Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Thursday Afternoon Haiku Moment: Lover Avenged by JR Ward

You are Chris Brown to
my Rihanna – it hurts but
here I come again

book review I keep saying that
I am off the wagon, and
Yet I read this book

‘Read’ is not correct
More like ‘devoured it whole’ or
‘inhaled’ or ‘wolfed down’

This book’s not a fave
But I liked it far better
Than poor Phury’s book

Ehlena is the
Love interest to Rehvenge.
Nurse and nurturer

Rehvenge is emo
I mean, the hero. He feels
Not worthy of love.

Buying this for the
Romance? It felt a little
Too ‘teenage’ to me

The slang gets worse too
‘Freshies’ and ‘stillies’ and all
that drives me nutsies

We get a small taste
Of Rehv’s story in Phury’s
Book, expanded here

Symphaths and drug lords
And evil princess, oh my!
(oh, and an angel)

There were so many things
I liked about this book, yet
I am left wanting

Five main storylines
We have Rehv, and Wrath and Lash
John Matthew and Tohr

Rehv reminded me
Of Z with “I’m not worthy”
Mere coincidence?

I thought so too…but
Then Xhex’s storyline? I’d
Seen it before. Dunno.

Book felt…too crowded.
Just when I got invested,
plot shifted again

And, your heroines…
Sigh. As before, they feel weak
& barely show up.

Lash is obviously
A fave of yours. Not mine. I
skipped his parts (sorry)

I think my issue
I am too big of a fan.
Standards are way high

Is this a good read?
Absolutely. Worth hardback
Price? To me it was.

Am I satisfied?
Nope. I want love as focus
Not as a side plot

I was happy at end
But my lingering doubts are
Still here, lingering

AVENGED is thrilling
A sexy, fast-paced read, but
I miss the romance


This book can be purchased in mass market from an independent bookstore or ebook format from the Sony Store and other etailers on April 28, 2009.


  1. Kat
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 05:51:07

    You’ve got my hopes up now. Who the hell is Lash? I think I’m going to need a refresher before I read Lover Avenged.

  2. sula
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 06:14:22

    I love the books but I won’t be shelling out the bucks for a hardcover, not for anyone. Guess I will have to try to forget that this is coming out until I can get it in paperback…or hope my library orders it.

  3. ASable
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 06:23:48

    Trying to forget
    Don’t want to pay for hardback
    But JR like crack . . .

    Want to stop myself
    Will pace the bookstore Tuesday
    Back and forth, back again

    Until I give in
    And pay too much for Rehv’s tale
    Sexy mohawk guy!

    Oooh, guy on cover hot . . .
    Maybe this crack not so bad
    How long til next tale?

  4. katiebabs
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 06:47:45

    I really think after reading this limp pimp read, I am off the crack.
    But I will still inhale it down like a box of girl scout cookies.

  5. katiebabs
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 06:48:31

    Kat: Lash is the alleged son of The Omega. He is now in charge of the Lessers.

  6. joanne
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 06:52:27

    I’m a bit confused about the review grade, is it C or B? I’ve been waiting for a review here at DA and was really afraid it would be an F so a C is encouraging.

    I have the book pre-ordered because, yeah, I’m addicted. I’ll pay for a hardcover to get what I’ve come to think of as a letter from the BDB compound. I read other authors for my romance fix and accept the Urban Fantasy switch and will continue to— as long as there are updates on the original Vamps.

    I have never had a quarrel with the secondary positions of the females, it’s all about the Vampires — and now angels and sympaths — in the Black Dagger world. She writes some great & interesting male characters.

  7. Joy
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 08:04:23

    I couldn’t finish the last book (which is rare for me) and will not get this one. I’m done with JR – which is sad cause I loved the beginning of the series.

  8. Nifty
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 08:16:05

    Nothing I’ve read about Lover Avenged has convinced me to buy the book. I like JM and Xhex and Tohr, but overall I’m just “meh” about this series now. (AND the author, to be honest.) Really enjoyed the first three…and a half…but it’s been downhill for me ever since.

    Maybe I’ll buy it in paperback when it comes out in that format. Next year? *shrug* Someday.

  9. Tammy
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 08:22:52

    Sounds like Jane and I share some similar pet peeves: the laughable slang. Frequent POV and plot shifts. Love story waaaaay in the background.

    I never buy hardcovers, but that said… I’m on the list at the library. Crack is wack, y’all.

