Book Review: Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #10)

Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment has been a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance, unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, isolated netherworld—Tohr turns to the angel Lassiter to save his former mate. The only way to rescue her is for Tohr to love another. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vie for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past and a hot, passion-filled future. But can his heart let go and set all of them free?

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review

Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review

Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review

Book 7: Lover Avenged review

Book 8: Lover Mine review

Book 9: Lover Unleashed review

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That’s right, buddy. Our future has come.

Blay is a user, so I love Qhuinn more.

This installment is second best to Lover Awakened. Naturally, Tohr is the next favorite brother, following Z.

Tohr is actually nice, and kind. Given the possessiveness of vampires in this series, I think he growled just once, and wasn’t that a joy! His true worth as a male has already been displayed in Lover Unleashed, and Lover Reborn is an extension of that. It was sad, seeing him torture himself over the loss of his shellan. It was sadder, seeing him fall in love with someone else but he cannot admit it because he cannot let go of Wellsie.

No’One was a surprise, but given her history with Tohr (and I love their back story!), it made sense. Her quiet strength unhinged Tohr, her submission wholeheartedly given to the male was something to be admired. But when push comes to shove, I am happy that she stood up and held her ground against that jerk.

John and Xhex are all over this book, as if I couldn’t get enough of their drama in their installment. Still, John bore witness to Tohr’s downfall, and it only goes to show that not all of the mating goes well once their installment has concluded.

But of all the pairings J.R. Ward has done, Layla and a very unlikely male is probably my least favorite. Meaning, whoever opposes Wrath and the Brotherhood, will never be in my favor, ever. Ha.

No threats of lesser here. Wrath is so badass, I’m liking him more and more as this series continues!

So now that I’m through with Lover Reborn, I’m so psyched for Lover at Last. Oh yeah!

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LOVER REBORN by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 617 pages

Published October 2nd 2012 by Signet

4/5 stars

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Book Review: Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #9)

Payne, twin sister of the Black Dagger Brother Vishous, suffers a devastating injury, and brilliant human surgeon Manuel Manello is called in to save her. Their attraction is instant, and as powerful as it is dangerous. But as human and vampire worlds collide, a centuries- old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in jeopardy.

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review        Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review     Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review   Book 7: Lover Avenged review

Book 8: Lover Mine review

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“And I say to you now, I killed my father, not yours.” Lifting her palm, she peeled back and slapped him across the face. “And do not insult my blood.”

Heh. Payne is badass. :))

Lover Unleashed featured more of Vishous than Payne. Why is that? I mean, I did not like Lover Unbound‘s ending, so I don’t want anything to do with V and Doc Jane anymore. *huffs* (Although it was here that I only realized that they were not formally mated in their book installment.)

Fine. Good thing I have patience to sustain me so I can continue reading this series.

Manello, I like. He’s funny, can stand toe-to-toe with V or Butch, and he’s undeterred by a strong female like Payne. She, on the other hand, has no inkling on worldly desires, and it’s kind of funny (for me) that she can trash Wrath, beat him to bits during their sparring sessions, and then not know what kissing was. 😀 But she’s cool. Her loyalty to her twin is scary, despite being separated for more than a hundred years.

The back story of the Bloodletter is the intriguing part. Imagine Payne who is not afraid to kill him, and now she is being hunted by the Band of Bastards that stayed loyal to him.

I was anticipating the showdown between Payne and Xcor… then nothing happens. WTH.

Lover Unleashed is all about Payne being introduced to the world other than what she was used to with the Virgin’s Scribe spiritual abode. It’s about her romance with the human surgeon, V’s drama, and a lot of non-action.

But… I feel for Qhuinn. 😦

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LOVER UNLEASHED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 537 pages

Published November 1st 2011 by Signet

3/5 stars

Book Review: The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

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Young Adult > Paranormal > Post-Apocalyptic

(Blood of Eden #3)

Vengeance will be hers.

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster? With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

Monster.

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions – her creator Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost – the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. 

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, her triumph will be short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

THE FINAL HUNT IS ON.

Book 1: The Immortal Rules review

Book 2: The Eternity Cure review

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This finale was such a letdown, as I loved the first two books.

The first time I picked up The Forever Song to read, I put it down upon reaching Chapter 4. It would be weeks before I dared to continue. It was soo boring. And flat. Did I already mention boring? Julie Kagawa‘s storytelling might be growing out on me.

