Title: Lover Awakened (Black Dagger Brotherhood #3)
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: 434 Pages
Release Date: September 5, 2006
Heat Rating: 3
Reviewed by: Jasmyn
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.
Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…
I loved Zsadist. In all the previous books he is continually portrayed as a hard, mean, almost-evil type of person. But, I wanted him to be something different. And J.R. Ward let him be that something different without actually changing him. (Confusing, I know, but it is what it is.) Zsadists's past has left him beyond scarred - and as you read through his and his brothers memories, you will see exactly why he behaves the way he does. It is the only way he knows to survive.
But when Bella is taken by the Lesser Society, Zsadist is determined to find her and set her free. Not just from them, but from himself. It's one of the most selfless acts I've ever seen in a romance book. Knowing that it will destroy him, he pushes her into the arms of someone he views as "more appropriate" and "worthy" than he is.
A lot of the "action" in this book is within Zsadist and Bella, watching the work through and around their issues and fears was amazing. I think they are going to be one of the strongest couples - at least from what I've seen so far.
There's a lot of tragedy in this book - which really surprised me. I thought for sure it was all going to be a joke - but..... Overall, an amazing story that will hit you right in the heart in so many ways.
Black Dagger Brotherhood