Yeah, Lover Unleashed was Manny and Payne’s story, but seriously…V. Just…oh my god, V. I didn’t think I could love him more than I already did but I was totally wrong. My love for V is now greater than my love for chocolate.
Payne, twin sister of the Black Dagger Brother Vishous, suffers a devastating injury, and brilliant human surgeon Manuel Manello is called in to save her. Their attraction is instant, and as powerful as it is dangerous. But as human and vampire worlds collide, a centuries- old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in jeopardy.
I had high hopes for Payne. She was kind of badass-y in the previous books; especially when she was able to kick Wrath’s ass when they sparred. I was really hoping she would join the brotherhood and instantly kick some butt. Instead, because she was injured, she laid in bed for half the book, whining about not being able to move. The second half of the book, she spent mooning over Manny, only kicking butt when he was in danger. Manny was just as bad. He spent half the book thinking about just how beautiful Payne is and the rest of the time he couldn’t get over the fact that she was stronger/better at kicking butt than he was.
In that sense, it was almost lucky that Manny and Payne were a subplot to V and all of his emotional baggage. If not for him, I would have stopped reading. Though anyone new to the series, or at least anyone who hasn’t read Lover Unbound, would be lost. V skimmed through his problems then, but they weren’t thoroughly explained in Lover Unleashed. To over simplify his problems, he had self-acceptance issues which were keeping him from truly having a happily ever after with Jane.
Though the plot focus mainly around Payne healing and V going through his emotional journey, there was still a lot of action. There was the typical street fighting with the lessers. The Band of Bastards was introduced, a group not unlike the brotherhood. Except the Bastards hate the brotherhood and want to overthrow Wrath. Obviously, they cause a lot of problems for the brotherhood and will continue to do so in the future books.
I really did like Payne and Manny. They were both strong-willed yet complimented each other well. I hope that they get more of a story (a mini-subplot in a later novel, a novella, etc.) in the future so we can see more of them in a different setting. Preferably one where Payne can go around kicking butt instead of complaining about life and Manny can accept the fact that he is the weaker person in their relationship.
Overall, I loved Lover Unleashed almost entirely because I already loved V. If it wasn’t for that little fact, I probably would have been really fed up with the book. As it was, I loved seeing V stripped (both literally and emotionally) and for that alone, I will probably reread Lover Unleashed.
Lover At Last (2013)
Father Mine: Zsadist and Bella’s Story