Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review: Lover at Last

Reviewed by Jen
I feel like I have been waiting for this book forever, and I have to wonder how much my hopes and expectations played a part in how I felt reading it.  There were parts of it I really enjoyed; other parts left me frustrated; still others, left me scratching my head.

Anyone who has kept up with the series knows that Blay and Qhuinn are both completely in love with each other; and both feel like a relationship is completely impossible.  After all, as the book begins, Blay is in a long-term relationship with Qhuinn's cousin Saxton. And Qhuinn has just gotten Layla pregnant.  Not exactly a clear path to happiness.  But Layla's pregnancy is a rocky one, and surprisingly, this is what begins to clear the path to a Qhuay pairing.

I don't want to spoil too much about the book, but I'll give you some broad strokes.  I'll start with what didn't work for me.  The biggest problem was the nature of the conflict between our heroes.  Yes, there actually were some obstacles there at the beginning. But as the book progressed, I felt like the biggest thing standing between Qhuinn and Blay were... Qhuinn and Blay.  If the two of them had been honest with each other in, say, Chapter 5 or so, there would have been little need for all of the angst that followed.  Blay could have --and should have-- come clean about what was happening with Sax.  Just as Qhuinn should have stopped playing the martyr and copped to his real feelings. (Just so you know, I blame Blay more than Qhuinn here.)  It was overly prolonged and at times, even felt contrived.

Big issue number two: all the cut-scenes.  I forgot how much these drove me crazy in the earlier books.  Back then, it was all Lesser POV.  Now, the scenes are divvied up between Assail, Trez, and --to a lesser extent-- the Band of Bastards.  Just when we would get some movement on Qhuay, Ward would yank us into something else.  And it took everything in me to actually read the pages instead of skipping back to the Qhuay action.  Assail's sidestory took up the bulk of the cutaways and it didn't get interesting until the very, very end.

Final issue: the sex.  Don't get me wrong, it's hot sex. Ward doesn't pull any punches. Unfortunately, she doesn't use any lube either. The sex is often angry and raw, and I kept getting pulled from the moment, when all I could think about was... "ouch."

Now, for what did work.  Of course, seeing Qhuinn and Blay finally together, in the moments they let themselves revel in each other. These times were great.  I also loved delving more into their backstory and what they have meant to each other over the years; seeing their families and learning what has shaped them into the males they are.  Really good stuff.

I was also, surprisingly, a big fan of Layla.  I have actively hated her for... well, forever.  But I couldn't believe how much I grew to like her in this book.  She has grown so much.  And I'll be honest with you, there is a scene with her and Xcor which was probably my favorite scene in the entire book.  I re-read it three times.  --Now THAT is a real relationship with obstacles.  Such a great star-crossed lover story --and I cannot wait to read that one.

And finally, I have to say I loved the way Qhuinn's life finally comes together. With Blay, of course, but in so many other ways as well.  He is such a damaged person, but with a good heart and an honor of his own.  It made me really happy to see him get everything he deserves.

All in all, the book was a little bit of a mixed bag.  I think that if the story had focused more on our heroes and had their obstacles felt less of their own making, I would have crossed over from liking it --to loving it.  

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon
Lover at Last
by JR Ward
Release Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: NAL

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At Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 8:10:00 AM CDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the quick review. I am probably the only BDB fan who was not all that into Quay. I have a feeling that I may enjoy the book more because I don't have a big investment in them as a couple. Glad to hear Layla is finally written to appeal rather than repel.

At Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 8:30:00 AM CDT , Blogger Mariya said...

I hope that I end up liking it!

At Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 8:51:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I hope you do. At least half of the book was about other stuff beyond the romance.

At Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 8:52:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

Me too. After all of the anticipation, no one wants to be let down.

At Wednesday, March 27, 2013 at 10:19:00 AM CDT , Blogger Cecilia83 said...

Thanks for the review.. I love this couple.

At Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 5:52:00 AM CDT , Blogger Sophia Rose said...

Enjoyed your quick insightful review. I haven't got the book yet, but I will soon.

At Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 8:10:00 AM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I hope you enjoy!

At Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 8:28:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen Twimom said...

Nice review (mine will be up tomorrow)... I agree about Layla... I really liked her in this book. The cut scenes I found really good this time around - I used to skip whole sections, but I found this time around it all flowed really well and the writing was tight.

The lube issue is a non-issue for me. These are "vampires" that are hairless, produce a bonding scent and have other various differences than humans - so maybe they don't need lube. Since this is a PNR and authors often take liberties around sex (can't catch diseases, can't get pregnant, orgasms forever and over and over...), I'm not going to call foul when there isn't lube used for m/m sex.

At Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 9:22:00 PM CDT , Blogger Addictive Passions said...

My first review I have read of the book!! I'm on chapter 9, no reconciliation yet between the two. Very frustrating and I knew these extra characters were going to happen, always does with books you really cannot wait to read.

At Sunday, March 31, 2013 at 7:50:00 PM CDT , Blogger Jen at Red Hot Books said...

I am that neither Trez or Assail is the hero on the next book, but I hate waiting for Layla & Xcor!

At Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 6:35:00 PM CDT , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you Jenn!
I feel like I've been waiting for this book forever. It's nice to have Quinn and Blay together, although I think my expectations for this were too high. I thought it would rival the Zsadist story, but the cut scenes almost ruined it for me. There were so many, and some so brief they seemed pointless. They also came at times that I feel really interrupted the main story as opposed to creating the intended suspense. It was so broken up for me that I was a little disappointed with it overall.

One of my favorite parts was also the scene with Layla and Xcor. I'm holding out a lot of hope for that story to develop for the next book. Although I was a little disappointed, I devoured the book in two days and will continue to read any BDB book JR Ward comes out with. Still a fan!


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