  10. Darlynne
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 08:45:40

    Jane (Jaiku?) and Joanne, move over, I’m in the boat with you. The book is on order and I’m looking forward to whatever comes out of the pages, nutsies and all. Thanks for another great haiku review.

  11. Kate Diamond
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 10:14:25

    Haiku = delightful!

  12. Sela Carsen
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 10:57:07

    I am 38th on the list at the library to read this book. It’s sad. I neeeeed my fix, but I can’t spring for the hardback.

  13. Jess
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 11:03:25

    Meh, Phury’s book knocked the habit out of me. I didn’t like that I was reading the books out of compulsion and not enjoying them anymore. I was never big into Rehv, so I think I’ll happily stay on the wagon. I like this new review style though!

    PS – Am I the only one who thought the title should be Lover Ahvenged for continuity purposes? :)

  14. Janine
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 11:17:13

    I'm a bit confused about the review grade, is it C or B?

    At least when I give them, a B-/C+ means the grade is right on the cusp between a B- and a C+.

  15. SonomaLass
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 11:36:13

    I never got the habit, and what I’ve read lately makes me glad. I certainly don’t need another series shifting to hardcover! But I love reading about these books (SB Sarah does the extra H’s with particular style), and the haiku reviews are always excellent. This was fun.

    I am trying to imagine my students’ faces if I told them they got a B-/C+ in my class. There are times I wish I could give exactly that grade!

  16. CourtneyLee
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 11:38:48

    As a shameless JR addict, I am so snapping this up (even at a hardcover price, but I’m wicked mad at her publisher over that) as soon as I can. I absolutely see why many are off the series, though, because yeah, the lovestories are taking second fiddle and as romances the books are faltering. But the crack cannot be denied…

    I wonder what grade this series would get if they were reviewed as straight-up urban fantasy instead of urban fantasty romance?

    And the haiku is fantastic. I have no poetic skills, so they always awe and delight me.

  17. Cherrie Lynn
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 11:59:11

    I’ll have to read it. And I will. But gone are the days I was haunting the bookstore on release day, harassing the employees to find me one. Those days left after V, which sadly was the book I was looking most forward to.

    I miss those days.

  18. Shanna
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 12:50:28

    You nailed it on the head for me all the things I thought about this book as well. If I hadn’t gotten a review copy I’m not sure I would have spent the money on the hardcover. Seriously, these heroines are just too bland and forgettable.

  19. kit
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 13:48:27

    Why have they moved to releasing in hardcover when the series was going downhill? Do they want to get rid of more fans?

  20. CourtneyLee
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 14:23:14

    @kit: The romance review response is going downhill, but the sales numbers are making the publisher do a happy dance. As many have said, the books are like crack. Even after the lukewarm reviews and outright dissatisfaction with Lover Unbound, Lover Enshrined topped the NYT bestseller list for mass market fiction. Lover Avenged is already near the top of Amazon’s romance bestseller list. Reviewers are saying one thing, but the numbers are saying something completely different. Publishers love numbers.

    I personally never ever buy hardcovers, and yet here I am ready to buy it on release day. This is the only author I would do that for. So many of JR’s readers are freakishly loyal (myself included and yes, we’re a little nuts) and whoever decides to hardcover or not to hardcover knows that.

  21. Chris
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 14:24:42

    Just finished the book and appreciate this haiku review. Personally I would have been much happier with it being JM’s book or Rhev’s book and more on the romance and relationships for some central characters for this book. As it was everyone made an appearance (except Lash’s Dad) and that’s now a huge cast to cope with. Very crowded and a bit difficult to really enage with what seem to be bit part players popping in and out. The B-/C+ grade is fair when compared to what you would expect from the author of the first books in the series. The problem is that expectations are so high with this series.

    Intrigued by this on the inside back cover … ‘For a sneak preview of Covet: A Novel of the Fallen Angels, the debut in a new series by #1 NYT bestselling author J R Ward visit

  22. Trish
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 14:44:39

    While I like the series (used to LOVE it), I’ve never been a hardcore fangirl. Like Sula I’m not shelling out the big bucks for the hardcover. I’ll wait for the paperback. Besides there are plenty of other books coming out that I’m more interested in reading like Jennifer Ashley’s THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE, Elizabeth Hoyt’s TO BEGUILE A BEAST, Sherry Thomas’ NOT QUITE A HUSBAND, Erin McCarthy’s HARD AND FAST.

  23. A New Writer
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 14:58:37

    I can’t wait to get my book. I ordered it on Amazon along with “A Reliable Wife”
    because after reading the first few pages of that book, I was hooked.

