Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
Lover Mine - J.R. Ward And finally, we come to the end of the currently available Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) novels by J.R. Ward with Lover Mine, released this past April.::: The Plot :::At the end of Lover Avenged, the previous novel, the half-symphath Xhex had disappeared, abducted by Lash, half-vampire and half-lesser (the mortal enemies of vampires) and son of the Omega, the force of evil. John Matthew, the mute orphaned vampire warrior, is simultaneously mourning her and searching for her. Meanwhile, she's being held captive by the sociopathic Lash, used for sex, and hidden by magic that prevents the Brothers from finding her, even when they are in the same room she's held captive in.Once she's away from Lash, it's up to John Matthew to save her, both physically and emotionally, but can she give up her plans to get her vengeance and then vanish from his life?::: Sounds Like Cliche Vampire Romance :::Ward has been building momentum for Lover Mine since she first introduced the character of John Matthew and his attraction to Xhex, and it shows. Where we had little time to get to know the couples in her previous books, we've had several books to get to know these characters, and learn about their pasts, and fall in love with them ourselves.John Matthew is believed by the Brothers to be the son of Darius, but Ward's giant hint is that he's somehow the reincarnation of Darius. She gives even more credence to this by interspersing the story with Darius' old journal, which includes the tale of how he came to be friends with Torhment (John Matthew's surrogate father). He's so honorable and well-mannered and downright lovable that you can't help falling for him and wanting him to succeed with Xhex, even though you know this is a romance novel and those always have happy endings.As usual, Ward has several sub-plots going, including the ongoing unresolved sexual tension between out-of-the-closet Blay and his firmly closeted best friend Qhuinn, as well as more about the Scribe Virgin's daughter (and Brother Vishous' twin) Payne. For once, all the sub-plots are interesting, and since most of them are continuations of those in previous books, they aren't as distracting as they could be. Still, I found myself skipping ahead at times to just read the John Matthew/Xhex parts before going back and reading the rest.What really keeps this book from being great, however, are the sections with the lessers. In the previous book, Lash had assumed the mantle of the Omega's chosen, but in this book, he falls out of favor for a reason I'm not even sure I understood. The scenes with Lash and the other lessers are downright over-the-top gory, and I highly recommend reading them on an empty stomach, as they aren't for the faint of heart.This review originally published at Epinions:

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