Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another.... Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand. Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.
Lover at Last is the 11th book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R Ward (( AKA: The Warden. The ultimate genius brain in the entire whole known universe who houses all our bestest book boyfriends )) It takes place mere weeks after Lover Reborn finished and sees Qhuinn and Blaylock finally take centre stage to get their HEA. Most BDB fanatics have been waiting for this book it seems for about a century. Especially since we learned it would be a full blown huge book size and not, as we were initially told, a teeny tiny novella because of its M/M content. I like to think the warden kicked the stuffy-assed publishers in the ass who told her a male/male story couldn’t be done in a mainstream genre and told them she was giving us QHUAY her way and to shut it. Swoon. She’s my heroine.
To cut back on my usual BDB ramblings in a review, I’ve invited a good friend Victoria to join me to discuss Lover at Last in great detail. It WILL be SPOILER HEAVY. Sorry. Not Sorry. It’s how we roll, yo’!
If you haven’t read the book yet and don’t want to know what happens... turn back now folks. Seriously, last chance..... go on.... off you go.....remember to come back when you have finished it!
Lover at Last is as all the other books are. FULL of different POV, sexy time heavy, bro-mance filled and the best book crack you could ever want.
So! On a scale of Phury’s book - 10 how much did you love LAL?
Victoria: -Laughs- Poor Phury. I wanted to give it 10 out of 10. But I think that’s my BDB hangover speaking. It was more of a 9 for me. Still a good mark, right? Some things I loved more than others. Some things I could have not had in the book at all and not missed them.
Bearsy: Nine is great! I’d go half a mark up and say 9.5. All the forelesser parts lost it half a mark. I just and still can’t get into their POV at all. I want baddies in my books. But not to see what they’re thinking or doing.
Assail - drug dealer/user. Teaming up with the forelesser (Sorta) having a stalker (sorta) and wanting to bang her.... and discuss!
Victoria: Oh Assail! Even though his POV and Sola’s (( Stalker/PI human girl )) didn’t really FIT into Lover at Last at all, it felt like it was just dumped in for filler and to set him up for his own future book, I did love that guy. He’s cool to the point of icy and greed hungry. He doesn’t give a rats-ass about the hierarchy of the Glymera or who has the vampire throne. He just wants money and to make it however he can and with whatever foe he has to. We learned some new things about him. Like he samples his own wares. He has two twin cousins living in his glass house. One called Ehric. The other is nameless as yet. They seem cold blooded. Not sure how much of a role they’re going to play in the future, but since Warden has introduced them (( much the same as she did for the Moors all that time back with Rehvenge )) you have to think she has some plans for them also. But teaming up with the forelesser?! Someone needs to remind him he's a vampire.
Bearsy: I did not like that drug taking to help him stave off his hunger to feed. It’s too resonate of Phury and his drug addiction which bored me silly. So I hope Warden isn’t gonna progress that for Assail. But dayum, He is FINE! And I’m not even sure what it is I like about him, we don’t know that much about him, and yes as you said Vic, his story seemed to be just THERE not really connected at all to the main arc or even any other POV. But I did like it. Sola. Hmm I don’t have any feelings on her yet. I need more of her to see if she’ll join the ranks of favourite shellan ( that list is VERY small ) but she certainly seems feisty enough to handle the calculating nature of Assail. He seems attached really fast. But that is the BDB way.
Best Assail Quote: “There is nothing I will not do to bring her back. Do you understand what I’m saying.”
The King and how F-awesome he is - And discuss!
Victoria: -Laughs- Wrath IS pretty awesome. I’ve always loved whenever he’s on the page. He has such a love for his Queen and dog there’s no way it can’t melt your heart. The entire Glymera meeting when he laid out plain and simply to the haughty head of the vampire families that if they crossed him in any way he would rip their heads off and enjoy doing it. Oh my. How can you not love him for that? And he stands glaring at them while we the reader knows he’s blind but they don’t and they’re terrified clutching pearls and their balls. He is a force to be reckoned with, blind or not. And it’s in those moments when his Black Dagger’s are guarding him, they come together as not only a family but a team of warriors ready to do what they have to for their sovereign. It just gives me goosebumps.
Bearsy: Agreed! There’s nothing I didn’t like about any of Wrath in this book. When Beth was upset and sat on his lap and he felt big as a mountain because he was the only one who could sooth his leelan, I swear my heart melted into a puddle clean down to my toes. And we see that Beth REALLY wants kids and Wrath does not. Ut oh. I foresee lots of arguing in future books and hot make up sex. wishful thinking.