    I don’t think the BDB series is going downhill. The readers she loses on the romantic side may be made up by those who enjoy urban fantasy.

    I for one am so glad to see JR move into the urban fantasy genre. I even enjoy reading about the Lessers, but I’m particulally glad she’s added Trez and iAm, as JR enjoys a large multicultural readership. So the slang doesn’t bother me, since the lifestyle the brothers lead seem more authentic that way (however, I do understand the rumblings on the internet about men of their age using slang and how some readers wanted more Phury and Cormia in Lover Enshrined as opposed to the additional storylines)

    Time will tell if her publisher has made an error going to hardcover at this stage of the publishing game. I read where some hardcover authors are going to paperback because of the cost. But whether J R is paper or hardcover, I’m in love with the Brotherhood books, because the storylines stick. I enjoy Kresley Cole also, but I rarely go back to re-read her books after I’m done (except the first one, for me, her “A Hunger Like No Other “was the best so far of her series). I’ve got Sherrilyn Kenyon, Lara Adrian, and Gena S among others, but for me in the vampire genre right now JR rocks.

  24. Zoe Archer
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 15:49:08


    reading like Jennifer Ashley's THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE, Elizabeth Hoyt's TO BEGUILE A BEAST, Sherry Thomas' NOT QUITE A HUSBAND, Erin McCarthy's HARD AND FAST.

    Have you been peeping at my wish list? :)

  25. Diane V
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 17:02:59

    Have not read JR Ward since the “heroine is now Casper” fiasco three books ago.

    Wouldn’t pay $2 for the crap that is now the Black Dagger Brotherhood – let alone $25. I guess it is just taking others longer to become a recovered crack addict – I was lucky enough to be able to cold turkey the addiction when I threw the book across the room when Casper the heroine appeared.

  26. Mireya
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 17:06:32

    This sounds a bit too much like the previous title … and I am now wondering if I should wait for the paperback. I skipped chunks in the previous book and I suspect I may end up doing exactly the same thing with this one after reading this haiku and other reviews. I am not a fan of overcrowded fiction (meaning multiple subplots). My span of attention is not high enough to keep up. Additionally, I fell in love with this series because of the romance. Now that the romance element is, seemingly, pretty much being moved to the back burner. I am seriously reconsidering. I don’t enjoy urban fantasy at all (so far, Nalini Singh’s new Angel series is the only one that hooked me… and that is, I think, because I actually found the romance in it to my liking despite some criticism I read about that element).

    I guess I’ll go to my nearby B&N and sit on a comfy chair to peruse the book before I actually spend the money on it. One thing is spending $8 on a book that ends up being given away… a completely different matter is spending more than twice that amount on a non-keeper book.

  27. Azure
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 20:10:11

    The slang occasionally grates on me. The first time I read one of these bad-ass warrior vampires saying, “I’m outtie,” my first thought was, “didn’t that word go out of style about ten years ago???” But I kept reading. Jane became a ghost at the end of Lover Unbound, and still I bought the next book the day it came out and spent most of the day incommunicado reading it. The series has become urban fantasy, a genre I’ve never cared for, but I’ll still be in line to buy the next book. I’m convinced–it’s definitely an addiction. But I don’t think I’ll be looking for a cure anytime soon.

  28. Book Bizzo #15 Books and biscuits - Book Thingo
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 21:05:14

    […] get a-hold of is JR Ward’s upcoming release, Lover Avenged. To whet your appetite, check out Dear Author’s haiku review. The haikus never fail to disappoint. The book comes out on April 28. Watch out for our BDB […]

  29. Book Bizzo #15 Books and biscuits - Book Thingo
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 21:05:14

    […] get a-hold of is JR Ward’s upcoming release, Lover Avenged. To whet your appetite, check out Dear Author’s haiku review. The haikus never fail to disappoint. The book comes out on April 28. Watch out for our BDB […]

  30. Janine
    Apr 25, 2009 @ 01:44:52

    I'm convinced-it's definitely an addiction.

    Me too. I have a lot of problems with the books, but I still enjoy them.

  31. lightlyfell
    Apr 25, 2009 @ 06:19:57

    Not only am I not buying this book, but I cancelled my hold at the library – and I was third! The more I read about it, the less it interested me. To me Ward is more interested in pandering to her fans and “shocking” them than writing a story that makes sense. Incest? No thank you. And why does every “strong” male she write turn into such a pansy when they meet their mate? Other authors know how to make a man whipped, but in a sexy way. She just defangs them, completely.

