Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
The series takes a bit of a turn in Lover Unbound. Yes, you’re still getting the Brothers. Yes, one is still dealing with the ramifications of love. But this one feels more like a transition book. J.R. Ward sets us up for more on Phury and John Matthew. And we want more from them. This novel focuses on Brotherhood warrior Vishous.
Don’t get us wrong; we love V. He’s aggressive, brilliant and focused. And he meets a human woman who can go toe-to-toe with him in Jane. He’s never given up control, but this doctor isn’t one to be pushed around either. In the development of feelings for Jane, Vishous has to finally deal with his connection and undesired interest in Butch. It’s not really a love triangle, but requires V to do some admissions about who he is and how he interacts with others. His growth with Jane — and that scene in the bathroom together — are highlights of Lover Unbound.
The big change in this fifth novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series is the big pull back on the presence of the lessers (the members of a society of sociopaths set to kill vampires). In all previous novels we spent time reading from the points of view of lessers, and a good deal of hunting, fighting and dealing with the dangers of this eternal war. There is none of that in this book. There are two fight scenes with the baby powder smelling fools, but those don’t present a threat to love interests or the Brothers, but do play into character growth.
Because Ward is so good at writing paranormal romance, we still had a good time reading Lover Unbound. There are certainly standout moments in the novel, but really it just left us ready to get on to the other Brothers’ stories. So much groundwork is laid in this one that things are going to get complicated and wonderful. We can feel it.
Sexual content: Graphic sex scenes, masturbation, rape references in flashback