Author : JR Ward
Publication Date: 27th April 2010
Source: Hardcover and ebook owned by reviewer
but beware the extremely naff cover art in the European editions
Audience: Adult; Paranormal Romance
John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown. Taken in by The Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was-or his true identity.
Xhex has long steeled herself against the attraction to John Matthew. Until fate intervenes and she discovers that love, like destiny, is inevitable.
I love this book! Unwrapping the hardcover edition with yet another example of supremely droolworthy cover art, I read it in one sitting on the same night and have savoured it again on a slower read on my Kindle since I don’t want to tarnish the hardcover beauty on my bookshelf! My anticipation of reading John Matthew's story may have coloured my perceptions, admittedly, as he is one of my favourite characters in the series. I had high hopes for his story and the HEA with Xhex (who is one of my favourite female characters in the series because she exists independently of whatever the males are doing).
JR Ward has done a stellar job interweaving a series of story arcs eloquently and cleverly, and there are some real revelations along the way. In National Enquirer style - Darius: Days of My Lives! Team Qhuayla! What happened to Murhder! Payne makes it out of the Other Side! and more!!! I enjoyed the Darius story arc. There is something soothingly karmic about him taking care of Tohr, who takes care of JM, who is Darius, and so it goes.
This book marks a shift in the Warden’s focus on characters, in my opinion. Female characters are beginning to have their own fully-fleshed kickass story lines. This is carried on in Payne and Manny’s book (Lover Unleashed, BDB 9). There is also less focus on the banter between the older Brothers (whom I did miss terribly- I wouldn’t mind having the book equivalent of 24-hour live streaming from the Mansion and the Pit, such is the depth of my obsession with this world), and more focus on the next generation. While this change in focus is understandable given the need to move story arcs on, I was beginning to get a little fed up with it, in particular all the TV reporter/historical house stuff, until the WARDen pulled her ginormous vampire-sized rabbit out of the hat!
The pain and agony of Xhex’s story, and how she and JM find each other was heartbreaking but ultimately very satisfying. They are both damaged souls who have found love’s own reflection of itself in each other, after many false starts. JM as a bonded male is glorious to behold… and hold, I suspect *coughs politely*.
My two small niggles with this book are that
1) the WARDen disappeared up the spout of her own pimp-daddy cleverness with all the new 'street' lingo she was inventing and incorporating, and
2)JM did not become a Brother. I really can't understand this not happening in his book, since it is now clear that he is Darius incarnate and is a Brother to his core. This left me feeling rather cheated.
Maybe that will be a plot device for later books? The WARDen does like to revisit plot arcs from time to time. *sigh* A girl can dream…..
Blysse’s Hot:Plot Ratio
I tend to rate books on a Hot:Plot ratio depending on the proportion of gratuitous and non-gratuitous schmex there is in the overall story arc. Unlike the WARDen’s earlier offerings, this book is more plot than hot, but there is (just) enough fruity vampire sexiness to satisfy any lusty paranormal romance fan.