Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: Lover Reborn

Reviewed by Jen
I'll tell you what: JR Ward gave me my money's worth with Lover Reborn. A far cry from the anemic Lover Unleashed, this book is massive in scale. It brought me back to the characters I care about. It gives the primary romance the attention it is due, and weaves in subplots that interest me. Ward revisits old relationships and lays the groundwork for new ones. She made me laugh; She made me cry; She made me curse. She took me on a journey and made me glad to be back in Caldwell.

I wasn't happy with the idea of Tohr getting a new mate. I've never gotten over Wellsie's death. And I figured that if I couldn't get over it, surely he shouldn't be over it either. But once I started reading the book, I realized that the whole point of the story is that he's not over it. He can't let Wellsie go and by holding onto her so desperately, he is preventing her from going into the Fade. Wellsie and her baby are trapped in the In Between and their spirits are fading. As Lassiter explains, either Tohr finds a way to let go, or there will be nothing left of the woman he loved.

The story begins just weeks after the events of Lover Mine and it felt more like a continuation of that book than the last one. (Thank goodness for that.) No'One is staying with the Brotherhood, hoping for a chance to get to know her daughter. She finds herself becoming friends with Tohr. She knows he still mourns his wife, which makes her more comfortable around him than other men. Their friendship --and Lassiter's prompting-- lead her to offer her blood to him when he's in need. And from there, the bond between them grows.

It's definitely not an easy road and it's one filled with starts and stops. (And I felt it drag occasionally, especially early on.) Tohr's grief is tangible, but there are times his behavior is extreme and harsh. No'One is a difficult heroine to get excited about. She is meek and subservient, broken and pitiful. She puts up with alot of crap and sometimes stretches the limits of believability in how accommodating she is. But at least that is addressed as the story progresses. I like that their relationship is an evolution; that there is no quick fix. And we see them move forward through trial and error.

While all this is going on, the main b-plot is focused on Xhex and John Matthew. The honeymoon phase of their relationship is over quickly. And they are struggling to reconcile Xhex's warrior nature with John's instincts as a bonded male. I loved this part of the book. I've always had a real soft spot for these two and their problems make total sense within the world-building of the series.

We're also brought back into the Band of Bastards and their plans to overthrow the king. And in doing so, Ward sets up a fabulous possibility that I never saw coming to get rid of give an HEA to Layla. Alas, it doesn't happen soon enough. (*spoilery*) The one thing I feared most would happen in this book, does indeed come to pass. I'm sorely disappointed Ward picked this predictable route. Without telling you outright what happens, I will simply remind you what a big Qhuay fan I am and leave it at that.

Before I find myself back in the cursing fit this initially brought on, I'm going to skip to the end. The end, which was amazing. I cried and cried and cried. Ward saved the most powerful punch for the last few chapters and left me feeling satisfied, optimistic, and excited for what's ahead.

I'll leave you with my favorite line of the book: "Our future has come." You'd better deliver on that, JR Ward. Verily. 4 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon
Lover Reborn
by JR Ward
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Publisher: NAL

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At Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 9:53:00 AM CDT , Blogger Vanessa theJeepDiva said...

I was in BAM yesterday & didn't buy this book. I've had too many disappointments in the series and just didn't feel like moving on with it at this time. The very first paragraph of this AWESOME review makes me wish I had grabbed it.

At Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:02:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Awww. Thank you.

It wasn't the best in the series, IMO. But I thought it was leaps and bounds better than the last one. I was a little slow to warm up to it, but I ended up really invested in the story.

Fans of the series shouldn't miss it.

At Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:16:00 AM CDT , Blogger Lupdilup said...

I'm half way done and just loving it, I guess I'm one of those die hard fans that eats up every word, every phrase she writes. I'll be back and read the whole review later tonight ( I just checked your rating for it, and I loved the first sentence) on my way to work now. I wish we could have a video group where we could talk about it.

At Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:27:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Yay!! Be sure to come back!

At Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 1:21:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jennifer@The Book Nympho said...

I scrolled down quickly as not to read the review yet. I just wanted to see what you rated it. I plan to start it later today once I get a few errands taken care of.

At Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:04:00 PM CDT , Blogger Julie said...

