John Matthew and XhexI m glad you and Xhex have found each other It makes cosmic sense, it truly does John shoved the keys in his pocket to free up his hand We re not together.The smile that briefly showed on the guy s face seemed ancient Yeah, you are You two are meant to be togetherJohn Matthew has the most complicated storyline in BDB By far The truth is that nobody really knows who is John Matthew not even John himself.Let s start from the beginning DARIUSDarius is definitely the most fundamental character in the series He was killed in the first book, but he has never left the series He is basically the one who brought the Brothers together, the one who fathered Beth and introduced her to Wrath and the one who had the largest fortune houses, money, cars, doggens etc and most of it the Brothers and their mates enjoy now that Darius is dead and gone but not forgotten He has also played a huge part during the birth of Xhex as the best friend of Tohr , but this will be exploited in book Lover Reborn when we learn the story of Autumn aka No One.Anyway, I have started talking about John Matthew in the beginning The orphan John who grew up among humans who never knew who his real father is who is mute and could not cry for help when he was sixteen and he was raped at the stairs of his horrible, cheap apartment.That John always wanted to be someone strong and fierce so that nobody would ever harm him again or the people that he wanted to protect And one day he learned that he is truly a vampire and that pretty soon he will be taller, stronger, good looking and nobody would give him a hard time ever again So at some point, he matured and he changed.And he got his first rejection by Xhex.And then his second rejection by Xhex.Although she was the only one who made him forget his brutal rape and who made him feel a man.And then Xhex was taken away from him and she was tortured.And he could not find her and protect her like he had vowed that he would do when he would become stronger.But let s not forget that they were destined to be together.Thus, not even disgusting Lash or the whole Omega tribe could separate them.He just had to break some treadmills to calm down first She shook her head I m not leaving him And I m out here waiting only because I was making him crazy The sight of me isn t good for his mental health at the moment I m hoping that s no longer true after he breaks this second treadmill Second I m pretty damn sure the flapping and the smell of smoke about fifteen minutes ago meant he ran one of them into the groundAnyway what was I talking about Oh yes About John And about Darius Well, John is Darius And this is the biggest mystery in the series so far. As she stood beside John Matthew, and watched his huge body crumple down by the bed, the organ that beat behind her sternum shattered like a mirror.Nothing but shards.She was utterly and completely ruined as he cradled that pillow like it was a newborn, and in this moment of his utter despair, she would have done anything to ease his pain Even though she had no idea why he felt the way he so clearly did, the reasons were unimportant.His suffering was paramountAmazing This book is very emotional, and tough to go through, but I loved every minute of it John and Xhex are such a great couple, perfect for each other 3 The storyThis picks up right after the ending of Lover Avenged.Xhex is missing, and they all suspect Lash is the one responsible for it.After a month of searching, no leads have been found, and it s driving John to the edge He knows what must have happened to her and he wants to avenge her, without the Brotherhood s knowledge.Xhex is being held by Lash OMG how I hate his guts with an undying flame , who is obsessed with her and enjoys it every time she fights against him She is cut off from the world in a weird kind of energy bubble or something, she can t be seen or touched or perceived in any kind of way by anyone except Lash, and she s focusing all her strength on giving as much as she got to Lash, making him hurt.I won t say anything about her getting out, you have to see it for yourself PAnyway, John and Xhex will have to work together to defeat their enemy, and their dominant natures will clash often, but their love is the most important thing 3 and it will win 3To not know where she was To not know what had happened to her To have lost her He felt as if he d been mortally injured, though his skin was intact and his arms and legs unbroken and his chest unpenetrated by bullet or bladeThe story interesting from first to last page What can I say, I didn t even have the desire to skip or skim antyhing, I wanted to read it all except the lesser Lash part, of course John and Xhex go through a lot in this one, and I loved that there s action than in the last ones The characters This book is mostly focused on John and Xhex, and that s great since their story needed a lot of page time.Blay Qhuinn Their friendship isn t doing well, mainly because Blay is jealous and hurt by Qhuinn s rejection They have some ups and downs, and Qhuinn shows his jealous side when Blay finds someone I have to say, I m really glad for that, Blay deserves to go on with his life, not just mope around because Qhuinn doesn t want him, and Qhuinn should get a little taste of his own medicine considering he f cked everything with legs and Blay had to watch it all.Saxton A vampire lawyer and Blay s new love interest I like the guy Even though in my heart I root for Qhuay, I don t really mind Blay being with Saxton PLUS My mind is having all sorts of ideas what could happen with Saxton later on, maybe we ll have another M M book Or is that just wishful thinking Payne She is forced to remain in the Sanctuary, the Scribe Virgin will not let her go, and it s driving her insane This is an intro into Lover Unleashed with something major happening at the end of the book Tohrment Is slowly getting his strength back, even though he is still mourning Wellsie He knows he s done wrong by John, and he tries to make it up for him It was so touching, that scene at the end 3No One She lives in the Sanctuary with the Chosen ones, and we get a little shocker at the end about her That s an intro into book 10 The ghost story Was that really necessary It had absolutely nothing to do with anything in the book It s just a page filler I do not approve PThe flashbacks Since this is John Matthew s book, we get flashbacks into Darius and Tohrment s history, and it all clicks into place at the end of the book Meant to be, I say For both of themShe was on her own in this and it was going to play out as it would Having led a violent life, it was entirely unsurprising that she was going to meet a