Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Book Babblings *spoilers*

Lover at Last by J.R. Ward

***Contains Spoilers***

The Nitty Gritty

J.R. Ward gives good tease in Lover at Last.

Qhuinn the blue-greened eyed sex machine (not that impressive in the Black Dagger Brotherhood) has hung up his swinging saddle and tried to find peace in his world of torment.

He has been disowned by his family and seems to just go around crashing through life waiting for the perfect landing pad. He has screwed things up so bad with Blaylock that he is just praying the male remembers his name. If that weren't enough to deal with he has a pregnant Chosen to take care of. If Phury doesn't take care of him first.

The battle for the vampire throne is still raging. Between Xcor and his Band of Bastards and the Lesser Society the king has a huge target on his back. And that's just how he likes it.

Opening Line

"Qhuinn, son of Lohstrong, entered his family's home through its grand front door." 

What's the 411

If male on male vampire love is what you seek then you have found the right place to quench your thirst. Oh yeah there will be a love of vampire quips thrown around. Sue me

I haven't been a Black Dagger Brotherhood fan since the beginning. Like my love affair with Harry Potter I sort of jump in several books into the series. I think Lover Reborn was due to be released when I finally read Dark Lover. I was hooked at first bite.

Yeah its a cheesy pun but it still works.

I've fallen in love with all the brothers since Dark Lover, though Vishous is the only one I would want to bond with. I love a man that can speak geek.

Back to Lover at Last.

I know I wasn't the only Quay fan that has been positively buzzing in anticipation of Lover at Lost. I jumped on my copy of Lover at Last like a thirsty man would a babbling brook in a desert. I got the book at 6 p.m. and it took my till 8 a.m. to finish. And that is with a two hour downtime for Bible study at 7 p.m.

I was finally able to snuggle into my favorite chair, grab a bowl of ice cream and turn on the TV for some background noise and dive into my book.

Thank the Virgin Scribe the sweat agony has come to an end and we get to see Blay and Qhuinn come together. 200 pages in... And then it takes the entire book for us to get from the first sex scene to mating ceremony. Literally the entire, damn, book.

That was beyond frustrating and I woke up the entire house several times with my screams as I turned the page for a new chapter and we were off worrying about Trez and his panty problems. Like I care about hims sleeping with crackwhores and real estate agents. I frankly care more about what's going on with the Scribe Virgin at this point and I really hate her.

Lover at Last promised so much and gave us so little in return. We have invested in the back and forth between Blay and Qhuinn. My heart broke when Qhuinn was going to walk out on Blay and John in Lover Enshrined and it shattered when Blay and Saxton started hooking up in Lover Unleashed.

The Good

The sex, the unbelievable toe curling male on male sex. JR should call up E.L James and school that woman on how you write a compelling and orgasm inducing sex scene into a novel. Reading through Qhuinn and Blay's first time I could have melted the ice cream I was eating I got so hot under the collar. JR had never shied away from the sex in this series and we all salute her for it, but in the earlier books she never went into detail about Saxton and Blay. Sure none of us wanted to see them together, but they weren't up in that room sewing bowties for each other. As much as it pained me for them to be together I wanted to see some action and we never got that. The fear that gripped me as I tore into the book wasn't abated for nearly 200 pages. Sitting in my chair in the semi-darkness I was teased and taunted for 200 long drawn out pages. I have to say that it was for me the best foreplay I've ever had. Which is telling on so many levels.

I honestly believe that JR is a reincarnated burlesque dancer. The woman knows how to tease. Tease her readers and tease her characters. I was absolutely groaning and thrashing in my chair the more I read. The sex scenes left me limp as a wrung sponge.

Though I was dumbstruck as to why we needed to read about Assail and Sola at least she gave good tease.

The handling of the gay issue with the Brothers almost brought me to tears. Here you have seven of the deadliest men on the planet. Buff beyond human comprehension. The ultimate protectors of that race. Breed to be the sword and the shield for vampires. We would expect them to pull some macho male crap about wanting to be bent over  fancy French piece of furniture by a gay out of the question. I mean we wouldn't have been surprised if Vishous had a special pair of daggers for just the occasion.

However the Brother with open arms welcome the gay couple into their lives. No whispering or elbow jabbing to be had. In fact they were waiting in Qhuinn to give the green light on the mating ceremony. They even help him get dressed and they prepare the ceremony site. Blay's parents have nothing but love for their gay son and his mate. His mother even cries as she holds "her two sons." I loved it.

The Bad

For me this is the first book in the series that I'm having a love/hate relationship with. On one hand I love that Blay and Qhuinn finally get there happily ever after...for now and then on the other hand I am beyond frustrated that it took 574 pages to get there.

