For What It's Worth

Monday, March 28, 2011

Comfort Reads: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

I recently was asked about my favorite reading escapes for a feature over at Vampire Book Club. I could include a link to my review of my chosen book. It got me thinking – most of my favorite books that I go back to time and time again were read before I started blogging so there aren’t any reviews.
I decided to do a regular feature looking back at some of my favorite comfort reads. The books I go to when I need a guaranteed good book or just to revisit old friends.

Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3)
First up: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
Zsadist was my first tortured hero, and you never forget your first. Poor, poor Z – he was a sex & blood slave to The Mistress before finally being rescued by his twin (multi-colored haired Phury).

This boy is so tortured that he can’t be touched, sleeps huddled on the floor in the corner and carries around the skull of The Mistress just so he can be sure she’s dead. His very first interactions with Bella result in vomiting and excessive scrubbing. Even his fellow brothers are scared shitless of him.

I don’t even remember how many times I’ve re-read this book. The love story is so beautiful and tender (and sexy hot!)

Z is forced into a relationship with Bella because of her needing and you need a plot device like that to push through Z’s barriers because they are so great. He wouldn't have ever touched her on his own.
I love that their relationship doesn’t come easy. Just because they had sex doesn’t mean everything is perfect – he still has a looong way to go. They fight tooth and nail for it to work and the story may be set in the paranormal world but the up’s and down’s parallel real relationships and overcoming abuse.

The series as a whole is either a case of you totally buy into it or you don’t. With names like Wrath, Rhage, Thorment etc….villians that smell like baby powder and a severe overuse of slang like shitkickers, true and verily (verily isn’t slang but it is annoying) this series could be discounted as a joke but Ward infuses real emotions into her characters and makes you care.

I admit that the series hasn’t been as good for me lately. I’m sick of the plot retreads – tortured hero not worthy of intended mate so he goes and smokes blunts or has anonymous sex/takes lots of "showers"….The bad guys are seriously lacking evil villain skills, multiple kidnappings, WAY too many plotlines going at one time and I want Qhuay! I don’t give a crap about anyone else (except maybe Thorment). I also wouldn’t mind too much if Layla fell off a cliff either.

So I may not anticipate when each new book comes out anymore but when I need some good romance and yeah – a little smut I always go back to the Lover Awakened.


  1. "Poor, poor Z – he was a sex & blood slave to The Mistress..."

    That's a bad thing?!? :)

  2. This is certainly a comfort read. And I gotta say Z's story was by far the best in the series to date! I'll help push Layla off the cliff and yes on Qhuay's book. :)

  3. @Marc - oh yes, it was a very bad thing.Not at all what your picturing.

  4. True, that! ;) The names (OMG, the names!) and everything else that you mentioned really put me off at first because - yeah - it really did come off as a bit of a joke ... but I'm so glad I tried to read Dark Lover for, like, the fifth time, because I finally got into the whole series (although Phury did a good job of putting me off again ...) and - wow - it's pretty damn good! :)

    I want to know about Tohrment, too. Although, after he was returned to the brothers, I just kept picturing him as Pierce Brosnan at the beginning of Die Another Day ... ... EEW! :o

    Then, ofc, there's Qhuay ... *happy sigh*

  5. I still need to read this series. I get kind of sick of the same plot points too so, I'll have to make sure when I get around to reading this series I break em' up! :D

  6. I am waiting oh so impatiently for Qhuay, too!! I re-read the series last year, just to get a Blay and Qhuinn scenes fix... :) And Layla really is annoying...I concur. :) Great idea - comfort reads.. I like that... :) I definitely have a few.

  7. Awwwwww, Z's story broke my heart. I just wanted to sweep him up and put him in a protective bubble. For da realz.

    And I think we are all a bit frustrated that Qhuay hasn't happened yet. Grrrrr

  8. I'm completely with you here. Zsadist's story, for me, is the strongest. Overcoming tortured pasts, and seeing the two fight for the relationship because each is the first person to really understand the other. It's heartwarming and a little smutty. Total comfort read.