violent end but true to form, she was sure as fuck going to take out a pound or two of flesh with her on the way to the exit As his words took form on the white page, she got to watch him and realized she never wanted him to go She wanted him here beside her forever.Safe She was truly safe with him aroundHalf vampire, half sympath, Xhex was always forced to hide her other, bad side in fear of deportation to the sympath colony.She is a trained assassin, her body is her weapon, and is used to taking care of herself.The humans captured Xhex a few decades ago and did horrible tests on her, which resulted in her phobia of hospitals and doctors.So even though Lash had done terrible things to her, she had survived worse, and is willing to fight him however long it takes.After she gets out, revenge is the only thing on her mind, and she knows she must be the one to kill Lash, even though John seems determined enough.She can t believe he has feelings for her, and she doesn t understand why, but in the end, it doesn t even matter because she knows she won t be able to make it after her revenge is done, she has lost the will to liveHer fight was long gone, the thing that had defined her most in the world having evaporated Which made sense She had no interest in living any and she couldn t fake that, not for him, not for herselfXhex is a strong and kick ass heroine, but she is still a woman, and I love the fact that there are two sides of her, not just the fighter persona.What she went through with Lash Yeah no wonder I hate him, most irritatingly moronic character ever to be created Anyway We see a weak side of her, and that scenes were amazing, she and John getting closer, bonding, falling in love 3I won t say what happened and how she got away from Lash, but I have to say F ck yeah I am proud of her like hell When she screamed OMG that was horrible Just horrible, I felt utterly bad for her I loved the way she supported John when she found out about his past Those were very lovely scenes, and the one in the showers very emotional.She kicked ass in the fight scenes, and was emotional with John Just loved herAs John s stare came back to her, she felt a shattering communion with him No barriers, no worries about being vulnerable Even though they were both fully clothed, each was naked before the other.She knew damn well she was never going to find this with any other male Or any other person Seemed like he d lost his soul to her the very first time he d laid eyes on her.As he clicked off the light and she settled even closer to him, it felt like she was burrowing right into his cold heart and setting up shop, her banked fire thawing his soul out until he took the first honest to God deep breath in monthsHe is Darius, a former member of the Brotherhood who died, but was granted a second chance by the Scribe Virgin in the form of John Matthew, a troubled young vampire raised by humans.His luck turned when he came across the Brotherhood who took him in, thinking he is Darius son.After some emotional drama that I won t explain, which happened in the previous books, he is now suffering because the one he loves is taken and probably dead by the hands of the lessers, specifically, Lash.He wants revenge, and is working behind the Brotherhood s back in order to get it No one knows what he feels for Xhex, and he wants to keep it that way.When Xhex is in recovery, he does everything he can for her, even though it shows her that he s bonded with her.Still, his instincts are his driving force, and he if focused on taking his revenge on Lash, even though Xhex wants to do it herselfStaring out of the darkened window, his eyes searched the stars that dotted the dense, velvety black of the night sky.Funny, felt like heaven was up against his chest instead of all above the whole worldIn my first read of the series, I have to admit, John kind of got on my nerves until I got to book 7 Don t know why but I just couldn t warm up to the guy When I read this book for the first time, I totally fell in love with him, and now in my re read, what can I say, I adore him John went through emotional ups and downs in this one, and it was all difficult to read, but I loved him because of it When he cried holding her pillow OMG So, so, so sad I teared up myself there The tattoo Awesome I remember how much I loved what he had tattooed 3When he took care of her while she was recovering swoon He was so sweet Loved every second of it I felt bad for him because Xhex was shutting him down most of the time, but it was all worth it 3OMG the scene in his old bedroom when he finds out about Lash OOO Intense Terrible I totally get him The ending was absolutely beautiful and they both deserved it, big time 3No, 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 survivedMy favorite quotes from other charactersAs the two held stares, it was hard not to feel part of a unique club that no one would ever volunteer to be associated with Membership wasn t sought or desirable or something to crow about but it was real and it was powerful Survivors of similar wrecks could see the horrors of those jagged shoals in the eyes of others It was like recognizing like It was two people with the same tattoo on their insides, the divide of a trauma that separated them from the rest of the planet unexpectedly bringing a pair of weary souls closer together You are my army, he shouted at the bloodied guys on the floor We are gonna rule Caldwell Getcha asses up, it s time to go to work Together we are I can t wait to kill this little shit, Rhage muttered If only to shut him up It was like that wherever the guy went and it used to be the kind of thing that made Blay worship his best friend Now, it was a never ending rejection every time Qhuinn said yes, it made that one single no louder As he refilled his Coke and watched the frothing dark rush hit the ice, he wondered why he was so attracted to the guy He was a please and thank you kind of male Qhuinn was of a fuck off and die type As Qhuinn looked at his best friend s handsome face, he felt as if he d never not known that red hair, those blue eyes, those lips, that jaw And it was because of their long history that he searched for something to say, something that would get them back to where they had been.All that came to him was 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 After a long, tense moment, he walked toward his best friend, drawn by the fragrance And as he came closer, Qhuinn s hot eyes tracked him with each step, the link between them, that had been buried on both sides, abruptly exploding into the room.When they were nose to nose, he stopped, his rising chest meeting Qhuinn s Say the word, he whispered