feb 04, 2008 @ 14:44:20

    Tamara, you mentioned the part about the misspelling being on the fault of Ward, so I just wanted to point out that editors don’t always catch everything. Once in a while something is missed, because they are, after all, human. Also, the acquisitions editor should have brought up the hard questions, but she’s not required to handle grammar and spelling. A copyeditor handles that. And even after that, the manuscript gets retyped by a typesetter, who also occasionally makes mistakes. I catch them all the time in published books. :)

    *The rest of the comment contains some spoilers.*

    Publishing lesson aside, I found this one was not my favorite book in the series. I’m a huge fan of the books, so saying it hurts my heart, but yes, this one could have been better. I didn’t actually take the time to itemize the problems in my head, but it was a feeling that the story was lacking–in quantity and in substance. I adore the subplots immensely, and some of them were necessary to move the story forward and to set up the next book, but others could probably have waited or been cut altogether.

    Although, for such a fast-moving series plot, I’m sure it’s been difficult for her to get everything in without at least one of the books suffering.

    So said, I didn’t totally dislike this book. While I wasn’t completely happy with the ending and the way Vishous and Jane were able to stay together in the end (it reeked a bit of “dead heroine”), I thought the twist was necessary to keep them together for any length of time. She could have revisited her other solutions, but that would have been dull. Butch got to be a vamp, Mary got to be immortal, Darius got to be reincarnated, and I’m not entirely of the opinion that Wellsie is gone for good, either.

    Personally, I loved the insight into the SV and thought her relationship to Vishous was an amazing twist. Did anyone else catch the allusion to the SV being God’s daughter? I can’t wait to see if more will be said about that.

    Overall, I liked the book okay, and the fact that it wasn’t as good as the rest doesn’t mean I’m going to quit the series entirely. So far we see that Rehv, Manny, and possibly JM are going to have their own books as well, and I’m hoping she’ll still bring in more characters for the BDB, because you can see that their ranks are very low. And as Phury is going to obviously be a flunkie as a primale (I think), that means the position will still be open–who’s gonna handle that? She left a lot of plots open for huge developments, and I can’t wait to read them.

  95. Jenna
    Feb 09, 2008 @ 16:06:17

    Okay, so I am SO addicted to these books its scary. But I felt really ripped off by the entire Jane V romance.

    The best part of the enitr series for me WAS the interaction between Butch and V. It was so engrossing, emotional and sexually enthralling that the sudden Bucket of Cold Water that was Dr Jane just didnt ring true.There was no sexual tension. There was no emtional crisis. IT was so dissapointing to suddenly see V fall out of love with B in the blink of an eye.

    I still love these books and will buy evey single one she writes. But my heart was broken just a little when the B/V thing went cold.

  96. Miranda
    Feb 28, 2008 @ 03:25:10

    I had almost forgotten about this thread till I found it in my bookmarks, so wanted to come back with my comments after reading the book. Sadly, I agree with many of the criticisms. I didn’t even see much to like in Jane, except that she is a good doctor. But I’ll still read Phury’s book and hope for the best, and most likely read Rhev’s book as well. If the next 2 are clunkers, though, well….there are lots of other authors out there to read.

  97. Randi
    Mar 04, 2008 @ 12:52:16

    I have not read a Black Dagger Brotherhood book that I didn’t like. The best one I have read was the first book. Even tho the relationship between V and Butch struck me as alittle odd I still couldn’t put the book down. I can’t wait to read more books from JR Ward. Keep up the great work.

