Lover at Last

Lover at Last

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to an...

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Title:Lover at Last
Author:J.R. Ward
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Lover at Last Reviews

  • Lora

    I ♥ Qhuay. Review to come.

  • Annie (Under the Covers Book Blog)

    Picking up a new BDB book is like coming back home to old friends. You can’t help but smile at the familiar faces. Like everyone else, I’ve been dying for this book and knew that Ward would be facing her biggest challenge yet. Blay and Qhuinn are the Brotherhood’s most beloved members so she needed to give fans a book that would satisfy the crazy fantasies that readers have been conjuring up in their minds since LOVER ENSHRINED. I thought Ward reached a good balance and excelled with LO

    Picking up a new BDB book is like coming back home to old friends. You can’t help but smile at the familiar faces. Like everyone else, I’ve been dying for this book and knew that Ward would be facing her biggest challenge yet. Blay and Qhuinn are the Brotherhood’s most beloved members so she needed to give fans a book that would satisfy the crazy fantasies that readers have been conjuring up in their minds since LOVER ENSHRINED. I thought Ward reached a good balance and excelled with LOVER AT LAST.

    For many, this would mark their first venture into M/M so Ward has the tough challenge of making Qhuinn and Blay’s romance one that wouldn’t shock people too much and also give enough so that avid M/M readers didn’t feel cheated. Ward’s talent as a writer is fully displayed with this book. Not only does she gift readers with scorching hot sex scenes that rock the chandeliers but provides enough heat and heart into the scenes so that it’s just as emotional as it is physical.

    Angst is one thing that has followed Qhuinn and Blay for most of their journey so it’s not a surprise that Ward would threaten to shatter readers’ hearts once again in LOVER AT LAST. I could understand the personal barriers that Qhuinn and Blay would have to overcome on their own before they could accept their feelings for one another. It was just nice knowing that all their pain would lead to a lifetime of bliss. The epilogue is more than enough to make the romantic in me sigh with satisfaction. I was smiling from ear to ear through the entire last chapter, knowing that although this is the final chapter of their book, it is only the beginning of their time together for eternity. What a perfect ending!

    That’s not all that happens in this book! At almost 600 pages, Ward covers her bases. She takes a lot of time setting up future books in the series. Readers get additional POVs from Trez, Assail, Xcor and a new character named Sola. What surprised me the most though is Layla whom I didn’t like before. Ward accomplished the impossible by making me love her. What Layla goes through in this book is crushing and in some ways, inspiring. Her strength shows and I think all women can sympathize with her. Suddenly, I find myself wanting a happily ever after for her too.

    Ward exercises her writing skill by penning different POVs of the same scene, creating intricacy and depth in an already well-written series. Not many are able to weave such intricate storylines and have such memorable characters simultaneously. Only Ward can strike a balance and keep it entertaining.

    LOVER AT LAST is everything that rabid BDB fans could want and more! At times, I felt like I had to take a break. LOVER AT LAST is so wholly engrossing and so brilliant that my little heart couldn’t handle it all. Ward delivers heart stopping action and a fiery romance for two fighters who are most deserving while shattering reader’s expectations and coming out on top!

    As a M/M reader, I did feel like the sex scenes were glossed over a bit. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty of passion and heart, but it’s definitely not as explicit as some of Ward’s other sex scenes (*ahem* bathroom scene). Also....apparently there is no lube in the Brotherhood mansion. One word: Ouch. But all in all, I did enjoy reading it. Naturally, the dirty side of me rises and I wanted MORE! More kink! More sex! Bring it all!

    Well shit. Here’s a revelation: I like Layla. Yup, never thought I would say those words but here they are and by the end of this book, I had a complete 360 change of opinion on her. What Layla goes through in this book is crushing and in some ways, inspiring. Her strength shows and I think all women can sympathize with her. I know a lot of readers didn’t like Layla because of her involvement with Qhuinn and I wondered how Ward would change that if she planned on writing a book about her but hell, she completely changed my mind about her. I’m eager for her book now. She needs to find happiness too.

    His last scene also changed how I saw this roughened warrior. For his whole life, he has been a lonely soul. Seeing this possessive side of him brings him to life and I cannot wait to see how Ward will give him a HEA. I want to know more about him.

    Also, all the politics with the king and Rehv and Assail and all that? Loved. I was really impressed by the way Ward was able to weave the individual storylines into one another. And the different POVs of the same scene just proves her genius mad skillz.

    I AM CLAIMING HIM FOR MY HAREM! He’s hot. As simple as that.

    Where did this chick come from? I love her attitude and love the way she handles herself with Assail. She’s gonna be another kickass chick for sure. I love the set up Ward did for their book! Definitely makes me want it BAD. I’m assuming it’s next?

    It was nice dropping into Trez head once in awhile. But I had no idea that his problem was so extreme. It’s going to be interesting to see how that spans out over the course of the next books and the fact that the Shadows have moved into the Brotherhood mansion just guarantees more fun times are bound to happen. His stuttering moment over Selena is the cutest thing ever. I’m liking this pair.

    P.S. Butch and Lassiter fighting over the Red Soxs? Fucking priceless.

    Check out my team review with the rest of UTC

  • Kat Valentine

    This is one of my all time favorite books from the bdb series!!! I wanted these two to get their happily ever after for so long. This was my first m/m romance and I adored everything about it. When sex and love is from a male point of view its so raw and primal and I love that. All these years these two kept what they felt locked up and they each just went thru the motions hoping that it would go away,but all it did was build and once they both stopped fighting it the passion was glorious!!! JR

    This is one of my all time favorite books from the bdb series!!! I wanted these two to get their happily ever after for so long. This was my first m/m romance and I adored everything about it. When sex and love is from a male point of view its so raw and primal and I love that. All these years these two kept what they felt locked up and they each just went thru the motions hoping that it would go away,but all it did was build and once they both stopped fighting it the passion was glorious!!! JR ward is a master at tapping into the struggles we all have in our everyday liives and that's why we identify with these characters so much.Even in the vampire world beautiful strong men and women have to fight for love and acceptance. So happy for blay and qhuinn!! Their story will always be one of my all time favorites,because it was a love of a lifetime! We like to think we are in control ,but if somethings meant to be, it shall be.💋💖

  • Lenore

    ** This review contains some spoilers **

    I've died and gone to heaven!

    --------------------

    20 March 2013

    I waited four years for this book. I discovered the series a little after Lover Avenged (book 7) came out. The Vutch ship had sailed and gloriously sunk, with the BDB world principles and rules uncompromised, with hearts returning to their place in many fans' chests (

    ), and Vutch shippers left to stew in their own juices.

    Bu

    ** This review contains some spoilers **

    I've died and gone to heaven!