harshly Say the word and I won t go Leave me alone, Qhuinn Just leave me alone As the door shut behind the guy, Qhuinn cursed under his breath and wondered if he would ever be able to do that.Not anytime soon, a voice said in his head Maybe not ever Abruptly, Payne bared her fangs and growled low in her throat, the fire of anger displacing her agony I will kill Her for this I swear I will treat Her as I did our blooded sireThis one was uber emotional, you feel me John Matthew Has Come A Long Way Since He Was Found Living Among Humans, His Vampire Nature Unknown Taken In By The Brotherhood, No One Could Guess What His True History Was Or His True IdentityXhex Has Long Steeled Herself Against The Attraction To John Matthew Until Fate Intervenes And She Discovers That Love, Like Destiny, Is Inevitable Okay, I m giving this book four stars, not because of its literary prowess, but because of its enjoyability.However, after eight books in this series, I have a serious problem Well, frankly I had a problem from the first book but I ve already reviewed that one.My big problem is in the characters and the gender roles they embody Now, there s been a great deal of criticism over J.R Ward s treatment of female characters in these books Xhex and Payne are like a bandaid she uses to patch this up Now, honestly I am one of the few who actually always liked Xhex as a character It didn t change in this book John Matthews was always one of my most liked characters Their show, in this book, was kind of stolen by Blay and Quinn who I found myself desperately hoping would have some kind of resolution for their relationship As usual, J.R.Ward does what most romantic novelists do She creates characters whose every problem can be fixed by love and great sex I m sorry but I was literally bashing my head on something very hard when Xhex, after being held prisoner for almost four weeks and brutally raped several times, had great sex with John Matthews No No No I m not even going to go into that one except to say No To all future writers out there Don t do it That is just I have no words for that one.However, the big problem with the characters wasn t that they weren t likable or interesting, or that the woman wasn t equal enough It was the character roles they play J.R Ward doesn t seem to get this.In fact, I wonder if she ll ever get this The complaints about poor female characters in her book don t necessitate the creation of female protagonists who are practically men with vaginas Creating a female character who walks, talks, acts and thinks like a man doesn t create a positive female protagonist especially when she spends so much time complaining about how weak women are Our issues weren t that your women were weak characters okay, maybe a little bit but the roles that define them for goodness sake In this series the men are men and the women are there to be protected, cherished and ultimately invisible The only, Only woman who appears repeatedly is Doc Jane and occasionally Ehlena because they need to stitch someone up Why As soon as they are married and happy with their partners do they suddenly become non existent Oh, sorry, they show up for the inevitable wedding at the end of each book and cry like babies However, I get that you, J.R Ward have been actively trying to give them varied professions and passions and hobbies to make up for the fact that Beth dropped her entire life to go play Queen with Wrath and for several books didn t appear to have anything to fucking do I get that that s why there s now a doctor and a nurse and a counselor and and the director of a female s home etc Now there is Xhex who will be fighting with the big boys Facepalms I don t even know how to touch on this any without breaking out into cussing so inevitably varied and violent that my review will be removed by GoodreadsMy biggest problem isn t actually the female gender roles that are fucked up in these books, believe it or not It s the men s The portrayal of masculinity in these books makes me want to cry Studies have shown that whilst an appalling number of women will suffer from violence at the hands of men 25% , men are actually so the victims of violence at their own hands 70% of men will, at one point or another, be the victim of violence against them These books say that to be a man you have to be muscled to within an inch of your life and you must be violent THIS DOESN T HELP THE SITUTATION Every male protagonist in this book is violent, animalistic, uncontrolled and hyper masculine to the point of ridiculousness Now, I m not saying that I prefer the pansy ass sparklepires over something that does than brood in your general direction if you re evil I m just saying that there needs to be a divergent representation of what it is to be male Because frankly, masculinity is no tied to the size of your muscles than femininity is to one s beauty My challenge to J.R Ward is not to create a female protagonist who embodies positive gender roles but to create a male protagonist that is still masculine and sexy despite the fact that he is not a muscleman who walked out of the caveman era For goodness sake, in the reader s guide not a SINGLE male could list a book that they d read that WASN T a book that they d read to Nalla That s right Every single male in the guide doesn t read except to a baby And women must be gentle and protected and kept away That is, unless they re a spitfire dead doctor who can t be harmed anyway or a woman with a mangina that can be seen from space. 5 John Mathews is MINE Stars Some things are destined to be it just takes us a couple of triesto get there JMIf you are following The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, by now you already know all the characters that we have so deeply fallen in love with since the very beginning However, if you have not Go read them Ward has an amazing way to pull you into a story, bring all your emotions, anxiety, and gives you an amazing roller coaster ride full of suspense and an adventure full of action that will stick with you forever Trust me you will be wanting of these brothers LOVER MINE is the story of John Mathews aka Tehrror and Xhex aka Xhexania and is book 8th on this series This series takes place in the city of Caldwell, NY In a world of Vampires, Sympaths they can sense emotions and control minds , Lessers humans that were killed by the evil Omega, he removed their hearts and converted them to soulless evil creatures to work for him and of course the Humans The Vampires protect their bloodline and fight against the evil Omega and his lessers society that he has created and to keep the humans safe as well John Mathews is a vampire who is mute and unable