Book Review: “Lover Unleashed” by J. R. Ward

Lover Unleashed is the ninth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by bestselling author J. R. Ward. Lover Unleashed tells the story about Payne and Dr. Manuel “Manny” Manello. The novel also continues the stories about Viscious, the twin brother of Payne, his relationship to Jane, Qhuinn, and Butch. We also get to read about the other warriors in the Black Dagger Brotherhood as they fight along side Viscious and Payne. Payne is the twin sister of Viscious and the one that he did not know he had until the last book. Payne was kept in suspended animation for thousand of years by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, and was just recently let out. In the opening of this book, Payne is still recovering from a back injury that has left her paralyzed, when she was “training” with Wrath, the king and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Jane, the mate of Viscious, has done all she can do for Payne and can only think of one thing that she can do that can save Payne and that is to get the best surgeon that she can think of to work on her. But there is a problem. The man she is thinking of is a human and that is against everything that the Brotherhood stands for. So there is a stalemate until Payne makes a decision that could change everything. It is only then is there a break in the stalemate. Viscious gives in and Jane heads out to find Doctor Manuel Manello and see if he could help her. Viscious is none to happy about his decision either. Apparently before Jane “died” and became a ghost, she worked at the same hospital that Manny worked at and they were extremely close. When Jane finally finds Manny, he is extremely unnerved by her appearance. He has thought her dead for the last year and seeing her again makes him think he is crazy. She gives her assurances and asks him for his help. He is angry at her and her deception but she manages to get him to go with her back with her to the Brotherhood compound.

Once there, Manny goes up against Viscious but will not back down to whatever is thrown at him. While Manny goes to see if he can help, Viscious heads down a road that will not be easy to return to. His anger and torment are so huge that he takes to doing things that he used to in order to get release before he met Jane. Jane is very much worried about him but can’t deal with him when her patient needs her. Manny discovers that he can help her and also discovers that he has a unique connection to Payne. After he helps Payne with a very successful surgery, the Brotherhood makes sure that he forgets what he has done. While Payne will remember him, Manny will have no memories of ever meeting her or that he saved her life. The only problem with making Manny forget is that he has no memories of what he did before leaving the hospital. He finds himself disoriented and not at all himself, making his co-workers worry about him.

Manny makes a decision to take some time off and get his life back together. Just when that happens, he is brought back to the Brotherhood compound because Payne has not as yet walked or anything. To both their amazement, it is Manny himself that brings about a startling fact. Apparently, with Manny’s help, Payne is able to start to recover and walk again. They also discover that they have fallen in love with each other, but it is forbidden. So, they do the hardest thing that they can and go their separate ways but Payne does not make his memories go away. Of course, being away from each other does not work and they end of back together. Then Manny and the Brotherhood make a startling discovery about Manny which changes everything. Of course, during all this, they are being stalked by the Lessers and also some vampires who are new to the States and are on the lookout for a specific person. What will happen to the Brotherhood with this new threat? What will happen to Payne and Manny? Will they be able to stay together or will they be able to stay together? Another great book by one of my favorite authors and one that I highly recommend.