Allison was repetitive. Always with the hunger, the snarling, the promise of revenge against Sarren (but when the showdown was revealed, how pitiful Allie was). It was a never-ending lament on how she will destroy the lunatic vampire, and constant bickering with Jackal in-between. It really took forever to get the story into shape!

And there’s a lot of walking going on. Gah.

I asked myself: Am I getting used to JKagawa writing already? Because I found The Forever Song to be very predictable.

Zeke is still an emo boy. How come I cannot connect with him? There was no swoon factor. Kanin is the ever-efficient killing vampire, Allie is almost always fangirling about her Master. And Jackal missing the best fight of his existence? Oh, come on! Not fair! 😦

I liked The Immortal Rules, loved The Eternity Cure. I only finished The Forever Song for the sake of reading the whole series until its weary ending.

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for granting my galley request.

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THE FOREVER SONG by Julie Kagawa

Kindle Edition, 416 pages

Published April 15th 2014 by Harlequin Teen

2/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Mine by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #8)

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.

Book 1: Dark Lover review

Book 2: Lover Eternal review

Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review

Book 5: Lover Unbound review

Book 6: Lover Enshrined review

Book 7: Lover Avenged review

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Wish I could skip the next books and go straight to Lover at Last. 😀 Qhuinn!

I am more tuned in to the story of John Matthew’s best friends, Blaylock and Qhuinn. Imagine me looking at each chapter, expecting to read more, only to see that it will take me 5-6 chapters before I see them again after the last chapter they had. No wonder I finished Lover Mine in no time! Blay’s full of longing, Qhuinn is full of ghosts inside his head.

Xhex does not need John to save her, and when she escaped from hell out of her own resources, I was electrified with her success. A true female of worth, as the brothers would say. She’s one of the strongest female characters in this series.

John has a lot of baggage from his past life as a human. His blindness perfectly complimented Xhex’s symphath nature, and wasn’t that something for me smile about. He’s not intimidated by Xhex’s strength, so plus points for him. Although his connection with his best friends went out the window when Xhex stepped into his life.

Darius‘ and Tohrment‘s back stories are some of the best parts, I think (after Blay & Qhuinn, of course). Not all Brothers are good to their offspring, or doomed to a life of loneliness.

I’m thinking, have I seen the last of Lash? I like Payne, too.

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LOVER MINE by J.R. Ward

Hardcover, 512 pages

Published April 27th 2010 by NAL

3/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #7)

Caldwell, NY, has long been the battleground for the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and notorious nightclub that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King, and leader of the Brotherhood. Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood, even though his sister is married to a member. Because he’s a sympath, his identity is a deadly secret- the revelation of which will result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. And as plots within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll against Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in a darkening world- Elhena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him- and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

Book 1: Dark Lover review     Book 2: Lover Eternal review     Book 3: Lover Awakened review

Book 4: Lover Revealed review       Book 5: Lover Unbound review       Book 6: Lover Enshrined review

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Rehvenge will not be a favorite, but he’s okay. It’s like him and me have come into a civil agreement: “You’re okay as long as the Family/Brotherhood is okay.” Ha.

Ehlena is also okay, not quite rising to the other heroines in this series. I do have to applaud her brass balls, because she stands up to Xhex, and knowing Rehv’s personal guard, that is not easy.

The ending rankled my chains in protest, but it’s a good protest. It just means I need to pick Lover Mine soon. Man, I hate Lash. Someone needs to teach that traitor a painful lesson.

Rhage is still funny. Wrath and Beth’s growing relationship is nice to see. and Z is so gentle 🙂 still my favorite brother! I have to mention Trev and iAm, because they are really interesting characters, more intruiging than Rehv IMO.

Lover Avenged is a slight improvement over the last book, Lover Enshrined. It might not be as stellar as the other books, but compared to Phury’s lame story, Rehv’s is much better.

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LOVER AVENGED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 642 pages

Published Nov 24th 2009 by Signet

3.5/5 stars

Book Review: Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh

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Adult Paranormal Romance > Angels | Vampires

(Guild Hunter #6)

Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…

Book 1: Angel’s Blood review       Book 2: Archangel’s Kiss review

Book 3: Archangel’s Consort review       Book 4: Archangel’s Blade review

Book 5: Archangel’s Storm review

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…so badass. 😀

I believe this is the most action-packed Guild Hunter novel to date. And I was not even distracted by Elena-Raphael lovey-dovey scenes. And that ending, holy smokes, that was ten ways of awesome!

