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Friday, July 6, 2012

Audiobook Review: Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward


TITLE: Lover Reborn
SERIES: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book #10
AUTHOR: J.R. Ward 
NARRATOR: Jim Frangione
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 27, 2012
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 23 hrs and 13 mins
GENRE: Romance/Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
ASIN: B007PJY4ZG
Number-one New York Times best-selling author J. R. Ward's novels of the Black Dagger Brotherhood continue, as a vampire warrior crosses the line between life and death...and ventures into an erotic world of dark dreams and darker desires.

Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment has been unrecognizable from the vampire leader he once was. Physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair, he has been brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel. Now, fighting once again with ruthless vengeance, he is unprepared to face a new kind of tragedy.

When Tohr begins to see his beloved in his dreams - trapped in a cold, isolated netherworld far from the peace and tranquility of the Fade - he turns to the angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. But because Lassiter tells him he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed....

Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King's throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past and a very hot, passion-filled future....But can his heart let go and set all of them free?

MY REVIEW:

After gobbling up the entire Black Dagger Brotherhood series last year, I hungrily waited four whole months for the next installment that was due in 2012. I was really ambivalent about Tohr moving on with another woman after Wellsie, and only a superb author like Ward would have me rooting for the next female to win Tohr’s heart!

Since Lassiter brought Tohr back, he has been little more than a shell of himself. He will not feed from a female, not even a Chosen one, and his body is so weak that he has dizzy spells. To top it off, his grief and loneliness have him turning to the bottle.

**MILD SPOILERS AHEAD!

In Lover Reborn, we learn from Lassiter that Wellsie is not in the Fade. Rather, she is in the “In Between” and unable to move on because Tohr’s love is holding both her and the baby there. Tohr is appalled to find out, and he even doubts whether Lassiter is actually telling the truth. 

Because of their past, No'One feels indebted to Tohr and Lassiter makes her swear to him that she will do anything to save Tohr. She vows that she shall give her vein to Tohr if he comes to her. 

Tohr decides that Lassiter is right and that he must move on if Wellsie is ever to enter into the Fade. He goes through the motions, not only feeding from No'One but even going so far as to become intimate with her though not making love to her. While No’One is certainly falling in love with Tohr, he is not allowing himself to fall for her! He cannot let anyone into his heart. At this point, I felt sad for Tohr and was rooting for No’One to win his heart. I shed so many tears while listening to this audiobook. It is, by far, the most emotional installment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Afraid to face his developing feelings for No’One as she enters into her Needing, he tears into her, rips her heart out and stomps on it!! I felt so angry at his shabby treatment of No’One that I thought Tohr could not be redeemed. But, alas, Ward does not disappoint: Not only does she redeem Tohr, but she manages to bring Tohr and No’One back together. Tohr’s process of letting Wellsie go was so bittersweet. It was a necessary part of the grieving and healing process for Tohr to do everything that he did, but it was so emotional!

Meanwhile, John Matthew and Xhex are still trying to work though their differences. Sadly, things get a whole lot worse through Lover Reborn for the couple before they get better! Their story really tugged at my heart-strings, and it was plain to see how miserable each one was without the other. I simply loved how Xhex finally warmed to No’One, and I loved seeing No’One’s transformation as a result of Xhex’s influence on her.

I was completely blindsided by Layla’s Needing, and her coupling with Qhuinn. Their relationship makes sense, though. Their friendship is genuine, and neither is fooling him/her-self that this is more than it is. They each feel lonely and want a babe of their own to love and share their life with.

We learn more about The Band of Bastards and their plan to squelch Wrath. I was surprised to see that Xcor and Throe might have some redeeming qualities! I can’t wait to learn more about them.

For me, the star of this book is Lassiter. I know, I know...this is Tohr’s story – but Lassiter steals the show over and over! For example, take this conversation between Doc Jane and Lassiter:

“Lassiter. I want to see the front of you.” 

“That’s what all the girls say.” 

“Do you expect me to roll you over? ’Cuz I will.” 

“Your mate’s not going to like this.” 

“As if that’s going to bother you?” 

“True. It actually makes it worth the effort.” 

With a groan, he shoved his palms into the shimmering silver pool of blood beneath him, and flopped over like the side of beef he was. 

“Wow,” she breathed. 

“I know, right? Hung like a horse.” 

“If you’re really nice—and you live through this—I’ll promise not to tell V.” 

“About my size.” 

She laughed a little. “No, that you assumed I’d look at you in any fashion other than professionally."

Wasn't that a hoot? LOL!
I also thought this comment from Lassiter to No'One was interesting:

“My name's Lassiter, and I'll tell you all you need to know about me. I'm an angel first and a sinner second, and I'm not here for long. I'll never hurt you, but I'm prepared to make you pretty goddamn uncomfortable if I have to, to get my job done. I like sunsets and long walks on the beach, but my perfect female no longer exists. Oh, and my favorite hobby is annoying the shit out of people. Guess I'm just bred to want to get a rise out of folks—probably the whole resurrection thing.”

Hmmmm, what does this mean? I really hope that Lassiter gets his own book soon! I have come to really love this guy! And what he does at the end of Lover Reborn?! Oh, my! He so deserves his own HEA!
 
What can I say that I haven't already said about the always-fabulous, Jim Frangione? I cannot help but have a perma-grin pasted on my face when I'm listening to Frangione narrate the Black Dagger Brotherhood! Frangione *is* the BDB, and I cannot imagine anyone else narrating this series! I don't think that I can ever read these books because Frangione's impeccable narration has spoiled me. I will continue to buy each book in audio format, and that is the biggest compliment that I can give to Frangione!

Word is out that the next installment will be Qhuinn’s and Blay’s story, due in 2013. How will I ever make it until then?!?

2 comments:

  1. Beautifully put! I'm glad you enjoyed it, this series is among my favorites. I love J.R. Ward, and what a fantastic job by Frangione, his interpretation of these novels is spot on!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Loupe! I couldn't agree with you more!!

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