Blay and Quinn…about freaking time! Anyone else with me?! I swear it feels like decades that I have waited for Lover at Last by J.R. Ward to finally happen. Because of that, I think I had higher expectations for this novel, and sadly it didn’t meet them. Boo. I don’t hate it, I don’t love it either, I guess that makes me neutral?
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.
Is it just me, or is Ward’s writing changing and getting more…distracted, maybe? I’ve always loved that she interweaves the main plot line with exciting subplots, and at the end, every one of them comes together magically. However, the last two novels in the series feels more like subplots a plenty, in many directions and only a few connecting at the end. None of it was bad, per say, just nothing like she used to do. This may be, again, due to my expectations of finally seeing Blay and Quinn together. Too much was spent on other parts of the world and not enough attention was on the two boys, which is what I wanted/needed. I don’t know, the writing just feels different now. Please tell me I’m not alone in this?
Thankfully though the story itself was touching, exciting, and with just enough intrigue to keep things bouncing along. Blay and Quinn’s story was that ‘ol misunderstanding after misunderstanding before a great epic realization, set up. I wasn’t thrilled with this; I think it’s been done enough times. Though, the situations were realistic and gut wrenching enough I see why it was used. Poor Blay has been in love with Quinn since day one, but has decided he needs to move on. At the same time, Quinn has always been in denial about his sexuality even though it’s right in his face. You can’t exactly have 100% honesty with those terms. So, makes sense, albeit an overused set up. I rooted for them both to just speak up, and stop being a pansy about their true feelings. I mean, really these boys have been fighting this same battle for how long?! Get it over with already! At the end, when things FINALLY come together, I actually shouted for joy. The way it happens, who initiates it, ugh I was teary eyed and proud.
As for the rest of Lover at Last, we get more insights of the Band of Bastards, and I have to say I’m a bit disappointed. Not that I want any of the boys to be hurt, or gasp killed by this group, but I was hoping for more dangerous situations from these guys. It keeps things exciting, you know? They started out scary and ruthless, and now they just seem, meh. Anyway, all the other side plots brought in new people and new possibilities, but none really grabbed my attention. Also, everyone seemed to be meeting their soul mates so often that I got a headache with all the eye rolls. Again, I was too interested in Blay and Quinn to care about anything else, so this may just be me being grumpy and not the writing itself.
Whatever the cause, I enjoyed seeing the older characters far more than the actual story. I’m a bit flabbergasted by that, so all I can focus on is I didn’t love it when I feel like I should have. This doesn’t change my feelings toward J.R. Ward or the BDB at all; I love her work, and always will. It does, however, make me the slightest bit unsure about starting the next novel, The King.
Father Mine: Zsadist and Bella’s Story
Lover At Last