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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Review: Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood #4)




Newbies to Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood may struggle to fill in the backstory, but these erotic paranormals are well worth it, and frighteningly addictive. The six "brothers" are vampires: enormous, tattooed, tormented warriors who protect other vampires from destruction by the "lessers," desouled humans in the evil Omega's Lessening Society.
Hero and ex-cop Butch is the only human allowed into the Brotherhood's inner circle, but Butch is no mere human, a fact suspected by one of his vamp colleagues, and confirmed by the sinister plans of the Omega.

The book is fully committed to its urban sensibility, the vampires' rarified language (a glossary is provided) and their revved-up sex drives, and it all works to great, page-turning effect (with the notable exception of a chick lit–like attention to designer brands).

Though Butch's love interest, the virginal, aristocratic vampire Marissa, initially elicits more annoyance than empathy, she grows a spine as the book progresses and Butch's destiny comes to light. In just two years, the first three books in the series have earned Ward an Anne Rice–style following, deservedly so; this entry should prove no less popular.
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My Review
So, my cohort here at Read Our Lips Reviews, Julie and I decided to read the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series a couple of weeks ago and agreed to take turns alternating reviews. Except after the first book we both started claiming dibs on which books we wanted to review. We each had our favorite characters. Julie wanted Zsadist’s book and I HAD to have Butch’s book! I’ve loved him from the beginning, which is lucky for Butch, because Julie requires W-2’s and 5 years of references from a hero of questionable income. Ha! I have no such compunction. I’ve always thought that he added a very important human element to the series. Yet, there was always something exceptional about him. For me, he was magnetic. From the moment in Book 1, when he questions Beth about what happened to her and puts his hands on either side of the wall, hemming her in without touching her, I was hooked.

Starting out in Lover Revealed, Butch is pretty down on himself. He feels like a chauffer and paid drinking buddy, giving nothing back to society. Even though he sees himself as unworthy of life, the fact that he desires to do something constructive with his life shows that he’s a decent human being all-around. He’s used to being a cop. Used to being of use. The Brotherhood doesn’t see him as the freeloader he sees himself, especially not BFF and fellow Sox fan, Vishous.

Butch gets taken by the lessers, that evil society, whose soul purpose in their undead life is to wipe out the vampire species. He’s beaten, tortured and given a little going away present from the Omega, the Big Bad to end all Big Bads. Then he gets dumped naked in the snow. Fun times. I don’t even have balls and mine are shriveling up now. Geesh!

Luckily, V to the rescue! Vishous takes him to the Havers, apparently the sole vampire physician in a 150 mile radius, to get him fixed up. Unfortunately, due to that little going away present, Butch ends up in isolation. Vishous ends up helping with some of his special hand mojo. I know it sounds dirtier than it really is, unfortunately for V. Vishous also tells Marrissa, Butch’s unrequited love, that he’s sick and he needs her. She bypasses all safety protocol and rushes in to see him, so now she’s in isolation and can’t leave the room due to exposure. (Pretty sure I’ve seen this on a soap opera, just sayin’.) She stays by his bedside day and night, praying to the Scribe Virgin for his recovery. And lucky for for her virgin ass, he does recover! 300 years old and never had an orgasm. At all. Not even by her own hand. How she wasn’t a demonic bitch on wheels, I never know!

So, I’m sure you can guess what happens while quarantined together. But then Butch goes into jerk mode and pushes Marissa away. There’s a lot of back and forth. Will they be together? Won’t they be together? Then V has the great plan to find out if Butch has any vampire in his blood. If he does, he might be able to jumpstart the change. This really bothered me. I would have picked a very different mechanism for Butch’s transition. It was too neatly tied up in a pretty little bow.

But hey, after Butch’s transition, he and Marissa finally bond and we finally get some great scenes.
The real downer becomes when V realizes how he really feels about Butch. I was so incredibly sad for Vishous. But Butch handles it beautifully. Telling him they will always be brothers.

As with all BDB books, there are multiple story lines. We get to see how Zsadist grows as a teacher to the pretansition vamps. Catch up with John Matthew and how Phury is feeling about a pregnant Bella. I also really missed the presence of Tohr in this book. Come back Tohr!

Even all that said, I really loved the book. There was so much character growth all the way around, it was impressive to see. Added Bonus: J.R.Ward’s writing style. I’ve never read a woman write men like she does. It’s incredible. Her wording is so unique and engaging. Plus, even though I was going to take a break from the series, I just had to start reading book 5 to see how V is faring. I’m hooked!

