Reading Roundup…

bookWell, 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?

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14 thoughts on “Reading Roundup…

  1. Lydia says:

    I enjoyed Lover at Last because I love Quinn and Blay, however I also thought there were too many threads. Hard to keep track of all of them and also do not understand why Wrath and Beth, but hey I love the Brothers so I’m looking forward to the King. This week I read a book by A.W. Exley called Hatshepsut’s Collar; it’s the second book of a series that started with Nefertiri’s Heart. Steampunk, victorian; I really liked it. Have you ever heard of this writer?

    • kaleigha says:

      No, I haven’t at all. It seems that Victorian steampunk is really on the rise, too. I haven’t hit that genre yet, either.

  2. sylviehansen says:

    I felt the same way: too many storylines to keep keep track of! I know originally, J.R. Ward intended to write Qhuinn and Blay’s story as a novella, and in retrospect, I almost wish she had. The Qhuinn/Blay time in Lover at Last didn’t amount to much more than a novella after all, and I could easily have done without Xcor and the Bastards. And don’t even get me started on Layla!

    • kaleigha says:

      Really, now that you mention it, the total Qhuinn/Blay storyline probably was only novella length. I usually like Xcor, but I think here he just got lost among the shuffle. Layla was a nuisance who broke up the flow of the story…until her last scene with Xcor. THEN they got my attention.

  3. Tina says:

    I enjoyed lover at last, but i am a bit unsure of the next one(the King), I will still read it anyway. At the moment I am reading Lynn Viehls Darkyn series, Nightbred. I found the first book I started reading I couldn’t get into at first so I put it away and picked up again a month later and am really enjoying them.

    • kaleigha says:

      I know what you mean…why back to Wrath and Beth now? Their issues could be so easily a side storyline in, say, Xcor’s story. To me it makes more sense to keep going forward rather than going back. But maybe the idea will make more sense after reading it, I guess.

      I had the same problem with Alexandra Ivy’s Guardians of Eternity series. There was no way I could get into the first book, but once I got back to it then I ended up very much enjoying the series.

  4. Barbara says:

    I loved Lover at last for everything but Quinn and Blay story: they weren’t meant to be and for me they were both cheated out of something better. That being said I am really looking forward to The king!
    I just finished Cursed by destiny by Cecy Robson: I loooooove this series and this book was so good, it was funny, full of action and adventure and so heartwrenching I ended up crying like a baby.

    • kaleigha says:

      Qhuinn has always been a messed up favorite of mine, and I would’ve enjoyed seeing him happy for more than a few pages at the end, I must admit. Blay is ok, I didn’t have anything against him, but Qhuinn has always been a stand out. I really enjoy Cecy Robson’s series, too. I was surprised by how great they were…my copy of the new one is in the mail, but I am going to need to go over the last two before I read the new one. Did you read the novella, too?

      • Barbara says:

        The first novella “the weird girls” was ok but it didn’t add much to the overall story. The second one , “a cursed moon”, was really good, Bren is such a funny (and caring) character! plus there is a big “change”…I don’t want to ruin the surprise… Anyway you can skip it and not loose much in the story arc.

        • kaleigha says:

          I grabbed both of the Weird Girls novella’s last night – I was glad to get the first one because it explained a bit more about their curse, which I had wondered about. But Bren’s novella was definitely something you don’t want to miss if you are a fan of the series. And big “change” is right.

  5. KrzyRiver says:

    I have mixed feelings about BDB in general lately. I still love the characters and the story lines, but it’s become SO layered and complex that it’s hard for me to finish them anymore and I rarely remember much when I finally get around to the next book. But I do love Quinn and Blay, so it was nice to finally see them get together. But Xcor and Assail stole the spotlight from them in my opinion. They have quickly become two of my favorites. I’m really excited to see where their stories are going to go.

    • kaleigha says:

      You are right – there so many layers and arcs and threads that they are not books you jump into lightly. I have enjoyed Xcor since his debut, but man, I loved Assail. And I like Sola, too, which is a bonus.

  6. Monika says:

    I haven’t tackled J.R. Ward yet, though I have one or two of her books lying around. I have been naughty, though, and have indulged in some guilty pleasures: I have devoured all of Allyson James’ Tales of Shareem full length novels in just a few days. Sex-wise the books were a little outside my comfort zone (some anal sex, lots of toys, some light BDSM, voyeurism, male on male and three- and foursomes going on among other things). But I sort of got caught up in the world building (which I thought was quite well done) and also liked the storylines and the romance and emotions. They were a bit like tasting forbidden fruit and I’ll be definitively going back for more ;-(

    • kaleigha says:

      I haven’t heard of many people who haven’t hit J.R. Ward yet (before I started them, I felt like the last person in the world who hadn’t read them yet). I put them off for a long, long time thinking that they weren’t my thing, but the early stories especially (back when they were PNR) were really great. When they changed to…what they are now…I found I still enjoy them but I read them in a whole different way.

      I really enjoy Allyson James’ other series (as Jennifer Ashley), the Shifters Unbound. I totally forgot that she wrote a more erotic series, too. It is funny how sometimes you get so caught up in the world that the “other stuff” sort of fades into the background of your reading enjoyment.

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