to speak My boy has gone through a lot of sadness and trauma in his young life until the brotherhood found him and saved him He is now one big madafucker warrior that fights with the brotherhood He was a warrior who at some point in the series fell in love with Xhex and there was just no going back for him He wanted to protect her but she wouldn t let him in because she didn t know how to have someone cared for her even if he thought the feeling was not mutual.The truth washe was in love with her Totally over the line, no going back, not even dead would he part kind of shit JMXhex is a half Vampire half Sympath She is a bad ass female assassin who always watched her own back and depended on no one She also had a hard, sad, young past so she was a very hard rock to break through John had a difficult childhood of his own and his inability to speak made this relationship unique because even thought he couldn t communicate by speaking only through sign language she could sense his feelings and emotions and some times read his thoughts It worked for them.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 XhexXhex and JM were absolutely perfect for each other Their sad and traumatic past and the chemistry between these too was just too much sometimes I sobbed for JM, I sobbed for Xhex, for all the pain and the shit they both went through See the thing was, both were survivors and they never gave up So in a way I completely understand their struggles they went through to finally be together In the silence, she felt the past and the present shift and mix, but that was a mirage 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 XhexWhen a male of honor finds his soul mate everyone knows it by the scent and spices that brings out of the male body it s called BONDED When a couple is bounded the male is really over protective over their female and shit happens if anyone tries to hurt them The book started right where book 7 left off That evil Lash son of the Omega had stolen Xhex and kept her captive for his own evil doing The ugly things he did to her had me so angry and upset and ughhhMy emotions were going wild I freaking hated him since the beginning of the series and this book made me hate him John Mathews was a wild mess searching and searching to find her He felt hopeless at some times and trying to find her I was dying inside with him just freaking anxious I wanted to hurt Lash so much Lots of shit happened, lots of fighting and action with the Vampires and Lessers thought this book Xhex was able to get herself out of on her own only because Lash was getting weaker because he was going through a transformation of his own into the darkness However, she wouldn t accept anyone s help and she was about to die and my baby John found her and saved her GawdI loved him so much for it He was the absolute ultimate male of honor the amazing alpha on this book He was everything Possessive over Xhex and protective too She was stubborn but his true love without expecting anything in return won her over and she finally gave into his love She too was a bad ass bitch who took possessiveness over him and saved his life couple of times as well Their sex was freaking amazing OMGSUPER HOTYou are so beautiful, he mouthed But of course she couldn t see his lips Guess he was going to have to show her JMWhen she orgasmed, she said his name Twice And didn t it make him glad that even though he had no voice, his ears worked just fine JM I am trying not to chock while writing this review because it was so emotional My anxiety levels were up in the sky The sexual tension was so much to bare between Qhuinn and Blay it hurt so much it was painful Even thought I am not into M M you can t help liking these two because you fell in love with both characters from book one and I know I m up for a hell of a heartbreak until I can get to their book which is 11 We saw a little of Payne on this book too and I can t wait to read hers next The little bits of pieces we got on this book just gutted me Omg seriously her twin brother, my man V and her they just had no clue about each other The author always seems to have side stories thought and sometimes it kind of slows the books a little but these couple of side stories I really enjoyed because OMG they made so much sense at the end like seriously I was in shocked and amazed on how beautifully it all clicked at the end The first side story was about Darius and Tohr, it was just beautiful I sobbed for that mother and that baby it was just too much but then everything made so much sense at the end it felt so good I felt so much relief and happiness The second side story was about a couple who where filming a live hunted house, it was about a ghost story I had no idea why on the hell that story was relevant until the end I was like omfg holy shitThe ending was EPIC, I mean absolutely beautiful I was so happy for JM Xhex they finally get their happy ending The tension anxiety of what is to come for the entire Brotherhood is so intense and I just cannot wait to see what is in store on the next books Overall, I think this book was by far my favorite one since I started the series I freaking loved everything about it and I cannot wait to read about my favorite brothers I would hold you up I will ever hold you up and hold you dear, lover mine JM I ve tried for months to write a review that would do this book justice but I have so many thoughts and feelings running through my mind that I can t seem to form a coherent paragraph, much less an entire review So after months of trying and failing, this is the best I could do Please allow me to present to you My Random Thoughts Rave view with Spoilers AplentyLast time I checked, the WARDen wasn t yet claiming to walk on water, so I see no need to critique her writing style, lack of perfection or editing issues, or the occasional minor inconsistencies Rather, quite simply put this is about my thoughts on the many storylines and how this book made me feel which I ll just say right up front was captivated, fascinated, mesmerized and enthralled I didn t think it was possible, but I m in love with the Black Dagger Brotherhood s world and the Brothers themselves than I was before And yes, even those Brothers who aren t Brothers, yet.At first I was annoyed with the page time devoted to the paranormal investigative crew I just wanted to read about the Brothers, especially John Matthew, and of course, Xhex But, and I should have known that this would happen, by the time we reached the end of the book it was clear what their role was and I thought it was a rather ingenious way to bring Murhder back into the story And now that Xhex knows exactly where he is, I wonder