What I loved about Lover Revealed:
  1. The Brotherhood gets a new member. Desperately needed.
  2. Marissa ends her 300 year dry spell. Clean out the cobwebs girl!
  3. Zsadist’s sweet love towards Bella.
  4. The humor that flies between Butch and Vishous. The part where Butch hits the floor and insists he’s inspecting the tile work! Hilarious!
  5. After Beth has to feed Butch, I love how Wrath goes all caveman. That man does it for me!
  6. Butch’s bonding scent smells like Obsession! Take me back to middle school. It’s a classic.
  7. Marissa grows a pair in the end.
  8. Butch finally gets his head out of his ass and comes into his own.
  9. The mystery surrounding Butch’s paternity has me on the hook.

ROL-DislikeWhat I didn’t like about Lover Revealed:

  1. Butch’s transition. It didn’t sit well with me. But I swallowed it in the end. If you want to keep reading, you have to.
  2. How V is feeling. It made my heart break. There should have been a Butch/Marissa/Vishous menage! Say it with me—“Me-nage! Me--nage!
  3. Marissa’s first time was such a disappointment. That girl has had a life of bad sexual karma.
  4. I want more Fritz!


“Come on,” he said, aware of a thick anticipation. “Let’s go.”

A curious expression crossed her face.

“You want to watch?”

He stilled their mingled hands. “Watch?” “I, ah... I’m not sure that’s a good idea. You can get a little protective-”

“Wait- watch?” He became aware of a sinking feeling in his gut. Like someone had popped the stoppers on a number of his internal organs.
“What are you talking about, watch?”

“When I’m with the male who lets me take his vein.”

Abruptly, Marissa recoiled, giving him a good idea of what the expression on his face must be like. Yeah, or maybe she was reacting to the fact that he’d started to growl. Butch jacked up to his feet.
“The hell you’re using another man. You have me.”

“Butch, I can’t feed from you. I’ll take too- where are you going?”

He stalked across the room, shut the double doors, and locked them in together. As he came back at her, he tossed his jacket on the floor and ripped open his shirt so that the buttons popped off. Falling to his knees in front of her, he tilted back his head and offered his throat, himself, to her.

“Use me.”

There was a long silence as their stares warred. Then her scent, that gorgeous clean fragrance, intensified until it flooded the room. Her body began to shake, her mouth opening. As her fangs unsheathed, he got an instant erection.

“Oh... yeah,” he said in a dark voice. “Drink from me. I need to feed you.”

“No,” she moaned, tears glowing in her pale blue eyes. She made a move to get up, but he launched at her, taking her by the shoulders, holding her down on the couch. He moved himself between her legs, bringing their bodies together. She trembled against him and pushed at him and he kept her close... until suddenly she was gripping the two halves of his shirt. And pulling him in tight.

“That’s right, baby,” he growled. “You grab on to me. Let me feel those fangs get into me deep. I want it.”

He palmed the back of her head and brought her mouth to his throat. An arc of pure sexual power exploded between them and they both began to pant, her breath and tears hot on his skin. But then she seemed to come to her senses. She struggled hard and he did his best to keep her in place, even though he knew he was going to lose the fight against her soon. As he was just a human, she was physically stronger than him even though he out-weighed her.

“Marissa, please, take me,” he groaned, his voice hoarse from the struggle and now the begging.
“No...” His heart broke as she sobbed, but he didn’t let her go. He couldn’t. “Take what’s inside of me. I know I’m not good enough, but take me anyway.”

“Don’t make me do this.”

“I have to.” God, he felt like crying with her.

“Butch...” Her body bucked, strained against his. “I can’t hold back... for much longer... let me go... before I hurt you.”

“Never.” It happened so fast. His name shot out of her on a yell and then he felt a searing blaze of pain at the side of his throat. Her fangs sinking into his jugular.

“Oh... God... yes...!” He loosened his grip, cradling her as she latched onto his neck. He called out her name as he felt a powerful, erotic draw on his vein. Pleasure swamped him, sparks flowing all through his body as if he were orgasming.

This was so the way it had to be. He needed her to take from him so she could live-
Marissa broke the contact abruptly and dematerialized, right out of his arms.

He fell head first into the empty air where she’d been, face planting into the sofa cushions. He shoved himself up and spun around.

“Marissa! Marissa!”

He threw himself at the door and clawed at the lock, but couldn't budge it. And then he heard her broken, desperate voice on the other side.

“I’ll kill you... God help me, I’ll kill you... I want you too much.”

He pounded on the door. “Let me out!”

“I'm sorry-” Her voice cracked then grew strong, and
he feared her resolve more than anything else. “I’m so sorry. I’ll come to you afterwards. After it is done.”

“Marissa, don’t do this-”

“I love you.”

He beat at the wood with his fists. “I don’t care if I die!”

The lock sprang free and he burst into the front hall.

The vestibule’s door was just easing shut.

He ran for it flat out. But by the time he got out into the courtyard, she was gone.



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