Victoria: Please yes hot make up sex. and Hot angry ‘we’re not having babies’ sex. And hot making babies needing sex. And just hot King sex.
Favourite Wrath quote: His Beth was the heart behind his ribs, the marrow in his bones, the soul in his physical body.
Layla - Verily. And discuss!
Victoria: Sooo many mixed feelings here. I’ve never been a Layla fan. She, frankly, got on my ever lovin’ last nerve in past books. But being pregnant has done something to her. It’s given Layla a backbone. When it looks like she’s losing the baby -frown- she is an amazon standing up to Havers who -douchbag of the century- when he finds out she is a chosen refuses to treat her or even be in the same room as her as it goes against some holy law and he basically calls her nothing more than a vessel. Whatafuckingarsehole. He is one character I never ever ever want to see redeemed. He is horrid.
Bearsy: HISS! Hate Havers! Layla was amazing in that clinic scene and it was the first time I felt empathy for her instead of downright irritation. She has definitely grown and we see her go through a range of emotions. The whole Xcor attraction is quite endearing in its own way but it’s going to bring a bagful of OH HELL’s when they eventually try to be together. Not just because of the Brothers v BOB’s but add in to the mix she’s having Qhuinn’s child now. Step-daddy material he is not. Is Layla chosen enough to bring Xcor away from the darkside and it’s scythe shaped cookies? I don’t know. When Warden said last year we’d see a different side to Layla I was very much “Pft yeah Riiiiiiiiiiiiight” but damn, author genius did it. She changed my mind on the chosen.
Victoria: Hate to say it, but mine too. Verily much. She’s started to think for herself, she has this great friendship with Qhuinn, and that’s all it is, thankfully. And you can’t really fault her for falling for a bad guy. The bad boys are ALWAYS the best -laugh-
The Bastards - And Discuss!
Victoria: You’re going to make ME say it first?! -laughing- Fine. The Band of Bastards brought another spectacular moresome scene in Lover at Last. You thought that last one was sexy? This is tipped right over the edge! I think four of the bastards are partaking of the woman, if I counted right. While Xcor watches. Naughty voyeur leader. It made me laugh when Zypher was just....finishing and he got shoved out of the way for another of the BOB’s to take his place. -inaudible noise- Some say the warden doesn’t really BRING the sex in her books, but come on, she does moresomes just right! OH and we got to know the other name of the bastard cousin. Syn. I like it.
Bearsy: Laughing! Agree. What is better than an orgy with a horny bastard? The whole feeding from every vein was hot while Zypher was banging away. AND Xcor got handsy with himself (different scene) and also has a new tactic to bring down the King. UGH. It gives me a nervous tummy when he plots against Wrath. I don’t mind Xcor as a bad guy, he plays a great one, so fierce and determined and self loathing to the point I feel bad for him. But Do. Not. Go. After. The. King. Dude! He has such a hardon for the throne, and for what? I don’t know. He’s already doing what he loves. Using his lady scythe to kill the lessers. He needs to get a new hobby already. Go pursue your chosen. Leave Wrath alone!
Victoria: Because the die has been cast with Tohr being granted permission to be the one to kill Xcor it’s going to be interesting to see how that transpires and can it be stopped. Something big must have to happen for the bastard leader to change his course in life. I bounce back and forth from liking him to hating his guts. I wanted to see more of the others. We don’t know much of anything of the cousins, Throe or Zypher much past that they all enjoy sex. A lot. And fighting and plotting evil deeds against the brothers. I’m not sure if the BOB would lose some of their cool points and bad boy images if in the future they teamed up with the brothers. Would Wrath ever trust them to let them into the mansion? I don’t think so. But, the band of bastards as the new enemy, I really like. Just don’t kill the King! It’s more worrisome now Xcor knows where the mansion is.
The Brothers. Ahhhhhhh.....( Other and shellans) And Discuss.
Victoria: Oh Gosh. Where to start?! How about with the newest brother: QHUINN. He awoke to see himself surrounded by the brothers dressed in hooded black robes and thought the Honor Guard had come back to finish him off. He fought like a trapped animal. It was a beautiful scene with them all calming him down and he finally realizes what it is. I don’t mind admitting I bawled through it all. When Z petitions for him to be brought into the Black Daggers and then one after the other each brother does too. So many feels! And he finally has that sense of belonging to a family. It’s everything I wanted for Qhuinn and he makes a terrific brother. For the second time he’s saved their asses, first it was Wrath in Lover Reborn and then Z, flying him home in a Cessna and skidding it across the Mansion’s lawn. EPIC! That entire plane ride was so filled with feels I was going to burst. Him and Zsadist have the kind of rapport we saw many books ago with Z and John Matthew. I love Zsadist and always want more of him in every scene. But I could have done without the heartache when he got shot. Warden shoots her favourite! Twisted genius right there. I don’t think I breathed the whole time.
