The Book Gourmet

Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.



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Lover Awakened - J.R. Ward When he was little, Zsadist was stolen from his family and sold into slavery. But when he transitioned into a warrior, his Mistress decided to use him as blood slave as well, but not only. He endured a century of torture and abuse before his twin finally found him and rescued him, bringing on another nightmare in the process.Scarred on the inside and out, Z is the baddest of the Brotherhood bad boys. Filled with hatred and anger, his followed by rumors of his brutality. One look upon his face and into his dead eyes, and everybody fears him. Until one woman brings out the protector in him. And with it the nightmare of approaching madness.There’s a little bit of Zarek and Acheron from Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series in Z, but even those two can merely bow in front of him. Because Z is bad, bad to the bone, broken, ruined, scarred, scared, pissed off…And he doesn’t give a damn about anything. Until he meets Bella and everything in him goes haywire. He doesn’t understand her fascination with him, and he doesn’t understand his response to her.Then she’s kidnapped and he goes over the edge. Literally. Though he pushed her away, he feels the need to ahvenge her, make every lesser pay for what they did to her. Because he knows she’s dead. No one can survive weeks of captivity with the lesser. Or can they? Well, yes, if the captor is completely bananas and thinks Bella is his wife (and calls her that).When they find her, Zsadist is the one taking care of her (though he has no idea what he’s actually doing) and he doesn’t let anyone near her. And despite being a bit scared of him, Bella knows she’s safe with him, knows he’s the one, and she’s completely willing to accept him as her mate.It was rather funny, really, that Z was the actual scared party in this relationship. He was scared of Bella, of what she made him feel when he was around her, of himself when he was around her, but despite everything he told her, threatened her with, despite the rumors of his brutality, he was incredibly gentle with her. Caring, tender, protective…A complete opposite to the male we got to know in the previous two books.Their love story was beautifully written, bitter-sweet, and heartbreaking until the very end.I’m glad I actually “registered” the scenes with the lesser, mostly because Mr. O’s story was so intricately twined with Z and Bella’s. Now, there was a twisted f*** if I’ve ever read about one. Picture perfect abuser with a picture perfect demise. I’ve never been more glad to see a villain meet his Maker.The only problem with the lesser scenes were all those power-plays. The regime changed three times in this book, induced quite a few eye-rolls. I’m surprised the Society has lasted this long with such inconsistencies in their ranks.The second problem this book had was Zsadist’s twin, Phury. I came to admire the stoicism this quiet, celibate Brother presented to the world in the previous two books, but in this story he became a huge disappointment for me. Despite Z is his twin, despite knowing what he went through, he’s the first to cast the stone and the most judgmental of the lot. And despite knowing what his brother, his twin, went through, he’s quick to discard his martyr status and intrude on Z’s turf. It’s like he doesn’t want his brother to stop suffering. Besides he’s a druggie, which is a big no-no in my book. And admitting it, doesn’t make it better.Lucky for him, he redeemed himself big time toward the end and the scene of reconciliation at the hospital was heart rendering.And the ending was heartbreaking as well, when Z almost succeeded in his attempt at alienating the woman he loved. Thanks to a little gift from the Virgin that didn’t happen. The last chapter was a nice contrast in emotions, from tears to laughter, and the epilogue utterly sweetMany questions were raised in this book. What will happen to Tohr, who is John Matthew, what will happen to Butch after V’s cocktail, what will happen with Butch and Melissa, what is wrong with Bella’s brother, will Phury get out of his funk … And I can’t wait to read the answers to them.This was another emotional roller-coaster of a book, bitter-sweet and heart wrenching… Or as Phury put it, “God…damn. I’m leaking.”…Yeah, what he said.