    --------------------

    20 March 2013

    I waited four years for this book. I discovered the series a little after Lover Avenged (book 7) came out. The Vutch ship had sailed and gloriously sunk, with the BDB world principles and rules uncompromised, with hearts returning to their place in many fans' chests (

    ), and Vutch shippers left to stew in their own juices.

    But that heartbreaking confession of love, that unexpected, but oh-so-sweet, kiss in the Brotherhood's PT Suite, that pledge of protection had already happened between Blay and Qhuinn in Lover Enshrined (book 6) and it had already made my heart beat faster in my chest. It was anyone's guess what direction J.R. Ward intended to take that particular storyline (at first glance, she didn't seem very eager to take it anywhere,) but I started hoping. And shipping Qhuay. Hard.

    The part at the top of this review about me dying and going to heaven was posted after I learnt Blay and Qhuinn were getting their own book in the series. Their story wasn't going to end up all hush-hush like V and Butch's (the author has alluded to Butch and V getting it on off-page,) and their significance in the overall story arc wasn't going to be played down by telling their story in a separate novella, as if they had to be segregated from the other males of the series because they were gay. They were going to be treated by the same standards as any other couple and I was over the moon about it.

    In the past year, i.e., the period that intervened between the aforementioned announcement and the release of the book, discussions soared and expectations climbed to heights unprecedented in the series, with fans demanding, among other things and in no particular order: a full HEA for their favourite couple, full on m/m sex, lots of romance, bonding scents, a confession of undying love from Qhuinn, Qhuinn on his knees in front of Blay, Qhuinn bottoming, Qhuinn crying, Qhuinn suffering, Blay developing some backbone (what many fans call 'alpha Blay'), Blay coming out to his parents, and many more, ranging from the relatively typical and valid to the totally unrealistic.

    Fast forward to last week, when I finally got to read Lover At Last. I tried to contain my excitement because I knew I wasn't going to be happy about everything in the book (not after a year of overenthusiasm and over-inflated expectations,) and I knew J.R. Ward has a habit of shooting herself in the foot when it comes to her plots and keeping her facts straight (Lover Unleashed, anyone?). And, like I expected, I didn't love everything about it. I won't get into many details, because this review is getting long already, but, to put it in a nutshell:

    But, the thing is, J.R. Ward does that in all the BDB books, at least in the last two or three. I didn't feel she sold Blay and Qhuinn short and I didn't feel she didn't pay them the same respect. I think she did treat them by the same standards she treated all her previous couples and if she fell short in some respects it's not because it was Qhuay, but because it's J.R. Ward and her shortcomings.

    Here, I would like to say a few things about the m/m parts in this book.

    So, in conclusion, for me, the most important things, the things that needed to happen (as mentioned above, in the paragraph about the fans' demands/expectations)

    happen and I'm over the moon about it. I could have ripped the book to pieces if I wanted to. I chose to focus on the beautiful parts in it (and there are quite a few of them), instead. And also embrace it and praise it for the ground it's breaking in mainstream fiction. It's a big deal for me.

    The book isn't perfect and some hardcore fans and/or avid m/m readers will probably have issues. But it's the Black Dagger Brotherhood world and the way it works; and it's one of the most popular paranormal series out there. Thousands of people will be reading Lover At Last. The story of two men who finally pull their heads out of their asses and admit their feelings for each other. Two gay fighters. Out and proud and fully accepted by their peers. And that alone is awesome.

  • Monique

    I love J.R. Ward and this series is mouth wateringly delicious, and like so many others I sit impatiently awaiting each next instalment, running scenarios and pairings through my head, trying to anticipate where she will take us next… and as an m-m reader, I was desperate for her to get this one right…

    As usual we not only have the main story, Ms Ward also gives us side-plots, flipping back and forth between them all, leaving th

    I love J.R. Ward and this series is mouth wateringly delicious, and like so many others I sit impatiently awaiting each next instalment, running scenarios and pairings through my head, trying to anticipate where she will take us next… and as an m-m reader, I was desperate for her to get this one right…

    As usual we not only have the main story, Ms Ward also gives us side-plots, flipping back and forth between them all, leaving threads dangling, some picked up and seamlessly weaved back into the fabric of the story and others still unresolved leaving us to speculate her next move. There is not a moment of complacency, you might think you know where she is taking you and then a spanner is thrown in the works to take us in another direction… I was enthralled and captivated, and yes, at times frustrated and impatient but still turning the pages at an alarming rate, trying to absorb and digest each new piece of information. For me, reading this series is like catching up with family, sitting round the table and soaking up all the gossip… hanging onto every word and just being nosy as to the how, what, when, where, who and the why’s of it all… and loving every minute!

    The Band of Bastards are still in the periphery, Xcor is rethinking his plans on overthrowing Wrath. The lesser’s are back and trying to rebuild their numbers and finances and seemed to have evolved somehow!?! We have a new character Sola, a love interest and someone I think will be further developed in the next book. Assail turns out to be far more interesting than I was lead to believe in the last book… not only that but he is very dark and domineering and was certainly pressing my kink buttons! Haver’s is still an obnoxious arse, and another of the side plots involved the two Shadow Brothers Trez and iAm… I really enjoyed getting to know these two who have previously just been background decoration. Trez is quite a character, a bit of a man whore, petulant at times but he brought some humour into the book and made me smile. An old character reappears and I can’t wait to see how that one is handled, the Brothers and their mates as usual dip in and out, with the usual undercurrent of snarky humour with Fritz the silent constant always in the background.

    This book however is about the two boys we grew to love way back, when they were just themselves peripheral characters, pre trans vampires and John Matthews best friends. As readers we have always been able to see what they themselves were unable to fathom, that they did truly love one another, which is why it has been so agonisingly frustrating for us.

    What is so beautiful about this story is that we really get to see the vulnerability behind the persona of the tough warrior unaffected by what life throws at him, a bitter and angry man whore, but ultimately he was just a lost soul, the child who had so longed for the love and affection he had always been denied, who felt alone in the world despite being surrounded by friends. Qhuinn doesn’t see himself as important, his parents had done a great job of destroying his confidence, and he saw himself as flawed and nothing more than a reject, ostracised by his family and the glymera. Initially he dismissed his feelings for Blay, so being gay could not be added to the long list of fuck ups… but now it was because he felt himself not deserving of Blay’s love. Blay is totally unselfish, caring and compassionate, a man of worth, with strong principles, a gentlemale, with all the finesse and finery that goes with it, yes, he is still a warrior of strength and honour and a fighter like the others but his private life is more suited to a man of Saxtons aristocratic bearing.