  98. Grandmahma
    Mar 19, 2008 @ 20:22:02

    I think some of you are missing JR’s point in V’s book. Unfortunately you had to have read her previous books to understand B/V attraction and why/how it ended. If it truly has. I can totally see all 4 of them in bed and enjoying every minute. Both B/V are tortured souls with a similar past-violent fathers and absent mothers. Both are desperately trying to fit into their worlds, but realize that their differences make it nearly impossible for each to feel comfortable with their own kind. B/V link with baseball and a bond is formed. They each had a longing for someone to share their painful lives. Butch had to have a creature that was both gentile, but wouldn’t take his crap and wouldn’t be afraid to put him in his place if need be. In Jane V found a kindred ‘brain’ spirit, along with the tortous father and eyes closed mother. I’m looking forward to future BDB books because I know JR will add more of V/Jane as well as the other characters to the mix. I love how she can blend and weave so many complex storylines into one. And as for absent lesses, that’s what made the deviousness of the directorex so supprising and traitorous. The characters are always concentrating on the lessers, that they would never suspect a hit coming from one of their own. Shades of Havers in DL.

  99. Vip
    Apr 05, 2008 @ 13:02:54

    I ran into the BDB series by chance. I was going to vote for my current author at the time in the Best Romance Category. While going through the list to get to my author, I saw the whole bunch of voters choosing “Lover Revealed”. I looked at the review and see “vampire”. Hah, nobody could pay me to read anything more about any vampires! Later, I learned that “Lover Revealed” did win the Best Romance for that year. Summer came with no schoolwork to worry me, I decided to check “Lover Revealed” out from the library. At the first reading, I still didn't get it. But I was interested, just a little. So I returned the book and check out “Dark Lover” & “Lover Awaken”. That was it for me. I'm hooked! Thanks to Z and Wrath! I returned the books to the library and bought the whole first 4 titles. Now the real reading began.

    I am mesmerized by the whole world J.R Ward has created. I have never read anything like that. I, who owned hundreds of books in two languages, haven't come across any other authors as imaginative and talented as J. R. Ward. Having said that, I have to admit that I was so disappointed by the ending of “Lover Unbound” at my first reading. V didn't deserve to be left with a ghost. Then I began my second, third, fourth, and so on reading. And I got it. I'd have liked a better turn out for V and Jane. However, you wouldn't expect to like any heroine better than you do the Brothers, would you? No females are ever going to match up to them. Still, I think Jane was actually a great match for V. Who else but a brilliant heart surgeon would stand toe to toe with V and win him over, just like Butch would. Jane had already held his physical heart in her palm to make it whole again. At the end, his very cursed right hand was the way he could hold her. I find it so smart of J.R. Ward to clearly state that point.

    So I love LU as much as I do the other four stories.
    I read through all other reviews and I respect all the passionate opinions expressed. I even checked out the songs (Nickleback's Far Away & Seether featuring Amy Lee's Broken) recommended by one reviewer as suitable for V's story. And I love the songs! Thanks, everyone! I'm glad we are in the BDB's world together. I'll keep on reading and buying the coming stories of the other Brothers and the lone Female Brother (Payne).

  100. j.d. montgomery
    Apr 10, 2008 @ 11:10:45

    Just a comment on the review and subsequent chatter: The reason the relationship with Butch and V could not work is that Butch is hetero by nature and not just by choice…V is rather a bi-kinda guy and is a dominant by nature…if sex had ended in the mix it would have complicated the friendship (and in real life would have ended the friendship) with too much angst on Butch’s part because he likes women and cannot return the kind of love V would have wanted, plus the cop probably would not have put himself on the table to be a love slave to a male sexual dominant ..the author did explain all this in the book…s/m is always a hard read for most romantics, so lighten up on the author whose BDB books are known for their edgy feel, action scenes and a certain delving into areas of close friendship…I admire the author’s technique — I think her novels are smart, gutsy and gritty. I liked LU and intend to read more…

  101. Lauren
    Apr 12, 2008 @ 00:49:11

    I agree with J.D. It was also clearly explained that V is the Light to B’s dark. They depend on each other and have a bond beyond normal friends. That does not make them homosexuals. It was always clear from the beginning that Butch is Hetero. V walks on a different edge , more Bi- not gay. They have a strong bond that was confusing to V as well but he was more open to it because of his nature. I loved the book because she always brings all of the characters back and keeps the complex story lines unfolding. I am still a fan and will definately be picking up the next book.

