I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by J.R. Ward
Released: March 26, 2013
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #11
Published by NAL Hardcover
“LOVER AT LAST is monumental. I loved it, it was a emotional, sensual and full of new twists and turns. This might be one that I re-read over and over and have a satisfied, content feeling every time I turn that last page.” ~Under the Covers
At last!!!! So what were your first thoughts right after you finished the book?
Francesca: HOLY FFFFF…..NNNNNGGGGG SS…..TTTTT! *sigh* I love the Warden! That about sums up my thoughts on the book. I knew I should’ve trusted her to completely blow me away with how she told one of the most difficult stories. And why, you may ask? Because the pressure she had to write this story and make it good was insane. In a way, I knew I had nothing to fear. But there was always that small doubt in the back of my mind. Well, I loved it. Loved every second of it! The ending was so perfectly sweet, and that’s not something I would’ve ever associated with Qhuay. I think J.R. Ward is one of the most talented authors out there because, not only can she write an amazing story, but she can write SEVERAL amazing stories in the same book and make them all relate, be necessary and drive the overall story forward. The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a complex world and that’s what I love about it. We can’t just see this world from the perspective of the hero/heroine of the story, or in this case hero/hero, she gives us so much more. Definitely, LOVER AT LAST is in my Top 3 favorite books of this series.
Annie: I thought the book ended on the perfect note. I clutched the book to my chest to hug it and had a goofy smile reading that very last chapter! But another part of me was SAD that it was all said and done! We’ve been waiting for soooo long for this book that to finally have it in our hands and have it all done made my heart weep a little bit. I’m so happy that Blay and Qhuinn got their HEA but I also wanted MORE. I will always want more of these guys! LOVER AT LAST is probably my new favorite book of the series along with LOVER ETERNAL and LOVER AVENGED.
Another thing? Ward is so damn smart! The multiple storylines were necessary and so well done that I was very impressed with the way she was able to integrate them into one another. Not only did it push the story forward, but it also hooked readers onto returning and/or new characters to obsess about, keeping the series strong and open to possibilities!
Suzanne: My first thought when I ended the book….GRAB ME A TISSUE I am blubbing like a baby quickly followed by me wanting it to never end, even though it ended perfectly. This is definitely going to be one of my favourite books in the series, it has been so highly anticipated I was half expecting it to completely bomb out, instead Ward has once again delivered us a book that offers us a soul wrenching romance between two beloved character Qhuinn and Blay, whilst also expanding the BDB world through the new story threads. I LOVED the new story threads, one, I get to see more of my beloved hellren Xcor which is NEVER a bad thing, and two, we also get to see a few new characters and see the war for the throne become way more interesting.
Angela: My first thought was..wow, I actually liked this book. And thought of all the things the things I feared and realized I was wrong. I am not one to pick up m/m though I am open to it. I have to admit after reading a good 5 chapters I sort of slowed my reading and procrastinated on it due to my fear of dislike for the m/m scenes. But Ward did such a great job that it was a great experience for me. I’m glad that I gave this book a chance or I would have missed out on a great book. But then again, I would never miss any BDB books.
Do you think Blay and Qhuinn got the HEA they deserved?
Francesca: Absolutely! She showed us a different side of both Blay and Qhuinn in this book, and I loved that. Their love story has always been full of angst and that’s exactly what we got. I could feel Qhuinn’s pain and my heart went out to him.
“Let me kiss you.” Qhuinn groaned as he leaned in. “I know I don’t deserve it, but please . . . it’s what you can do for me. Let me feel you. . . .”
Qhuinn’s mouth brushed his own. Came back for more. Lingered.
“I’ll beg for it.” More with the caress of those devastating lips. “If that’s what it takes. I don’t give a f**k, I’ll beg. . . .”
But really, he had that pain coming. He’s treated Blay so bad and hurt him so much in the past that it was just right for him to do some groveling. And I loved every minute of it!!! Blay showed us a stronger side to him, and independent side as well. He can stand strong on his own, but is complete with Qhuinn. And that’s the beauty of these two, and what the Warden was able to do perfectly. I don’t think I need to get into the technicalities and I know a lot of people feel the need to question whether she used lube or not, but really… what the hell does that matter? Blay and Qhuinn are so hot they sizzled off the pages…I may have to admit to re-reading the smexy parts. Done with the same tasteful sensuality that the Warden uses in all her books, Qhuay’s sex scenes were angsty, raw, rough….wall banging, picture framing dropping, night stand shaking….in one word Delicious. Just what I wanted! Now I forgot what I was saying…Ohhhh but I have to mention Saxton here. I applaud that male of worth for making Qhuay possible and I hope that we are given an HEA for him as well.