how he ll be brought into the fold That is one story I can t wait to read Blay and Qhuinn, collectively known as Qhuay, were just as annoying as ever Well, let me restate that Qhuinn was just as annoying as ever There were several times I wanted to slap him right upside his head I still think that Blay is too good for him, and that Qhuinn has a lot of ass kissing to do before I ll ever accept him as Blay s happily ever after I suppose that eventually we ll find out why he s such a bastard to Blay most of the time, so rather than hold a grudge, I ll wait for his story when, at last, I ll come to love him I have a feeling their story is going to be huge based on the buildup we ve been given.How many times have we heard that men and women just can t communicate Well, I love how Xhex doesn t need John Matthew s words to know what he s thinking or feeling Her sympath ability tells her everything he cannot, and what s , she feels it exactly as he does so there s never any miscommunication going on For a long time I had never really felt that she was a compelling addition to the BDB cast of characters, but Lover Mine changed all that like I knew it would She s strong and independent yet fiercely loyal She s compassionate, yet takes no crap from anyone She s sexy and beautiful on the inside as well as the out She is, in short, John Matthew s other half that makes their perfect whole Or, as John Matthew sees itShe was the missing piece to his puzzle, the twelfth in his dozen, the first and last page of his book Speaking of John Matthew sigh I ll be honest here I had a hard time thinking of him as a Warrior He was still the pre trans JM I grew to love and I was worried I d never see him as anything than that, but by the end of Lover Mine I saw him as what he d truly become A male of worth I loved how we got a closer look into the deeper side of him The aggressive, alpha male who wanted to protect his female, and when he felt that he failed, no one or nothing was safe not even the treadmill Zsadist, my favorite Brother of them all Another sigh How far he s come from the days of keeping secrets, hiding his embarrassment of a past he hadn t chosen and that he d had no control over I loved seeing him get real with JM, open up and finally let it be known that they have in common than JM had ever realized I hope they get tight.Oh, how I enjoyed Darius journal entries and watching as he and Tohr became such close friends It was great getting a chance to really meet Darius to see what we ve been missing And I loved how he took care of Tohr when no one else would and how things have really come full circle, haven t they The Scribe Bitch errrr.ummm I mean Virgin like any of us believe that crock of crap any I m still not liking her I think it s time she retire to wherever it is that old, useless Scribe Virgins retire to and let someone else take over Oh, let s say No One perhaps, who would then be too busy trying to repair the previous Scribe Virgin s screw ups to get involved with Tohr and ruin his and Wellsie s happily ever after Note to the WARDen feel free to use that story line for No One I won t ask for any credit or royalties, whatever it takes to keep her away from Tohr Hey, I m just sayin Lash ha He was on top of the world there for awhile, wasn t he Thinking he was the greatest thing since sliced bread Whatever Amazing how quickly and easily the mighty fall or should I say, fall apartwink, wink Payne I loved getting to know her better I think she s going to be such a fantastic addition to the story I can just see her now, trying to help her twin, Vishous, cope with finding out he s got a sister Won t it be interesting to see how that plays out V had just begun rebuilding that relationship with his mother and now WOW That s going to be some major drama I don t want to miss I m thrilled that we re going to get to see Manny in the next book, too That s one man who s been waiting in the wings too long I want his story, and soon And how could I have almost forgotten Layla That poor girl needs to get laid, end of story.Some of my favorite quotes from this book, though there were many, I ll only list a few No, you ve got it all wrong, John Reading his emotions, she shook her head and eased back 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 Xhex Motherf ker Bastard ass motherf ker C ks king rat bitch bastard motherf ker Blay I tried using this on my kids to get them to clean their rooms It didn t work and the buggers tried to ground me from Goodreads Hmmmph Teenagers When she orgasmed, she said his name Twice And didn t it make him glad that even though he had no voice, his ears worked just fine JM You are so beautiful, he mouthed But of course she couldn t see his lips Guess he was going to have to show her JM There was broad consensus in the room for the plan, as well as some cheap shots involving Lash s ass and various kinds of large bore instruments of impact size fourteen boots being the most likely to come to pass, but hardly the most creative For example, John seriously doubted Rhage could in fact park his GTO in the guy s sun don t shine Or would want to Once again I m in awe of the WARDen s writing ability and how she can consistently give us such deeply compelling characters who we truly do care about The story lines are so varied and so many, it s amazing to me she can keep them all straight And not only keep them straight, but have them become interwoven book after book My only complaint is that she s not writing fast enough to keep my Black Dagger Brotherhood hunger sated Oh, that and the fact that Zsadist is still with that Bella chick and hasn t yet realized that I ll make a much better shellan than she ever could. Opening LineHe wished he had timeSpoiler Free In trying to review LOVER MINE two words keep popping into my head Amazing and Damn just damn How can I honestly put into words how much I loved this story and how sad I am that it s over Following a year long wait JR Wards 8th instalment of the Black Dagger Brotherhood finally made its way into my eager little hands At 512 pages LOVER MINE is huge with a fantastic cover and I m happy to report that it does not disappoint, in fact with John Mathews long awaited story the WARDen positively shines Fans are given exactly what we ve been waiting for with ever evolving storylines, multiple POV s, surprises, tragedies, plot twists, ass kicking action, Xhex much humour and oh the romance Completed here with erotic, blush worthy love scenes and of course the inevitable struggle and heartache I can tell you that this story brought me to tears than once and not for the reasons you might expect All of this awesomeness has been wrapped up with Wards