  102. REVIEW: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Jun 02, 2008 @ 04:01:08

    […] 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 […]

  103. Lily
    Jun 07, 2008 @ 06:29:14

    To add my two cents to the discussion, even though it’s probably long been over with (I don’t know, I didn’t have the attention span to read through all the comments) it seems to me that JR is very influenced by her fans. Not to be critical, even though it’ll probably come out that way, I think her forum, while it is a lovely idea, is ultimately going to run the series. The members/fans receive way too many spoilers for the series, and though it’s lovely of JR to answer questions posed by the fans, I think it ultimately spoils the writing for JR.

    I mean…not to be mean, but I’ve been on that board, and her fans are BRUTAL. While this is America and we encourage free speech, some people on there seem to lack a certain…politeness, and are very vocal about what they think should be happening in the series. According to rumor, JR had a difficult time writing Lover Enshrined (the newest book) and even had to push back the release date because she was so disheartened by what her supposed fans were saying.

    I agree that Lover Unbound was not one of my favorite books (nor was Lover Enshrined, for that matter) due to the inconsistencies mentioned in the review. But I think JR’s trying to…create more than a simple romance storyline. At least…


    …that’s the way it seems after reading Lover Enshrined.

    On other note, I also think that the whole war between the lessers and vampires is due to sibling rivalry. I thought that in the beginning of the series, but Lover Enshrined seems to confirm it. And since that is the case, one has to wonder who is responsible for the creation of the SV and the Omega, and what their limitations are, since obviously they are not omnipresent and omnipotent. I intend to keep reading the series if only to answer these mythological questions.

    And yes, even though there are some inconsistencies, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series to see how the race changes, how the war turns out, and to answer those questions. Perhaps in the next book or so, the reason for those inconsistencies (other than shoddy workmanship) will be revealed. Maybe it was done intentionally.

    I just hope that JR learns to tune out those disgruntled fans, and stops writing what the fans want and instead focuses on what she, as an author, wants of her creation.

  104. KB Rose
    Jun 07, 2008 @ 16:13:37

    Wow, you guys are intense. I was having fun reading your comments! Actually I did note inconsisitancies throughout some of the books (and typos)as you all did-but chaulked them up to a making the story work-still LU WAS ONE OF MY FAVORITES-I thought the ghost thing was weird-but felt the point of it was the feelings the loss of J brought out in V and his relationship with the SV after she brought her back. As for lack of the lessers it would have been too much verbage with all the stuff about his past-although JR pulled this off in LR. Not a big fan of other paranormal series-but like these not bc they make sense but bc it’s a fun escape from reality…Can’t wait for Phury’s Paperback.