The last 70 pages of this book were so painful to read - in the very best of ways. And I agree that Xhex and JM's issues made sense for them. I was also very concerned about Tohr and how his whole situation would be taken care of and I think Ward does it perfectly. Great review. :)

At Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 6:54:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Thank you! I'm going over to check out your review now. :)

At Friday, March 30, 2012 at 11:03:00 AM CDT , Blogger Pamela {@SpazP} said...

I KNEW knew knew Ward was going to do that with L & Q. I have to say the entire *needing* thing really bugged me (the first one, okay I'll go with it, but the second one?). When it goes down, I just wanted to roll my eyes in my head and yell WHAT A GREAT REASON TO HAVE A KID. Oy!
I have to say that I LOVED Xcor and his story and I called it in the last book - I knew who his HEA would be!!! I just KNEW it! Anyway, I really enjoyed this book, I enjoy JRW' writing tremendously, and she can get away with things (for me) that other authors could not. But I also really didn't LOVE the whole in-between thing and the way the ending played out. But again, it's JRW and it worked for me even if I didn't LOVE it.
I was also not a huge mourner of Wellslie, so the book didn't effect me emotionally the way it did others. The saddest points for me were between Tohr and No"one when he'd say the most AWFUL things to her, and then apologize - and between Xhex and No"one as they tried to build a relationship. Those conversations choked me up :)
I enjoyed your thoughts on this one!

At Friday, March 30, 2012 at 8:50:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Thanks Pam. I was so, so pissed with the 2nd needing. And frankly, I was pissed at how Tohr acted during the first one. He was such an ass.

I didn't see the Xcor love connection coming, but I am onboard 100%. I wonder how the baby I am pissed about will work into that relationship. Interesting to see how one bastard will treat another one.

Loved the developing relationship between Xhex and her mom. At least that went well for poor No'One.

Oooh --and there was some hot sex stuff too!

At Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 1:52:00 AM CDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Team Qhuay!!!!! They are de Next book!!!! Ward had confirmed it!!!

At Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 6:42:00 AM CDT , Blogger Cheerybell said...

I was googling and Goodreads-ing for levelheaded reviews that don't go bashing and gushing too much on LR. My copy is still on its way and after reading all the terrible things said regarding the Qhuinn/Blay/Layla issue, my brain is in knots and I was wondering your thought about it?

At Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 9:58:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I know!! I am so excited!!!

At Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 10:03:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Honestly? I hate it. I want Blay and Qhuinn to be together. I don't know how spoiled you already are (or want to be) about what happens with the three of them in this book. But I really felt like Ward took the predictable route, going for an easy plot device here. It could have been worse. At least we are clear where everyone's affections truly lie. I just wish she hadn't put Layla in the middle of Qhuay in a way that is so irrevocable.

At Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 9:24:00 PM CDT , Blogger Twimom227 said...

I was glad to see that Layla is over Qhuinn - even though the prediction of what Q saw in LUnl came to pass.

"But once I started reading the book, I realized that the whole point of the story is that he's not over it." PERFECTLY SAID! I think Ward did a wonderful job with Tohr. I'm not sold on the couple, but she treated him wonderfully!

Thanks for the review!

At Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 11:30:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Me too, Jen. It does help... some. And I really like the idea of her new HEA!

At Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 11:34:00 AM CDT , Anonymous Luxembourg said...

I think most long- time readers wish each book had more focus on the main couple in question, that the "romance" part of the novels has been thrown to the wayside in favor of multiple story lines and not- quite- minor characters. And those readers are right, especially when you re- read the first five or so books. But does that mean the books have become less? No; the BDB is a different series now, for sure, but not in any way less. This was the book where I felt Ward nailed the action sequences (I audibly gasped in quite a few places, and clutched my chest during one pivotal scene), and it's also the one that felt the most "real.

At Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 11:55:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I still enjoy the series and I don't mind that Ward has ventured into a more UF territory than strictly PNR. I loved Lover Avenged and Lover Mine. I liked this one and I thought it was powerful in places --especially the end.

I can't wait for Blay & Qhuinn's book next year. I am counting down the days.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

At Friday, May 4, 2012 at 7:24:00 AM CDT , Anonymous Espana said...

In going into Lover Reborn, I wanted to keep in mind something that JR Ward alluded to in the BDB companion book, that Tohrment's book was to be the conclusion of the original ten- part series, and in a lot of ways, it is


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