Lover Enshrined, by JR Ward

>> Friday, March 05, 2010

TITLE: Lover Enshrined

PAGES: 560
PUBLISHER: Signet Eclipse

SETTING: Contemporary New York state
TYPE: Urban Fiction / Paranormal romance
SERIES: 6th in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

REASON FOR READING: JRW's like crack. I resisted until now, but gave up.

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now, a dutiful twin must choose between two lives...

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body but his heart for herself- she sees the emotionally scarred male behind all his noble responsibility. But while the war with the Lessening Society grows more grim, and tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, Phury must decide between duty and love.
If you haven't read the other books in the series, don't start with this one. In fact, don't bother reading any further here, because it won't make much sense to you. If you've read the others and liked them, I think you'd probably like this one. If you hated them, then Lover Enshrined won't change your mind.

I was warned before I started reading that in this book, the BDB series moved from proper romance to urban fiction. I don't know if I'd go as far as to say that, because there's definitely a romance here. Still, more and more of the book is taken up by other storylines. There's great development of the friendship between John, Qhuinn and Blaylock, there's a lot about Rehvenge, clearly setting up the next book, and there are big things happening with the Omega and the Lessening Society. There's also a bit of Tohr (I think!), there's Zsadist and Bella, there's Xhex, there's Doc Jane... tons of bits and pieces of different storylines.

And you know what? I really liked that this happened. It helped that the romance between Phury and Cormia is probably one of the weakest I've read in the series so far, so I wasn't particularly torn up when the action moved from them to something else. It's not a horrible romance, and Cormia isn't as much of a limp dishrag as she seemed in the previous book, but still. I just couldn't warm up to Phury, with his addiction problems and his indecisions and the way he kept blowing hot and cold with poor Cormia. It was depressing to read about him. Plus, I wasn't too enthused with the whole Chosen / Primale thing, the whole Chosen world pisses me off.

I still think the random sprinkling of h's is as lame as ever, but I think the lameness actually got a bit lighter here. The brandname-dropping wasn't as heinous and the big, bad vampires didn't use too much silly teen-speak (there was one "I'm outtie", but that was it).

The weakest part of the book was the ending. The resolution of the whole Primale thing was much, much too easy. If that was all it took, then all that angst that has gone on for a couple of books now was a complete waste of time. Plus, the Scribe Virgin has seemingly had a personality transplant. The pretty scarily authority-mad deity of previous books, who gets pissed off and can make you grovel if you as much as ask her a question goes pretty much "yeah, ok", when her wisdom in creating the Chosen world as she did is questioned. Very weird.

My favourite part of the book? The bits about John and his friends, and about John and Xhex. In fact, I'm half tempted to wait to read the next one in the series until John's book comes out in a few months.



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