  105. Aerithcultice
    Jun 13, 2008 @ 11:15:08

    ***LADEN WITH SPOILERS*** (and personal viewpoints that are against Vishous/Jane)

    Well, I read Lover Unbound and that was the book that I was most looking forward to as Vishous was my favorite character. He was a badass, he was untouchable, smooth, sexy and then…seriously. What the hell happened? He was not the Vishous that was in previous books. He was weak, no smooth comments and quite honestly. He ended up with the wrong person. I really thought that Ward was stepping out of the confines of so many romance novelists with the whole V/B thing and it wasn’t just in Lover Revealed that the hints of a possible romance was there. It was always a question of: ‘will they get together?’ I actually ran upstairs when I finished Lover Revealed, hoping that Vishous would end up with someone (Oh dear, I’m going to say it…) that wasn’t a female. Please everyone, don’t faint. Sadly, even I knew that that wasn’t going to happen since Ward’s fans would throw a fit and probably boycott her books or something like that, yet…even though Vishous had had sex with women (Mentioned and seen in Lover Revealed) it never seemed like anything that he enjoyed and he even said that. In Lover Unbound he said that he really felt no attraction to men either. I must bring up the point that he wasn’t really gentle with Jane in the same manner that he was with Butch. The attraction and love that he felt for Butch was beyond just the romantic, sexual level and I am sure that everyone can agree with that. I was heartbroken when he fell out of love with Butch so quickly, I honestly didn’t believe it for a moment, it was too easy. One moment he was angsting over loving his best friend and the next it was: ‘oh hot chick in scrubs, want to bend her over the sink.’ I was reading through the comments, both here and on other board and have to laugh whenever people write that Vishous and Butch were not sexually attracted to one another, they say so right in the book and as for Butch being ‘Hetero by nature’ I really do have to call that a crock of bull. At least when it comes to Vishous. It all really boils down to this. At the end of Lover Revealed it felt like the wrong two people ended up together. Butch and Marissa never fit. As soon as I saw Jane, I just couldn’t picture her with Vishous, they never meshed and come on, seriously now. She went from wary and nervous over the whole BDSM thing to wanting to buy leather? That was cheesy as was the whole Jane turning into a ghost thing. I admit, I was hoping that Jane would stay dead and Vishous would be able to find someone that fit him better than her. Seriously, I don’t even want to read Phury’s book since he ends up with that timid, virginal, ‘never saw a man before’ woman. It’s cheesy, it’s ridiculous and please…if I see the SV one more time I am going to tear my hair out and commit myself to an insane asylum. She serves no purpose and her being Vishous’ mom? Come on, that doesn’t sound even a little like The Destroyer being Acheron’s mother? Ward, Come on! Go back to when your books were good! Stop writing for your overbearing ‘fans’ and write for yourself! Go back to Wrath’s book when things were good, step out of the box some more! Take you time to write your books, allow your fans to wait for a couple of years as you make it perfect! Don’t settle into a cardboard formula. All that does is makes your books forgettable and they used to be mesmerizing. I’ll keep reading the series only to see if she gets her spunk back but if she cops out again (especially with Rhevenge) I’m finished.

  106. A.J
    Jun 20, 2008 @ 21:37:08

    I love the BDB series. As for Vishous ending up with a man? thats complelty out of the question as in the story they are bred to be fierce lovers and I would like to believe they are fierce lovers to females. Butch and Vishous? Their relationship is based on a fact of life like yin and yang. A similar comparison was made in lover revealed and I think, the ying yang thing draws them closer as friends even though they probably were going a little further…and Vishous, as the book said, it was the first time he had actually cared about someone. Kind of like your first love that u will always have love for. I am happy with who Vishous ended up with. The match was perfect. Jane was not like all the other brothers’ females, quiet and scared… Jane was hardcore like Vishous and had the vocabulary of a trucker just like Vishous and the whole casper thing shows some level of creativity.

  107. Jessi
    Jul 23, 2008 @ 01:21:04

    Well…I am simply amazed at the pure negativity in this forum. Lover Unbound was the first book that I read in the series, and I found it to be absolutely captivating. I think that perhaps the reason that Vischous fell so hard, so fast was indeed not contrary to his questionable past, nor in contradiction to his feelings for Butch, but indeed because of these experiences. Ward has pointed out many times that the Warriors bond quickly, stedfastly, and, to some degree, the bonding is just as evolutionary as it is emotional. And how much more emotionally attached can you get with someone than these two. She literally preserved his life. Vischous’ feelings for Butch were merely his first genuine experiences of love…he naturally assoicated this with sex. Nothing too terribly difficult to comprehend there, I’m afraid. I absolutely love that the sexy, intelligent, devilish Vischous fell in love with a woman of power rather than a woman simply of empty beauty. As far as her willingness to leave behind her former life, that is indeed what we all do when we have major, life-altering experiences. I’m fairly certain I would have been just fine with being the warriors private doctor, while having no need of anything monetarily, if it also allowed me to be with the one that I held nearest and dearest. Perhaps this book did not fall quite in line with the other books of the series, but who wants to read the same book over and over again? I thoroughly enjoyed it, and cannot wait to see what direction we go in. I find Ward’s works to be well-researched, and carefully contemplated. I’m sure that there is indeed a reason for the ghosting of Jane:); possibly we simply don’t know what it is yet. I’m sorry that you almost all seem completly disapointed in this book. I absolutely adored it.

