Lover Reborn
Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book #10
By J.R. Ward

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

Lover Reborn is the tenth installment of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.D. Ward.  It takes place in present day Caldwell, New York where a war rages between the vampires and the lessening society and the humans are oblivious to it all.

This installment is all about Tohrment.  He is still rocked to his core by grief a year after losing his shellan, Wellsie, and their unborn son at the hand of their enemy, the lessers.  The fallen angel, Lassiter, has brought Tohr back to the brotherhood and he’s back to fighting with his brothers during the night, but he still is just a ghost of the man he once was.

But Wellsie is not in the Fade like Tohr always believed she was.  Instead, she is fading away in the in between.  She can’t pass onto the Fade until Tohr can let her go and move on.  In the meantime her and their son are wilting away and will be stuck in the in between forever if Lassiter can’t get Tohr to do what’s needed to save them.

After Lassiter informs Tohr of Wellsie’s fate he tries to force himself to move on with No’One, a female he helped when he was younger, who refuses to use her birth name.  But Tohr is just going through the motions and hasn’t really given his heart to her.

Lassiter must knock some sense into him, before it’s too late and Wellsie’s fate is sealed.

I’m going to start off reminiscing back to when I first started reading this series.  At the end of the first book, Dark Lover, Wellsie was helping Beth prepare for her mating ceremony.  That is when Wellsie confided in Beth and us readers that she was pregnant.  Nervous Tohr was so protective and worried about his shellan and whether or not she would make it through the pregnancy safely.  I thought for sure they were leading up to a Tohr book so I was dumbfounded when the second book focused on Rhage (my favorite brother by the way).  Then book after book went by none of them being Tohr’s.  So before I even cracked the spine of this book, or turned on the ereader in this case I was left wondering….did Ward wait too long?  After losing everything that is dear to Tohr, is there really anything interesting to tell?  Is there enough to keep the readers interested and make them fall in love with this tortured soul?  I had my doubts, but I tried to remain optimistic since I wasn’t really interested in John Matthew or Rehvenge’s stories either, but ended up loving them.  But I’m sad to report that was not the case with this novel.

First off, Tohr was a total dick during most of this book.  I understand that you’re still hurt from losing your loved ones,  but I don’t think that gives you the right to treat everyone like shit.    I seriously just wanted to smack the crap out of him and was elated when Lassiter finally hauled off and punched him!

Speaking of Lassiter, I absolutely love him and have since he was first introduced to the series.  But I found this book to be lacking his usual humor, which is what drew me to him to start with.  I am, however,  glad this book ended with an opening for us to be able to see more of him, even if he won’t be living at the brotherhood compound anymore.

Now let’s move on to No’One.  This character drove me freaking crazy!  I could not stand her.  This woe is me crap just grates my nerves.  She has no personality and no self-esteem or self-worth.  I had a very hard time believing someone that was raped and gave birth to a child she thought was an abomination and was so traumatized that she killed herself would let herself be used for blood and sex the way she let Tohr do.  Anything he wanted she did.  She quit wearing the robe because he didn’t want her to, she gave him sex at a drop of a hat, she even changed her name because he liked the name Autumn (insert eye roll here).  This character was just way to wimpy and boring for me to find interest with.  She let people walk all over her and I could not connect with her.  I thought an attempt to put her in a romance was a wasted effort.

I found the end of the book to be really stupid.  It tied in the theme of the novel being about moving on, but the whole Autumn passing onto the Fade and Lassiter going to save her was just really lame.

As for the other storylines going on in this book…

I really didn’t care about Xcor and his band of bastards.  In fact, I had forgotten about them until I started reading about them in this installment.  I know the things that happened with them in this novel will come into play later on especially now that he and Throe both have a thing for Layla, but it still didn’t make their chapters any easier to digest.

I thought Xhex leaving the mansion and JM just because the brothers look for approval from him before agreeing to let her do things was stupid.  It wasn’t really like he asked them to do that and yeah he was getting over-protective of her when they were fighting the lessers, but he loves her and that’s why he did all that.  It seems awfully early in their union for her to just give up like that and ultimately it was something that I think could have been talked out.

The only storyline I really enjoyed in this book was Qhuinn and Layla.  I have gotten to really like them both and was kind of wishing he would have fallen for her eventually, but I’ll settle for him having a baby with her instead.  This storyline leaves it open for a lot of possibilities in the future books, especially the next one, which is rumored to be about Qhuinn and Blay.  As I find Blay to be very boring this might just be the ticket to spice that book up a little.

Also, what happened with Mhurder?  We were teased about him a few books ago and there hasn’t been anything about him since.

This is the first Black Dagger book that I really didn’t like—at all!!  I couldn’t even find any quotes I liked…I usually find some line that’s really romantic or super funny, but not this time around.  I thought the previous book, Lover Unleashed, was mediocre at best and it’s really starting to make me wonder if the Warden has lost her touch?  I’m hoping not and that she rebounds with the Qhuay book, but only time will tell.