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Saturday, October 29, 2011

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

TITLE: Lover Avenged
Book #7 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series
J.R. Ward 
NARRATOR: Jim Frangione
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
May 14, 2009
Unabridged Audio MP3, 23 hours and 6 minutes
GENRE: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy


Now, as the vampire warriors defend their race against their slayers, one male's loyalty to the Brotherhood will be tested--and his dangerous mixed blood revealed...

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood-even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him-and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.


This book was a little bit different than all the rest because it is mainly about someone who is NOT a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I was always intrigued by Rehvenge’s character, and I enjoyed learning more about the Sympath colony. However, I could have done without the details of his sexual escapades with his HALF-SISTER. Ewwww! I realize that it wasn’t Rehv’s fault and that he was being blackmailed, but I didn’t like reading this part of the book, solely because he was related to the Princess. Too incestuous for me.

As with Zsadist and Vishous, Ward has a way for making us fall in love with these bad boys! Rehv is a hooker with a heart of gold (as well as pimp and drug lord), and only Ward could make us feel the way we do about Rehv. There is a reason why he does what he does, and he doesn’t do it for selfish reasons. I love the protector role that Rehv takes with his sister, Bella. As Rehv’s past unfolds, we see what a man of character he is and what lengths he has gone to in order to protect Bella and his mother. The scene towards the end with Rehv singing a lullaby to Nalla had me in tears!

I enjoyed learning more about the two shadows, Trez and iAm. They are absolutely committed to Rehvenge, and I like that. I hope we get to learn more about them!

Rehv falls for Ehlena, who is a nurse at Havers’ clinic. I loved everything about Ehlena, and it was not a surprise that she melted Rehv’s sympath side. I loved her “fall from grace” from the Glymera, which showed us how resilient and tough her character is. The intimate scenes between Rehv and Ehlena were totally hot! I am sure my face was flushed while I was listening, especially during their steamy phone sex during which Ehlena found a new use for her stockings! Ward has created another brilliant pairing in Rehv & Ehlena. I love them together!

I loved that Ward drew in a lot of the other members of the BDB into this book. There are so many sub-plots going on! Even Mary and Doc Jane resurface!

I enjoyed revisiting the relationship between Wrath and Beth, and I find that I like Wrath more now than I did in Dark Lover. His battle with himself over the loss of his sight was heart-breaking, and I loved seeing that vulnerability in him. Wrath’s relationship with Payne is interesting, and I can’t wait to see where that goes!

I loved delving further into John Matthew’s relationship with Xhex, but I hate how John Matthew changes during this book. I wish that Ward hadn’t turned him into such a cold-hearted bastard! I know he is hurting, but sheesh! He is taking it out on the whole world! I am glad that Tohr is finally getting his act together, even though it is "too little, too late" for John Matthew.

We learn more about Xhex and her ex-lover, Murhder, who was a member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Her shell, too, is chipping away and underneath all that tough exterior is a woman who is struggling to keep a lid on her emotions.

And let’s not forget Lash…he is turning into quite the antagonist! He is the villain that you love to hate.

Ward masterfully ties all the sub-plots together into a superb ending! And what a cliff-hanger!! I could hardly wait to start on the next one.

I love Ward’s sarcastic humour, and I was laughing out loud on a number of occasions throughout the book.

            Wrath to Butch: “Put on your big-girl pants and deal.”

And the touching moments:

Wrath’s thoughts: “But every once in a while, from out of the blue, someone reaches the quiet place where you spend your private time and changes the way you see yourself. If you’re lucky it’s your mate…and the transformation reminds you once again that you are absolutely, positively with the right person: because what they say doesn’t touch you because of who they are to you, but because of the content of their message.”

Ahhhhhhhh, just melts the heart, doesn't it?

Jim Frangione, how do you do it? I want his job. I want to narrate steamy novels, LOL! I have said it before and I’ll say it again: Frangione *IS* the BDB! There can never be another narrator for this series! His smooth, sultry voice during those intimate scenes is the icing on the cake!

This the first instance in the series where I have noticed some technical issues with the recording. There are some long pauses, and I can hear at other points where there was noise in the background when Frangione was cued in. It also sounded like Frangione was shouting the chapter numbers, and I jumped nearly out of my skin each time. It seemed like the volume on the chapter headings was louder than the rest of the narration. Either that or his voice was more commanding. I also prefer when the chapter number is preceded by the word "Chapter". I believe that this is also the first time in this series where Frangione simply says "One" instead of "Chapter One." I much prefer the latter.

MY RATING: 4.5 stars! Highly recommended, and I know I’ll read it again!

This book qualifies as:

#63 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge

#33 for my 2011 Audio Book Challenge

#15 for my Vampire Challenge 2011
#9 for my Paranormal Romance Challenge 2011

#7 for my Black Dagger Brotherhood Reading Challenge


  1. Brilliant review!! I love the vulnerability of Wrath as the series goes on too.

    I blushed reading this series, never mind listening to it Lol.

    New follower here and fellow fan of the BDB series...cannot wait for Tohr's book!


  2. Thanks for stopping by and following, TToria! I am currently listening to the last BDB book, and I'll be sad when it's finished because then I'll be caught up and have to wait just like everyone else for the next one!


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