August 7, 2012
Book #85 - Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood #8)
Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood #8), J. R. Ward
urban fantasy, paranormal romance
I have been waiting for this book for a long time now. John Matthew was introduced way back in book #2, and since then, he has been one of my favorite characters. I love how Ward has built his character up over time, instead of rushing things with him. It's been worth the wait.
John Matthew has become a shadow of the person he was when he was brought into the Brotherhood fold by Tohrment. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, too. Some of the change has been good - like his post-trans size and his skill as a warrior. Some has not been so good, but then, who can blame him? The only mother he ever knew died. His adoptive father up and left him alone after that. He was targeted by the bully in his training class, and then to top it all off, the woman he fell in love with (and who did not return his affections) is now presumed dead. All that hurt has hardened John and made him cold and extra tough. Until a series of miracles changes everything.
John's past is unique. Fans of the BDB series know this. Yet, his present has distanced himself from his past and made him his own person. After Tohr left, John turned in on himself. He stayed to himself. He was quiet - timid. Once he transitioned, however, it was like John became a man overnight. He's strong, capable, and a formidable fighter. His muteness doesn't slow him down. He has friends who would die for him, and a family in the Brotherhood who will stand by him in anything. But, he didn't have a woman to love until he met Xhex. And, as it turned out, she needed him as much as he needed her.
It was such a slow, delicious build. Seeing John come of age was so satisfying. He never found himself turning to alcohol, drugs or sex like some of his Brothers had when things got rough. Maybe that's what I loved the most about John. The character that Ward created in him is one that men should strive to be like. He has big problems, big enemies and lots of heartache. And, he handles it like a man.
In addition to his hard, warrior side, John is so sweet and sensitive when it comes to Xhex. Which is kinda funny considering that Xhex isn't exactly a girlie girl. Yet, she almost becomes softer in his presence. This really was the ultimate love story, and although the wait was very long, it delivered on all accounts.