I knew I was right to continue this series. *fist pump*

War is inevitable. When angels fall from the sky, and the Hudson river runs red, it won’t be long before the archangels lose their minds (or stand greater than they ever were) and begin the war.

I saw glimpses of Aodhan, and Illium, too. Yay! And after every installment, Elena and Raphael’s relationship reached a new level, and I liked that. Not only is the plot evolving to new heights, but the characters are turning into hero- and villain-worthy roles. =)

The last few chapters are fantastic. I could not quite turn the pages faster than my excitement! I believe New York is now ready to face the war that’s been brewing even before the Cascade began? *grins*

Archangel’s Legion. I could not grasp the enormity of it, the impact it might have for Elena and Raphael‘s future. But I am going to find that out. Let’s get moving with the writing then,Nalini Singh! (Pretty please?)

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ARCHANGEL’S LEGION by Nalini Singh

Ebook, 384 pages

Published October 29th 2013 by Penguin Group (USA)
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4.5/5 stars

Book Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

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Young Adult > Paranormal > Post-Apocalyptic

(Blood of Eden #2)

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

Book 1: The Immortal Rules review

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…Not surprising in many ways, but still gory fun. 😀

My good friend Janus tells me that she found The Eternity Cure too slow for her liking. I didn’t. It was relatively easy for me to finish this sequel. Simply put, Julie Kagawa‘s vampire series is bloodier, more menacing, and unmistakingly lethal than ever.

Allison is stronger now, because she knew that in order to save her sire from his worst nightmare (hers, too), she needs to be in her top form. She doesn’t want to think about what (and who) she left in New Eden. Or her inevitable face-off with her blood brother. Or the monster that’s waiting for her when she finds Kanin.

The predictability of certain twists was a bit sore for me, but the bloody gore made up for it. Allison was a “better” vampire, if you can call her that. I think that being a vampire made her more human than when she was a Fringer.

I really, really Zeke here. He’s struggling with Jeb’s teachings clashing with his feelings for Allie. His emotions were blatantly displayed all throughout the book, and yet this made him more compact both as a soldier and as a human.

Jackal was very magnetic. He made the gloomy situations light, even laughable at times. But I still think he’s dangerous. So here’s another one to add in my collection of bad villains that I really love. 😀

The Eternity Cure is an impressive sequel. It made me think that even if I haven’t read the Iron Fey series, with Blood of Eden series alone I would still be a Julie Kagawa fan.

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for granting my galley request.

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THE ETERNITY CURE by Julie Kagawa

Kindle Edition

Published April 30th 2013 by Harlequin Teen

4/5 stars

Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

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Young Adult > Paranormal

(Blood of Eden #1)

To survive in a ruined world, she must embrace the darkness…

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a walled-in city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten. Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred ofthem—the vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself dies and becomes one of the monsters.

Forced to flee her city, Allie must pass for human as she joins a ragged group of pilgrims seeking a legend—a place that might have a cure for the disease that killed off most of civilization and created the rabids, the bloodthirsty creatures who threaten human and vampire alike. And soon Allie will have to decide what and who is worth dying for…again.

Enter Julie Kagawa’s dark and twisted world as an unforgettable journey begins.

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So.. where can I buy a katana? 😀

The makeup of The Immortal Rules is very different from Iron Fey series. It’s a far cry from the playfulness of Puck, the naivete of Meghan, and the renewal of Ash. But it doesn’t mean it didn’t favor my big appetite for post-apocalyptic themes. I reveled at the bleakness of Allison’s vampire world! This solidifies Julie Kagawa‘s versatility in writing. Hey Julie, I am a fan!

For such a dark content, the MC should also be dark as well. Not necessarily evil, just not unsuspecting to the dangerous world she’s in. And Allie did not disappoint. Her main purpose is to survive. Even if she sees her friends getting killed, she forcefully walked away for self-preservation. But she is not without guilt of being alive. It ate at her everyday.