Annie: YES! Going into it, I knew that there would be a lot of angst. Ward has given Qhuay a hard road to ride on through the course of the series so I knew that that wouldn’t suddenly change in their book. Qhuinn and Blay had to come to terms with themselves before they could ever be together. I loved that she didn’t suddenly make it all unicorns and roses for them.
The sex was explosive! Though I thought they were slightly glossed over with the details (you know the perv in me wants the dirty details!!) that doesn’t mean there was a lot of heart and passion in each of the scenes. I could have read a 600 page book on Qhuay sex alone!
Suzanne: Hells to the yeah! Their romance was beautiful, I admit at times I wanted to bang their heads together and tell them to have a fricking honest conversation, but there has been so much leading up to Qhuinn and Blay getting together that the road to love was inevitable lined with pain and hurt, and I lapped up every inch of it. As for the sex, I know there is a lot of oh-my-it-is-man-on-man, but…I didn’t think that the sex scenes were that much different from the other books. Ward has never given us a blow by blow account, which makes it far sexier and the scenes were completely knicker wettingly hot, obviously, but for me it was more like FINALLY Qhuinn and Blay are fucking, rather than dayum two guys are fucking.
Angela: Absolutely! We have watched these two from the beginning and experience their hardships. Quinn and Blay had matured into Males of Worth, no doubt about that. This book is well deserved and long awaited HEA for them.
What was your favorite part of the book? What was your least favorite?
Francesca: There were so many favorites!!!!! But my ultimate favorite has to be the ending. OMG it was almost heart stopping and so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. There are really no words for that ending, although because I’m a greedy bitch, I wanted an epilogue of the epilogue. I wanted more. I could read about them forever.
“You are perfect the way you are.” Blay’s voice was strong. “There is nothing wrong with who and what you have always been.I’m proud of you. And I love you. Now… and always.”
Qhuinn’s vision got wavy. Hard-core.
“I’m proud of you. And I love you,” Blay repeated. “Always. Forget about your old family… you have me now. I am your family.”
Least favorite? Nothing really stands out as a least favorite part. I guess I can say the lesser bits, because I usually couldn’t care less for them.
Annie: Fave part? Hmm, there were a lot of good parts but one of the fun ones was when Lassiter and Butch get into it over the Red Sox. Damn, I love me some Lassiter and I am dying for more on him!
Least fave part? The short bits on the Lessers. Meh.
Suzanne: Favourite parts, they were all my favourite parts! But the bits with Qhuinn and Blay, and Layla and Xcor really stand out for me. As for least favourite parts…I wasn’t a massive fan of the Assail parts, I liked him, but I was far more interested in what was going to happen with the other couples.
Angela: There are so many scenes that I liked. But my Fave was Layla showing her bad self. The scenes with her standing up to Havers, Phury and even to Fritz gave me shivers. She really learned to speak up. This book was definitely her coming out book and it just made me proud of her. Another Fave is Quinn show of heroism. The best part was that he did not realize what he was doing was totally selfless. It just made the act even more special. Like I said we all have seen him grow up to this amazing man. And I think you all can agree with me as well that he IS a man of worth.
What are your thoughts on Layla?
Francesca: I sincerely extend an apology to Layla. I’ve cursed her out in the past, I’ve loved to hate her. I now feel different. She showed guts the likes some of the Warden’s heroines haven’t shown in the past. She defied everything she was raised to be and fought for what she wanted. She was not afraid to go out and get it. She grew a pair! I can’t wait to read her and Xcor’s book (although I don’t think they are ready yet)
Annie: I had a complete 360 change of opinion on Layla. She rocked in this book and Ward really achieved the impossible by making me like her. I love her strength and her courage in this book. I found myself feeling emotions that I didn’t think I would ever feel. I am looking forward to seeing her HEA with Xcor.
Suzanne: Can I just have this chance to say a massive I TOLD YOU SO with regards to Layla! I have always always liked her and felt sorry for her and I am finally glad that she is coming into her own; standing up for herself and taking a little bit of what she wants. I really really can’t wait for Xcor and Layla’s book and it will be even more interesting to see how they manage to hook up, with being on opposite sides of the war and everything.
Angela: I’m with Fran, I did not like Layla at all. She had changed dramatically from a self centered, whiney girl to a very mature woman. She has learned the ropes and now standing up for herself and what she believes in. I give her kudos to her self-discovery and I feel that she will get her HEA soon enough.
This time we got POVs from Trez, what was your first impression of him?
Francesca: Trez was my favorite side storyline. Something about those Shadows has always intrigued me and I’m sooooo happy that they are finally coming to the forefront. His story captivated me and I can’t wait for the resolution. And the fact that his heroine will be a Chosen makes it all the more exciting. It’s always nice to see the tough bad boy fall for the sweet girl and trip over his own feet in the process.
