For What It's Worth

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review: Lover at last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11) by J.R. Ward

13570854Qhuinn, 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 another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one. ~ Goodreads

I feel like I've waited at least a decade for Qhuinn and Blay's HEA. I know it hasn't actually been that long but I don't think any other BDB couple has had greater obstacles thrown at them than these two. They almost felt insurmountable.

As I waited for their book it was with a mix of total terror that she would write a threesome with Layla and fear that it wouldn't live up to EVERYTHING that I hoped and imagined for Qhuay. Eventually as time passed I became a little blasé about it. I think as a way to buffer my expectations. So really I went in with none.

As always the slang and brand name dropping is overwhelming. It calmed down after a few chapters but man - I almost feel like I'm reading a commercial sometimes. Does Ward get paid for product endorsements? I had always felt it was just her style of writing and rolled with it but now it seems like a product placement quota. The pop culture references were more successful with jabs at Justin Beiber, Miley Cyrus and Honey Boo Boo.

Again with the 500 POV's. I don't even bother to read anything about the lessers anymore. It never matters. Whenever I read the Trez / iAm POV's I kept thinking of the Will i Am Brittany Spears song Scream & Shout. Very distracting. The multiple POV's at least seemed to tie in together better in this book so while I still hate it, I hated it less than usual. It’s just so annoying to be in the middle of something interesting and keep getting pulled away.

 *Thanks a lot for getting this song stuck in my head J.R.

The Brotherhood was a HUGE part of this story and I loved it. They've been scattered or forgotten for so long it just didn't feel like a brotherhood anymore. They really come through for each other and Qhuinn in this book. The BDB is at a major crossroads and it's going to be so cool watching it unfold. I like the new tactic the Band of Brothers is implementing. It could actually work - which is scary in a way the Lessers never are.

I feel like Ward is still adding too many new plot threads while leaving behind many that are unresolved. Friendships that were so important, barely pop up now. A great example is JM, Qhuinn and Blay. They were inseparable many books ago but now have just a few passing conversations. Where the hell is the Scribe Virgin? And without revealing too much - she keeps writing an easy out for characters. First Mary, then Jane....I'm not really worried about anyone anymore if poof! everything can be fixed in a snap.

Qhuinn. He experiences SO much growth in this book. We find out that the rejection from his family has affected his life in more ways than even he realized and why Blay has always been an important person to him. He finally starts to take accountability for his actions and how they have hurt Blay over and over. He steps up and becomes a real male of worth.

Qhuay. Could they ever possibly live up to the expectations I had for them? No, but after some highs and lows I'm pleased with how it all turned out. I have closure and I believe in them as a committed couple. Ward did NOT shy away from the m/m sex scenes. They were hotter than hell but honestly the lack of any emotional connection left me feeling empty at first. Thankfully, we get each of their POV's so we know what they were really thinking and feeling as opposed to how they were acting and what they were saying. Otherwise it just felt like angry sex. Hot - but hollow.

They create a whole lot of unnecessary drama and confusion because they won't just talk to each other but I got it. It felt real to me. Frustrating…but real. Just when I wasn't sure I could be convinced, she delivered in a big way. I'm so so so happy with it all. Closure. *happy sigh*

Layla. I disliked her from the very first time she ever showed up and just hated her more and more with each book. I can't say I love Layla now but I don't hate her anymore. I even felt bad for her. I'm still not a fan of the pregnancy plot. Not just because of the obstacle it created for Qhuay but the motivations for it never rung true to me but it happened and now she's kind of an afterthought to everyone, even though Qhuinn is there for her. But she's no afterthought to Xcor. They have the best scene in the book IMO. I almost melted from their encounter. I truly believe that if Ward doesn't drag their story out over a bijillion books, and thereby water it down, they will be the best couple in the BDB series.

