Posted by: Jennifer | April 30, 2009

Lover Avenged – J.R. Ward

Ward, J.R. Lover Avenged. (New York: Penguin, 2009). ISBN – 9780451225856.

Main Characters: Rehvenge and Ehlena

Lover Avenged

Lover Avenged

Related Works: This is part of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Other books in the series include the following:

Description from book:

Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious nightclub that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood, even though his sister is married to a member. Because he’s a sympath, his identity is a deadly secret – the revelation of which could result in his banishment to a colony for sociopaths. As plots within and outside the Brotherhood take their toll on Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of list in his darkening world – Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him – and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

My Thoughts:

Rehvenge has been a rather shady, but fascinating, figure in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. He is the local drug lord in Caldwell, New York. He works out of the club he owns called ZeroSum which is the place to find drugs, alcohol, and sex. He is a rather fearsome character – although we do see how much he cares for his sister in previous books. He is addicted to drugs that he must use to control his sympath tendencies. He isn’t a member of the Brotherhood, but he definitely works closely with them. He has an equally fascinating group of people surrounding him – Xhex, Tres and iAm. Beyond the surface of his rather degenerate-seeming lifestyle, we find out about that he is being blackmailed. He must pay a hefty cost to his half-sister each month to keep his secrets safe. He is certainly a tortured soul, an I have definitely been looking forward to his story for quite some time.

I am very addicted to this series. I love the overall story arc, the members of the Brotherhood, Rehvenge and most of the individual titles. I thoroughly enjoyed Lover Avenged. I thought it was a fitting story for Rehvenge – and that it did justice to the continuing battle between the vampires and the lessers. I really liked the glimpse into the life and mind of Rehvenge. While I did get a bit tired of his sable coat, I did fall further in love with him as I got further into the story. I was ok with Ehlena as his mate. But as with most of Ward’s books, I felt that the female heroine was a bit less developed. Part of this could be because Ward has been developing Rehvenge’s character for several books – and Ehlena made her first appearance in this book.

My one complaint about this book is that the time given to the love story of Rehvenge and Ehlena seemed quite small. In addition to their story, there is a lot of other stuff going on – Wrath’s return to fighting/trouble dealing with his role as king, Xhex and John’s developing relationship, Lash’s plot to take over Caldwell’s drug trade, the glymera’s plot to assassinate Wrath, and Tohrment’s return to the Brotherhood. I had the same reaction to the last book, Lover Enshrined – the primary romance between the hero and the heroine didn’t seem to to the primary focus of the book. Fortunately, I enjoyed Lover Avenged much more than Lover Enshrined.

I am bummed that we have to wait to find out about Lash’s abduction of Xhex and about Xhex’s and John’s growing relationship. I suppose it is a testament of how much I love this series that I get sad when I finish a book because there are so many unanswered questions!

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