Well, while I didn’t manage to keep my three-books-a-week pace up for this week, I still consider it a major, major win. That is because I finally made it through a monster book that has been uneasily sitting on the top of the TBR mountain…Lover at Last. Potential Spoilers ahead…
Lover at Last – Good lord, I have a complicated relationship with this latest one from J.R. Ward‘s Black Dagger Brotherhood. The thing is, as much as I have been invested in the series over the years, a male/male story has never really interested me, and that is pretty much why it took me almost a year to get to it. Once I started, though, I dove back into the world pretty quickly and found myself quite involved with the story.
The thing is, though, that the long-awaited Qhuinn and Blay story ends up playing such a small role in the book overall that sometimes it was hard to remember that it was actually their book. I have always been a Qhuinn fan, and he did steal every scene he was in, but there were so, so many other threads and storylines going on that it almost got hard to keep track of. I actually had to write them down to keep track of what was going on. There was Blay and Saxton, Qhuinn and Layla and her pregnancy, Layla and Xcor, Xcor and the Bastards, Assail and the Lessers, Assail and Sola, Trez and his destined mate, Trez and Selena, and the return of Luchas. Add onto that the starting of Wrath and Beth’s next storyline, and it was a very full book. It wasn’t one that you breezed through, for sure, and I found myself liking some parts more than others.
I enjoyed Qhuinn coming to terms with who he is, but I found Blay a bit of a non-entity. Layla was more of a nuisance (until her last scene with Xcor), and Xcor and the Bastards just slowed things down. The whole drug-angle with Xcor/Lessers/Assail seemed a bit pointless, too. I did really enjoy Assail and Sola’s story – I think for me it was one of the highlights of the book. Trez’s angle definitely has potential, and I found myself very much liking the Shadows. Another highlight for me was the Brotherhood itself. The original gang played a large part in the story, and I realized I had missed V, Butch and the gang. I was especially happy to see Phury back as not only as the Primale, but as a full part of the Brotherhood. I thought he got a raw deal being shuffled off to deal with the Chosen, but he was very much a full Brother again in Lover at Last, and that made me happy.
After having read this one, I do have questions about featuring Wrath and Beth again in the next book. At where it stands now, to me it would make more sense to go either the Xcor/Layla, Assail/Sola, or Trez/Selena route. Wrath and Beth feels like a step back rather than ahead. Although, if The King follows the path of Lover at Last, all of the other storylines will get more than their share of time. In summary, after wimping out for months, I was glad I finally got around to Lover at Last. It was a bit of a roller-coaster, with both highs and lows, but things were never, ever boring.
Howling for You (novella) – This Chicagoland Vampires e-novella featured Jeff Christopher and Fallon Keene, and the shifter side of things. I enjoyed this fast little read, and I would love to see more from the shifter world. Jeff has always been a favorite, and I was glad to get to know him a bit better. He has always been the sweet, geeky nerd, but here we also get to see the strong, lethal predator he is. I was expecting to see at least a cameo from Merit and company, but this story was vampire-free. You don’t miss anything vital to the series if you don’t pick this one up, but it is a fun addition to Chloe Neill‘s world.
So, what did you read this week? Anything exciting? What did you think of Lover at Last and Howling for You?