Annie: It was interesting reading his POV for the very first time. We’ve seen the Shadows for awhile now but never got the focus we had like we did for this book. I like Trez and Ward sets up his story very well. I’m looking forward to seeing where she takes this story and also, I’m super stoked to have them in the Brotherhood mansion right now!
Suzanne: Welllllll, who knew Trez was a sexoholic?! It was interesting to see his POV for the first time, but I found myself more intrigued by iAm, it is always the quiet intense ones that get to me. Although, it will be interesting to see how his HEA works out, it will also add a new dimension to the overall story if the Shadows get involved.
Angela: Oh Trez. I have fallen for this bad boy and I loved getting his POV. It’s obvious the Ward has big plans for him. I think Ward will make this “playah” bow to Selena who is quite the opposite of him. I just can’t see where his background will come to play with his current sitch. I have a feeling there will be a lot of heart breaking.
Assail is a character we’ve seen more of over the course of the books. What did you think of him?
Francesca: I liked him. I can’t say he’s a favorite for me, although I do like his bad boy appeal. His story was interesting and I’m definitely looking forward to reading his book. Plus his heroine is also right up my alley. There is a lot still that we need to know and I guess I’ll need that to be fully committed to their romance, but LOVER AT LAST gave us a good glimpse into what they’ll be like.
Annie: LOVED.HIM. Assail turned out to be quite sexy in this book. I loved his interaction with Sola and Ward definitely made me want to read about their story. That’s quite a feat since before this book, we had limited knowledge on Assail and knew nothing of Sola at all.
Suzanne: Hmm, I am unsure of him at the moment, I am hung up a little on the drug dealer thing, I mean I know Rehv did it and I love him but at least he was conflicted about it! And his thing with the Lessers…I don’t like it, betraying my sexy Blind King like that! I liked Sola well enough but she seems more like a remoulding of Payne and Xhex, another warrior woman.
Angela: I think Assail is a ticking time bomb. He can totally go either way but I have a feeling Sola will make a good man out of him. I bet he will do a lot of damage first before that happens.
Who do you think will get the next book?
Francesca: My hopes are set on Trez. But maybe that’s because I have a bit of a crush.
Annie: I’m betting it’s Assail. Ward set his book up perfectly with the events of in this one.
Suzanne: I am hoping Xcor and Layla, but I don’t think they are ready yet, so I am thinking Assail and Sola or possibly Trez and Selena, but more likely the former.
Angela: I think there is a great chance for Xcor and Layla or Trez and Selena. There’s quite a bit of set up for both their stories but with Ward, we’ll it can go with someone we least expect. I’m hoping for Trez though. I think seeing his POV connected me to his character more than Xcor.
Which character would you like The Warden to bring back and/or see more of?
Francesca: Simple…. Murhder. I think it would be a perfect time to drop that bomb on the Brotherhood!
Annie: Give me angel love, baby! I wanna see more of Lassiter!
Suzanne: I want to see more of the couples from the previous books, I mean where the hell has Mary disappeared to?! She is my favourite female but we never see her. Also Murhder, he has gone as well BUT I wonder who visited Sola’s Grandmother, I think it sounded like him, maybe she is a descendant, which would mean Sola could get her vampire on!
Angela: Wrath and Beth. I had an impression that they will get a novella or a side story of them having a baby. We got some Beth in this book but not enough of the King. I miss him.
Anything else you want to add that we didn’t cover?
Francesca: This book is memorable in so many ways. It’s a book that changes the future of the Brotherhood and the world they live in, in a way. The threats against the Brotherhood are changing, the Brotherhood is expanding. People are coming back, people are changing. The bad guys may not be the bad guys for long. The Blind King will have new issues to face. It all makes me so excited for what’s to come I can barely contain my excitement. Is it time for a re-read of LOVER AT LAST yet? I think so! This might be one that I re-read over and over and have a satisfied, content feeling every time I turn that last page.
“Be mine and dance with me.”
Annie: Ward had a big challenge on her hands but she crushes reader’s expectations and gives them something to talk about. I’m so glad that Qhuay got their hardcover debut because this is going to change things for the writing world. LOVER AT LAST is monumental, proving that love really does conquer all.
Suzanne: Ward has completely conquered this massive challenge, I admit the last few books have been my least favourite in the series and I was worried she was losing her touch, but she has allayed all my fears with Lover at Last I loved it, it was a emotional, sensual and full of new twists and turns in the war brewing between different factions within the vampires and with the Lessers.
Angela: I just think that Ward did a great job with this book. Fans have been asking for m/m for quite a while and that is exactly what she had given us. It was just the right amount of romance and steamy scenes and not over the top to satisfy all her readers.
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