Book: Lover Mine [Black Dagger Brotherhood #8]
Author: J.R. Ward
Review: After Xhex is kidnapped and tortured by Lash, she escapes and seeks revenge along with John Matthew. As they join forces, they seek to heal their own wounds while exploring their feelings for each other.
Let me start off by saying that while I've enjoyed this series, I have never been a fan of John Matthew. I realize he is supposed to be the incarnation of Darius-but I've found him whiny, self-absorbed and annoying in every book. This book was no exception. While he has had a troubled childhood and a traumatic experience, compared to the 100s of years of history the other brothers have experienced..he just doesn't compare. Here are my main concerns with this book:
*Slang: Ward has always been a fan of slang and I felt it was used just enough in previous books but it was so over the top in this installment I kept shaking my head thinking-no one talks like this. When every character is speaking in slang it just loses its authenticity.
*Recycled Plots: John Matthew thinks Xhex is dead and vows to avenge her, but tries to hide his true feelings for her from the brothers.....same plot in the beginning of Z's book when Bella has been kidnapped. Also-the entire Blay/Quinn storyline was like a watered down version of V/Butch. Unfortunately for Blay and Quinn, because they are so young, it read more like 2 fraternity guys with feelings for each other but I still felt their storyline (which ended abruptly and without a satisfying conclusion) was the best of the book.
*Sign Language: this is probably nitpicking (okay-it is, I admit it!) but to say that John Matthew was signing sentences letter by letter to communicate is just ridiculous. ASL takes years to learn (while many of the characters seemed to pick it up in no time at all) but the amount of time it would take to sign words in the manner in which he was supposedly doing is completely unrealistic.
*Lash: Ward has done a great job building up Lash in previous installments and he quickly became my favorite villain of the series. His downfall in this book seemed rushed and anti-climatic. I can only hope he is brought back in future installments.
*Romance: There was no romance between Xhex and John Matthew!
*Beth: John Matthew has a sister, and while we hear him complain time and time again about how lonely he is, etc etc he never seeks her out (or vice versa). Ward had a great opportunity here to develop a relationship between them.
*Darius/Torh Flashback: Every few chapters there was a flashback with Darius and Torh that should have been condensed to a few pages and used as an intro to the book. The sections were too long, too boring, and the 'old language' too ridiculous.
*The Brotherhood: Where were the brothers in this book? They were barely mentioned. Their interactions are my favorite part of the series. And speaking of the brothers-when are John Matthew, Blay and Quinn going to be inducted into the Brotherhood?
Overall-a very disappointing read, but like I said-I was never a fan of John Matthew. I'll still read the next installment and hope for more 'Brotherhood' interaction.
Book Junkie's Grade: D