unique style of writing, complete with product placements, rap music, unique street language, multiple f bombs and a whole new batch of cool Wardisms I can t wait to start using, you feel me.The series is brought full circle within this book with loose ends cleverly tied together and resolutions brought to story threads we ve had growing and brewing since the beginning Sadly I realized that even with Ward continuing indefinitely JM Darius will be the last of the original brothers to have his story told and that with this book being red, just like book 1 Dark Lover she s given us book ends of a sort.With us since the beginning, in this instalment we finally get John Mathew and Darius s story Of all the characters John is the one we have the greatest sense of and have invested the most time in, having watched him change from a scrawny, neglected and abused pre trans into an enormous, and angry male with a ton of fricken baggage His pairing with the half Sympath Xhex has been in the works for some time now and with her abduction in the end of Lover Avenged we have the perfect place to begin their story Which I m not going to give away I will say however that I was pleased to see reflections of the sweet, sensitive John we remember only now oozing sex appeal and witness a softer side of Xhex As always their path to HEA is not an easy one but its fun and sexy as hell watching them open up to each other and get there.As a whole the storyline blew my mind With three very separate and distinct running plotlines, which at first had me wondering, where the hell is this going Ward manages to merge all the puzzle pieces together into WOW, bringing us deliciously full circle Darker and serious than past books my only real complaint would be the lack of banter between the Brothers and the Brothers as a whole The moments that we re given are excellent and while they re all represented to a degree some than others I insatiably craved and truly missed them Qhuinn and Blay, each now with their own POV manage to somewhat fill the gap who along with Saxton bring a different degree of heartache, sexiness and hot mess to the mix Lash is also back as the Lessening societies leader and surprisingly awesome here as he takes things to a whole new gooey level of evil In the end Ward leaves us smiling with contentment, with new characters emerging and events opening up for future stories that I can t wait to discover I just wish it wasn t so far away because I find that after getting just 3 days with the BDB its already time to leave them again and I m not quite ready to let them go yet See ya next year boys, stay safe Cheers Oh, and in case you were wondering Ward dedicates this book to John Mathew himself which was what started my first crying jag 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 Xhex was kidnapped and John lost his mind, he didn t know how he could find her In Lover Mine, We ll see the long distance for John to save his first and only love John Matthew, as you know that he reborn with Darius soul, he has no memory of what happened before this life, so he lives his life as a new one and falls in love again That s a complex and interesting story of this book The truth washe was in love with her Totally over the line, no going back, not even dead would he part kind of shit This book is immensely beautiful John s feelings towards Xhex are so deep and touching There s nothing he can t do to bring his female back The development of this character is visibly good, I ve have known John since Rhage s book and I m not disapointed by his story at all And I decided to condone Qhuinn and Blay s stupid behavior because I knew that J.R Ward had to build the conflict to prepare them for Lover At Last, however, it s fun to see these guys chase their tails all the time I would hold you up I will ever hold you up and hold you dear, lover mine All in all, I liked the ending of Lover Mine Very exquisite I was satisfied by the conclusion of their undying love, and seeing the old characters I love so damn much again is super I cried so loud because of John s yearning for Xhex, too.https goo.gl IR8aq5 This book could have easily broken my heart I ve been waiting so long to see John Matthew and Xhex find their happy ending Anyone who knows me, knows how much I adore this couple If it s even possible, I probably love them twenty times now The WARDen is so good at writing stories about human nature, all the weaknesses, the vulnerabilities, the strengths How, at the end of the day, all of us just want to feel special, to feel loved And when we don t feel that, how it has the power to destroy us.John Matthew had the worst start in life possible He was born in a bathroom stall in a bus station He was born without the ability to talk He was horribly assaulted at a young age He had no one to love him And just when life started turning around, he lost two people he loved very much And then he met Xhex From the beginning, she was the one for him No one can explain what causes us to fall in love with someone You can call it hormones, fate, destiny, attraction, random coincidence There is no concrete way to rationalize it I for one, felt that pull between them I knew it was going to be big and life changing for them both JM fell apart, big time in Lover Avenged It was very painful to read, and his actions made me so angry But, I realized that he had been driven to his breaking point, and he was acting out of complete despair So, it was really good to see him pull himself together so he could save Xhex And boy, did he Oh, could John be a worthy male I don t think so He s so sweet, but so strong He has a protective instinct, but at the same time, he embraced Xhex s strength, and didn t try to change what made her the woman he loved He came from nothing, but is full of so much The WARDen made me fall in love with JM all over again.I was so glad that the WARDen took a big, huge chance with crafting a heroine like Xhex There are a lot of Xhex haters out there in the Black Dagger Brotherhood fandom They have said some really ugly things about her It bothers me, because Xhex is such a great character in my opinion She has so much going on inside of her She is so strong, yet she has the things that define a woman in my opinion Some people think she s too manly or not feminine enough If she can be who she is and have a man like JM totally in love with her, I say sign me up for her version of manly I say that in a half serious manner But with all seriousness, if Xhex had not been the strong woman, the fierce warrior that she is, she would not have survived what she s been through in her life She lived in a dark, bleak world, with little to support