Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Lover Unbound Lover Unbound:
Black Dagger Brotherhood Book 5
by JR Ward

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

Vishous, a smart IT geek and scary vampire warrior is a member of the Brotherhood. He has the gift of prophecy and a glowing hand that can torch dead lesser so they disappear from existence. The son of the Bloodletter, V grew up in harsh warrior training camps where he endured extreme cruelty. He now enjoys BDSM, where he is the one being punished. He also has feelings for Butch, his formerly human roommate who is now mated (Book 4). After a fight with Lessers, V ends up in a human hospital, where he falls instantly and unexpectedly in love with a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb. Needing medical care but unwilling to be exposed as a vampire, he kidnaps Jane and brings her to the Brotherhood compound to care for him.

Jane is a brilliant surgeon, dedicated to helping people live. She grew up in a very repressed household where emotion was frowned on. She now loves expressing herself and being the best in her field. After meeting V, she’s impressed by how hot he is, and he loves her brain.

V is destined to become the Primale, a warrior with multiple vampire wives who's meant to ensure the survival of the species. After meeting Jane he doesn’t want the role so Phury steps in, as he’s in love with someone unattainable, his brother’s mate Bella. The Scribe Virgin, who turns out to be V’s mother, agrees we get to see a lot of Phury, his potential primary mate, and a lot of background is set up for the next book.

A lesser shoots Jane and she dies in V’s arms. He tries to resurrect her but is stopped by the Scribe Virgin. She is horrified by V’s grief and trades her only joy in life (her birds) so Jane can come back. Jane is now a ghost and V is the only one who can touch her – to everyone else she is translucent. V then gives his mother a bird to thank her for what she did.

I never got why Jane was fine with being kidnapped by a group of vampires. If I was kidnapped by vampires, I would be freaking out, not joking and flirting with my captor, no matter how hot he was. And V has just kidnapped her, he is her patient, he is a vampire, she is supposed to be very professional, yet she gives him a HJ without even knowing his whole first name? The whole relationship between them was not believable at all, it was too rushed.

Secondary characters do play a bigger role, there's a lot of detail about John Matthew and his friends, who finally go through transition and Zsadist continues to develop. The ending left me feeling unsatisfied but I couldn’t wait for Phury's book. We meet his possible mate and what we find out about her and the culture she arrives from is not to be missed. Lover Unbound is a must for Brotherhood fans but not the book to start the series with. Definitely R 18.

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