Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
Lover Reborn - J.R Ward After the debacle that was Lover Unleashed, I swore I was done with the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Swore it. There was no way I was buying or reading this book. Until a friend loaned me Lover Reborn and I caved. Tohr was my favorite of the original brothers, and I was secretly dying to know what became of him. While Ward still hasn't redeemed herself after her last hot mess, at least this book was better than the last one. Then again, that's a very low bar.In Lover Reborn, No'One, who ostensibly came to serve Payne and then inexplicably disappeared from Payne's ENTIRE BOOK, moves to the forefront. We know from prior books that she's Xhex's mother, and she was forcibly impregnated by one of the creeptastic symphaths, then offed herself after giving birth to Xhex. We know that Tohr and Darius rescued her from the symphath and took care of her during her pregnancy and birth. And now, we are pretty damn sure she's going to be the one thing that gets Tohr somewhat over the loss of his mate Wellsie and their unborn young.As any reader of the series could have predicted, Tohr fights his attraction to No'One with everything he has, including a memorable scene in which he PUNCHES HIMSELF IN THE CROTCH when he becomes aroused. Still, Ward shows a bit of a return to form with both the sex scenes as well as with the movement of the characters, putting Tohr and No'One on a parallel path with John Matthew and Xhex, as the other couple tries to navigate being a couple who may or may not fight together.Of course, we still have this side plot of other vampires mucking things up, and Ward manages some truly laughable messes with this disaster. Keep in mind we've had nine books (plus the companion guide/novella) that have told us the "Old Language" sounds vaguely Hungarian. So how do these new vampires speak? WITH A SCOTTISH BROGUE. Dear babby Gabaldon fangirls, what happened there? I have no idea. I still don't care about these vampires, will never care about these vampires, and with every new and ridiculous character and plot point Ward tosses in, she leaves less and less time for the characters fans of this series DO actually care about. She does manage to work her way back a teensy bit to the Qhuinn/Blay plot fans have been begging for, but it's now so complicated I fear for the next book.Had this book followed any other book in the series, it probably would have been two stars at most, but given the serious horror show of the last one, it nets itself a solid three.

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