Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood Series #11)

Lover at Last - J.R. Ward I am trying to write a summary that I normally preface every review with and my brain decided to inflict narcolepsy on me at the very idea. Why?Well, I’ve shaken this book, looked around the edges, skimmed through it again, double checked, skimmed through it the other way in case there’s a secret code – I’ve even put on my Enigma Brain and looked for some kind of secret code.But no, despite being over 500 interminably boring pages long, there is no plot in this book. None, none at all. There are random events but nothing actually happens, not one damn relevant thing. Let me sum up the gazillion unnecessary storylines in this 590+ page book.Blay & Qhuinn: Angst! Convoluted reason why we can’t be together! Angst some more! And some more! Ridiculous misunderstanding that drives us apart! OMG MORE AAAAANGST! And secrecy and ANGST!Xcor and the Band of Bastards: RAWR. Well, growl anyway. More biding our time. Which is code for doing nothing – except stalking Layla in a tragic romantic fashion that’s totally not creepy honestLayla: I’m pregnant with the baby Qhuinn and I randomly wanted out of the blue without any forethought! Yay! No I’m not, ANGST! Yes I am, YAY! Oh and still fixated on violent, vicious traitor with no redeeming features – this is romantic and not a sign that I need a serious intervention or a slap upside the head!The Lessers: Rawr! Actually, no; rawr suggests we’re doing stuff. We’re kind of hanging around being evil. Go Evil! Still evil!Sola: Hi, I’m a completely new character dropped in because even the teeny tiny side characters you don’t give a damn about simply must have a love interest! Assail looked at me and I am now smitten for life and completely ruined for other men. Despite my utter pointlessness, you get to spend several pages in my POV! Funsies! Seriously, a ride around in Wrath’s dog’s head would be more interesting and relevant.Luchas, Qhuinn’s brother is alive and stuff! Yay… I guess? Was there a reason I was supposed to care about this guy?Assail: remember me? Probably not because I’m a completely unnecessary side character and little more than a clone of Rehvenge anyway. I’m here for no damn good reason and no-one should care about me but I’m apparently important, who knows why. I have a love interest now – let the creepy stalking and threats commence! Yay romance!Trez & iAm: Hey you finally get to learn about the Shadows and our culture, who we are and what we’re doing! Hah, just kidding! No Trez is a sex addict who is running away from an arranged marriage, deals with that by sleeping with every other woman in the city, possibly the state and is now fixating on yet another woman as his one and only twu lub forever after glancing at her once, from a distance. Ho-hum. Creepy stalking and angst will, no doubt, commence in the next book.I think that about covers everything. Wrath is the king and being kingly, the glymeria are still pointlessly wasting their time plotting pointlessly about pointless things. There’s some random fight scenes for the sake of fighting and we get an eternally long sequence of Quinn flying a plane because funsies (and I am resisting the urge to say something about motherfucking vampires on a plane, I hope you realise this)!Which covers most of the book – nothing actually happening, all the plots kind of drifting in the breeze, the Brotherhood serving more as comic relief than as any actual warriors and all delivered with JR Ward’s… signature writing style. Hopelessly overwritten with ridiculous descriptions, the longest winded possible ways of describing anything and three styles of dialogue: a grossly stilted formal to show how posh people are; an archaic style which includes lots of “o’er” which is damn unpronounceable and I don’t believe anyone has ever used in actual English, ever and then this terrible, awful fake street-tough-guy-wannabe-ghetto talk that is the Brotherhood’s trademark which is made only MORE ridiculous by the book opening with a Black character from the poor side of town complaining about a middle-class to rich White kid mimicking his way of talking to sound cool. Tell me that was an attempt at self-satire! Tell me! Because I can’t believe an author can be aware enough of this issue while writing 11 books of the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s dialogue!Really, after that the excessive “h’s” in everyone’s names is becoming much less an issue. In fact there was considerably less of the mockable old tongue for me to poke and laugh over. I’m quite disappointed. Or disahppointehdAs for the main relationship of the book – Qhuinn and Blaylock – well, I expected it to be much much much worse than it was. This isn’t praise – the previous 10 books of this series have been really offensively homophobic – I approached this book with immense amounts of dread because JR Ward’s record here is plain nasty. It wasn’t as nasty as I expected but it was far from good.Firstly I don’t like Blay or Saxton – because they’re not characters. They’re walking love interests, they are gay men, that’s pretty much the entire summation of their characters. Blay’s entire life pretty much revolves around Qhuinn; Saxton, even with the job the king gave him, pretty much revolves around Blay. Also why does Qhuinn constantly call Saxton a “slut”? Especially since Qhuinn probably has more lovers than anyone ever and, in fact, none of the other men have ever been called that even if their bedrooms have revolving doors.Read More