    Where we had always seen Blay as the character that wore his heart on his sleeve the roles were now reversed, Blay over the years of pain, hurt and rejection from the man he loves is now resigned to the fact that Qhuinn will never admit to his feelings so he had taken control of his life and emotions and had grown up in the last year he had spent with Saxton, convincing himself that Qhuinn was with Layla and he had finally found a female with whom he wanted to have young and mate with.

    This would not be a J.R. Ward book if she didn’t lead us down the tortuous path of the usual lack of communication and misunderstandings causing us undue stress. But we moved along to see that soul shattering hurt dispelled by bonds between them that were deeper than just sex, their relationship had been founded on friendship and a life shared with moments that they both treasured, and yes, they had lost their way… but together, they were all I was hoping for, their passion was intense, erotic and sensual with heart melting moments that just had me in tears.

    If I wasn’t reviewing this book, I could quite happily throw 5 stars at it… a) Because it’s J.R. Ward. b) It’s Qhuinn and Blay’s book. c) I couldn’t put the bloody thing down, snarling at anyone that dared interrupt me… But, as an m-m reader somehow I felt slightly cheated… we have 591 pages to finally get these boys some quality time, and yes they do get all hot and heavy with some very cold shower, panty melting moments but the out pouring of emotions was left to the end, which was beautiful and heart felt and just perfect, but we could have had the same ending but more emotional connection earlier on in the book rather than driving the angst card to the limit. There were other issues with the dealing of the relationship but I don’t want to put spoilers out there for those still yet to read it.

    Overall… I loved it, how could you not with our two boys and we are set up nicely for the next book and yet again trying to anticipate where the lovely Ms Ward will next take us on our journey with the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

  • Anna (Bananas)

    Joy

    Happiness

    Contentment

    Also...

    Yep, I liked it. The Qhuinn and Blay moments were touching, emotional, fulfilling, and oh yeah, scorching HOT. The first sex scene was so surreal, I thought I was reading fanfic for a second. I had to pause and collect myself.

    Okay, so it wasn't perfect. There are certainly things wrong with this book (gay men CAN have sex in positions other than doggy style), but the reason I counted down the days to this release - all the things I've pi

    Joy

    Happiness

    Contentment

    Also...

    Yep, I liked it. The Qhuinn and Blay moments were touching, emotional, fulfilling, and oh yeah, scorching HOT. The first sex scene was so surreal, I thought I was reading fanfic for a second. I had to pause and collect myself.

    Okay, so it wasn't perfect. There are certainly things wrong with this book (gay men CAN have sex in positions other than doggy style), but the reason I counted down the days to this release - all the things I've pined about and wanted for these two - Ward delivered.

    . Enjoy it, fangirls. Did your boys get together? Did they have some great sex? Did they confess their hopes and fears, and most importantly, their love for each other? That's a big fat YES.

    I mean,

    I'm perfectly satisfied with that.

    And the other stuff...

    Sola and Assail - I'm shocked to actually be interested in them. I might even buy their book. Perhaps. Mayhap. It could happen.

    Trez and iAm - Slightly interested. It's just getting harder to care about the BDB world in general for me.

    Layla - Do not care! Still don't care! Do not care at all! HEY! (This is where the skimming came in, hardcore.)

    THE BABY -

    gonna dignify it

    Xcor and the BoB - I remember them being more interesting.

    Zsadist - Involvement wholly inflated.

    Wrath - Haven't cared about him since book two.

    Saxton, my love, I have hopes for you: "At least Blay had gotten his true love. Now, if only Saxton could find his."

    Lassiter - That's all? Some fucking Honey Boo Boo references? I want MORE. Gimme Lassiterrrrrr

    The Lessers - Why were they included exactly? No, really. Why?

    Okay, that was a lot of MEH. Feel like I'm forgetting someone... Maybe because there was SO much going on in this book besides the Dream Team. These subplots seem orchestrated to make you invested enough that you have to buy subsequent books. Then that book will have new subplots, more loose ends, a never-ending vicious cycle...

    Ha. Nice try but no dice, Ward. You gave me my candy. Now I'm full. Forevah!

    Oh yeah.

    My original hopes for the book:

    I want a LOT from this book!! I want double bonding scents for starters. I want a gay mating ceremony, names carved in two backs, Qhuinn losing his anal virginity, alpha Blay, alpha Qhuinn, some groveling on Qhuinn's part, some romancing, some serious flirting, lots of Qhuinn humor and smart-assery, "I love you's" that the other person actually hears for fuck's sake.

    And sex, sex, sex! Top and bottom reversal galore. Blow jobs, hands jobs, any kind of jobs. All comers welcome! And I want to hear ALL about those piercings down below.

    Also, I want Saxton to move on and mend his broken heart with someone new, hopefully in the next book. I adore Saxton.

    Edit: Also, KISSING, would like some kissing. ["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Jessica's Totally Over The Top Book Obsession

    First 2014

    Reread 4/11/2017

    Lover at Last is

    First 2014

    Reread 4/11/2017

    Lover at Last is one of those books I enjoyed but didn't love. As much as I loved Qhuinn and Blay, I was very frustrated with Qhuinn pushing Blay away in past books and felt this read was going to be a very dramatic one. I just didn't know most of that drama was going to come from my sweet Blay. I mean wtf? Qhuinn in past book was acting wild, out of control, and reckless. Being a coward and pushing Blay away, hurting him deeply, while sleeping with everyone that crossed his path. In this book Qhuinn really manned up and changed his ways. I found myself hurting for Qhuinn and falling a little in love with him were as before I just liked him. Blay in this book flipped the switch and instead of Qhuinn he was the drama queen. I mean I love Blay and I understand that after years of Qhuinn pushing him away he is scared of getting hurt but damn. I thought it was so immature that Blay hid his break up with Sax from Qhuinn for almost the whole damn book. I mean come on are we high school girls or full grown warrior men?

    On top of that Blay was the one pushing Qhuinn away. Every time Qhuinn would try Blay would freak and bolt. I was ready to rip my hair out. Don't get me wrong, when they were together there was some smokin' hot heat, but the catty fighting between them drove me crazy. They would have this rip the clothes, raw, powerful sex then Blay would panic and run. Also I felt really bad for Sax. He was totally in love with Blay and to have to watch him move on with Qhuinn. Not to mention that Qhuinn almost killed him thinking he was cheating on Blay because Blay didn't bother to tell anyone that they were broken up. Sax handled everything with grace and dignity. I hope Sax gets his own HEA. I really liked the way Qhuinn was with Layla. The way he checked on her, supported her, and respected her. The way he roughed Havers up for disrespecting Layla was awesome. I was really proud of Qhuinn's growth in this book.