    I’m so glad I’m off the crack. So sick of John and his boys. They pale in comparison to the original gang.

  32. Heike
    Apr 25, 2009 @ 14:48:00

    I'm convinced-it's definitely an addiction.

    Me too. I have a lot of problems with the books, but I still enjoy them.

    Me too, and because of the problems I won’t buy the hardcover compulsively (that’s what I’m saying now)…
    What I’m aksing myself since V’s book everytime I’m tempted to buy a new JR Ward book: Why did I become addicted to the BDB (I’m a regency/historical romance reader)? Addicted in spite of the ridiculous names, and the slang, and…

    Great haiku review!

  33. ShellBell
    Apr 25, 2009 @ 15:34:47

    This is the one book I have been hanging out for since Rehvenge was first introduced. Zsadist and Rehv have been my favourite characters of the BDB, and I absolutely loved Lover Awakened. I freely admit that because Rehv is a favourite that I have high hopes and expectations! I absolutely hate it when my favourites don’t get the HEA that they deserve and I can’t wait for Lover Avenged to be released.

    After the disappointments of Lover Revealed and Lover Unbound I’d pretty much decided that I would try to wait for Rehv’s book and then that would possibly be it for me – no more wasting my money on the BDB. The debacle that was Lover Enshrined merely reinforced my decision that if Lover Avenged is also disappointing then it would be the last BDB book I would read. Even though I would love to read more of the Xhex/JM story line, I don’t find any of the other characters (Tohr, Blaylock, Quinn, Lassiter etc) intriguing enough to follow.

  34. sallahdog
    Apr 25, 2009 @ 22:09:28

    it took me 2 weeks to finish the last book, because I read it 5 times through, just reading one plot line at a time (hated the shifting point of view, HATED IT)… by the time I finished it , I realized I just didn’t give a damn anymore… I have borrowed the books since the Caspar incident, now I can’t even be bothered with that…

    Her world building irked me a bit, even from the beginning, but now its a joke… she is entering LKH territory for me…

  35. ASable
    Apr 29, 2009 @ 06:46:56

    Didn’t have to pace
    Or pay full price for hardback
    Kindle save the day!

    Read it. Devoured it.
    Better than Phury and V
    Yet still left me . . . blah

    What happened to Rhev?
    Where is big strong mohawk guy?
    Seemed a bit too . . . blah

    He’s bad guy with heart
    But too ‘woe is me’ for me
    And Ehlena . . . blah

    Good John Matthew stuff
    Pretty good Wrath and Beth stuff
    No Phury, thank God

    But Xhex at end . . . huh?
    Been there, done same with Bella
    Not believable

    As romance, a C
    As UF, maybe a B
    As crack, must get more

  36. Jane
    Apr 29, 2009 @ 07:47:03

    @ASable I love that the comments are in Haiku form. That is some kind of awesomeness.

  37. Mireya
    Apr 29, 2009 @ 16:31:15

    I gave in and bought it … *sigh* … and yes, I am completely skipping the subplot having to do with the lessers and pretty much speed reading on the subplot involving Wrath. I needed to read Rhev’s love story … I am flakier than a corn flake.

  38. Margie
    Apr 29, 2009 @ 18:10:41

    I just finished this book today. It was better than Phury’s, but that’s not saying much. Did anyone else get thrown off by the multiple-male orgasms? Is this something vampires have always been able to do? I swear the guys had a faster recovery rate than the women.

  39. Andrea
    May 01, 2009 @ 11:31:36

    Yawn, yawn, yawn — I don’t know if I’ll bother to finish it. I don’ t care about Rehvenge or Ehlena anymore. Another disappointing book from JR Ward. I loved the first four books in the series and recommended them to strangers at the bookstore, but no longer. “Lover Enshrined” and “Lover Avenged” are both soooooooo boring. Don’t waste your money on this hardcover — don’t waste it when it comes out in paperback. Go to the library or the used bookstore because this is definitely not a keeper. I know people will say it is a great urban fantasy book and the sex scenes written so well in the earlier books are a dime a dozen in other books. Well this series started out as romance and hooked readers on that aspect of it. Urban fantasy books are a dime a dozen also. All the information in this book just seems like a rolling dustball getting bigger and bigger going down the alley and then it hits the way and disperses into a pile of dirt. I’ll just step over JR Ward’s next pile of dirt in the series.

