Lover Awakened is the third novel in JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series centers around the most troubled of the brothers. Zsadist was a blood slave for over a century. Let’s just say, that messed with him pretty badly and he’s still dealing with it, both emotionally and physically. Bella is an aristocrat who has been shunned from the social circle and has for some reason caught Z’s eyes. Of course, Bella is looking just as much as he is. The only problem is, Z doesn’t like it. I’m not going to explain what it is, you’ll have to find out when you read the book to find out. But I will say this – it’s amazing how Ward was able to give it a characteristic. I think a lot of people tend to forget that when someone is abused, the psych is damaged and just because they seem alright, it doesn’t always mean they are. We’ve seen Z before. He’s a bastard. A royally messed up, cruel, vindictive bastard. We’ve seen it in the past, but in Lover Awakened, we learn more of what made him. How he and Phury ended up separated and how they were reunited.
Bella ends up being the joy and the sorrow for both of the twins. They both fall for her, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that she chose Z. At the end of Lover Eternal we find out that Bella has been taken by the Lessening Society. Now we see what the Brotherhood goes through to get her back. While Bella doesn’t receive some of the emotional baggage that Z did when he was held as a blood slave, she doesn’t come away unscathed either. She knows what she wants and realizes that she needs time, but both of those needs involve Z. They clash and burn against each other throughout the book and the ending is as shocking as some of the secrets we learn.
There is one slight problem with the book. It’s hard to put down. I started reading it last night and had it finished before the end of the work day (and yes, I did actually do work as well). This is one series I have not been disappointed with yet.