    I loved that Qhuinn was honored by being made a Brother although I wish John Matthew would have been made a Brother first. I'm going to be honest and say I didn't care much of the Trez and iAm story line. I was just kinda bored with Trez's whore ways and the whole forced mated crap. Now with Assail and Sola I'm mildly intrigued. I will just have to see how their story plays out. I smell drama coming for Beth and Wrath as Beth has got the baby fever and Wrath doesn't want to have young. Now Layla and Xcor omg I fucking loved them. There was some serious Romeo and Juliet vibes going on with them. My favorite part in the whole book was Xcor and Layla in the car together. I so melted into sappy goo. I mean I straight swooned. I really wished Xcor was the father of Layla's babies. I can't fucking wait for their book. Bottom line with Qhuinn and Blay's book is I love them as a couple but I didn't like the journey their relationship took to get to their HEA.

    Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

  • Mel

    Kudos for doing an m/m story line in a mainstream series.

    A big fucking F for execution.

    Qhuin and Blay got a corny story and played

    fourth fiddle in their own book.

    (mild spoilers)

    Well, where do I begin? This book was a huge disappointment. Granted: I've been invested in Qhuinn and Blay for such a long time that only something close to perfection would have satisfied me fully. But come on! This? With all the build up, with that premise, with all the p

    Kudos for doing an m/m story line in a mainstream series.

    A big fucking F for execution.

    Qhuin and Blay got a corny story and played

    fourth fiddle in their own book.

    (mild spoilers)

    Well, where do I begin? This book was a huge disappointment. Granted: I've been invested in Qhuinn and Blay for such a long time that only something close to perfection would have satisfied me fully. But come on! This? With all the build up, with that premise, with all the possibilities, Ward brings us

    ? Was she even trying?

    It seemed like she phoned it home—spelling mistakes and all—and took what could have been a beautifully rich story and delivered it in the most trite and unimaginative way possible. Petty lies, stupid misunderstandings, silly plot devices—I've seen bad fan fiction with more heart and inspiration.

    - the sex scenes: no fading out to gray. We got the full deal. Kudos for that. And I'm willing to forgo the lack of lubing and prepping because, hey: vampires! They can come for twenty minutes straight, they are beyond such trivialness.

    - some scenes with Qhuinn and Blay that were poignant and felt authentic, like the angsty scene in the tow truck, Blay comforting Qhuinn, the coming full circle in the club, Blay coming out to his parents, the family crest, Qhuinn's piercings, yay!

    - JM's POV: I missed it like crazy. Furthermore: seeing things from his side would have actually made a lot of sense. These are his friends. He has seen them struggle for years. He was also important regarding the ahstrux nohtrum part. He could have been the link to Wrath and Trez POVs. But no. For someone who played such a huge part in the lives of our boys, he got an awful little air time.

    - the inner voices: I've said it before and I'll say it again: everyone is starting to sound alike. I know Ward has a typical style of writing but until a few books ago there was distinction between different characters' POVs. Now all of them have the same generic Brother-on-crack voice. Even the women.

    I didn't mind before with Manny or Tohr, or with Trez in this book, because I had never heard their inner voices before. But Qhuinn and Blay, especially Blay, also seemed to have lost their original voice. Only at a few instances did I feel like we had the real Blay back.

    - Xcor:

    , indeed! So much potential; morally ambiguous, daddy issues, a possibly very interesting dynamic with Throe in last book (or was that wishful thinking on my part?)... and all of it ruined. Pretty much all Xcor's POVs centered about his musings on Layla. Must she taint everything?

    - Qhuinn and Blay's story line: even without taking into account my hate over the baby plot, or the fact that I think Blay got the shaft, I think we can safely say the Qhuay story line was badly executed.

    At the end of Lover Reborn, Qhuinn proclaimed "Our time has come". Seeing that life was too short, Qhuinn was set on not wasting any more time. Maybe I'm naive but all of that made me expect for... something to happen. Anything. For Qhuin and Blay's story to be different from the little bits and pieces we saw of them in the previous books. But no: their story line was in set up mode for pretty much the first 80% in the book. Only the last 20% did their story move forward. And their plot took up not even one third of those almost 600 pages. Like my friend Tara said: "It's like reading the book before theirs."

    More importantly: we have waited for Qhuinn and Blay to get together for years. And then still, we didn't see them

    together. Except for the epilogue. In where important conversations and ground breaking moments are causally alluded to. What? I would have wanted to

    all that! This way it seemed like critical issues weren't resolved and we missed out on the most important parts.

    - the side stories: I can't count how many times I screamed "I don't care!" when I opened the next chapter to see the names of Assail, or Trez, or Xcor, or Layla, or Sola. In the old books side stories were relevant. They tied into the main story. Now, the side stories have absolutely no purpose, except for trying to sell us on new couples to ship for further books. And frustrating me to no end. And taking away from the main story!

    - Layla: I tried to like her, I really did. But come on! First of all: this book's title should be changed to '

    '. I think she featured in about 70% of the book. She had quite a few own POV sections. Next to that she was the subject of many of Qhuinn's and some of Blay's POVs, and 99% of Xcor's POVs.

    Second: I know this book we're supposed to a) feel sorry for her, and b) be amazed at her strength and resilience, and all I can say is: fuck that! First of all: her 'standing up for herself' usually happens with easy targets: Havers (whom everyone hates already), Phury (who was always the underdog, and frankly: did a shitty job as Primale regarding Layla) and Fritz (now, that was just bullying!). I think it's hilarious how she suddenly loses the old world speech when she becomes 'assertive'. It's so contrived!

    And in between she can only whine about sacrificing her virginity. Are you kidding me? She was all but begging to get laid by anyone with a dick in previous books!

    And by the looks of it, Layla will play a major part for many more books to come. Ugh.

    - the editing: granted, the editing has never been great. Ward's writing has become sloppier and sloppier. There is little attention to continuity of time, place, event and character (actions), and world rules are changed when convenient. But this book was the worst of the bunch. There is a typo on the very first page of the book. The first page! Also, for a book that is set a couple of years earlier, there are a lot of 2012 pop culture references. Other than that, Butch suddenly added 'wicked' to his vocabulary, V lost his 'true', Layla lost her Chosen speech completely at times, Assail got more Old Worldly by the chapter, rules around ahstrux nohtrum-ship changed, and Trez met Selena for the first time... while he had already met her back in

    .

    All in all,

    was a huge disappointment, where Ward took what could have been phenomenal story and presented it in the most unimaginative way possible. It makes me really sad.

    At the end, it wasn't a great reading experience, but it's closure nonetheless.

    Farewell Qhuinn and Blay.

    Adios Ward.

  • Tekla

    THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS, YO.