  40. Lori
    May 01, 2009 @ 12:11:38

    Did anyone else get thrown off by the multiple-male orgasms?

    IIRC, Rhage had them in LE.

  41. Anna Y.
    May 02, 2009 @ 14:10:24

    This review really summed up how I feel…left wanting. Too many plots and not enough romance. I was dying to read Revs book but I found his storyline a bit dull. He was Zadist lite. I also skipped parts like all the Lash stuff which I never do.

    I did like Jonh and Xhex, they end up together in the next book…although I found their scenes together did not have the same depth as the couples in the first 3 books. The sex between them was over in a sentence…

    JR Ward is a big fan of Suz Brockmann (me too) another author who seems to have pushed romance aside for too many plotlines. It’s like watching commericals these books jump around so much, I want to settle into a movie!

    It’s just a bummer when your favorite authors stops writing the kind of books you got hooked on, but its their choice and readers just have to suck it up or stop buying the books. *sigh*

  42. Lynn M
    May 03, 2009 @ 11:35:20

    I refused to pay the hardback price, so thankfully Sony’s e-reader store had it for half the cover price. Otherwise I would have waited.

    I have a love/hate relationship with these books. I love them in the way that I can’t stop reading them and want to know what happens. I find multiple plot lines intriguing so I don’t mind the POV changes.

    I hate them because all of the heroes are starting to act the same and we’re now at the point of recycling plots (Xhex/John and Z/Bella, anyone?). And I really don’t know that a drug lord is redeemable, even if he had supposedly good reasons for what he did. Without spoiling this for others, the central motivation driving all of Rehv’s supposedly dastardly deeds is a huge plot hole, IMO. His entire problem could have been solved by Xhex in mere minutes.

    Too, the way Ward handles her slang makes me simply cringe. Stillies? Benes? Outtie? And the next time a 6′ 7″ 350 lb. warrior vampire says ‘kay instead of okay, he should be summarily staked through the heart. It’s gone beyond character building into authorial tics and it’s stupid.

  43. Jennifer Hall
    May 04, 2009 @ 06:00:31

    I read it and enjoyed everything but John Matthew’s shift in character…

    Alcoholism/ Meaningless sex/ Total lack of emotion! And the scenes with him and Xhex in the bedroom were the most disappointing/depressing things I’ve ever read. >:’ (

    FYI J.R. he was my favourite for a REASON! Doing a 180 like that was just awful!! >> And I know she’s gonna change him back (or evolve his character) in his book (LOVER MINE) but I have to wait a whole year!

    ………. I also find it funny that on the forum they’re (the cellies) are complaining about John’s 180 as if it’s HIS fault. Um, no. J.R. wrote him that way, no matter that she says she only writes “what she sees in her head”!


    OK, I really loved everything else… Except the incest…. Not that.

  44. Suze
    May 11, 2009 @ 14:10:29

    I don't think the BDB series is going downhill. The readers she loses on the romantic side may be made up by those who enjoy urban fantasy.

    I really, really don’t think so. The BDB world-building is not nearly strong enough to appeal to Urban Fantasy readers.

    Romance readers are more willing than most genre-readers to suspend disbelief and forgive inconsistencies, weak world-building, anachronisms, etc. because we’re in it for the romantic relationship. We want the courtship and the HEA. All the rest is just dressing.

    Urban Fantasy is ABOUT the world-building. The kernel of the story can be mystery, romance, thriller, quest, or anything. The story is essentially the tool to present the world, and the details of the world make us think about how our own world works, and where our society could go if only we had zigged instead of zagged. If magic worked and technology didn’t, would we have magical lives, or would we still be wage-slaves? If god walked around and actively interfered with our lives, how would we treat religious wars?

    If there is weak world-building, inconsistent rules about how magic works, or about how the gods interact with humans in a UF story, then the genre aficionados will NOT forgive it, and will NOT buy it.

  45. Breaking Up With a Series | READNOVEL
    May 12, 2009 @ 01:29:07

    […] Since so many new series books have come out of late, that was a very lively topic, particularly as Jaiku pointed out at DearAuthor when you are flush with the feeling of wanting to quit, and and you just can’t do […]

  46. REVIEW: Covet by J.R. Ward | Dear Author: Romance Novel Reviews, Industry News, and Commentary
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 15:07:43

    […] I was most disappointed by Marie-Terese. I liked the brief glimpse we’d had of her in Lover Avenged but in that book, my impression of her was that of a no-nonsense, tough woman who has to do what […]

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