her She had to be a strong person, to build a fortress around her inner self, or she would have been decimated And had she been any less fortified, Lash would have destroyed her It s pretty clear that I adore Xhex I think she s sexy, beautiful, loving, intense, intelligent, empathetic, formidable, intriguing, the list goes on She is now my favorite heroine ever I felt she was the perfect complement to John It gratified me that Tohr could see it, from the beginning I didn t need the backstory of Xhex to love her, but I love her even now I didn t need to see her as vulnerable and broken as she was in this book to respect and love her But, seeing her that way, well it just made the happy ending that much better I couldn t have written the ending better It s like JR Ward took my wish list for Xhex and JM s story and wrote this book based on it Oh, there were some really hard moments, but I kept the faith that things would work out for them, and boy was I rewarded I finished this book yesterday morning, and I had to go and reread some of my favorite scenes The interaction between John and Xhex was so powerful, it turned my heart to mush The steamy moments really made up for the hurtful interactions they had in Lover Avenged How unfulfilling their intimate moments were in that book Their love scenes set my book on fire and singed my hands Boy, this couple has some chemistry But, even better, their love for each other had the power to heal them both Verily, this book makes me believe in true love, and that there is someone for everyone Even though I d love this book enough to light up a solar system just based on the JM Xhex story, the other aspects also made it a wonderful read for me The Qhuinn Blay story line has progressed in a very good fashion I was so happy to get of Blay s viewpoint Blay is dear to my heart I love that male It tore me up to see how much his love for Qhuinn was hurting him Qhuinn had his heart, but he didn t know what to do with it, so he kept throwing it back And Blay seemed to have no way to get away from his feelings for Blay So I was glad to see Saxton come into his life Saxton is one fine male I liked him from the beginning He is just what Blay needs I m not sure how long they ll be together, but it s good for now Qhuinn showed some aspects of his character that I needed to see I have to admit that I did feel for him, and his low self worth because of being rejected by his family, but I didn t like his lifestyle I didn t like how he was acting like he was blind to Blay s love for him, and how it hurt Blay for him to sleep with everyone but Blay I realize that Qhuinn thinks he s not good enough for Blay, but he seemed oblivious to the way he was hurting Blay I was surprised at how much it hurt to see Qhuinn hurt because Blay had moved on with Saxton I thought I d be gratified because he d know how Blay felt all the time But, it was so sad for me to read about, because Qhuinn had the opportunity to have Blay, but he was afraid to take the step And how that must break Qhuinn s heart I have hopes that things will work out for them, but right now, it s a painful journey I do think that Qhuinn is going to take a step in a better direction in the forthcoming books And Blay will get some love and affection like he needs, although his heart will always belong to Qhuinn I definitely feel for the Qhuinn Blay fans right now.I loved the parts in the past showing Darius and Tohr s relationship It really explained why Tohr took on JM as a son, because Darius had done the same for him Darius and Tohr are such fine males You can see how they helped shape and form the foundation for the Brotherhood that we see today Tohr always came off as an admirable, honorable man that I cared for, but I have grown to love him even My heart is broken for his loss I can completely understand how it nearly destroyed him I was so glad to see him on the mend, and to see him and John Matthew come to terms That close bond that was ripped apart by Wellsie s death has evolved into something very wonderful, as JM comes to see exactly how Tohr felt, and Tohr is able to understand why Xhex is so important to JM And it feels to good to know that Torh approves of Xhex for JM.There were some really great Doc Jane moments Her expertise as a doctor, but her understanding of people and how to help them deal with illness was a very important part of this book, as she interacted with Xhex in the aftermath of her captivity with Lash, and also with Xhex s fear of hospitals I won t even pretend like this BDB fan girl didn t have some joy joy moments seeing the other characters Wow, it was pretty interesting seeing how the backstory with Butch and Xhex, and Vishous animosity towards Xhex was dealt with And of course, my smooth criminal, Rehvenge, was in this book enough to encourage me to reread his story again What a man I love his relationship with Xhex And the Shadow brothers, Trez and iAm, have some good moments in this story, as well Payne s role expands in this book, and I could see the WARDen setting the stage for her book Part of me sort of feared that this book would be the penultimate culmination of my love for this series, and it would go downhill, but I have a feeling that WARDen is just getting started Payne is one heck of an interesting character And her story is sure to enthrall me, based on how things unfold in this book.And, can I say that Murhder has this fan reaching for the cold drinks I can tell he s going to rock my world I hope to see a lot of this male I cannot do this review without talking about Lash There are some pretty good words to describe him, but I don t want to be a potty mouth He is a perfect contrast to JM in almost every way He was born with everything and threw it away His heart is completely rotten, whereas JM couldn t have goodness in his heart The fact that he takes and harms the person that JM loves most in the world seemed almost fated, as they come face to face in a conflict that started when they were both soldier trainees I have to say that he turned out to be a very good villain I wasn t sure what to think about how the storyline with Lash ended It needed to go the way it did But I can t help feeling that there is to be told on that front But then, that s one of the things that I love about this series The way the WARDen plants seeds in my consciousness, and I have questions that make me want to delve deeper into these books More things for this BDB addict to ponder Sadly, these characters and this world is frighteningly real to me Is there a twelve step program for Black Dagger Brotherhood addiction But then, even if there is a cure, I m not sure I want it This book, oh, this book