    I have waited six years to write this review. And in my mind, this was never the kind of review I imagined I'd post.

    The thing is that Qhuinn and Blay were pretty much ready to be together many books ago. JRW just kept coming up with plot devices and excuses to keep them apart. And the same happened in this book. They could have gotten together right when Qhuinn begged Blay to have sex with him.

    Instead, Blay lied through the whole book about Sa

    THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS, YO.

    I have waited six years to write this review. And in my mind, this was never the kind of review I imagined I'd post.

    The thing is that Qhuinn and Blay were pretty much ready to be together many books ago. JRW just kept coming up with plot devices and excuses to keep them apart. And the same happened in this book. They could have gotten together right when Qhuinn begged Blay to have sex with him.

    Instead, Blay lied through the whole book about Saxton. And Qhuinn settled for the easy way out. He had Blay without having to face his issues. It was anticlimactic, and honestly, JRW had a long book to pace things right. But she decided to hold them back with a million different excuses and then wrap it all up in 10 pages. The flow was all over the place. I wonder what her editors do, tbh.

    They told each other some pretty awful things that never got solved later on, too. There were attacks and accusations, but not real talking and development. It all happened off page. We were told they were talking a lot now, but we didn’t get to read these conversations.

    We all knew this would be a filler book, something easy to skip if you didn't want to read the "gay book". But honestly, romance aside, what else happened?

    Also: "Back at the Mansion..." Really?

    The amateurish bull in this book is unbearable. And the slang was out of control. I wonder if anyone working on this series still takes it seriously, tbh.

    There were parallels between Qhuinn and Blay through the whole book. Qhuinn's own demon was Saxton. And Blay's was Layla. And they both had similar thoughts in similar situations about them. The first time they had sex, Blay thought of Layla. And Qhuinn thought of Saxton the second time.

    I still think this is a bigger issue than it transpired in the book. And that it's coming back in future books, considering how they share house with these people.

    I'm glad JRW decided to show us how the night of the Honor Guard had bigger consequences. They were two kids in a sudden grown-up situation and no one made sure they were okay afterwards. They kept it all inside and things were never going to work out for them if they didn't talk about it.

    He said so himself: His relationship with Qhuinn has always been under Qhuinn's terms. Blay places Qhuinn before anyone else, included himself. He sacrificed his own feelings to help Layla’s pregnancy. It's not the first time he ignores what he wants to favor Qhuinn.

    When has Qhuinn done this for him? JRW doesn’t seem to care about Blay. And that’s a terrible thing. The same way she tried so hard with Layla, I could tell she barely tried at all with Blay.

    His development in this book barely scratched the surface. It felt flat and uninterested. His coming out to his parents was emotional but also cliché and an easy way out when everything was instantly acceptance and love. It lacked deep.

    Blay lying through the whole book about he and Saxton still being together was a cheap plot device to help drag the inevitable. A clear example of how little JRW thinks of him.

    Blay's character has always been defined by his sexual orientation. His plot line has always been about it

    Qhuinn. He's never gotten anything else. His only other plot was Saxton, and still, that was just part of the "gay character" plot.

    I've always seen something in Blay. Something that goes beyond his sexual orientation. I've seen

    . His personality. The way he's strong, smart and compassionate. The way he places the people he cares about first. He sacrifices himself no matter the consequences. He's a fighter, but he's much more than that. He's genuine and kind. He's fierce and funny. And I'm pissed off he didn't receive what he deserves.

    He's unselfish, he loves Qhuinn so much, I know he will accept Layla and love Qhuinn's baby. I know JRW is going to write him ultimately being a close parental figure to Qhuinn's daughter. And being happy.

    JRW shoved a heteronormativity family crap down our throats

    Blay's. The character defined by his own sexual orientation, the token gay character, he will always have to share his mate with a woman and a kid. Why? Because JRW wanted Blay "to be a daddy." And, let’s face it. She always placed Qhuinn first. After all, this is not Qhuay’s book, but Qhuinn’s, right?

    I

    understood Qhuinn a little bit more. As a character he always felt incomplete and unstable, as if JRW was still working on him.

    We find out he had suicidal tendencies back when he lived with his family. And Blay saved him in several occasions. I thought it was inexcusable to keep this fact for 6-7 books. It's too big of a deal to drop the boom like that and then never deal with it again.

    At the end of the book, Blay says something about therapy with Mary. And for the love of the Scribe Virgin I hope this happens. Because Qhuinn needs professional help.

    His issues run deeper than we can see. Even now, we can't fully see the scars because he's still discovering them himself. He hide from the world, from himself so much, we still don't know him fully. And I think that realization made me empathic toward him.

    He realized he had lived a lie without even knowing it. He thought he had things under control, he thought he knew what he wanted, who he was, and then boom. His life is upside down. Forever changed. He finally saw it. All thanks to Blay.

    My concern? JRW had six books, Qhuinn’s book include, to develop this. And she chose to do so in the last twenty pages of LAL. She had a few great opportunities, life changing events where Qhuinn could have seen all this. There were many ways to develop this character right, but like anything else lately with this series: Badly Executed.

    I can’t believe 20 pages before the ending of their book, Qhuinn was still saying he was not gay. What the actual fuck. He had admitted this to himself back in Lover Mine, ffs! Making Qhuinn realize he’s gay in two pages after “decades of lying to himself” is not the best way to develop such an important character’s trail. It also means JRW forgot her own plot,

    .

    Qhuinn's anchor is Blay. He needs Blay, he needs Blay's strength to be able to face his issues. He couldn't do it alone. I see why Qhuinn loves Blay. But I still can’t see why Blay feels the same way. And that’s a big flaw to the book.

    I felt truly sorry for Saxton. He was only a classy and respectful gentleman to Blay and Qhuinn. He broke up with Blay and stepped back, disappearing to let things happen between them.

    I know no one gives a crap about him. JRW included. But I think it's so unfair. He took care of Blay when Blay needed someone. He knew where he was getting himself into and even then, he was good to Blay. Always. He fell in love, that’s his only mistake. And now that he’s hurting, there is no one in that house to support him.

    I guess I must be grateful he's not dead (yet!).

    I thought what Qhuinn did was fucked up. It was not romantic, nor a great gesture. He nearly killed his COUSIN. Even if Saxton had cheated on Blay, NOTHING justifies what Qhuinn did.

    Yes, bonded males are possessive and all that bullcrap. I just don't find the bonded males thing hot, at all. That was violent and psycho. And it did not show how much Qhuinn loves Blay. Trust me, it didn't.

    Qhuinn never apologized to Saxton for what he did, too. They didn’t have a proper talk in this book. And they are

    . This really upsets me.

    Nope. Still not liking her.

