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Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 8)

Lover Mine - J.R. Ward I struggled with my decision on what I was going to rate this book. While I enjoyed certain parts of the book, there were parts that I didn’t enjoy as much. First, I will admit that this story was way better than what I had anticipated. I end up appreciating Xhex’s character a bit more than previously, though she is still not my first choice for JM. Ward did try to soften her up, but throwing her in a mating dress and making her cry a few times didn’t cut it with me. I think Ward skims the boards that discuss her books and try to add what fans want but the execution was sorry because I was confused at some points.I was rather moved by the ending with Tohr. What can I say? I really like the dude. I hope that Ward pick someone good for him. The relationship with JM and Tohr was touching and I’m happy they resolved some of their issues.The flashbacks through Darius’s past were intriguing and added to the story. However, I wanted there to be some mention of John and Darius’s relationship. Of course readers believe John is Darius (though at the rate Ward is going, I can’t be too certain of anything), so just let the secret out to the Brothers. For this book to be over 500 pages, readers’ questions should have been answered. What is the point in dragging this out? At one point, I thought to myself, is she going to answer this one in Tohr’s book? Either way, this was the perfect way to explain why John/Darius share the same “identity” of sorts, and Ward did squat with the opportunity.There were too many sub-plots filtering through the book. I understand that Ward loves to set up several books within a book but sometimes this drags on to much. Instead of enhancing the original storyline, it only distracts from the story. The so-call paranormal tv show, which introduces Mhurder, really dragged on far too long and almost didn’t make sense until the very end. The Qhinn/Blay/Saxton triangle was another thing that annoyed me. Oh, not because of the romance of it all, but because it was another thing taking away from the main story. We already expect some sort of story with these three so a small reference to their affair would have been great enough for me. I enjoyed the tension but I could have done without them because they are a little too juvenile for me anyway. I use to like Layla but in this book, she reminded me of a 14 year old with a crush on a guy that is confused about who the hell he is. The side story with Payne sets up nicely for her book, which I’m under the impression, will be next.As for the slang, it has been discussed many times, and still it annoys the crap out of me. I tried to ignore it but when she wrote one of the characters saying, “Insane in the membrane”, I almost lost it. WTH? Since when do we quote songs? It is tiring and it doesn’t add to the story. So they are modern, hip vampires who need to talk in ridiculous slang? I don’t get it. I could see if they were in an environment that really suggests that they are supposed to speak like that but there is no reference to that or hint of people around speaking the way they do. But they are ancient vampires who evolved through many times and are supposed to have manners and etiquette, yet they spew slang all day. Whatever!Not only did I have a problem with John and the crew not finding out John’s true identity, I had a problem with the lack of Beth. Granted, she is not my favorite female in the series but this book was about her brother. Some reference to her should have been made. Where is she? Holed upstairs in one of the bedrooms? WTH? The lack of females in the books is a bit disappointing to me period. The only female there is mention of is Jane. Since she is important to the series (since she is the doctor and has been in every book since her own) I still don’t understand Ward making her a damn ghost. They all have these women they idolize but none of them are ever present in the house. Bella is walking by with the baby and Z in the beginning. Mary…what happen to my girl? I don’t even think Marissa exists anymore. I think she was a figment of my poor imagination. Not only were the females almost invisible throughout the book, so was the men. They made a brief appearance but nothing big. I almost forgot about them.The fighting scene at the end was disappointing because it was missing something. Just can’t quite place my finger on it yet. Overall, this book was ok but not her best. I think Ward needs time to reflect on this series and figure out if she should eventually let it go or get back on track.