Review: Lover Reborn (BDB #10) by JR WARD

Publication Date: March 27th, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 572 pages
RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars
In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. 

Now back in the Brotherhood – and unrecognisable as the vampire leader he once was – Tohrment is physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair. When he begins to see his beloved in his dreams – trapped in a cold, isolating netherworld – Tohr turns to a self-serving fallen angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost. When he’s told he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed .. . 
Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past, and a very hot, passion-filled future . . . but can his heart let go and set all of them free?

A lot of BDB fans wasn’t really thrilled to learn that #10 was going to be about Tohrment. I, on the other hand, was dying to get my hands on it as soon I found out. The Brother deserves his HEA, y’all. Admittedly, this book is my second favourite in the series and it’s not so much because it was Tohr’s story but because this instalment, in my opinion, slayed every other books in the series other than Z’s.

Tohrment was well…tormented. The murder of his shellan pretty much equated to the death of his world. Unable to end himself, he had to go on living on the pretense that he didn’t feel like he was going to suffocate from grief. And every night, when he goes out and hunt the lessers, he’d invent new ways of killing them; shredding their flesh and torturing them first before eventually ending their lives. In the meantime, Wellsie was stuck in In Between, a place that’s neither The Fade nor hell. The only way her and their unborn child could move on to The Fade lay in the hands of Tohr, who was unable to let go. And for each day that he held on to her and their son, they fade until they’re no longer unreachable, unrecognizable and unable to find peace in the after life.

Lucky for Tohr, Lassiter, a fallen angel was there to speed the grieving process up. He’s convinced that the self-sacrificing, aggrieved, No’one would be the key to ending Tohr’s…torment. But he never anticipated a lot of complications. Like, Tohr’s disregard for his life that he found ways to get himself killed; or his inability to look at another female because of his conviction that to do so would be disrespecting Wellsie’s memory. Lassiter’s assignment was to help Tohr’s family move on to The Fade because then and only then would he get his own redemption. But he also didn’t anticipate what would happen as he inadvertently helped No’one to forgive herself, ultimately giving her the salvation that she had never asked for.

And in the backdrop of Caldwell, New York, the Band of Bastards were in pursuit to dethrone Wrath and eliminate the Brotherhood.

Gah! This book…I’ve never wanted to re-read a book shortly after flipping to the last page. At 572 pages, this  was jam-packed of all the things I love about JR Ward’s writing and this series. The woman keeps getting more amazing with every book. Some would argue that BDB is getting redundant but I beg to differ. JR Ward keeps finding ways to have us right where she wants us – panting, wanting, needing the next book by introducing conflicts and characters that we, her readers, would predictably sallivate to read about.

This instalment introduced us to the Band of Bastards – vampires from the Old Country who were set in the ancient vampiric ways. They came to the New World on a mission to kill the King and eliminate The Brotherhood altogether. Headed by Xcor, Bloodletter’s son, he was one complicated antagonist. I hated him, feared him, felt sad for him…he’s definitely someone I’m looking forward to reading more about. There’s a blooming romance in the horizon akin to that of Bella’s and Zsadist’s. That, in itself is the reason why I so want the next book to be about him – even more so than I want to read about Blay and Qhuinn. We’re also introduced to Throe, who, much like Xcor, played the misunderstood bad guy quite well. Hold on to your skirts, ladies, this Band of Bastards could give The Brotherhood a run for their money on the Aggressively Hot Males Category!

The romance between Tohr and No’one wasn’t really well received based on some of the reviews I’ve read on Goodreads. I loved and hated the dynamics between these two. No’one’s character is probably one that would be frowned upon because she lives to serve. However, the more I delve into the book, I’ve slowly become more understanding of her character. Tohr’s grieving brought on some misty eyes and sniffling nose. It was heartbreaking and to some extent, frustrating. JR Ward definitely took her sweet-ass time in showing him the revelation he needed in order to push his way out of his grief. One thing I can’t complain about Ms. Ward, is that she doesn’t believe in rushing things.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is one of those series which will  remain on top of the vampire books echelon for me. Not only do I get way too freaking excited with each and every release but I find myself going back and re-reading the books. This one, in particular was one of the best.

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