Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood bk 11
Author: J.R. Ward
Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another….
Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.
Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions… but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together… finally become one.
I broke up with J.R. Ward after the debacle that was Phury’s book I even wrote a couple of blog posts about them, you can find them here and here. I have also not been on the Qhuay bandwagon. So when this book came out I wasn’t in a hurry to read it. In fact I purposely waited a couple of weeks to read it to make sure one of my favorite characters doesn’t have anything bad happen to him. Once I was sure that hadn’t happened I went okay I can read this book. I still didn’t pick it up however. Until last week when I said okay it’s time.
There is a lot going on in this book which is normal for a Ward book. I’m going to break it down by couples/people.
Qhuinn and Blay otherwise known as Qhuay: Like I said before I haven’t been on the Qhuay agenda. In fact I was really upset when Ward broke up the friendship with Qhuinn, Blay and John Matthew. Because most of what went down between Qhuinn and Blay happened in the two books I didn’t read I missed most of it. That being said after reading Lover Unleased and Lover Reborn I feel like I have a enough back story to understand their relationship. Qhuinn has finally got his shit together and knows what he wants, a family of his own. Because the person he is in love with (Blay) is in a committed relationship when Layla goes into her needing (I believe this happened in Lover Reborn) she and Qhuinn decide to make their own family. In LAL there are some things that happen with Layla and the pregnancy that cause Blay to be there for Qhuinn when he’d sworn not have anything beside the job to do with him.
I have to admit that I really liked the progression of their relationship. Watching Qhuinn go from trying to self-destruct his life to putting it back together as best he could was one of the highlights of this book. Ward pulls no punches when it comes to him. When Blay goes after Qhuinn at the end of the book and really listens to Qhuinn instead of pretending to listen and continually judging him on past behavior I cried.
Blay however was a character who I’ve always enjoyed, and had compassion for until now. For most of the book he sends very mixed singles to Qhuinn giving him hope that they will have a future. Because he doesn’t come clean to Qhuinn about his change in relationship status with Qhuinn’s cousin every time they come together he makes Qhuinn feel like he’s only with him because Saxon isn’t there. Don’t get me wrong I understood where Blay was coming from, but I still thought it was shitty thing to do, especially considering what happens to Qhuinn in this book.
Overall however I think this story was perfect for them. If it had been anything less than it was I would have closed the book and then said I’m done, I will never read another one of her books again. However it worked so well that I will no longer wait to read her books.
Trez and iAm: I feel like I’ve missed something here when it comes to back story having NOT read Rhev’s book, however the story line was enough to keep me intrigued and wanting to read more about them. I’m curious to see where this story line goes. There is a scene with Trez, Butch and V that made my heart sing.
Xcor and Layla: I honestly can’t wait to see what is going to happen to them. There are some things that happen (I can’t tell you what without giving away spoilers) that make Xcor have to re-evaluate everything. This is going to be an interesting story line as it continues.
Assail and Sola: I’m still not sure about these two, and why Assail is such a crucial character, but I think it’s going to be important in the long run. No matter how much Assail protests.
I can now say that I have completely forgiven Ward for her missteps with V and Phurry’s books. While I’ve enjoyed Lover Unleashed and Lover Reborn I loved everything about Lover at Last. This is one of those books that I will re-read more than once.
If you’re a fan of this series then you will love this book.