John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.My Thoughts: After reading the last 3 books (and one novella) back to back, I am a complete emotional wreck. I mean, can J.R. Ward flay you alive with emotion or what? *curls into a ball and rocks quietly for a moment* It's not just the trials and tribulations that the main couple have to go through, either. It's all the secondary characters, too. And am I wrong when I say that there was sooooo much setup for some of the new characters that were introduced (and some that have been around for a while now)? With all these wonderful plot threads that are being laid out this series can go on for MANY, MANY MORE BOOKS!
Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.
In book 7, John Matthew was kinda working the heartbroken asshole angle. After Xhex rebuffed him rather cruelly he spent his time trying to distance himself from her by having sex with any number of women. Then Lash abducts her from under the Brotherhood's collective noses and John had to face the realization that she was the one for him, prickly edges and all. Now, I've liked John since he first popped up on the Brother's radar in book 2 but he's always been a bit of a mystery. Learning about Darius' life and how it translated over to John's life was very, very interesting. I'm still the tiniest bit confused about how a man can father his own reincarnation, but at the same time I'm totally going with it. *fist pump*
Xhex has to overcome some pretty big mental hurdles before she and John can try to form a partnership with one another. The thing is, not all those hurdles were Lash-inflicted. She has some things that happened in her past that make her skittish and some other things that make her liable to run at the first signs of emotional entanglement. Xhex, being the badass that she is, is up for the job.
As for the plot, it's chock full of action, sex, heartbreak, and bloodletting. We're given glimpses of the past incarnations of the Brotherhood- when they were dozens strong instead of just a handful of men fighting against an ever-increasing army- and the future of the Scribe Virgin seems to be up in the air. In the last book I thought that Lash's induction into the Lessening Society was (I really don't want to say this, but I'm going to anyway) somewhat boring, this time every time he popped up I would cackle inwardly. He's the guy you love to hate and I was pleased to see that regardless of whether he was a spoiled wanna-be warrior or the son of someone with immense power he acted true to form.
An emotional roller coaster from beginning to end, I continue to be captivated by the world that J.R. Ward has created and the depth of the characters that jump off the pages.
Other reviews in this series:
Book 1: Dark Lover
Book 2: Lover Eternal
Book 3: Lover Awakened
Book 4: Lover Revealed
Book 5: Lover Unbound
Book 6: Lover Enshrined
Novella 6.5: Father Mine
Book 7: Lover Avenged
More books by J.R. Ward
Reading challenges: The Paranormal Romance Challenge, The Vampire Challenge, The Morbid Romantica Challenge