Bearsy: I love them all. That is all.
Victoria: When they all joke around about the Tuxedo. Adorable.
Bearsy: ‘Loverboy’ from Z! too freakin’ funny!
Victoria: The EPILOGUE! How amazing was Qhuinn being all romantic? -sings ‘Don’t stop believing’ (( you’ll know what this means if you’ve read it )) It was just exquisite and Qhuinn finally embracing who he is and what he wants. I felt this book was more Qhuinn’s journey, much like the shellan takes a backseat in the story, Blay did for me. I was ambivalent towards him really. He was already settled in his own skin, he had parents who love and accept him for all that he is. How fantastic were they by the way? so lovable. So much like Wrath or Tohr or V had their own book. This was Qhuinn’s. And now we know why his book cover didn’t have the tat! It got changed. That would have been a huge plot give away. I quite like his new purple teardrop.
Bearsy: So many tears for Qhuinn’s induction. Not enough V though.
Victoria: Or John Matthew and Xhex. How did their differences get sorted? Are they happy again? We don’t know.
Bearsy: Lover at Last was so angst filled with Qhuinn and Blay constantly butting heads and not peen and asses so the funniest scene goes to Zsadist and Rhage:
Funniest quote: “Will you get off me!” “But I’m giving you CPR—” “I will die before kissing you, Hollywood.”
Victoria: Beth cozying up to Layla to “catch” her needing. Pretty damn funny. I kinda want to see a royal needing -in a non voyeuristic pervy way-
Bearsy: The shellan’s were pretty lacking in LAL. Nothing at all from Cormia. I think it was so Layla could take the spotlight.
Victoria: Trez falling for a chosen! Holy wow. Firstly, he’s a bit of a manwhore -laughs- and he’s mated to royalty! A mating he doesn’t want and is running from it. I am happy we saw more of the Moor brothers. We still don’t know EXACTLY what they are. They have fangs. They’re not symphath but they do a cool hazy shimmer materializing thing and can be invisible. iAm is fiercely loyal to his brother, to the point he got them both holed up in the brotherhood mansion to hide out from their people. The chosen thing though. Not sure of that, that might be my aversion to all things holy creatures, but Selena does seem.. nice. I’m surmising because Trez has been SUCH a player he needs the complete opposite for his bonded mate. I think I’d prefer another human for him, however.
Bearsy: Verily yes! Phury will break all the Shadow’s bones if he swings his much used dick in her way.
Victoria: I still have the feeling Assail is related somewhere to Rehvenge.
Bearsy: Speaking of tall mean and purple eyed! His “all biz” attitude was so hot in the few scenes we saw him. .
Victoria: And for a final PS: I don’t trust Qhuinn’s brother Luchas. Not yet. Something is fishy about him turning up now. Can he be redeemed? Maybe.
Victoria: I was very happy with Lover at Last. It made me cry in all the right places, hold my breath, yell out loud and want 700 more pages. It didn’t skimp on the man on man sex, I didn’t care it didn’t have every last detail in there, I didn’t care there was no mention of lube. I see it as we never see condoms used in romance books, or people using the loo or have sleep gunk in their eyes when they wake up. Sometimes we don’t need or want the NORMAL mundane details. Those details are a given without us seeing the words “and he slathers up with pineapple flavoured lube” Besides, those boys have Black Dagger peens. No lube is needed, they can go in any hole just FINE! -laughs-
Bearsy: -laughing hard just nods in full agreement-
For any BDB fan, Lover at Last was what we wanted. An epic love story for two males that from day one have loved each other and gotten lost and caught up in a war and the shackles of a horrible childhood. It was about love and accepting who you are and being okay with that and fuck what anybody else thought. It was about budding new romances and bigger enemies and plots that will ripple down the royal line if paths aren’t changed. I can’t say I was disappointed with this installment of the BDB crack fix. Warden did the impossible and made a hit for the M/M audience AND more importantly had a lot of us changing our minds about that pregnant chosen. Whodda thunk it!!
What book do you think is next? I’m saying Trez and his chosen!
We give Lover at Last by J R Ward 4 out of 5 sparkles.