I'm taking part in the Goodreads group SOS: Serious Overload of Series 'Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Read'. The challenge is to read or J.R.Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series in prep for the 2013 release of Lover At Last.
What they say: In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now, an ally of the Black Dagger Brotherhood will face the challenge of his life and the evil of the ages.
Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.
But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.
What I say: I really love this series and the challenge is not really a challenge at all, I'd gladly read these books! Lover Revealed picks up where Lover Awakened finished, this time telling Butch and Marissa's story.
I really liked Butch before this book and in the past three instalments I felt sorry for the lonely and reluctant former cop. I have to say at times in Lover Revealed I found his constant moping over Marissa and his 'just a human' status slightly irritating. I wouldn't want to be the only mortal/human in a mansion of superhuman vampires, but I did fall slightly out of love with Butch in this book. I wanted him to truly be considered worthy and believe in himself as human before any loophole was found.
On the other hand I have always found Marissa kind of annoying and have struggled to like her. Yes she's naive, pure, beautiful and sweet, but I can't help thinking that her obsession with Butch is purely focused around the simple fact that he's the only guy who shows interest in her (until Revh's slight interest). I also wanted Marissa to develop like the other female characters in the series have done. Beth becomes Wrath's equal, Mary overcomes adversity to save Rhage and herself, Bella fights society and truly helps Z. Marissa hasn't really done anything except being unwanted by Wrath and controlled by her brother. I was whooping for joy once Marissa told Havers to shove it and stood up to the vamp Glymera. She eventually found her strength and became far more like able.
The secondary characters were as good as ever. There are numerous hints to Vishous's past, his self loathing and his kinky BDSM side. V and Butch's relationship changes as Butch himself changes and battles for Marissa. Without giving too much away, V seems to develop more than friendly feelings for Butch. And there's once scene where they both sort of acknowledge, yet decide to ignore it. I think V is confused by their close friendship and Butch's ability to show his love for Marissa. Part of me would rather J.R. Ward had gone down that less predictable route as I would have totally shipped Butch & V, but I guess she couldn't suddenly turn characters gay just because people like me would have liked it! Plus that's not what their connection is about, they are true friends and brothers!
We're again reminded of how territorial bonded males are and see Wrath's bad ass killer King potential when Beth has to feed another male. Wrath's reaction was brill, it reminded me that these are not sparkly, vegetarian vamps, but ruthless warriors.
Even with my personal problems relating to Butch and Marissa together in this book, I still really enjoyed Lover Revealed and the twist (although somewhat predictable) was awesome!
4 Stars in my Sky!
My fav non-spoilery quotes:
- "Sorry, you need to go taste the rainbow somewhere else."
- Neither of them looked at the other as V broke away... and the parting was complete and irrevocable. A path that would not be walked. Ever.
- But when your best friend was doing the tombstone two-step with the Reaper, you kind of didn't give a shit about a lot of things.
- Butch closed his eyes, thinking Mr. Worthy was really rising to the occasion now.
- Man, he going to have to readjust his definition of hard-core after that eyeful.