    It's obvious through the whole book how hard JRW tried to make us like her. But the more she tries, the more I dislike her. All her ordeal with her miscarriage, and Harves… I just don’t care.

    I hated the fact that she told Blay about Qhuinn being in love with him. And then, when she realized her mistake she did nothing about it. And later on, when she wanted a male to tell her if she smelled pregnant again, she went to Blay!!! She’s so incredible selfish, wow.

    And no matter her epic Romeo and Juliet love with Xcor, I'll never believe Layla doesn't have feelings for Qhuinn. He was her first love. He took her virginity. And he's the father of her daughter. It's impossible she fully moved on. I find this a case of the "Because the Author says so." (BTASS from now on.)

    To be honest, I'm just angry I had to include her at all in the review of QHUAY's book.

    Apart from the ridiculous name, I'm glad he's finally back because that means more Qhuinn (and hopefully Blay) in the future. It was, however, very anticlimactic. He's not a lesser or an asshole. I guess being kept in Omega blood for years makes someone look at their life, look at their choices.

    So, what did the rest of the mansion think of Qhuinn and Blay? I was rooting for a similar scene to the one in LRb, where Tohr and what-was-her-name-again were at First Meal, and everyone was like "omg new gossip yay". Everyone assumed Qhuinn was with Layla, and Blay was with Saxton! So where is the gossip? Where are the stares? The whispers? The funny scenes? Goddammit, I'm so disappointed.

    I'm not even talking about what the Brothers think of a gay couple. Fuck that. They don't give a crap. And neither do I. That's not the question. They are just a bunch of old gossiping ladies!

    Btw, where was JM in all this????? THE FUCK?

    I imagine people found this hot? Sure, there was no contact with her. They were both fixed in each other. It was never about her. But... er, it just made me uncomfortable when Qhuinn had an orgasm while still feeding from her wrist. I just don’t know why they couldn’t wait to start with the sex until she had left. It bothers me because this is an example of their future feedings and just… Nope.

    I found the whole thing so gratuitous and cheapening for Qhuay. I felt I was reading an "insert yourself" scene. I can imagine the future "lucky Selena”, “wish I was her", etc comments. I feel like JRW used Qhuay to give certain readers what they wanted. I'm sure someone may even suggest they should have a trio at some point. And we'll go back to why not an OT3 HEA? I had enough of that crap for the rest of my life, tbfqh.

    The baby clusterfuck still makes no sense in all this. Not even once did Qhuinn indicate he wanted kids in the series. When he talked about having a shellan, he was talking in terms of the far future. He's still young in vampire age. No one wants to be a daddy when they are 12, so to speak.

    What hurts the most is reading him saying he wanted a family. Blay should have been his family. But Qhuinn picked a female and having a kid before Blay as his family. He didn't fight for Blay, he decided he wanted to pass his genes (one of his biggest issues, but who cares, right? BTASS) to a child because he always had wanted to be a daddy BTASS.

    Gay couples are a family, too. Gay couples can have children. And not all couples (gay or straight) need to have children to be a family.

    JRW wanted Qhuay to be daddies. And that's the only reason all this happened. Plot wise, it still makes no sense. And when it comes to the pregnancy none of the characters act IC or logically. Everything is a big BTASS.

    Am I the only one who noticed how, when Qhuinn explained he wanted a kid, Blay did never question him why. WHY did Qhuinn want a baby? No one questioned this. Because the moment you do, you realize there is no reason. It's all a big JUST BECAUSE.

    WHY NOT LUBE?!?

    I'm still not sure, but I guess they used their own sperm as lubricant? Which is still a big NO, btw. I just - Women have anuses, too. We know it hurts if you don't lubricate the area. And as far as I know, this is not Yaoi-land, where Ukes “get went” and have self-lubricating asses.

    This is one of my greatest pet peeve when I read m/m.

    In my understanding, JRW didn't want to get into too many details from the waist down. And it’s quite hard not to be too explicit when anal prep and lube are involved, I guess. But that’s such a letdown. I had to read some very detailed hetero sex in her books before. Sex I didn't care about. Naughty, dirty, detailed sex. And with Qhuay, she was so afraid of going too far, she even messed up the emotional factor.

    Also, there are other things in this life besides penetration. That's such a heteronormativity point of view. Penis goes into vagina, yadda yadda yadda. A lot of gay men are not into anal penetration. It's still sex and it's still good sex without penetration. I just- gurl, if you don't want to write in the lube, then google some stuff. What about intercrural sex? Should I send JRW some links? What about the

    page on Wikipedia?

    They always had penetrative sex doggy style, too. (At least, I think so?? At some point I wasn't sure of their position, tbh. So much like a newbie fic writer.) This bugged me so much. There are other positions, okay? I missed a face-to-face full of emotions sex scene. Their sex was usually quick, without foreplay, emotions or much detail. Yes, Blay didn’t want intimacy because he was scared (plot device BTASS). But after their love confession, I was expecting a highly charted intimate sex scene.

    So. Disappointed.

    What I found hot was their talk, especially Qhuinn's. Totally my type of dirty talking. But the gay sex was meh. I cried because AFTER SIX YEARS I WAS FINALLY READING A QHUAY SEX SCENE. But if you changed their names, the sex would have been pretty bad. Maybe it works for people who have never read M/M. I imagine some people will be outraged, even. I know that not all her readers are into M/M. But as an usual M/M reader, I have to say: Qhuay sex was so-so.

    Especially compared to JRW's het sex scenes. I thought she was going to be so good at writing gay porn. After all, she's better at writing males. But she censured herself too much.

    I loved how Qhuinn felt well owned for the first time in his life. I loved that he considered he had lost his virginity. And how happy he was about giving it to Blay. But I was expecting him to tell Blay before, like he said he would. I’d have loved to see a more slow and detailed scene when Qhuinn bottomed. With more emotions involved.

    I guess in general my biggest issue was the “surprise butt sex” penetration and the lack of an emotional connection between them while they were having sex.

    Clearly this is a mainstream series aimed at a hetero market. So far, all we had were hetero couples. And it worked for them. But in the case of Blay and Qhuinn... There was no need to follow the same formula. None of them had to be "the girl" for their relationship to work.

    In this verse, males do bond and are possessive. Females have control over males and get marked.

    Qhuinn was possessive and marked Blay. Blay had control over him. Their roles fit in with male and female vampire roles. And that's just BS. We read Blay's bonding scent at the end. But we don't get an explanation of how it works now with two bonding scents. Or why Blay's bonding scent didn't show up first.

    Blay never bit Qhuinn, either. And I really needed him to.

