Lover Awakened- #3 Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward

Yup. It’s official. This is my favorite BDB installment, and most definitely my favorite Brother, no doubt about it. I am on book 6 at the moment, fifth is great too! But, we will get to that some other time!

This book focuses on Zsadist, known as the most feared Warrior of the Brotherhood. We have been introduced to him fleetingly among the previous books, but here we learn more about his excruciating, heartbreaking, dark past. He’s illiterate, addicted to pain, vicious in the manner he treats people, even his own Brothers, he refuses to have sex, but only if the girl has her hands on the wall and doesn’t touch him, but one thing that captured me the most, he’s also an artist.(Even if it was just a subtle scene! I am a sucker for a tall, handsome talented fictional man, what can I say! Oh, and whom also sings like an angel)

I have always been intrigued by this character. His frightening personality is highly contrasted by the emotion that shocked everyone at the wedding ceremony in the first book, by just how much soul he put into the old traditional song of their long lost language. That’s when I knew, this man was going to break my heart.

With the previous affection attempts by a curious female vampire, Bella-friend of the Brotherhood and sister to a symphath, who runs the club the Brotherhood hangs out at- made towards Z, he began to crack a little and helplessly begins to wonder what it would be like to be with a female that strangely enough cares about him. The fear of his past refused to let him experiment, so he kept pushing her away, but she’d keep pushing right back.

But, the third book- and if you haven’t begun this series yet, then I will be careful as not to make any major spoilers- But Bella was put into danger when the ever creepy Mr. O, the lesser with some major personal issues that not even the Omega can cure *rolls eyes* , gets his nasty paste-white hands on her and kidnaps her and keeps her as pet. This dude cages her up, feeds her, calls her wife, but reminds him of his sister who was killed.O_0 Mr. O has made his way up to the top of my most-disliked villains of all time, by the way.  But anyhow, Z realized too late just how much he cares for her, and spends all his time locating her for a rescue mission.

Zsadist unleashes the hero buried deep within him, frantically searching for Bella, not believing she could be as dead the Brothers and civilian vampires claim her to be. He truly feels in his heart it isn’t so. For a female to be so interested in him, is brave all in itself, she most likely is just as brave when it comes enough to protecting her will to live.  

Events transpire to the finding of Bella, and the romance and heart break begins. He wants to unfold and be the man Bella knows is inside of him, but every time his body reacts to her subtle seductions, he punishes himself; locks himself up and Bella could even swear she heard the sounds of sobbing. This poor, damaged man..pire… It’s obvious he covers his weakness with rebelling and rage because as a Warrior, he can’t afford to let his dark and abusive past get in the way of his duties, but when it comes to affection and adoration, he recoils, afraid to do the wrong thing, and afraid of consequences. But, under all that animalistic rage tendency, he’s soft, protective, and to me, is just a big ol’ teddy bear.

We are presented with a sequence of flashbacks between Phury Z’s twin,and Z himself, of the rescue mission he set out to find his long lost brother. (Z was taken from home as an infant to use as a slave for a rich glymera female vampire, and used for his large warrior… uh… *cough* “dagger” and blood.) Another problems arise Phury battles the vow of celibacy he has taken his whole life when his feelings for Bella ensues. After all the years of protecting Z and standing by his side when no one else would, he struggles to overcome his feelings for her, battling the happiness he feels for his brothers own.

 The story as a whole though, I’ll admit how frustrating the story lines *can* be in this series. While I understand that some of the side stories tied into each book, gives a perspective of another brother and leads up to the next book, and gives us a full insight the daily lives of the Brothers interactions with each other, and at times that’s just fine, but it gets super frustrating when it gets dragged on endlessly, distracting the reader from the stuff that’s really going on. Some of the extra insights were very vital for the next book, we have John who showed up to the brotherhood, a young vampire nearing his transition, but no one can solve his background though they believe he is the son of Darius, the vampire who died in the first book, the Queens father, and then Tohr and Wellsies drama. I always had my suspicions of what were to come of Wellsie and her “situation”, but this kinda took me for a loop. (no spoilers) And the endless creepiness that is the Omega and lesser alike.

All I cared about was Z and Bella, and their creepy lesser Stalker, Mr.O.  I also may also be the first one to admit, while most J.R. Ward BDB sex scenes are super cheesy, this one, however, did not fail to impress me. But, in total of this series, we undergo a series of guessing what’s going to happen next, mystery, thrills, romance, heart break, laughter, I honestly shed a few tears for this poor vampire. His story was written so well, I was totally consumed by it and wanted nothing more than to reach out and hug him! Oh, and back off, because he is my Bookboyfriend! *nods*

If you find yourself beginning this series soon, just be prepared for a lot of information. These are long novels and though each book is based on one Warrior from the Brotherhood, you will be introduced to many characters, and forced to focus on many other point of views, including moments in the head of the lesser that overtakes the Forelesser position (lead lesser)who are on the hunt  for warriors, for their own motives.

***Terms you need to know of the BDB series mentioned in this review***
– Glymera-Social core of the aristocracy
– Lesser– De-souled human who hunts vampires and works for the Omega
– Omega– Malevolent, mystical figure  who seeks to extinct the vampire race out of hatred for The Scribe Virgin
– Scribe Virgin– Mystical force who is counselor to the king and keeper of vampire archives

Interesting Facts:
** Vampires are in fact, the good race in this series, and the Brotherhood protects their race and the humans. In fact, some of them even pray.
** There is a lot…a lot of hardcore sex in these books. Some more disturbing and or cheesy than others.

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