And the thing I liked about Allie‘s character was that she was just not a vampire. She trained and got skills from her sire. She was a fighter, then a warrior! I would like to think that Allie can defend herself with more than just her fangs. Right? Not to mention she has no qualms of hurting someone because she was threatened. This is a girl who will not take a beating lying down. *fist pump*

The love interest was too much of a boy-next-door for my taste, but he also have merits, for he was a skilled fighter, too.

Paranormal and post-apocalyptic themes never did well for me, but The Immortal Rules changed my mind. It was sinister at the beginning until the end. I love it!

Hopelessness? Check. Kick-*ss heroine? Check. A devious plot that will suck you in? Check.

This is not a fairy tale. It’s the end of the world. Vampires are lording over humans, and Rabids are ravaging the ruins. I say: Unsheath that katana, Allison! Let’s draw blood. *evil, evil grin*

Thank you NetGalley and Harlequin for granting my galley request.

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THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa

Kindle Edition, 484 pages

Published April 24th 2012 by Harlequin Teen

4/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Enshrined by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #6)

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body, but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood’s mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love….

Book 1: Dark Lover review     Book 2: Lover Eternal review     Book 3: Lover Awakened review       Book 4: Lover Revealed review       Book 5: Lover Unbound review

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…So six books in, and I’m still for Zhadist. Woot! Oh, there’s Qhuinn. and Blay, too. *hot*

Lover Enshrined showed Z’s brother, Phury, as a whiner. He is mister hey-look-at-me-i’m-helping-everyone-but-myself drug addict. Phury’s attitude was a disservice to what the Brotherhood was all about. Where is the strength, man?

Zhadist‘s scenes were more enticing to read than Phury’s. It surprises me that Z’s character is consistent to that of Lover Awakened. No matter how brief his appearances in this installment, he outshined Phury by a freaking mile. Although I did love the bromance between the two. It was full of loss, pain, the need for redemption and forgiveness.

I liked Cormia better than Phury. Trained to serve the vampire race and the Scribed Virgin, to think of oneself was a sacrilege for the Chosen Females like Cormia. And yet, she slowly began to accept that being different from her sisters might be the key to her happiness. Her character was slow building, but it was just right to temper Phury’s grumpiness.

So did love triumphed over duty? The importance and difference between the two were naturally resolved but for Phury, it was snail-paced. Crap, I resent him. He’s not fit as a Brother anymore!

If not for Qhuinn‘s POV snippets, Lover Enshrined would be a total flop for me. I was excited to start the next book, Lover Avenged, so see more of Q! But then again, I paused. Rehvenge is the lead here, and I’m not that into him. Not yet.

In the meantime, I want more Qhuinn!!!

#19 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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LOVER ENSHRINED by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 534 pages

Published June 3rd 2008 by Signet

3/5 stars

Book Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

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Genre: General Fiction > Adult Paranormal Romance

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #5)

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father’s war camp he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time-until a destiny he didn’t choose takes him into a future that cannot include her…

Book 1: Dark Lover review     Book 2: Lover Eternal review     Book 3: Lover Awakened review       Book 4: Lover Revealed review

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… and I am happy to say that Zhadist is still my favorite Brother. *fist pump*

The ending of Lover Unbound was totally ridiculous. I think it was the flimsiest excuse for a wrap-up of a Brother’s story. And to think that Vishous is so strong in character! Disheartening, really.

V was trying to get over a relationship. Getting drunk on Goose, mindless kinky sex, pissing off even the Vampire King. His carelessness got him seriously injured over a fight with the lessers, rendering him in Dr. Jane Whitcomb‘s care. And the rest, as they say, is history.

It was incredulous to think that for someone so jaded, so afraid of intimacy as Vishous, he would be quickly smitten over a mortal. Didn’t he say before that humans are just mere casualties of the war against the lessers? I didn’t get it! In a matter of days he was declaring his love and possessiveness for Jane. What. The. F.

Jane‘s character is clearly forgettable. Her supposed steel strength that enamored V in the first place looked forced, or discreetly formulated. Whatever happened to her in the end? It was utterly ludicrous. I was appalled on how J.R. Ward handled the situation.

Lover Unbound was supposed to be amazing, darn it! I was so looking forward to it after Lover Revealed, for V was so addicting there. Major sigh. Where did your personality go, V?

#18 Off-the-Shelf Challenge 2013

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LOVER UNBOUND by J.R. Ward

Paperback, 502 pages

Published September 26th 2007 by Signet

3/5 stars