Now I know JR has a habit of setting up in next book pretty heavily in the preceding book, but the side stories in LaL overshadowed the main story. I mean us Quay fans have been panting since Lover Enshrined basically waiting for some Blay and Qhuinn action and when it finally comes (no pun intended I swear) we get a silly 4 page epilogue.

During their first sex scene Qhuinn marks Blay and  NO ONE NOTICES! In every other book when a bonding scent was present everyone in the house knew. Even Butch before he was turned could smell a bonding scent and everyone could smell his and marking someone was a big deal, but in this book its just a throw away sentence that we didn't hear anything about. I feel like their relationship got cheated.

We are 11 books into this series which doesn't seem to have an end and I'm fine as long as the books are good, but JR is starting to believe her own hype. Now don't get me wrong. She deserves it. She's a great author but its getting to head a little bit. She is forgetting some of the basic rules of story telling. The continuity of her series has taken a hit with this book. All of the brothers are starting to sound exactly the same. Even Vishous in this novel has lost his trademark "True," at the end of every other sentence. Even Layla flows in and out of the old speech pattern every other page. Not sure if she was trying to show us how Layla is battling between what she was and what she is going to become or of it was an oversight on her part. Since we didn't get any Layla POV outside of her pregnancy its up for me to infere that it was oversight.

I feel cheated out of seeing Qhuinn going to Blay's parents and asking for his hand in marriage. I mean this is a big deal made bigger by the fact that this is a gay couple and one of the men is a Brother. We didn't get to see that and I don't like it. She has never dialed down a bonding ceremony to an epilogue and she did with one of the most anticipated couples in her series. Epic fail J.R.

The Blay/Saxton breakup occurred on page 96 and it isn't reveled until page 574. I think it was a weak plot point to keep that relationship alive between Blay and Saxton. It something she might haven gotten away with in Dark Lover or even Lover Eternal, but certainly not after Lover Awakened. She is a better author than that.

I don't know this book felt like it was a "shut the hell up already," to Quay fans. Don't misunderstand me I know its not easy to sit down and write 586 pages. Its hard work. I know this, but still it feels like she sent this in by messenger pigeon just to get us off her back. There just wasn't any relationship building in this book. the relationship didn't start till 6 pages from the end! In every other book the Brother and his shellan were the stars of the show.

Their bonding, their mating and their love making was front and center.

Everyone eles was just a backup dancer. In this book Qhuinn and Blay took a backseat to Layla's babbling, Xcor whining, Assail and Sola (still trying to figure out why we care) Trez who up until this book had been mentioned a grand total of 10 times in 10 books ( we didn't even know his name until Lover Enshrined!). Why he had to be a main character in Quay's book I don't understand.

Wrath was shot in the next in Lover Reborn and very good shot by Xcor and bad for Wrath as he almost died and yet we don't get one jot or tittle about it in Lover at Last. The one and only shot expert we get for Wrath he is worried about not getting Beth pregnant. Wait, what?!I mean come this is Wrath we are talking about. I know he has a lot of choice words to say about that. I miss Wrath. We haven't seen him really since the early books to be honest. Hell I miss hearing all the brothers. Frankly I don't care Trez or Selena or Assail or Sola. When they get their own book I will care, but not right now. I needed Quay and I got the non-alcoholic version.

Where the holy hell was John in all of this! Those three were as tight as the Brothers and they even formed their own merry little band. They witnessed John's potential rape by Lash. They held the guy up when Xhax was kidnapped. When he bonded with her, when they crashed and burned and found each other again. Quay was there every step of the way. Now that we get to the Quay part of our tour John is AWOL.

Hell Qhuinn shanked his own cousin to protect John and now in the book with the biggest impact on Blay and Qhuinn we get two scenes with John. Are you fricking kidding me? Where was John's support when Luchas was found? I mean John was in the house for pete's sake and we didn't get his POV on the situation. Where was John when Qhuinn decided he could fly? Where was John when Layla was carried from the house in a haze of blood? Where was John when the Payne helped Qhuinn and Layla keep the baby? All these benchmarks in Qhuinn and Blay's life and she cut John out of them.

I hate that.

I feel like she clubbed me over the head and rummaged through my pockets to rob me of all the things I love about the series and she is leaving me unconscious in the street with a lesser closing in on me.

My Hope for the Series

I want to see Layla and Qhuinn's young come to term and pop out nice and healthy. At this point I could take or leave Layla to be honest. I want to see the complete defeat of the lessers. I'm still stinging about Wellsie thank you very much. I want Wrath's throne secured. I want to see John's induction into the Brotherhood and I really want to see him come into the realization that he is Darius son of Markon. I am holding out that like whoa lol.

My Final Say

I hate this but I got to give this

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