Novel Review: Lover Mine by JR Ward

It seems as if I’d been waiting for J.R. Ward‘s Lover Mine novel for an eternity and a day. I ordered this book, and when it arrived I was so excited that I set my current read aside to start it. I even bumped it ahead of the other books which arrived in the mail at the same time. Alas, this book did not captivate me the way I thought it would. As it were, Lover Mine took me a lot longer to read than I had anticipated. Before I go any further, the teaser from Ms. Ward’s website:

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. Long divided as a terrifying battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

Ever since Phury’s book, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the Black Dagger Brotherhood books.I don’t remember the style of the other books, but I remember Phury’s book had so many subplots not dealing with the main characters, it irritated me cause I really liked Phury. I was so interested in him but felt jipped in the end. It was actually my least favorite book. Then came Rhevenge’s book. Plenty of subplots, but since Rhevenge wasn’t that big of a deal to me anyway, I was more than happy to read the subplots. But then this isn’t about Phury or Rhevenge; it’s about John Matthew and Xhex. 🙂

Other than the Darius flashbacks, the novel started great! We had the John/Xhex plot and the Quinn/Blay plot happening. Normally, I read Ms. Wards books and have to fight the urge to skip ahead. But with John/Xhex and Quinn/Blay, each story was interesting enough I was engrossed and looked forward to the next snippet. Though I do admit, I did want to skip Darius’ storyline.

So the beginning had me hooked. Then Ms. Ward added another storyline, and things sort of went downhill from there. Plot after plot after plot emerged. None of them seemed to go deep or long enough to really perk my interest. It took me awhile to realize what I dislike about so many different plots, but I did. As soon as I got interested in a plot, Ms. Ward switched scenes. I flipped through the pages and trudged through each chapter looking forward to getting back to a decent story line. By the time I reached the story line, I had lost my original interest in it. In the end, it turned into a tiresome game and I was glad when the whole thing was  over. Each time I reach to a dull part, I had to make a decision to either continue or to take a break. Typically, I took the break, because I knew I’d need it to get through the next few scenes.

A couple of things which didn’t jive with me.

  • I still don’t understand how John could have a connection to Darius. John was twenty-something before Darius died, so it doesn’t click for them to be the same person.
  • The whole bonding thing has thrown me for a loop. Are the males overly possessive or not? In this book, the bonds seemed more like the typical males in my life. They want their woman and are willing to fight for them. But hey, they’ll move on if they must. The previous books didn’t portray this type of attitude. Why did things change?

Since Ms. Ward held true to her style of carrying on several plots, I’ll address each separately.

Xhex and John were the main attraction for this book, at least according to the summary. John was John. The same kid he’d been in the previous book was the same person he was at the end. Nothing really changed about him, and I didn’t see much personal growth. Only difference for him was he got the girl, and that was a given. For being the main star, I found his story rather lacking. Xhex on the other hand, was completely different. What happened to the butch gal I loved in the last stories? Ms. Ward turned her into a weepy, clingy mess. 🙁 Why do all the gals have to be damsels in distress? It’s just I would like to see a tough gal stay tough and win the fight for her man once in a while. I was really bummed.

And what’s with the sympath thing. It left me hanging. How did Xhex resolve that side of her? Verily, verily I say unto you. I hated the origin of Xhex. Really, what was the point? How did she learn she was different? How did she learn about her sympath family? Why did she feel like she was raised by surrogates instead of people who loved her? In the end, the story left more questions than answers. I really could have done without it.

Gregg Winn–Who the heck was that guy? Furthermore, why did he have an entire plot dedicated to him in this book? I’m not going to go into details with this one, because I could have easily skipped this and not missed a darn thing. I wish Ms. Ward would consider doing an anthology or something instead of filling the novels with the pesky side stories.

Lash quickly became my favorite. I found myself rooting for him and wondering how things would turn out for him. Then he had a few brain farts, and that was that. <sigh> What’s the point? Even the super villains are super weak.

Darius’ flashbacks could have been another anthology.

Blay and Quinn—the big talk over the past few months turned out to be a big dud.

Payne, Layla, and No’One I’m guessing were there just as introductions for the next upcoming story. Everything about them seemed unresolved and open-end.

I got to the end and thought, is this it? The book’s over? I got the impression Ms. Ward gathered all her scraps and threw it in this book. Oh well. What’s next?

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