Phury. WHY is this guy the Primal? WHY? His freed Chosen are just left out there confused and to suffer. He has no idea what's going with any of them then comes rushing in passing judgment. *SMACKS upside head*

Final thoughts: I went in without a lot of expectations just so I wouldn't be crushed with disappointment. Despite a bumpy start, the multiple POV's (typical of a BDB book), and lack of the emotional connection I was looking for between Q & B at first, I ended up very satisfied with the conclusion. This felt like a throwback to the earlier BDB stories when being in the Brotherhood meant something. I even managed to accept Layla. I no longer feel like she needs to die. lol I want her to get her HEA. (that was for you Jen S)

Author: Website
Source: Purchased
Buy the book! Lover At Last: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood


  1. A book 4 and earlier? Cos after that it was just downhill for me

    1. Yeah - because they were finally together again and acting like a brotherhood but this series has gotten too out of control IMO. I gave up a while ago. I just needed to read Qhuay so I could move on lol

  2. I'm almost finished w/Dark Lover and I can see why the fans are so devoted to the series. I agree about the lesser pov. I hate it, and skim those parts. I'm glad you were happy w/book, overall!

    1. It's like crack! SO over the top but addictive anyway. I read the Lesser's at first thinking it was important but it's not. In the later books there are just too many POV's and I skip quite a bit. This is the first book I've paid attention to everything (but the lesser's)

  3. will read later but agree about hearing with JM ...and you don't layla anymore. Yes I skim those POV too.

    1. I'm done with the series I think but I needed to read Qhuay's story. It took so long!

  4. Oh I'm so behind on this series but have heard nothing but "I wants" for this book. I'm glad that you ended up satisfied. I also love it when you change your mind about a character. Need to continue with the series!

  5. Great, great review, Karen.

    As much as I loved this book, I, too, had some issues with it and look forward to seeing some of the loose ends tied up in the next book. My most frustrating issue was one you mentioned here: the lack of an emotionally connected love scene.

    You know how happy your Layla acceptance makes me! I know people are quick to blame her for delaying the inevitable HEA for Qhuay, but I refuse to blame her. Not without blaming Saxton, too. Essentially they play the same role, true?

    I am continuing the series without question and will let you know when (or IF) Phury pulls his head out of his arse. Don't hold your breath. :)

    1. I think a lot of the sex in her recent books, although hot, is cold and unfeeling mostly angry sex. All the brothers are so self loathing now. I see a spark of hope with the Xcor/Layla relationship though. It has an epic/romancey feel to it.

      I don't blame Layla entirely. I have a thing against the Chosen in general - not just her - but I think if she had just said something after she knew Q loved B the whole thing could have been resolved in about two minutes. Saxton was willing to back off (repeatedly) so I don't really blame him even though I never liked him much.

      I don't even really *blame* Layla. Qhuay got in there own way - especially in this book where there were no real obstacles. I just never bought in to the storyline Ward wrote about her and Qhuinn though. It felt forced and directly opposite what they said they wanted before. So it just pissed me off that I had to keep reading about it! hehe

      My own belief is that she wanted Q/L together (she said that in an interview) but flirted with the Qhuay idea and got overrun with fans wanting that instead. Especially after the Butch/V letdown. So she backed herself into a corner and had to write her way out of it.

      How about we call a truce on Layala and just blame everything on Phury?? Which isn't too far front he truth. This WHOLE thing could have been avoided if he paid any attention. I hate him now. He's a complete doofus

      Oh well....all is right with the BDB world now. We have Qhuay and Layla will get her man. lol

  6. Whoa, this is such a thorough review. I have not read this series and I probably won' sounds like a lot of frustration along the way, which I guess is to be expected. I'm glad you were satisfied and the two main characters got their HEA.

  7. this series sounds like a roller coaster!! wow! i just heard that she wrote some historicals, a friend recommended them to me. I had only ever heard of this series, and I'm not sure it's for me.

  8. I Love this series! If you like a good vampire series, this is the book for you! I recommend it!
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