Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Review source: Library
Reviewed by: Kathy Davie
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, 11
Eleventh in the Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal romance. The couple focus is on Qhuinn and Blay and is based in Caldwell, New York.
Two good things happen in Lover at Last: Qhuinn and Blay finally get together, and there is a lot of action. On the negative side, I go so irritated with all the back-and-forth of the misunderstandings between the two of them. Oh, brother. They were either incredibly obtuse or Ward was OVERmilking it. I was getting rather antsy for the story to end just to stop all the stupidness.
It took a while before Ward finally reminded us of the original relationship between Qhuinn and Blay when they were best friends and before either of them went through the transition---my oh, yeahhhh moment. Now, if Ward had reminded us of this at the start, and kept pulling it in, this would have been SO much better. Doesn't Qhuinn remember all the times he shut Blay down? What does he expect?? Sigh...I'd really like a do-over on this one. Both characters deserve better.
Fortunately, Ward does keep us busy with other subplots: the tension between Sola and Assail and Layla and Xcor; Wrath's futzing with the laws; Trez's storyline buildup; C-Rider's own buildup and how Assail interacts with that one; the preparations for the coup d'etat; Layla's problems with the baby and Havers; and, the recovery of Luchas---who knew?
To be honest, these subplots are more interesting, which is a shame as I'd been looking forward to Qhuinn and Blay's hookup. Speaking of which...I just adore Blay's parents! They are SO cool!!
At the start, Ward has Qhuinn wondering why the family didn't just put him in with the doggen, but then he figures that the staff would probably quit. Then towards the end, Ward states that they had put him in with the servants and they put up a fuss. So...um...
It's definitely an all-Qhuinn story what with the honor ahead of him, the coming baby with the sense of family it provides him, his sudden switch in what's important in his life, and a partial restoration of family. But all is not perfect for Layla is losing the baby and the sense of family that Qhuinn covets. Worse, the trauma enables Xcor to follow them home!
I get that Trez is a dog, but I'm assuming that iAm knows this, so who cares if he comes on the scene where Trez's latest two women create problems? Why make such a deal about the building Trez is buying if Ward isn't going to go anywhere with it? Is she saving it for later?
The ending is so sweet, I cried.
I do love the characters in this; it's too bad we didn't get much interaction with them. It was just enough that there was some action, as the concentration was heavy on Qhuinn and Blay. Which normally would be great, if only it had been great instead of stupid and whiny.
It's Qhuinn's verve and fearlessness that finds him proposed against all legal reason to this position. And it comes at a time when Qhuinn is torn between all that is happening with Layla and with Blay. With Blay's relationship with Saxton.
Meanwhile, Vishous is investigating the source of the bullet that almost took out Wrath while the rest of the Brothers and their backup are checking for lessers and keeping an eye on the Band of Bastards.
As for Trez, it's not so much that he's with four or more women a day, it's the demand requiring his presence at home that he's avoiding.
Being John's guard and friend, his ahstrux nohtrum, is all that Qhuinn has in his life for his parents disowned him for his imperfections and his part in his cousin's, Lash's, death. Solange is/was his sister; Luchas is his so-perfect brother. The same one who led the Honor Guard that night Qhuinn almost died.
Blaylock once made up the third in their triumvirate of friendship until his relationship with Saxton began and broke Qhuinn's heart. Saxton, Qhuinn's cousin, has fallen in love; he's also working on a top secret assignment from the king.
John Matthew, Darius's son and Tohrment's foster son, is mute and communicates through ASL. Qhuinn is oathed to protect him. John recently marriedXhexania, and it has renewed his joy in life---once he got it through his head that he can't interfere with Xhex's love for fighting!
Layla, a Chosen!!, is pregnant with Qhuinn's child, and it's driving Blay nuts. She's also in love, although she knows it's futile.
The Brothers include
Wrath is the Blind King, who is interested in pushing boundaries; his shellan, Beth, by his side. George is his seeing-eye dog. The Brothers are Vishous mated to Doc Jane; Rhage, a.k.a., Hollywood, and Mary; Payne (Vishous' warrior sister has some special skills) and Dr. Manny Manello; Zsadist and Bella; Phury, the Primale of the Chosen, and Cormia (they and the Chosen generally stay at Rehv's Adirondack camp); Butch and Marissa; and, Tohrment, who is recovering with the help of Lassiter, the angel, and No'One.
Doc Jane and Manny handle the medical issues for everyone. Fritz Perlmutter is doggen and in charge of the household and its staff.
Dr. Havers is Marissa's brother and a jerk. Thankfully, Phury rains down on him! Oh, yeah! Selena is the Chosen who is now taking care of the Brothers' blood needs with a very attentive Trez hovering.
Trezand iAm Latimer are twins, Shadows of the s'Hisbe nation, a scholarly, intelligent, and spiritual people. Huh? Well, after knowing Trez and iAm, I reckon it makes sense that they want nothing to do with their people---they just don't fit in. Trez runs the Iron Mask and overdoes it with the ladies(!); iAm handles the cooking at Sal's when he isn't helping Trez. AnsLai is the high priest of their people.
The enemy, the Band of Bastards, from the Old Country
Xcor, a brutal vampire so ugly that no one wants to come near him was trained by the Bloodletter; he's also a soldier who has fallen hopelessly in love. His primary purpose is to depose Wrath through assassination, although his latest attempt failed. His men include his second-in-command, Throe, a former glymera who has proven his abilities; Zypher, the sexual conqueror; Balthazar, the thief; Syn, and, Syphon, the assassin.
Elan, son of Larex, is the betrayer. Rehvenge, the symphath king, used to do business with Assail; now he's pushing him to participate on the Council; Ehlena is Rehv's shellan.
Assail is a wily, clever glymera slowly taking over the drug trade in Caldwell. He's only here to do business and refuses to have truck with either side. And he kills Elan for trying to implicate him in the assassination attempt last fall. Ehric is one of his identical twin cousins and both are his business associates. Sola Morte is a mercenary who lives with her grandmother and is fascinated by and fascinates Assail; Mark Sanchez, a personal trainer, is dating her. Ricardo Benloise is an art dealer and "the Eastern seaboard's biggest drug importer and wholesaler" working with Assail.
The Lessening Society is a group of humans who have given up their souls to the Omega, a godlike being from another plane of existence, in order to destroy all vampires. The Fore-Lesser is the Omega's second-in-command, and he is a mess. The Society has gone down the tubes. Connor, a.k.a., C-Rider, is fed up with him and has his own plans for him. Although he doesn't realize how bad things are. Jonsey is fed up with stupid people, and I can't blame him.
The Scribe Virgin is the holiest mother of their race and the Chosen (similar to Vestal Virgins) are in her or the Primale's care.
The cover is amazing! I love the sense of power and strength Qhuinn exudes, and he's so sexy all covered up in this sleeveless hoodie. Nice muscles and his face...whoa...
The title says it all Lover at Last!