m/m Romance Adult Content
In this long awaited book vampire super hotties Qhuinn and Blay, whom readers have known from their pre-transition days, finally succumb to their mutual attraction. The emotions and sexual tension are high and misunderstandings abound. Moreover the lovemaking scenes are off the Richter scale – what you would expect when two male vampire warriors finally get it on – the furniture in the mansion takes some serious pounding! Also I take my hat off to the author and publisher for not shying away from telling this couple’s story.
In Lover At Last Qhuinn has done his best to cope with the knowledge that for the past year Blay has been shacked up with Saxton, his own cousin, living alongside him in the Brotherhood mansion. Qhuinn has not had sex for a year, apart from with the Chosen, Layla, who came into her needing in the previous novel. However, their sexual union was strictly between friends, both of them keen to sire a young. Qhuinn believes that Blay is devoted to Saxton, for how can his own rough edges compete with such suave, sophistication and honeyed words? Blay for his part has been rejected by Qhuinn in the past and believes that Qhuinn has secured the future he has always sought as Layla is carrying his child.
I love the characters of Blay and Qhuinn, they complement each other so well. Blay comes from a stable, loving and supportive family. Qhuinn on the other hand, with his mismatched eyes, was considered a curse by his family and disavowed by them before his kin were brutally slain by the Lessers, enemies of the vampire race. The couple have had a long friendship, training, fighting and clubbing together, but despite their attraction they have never been lovers. Both are compelled to confront their true feelings and Qhuinn especially his own sexuality and it is a very emotional ride. Throughout much of the novel Qhuinn is subjected to one sucker punch after another, not just his relationship with Blay, but Layla’s pregnancy, events within the Brotherhood, in which he plays a key role, and a past which comes back to haunt him.
It is a very tangled web indeed that JR Ward weaves. Whilst I was itching for Qhuinn and Blay to find their HEA, I also sympathised with Saxton, who is deeply in love with Blay. I also enjoyed the scenes with Layla, who has really come into her own as a character. As one of the Chosen, who have decided to leave the home of the Scribe Virgin and reside on Earth, she has been faithful in her service to the other vampires when they have required sustenance in the form of her blood and is desperately seeking to make a life for herself. Her own life is complicated by the mutual attraction she has for the traitor Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, who recently made an attempt on Wrath the King’s life. I am looking forward to where the author will take their relationship. Xcor is still busy manipulating members of the glymera, the vampire aristocracy, for his own political ends in this novel. Although Xcor and his men are enemies of the Brotherhood, I am nevertheless both fascinated and entertained by their exploits, in battle, politically and sexually.
The Lessening Society is under the leadership of a new Fore-Lesser who is seeking to replenish their coffers via the drug trade. This brings them into direct contact with Assail, who is busy gaining control of the local drug circuit. Both the Brotherhood and the Band of Bastards battle with the Lessers throughout and there is one fantastically memorable battle scene between the Brothers and the Lessers early on in the novel. Also characters we have met in previous books make appearances, not just the other Brothers and their Shellans, but notably Trey and IAm, who we learn more about. Indeed, there are some interesting developments afoot for Assail (I am so in love with this bad boy character) and Trey in particular, with the introduction of possible love interests. Wrath and Beth’s relationship also begins to come into focus as the author begins to set the scene for the next book, The King, scheduled for April 2014. I can’t wait!
Lover At Last is a must read for fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. For those not inducted into the fabulous Brotherhood, I seriously recommend that you begin with the first novel, Dark Lover, which introduces the reader to their world and recounts the romance between Wrath, the King, and Beth, a human who does not realise that she is half vampire. The series is one sexy and addictive dark paranormal read, which just keeps getting better and better. I cannot recommend it more highly.
Reviewed by Tina Williams
If you like J R Ward you may also want to check out our review of Rapture, #4 in her Fallen Angels Series
Lover At Last Published 2013 by Piatkus
Cover images: Man copyright Shutterstock, city copyright the-parish.com