  108. Marie
    Sep 29, 2008 @ 17:58:27

    Just started reading your books and loved everyone, I have Lover Unbound on order now and can’t wait to get it.
    What is going to be the title of your next one, want to make sure I order it right away? I have never enjoyed these kind of books before until I started reading your Black Dager Brotherhood series, GOOD JOB, THEY’RE WONDERFUL!!!!!!

  109. S
    Oct 25, 2008 @ 16:21:58

    Hi everyone,
    couple of things i need to point out.

    Alot of you have pointed out the ‘casper thing’ with jane and v. And why couldn’t the scribe virgin couldn’t do all this for tohr and wellsie. V is the physical son of the scribe virgin and his constant pain due to the lack of a mother and a very abusive father and upbringing, is her fault because she birthed a child that should never have been born, so, i think she owed him a bit, dont you think?

    Although it is a bit hastily thrown in there.

    The affair with Butch and V.
    V, because of his up bringing and the trauma of living with his father will have, obviously, emotionally/physically/mentally scarred him, so when his relationship with butch reached a level of closeness that normally a person would identify as a very close bond to a very good friend, it confused him. Because naturally he had never known affection or closeness from anyone who wasn’t a sexual partner ot someone who did not have intentions of a sexual nature. So….. to the point….. V, totally misunderstood the feelings thinking that he was falling in love with butch, where in fact he was just growing to love butch like a person would do with a close friend.

    And also John Matthew is Darius reincarnated, that deal was made in the first book.

    On the subject of V, one of you pointed out that the fact that Jane had to concentrate to take form in the world. And also made a reference to V and Jane's sex life now she is a ghost? V's cursed hand is what enables them to be together without her concentrating because he is half his mother. He can reach her the same way she can.
    He is apart of the temporal realm as well as the other.

    Leilani, V crashed her car because he intended to bring her back from the dead. By means of a forbidden ceremony.

    And I can't go on because it's depressing. I will, however, agree that LU was not the strongest book in the series so far. I think the book felt rushed, but soon learned in the next book that everything mentioned in LU bore importance. Like Phury's continual appearance. After all he took V's place as the primale. So he would have to play some sort of role in LU.

    Also, all the things that people don't understand that are on this forum is explained in the book, and through the characters. I think everyone just needs to read the books more carefully.

    im sure JRW appreciates all of your feedbacks though. i am anxiously awaiting the reverends book. My friend and i are shameless addicts to the series and discuss’s it often. Particularly the characterization. Lover Enshrined, was, in my opinion, a fantasic book so unlike the others but the same, if that makes sense? probably not.

    Also, i have seen several people blog about the funny things the brothers say like ‘get of my dick!’ my all time fav has to be one of the reverends directed to marrisa in LR ‘ hot damm girl! you are so the shit!’. Stunning. thats all i can say!

  110. Roselyn
    Jun 26, 2009 @ 07:40:54


    I can’t say i didn’t enjoy Vishous’s story. Love his bondage fetish and how Jane explored this with him. My only two negatives are how Jane turns into a ghost…although these books are fantasy, this just pushed it to another level. But my biggest gripe is how quick Vishous left his emotion for Butch and fell in love with Jane. I wished there was more in V’s and B’s relationship. More description about how they held each other and V’s feelings towards Butch. Jane could’ve come later after V was over Butch not to latch onto Jane after he met her.

    Other than that I love the books but everyone’s got their own opinion on things.

  111. vee
    Jul 01, 2009 @ 16:07:27

    I’ve read the books out of order. I found the first one, Rhage, at a paperback exchange. So I did not have any expectations about the “world” being created. I bought Butch and V’s stories. I noted the supporting stories were better than the story being told. I purchased Revh’s hardback when it came out and absolutely enjoyed it. I bought Zsadist and Wrath after reading Revh. I am not complaining because each one has printing typos and other faults. I enjoy the stories being told and don’t need to question the plausabilty of the plots. Poetic license.

    I gave up Susanne Brockman when she made a mess of a character. Bought the current one due to her dedication, to her hero, Paul Newman. I remembered why I’d liked her before. lol

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