    It just irritates me. The book tries to fight for equal rights. There are a lot of scenes where Blay wonders why he can't have what hetero couples take for granted. There is a coming out. There is a lot of talk of equality and love. And meanwhile, the gay couple follows heteronormativity roles.

    It just makes me feel like JRW had good intentions but ultimately had no idea what she was doing.

    Also, Qhuinn thinking of "turning Blay into a librarian, a hand model, hairdresser..." Are you fucking kidding me? Don't you see the problem in this statement?

    • Blay giving Qhuinn his family ring.

    • Qhuinn. On his knees. Begging for it.

    • Blay saying he’s Qhuinn’s family and Qhuinn crying.

    • When they slow danced.

    • Blay playing with Qhuinn's PA piercing.

    • Qhuinn being a cuddler.

    • Qhuinn wanting to bottom for Blay.

    • “We are going to break the couch.” “What... Couch?”

    • Blay and his big boner at the gym.

    • Induction Ceremony.

    • V catching them and being fucking awesome about it.

    • The airplane plot.

    • Blay coming out to his parents.

    • “Always. Because family is an always kind of thing.”

    • Phury and Rehv bonding over the Tom Ford tuxedo.

    • “Are you kicking me out of the house?” “No, you idiot.”

    • Luchas apologizing to Qhuinn.

    • Qhuinn in a tuxedo.

    • “At the end of the night, will you come to me again?” “Yes, I will.”

    • Qhuinn teaching Havers a lesson.

    • Saxton being a classy slut. Wreck it, gurl.

    • “I still want to fuck you.”

    • Blay taking Qhuinn to visit his parents.

    So, was that a proposal or a proposal and a mating ritual? And if there was a mating, why didn't we read it? After all, it's a gay mating ritual. We have never read one before. We knew how an induction ceremony worked and yet we read another one. (I’m not complaining, though. I loved the Induction Ceremony). We have read several mating ceremonies. But the first gay one was not included?

    If it was a matter of space, Qhuay's mating ceremony should have had priority. It should have mattered more. If you want a book all about equality and such, show me a gay wedding. Stop chickening out midway. Make your gay men use lube and write their goddamn wedding!

    I expect more Qhuay in future books without having to get more Layla by default. I refuse to value Qhuay having to include Layla and the baby. I'm not letting her ruin my OTP. I'm going to hold onto the moment Blay gave Qhuinn his family ring. To the moment when they slow danced together. To the moment when Blay said he was Qhuinn's family and Qhuinn cried. Because that's the core of the story, that's what all this was supposed to be about. Because Blay is Qhuinn's family.

    Qhuay will always be my OTP. Because even with all the pregnancy crap and the many unresolved issues, when they are together, it's beautiful. It's like witnessing magic. And somehow it makes everything worth it.

  • Rebekah Weatherspoon

    i've never rubbed my face this many times while reading a book. ever. like ever. and ive read some stuff that's made me want to end it all lately. also this was one of the first reviews where i actually considered using gifs, but i'll spare you.

    short: this should have been called "There's very little meat in these gym mats." or "There's very little Blay in this paranormal romance which by all rights should be 50% Blay."

    long: okay here goes. i did not like this book, at all. i'll tell you the bi

    i've never rubbed my face this many times while reading a book. ever. like ever. and ive read some stuff that's made me want to end it all lately. also this was one of the first reviews where i actually considered using gifs, but i'll spare you.

    short: this should have been called "There's very little meat in these gym mats." or "There's very little Blay in this paranormal romance which by all rights should be 50% Blay."

    long: okay here goes. i did not like this book, at all. i'll tell you the bits i did like, or at least what didn't make me want to throw my iPad out the window, and then i will go on at length about what i didn't like.

    really this is partially a review i should have written after Lover Unleashed, but i was so pissed i just left a short review and went about my business. i need to get this stuff off my chest now. the rating on this stands though.

    Xcor and Layla: their angst was perfect. their longing was perfect. the set up for their conflict in future books was perfect. i might actually read the next book just to skim to their parts.

    the Brothers: they all popped up. it was nice to have all the boys back together in one way or another.

    the little bit of sex that Blay and Qhuinn actually had: the lead up to the sex was horrible. the aftermath? horrible. the actual sex? totally fine. it didn't blow my hair back, but i was afraid it was going to be really really really bad and it wasn't really bad. just lubeless.

    the reappearance of Qhuinn's brother: that actually added some plot to a book that was mostly set-ups for future books.

    Qhuinn's initiation: HE'S A BROTHER NOW! YAY!

    Blay coming out to his parents: it was sweet.

    the lovey dovey bit at the end: I actually wont spoil this. the very very very end is super cute and only slightly ruined by a horrible reference to Don't Stop Believing.

    this book is not about Qhuinn and Blay. i repeat. this book is not about Qhuinn and Blay. it's about Qhuinn, Qhuinn and Layla, Qhuinn and his brother, Qhuinn and the brotherhood and then Qhuinn and Blay.

    if you are expecting anything close to what the couples in books 1-5 and 7 experienced, you'll be disappointed. otherwise you might just be psyched they end up together. i don't know.

    after all that, she's setting up a love story between Assail/Rehv part two and this new mercenary human woman named Sol Morte. FUCKING MORTE! this couple is basically Rehv and more feminine Xhex. i didn't like this because ive read it before. Assail is exactly like Rehv. GIMME MURHDER!!! GIVE HIM TO ME NOW! then she's setting up Layla and Xcor and Trez and im guessing, Selena.

    then there are the lessers and Xcor and the BoB. their scenes were just there and not really that interesting. people wanting Wrath dead, drug sales, sneaking around, tailing cars. oh and Qhuinn flies a plane, etc.

    so with each book before either the Brother or his Shellan have an actual conflict, the best one being Zsadist as he was severely traumatized and literally needed to learn to love and accept physical contact from someone he was madly in love with. here's what happens in this book: Saxton and Blay break up. Blay doesn't tell Qhuinn until the last 10 pages. that's the problem.

    Qhuinn, who we have all known was at least bi, is also fighting the fact that he's not straight up until the very end, and Blay is afraid he'll want to keep their relationship in the closet. i think he would have come to terms with that way early on if Blay had just told him the truth. it was ridiculous. Neither of them really gets hurt, there's no kidnapping, no external threat. nothing. just some shit that could have been solved with one conversation.

    i counted. there are 12 POVs.

    Qhuinn

    A black guy who would be a lesser if he didn't die.

    Layla

    Xcor

    Assail

    Wrath

    Mr.C - forelesser

    Trez

    Sola

    Zypher

    iAm

    Saxton

    for what i think was meant to be a paranormal romance this was too many POVs. TOO DAMN MANY!

