Lover at Last
Black Dagger Brotherhood #11
Publication date: 26th March 2013
I managed to get my pre-order of Lover at Last a few weeks early so I ditched my current read and delved straight in, I will of course try to keep this review spoiler free for BDB fans who like me, have been waiting for Blay and Qhuinn's story for what seems like forever.
Lover at Last is a pretty enormous book at 591 pages and has a tonne of additional story lines woven throughout. Overall I would say I probably enjoyed it rather than loved it, the problem with following a long running series is that I always end up comparing the newest book to my old favourites in the series that I've re-read numerous times. That's not to say that J.R. Ward hasn't kept the latest instalment fresh and interesting she definitely has, but I think my heart will always stay with old favourites Zsadist and Rhevenge.
There's a lot going on in Lover at Last, and I mean a lot. There's Qhuinn and Blay obviously, the whole Qhuinn and Layla story, then there's Wrath vs the Band of Bastards, which is complicated slightly by Layla and her attraction to Xcor the son of the Bloodletter and Band of Bastard's leader. I found that when I got frustrated with Blay I became much more eager to read about Layla and Xcor. I know that Xcor is the enemy but I couldn't help but like him especially after a heart meltingly amazing scene with Layla which had me bawling my eyes out.
The additional storyline with Assail and the human cat burglar Sola confused me slightly at first, I realised later it was at Assail house Wrath was shot but couldn't for the life of me remember the connection so it didn't make much sense at first. I really loved Shadow Trez's new little storyline with his Chosen I really can't wait for more about him and his s'Hisbe duty.
J.R. Ward doesn't hold back with the Blay and Qhuinn storyline. It was very hot and very full on. I did however, at times get really frustrated with Blay. Lover at Last is very much Qhuinn's book and I think it's impossible not to fall in love with him that little bit more and maybe shed a few tears for him along the way. Thankfully there's not a lot of "verily" going on in this instalment so when I got to the final page I felt pretty satisfied with the ending and very much looking forward to the next book.
My favourite scene:
"Closing her lids, Layla leaned into the touch, knowing that this was all she would ever get from him. They were on opposite sides of the war, and though she knew not the particulars, she had heard enough in the household to know that he was right.
He could not undo what he had done.
And that meant they were going to kill him.
"I cannae believe you let me touch you." His voice grew hoarse. "I shall remember this for all my nights."
Tears speared into her eyes. Dearest Virgin Scribe, for all her life, she had waited for a moment like this...
"Do not cry." His thumb went to her cheeks. "Beautiful female of worth, do not cry."
If any one had told her someone as harsh as he was capable of such compassion, she would not have believed them. But he was. With her, he was."