I can t say how much I loved this latest installment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series You know someone needs help when they start tearing up as they write a review I am freaking hopeless when it comes to this series and this book It made my dreams come true, but it also took me to some dark places It makes me ponder fate, and how the ties between others are so convoluted, yet tightly wound, bringing us together and challenging us in ways we don t ever get to understand This review will be too long if I keep saying everything I want to say There is just too much to put into words But I will say four words to Ms Ward Thank you so much And I ll say it twice Thank you so much 5 Well of Soul Stars As she waited for Lash to come back to her, her mind drifted to the male she tried never to think of Especially if Lash was around It was unclear how much her captor could get into her head, but she didn t want to take chances If the bastard got an itch that that mute soldier was her well of soul, as her people called it, he would use that against her and John Matthew XhexFirst read 2014Reread 4 5 2017SpoilersOMG John Matthew and Xhex God I fucking loved them Their story was so powerful and emotional and.just damn beautiful I was really looking forward to John and Xhex s story as I felt really invested in them This book was everything I wanted and As John and Xhex s story unfolded I was a total wreck My emotions were all over the place One minute I was smiling, then I was laughing, then crying, then aching, and swooning my ass off J.R Ward is amazing in the way she can write these epic love stories that touch so many people As one of those people all I can say is Thank You These books give me such joy and live in my heart long after I read the last page 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 XhexJohn was damn sexy and utterly wonderful The way he was with Xhex so caring, and supportive Always putting her first Very protective, but he never tried to change Xhex He knew he was in love with a fighter and he didn t disrespect her by acting like she couldn t take care of herself One of the things I loved the most about John Matthew was even though he was totally kick ass, he had this vulnerable side His being mute and having been raped when he was a pretran in no way made him weaker they made him stronger, a survivor John is my second favorite hero of the series Xhex was also completely amazing A total bad ass in her own right, she kicked ass and didn t bother with names So it was heartbreaking and emotional to see her hurt, violated, and helpless What I love is that she never gave up A fighter til the end she fought with everything she had I also loved how soft she was with John Matthew and John Matthew only She let him in, let her guard down with him It was cute how he brought out her girly side to a point She was still kick ass Xhex, but still the softness was very endearing Oh, John And then he stopped dead, lifted his lips from her nipple, and smiled so wide it was a wonder he didn t bust off his front teeth His expression was one of total and complete gotcha You are a bastard, she said on a laugh He nodded And pressed into her with his full length again It was perfect that he was giving her shit and showing her a little of who was boss Just perfect Somehow it made her respect him even , but then, she d always loved strength in all its forms Even the teasing kind I m not surrendering , you know He pursed his lips and shook his head, all oh, no, of course not And then he started to pull out of her As she growled low in her throat, she sank her nails into his ass Where do you think you re going Xhex and John When she orgasmed, she said his name Twice And didn t it make him glad that even though he had no voice, his ears worked just fine JohnJohn and Xhex together were explosive and sexy as hell OMG they had some major heat When they came together it was raw, powerful and totally gave me hot flashes lol Might have been smoother to do that butterfly kisses bullshit Might have shown finesse to tease her with his tongue and his fingertips Fuck that With a raw, whipping need, he latched onto her core with his mouth, sucking her into him, taking her deep, swallowing her up His orgasm had left some of him on her and he tasted that along with her honey and the bonded male in him relished the combination JohnI loved Blay in this book I was totally pissed at Qhuinn and sick of him hurting Blay If Qhuinn ain t man enough to be with Blay he needs to get the fuck outta the way and let Blay be happy else were I was glad that Blay moved on and started a relationship with Saxton I hated Lash but since he was the bad guy I guess that is a good thing I just wish I had less of him I also couldn t stand the crap about Eliahu Rathboone Muhrder I skipped every bit of it I know J.R Ward said she plans to bringing Muhrder back and that is fine but he better keep his ass away from my John s Xhex If he comes back and starts crap for Xhex and John Imma be pissed just sayin I loved that Tohr and John made up It was fun getting to see the back story for Tohr, Darius, No One, and Xhex Again it needs to be said that Z was just amazing every time he showed up on the page The way he put himself out there and told John about his past to help Xhex was so sweet Z has grown so much since book 1 Lover Mine was such a epic read I was so invested in Xhex and John s story They are my second favorite couple right after Z and Bella Their powerful connection and touching love story made for hours of happy feels And their Mating was beautiful I loved this book Payne was great in this book and I know her book is next I am so looking forward to her story John leaned in and pressed his lips to hers then he stretched out beside her His body was exhausted but, his heart was alive with a joy so pure it was like the sunlight he didn t get to see any He was a mute ass motherfucker with a nasty past and a night job that involved fighting evil and slaughtering the undead And in spite of all that he d gotten the girl John You don t go after what s mine Now be a good boy and gut yourself Xhex, Then you would hold me up, wouldn t you He traced over her features with his fingertips And as he did, for some strange reason, he felt the arms of infinity wrapping around them both, holding them close linking them forever Yes, he mouthed I would hold you up I will ever hold you up and hold you dear, lover mine Xhex and John
J.R Ward is the 1 New York Times bestselling author of numerous novels, including the Black Dagger Brotherhood series She lives in the South her family.
- 530 pages
- Lover Mine
- J.R. Ward
- 25 October 2017 J.R. Ward