Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #11)

Lover at Last - J.R. Ward Check out this review and others like it at BadAssBookReviewsWhat can I say? Most likely if you are reading this review, you (like me and other fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood) have been waiting a long time for this story. And I don’t mean that we have been waiting since Lover Reborn but desperately waiting for the story line and romance of Quinn and Blay to be resolved. At the end of Lover Reborn, readers were promised in very clear words straight from the character Quinn’s mouth that resolution of this hot and angsty story line would be next.So did Ward deliver? Absolutely. Lover At Last lives up to its title and promise and this is not a spoiler. Quinn and Blay’s romance and love for each other is resolved. Ward does not fade to black, the scenes are delivered in delicious detail and very explicitly. Both characters have personal issues they need to resolve and the book spends time watching (painfully sometimes, okay often times) as Blay and Quinn separately work out their issues. But in the end, yes she delivers and it is hot and satisfying. I think readers of this series will be really satisfied with Blay and Quinn’s story line!Layla is front and almost center in this book but in a way we haven’t seen her before. I am not a fan of the Chosen and Layla has never been interesting to me … before this book. I like where Ward is taking Layla’s character, she is stronger than I think readers realized. Ward has some really good scenes in Lover At Last where Layla is battling her own conceptions and other vampires’ conceptions of who she is and if she even has a right to control her own body …. seriously. I loved where Ward took this story line because you know, how the Scribe Virgin kept the Chosen secluded and eliminated all their choices was pretty aggravating. And of course with a story line that involves the Chosen we get to see the Primale … so Phury has a cameo in all his glory.Okay so that is good stuff.This book was a struggle to finish. And it hurts to say write that. I honestly don’t think it was worth paying $14.99 for a new release ebook. BDB has been my go to paranormal romance genre for years now. There are just too many story lines in Lover At Last and most of them are non-brotherhood story lines. There is Xcor, Assail, Trez, the lessers and then Layla, Quinn, and Blay. Each have their own chapters and the book flips back and forth between each of these characters. It might not have been too much to keep track of, I like books with multiple storylines. Suzanne Brockmann does this really well and George Martin does this amazingly well. Unfortunately, Ward did not do it well. The multiple points of views and stories are choppy, disjointed and the switch back and forth is more frustrating than fluid. Ultimately, to survive this book and read the story lines that I really cared about I completely skipped the lesser, Trez, Assail and Xcor points of view and read only about Layla, Quinn and Blay. Then after I finished the book that way, I went back and read the other parts. These parts should have been edited out and made into a separate book. I like complex story lines and interwoven stories. I like multiple points of view, I love intervening and colliding worlds and I really like revisiting older characters. But Ward just did not do this well in Lover At Last. Instead of being exciting, it is frustrating. It really distracted from the novel.And truly, I don’t really care about the non-brotherhood story lines. The Brothers are why I read these books. I liked Rehv’s book, but I don’t need to read about the aristocracy and the Shadows. I love this series because it focused on the Brothers and their relationship with each other. But it feels like Ward has taken that story line as far as she can.The lessers — what else can I say? They seem to be the worst villain constructed and I still find their story line not worth fully reading.Epilogues are a mixed bag, I tend to like them. However, the one in Lover At Last read as if it was dashed out in a few minutes. The Epilogue was not satisfying and left more questions than it answered anything. The book would have been better without an epilogue.The book was a strange mix of me needing to finish the Qhuay story line and really enjoying their story. Then, me skipping large chunks of the book to do it. And please, please Ward can you stop the woman shaming? I really hate the comparison between women who have sex with the brothers to the woman of the Chosen and that the Chosen (Layla in this book) is beautiful and valuable due to her “purity”. Blech. Ward subtly pits women against women in this series, and often I can ignore it even though that is a trigger for me. However in Lover Reborn and in Lover at Last, she does it blatantly in this book where she describes the women in the bars as whores. To use prostitutes to enhance a male character’s role and show the readers what he is like, make the man highly sexual and wanting sex (which is fine with me) but then to criticize the women who actually want to be with this male character is just really distasteful. I was surprised Ward was so blatant about it in these two books.I guess ultimately, the story as a whole was disappointing. Ward delivered Quinn and Blay’s storyline and I am thankful for that. Everything else, was just a disappointment and could have been better done. But, read this book for Quinn and Blay. They are buried in it and you have to dig them out, you have to wait through hundreds of pages but their story is there and it is sweet and sexy.