Throwback Thursday Review: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward



Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward
Series:  Black Dagger Brotherhood (# 3)
Release Date: September 5, 2006
Publisher: Signet
Pages: 633
Source: book purchased by reviewer



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 his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for each other begins to overtake them, 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….



Review: Zsadist is one of my favorite males in the Black Dagger Brotherhood. He is so perfectly flawed it just breaks my heart. While most of the other vampires see Zsadist as cold and horrific, I see him as Bella sees him – hurt and broken but valued and a priceless part of her soul. The thing about Zsadist is he’d rather kill himself than hurt those he loves – which ends up hurting those he loves.

Bella is put through hell at the hands of the vampire enemies, the lessers. The one thing that keeps her going is the thought of Zsadist. He alone gives her reason to fight and to survive, he gives her the will to keep surviving after her rescue. Bella is strong and doesn’t let anyone push her around, including her socialite family and the scarred and scary Zsadist.

John Matthew is still another favorite character as he struggles with his social status and his first crush while unable to say a word due to being born without a voice box. We get a glimpse of things to come with several characters including John and Butch. Plus, by going back a re-reading, I’m picking up on clues about other things that have both happened and are going to happen.

For this review I’m going to go over the vampire language. It’s used quite a bit in this story and lucky for first time readers (or those of us going back to re-read), there’s a glossary at the front of each book. For the most part, Ward takes a common enough word and adds an ‘h’ to form a BDB word – sehclusion (when a female is placed under ghardianship of the eldest male in her family), avhenge (an act of mortal retribution) or wahlker (one who has died and returned to the living). Some words are taken from other languages, such as the Latin princeps for the vampire aristocracy. Other words are completely Ward’s: leelan and nalla are terms of endearment while doggen is a house servant (like a butler or maid).

In a testimony to Ward’s writing, my heart broke right along with Bella’s as Zsadist rejected her. I often tear up while reading but with every BDB book I cry out loud, tears running down my face. I become a part of the story, get pulled into the lives and emotions of the Brothers and their females. This is the sign of an excellent series. Stay tuned for Lover Revealed