    : the first two times Qhuinn and Blay have sex it's after traumatic events dealing with people in Qhuinn's life. Layla is having a miscarriage for the first half of the book. Qhuinn's sad and MUST FUCK TO LIVE. Blay is pissed about it, but goes along with it anyway. Twice. all the while Qhuinn thinks he's still dating Saxton. the sex scenes are fine, but not romantic.

    im all for rough sex, but i expect a little romancing in books like this, but no. no romance. also no lube. they never refer to each other as "my this" or "my that" its "the fighter" and "the guy". Qhuinn is the fighter, Blay is the guy. I wanted them to give each other sweet vampire endearments like lellan or something. they also have undetailed anal sex. Qhuinn's dick is pierced and they don't use condoms or lube. that would kill Blay's ass. and she actually used words like "disengaged" and "retracted" when talking about Qhuinn pulling out of Blay. that is so unsexy

    the readers know Blay is gay. the readers know that Qhuinn is at least bisexual. this should not be something to be worked out at this point. Qhuinn also seems extra misogynistic in this book. and then they actually make some super stupid heteronormative joke at the end. gay couples are not trying to be straight couples. no one is the woman. when they get together they aren't confused about who is "in control". straight people, stop doing this. now. stop it. stop. just stop it.

    there's also all of this weird slut-shaming stuff. the word slut is used alot. some males can have sex with tons of people, and some can't. it makes no sense. if a woman sleeps with anyone she's not mated to? slut.

    Qhuinn is also hung up on his virginity that he supposedly gives to Blay when he bottoms for him. this made no sense to me what-so-ever. Qhuinn has fucked tons of people, tons of dudes. at this point he's already fucked Blay. he isn't a virgin just because he hasn't bottomed. nope nopeity nope nope nope. FURTHERMORE from all the talk of m/m vampire love being looked down upon in vampland, i know lesbian or bisexual female vampires don't even exist. forget other sexuality or genders in-between.

    also there's weird shit where the women knock on their doors all whisper soft and them men knock like MEN. ugh.

    i mean do i really need to explain this? it's just annoying.

    okay, i get that this is a dude-centric series, but i have always hated how Ward did the women in her books. She totally clipped Payne's wings. she's such a punk compared to V, it's not even funny. every other Shellan mates and then just disappears, unless she's Jane, the most hated woman in the whole series.

    here's what really chapped my ass, every woman who is not a Shellan or Blay's mom is some horrible annoying slut, especially in Xcor, Assail and Trez's POVs. i understand that they are hot, but every single woman they interacted with has fake breasts, is drug addict, or a whore who instantly throws themselves at these dude's feet with the worst pick up lines ever. i love big tits. i love cleavage. i love sex workers. love 'em, but they are lower beings in these books. im tired of that. especially the vampire whore that is feeding all of these guys. if she takes money she's a horrible whorey whore, but if she's a Chosen feeding half of the brotherhood, then she's a female of worth. Eff that Ess. also the male vampires can smell pregnancies and the females can't. eff that ess.

    her young was about everything, but Layla and her young. it was about Qhuinn and Havers and then toward the end, Beth. yes, Beth. i was little annoyed with Beth at this point. the women in this house never hang out, but Beth attaches her ass to Layla in the hopes that her pregnancy hormones will jump start Beth's needing, 3 years early. WHAAAAT!

    there is so much hubb-bubb around Layla's pregnancy and no one, NO ONE goes to Bella to ask her advice. The only woman (besides Autumn who tried to kill Xhex in the womb) in the house who has carried a baby to term and they don't talk to her, at all. WTF.

    i'll be honest, i should have stopped reading this series the moment Ward introduced Trez and iAm. they are Moors aka black guys, Shadows that are a different breed of vampire. the have darker skin and shaved heads? yeah let's go with shaved heads. upon Ward's insistence that the vampires have no race, i have no idea why Rhage is blond with blue eyes and Trez and iAm are described as black vampires of a different breed. it also doesn't help that they "work for" Rehv, they look out for Xhex even though she's mated, and they have special powers that other vampires don't have. Magical negroes much. in this book we find out a few more things about them.

    1) they are from a tribe somewhere else. a tribe. i'm not sure if its in the Old Country, but i didn't get that. they are a peace loving, humble people with a matriarchal society, but deadly and cannibalistic. Trez and iAm are flesh eaters. if this isnt some National Geographic BS i don't know what is.

    2) Rehv helped them get away from the tribe and that's why they work for him. they are actually in his debt.

    3)Trez is mated aka promised to the princess of the tribe, who he has never met and doesn't what to actually marry. here's where i start getting pissed. Wrath was promised to Marissa, sort of. V was supposed to be primale and Rehv was supposed to marry his half sister. V and Rehv at least tried to suck it up and follow through on those promises and Wrath just straight up bonded with someone else.

    Rehv gets a pass cause he had to marry his crazy sister, but V and Wrath never talked about these women in negative terms. Trez's perspective wife is a BITCH up and down a blue streak and there is no fucking way he is going back to live under her thumb. he avoids the priest who comes looking to bring him back. he's ready to run. a dead-beat nigga if ive ever read one. he fucks tons of humans(white women only) to make his body seem unworthy and then actually says he wishes he could get a human STD so he didn't have to marry the princess. what!!!! I am not here for that shit.

    assuming this woman is also a Moor/Shadow, im not trying to hear about how she's not shit and we haven't even met her yet. he's leaving her for white chosen anyway, so. yeah. i'm hoping that iAm falls in love with princess so the Brotherhood can have an alliance with with the Shadows. at this point i actually don't want to read Trez's book. i'm just not up for how Ward is gonna spin this. i mean she has two black guys running a Goth club and an Italian restaurant. HUUUH!

    Sol (Marisol) is Brazilian/Mexicana?, but she really does come off exactly like Xhex. there is one black human in the beginning of the book who is promptly killed. yeah. seriously, New York has never been this white.

    finally, i do not like that half of the vampires talk with Blackents. aka speak AAVE or ebonics. if you refuse to put actual black people in your stories, don't borrow our music or dress or slang and in some cases shit you think is our slang, but really isnt. i thought V was black in the first book. i really did. he's almost 400 years old and from Europe. why the fuck does he talk like that? why does everyone but some of the shellans and the chosen talk like that? why? if you want to leave brown and black people out, fine, but leave our components out of it too. honestly Butch is the only person in the Brotherhood who should have any slang in his speech and it would be Boston-southie type slang. ugh x10.

    sorry this was so long, but damn. this book was almost 600 pages. 90% of which was not about Qhuinn and Blay as a couple. i think Ward has really shifted their series over to Urban Fantasy. i don't know if i'll read the next book. i might actually go back and read Dark Lover. i miss the original couples.

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