BOOK REVIEW of Lover At Last by J R Ward
I couldn’t not say something about this. Quite a few books manage to divide my opinion and this one was no different. I’d hoped it would be. I’ve been a fan of the Warden’s work for a long time but her latest few in the BDB series have been falling short for me.
Qhuinn, 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 first-hand.
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 . . .
Lover At Last didn’t hit me where I was expecting it to. It didn’t wow me. If anything, it confused me and infuriated me.
The slang, for one. I’m not American, I’m British, and I totally understand the slight differences but I’ve never had a problem keeping up with American colloquialisms in other books. Finding myself googling a lot of them, or just plain making up my own meanings, was irritating. She went overboard.
For two, I enjoy a complex plot, a mystery, however, I do not enjoy a bazillion plots all piled into a book that should have been dedicated to the main couple.
The tendency to keep adding story lines to her BDB series have been increasing the past few novels and this book was chock full of them. I found myself skimming for the Qhuinn and Blay plot, barely reading the others, the way I used to skim the lesser parts in earlier novels.
It was a very long book, and yet, the Qhuay parts couldn’t have amounted to more than novella length if they’d all been smushed together. I think if she had published it as a novella, it would have been amazing.
A lot of the conflicts between the couple have been seen in previous books and the arguments and constant misunderstandings became a bit tiresome after awhile, rehashing what had already been hashed. I get that it was for friction but it rubbed me the wrong way. I got annoyed.
Onto the sex.
Though not generally a reader of M/M, I have to admit the scenes were hot, and not too full of entrances that pucker and tight assholes. Something I cannot stand when it comes to describing anal sex. The lack of lube was slightly concerning, but if the boys like a bit of burn...
Overall, the sex was awesome, in spite of the emotional detachment, or anger that came with the situation. If they’d both been in the same headspace whilst doing it, the connection would have been much more intense. Angry sex is good and all that, but it can wear a little thin after a while.
And what was with all the denial?
Why did Qhuinn have to be gay? He seemed to have an issue labelling himself, when he didn’t have to.
He could have been bisexual, he’s certainly had enough experience with both to be such, or he could have been Blaysexual. Much better than tearing his hair out over sexual identity.
It's a good enough read, but if I wasn't already invested in the characters and the BDB world, I probably wouldn't have had the patience to finish it.
I awarded it 3.5 Throbbing Hearts and a heat rating of Sinfully Hot.
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