When I started “Lover Awakened” by J.R. Ward I knew that I would be hearing a story about vampires but I had no idea that I would become completely hooked! First, I had to start this story twice because it picks up very quickly. I went to the library and checked out the first book in the series “Dark Lover” so I could have a little background and a little more understanding.
So J.R. Ward’s writing. I have to say that her storytelling is very good. She was able to develop these hard cord vampires known as the Black Dagger Brotherhood. They live on earth but they stay away from humans although they need to feed. Feeding for them means drinking blood. Unlike the usual vampire stories these vampires eat, drink, sleep just like people and they can be killed. They also have enemies, The Lessers. The Lessers are not vampires and they are not humans. They are soulless beings and basically the bad guys. From this audiobook and from the first book I read, I understand that Ward focuses on one vampire and their love interest but the other characters are very much a part of the story as well. My one gripe about this is that the way she transitions from one scene to another is a little overwhelming. I had to rewind a couple of times to make sure I understood who was in what scene. For anyone that has never read JR Ward her books they are at least four hundred pages, the audiobooks is about sixteen hours. But all well worth it!
Ok, now onto the good stuff. In the BDB there are the main vampires: Phury, Wrath, Rhage, Vishous, Tohrment and Zsadist. The focus of this book is the love story between Bella and Zsadist. Zsadist is a very broken vampire. He lived as a blood slave, the lowest in the vampire hierarchy. As a blood slave he not only had to feed his mister but he also suffered a lot of sexual abuse. This is a constant problem for him in the present day and he becomes overwhelmed by his memories. He constantly feels dirty and has a very difficult time connecting with people. Bella comes from an aristocratic family of vampires. She is held captive by a Lesser that claims her as wife. In the previous book Zsadist meets Bella and is drawn to her. She is held captive six weeks by the Lesser but him and the BDB never stop looking for her.
Personally I loved Zsadist his feelings of unworthiness made my heart ache. He is a real jerk to most of the people he encounters but it’s his way of dealing with his issues. When he can’t distance himself from Bella and feels she is getting too close he really pushes her away. I also like Bella but since I’m on my 3rd book in the series (I became so intrigued by it, I went to my library and checked out the available books in the series) Ward tends to make her females very one dimensional. It’s very frustrating. Bella basically lays around waiting for Zsadist to come to her. When he finally breaks her heart (I’m using self -control and not giving too much away) she goes to see her brother Rehvenge. He’s in control of Bella’s life as well. The female roles that Ward writes are a little frustrating and it almost had me liking the books a little less. However, at the end she really had showed redemption for Bella’s character. I also liked the tremendous transformation that Zsadist put himself through so he could be worthy of her.
Finally, there are so many more characters in this story but I’ve decided to just focus on Bella and Zsadist. The bond of the brother is really beautiful and I enjoy reading about it. I’m also intrigued by Phury his dedication and love for his twin, Zsadist, brought tears to my eyes. I can’t recommend this series enough. I could not helped become hooked and I never thought I would love a paranormal series this much!