Lover Mine by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #8
Source: Personal Library
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. Long divided as a terrifying battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.
Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.
My sweet John Matthew finally gets his own book – and the result was romance, heartbreak, action, suspense… and a dash destiny…
(Spoiler Free if you’ve read the previous books)
The essential truth of life, he was coming to realize, wasn’t romantic and took only two words to label: Shit. Happens.
But the thing was, you kept going. You kept your friends and your family and your mate as safe as you were able. And you kept fighting even after you were knocked down.
I have a tendency to become overly-attached to fictional characters; John Matthew is definitely in that category. I’ve watched him grow – literally and figuratively – over the course of this series, and while I was incredibly excited for him to get his own book, I was also nervous as hell… What was going to happen to John Matthew?
All I could do was sit back, let J.R. Ward take me on a wild ride, and cross my fingers that everything would turn out OK for a character I’ve come to adore.
“No, you’ve got it all wrong, John.” Reading his emotions, she shook her head. “You’re not half the male you could be because of what was done to you. You’re twice what anyone else is because you survived.”
My sweet (not so little any more) John… Readers of the BDB Series watched him grow up and struggle to overcome the tragic circumstances of his past… The lost, scrawny, scared orphan managed to secure a place in my heart and it’s been amazing to watch his story progress.
All of the characters seem destined to hit rock-bottom right before they’re given their own book. John was spiraling out of control in the wake of Tohr’s return to the Brotherhood, and the epic failure of the pseudo-relationship with Xhex. Even before John’s transition, he was helplessly enamored with the female head of security at ZeroSum… When Xhex was kidnapped by Lash at the end of Lover Avenged, John completely lost it.
There was no way to comfort the lost boy he’d been back then.
But she had the grown male.
She had him right in her arms, and for a brief moment of whimsy, she imagined that she was never, ever going to let him go.
I was worried about pairing John up with the infamous Sympath badass female known as Xhex… John had been through so much tragedy in his life, and Xhex didn’t seem to have nurturing bone in her body… Turns out, Xhex is a perfect match for John, and she proves her worth over the course of this book.
On a side note: We saw how lethal Xhex can be in Lover Avenged, but she really spread her wings in this book. The female is a fighter with skills that will make your jaw drop. She’s simply incredible. In a series which has become hit-or-miss with its female characters, I was hugely impressed with Xhex!
“You don’t go after what’s mine. Now be a good boy and gut yourself.”
The overall pacing of this book was AMAZING. J.R. Ward likes to weave multiple story-lines together, but never has that been as beautifully accomplished as in Lover Mine.
The side-stories and flashbacks coalesced in a way which was both seamless and satisfying.
John’s connection to Darius was explored through the pages of the Brother’s diary – and included insight into multiple characters of the series including Tohr and Wrath – as well as a few others which were a surprise right up until the reveal.
BLAYLOCK & QHUINN
I miss you. I miss you so fucking bad it hurts, but I don’t know how to find you even though you’re right in front of me.
I ache for these two… Their story has been progressing over the last several books in the series and I am eager to see them find their Happily Ever After together… Honestly, I’m so invested in Blay & Qhuinn, that I’m not particularly interested in reading Lover Unleashed (Payne’s Story) – I just want to skip straight to Lover At Last… But I’m a good little girl, and I’ll read everything in order… Even if the anticipation is killing me…