Review: Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3) by J.R. Ward

Monday, August 1
My rating:
5 Stars… 

What I loved:

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

****
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What I loved:

- Oh my God, everything. The depth of the characters, the level of connection between the brothers (oh - what Phury did for Zsadist just made my heart flutter), the way Ward has amped up the Lesser Society so I'm no longer thinking of them as harmless albino types. They are becoming a serious threat.
- Special mention for my man Zsadist. Yum. I'm torn between wanting to wrap him in cotton wool and keep him safe for eternity, or riding him like a pony. My favourite hero in the series to date.
- The writing. I know I've said it before, but the writing is... poetry. Who else could make this image so vivid?

Quote…(...) the heavy soles stomping apart frozen slush puddles and crushing through the icy ripples of tire treads.

- The pain. This is the most painful romance I've ever read, to the point where there were times it was almost unbearable. I couldn't stand to read about Zsadist's abuse anymore - my heart couldn't take it! This quote right here haunted me for days afterwards, and even when I read it just now to include it in my review - I felt sick and heartbroken for my book hellren.

Quote…Bereft and trembling, he went over to a corner and sat on the floor. He cradled his body gently, for no one else would, and tried to be kind to this newly transitioned form of his...

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Really, this is me every time I read that quote. It's not cute.

What I didn’t love:

- What the hell does UAH-Hugh mean? I understand POS, SOB, et al, but UAH-Hugh? That one got annoying, and even Google couldn't help me out.
- Wellsie. Why you gotta do that?

Overall…

Heartwrenching, almost physically painful at times, but with so much goodness and love that it stops it from being a desolate read. I am beyond thankful that Zsadist got his HEA. Now I desperately need for Phury to get his... and Vishous, and Butch & Marissa, and what's going to happen to Tohr? Not sure about the Rehvenge dude though - bit of a dodgy bugger.
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